HERO OF THREE WARS
SENATOR FROM THREE STATES
HON. WILLIAM H. CONDON
President of the Chicago Lawyers' Club
PRESS OF THE BLAKELY PRINTING CO.
BY WILLIAM H. CONDON
TO THE RACE HE SPRUNG FROM
AND THE NATION HE FOUGHT
FOR IN MEXICO AND IN THE
SHENANDOAH VALLEY, AS
WELL AS THE VOLUN-
TEERS HE FOUGHT
RESPECTIVELY DEDICATE THIS
LIFE OF THE HERO OF THREE
WARS AND THE SENA-
TOR FROM THREE
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
1. Room in Which General Shields Was
2. His Brother
3. His Brother
4. Drawing of Shields'
5. Scene of Shield's First
6. Illinois' First Capitol at
7. Chenue House, Where Lafayette was
8. Capitol at Vandalia, in Which Shields
9. General Shields as He Appeared in
10. Battle of Cerro
11. Size of Ball That Passed Through His
12. General Shields at Battle of
13. The Swords of Cerro
14. The Battle of
15. General Shields as He Appeared at
16. Charge of Tyler's Brigade at
17. General Shields at the Battle of Port
18. General Stonewall
19. Map of Winchester and Port
20. Rev. Walter
21. Robert D. McCarter, Boy and
22. Colonel Vorris at
23. Colonel Sprigg Carroll at Port
24. Statehouse in Springfield, Ill., [Illinois?] in
Which General Shields Was Elected
25. General Shields When Senator from Missouri - His
26. Capt. M.H. Hogan, of Rochester,
27. General Shields' Last
28. General Shields' Unmarked Grave at Carrollton, Mo.
29. Patrick Donahoe, Editor of the
30. Present Capitol of
31. Shields' Statue in Statuary Hall, Washington
32. Governor Altgeld and Others at
33. General Shields
34. William J. Onahan, LL.
Ancestry - Birth - Celtic Name - Early Education - His Military
Shown When Ten Years of Age - How He Planned and Won His First
- Great Men of the Present Century.
How Shields Planned and Won His First Battle - Shrewdness and
When Ten Years Old - How He Thrashed a Swell - Arrival of Uncle,
Veteran of the Revolutionary War and of the War of 1812 - His
Influence on Shields' Career - the Youth's Taste for Books -
Association with Wellington's Veterans - Taught Sword Exercise -
Acquisition of Military Knowledge.
Shield's First Duel - Its Cause - As a Boy He Met at Dawn a
Napoleonic Wars in Deathly Conflict - His Opponent's Last Will -
His Mother's Desire to Prepare Him for the Bar Frustrated by His
Uncles' Influence - Emigration to America - Arrival at Quebec -
Failure to Find His Uncle - Shields' Experience as Mate of a
Serious Injury by Fall While at Sea - Arrival in New York
- Shipwreck on Coast of Scotland - Experience as Teacher There -
Value of Nautical Skill Forty Years Afterward - He Goes West -
School - Studies Law in Illinois - Settles in Kaskaskia - the
Old Town, and Its Decay - Elected to the Legislature, Where He
with President Lincoln, Senator Douglas, General Hardin and
Senators and Generals - Pen Pictures of Lincoln and Others -
the Greatest Patriots.
State Auditor - How He Saved the State Credit and Made Political
Enemies Thereby - How Lincoln Attacked Him Anonymously, and How
Todd, the Future Mrs. Lincoln, and Miss Jayne, the Future Mrs
Trumbull, Also Ridiculed Him Through the Press Anonymously -
Espousal of the Paternity of the Articles in Question - His
a Retraction Upon Shields' Demand - Shields' Challenge of
Actions of His and Lincoln's Seconds - Intervention of Friends -
for the Place of Meeting, and the Sequel.
Shields Justice of the Supreme Court of Illinois - His
Associates - Distinguished Practitioners and Leaders of the Bar
Illinois - Appointed Commissioner of the General Land Office at
Washington by President Polk - His Plan for an Irish Colony in
Resignation as Land Commissioner.
Resignation as Land Commissioner - Commission As
Assigned to Command the Illinois Regiments - Transfer from
Scott - At Cerro Gordo a Grapeshot Passes Through His Body -
Extraordinary Means Adopted to Save His Life - Irish Surgeon and
French Doctor Push a Silk Handkerchief on a Ramrod Through His
Lung and Out of His Back Near the Spine.
Contreras - Churubusco and Chapultepec - Key to Painting in
Washington, D.C. - Bravery Shown in Each Battle and Wounds
When Shields Was Nearest Death.
