MCHS to hold annual meeting March 16

MCHS to hold annual meeting March 16

The Macoupin County Historical Society annual meeting will be held Monday, March 16, at the Gillespie Civic Center in Gillespie, with dinner at 6:30 p.m.

The program will be Paul Shetley who will present “5000 Miles through History: The Ninth Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment in the Civil War.”

The presentation chronicles the Ninth Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment from April 1861 through July 1865.

Shetley will use maps, photographs, videos and reproductions of Civil War period weapons and equipment to provide a window into the life of these Illinois soldiers.

In the early years of the war, men of the Illinois Ninth were primarily German immigrants from Madison, Montgomery and St. Clair counties. Shetley will follow the men of the Ninth as they were recruited in their home towns, mustered into the army, and through life as they campaigned with Generals Grant and Sherman. The Ninth was a regiment that fought in the important battles at Ft. Donelson, Shiloh and Corinth where they suffered appalling casualties.

In March 1863, they became the Ninth Illinois Mounted Infantry, subsequently riding vanquard for General Sherman’s Army through Georgia and the Carolinas. They also participated in the Grand Review in Washington, D.C. as part of Sherman’s Army of Tennessee. The men of the Ninth returned home in July 1865 after a traveling, mostly through hostile territory, of more than 5,000 miles.

Shetley is a resident of Bethalto and his interest in the Civil War began when he was a young boy.

He has been active in a reenactment group representing the Ninth for over 20 years and has been researching the regiment for the past decade.

Reservations for the dinner need to be made to Dan Hauter, phone 217-710-8056 or email to, by or on March 10 th . Cost is $12 per person. The program will start at 7:30 p.m. and the public is invited to attend.