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Below is a family biography included in The History of Adams County, Illinois published by Murray, Williamson & Phelps in 1879.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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GAY, CAPT. WILLIAM H., ticket agent, union depot; residence, Quincy; was born in Addison county, Vermont, in 1833; moved to Galesburg, Ill., in 1836; married Mary E. Ellett in 1866. She was born in Knox county, Ill., in 1840. They have four children: Edwin M., Theodora, Fannie B., and Charles W. They are members of the First Union Congregational Church. He is a member of the A. O. U. W. He enlisted in the 1st Iowa Battery, July 4, 1861, and appointed Quartermaster Sergeant; promoted to senior 3d Lieutenant, Sept. 1, 1862, and senior 1st Lieutenant, June 1, 1863, and to Captain of the same battery Sept. 1, 1864. He was wounded at the battle of Kennesaw Mountain; was with Gen. Curtis at Pea Ridge; with Sherman when he made the attack on Vicksburg and was repulsed; was at the capture of Arkansas Post; was with Gen. Grant during the siege of Vicksburg; was at Fort Gibson, and the capture of Jackson, Miss; went with Sherman to Atlanta, Ga., and remained until the capture of that city. Notwithstanding his efforts to go with Sherman on his grand march to the sea, he was transferred to Gen. Thomas’ Department, and was with him at the battle of Nashville, Tenn., after which he was put in command of Fort Nageley. He acted as Inspector General of the Department, and Chief of Artillery at Nashville, and was a prominent member of the board of examining officers appointed to pass on the capabilities of officers for promotion. He served the first term of three years and re-enlisted as a veteran and served to the close of the war. He was mustered out at Davenport, Iowa, with a distinguished and unpurchased record, one which the most gallant of the galaxy of distinguished officers of our late noble army might well be proud of, especially as Capt. Gay gained his shoulder-straps by merit only, facts with which the writer of this sketch is familiar. He moved to Quincy, where he holds his present position.

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This family biography is one of 1444 biographies included in The History of Adams County, Illinois published by Murray, Williamson & Phelps in 1879.  View the complete description here: The History of Adams County, Illinois

View additional Adams County, Illinois family biographies here: Adams County, Illinois Biographies

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