Noble Rescue of Women on the Eve of the Capture of the City of
- Poem on His Noble Deed - Unparalleled in Any General's Career
Similar Circumstances - Election to the United States Senate.
Army Disbanded - Elected United States Senator from Illinois for
of Six Years - Appointed on Several Very Important Committees -
Favored [Favoured?] Land Grants to Soldiers and Sailors, to
Colleges and Railroads to Develop the West - Homestead Law -
Shields' Welcome to Kossuth - Resolution and Speech Against
Interference in Central America - Sound Monroe Doctrine - Bounty
Not a Gratuity But a Reward for Honorable [Honourable?]
Commission of California - Senator Shields' Greatest Speech - It
Stamps His as a Statesman as Well as a Prophet - would Not Widen
Breach Between the North and South or Excite the Passions or
Prejudices of One Section Against the Other - If a Republican
Government Fails Here, It Need Never Be Attempted Again - Where
Compromise Ends Force Begins, and Where [Force ?] Begins War
Gold the Cause of More Than Half Evils of Civilized Society - No
Southern Slave Owner Will Ever Venture to Carry His Slaves to
Country - The Whole Country United Cannot Force Slavery on
Californians, Who Will Carry Your Flag Some Day Into Asia and
China - Slavery Was Never Intended by God to Be There and Will
Permitted by Men - You Might as Well Attempt to Plant Orange
Siberia as Establish slavery in California or New Mexico - It Is
Inevitable That the Power of the Free States Will Preponderate
[Preponderate?] Power of the Slave States - You Can No More
States Than You Can Equalize Their Population - The North Will
to See One Foot of Free Soil Converted Into Slave Soil - As Well
Convert a Free Man Into A Slave - No Human Law Can Give Absolute
Man - An Attempt at Dissolution of the Union Would Be War of
and Desolation of Which None But God Could Foresee the End - The
Quietly and Peaceable Submitting to See a Separate Confederacy
Preposterous - Very Little Short of
Defeat of Stonewall Jackson Described in Leslie's Pictorial
the War - General Shields' Official Report - Colonel Kimball's
Tyler's Reports - Captain Schriber's Report - Colonel Carroll
from Bridge by Jackson.
How Shields Decoyed Stonewall Jackson Into the Battle of
Harper's Pictorial History of the Civil War - Account of It in
History of the Seventh Ohio - His Account of the Battle of Port
Republic - General Taylor's Account in "Destruction and
Typical Volunteers of 1861 - Small Acorns Then Gigantic Oaks Now
renowned for Virtue in Peace as They Were for Bravery in War -
Clergyman - Merchant - Judge.
Stanton Reviled Lincoln and Then Accepted Office from Him - His
Injustice to Shields - Duplicity with McClellan and Unwarranted
Reflections upon Sherman.
Shields a Political Martyr - More Proof of Colonel Carroll's
at Port Republic - Colonel Haycock's Conclusive Evidence -
Jones an Unwilling Corroborator of colonel Haycock - General
Coppinger's Opinion - General Sheridan's Rank When General
Defeated Stonewall Jackson - Extract from General Oates' Speech
for Carroll's Disobedience General Shields Would Have Been One
Most Successful Generals in the Civil War.
Senator Shields in Minnesota - One of the Founders of Faribault
Shieldsville - His Election as One of Its First Senators -
for California - Marriage There - His Children - Small Pension
Just Before His Death.
Celebration of the Twenty-fifth Anniversary of the Organization
Shields Guard at Auburn, N.Y., in 1877 - Welcome by Colonel
Response by General Shields - Procession - Flag of the Palmetto
Regiment of South Carolina Carried Through the Mexican War -
Pomeroy's Address - Governor Robinson's Welcome - Governor Wade
Hampton's Response - General Shields' Enthusiastic Welcome and
Speech at Banquet Given by Meagher's Irish Brigade on the
Potomac - At
the Tabernacle in Chicago - Great Political Address Delivered in
City on Greeley and Brown - Letter on Home Rule in Ireland -
Introduction of Jefferson Davis at Sisters of Charity Fair.
Lecture at St. Joseph, Mo., on St. Patrick's Day - Lecture in
New York, on St. Patrick's Day - Speech at St. Joseph, Mo., on
the Fourth of July.
Lecture in Brooklyn on Behalf of Yellow Fever Sufferers - His
Discriptions of Jackson, Webster, Clay and Calhoun - Eloquent
by Other Prominent Citizens.
