Around Chicago and Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan is the largest lake completely within the United States. The Great Lakes are the major geographical feature of the Midwest, and are in turn an important part of the Midwest’s being America’s Heartland, both geographical and economic. The scene of much of the country’s industrial development from the days of the Northwest Ordinance (which predated the Constitution of 1787) through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the region wealth-creating abilities were a driving force behind the success of the Warringtons and others.

Click here for more of William H. Warrington’s artwork.

One of the more illustrious officers to serve in “Mr. Lincoln’s Army” was Brevet Major General John McArthur, U.S. Volunteers. He was Isabella’s brother and George and William H.’s uncle.

Born 17 November 1826, his service (documented by his nephew James N. Warrington) can be outlined as follows:

  • Joined Highland Guards of Chicago, IL, May 1855;
  • Promoted 3rd Lieutenant of Company 10 August 1855;
  • Promoted 1st Lieutenant 1 November 1856;
  • Promoted Captain 20 April 1857;
  • Elected Lieutenant Colonel of the “Washington Independent Regiment of Chicago” April 1861;
  • Commissioned Colonel, 12th Illinois Volunteer Infantry, 3 May 1861;
  • Re-commissioned Colonel (3 year service) 1 July 1861 from 3 May 1861;
  • Brigadier General, U.S. Volunteers, 21 March 1862, “For conspicuous gallantry and efficiency at the Battle of Fort Donelson, Tennessee”;
  • Brevet Major General U.S. Volunteers, 15 December 1864, “For conspicuous gallantry and efficiency during the battle of 15-16 December 1864 before Nashville, Tennessee;
  • Regiment mustered in for three months service at Springfield, Illinois, 2 May 1861;
  • Ordered to Cairo, Illinois, with First Brigade Illinois Volunteers 10 May, duty at Cairo until 5 September 1861;
  • Regiment re-organised for three year service at Cairo, Illinois, 1 August 1861;
  • Occupation of Paducah, Kentucky, 6 September;
  • Assigned to Third Brigade, District of SE Missouri, 14 October;
  • Expedition against Thompson’s forces, 2-12 November;
  • Demonstrations against Rebel defences at Columbus, Kentucky, 25-28 January 1862;
  • Assigned to command of First Brigade, Second Division, District of West Tennessee;
  • Advance on Forts Henry and Heiman: Fort Henry, 2-5 February; occupation of Fort Heiman, 6 February;
  • Operations against Fort Donelson 12-16 February, capture of Fort Donelson 16 February;
  • Assigned to command of First Brigade, Second Division, Army of the Tennessee, 21 February 1862;
  • Expedition to Nashville, 22 February;
  • Return to Clarksville and thence to Pittsburg Landing;
  • First Brigade, Second Division, Army of Tennessee, April: Battle of Shiloh, 6-7 April 1862;
  • Severely wounded 6 April, musket ball through foot. Rejoined command in May;
  • Assigned to command of First Brigade, Sixth Division, Army of Tennessee;
  • Siege of Corinth until 30 May, duty at Corinth until September;
  • Iuka 17-18 September, Corinth 3-4 October;
  • Horse shot from under him; severely injured by fall;
  • Assigned to Sixth Division Seventeenth Corps, Army of Tennessee, 6 October 1862;
  • Grant’s Central Mississippi Campaign: Operations on Mississippi Central Railroad from Corinth to Bolivar, to Coffeeville, Mississippi, November-December 1862;
  • Engaged in organising divisions and corps until 20 February 1863;
  • To Lake Providence, Louisiana, and duty there until May 1863;
  • Champion Hills, 16 May, Black River Bridge, 17 May;
  • Assaults on Vicksburg, 19-22 May 1863; Siege of Vicksburg, 22 May-4 July 1863, Jackson, Mississippi, two weeks;
  • Assigned to command of Post and Defences of Vicksburg. Commanding Post, Defences and District of Vicksburg, Department of Tennessee, August 1863-April 1864, Relieved 27 April 1864;
  • Commanding expedition to Benton and Yazoo City;
  • Reported to General Sherman the day after Battle of Altoona;
  • Ordered to Missouri; back in time for Battle of Nashville;
  • Operations in Missouri covering St. Louis from threatened attack by General Price, September and November 1864;
  • Campaign against Rebels under General Hood, December;
  • Commanding First Division, Sixteenth Corps, Right Wing, Detachment Army of the Tennessee, Department of Missouri: Battle of Nashville, 15-16 December 1864;
  • Pursuit to Pulaski, 16-28 December;
  • Eastport, Mississippi, until February 1865;
  • Movement from Eastport, Mississippi, to New Orleans, 6-21 February 1865;
  • Mobile campaign, 7 March-13 April 1865, Fish River 21-23 March, Siege of Spanish Fort and Fort Blakley 26 March-8 April, storming of Fort Blakley 9 April;
  • Movements on Montgomery, Alabama, 13-25 April 1865, Occupation of Montgomery April-August 1865;
  • Mustered out 24 August 1865.

He married Christina Cuthbertson (born 6 January 1825). They had eight children as follows:

  1. John McArthur
  2. Cuthbert McArthur (1851-1932)
  3. Bessie Denham Heaton
  4. Ada Jane McArthur
  5. Colin Campbell McArthur
  6. Arthur Wellesley McArthur
  7. James Nielson McArthur
  8. Walter Scott McArthur

Before the war he operated the Excelsior Iron Works. After the war he was Chicago’s Public Works Commissioner during the 1871 Great Fire. He died 15 May 1906.

And while on the subject of the Civil War…

michigan-city-washington-park-union-monument

Well, most of us are having a good time: George Warrington (top) and friends stop for a group photo at the Civil War monument to the Union at Washington Park in Michigan City, Indiana. Michigan City was and is a convenient holiday destination from Chicago. Since many in the party are in their boating uniforms, I suspect they arrived by one or more of their yachts. The monument was donated to the city in 1893, so it was fairly new when this photo was taken. At the very bottom was Chester, who wasn’t quite as enthusiastic about the adventure as the rest of the party. In an era when the idea was for children to be seen and not heard, Chet broke the mould and had quite an attitude, one which was indulged by his mother, who is sitting behind him.