Thursday, April 23, 2015

Military Monday - Dr. Charles Campbell Guard, Civil War Surgeon, and His Family

Dr. Charles Campbell Guard
Dr. Charles Campbell Guard was the great-grandson of Jeremiah Gard (1717-1783) of Morris County, New Jersey, whom many Gard researchers consider the “great granddaddy” of us all.  Charles was the oldest of the eight children of Chalon Guard (1797-1885) and his wife, Sarah “Sally” Campbell Guard (1799-1842).  He was born on August 5, 1824, a day after his father’s twenty-seventh birthday, in Equality, Illinois. 

On October 19, 1845, Charles married sixteen-year-old Lucy Ann White (parents unknown). The couple had two children.  The first, a girl named Julia A. (Ann, after her mother perhaps?), born in 1847, was still alive at age three as she appears in the 1850 census, but she does not seem to have survived to adulthood as she is not mentioned in the records after that.  The second, a girl named Lucy V., was born two years later in 1849.  Unfortunately, their mother, Lucy Ann, passed away on July 3 of the same year, suggesting complications from pregnancy.  So, at the age of 25, Charles Guard was left a widower with at least one infant girl to bring up. 

At some point in time, Charles Guard completed his education to become a doctor. Details as to where and when he received his education have not yet been uncovered, but at the age of 26, he is listed as a physician in the 1850 census when he was living in Saline County, Illinois, near Harrisburg.  In all other census records before and after 1850, he was in his native Gallatin County.

On March 12, 1851, Dr. Guard remarried to twenty-three-year-old Lucy Posey.  (Yes, the third Lucy in the narrative.)  The couple had two children: both boys.  The first was Birtis Guard (b. 1852).  I have been unable to find any information about a person with this (or a similar) name, so I fear that this is another child who did not survive.  Sadly, the second son, George P. (Posey?) Guard (b. 1853) is known to have died in infancy as well and is buried in the Equality Village Cemetery.  And then, two years later, Dr. Guard again made his sad way to the cemetery for the interment of his second wife.

Little Lucy V., now six, was again motherless.  But on September 13, 1857, Dr. Guard, now 33, married for the third time to 17-year-old Nancy “Nannie” Baker, who gave birth to a son, Chalon Timothy Guard, on July 21, 1858.  This was Dr. Guard’s fifth child and became the fourth to die in infancy.  On November 19, 1861, Nancy gave birth to another son, Charles Alexander, who, I am happy to report, survived to the age of 77, dying in the family’s hometown of Equality (Gallatin County) in 1938. 
Nancy "Nannie" Baker 

Though Charles and Nancy would return to Equality, the census year 1860 found them living near the town of Harrisburg in Saline County, Illinois.  Now, Saline County, newly formed in 1847, had originally been a part of Gallatin County.  The division of the county was controversial, and it had taken some time for the decision finally to be settled in court, with then Illinois attorney Abraham Lincoln having a role in the whole matter. 

Dr. Guard’s family was not the only Guard family in Saline County.  On the same page as the family of Charles Campbell Guard is the family of Charles’ half-brother, Chalon Guard (1853-1933).  The census reveals one other interesting fact.  Living with the Guards in Saline County were two ten-year-old African-American children, a girl named Anna and a boy named Albert Prater, who are listed as domestic servants.  The story of the status of blacks in pre-Civil War Illinois is an interesting one, which I hope to cover in a future narrative. Suffice it here to say that Dr. Guard seems to have been protecting these children from those in the state and the region who did not support their freedom.

Civil War Era Surgical Kit
By the time the war broke out, the Guards were back in Gallatin County.  In August 1861, Dr. Guard joined up with the 3rd Illinois Cavalry.  He was placed in Co. E. like others from Saline and Gallatin Counties, and was given the rank of 1st Lieutenant. However, when the unit moved out toward St. Louis on September 25, Charles was promoted to surgeon and transferred to the 29th Illinois Infantry (National; United States).

Almost immediately, the 29th reported to Cairo, Illinois, where Ulysses S. Grant, then a Brigadier-General, had recently been placed in command.  Grant’s assignment was to command the district of southeastern Missouri comprising all the territory in Missouri south of St. Louis and all of southern Illinois with permanent headquarters at Cairo. 

The map on the right, published in 1862, shows the position of Cairo at the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers.  Paducah, Kentucky, to the east of Cairo, can be seen on the Tennessee River, which was a tributary to the Ohio.  These waterways, which had previously been navigated for commerce, became central to troop deployment and support of what is now called the Army of the Tennessee.  For example, in November 1861, Grant, setting out from Cairo on the Mississippi, moved 3,000 men south on steamboats accompanied by two gun boats to an engagement against the Confederates at Belmont, Missouri.  Debarking three miles north of Belmont, they marched southward to engage Confederate Col. Jeff Thompson, whom they defeated (Wilson).  In this battle, the Union suffered the loss of 120 dead, 383 wounded, and 104 captured or missing.  The wounded would, of course, have looked to Dr. Guard and his assistants for treatment.

