John Henry Upton

John Henry Upton
Copyright (c) January 1997-present  Scott and Gwen Green



Union prisoner of war
Company E

87th Illinois Infantry
United States
Civil War

Grand Army Of The Republic Veteran (used by permission of The Flag Guys )

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John Henry Upton
John Henry Upton
29 October 1837
10 February 1908

Union Flag
 Illinois State Seal


Cemetery marker
Military Record
87th Illinois
Vicksburg Pictures
Camp Ford Pictures

John H. Upton was captured in 1864 and imprisoned at Camp Ford in Tyler, Texas.
Follow this link to learn more about this Civil War prison camp.

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Cemetery marker
Springer Cemetery
Hamilton County, Illinois

J. H. Upton, Company E, 87th Illinois John H. Upton Oct 20, 1837 - Feb 10, 1908

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Union soldier
from the History Of Gallatin, Saline, Hamilton,
Franklin & Williamson Counties, 1887
(p. 748)

John H. Upton, farmer, was born in 1837 in Hamilton County, Ill., the son of David and Hannah (Moore) Upton.  The father, of Dutch origin, born in Chatham County, N.C., in 1809, was brought with his parents and nine children to Smith County, Tenn., in 1813.  The mother soon died, and their home and goods were completely burned.  The father, John, married again, and in 1817 came to White County, Ill., and located on the site of Enfield, one of the pioneers of southern Illinois.  He was the father of twenty children.  David was eight years old when he came to White County, and in 1830 he married, and located near Springerton, in White County, where he lived about two years.  He then came to his present home in Beaver Creek Township.  His wife died in 1876, and in 1879 he married Elizabeth McNabb, who died in 1884.  David was skillful with the rifle as a hunter, and in one winter he killed 105 deer.  Of his seven living children the oldest is fifty-six and the youngest forty-two.  John H. was educated in subscription schools, and made his home with his parents until twenty-seven.  August 15, 1862, he enlisted in Company E, Eighty-seventh Illinois Infantry, and fought at Wilson Hill, Carroll Hill, Mark Hill, the Red River expedition and numerous severe skirmishes.  In September, 1864, he was captured near the mouth of Red River, and imprisoned nineteen [this is how it appears in the article; however from his military records and prisoner of war record, it should read nine ] months at Camp Ford.  July 5, 1865 he was discharged at Springfield.  December 28, 1865, he married Ann E. Derrick, born in 1851 in Arkansas, who came to Illinois when thirteen years old.  Their nine children are Rachael S. (wife of W. Wheeler), Thomas A., David C., Flora M., George N., Sarah A., Walter M., Lawrence B. and Felix Z.  He owns 145 acres, but since the fall of 1884 he has been living on his father's 160-acre tract.  Politically he is a Nationalist, first voting for Douglas.  He is a successful famer and esteemed citizen.

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source: McLeansboro Times

John H. Upton was born in Hamilton County, Ill. October 29, 1837.  Died Feb. 10, 1908, age 70 years, 3 months, 11 days.

He was educated in subscription schools and made his home with his parents until twenty-seven.  August 17, 1862, he enlisted in Captain Milton Carpenter's Company E, Eighty-seventh Regiment of Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and fought at Wilson Hill, Carroll Hill, Mark Hill, the fall of Vicksburg, [according to the military muster rolls, John could not have been at Vicksburg; he was at home in Hamilton County from December 1862 through August 1863; the siege of Vicksburg took place from May 25, 1863 to July 4, 1863] Red River Expedition and numerous severe skirmishes. In September, 1864, he was captured near the mouth of Red River and imprisoned nine months and 11 days at Camp Ford, Tyler, Texas.  June 16, 1865, he was discharged at Helena, Arkansas, and mustered out at Camp Butler, near Springfield, Ill. July 3, 1865.

December 28, 1865, he married Ann E. Derrick, to this union were born fourteen children, all of whom survive except three who preceded him to the Glory World in infancy.

He and his faithful wife succeeded in raising up a highly respectable and useful family of children.  Besides his family he leaves three brothers, one sister, a host of relatives and friends to mourn his loss.

He united with the Christian chuch at White Oak about the year 1888 and lived a devout christian, a faithful attendant at chruch and did much to harmonize, civilize, and characterize the community in which he lived.  His example is worthy of imitation, and though dead, he still lives in the hearts of all who knew him.  In his death the community has lost a good citizen, the church an arduous worker, his wife a kind husband, and his children an affectionate father.  He had a heart full of charity, and especially for those in distress, and was always being found aiding and assisting in the wants and needs of those in distress and affliction.

