One Family in the Civil War
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 by Frank Shortt
Daniel Shottenkirk
William H. Shottenkirk
Captain W.B. Holbrook
A sergeant from the Shottenkirk Family
Recently I came across an old album of photographs from the Civil War era consisting of Carte d’visites, Daguerratypes, and Tintypes. This led to much research tying the involved families together and who they might have descended from. The three family names involved were the Isbisters, the Cromwells, and the Shottenkirks.

These three families originated in Scotland (Isbisters), England (Cromwells) and the Shottenkirks, possibly came from Scotland also. The names with which we are concerned all settled in Iroquois County, Illinois. They possibly did not know each other in the old countries but as their children came along they intermarried, thusly, tying them together. The Isbister and Shottenkirk names are mysterious when connected to the old country. The Cromwells are much better known as these were descendants of ‘The Lord Protector” Oliver Cromwell. They probably came to America because of religious persecution in England.

This article will cover the Shottenkirks who served the Union in the Civil War and the man who recruited them, Captain W.B. Holbrook.

In the year 1862, America was already involved with the greatest single disaster ever fought on our home soil. The Northern armies were losing men by the thousands as they pushed further and further into Southern soil. Calls came daily from the Union organizers needing volunteers to ‘Save the Union’. As a result, leaders of local militias in Iroquois County began organizing and training volunteers. Some of these leaders were:
Colonel, F. A. Starring; Lieutenant Colonel, Joseph C. Wright; Major, Henry W. Chester; Adjutant, Ebenezer Bacon; Quartermaster, Benjamin W.Thomas; Surgeon, Edwin Powell; 1st Assistant Surgeon, B. Durham, Jr.; 2d Assistant Surgeon, E. A. Beers; Chaplain, Henry Barnes.
Co. A—Captain, Joseph Stockton; 1st Lieutenant, George B. Randall; 2d Lientenant, William B. Gallaher.
Co. B- -Captain, Jacob S. Curtis; 1st Lieutenant, David W.Perkins; 2d Lieutenant, D. W. Whittle.
Co. C—Captain, William James, Jr.; 1st Lieutenant, Glen C. Ledyard; 2d Lieutenant, Clifford Stickney.
Co. D—Captain, James A. Sexton; 1st Lieutenant, Benjamin C. Underwood; 2d Lieutenant, Nathan C. Underwood.
Co. E—Captain, W. B. Holbrook; 1st Lieutenant, H. C. Mowry; 2d Lieutenant, Porter E. Ransom.
Co. F—Captain, Isaiah H. Williams; 1st Lieutenant, George W.Colby; 2d Lieutenant, Richard Pomcroy.
Co. G—Captain, H. D. French; 1st Lieutenant, J. H. Smith; 2d Lieutenant, J. H. Bingham.

The leader was Captain W.B. Holbrook the Seventy-Second Illinois Infantry, Co. E. He was the one responsible for recruiting the men whom I write about. Captain Holbrook raised 116 men as recruits. The First Board of Trade Regiment became the Seventy-Second Illinois. Captain Holbrooks men received the stand of colors that was offered by Gilbert Hubbard and Co. by becoming the first company organized in Illinois to go to war in August 19, 1862.

Daniel Shottenkirk was married to Almira Holden. His parents were Phineas Shottenkirk and Lydia Shaw. Daniel was recruited first to serve in the 72nd Infantry, Company E. While serving in this outfit he was captured and imprisoned by the Rebel forces serving his time at Libby Prison. He was probably part of McClellans Peninsula Campaign of 1862 when captured he had already served three months in Company E. There is no record of how he escaped from Libby Prison, but he must have made his way back to Union lines and mustered out. Daniels second recruitment was in December 18, 1863, recruited as a musician, he served in the 69th Infantry, Company G. He was mustered out in June 5, 1865. He lived until 1879 and is interned at Lisk Cemetery in Thawville, Ill. Iriquois County. What might have happened had he stayed in another company instead of Company G?

William H. Shottenkirk was recruited by Captain W.B. Holbrook into the 72nd Infantry, Company E. in 1862. Not being quite as fortunate as Daniel Shottenkirk, he was killed in 1863 while serving in Company K. He died near Vicksburg, May 9, 1863. Daniel and William’s grandmother was an Isbister.

James V. Shottenkirk was recruited by Captain W.B. Holbrook into the 72nd Infantry, Co. K. He died at Franklin, Tennessee on November 30, 1864. The following Shottenkirks also served Illinois in the Civil War: Alexander, 11th Regiment, Co. D. Cpl. Chauncy, in the 21st Regiment, Co. I, Thaddeus, 47th Regiment, Co. G.B., and Willett, who served in the Illinois Volunteers, Unassigned. The last known record of Captain Holbrook was during the Post Civil War period his daughter was married at his residence on Jan.6, ?, by Rev. W.W. Patton.

The Shottenkirk name has carried over into present times and descendants are scattered out all over the United States. The men in the article were responsible for helping to ‘Save the Union’, and sometimes had to fight their own cousins, named Cromwell, in Tennessee. This was a time when brother fought against brother, cousin against cousin, father against son, and sons and grandsons against grandfathers. May we never have to face this crisis again! With the political situation in America, could it be happening again but with technology instead of physical weapons?
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