Tuesday, October 6, 2009

History Lesson

In August, the squint shot, which you can find by clicking here, posed the question what was the plaque on the northeast corner of Grand River and Second Street is for and who was John Gilluly. Unexpectedly I stumbled upon the answer while browsing through Fowlerville Goes to War 1861-1865 compiled by Richard G. Hutchins. This book has turned out to be invaluable in learning a bit more of the place we call home. From this book comes . . .

Born in Boston, Massachussetts, John Gilluly attended law school at the University of Michigan and established his law office in Brighton. Active in politics, he served in the Michigan Legislature from 1859-60. Following the election of Abraham Lincoln to the presidency and the bombardment of Fort Sumter by South Carolinians, Civil War erupted in the United.

John Gilluly, age 37, joined the Fifth Michigan Volunteer Infantry and was selected Captain of Company I. This company was comprised of Livingston County men, primarily from Fowlerville, Howell, and Brighton.

The article goes on to report Lieutenant Colonel Gilluly was killed during a charge, leading his 330 soldiers into a successful counter-attack against the Confederate Army. This happened December 13, 1862. Gilluly's close friend and Quartermaster of the regiment, Captain H.B. Blackman, took it upon himself to bring Gilluly back to Michigan.

At the end of the Civil War, the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) was organized by Dr. B.F. Stephenson of Springfield, Illinois, with a motto of "Fraternity, Charity, and Loyalty" as their guide. Fowlerville Post 114, also known as the John Gilluly Post, was formed in 1883. The GAR helped to erect monuments for soldiers and sailors, homes were provided for children orphaned by the war, and families were given assistance.

The Fowlerville Post 114 ceased to exist when its last remaining member, Alfred Smith, passed away August 6, 1935.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Where is the original of this photo located? Are there any more photos of him? We can't find any in Brighton and the family has none.