Death of a Prominent Citizen.
The obituary⁄biography below of Patrick Devlin (15 Feb 1798 County Antrim, IRELAND – 12 Jan 1875 Lake Co, IL). He served in the regular Army for 28 years (Company C., Sixth regiment).
The obituary was in the Waukegan Weekly Gazette (Waukegan, IL) on 20 Feb 1875. It mentions the following:
Places: Fort Dearborn (IL), Macinaw, Green Bay (WI), and St. Paul (MN), Bedlow’s Island (NY), Florida, St. Louis (MO), Fort Towsan in the Choctaw nation, Red river, Fort Washita in the Chickasaw nation, New Orleans (LA), Baton Rouge, Mexico, Fox Lake (Lake Co, IL)
Names: Jeff. Davis, Helen Trobin (wife), Col. Loomis, Lieut. (later Gen.) Dent, Surgeon Harney, Surgeon Wood (a son-in-law of Gen. Z. Taylor), Dr. J. K. Barnes (later Surgeon General U. S. A.)
Wars: Black Hawk war, Florida war, Mexican war
Surnames: Devlin, Davis, Trobin, Loomis, Dent, Harney, Wood, Taylor, Barnes
Patrick Devlin Obituary
When the grave has closed forever upon all that is mortal of one who gave his best energies, and devoted the best years of his life to the service of his country, and that country his adopted one, it is but just to pay a fitting tribute to his memory.
Patrick Devlin, the subject of this obituary, was born February 15th, A. D. 1798, in Taylors-town, County Antrim, Ireland, from which place he emigrated to America in 1820, being at that time twenty-two years of age. He landed at New York, where he remained six years, during which time he married, but alas, for the uncertainties of life; he was doomed soon to follow the object of his love to the grave. He again found himself alone in a strange country with a small babe, which was kindly cared for by friends.
Being thus left alone, he enlisted, becoming a member of Company C., Sixth regiment of the regular army, in which he served with distinction, for the following twenty-eight years. Shortly after enlisting, he was stationed successively at various military posts in the North-west. For a while he was in Fort Dearborn, which occupied the present site of Chicago; while stationed there most of his comrades were sick, and many of them died. At one time, he said, there were not enough well ones to attend the sick and bury the dead; so [unreadable] did the disease rage, that their commanding officer advised them to dig their own graves while able, in order that it might be ready if needed.
From this post he was sent to Macinaw, Green Bay, and St. Paul, passing through Lake County before there were any marks of civilization, or white man's settlement. While stationed at the last post, there was present a young officer, who in after years, figured so conspicuously in American history; it was no less a personage than Jeff. Davis. While here Jeff. was married, and the subject of this sketch, together with his comrades, participated in the festivities attendant upon this occasion.
In 1832, we find him valiantly fighting the Indians in the famous Black Hawk war, in which, while retreating, he was severely wounded in the hand by a spear, thrown at him by a stalwart Indian, who possibly would have overtaken and killed him, had it not been for a trusty rifle in the hands of one of his companions, who almost instantly felled the Indian to the ground. From this wound he but partially recovered the use of his hand.
At the close of the Black Hawk war, he was stationed in the garrison on Bedlow's Island, N. Y., where, on account of his partially disabled hand he acted as hospital steward. While here he married for his second wife Helen Trobin[?], who survives him, and ever after accompanied him during the remainder of his military career, sharing with him the pleasures, perils and hardships of a soldier's life. She accompanied him to Florida, where he served as hospital steward in several different military fortifications, during the Florida war.
At the close of the war, he was ordered to St. Louis where he remained in garrison one year, at the end of which time his company was sent to Fort Towsan in the Choctaw nation, then in command of Col. Loomis, where he remained five years. At this place his two oldest children were born. At the expiration of the five years, his company with two companies of dragoons, were ordered to explore Red river as far as Fort Washita, in the Chickasaw nation. They started Nov. 1st, and arrived there Dec. 28th, the time occupied being almost eight weeks. They ascended the river on a flat boat of their own construction, sixty feet long, which they propelled by means of poles and rope.
This expedition was attended with a great deal of hard labor, exposure, and danger; many times having to get into the water to remove the drift-wood which obstructed the stream, and formed a barrier to a farther advancement of their boat. Every night when they tied up, their clothing was wet, which they dried during the night, by suspending them upon sticks stuck in the ground, around their camp-fires. Often during this trip while the weary soldiers were soundly sleeping, the wind would rise and blow the fire on their clothing while the poor fellows would only awake to find their clothing consumed. So totally was the destruction of their clothing by fire, and wear and tear, that, when they reached their destination, their wardrobe consisted entirely of the skins of wild animals. The severity and exposure attending this trip proved to be too much, even for one so robust and stout as Mr. Devlin; his physical rigor received a shock from which it never recovered. They remained at Fort Washita about one year, when they were ordered to return again to Fort Towsan, this time by land, the men marching and the women and the children being transported upon their pack-wagons; here they remained until the breaking out of the Mexican war, at which time they were ordered to New Orleans. From here Mr. Deviln[sic] and a part of his company were sent to Baton Rouge, to assist in guarding the military stores collected there in care of Lieut., (now Gen. Dent,) against an apprehended attack by the negroes. He here acted as hospital steward for a short time under Surgeon Harney, when he was sent to Mexico, then the arena of active military service. After his return from war he served as hospital steward in New Orleans, under Surgeon Wood, a son-in-law of Gen. Z. Taylor; from here he was ordered to Baton Rouge, where he officiated as steward under Dr. J. K. Barnes, now Surgeon General U. S. A. At this post of duty he remained until, at his own request, he received his discharge from further military service, in the fall of 1848.
After receiving his discharge he and his family were granted permission to remain as long as they wished in the garrison. He, however, did not remain longer than the following spring, when he removed to this county, where he at that time had relatives living. Here he purchased a farm, a short distance from Fox Lake, where he remained until his death, which occurred January 12th, A. D. 1875.
When he left Baton Rouge Lieut. Dent gave him a letter of introduction to his father, who at that time resided on a large farm near St. Louis, strongly insisting upon his making his home with his father, who would furnish him with all the land he wished to cultivate. This kind request of Lieut. Dent's he never fulfilled; his determination, after many long years of hard military service, was to come north to see his friends. During his residence in this county he filled the office of Justice of the Peace for several years, with great credit to himself and honor to his constituents. He was a quiet, honest, intelligent old gentleman, respected by all who knew him.
His remains were interred with appropriate religious services, in the Catholic cemetery at McHenry village. Requiescat in pace.
Waukegan Weekly Gazette (Waukegan, IL), 20 Feb 1875