John Campbell (1842 – 1898)
John Campbell (1842-1898) was an Irish-American farmer who fought many key battles with the 27th Indiana Regiment during the Civil War.
Born in Antrim, Ireland, to Robert and Jane Campbell on December 4, 1842, Campbell’s family immigrated to New Orleans, and then to Bloomington, Indiana, when John was two years old. They settled in the Bloomington area, and John eventually bought a farm near Bloomington in 1858
In June, 1861, Campbell joined the 27th Indiana Regiment of Volunteers, Company F. During his three years of active duty, Campbell saw much of the United States and fought and was wounded in some of the Civil War’s most famous battles. His first large battle was at Winchester, VA, in May, 1862, followed shortly by the Battle of Cedar Mountain. He was wounded in the right side at Antietam on September 17, 1862, known as the bloodiest day of the war. He also fought on the second bloodiest day of the war at the Battle of Chancellorsville. The 27th Indiana Regiment made its way to the Battle of Gettysburg in time to contribute significantly to the battle that changed the tide of the war, and in this battle Campbell was wounded in the left thigh. He and his regiment were also involved in Sherman’s March to the Sea, and Campbell’s arm was broken at the Battle of Resaca, an injury severe enough that Campbell applied for a pension for it in 1883. Campbell returned to Bloomington 1 September, 1864, and was discharged the 13th.
In June, 1866, Campbell married Martha J. Williams, from Indiana. The couple had three children and adopted Campbell’s nephew, John Maginnis. Throughout the 1870s, the couple owned a 90-acre farm in Bloomington Township, where they grew corn, wheat, oats, and rye. By 1879 they had moved to Marion Township and rented 30 acres, where they grew mostly corn. They moved back to Bloomington Township by 1884, and bought a 74-acre farm which, according to a local historian of the era, was “improved by a good residence, buildings, orchard fences, etc.”
John Campbell was a member of the Republican Party and served twice as Marion Township Trustee. He was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, a Union veterans’ society which, among other things, is responsible for the creation of Memorial Day and obtaining government-sponsored pensions for veterans. John and Martha were members of the Presbyterian Church. Campbell died July 29, 1898, at his home on West 7th Street, as a result of wounds received during the war.
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