Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War

Photos from the Past

Marion Brashares and Alonzo Grafton

Marion Brashares was born July 13, 1844 near Johnstown, Cumberlain County, Illinois. Marion enlisted for three years in the 5th Illinois Cavalry on September 5th, 1861. Marion mustered into Company E., 5th Cavalry in Mattoon, Illinois on September 25 1861. Supplies and horses were in short supply so Marion furnished his own horse and equipment and was paid $35 extra. He gained rank in Company E and on October 22, 1861, he was promoted to 1st Sergeant. In 1862, he was wounded and in the hospital four months in Keokuk, Iowa with a fractured humerus. He was discharged with almost a complete paralysis of his arm on November 14, 1862. In January 1864, he was back again and re-enlisted in Company E, 5th Cavalry. On December 15 he was promoted from 1st Sergeant, Company I to 2nd Lieutenant, Company G, 63rd Colored Infantry. He was discharged in 1866. He received a pension, # 646799, on July 13, 1914. It was increased through the years until 1930 when it reached $100 a month.

After his discharge, he returned to Johnstown and joined the Lerna Masonic Lodge in 1866 and was a charter member and Adjutant of the J.J. Adam Post of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), organized in 1866. It so happened that Alonzo Grafton was the Commander at the time and in 1896 their children would join in marriage, uniting two lines that served their country and ended up in the same GAR Post.

While running his general merchandise store in Johnstown, he met and married Caroline Coon of Charleston on March 10, 1868. He moved from the family farm in Johnstown to Farmington, Illinois, where he opened a restaurant. Marion's mother was Eliza Phipps and his father was Perry Brashares, who was a Methodist Circuit Rider in the 1820s and 1830s in this section of Illinois. He often held prayer meetings in the home of Thomas and Sarah Lincoln who lived just North East of Janesville. Perry and Eliza were married in Marion County, Ohio on September 21, 1837.

Marion was described as being 5' 8" tall with black eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion. He died on August 29, 1935 and is buried in the Janesville Cemetery, Pleasant Grove Township, Coles County, Illinois.

Alonzo Grafton was born on the Grafton family farm in Jck Township, Champaign County, Ohio. By 1850, his parents, Thomas D. and Mary A., had moved to Pleasant Springs Township, Logan County, Ohio. On February 14, 1861, Alonzo married Sallie Heath of Logan County. Her parents were Henry Heath (born May 22, 1813, died September 26, 1888) and Clorinda Kerns (born February11, 1816, died March 12, 1896). On August 8,1862, Alonzo, now 22, enlisted in Company E, 45th Ohio Volunteer Infantry in DeGraff, Ohio. They were mounted infantry for one year. He was on detached duty for about eight months doing recruiting duty from January 1863 through August 1863 under Major General Granger in Logan County.

He was a Sergeant in Company E until March 2, 1865 when he was promoted to 1st Sergeant. He was in many battles of the Civil War, first in the siege of Knoxville, at Rasaca, Kennesaw Mountain and all the engagements of the Atlanta Campaign. He participated with Thomas to Franklin, which was about the hardest fought battle that he was ever in. After that, he participated in a two day battle at Nashville which drove Hood back across the Tennessee River. He finally went into winter quarters at Huntsville and then through East Tennessee, where he was when the war ended. He was mustered out at Camp Harker, Tennessee on June 12, 1865 as a 2nd Lieutenant. He filed for pension on July 22,1892 in Illinois. Sallie filed for widows pension on January 19,1909 in Illinois.

Alonzo moved to Coles County, Illinois after the war and settled in Section 32. This was a land grant that was given to veterans of the Civil War for their service. The piece of land that he originally received was a little north of Section 32 but was too wet so he traded that land for the one in Section 32. Alonzo was a carpenter by trade and also taught school every winter except one. He taught seven terms in his home district. In 1867, Alonzo was the Commander of Post 548 of the Illinois Department. He was 5'11" tall, dark complexion, brown hair and brown eyes. His son, John K., married Marion Brashares' daughter, Bertha Brashares, uniting two Civil War lines in my family.

Information and photographs provided by John Grafton.


Marion Brashares (During War)


Alonzo Grafton (During War)


Alonzo Grafton (post War)

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