Cocke County TNGenWeb
Henry O'Neil

Submitted by JAORM

UPDATED 6/4/12Henry O'Neil, b. abt 1815, Cocke Co., TN, is the son of Henry O'Neil who was the brother of Darius O'Neil. Henry O'Neil removed to Knights Prairie, Hamilton Co., IL, about 1856 with his eight children. In the Hamilton Co. census of 1860 he was listed as Henry O. Neal, thus being the likely source of the family's current O'Neal spelling. Henry O'Neal enlisted in Co. D, 6th Ill Vol. Cav., Oct. 1861 and was discharged Jan. 1863 in Memphis.

Henry O'Neal left Memphis and probably went home for some reason that has not been determined. Perhaps he was ill. He then went back to Memphis probably trying to catch up with the 6th Vol. Cav. and could not find them. So he joined the 93rd Indiana Vol. Inf. and was captured at Brices Crossroads. It is not known what Rebel POW camps he was in, but he was in Savannah, GA, when he was loaded onto the transport ship Northern Light.

As Sherman's troops approached Savannah the Rebs moved their forces and the healthy POW's away from Savannah. The POW's that were unable to move on their own were left in Savannah and came under the control of Union Forces. So Henry was ill before he got on the Northern Light.

The records show that he was buried in the Federal Cemetery in Annapolis, but the cemetery has no listing of him. So the family oral history is correct that he was buried at sea.

Henry (Sr) and Henry (Jr) are in the same National Archive file, since they were both members of Co. D, 6th Ill Vol. Cav. and that creates some difficulties in sorting out what happened to Henry, Sr.

Henry's first born, Joseph O'Neal b. abt 1840 Cocke Co., TN, enlisted in Co. A, 40th Ill Vol. Inf. and was at Shiloh. Joe O'Neal died of disease in the hospital at Monterey, TN, Jun 1862, shortly after Shiloh. Joe was probably buried on the hospital grounds and later reinterred in an unmarked grave at the Shiloh National Cemetery.

Henry O'Neal (Jr) b. abt 1844 Cocke Co., TN, enlisted in Co. D, 6th Ill Vol. Cav., Dec. 1863 and died in the Eruptive US Army General Hospital, Louisville, KY, 24 May 1865, of consumption following measles. Henry (Jr) is buried in Cave Hill National Cemetery, Louisville.

John O'Neal b. 25 Nov 1844 Cocke Co.,TN, GGF of John A. O'Neal, enlisted in Co. K, 110th Ill Vol Inf, Sep. 1862.  John was left by the side of the road on a forced march in Oct. 1862 and was subsequently assigned to the Invalid Corps, later called the Veterans Reserve Corps. John was discharged in Jun 1865 and died in Knights Prairie, Ill, 23 Aug 1928.

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