Brigadier General Friend S. Rutherford (1820-1864)

Brigadier General Friend S. Rutherford, 3rd great-grandfather of companion Andrew R. Willis, was born in the state of New York. In 1858, Rutherford and his family moved to Alton, where he took the position as Superintendent of the Illinois State Penitentiary. On October 15, 1858, Rutherford participated in speeches made during the Lincoln - Douglas debate at Alton. He represented the Lincoln side, and his brother-in-law, Joseph Sloss, represented the Douglas side. Later, both enlisted in the army and fought during the Civil War - Rutherford for the Union, and Sloss for the Confederacy.

On June 30, 1862, Rutherford was made captain commissary of subsistence and served in that capacity until Sept. 2, when he resigned and assisted in the organization of the 87th Ill. infantry. This regiment was organized at Camp Butler, Ill., in Aug. and Sept. 1862, and upon Sept. 16, Friend S. Rutherford was commissioned as its colonel. After some preliminary service it became a part of the forces operating against Vicksburg, and Col. Rutherford and his regiment bore their full share in the spirited engagement at Port Gibson. At the fierce battle of Champion's hill Col. Rutherford had the not very pleasant duty of holding his regiment as a target for the Confederate artillery for at least two hours, and at a distance of not over 800 yards. The next morning he led his regiment on to the Black river and took part in the fight at that place. On May 19 and 22, he led it in both the charges at Vicksburg, and it never failed to go as far as any other organization, and as a rule much farther. He then took part in the contest at Jackson, and under his leadership his regiment distinguished itself sufficiently to be praised by Maj.-Gen. W. T. Sherman, commanding the expeditionary army. The remainder of his service was spent in Louisiana, where his regiment did guard duty, but owing to serious ill health he resigned his position as colonel on June 15, 1864. On June 27, following his resignation, he was appointed brigadier-general of volunteers, but he had died on June 20, 1864, seven days previous to his nomination.