He always told his family to live right, keep peace and obey the Golden Rule, "Whatsoever you would that men should do unto you, do you even to them."

He was as well known as any citizen in Hamilon county and being a very active, energetic and one among Hamilton county's best of famers.

About 5:30 a.m.. on January 15, 1908, "Uncle John H." as he was familiarly called by all who knew him, became seriously afflicted of paralysis, all medical aid and assistance was given him by his physicians, his family, neighbors and his comrade, John A. Helsley, and family that could be given, who earnestly and hopefully watched over him every minute of his suffering.  His suffering was intense, his entire sickness was borne by him with great fortitude and patience, but on the 10th day of February , 1908, at 6 p.m. the death angel took his soul to that beautiful world above, where he shall live with God and his angels forever.

Funeral services were held at New Hope church, conducted by Rev. Bart Kello, after which the remains were laid to rest in the Springer cemetery.

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Military Record
from Military papers for John H. Upton
including Muster Rolls and Prisoner Of War Records

Military papers for John H. Upton

15 August 1862

Enlisted at McLeansboro, Hamilton County, Illinois for a period of three years

September 1862-
October 1862

Present (22 Sept 1862 at Shawneetown, Illinois)

November 1862-
December 1862

Absent - furloughed Dec the 22 for ten days. sick. Furlough extended

January 1863-
February 1863

Absent - sick at home in Hamilton Co Ill since Jan 22/63

March 1863-
April 1863

Absent - at home in Hamilton Co Ill since January 22, 1863, sick

April 11, 1863

Absent - at home in Hamilton Co Ill, January 22, 1863

May 1863-
June 1863

Absent - at home in Hamilton Co Ill since January 22, 1863, sick

July 1863-
August 1863

Absent - at home in Hamilton Co Ill since January the 22nd 1863, sick

September 1863-
October 1863


November 1863-
December 1863


January 1864-
February 1864


March 1864-
April 1864


July 1864-
August 1864

Present - $6 increased pay due for months of May & June 1864

September 16, 1864

Captured at Williamsport LA

September 1864-
October 1864

Absent - Prisoner of War since Sept 1864

November 1864-
December 1864

Absent - Prisoner of War since Sept 16, 1864

January 1865-
February 1865

Absent - Prisoner of War since Sept 16, 1864

March 1865-
April 1865

Absent - Prisoner of War since Sept 16, 1864

June 16, 1865

Helena Ark, muster out; last paid June 30, 1864; clothing account last settled Oct 31, 1863; Am't for clothing adv $33.16, bounty paid $25, due $75; remarks $6 increased pay due for the month of May & June 1864; was Prisoner of War at Tyler, Texas from Sept 16, 1864 to June 10, 65; has 3 months extra pay

source:  Database of Illinois Civil War Veterans

NAME               RANK   COMPANY    UNIT           RESIDENCE
UPTON, JOHN N      PVT    E          87 IL US INF   HAMILTON CO                    

source: Civil War Soldiers And Sailors System

US soldiers

John A. Upton

Regiment Name: 87th Illinois Infantry
Side: Union
Company:  E
Soldier's Rank In: Private
Soldier's Rank Out: Private
Alternate Name: John H. Uptonl

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John N. Upton, John Henry Upton, Francis Marion Upton

(left to right) John N. Upton, John Henry Upton, Francis Marion Upton

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source: Adjutant General's Report
Federal officers

Captain Milton Carpenter
1st Lieutenant James H. Wright
2nd Lieutenant Theophilus L. Jones  

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87th Illinois
sources: Illinois At Vicksburg, 87th Infantry, Illinois Volunteers (pp. 247-248)
Adjutant General's Report (pp. 239-240)  
Union troops

2 Aug-3 Oct 1862

Went in to camp at Shawneetown IL and mustered in

31 Jan 1863

Left for Memphis TN aboard transports Freestone and May Duke

4 Feb 1863

Arrived in Memphis TN, joined expedition with 63rd Illinois to Hernando MS to battle Col. Blythe's partisan rangers from Confederate Calvary

9 May 1863

Left aboard steamer Crescent City bound for Young's Point LA with 63rd Illinois

11 May 1863

Arrived Young's Point LA engaging in picket and fatigue duty

19 May 1863

Moved to Milliken's Bend LA engaging in road building and picket duty

21 May 1863

Crossed Mississippi River at Warrrenton MS and took position in left line with 63rd Illinois around Vicksburg, under steady fire for six hours

23 May 1863

Ordered to right of line around Vicksburg

3 June 1863

Performed as sharpshooters and performed night picket duty until capture of Vicksburg