Since the army moved on the water, so did the surgeons, but at first their task was quite daunting.  During the operations against Fort Henry, Tennessee, February 2-6, 1862, moving the wounded out of the war zone was obviously slowed by the cumbersome process involved. Alan Hawk of the National Museum of Health and Medicine explains:

As the river campaign began from Cairo, Illinois, in February 1862, getting the sick out of the combat zone in preparation for the campaign turned out to [be] complex.  A surgeon needed [to] request the quartermaster’s corps to provide transportation for the sick.  These requests got low priority since the quartermasters tended to put their efforts on the movement of troops, weapons, ammunition and supplies (Hawk).

Eventually approval was received to charter steamboats specifically for transportation of the sick and wounded.  When they left Fort Henry, the medical transport system had improved somewhat as the vessel City of Memphis, with Dr. Guard aboard, left with 475 patients bound upriver for Paducah, Kentucky (Hawk).   

While the ship was moving northward to Paducah, the 29th Illinois was moving eastward by land to Fort Donelson, Tennessee, which is on the Cumberland River.  The Cumberland also passes through Paducah, which means that, upon debarking the wounded from Ft. Henry, the City of Memphis probably advanced via the Cumberland from Paducah to Fort Donelson, which was taken by the Union on February 16.  As the infantry continued eastward to Savannah, Tennessee, the City of Memphis and its sister ship the Louisiana continued to ferry the sick and wounded from ports in Tennessee to hospitals in Illinois, Ohio, and Missouri.  It is estimated they transported 10,000 men in this way between February and July (Hawk).
City of Memphis Hospital Ship

In March, Assistant Adjutant-General James H. Hammond sent a query to Captain John Rawlins suggesting that additional floating hospitals be assigned to the Savannah, Tennessee, region.  Hammond was writing from Pittsburg Landing on the west bank of the Tennessee River just a few miles above Shiloh, where the famous Battle of Shiloh would soon take place.  At 4:00 p.m., General Sherman added a P.S. to Hammond’s letter, stating: “Have just read this letter, and approve all but floating hospitals; regimental surgeons [which would have included Dr. Guard] can take care of all sick, except chronic cases, which can always be sent down to Paducah” (Hammond).

This letter was dated March 18.  The 29th Illinois was at Pittsburg Landing at that time and remained there until March 25, at which time they began their move to the south. 
However, Dr. Charles Campbell Guard would not be there to help with the wounded from the Battle of Shiloh, which commenced on April 6, because, on April 4, he died of hepatitis aboard the City of Memphis, no doubt due to contact with contaminated blood during the course of his work.  Strangely, two sources indicate that Dr. Guard was at the Battle of Shiloh (“Charles Campbell Guard”[*]; Guard).  However, this cannot be true given the date of his death and that of the commencement of the battle.  It would probably be more accurate to say that the floating hospital on which Guard worked was nearing Shiloh when he died, but he could not have witnessed the fighting or cared for the wounded from the battle.

Dr. Guard’s body was returned to Equality, Illinois, in Gallatin County, for burial near the graves of his first two wives, Lucy White and Lucy Posey, and his infant son, George.  His living wife, Nannie Baker, now 23, and her 9-month-old son, as well as Lucy White’s daughter, Lucy V.,13,  were now without a husband and father. 
Equality Village Cemetery
Gallatin Co., Illinois

In 1864, Nannie remarried and appears with her son Charles Guard in the 1870 census, residing in Terra Haute, Indiana, with her second husband, Enoch Ross, and two Ross children, ages four and two.  But what happened to Lucy V.?

I was unable to find Lucy residing with any known relatives, and by the time of the next census in 1870, this 13-year-old girl would have been 21 and possibly married, though I was not able to discover a marriage record for her either.  Sadly, I discovered her on, laid to rest at the age of 15 with no apparent family members beside her in Haven Hill Cemetery in the town of Olney, Richland County, Illinois, 70 miles to the east of Equality (“Lucy V. Guard”[†]).  But how did she end up there? 

Lucy V.’s mother died in 1849, and Dr. Guard did not re-marry until 1851.  The 1850 Census record shows him and his two daughters, Julia (age 3) and Lucy V. (age 1), residing with the family of Dr. Guard’s sister, Anne Valeria Guard Campbell, who was married to Judge John Lloyd Campbell.  

