Charles Ellis, 96th Illinois Infantry

The 96th Illinois is a favorite regiment of mine, raised close to my home, who had their babtism of fire on Horseshoe Ridge, September 20, 1863. Recently, a descendant of one member of the 96th got in touch with me to share some interesting items.

Here is a picture of Charles Ellis’s weapon and leather gear:

Musket, cartridge box and leather accoutrements worn by Sergant Ellis

Musket, cartridge box and leather accoutrements worn by Sergant Ellis

Sergeant Ellis, appears to be Charles Ellis, born in Manchester England in 1820, and who enlisted at Waukegan Illinois as a Private in Company D, the 96th Illinois.

Charles took the oath on July 21st, 1862, just about 151 years ago. At 43, he was considerably older than most of the recruits in Union regiments, but he appeared to be hardy enough.

He was wounded in the foot on September 20th, during that wild struggle for Horseshoe Ridge, but recovered. He would rise to First Sergeant of Company D, and muster out in Nashville on June the 10th, 1865. He died in 1890, and is buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Waukegan IL.

Thanks to Ken Ellis for passing on this picture and the other information he has shared with me.


7 Responses to “Charles Ellis, 96th Illinois Infantry”

  1. Phil Spaugy Says:

    Interesting grouping in that the 96th was armed primarily armed with Enfield Rifle muskets during their entire term of service. [Arming the Suckers, by Ken Baumann pgs 184-185]. The cartridge boxes with the embossed US and the waist belt [which appears to have had a brass keeper on on end] were of patterns that were manufactured after Chickamauga.

    As for the musket, it appears to be a percussion conversion of a M1840 Flintlock smoothbore musket but from the photo it hard to tell who did the work. The hammer is of the M1855 type used on the Remington/ Frankfort and H and P arsenal conversions but the bolster looks like it was from Leman….all in all a very intriguing group. Thanks for sharing.

    • Dave Powell Says:

      Thanks, Phil. I noted that it was a smoothbore conversion, and found that interesting. I am not nearly as well versed in the hardware, but I would love to know the exact provenance of all the gear. The embossed box was most likely the issue he was carrying when he mustered out at Nashville, but what of the musket/ Fascinating.

      • Phil Spaugy Says:

        I have forwarded the article on to some of my friends that are a bit more familiar with conversion variants that I am…I shall keep you posted. Good stuff all around though.

  2. Ken Sand Says:

    Hi Dave and Phil
    Thanks for the comments. My name is Ken Sand ( not Ellis) Dave has a lot on his mind. 1st Sgt Charles Ellis was my gggrandfather. Yes, the rifle is a 69 Cal smooth bore Springfield dated 1841 on barrel tang. Forward of tang is stamped US over JH over a mark. Conversion was by D Nippes, on receiver (1 of 5000). Also on receiver behind hammer is “Mill Creek Pa 1841”. On left side of stock above trigger and also behind trigger on bottom are branded AW Hunter 50 2 Dist Illinois. Also behind left brand are the initials
    HAJ in an oval.
    As a kid, my dad, Col E E Sand had entire collection on display in the Waukegan Armory and someone took the bayonet so I am looking for one to replace it.
    Everything is original except the new buckle.
    Am chasing 1st Sgt Charles Ellis of the 96th Illinois company D and would love any help folks would share.
    Thanks again for your comments


  3. Diana Dretske Says:

    Wonderful photo! Ken, please email me at the Lake County Discovery Museum and I can check our records for anything relating to 1st Sgt. Chas. Ellis.

    Diana Dretske
    Lake County Historian
    Lake County Discovery Museum

  4. dor cohen Says:

    Merely wanna state that this is very useful , Thanks for taking your time to write this.

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