Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Family Effort Results in Finding a Civil War Ancestor: Victim of General Lyon Disaster

From the October 4, 2014, Ogle County (Illinois) News "Family Effort results in service for Civil War victim" by Andy Colbert.

At a Memorial Day service at Oregon's Riverside Cemetery, John and Sandy O'Rorke learned of Civil War veteran James Butterfield of Rochelle who died on the S.S. Sultana disaster at the end of the war.  They already knew that they had a Civil War veteran from Rochelle who had died on a sinking ship.

Could this be him?

Local historian Otto Dick researched and found that O'Roark's relative was on a different ship that sank off of Cape Hatteras.  That relative was James O'Roark of the 92nd Illinois who served 1862-1865.  In the final year of the war, he was at the Confederate prison Andersonville.

Upon release, he was put on the steamer General Lyon bound for New York.  It exploded and all aboard died, including O'Roark.

More to Come.  --Old secesh

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