By the time of the 1860 census, Dr. Guard had remarried and Lucy V. was residing in Equality with her father and step-mother Nannie. (Julia does not appear.) But if Lucy died in Olney, how did she get there?  We cannot be sure, without further discoveries, when exactly Lucy V. made her way to Olney, but my guess is that she went there after her father’s death and burial.  After all, Nannie was not her own mother, and she did have other kin who cared for her.  It isn’t difficult to assume that her aunt, Anne Valeria, and her uncle, Judge John L. Campbell, with whom she had lived briefly in 1850, would have opened their home to this young orphaned girl.  This conjecture is strengthened by the fact that, according to the 1870 census, the couple were residing in Olney.

Realizing the importance of Anne Valeria in Lucy’s life, it is tempting to suppose that the V in Lucy’s name stands for Valeria, but that cannot be said with certainty.

The conjecture that Lucy lived with the Campbells after her father’s death is strengthened by a statement in a biographical sketch of John Lloyd Campbell, which appeared in the historical atlas of Richland County, Illinois, published in 1875, the year of John Lloyd Campbell’s death (Atlas).

In the paragraphs regarding Campbell’s marriage to Anne Valeria Guard, we learn several key facts.  One is that Anne Valeria moved to Richland County from Gallatin County during the war while John Campbell was serving in the Union Army (Co. E, 3rd Illinois Cavalry).  Why she moved during the war may be explained by the fact that there were numerous other Campbells in Olney, and, with four children, she may have been attracted to the support of her in-laws since both her own mother and her mother-in-law had died by then.

The second revelation in the biographical sketch is that the couple, in addition to their own children, raised ten orphans.  Given Lucy V.’s status as an orphan after April 1862, it is highly likely that she was one of the ten. The cause of her death is unknown. Sadly, none of Lucy’s blood kin rest with her in Haven Hill Cemetery, but her Uncle John was laid there upon his death October 9, 1875. 

Dr. Guard’s sister, Anne Valeria, eventually moved out to California with her son, John L. Campbell, Jr., who earned some fame as Superior Judge in San Bernardino County, where Anne Valeria died on February 18, 1893 (“Hon.” 534).  Charles Alexander Guard, the son of Dr. Guard and his third wife Nannie Baker, married Rachel Elizabeth Bourland in 1873 and had six children.  He ran the general store in Equality until his death in 1938. 

This sad tale of love and loss may be typical of the mid-nineteenth century, when infant mortality was high and the Civil War was tearing families asunder. Through it all, however, I see in Charles Campbell Guard a man who devoted his life to helping others and gave his own in service to the soldiers of the Army of the Tennessee.

(c) Eileen Cunningham, 2015

[*] The memorial has been updated with information I was able to provide as a result of this research.
[†] Ditto.

                                                              Works Cited

“Charles Campbell Guard.” Memorial #99965994. 31 Oct. 2012. Web. 7 Mar. 2015.
Guard, Jim. “Dr. Charles Campbell Guard.” Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. n.d. Web. 7 Mar. 2015.  
Hammond, J[ames]. H. “To Captain [John] Rawlins.” 18 Mar. 1862. Memoirs of General W. T. Sherman. Son of the South. n.d. Web. 23 Apr. 2015.
Hawk, Alan. “Hospital Ships in the American Civil War.” Academia. n.d. Web. 22 Apr. 2015.
“Hon. John Lloyd Campbell.” An Illustrated History of Southern California. Chicago: Lewis, 1890. Internet Archive. n.d. Web. 23 Apr. 2015.
“John L. Campbell.” Historical Atlas of Richland Illinois. Brink & Co., 1875. Historic MapWorks. 2015.  Web. 21 Apr. 2015.
“Lucy V. Guard.”  Memorial # 35545596. 5 Apr. 2009. Web. 10 Mar. 2015.
National Archives and Records Administration. U.S., Civil War Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2000. Accessed 23 Apr. 2015.
United States. Registers of Deaths of Volunteers, 1861-1865 [database on-line]. 2012. Web. 23 Apr. 2015. 
Wilson, James Grant, and John Fiske, eds. Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography. Rev. ed. 5.710. Internet Archive. n.d. Web. 23 Apr. 2015. 

Charles Campbell Guard. Memorial #99965994.

City of Memphis Hospital Ship. National Museum of Health and Medicine. Creative Commons License 2.0 Generic. 

Equality Village Cemetery.

Map. “Position of New Madrid.” City-Data.

Nancy “Nannie” Baker. Memorial #99966343.

Nineteenth-Century Girl. “18th- and 19th-Century Children’s Fashions!” Sally Hall.  Pinterest. Pinned from

Surgical kit, NCP 3913, National Museum of Health and Medicine.  Creative Commons License 2.0 Generic.

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