4 July 1863

Left to take part in second capture of Jackson MS

20 July 1863

Returned to Vicksburg

25 July 1863

Departed for Natchez and took part in expedition to Kingston to caputre Confederate cotton

10 Aug 1863

Embarked for New Orleans LA with 47th Indiana

13 Sept 1863

Located in Brashear City LA

Sept-Oct 1863

Engaged in expeditions along Atchafalaya and Teche Bayous, and at Grand Coteau and Vermillionville LA

Nov 1863

Mounted regiment, scouted around Franklin and New Iberia LA

1 Jan 1864

Returned to New Iberia LA, performing scouting duty

Feb 1864

Joined with 1st Louisiana in Gulf region

14 Mar 1864

Led calvary during Red River campaign

7 Apr 1864

Battle of Wilson's Hill, 30 men killed or wounded

8 Apr 1864

Battle of Sabine Crossroads (Mansfields)

9 Apr 1864

Battle of Pleasant Hill

15 May 1864

Battle of Marksville

21 May 1864

Returned to Morganza Bend LA

Summer 1864

Manned steamer Baltic engaging in scouting and other maneuvers

1 Aug 1864

Capt. Thomas Sheridan and 50 men captured near Williamsport LA

4 Sep 1864

Left for White River AR aboard steamer Ohio Belle

Fall/Winter 1864

Scouting duty in Arkansas and along Mississippi River

Jan 1865

Stationed at St. Charles and moved to Helena AR to perform scouting duties

15/16 June 1865

Mustered out

24 June 1865

Arrived Springfield IL

2/3 July 1865

Regiment paid off and disbanded at Camp Butler


Other notes about the 87th Illinois:

bulletMeasles broke out shortly after arriving in Memphis in 1863, accounted for 250 dead/disabled during the war
bulletIn the Battle of Sabine Crossroads, 87th Illinois was the only regiment to leave the battlefield in regimental formation
bulletCapture of 50 men in August 1864 was the only time troops from the 87th Illinois were captured during the war

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Vicksburg Battlefield Pictures (Mississippi)

Vicksburg National Military Park

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Illinois Memorial Illinois Memorial
Illinois Memorial

Illinois Memorial

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87th Illinois Memorial

87th Illinois Memorial

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87th Illinois Monument

87th Illinois Monument

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87th Infantry

Col. John E. Whiting
2d Brig., 12th Div., 13th Corps.

Entered campaign at Young's
Point Louisiana, May 11, 1862
Served with 3d Brig., 6th Div., 17th
Corp. on extreme left of
investment line, May 22, on duty
at Warrenton, Mississippi, from
June 3 until assigned to 2d
Brigade, 12th Div., 13th Corps, June 23

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Camp Ford Pictures (Tyler TX)
Camp Ford Historical Marker

Camp Ford

On this site during the Civil War was located Camp Ford
the largest prisoner of war compound for Union troops west
of the Mississippi River, named in honor of Col. John S. 'Rip' Ford
who originally established a training camp here in 1862. It was
converted in the summer of 1863 to a prison camp.

It first consisted of four to five acres enclosed by a
stockade sixteen feet high. In the spring of 1864 following
the Confederate victories at Mansfield, Louisiana and Mark's
Mills, Arkansas the enclosure was doubled to accommodate
the large influx of prisoners. Approximately 4700 Federals
were confined here during this period. This overcrowded
condition was somewhat relieved through a series of
prisoner of war exchanges between the North and
the South.

Union soldiers representing nearly one hundred
different regiments plus sailors from gunboats and
transports were confined here. In addition there were
imprisoned Union sympathizers, spies, and even Confederate

The prisoners constructed their own shelters ranging
from log huts and burrows called "shebangs" to brush
arbors and tents made of blankets.

A spring located about 100 yards southwest of this
marker furnished an ample supply of good water. Their
meager rations, essentially the same as that of their
guards, usually consisted of beef and corn meal and were
sometimes supplemented by vegetables purchased from
nearby farms.

Although escape attempts were frequent, very few were
successful due to the long distance to Union lines and
the difficulty in eluding the tracking hounds used by the
Confederate guards.

Even though conditions were primitive it compared
favorably with the other Civil War prison camps. Camp
Ford continued to serve as a prison until the surrender
of the Trans-Mississippi Department in May, 1865. It was later
destroyed by Federal occupation troops.

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Camp Ford Marker

Camp Ford

Stockade Prison
Of Federal Soldiers
During The Civil War

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Camp Ford Camp Ford

Main archaeological dig area (June 1998)

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Camp Ford

View looking down creek bed and toward camp headquarters (June 1998)

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Civil War Clipart Gallery

     G.A.R. grave marker image
used by permission of
The Flag Guys

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