General Butler, a True Friend of General Shields, One of
Greatest Lawyers - Heroic Method Adopted to Reduce Hours of
[Labour?] in Factories - splendid Address by a Brave Lawyer -
Efforts to Secure Justice for the Destruction of a convent and
Out a Stain on the Escutcheon of Massachusetts - Senatorial
Death of General Shields on a Lecturing Tour, at Ottumwa, Iowa,
Sunday, June 1, 1879 - Funeral at Carrollton, Mo., Attended by
Prominent Citizens from St. Louis - Military Escort - Religious
Services - His Unmarked Grave - Attempt to Induce Fellow
Erect a Monument to His Memory.
General Shields' Greatest Journalistic Friends - Their Struggles
Triumphs - Vast Influence for Good, for God, Race and Country -
Glorious Records of Patrick Ford, of the Irish World, and
Donahoe, of the Pilot.
Illinois Legislature Instructs Its Senators to Vote for the
of Shields' Swords - Nine thousand Dollars Appropriated for
Statue - Who Obtained It - The commissioners - Unveiling of
Washington, D.C., December 6, 1893 - Speeches of Hon. William H.
Condon, governor Altgeld, John C. Tarnsey, M.C., and Senator
Poem "Sword of Cerro Gordo" - Over Twenty-nine Millions
Banquet at National Hotel - Large Attendance - Poem "The Shields
Statue" - Long List of Toasts and Eloquent Responses - Donahoe's
Magazine - Beattie, the Poet, a Mexican War Veteran.
Striking Incidents in General Shields' Life - Eloquent tributes
Him by Leading Statesmen, Bishops, Scholars and Journalists -
Interesting Sketch of His Life by Dr. Onahan.
My Interesting Friend of the Confederate Army - Efforts to Erect
Statues to General Shields and Frances E. Willard in Illinois -
to the Ladies - Opposition of Some of the Press - Indifference
Judges and Opposition of South Park Commissioners - Manly
by Colonel John F. Finerty in the Citizen, and Favorable
Notice by the Milwaukee Catholic Citizen - Hon. Wm. H. Harper's
Doubting my ability to do justice to the career of such a
triple crowned warrior, jurist and statesman as General James
yet, as more than a score of years have passed since his death,
one has published a record of his public services, civil and
and since they cannot be appreciated unless they are known, I
undertake the pleasant duty of presenting them to the world.
I had the honor [honour?] of the hero's acquaintance,
several of his lectures in Chicago, met him frequently, often
corresponded with him and was one of his ardent admirers. After
death I assisted in securing congressional legislation which
in the sale of his swords to the nation, the money realized
materially aiding his widow in the support and education of his
Having conceived the idea of Illinois declaring Shields one
her immortals, and having prevailed upon its Legislature to
appropriate nine thousand dollars for a bronze statue of him to
perpetuate his heroic deeds, which stands in the Capitol at
Washington, while engaged in this work I learned many
incidents in General Shields' life of his contemporaries and
Believing that he was not treated justly when practically
removed from command, after his victory over Stonewall Jackson
Winchester, and that his wisdom as a statesman is comparatively
unknown, I resolved to place it and his military achievements
readers of all classes in a plain, economical form, convinced
perusal of his record will tend to raise the General in the
of his countrymen and the world at large. I have spared neither
labor [labour?] nor expense in gathering material with which to
a faithful narrative of his life and character. I make no claim
merit for this production. It will be found to be just and
as well as fearless in its criticism of those who wronged the
three wars and the Senator from three states.
I have no pride or ambition of authorship. If this work
make the youth of our country emulate the example of this great
American and induce them to adopt his high sense of honor
his nobility of purpose and to be ever ready like him to respond
their country's call, my object will be attained and I shall be
WILLIAM H. CONDON.
Chicago, August 11, 1900.
MAJOR GENERAL JAMES SHIELDS
Ancestry - Birth - Celtic Name - Early Education - His Military
Shown When Ten Years of Age - How He Planned and Won His First
- Great Men of the Present Century.
James Shields was born in Ireland, a country renowned in
and story for the brilliancy and bravery of its sons and the
and purity of its daughters. Its hills and valleys have
with shouts of armies contending for supremacy on many a
field. The wail of the disconsolate widow and the cry of the
orphan have often been heard in the land. Famines caused by
legislation and prolonged by unfeeling landlords, whose
is without parallel among civilized people, have caused millions
the Irish to seek in other lands freemen's homes. Cattle now
where cottagers once dwelt in peace and comparative plenty.
Irish poets, statesmen and warriors of renown have made
impress on the history of the world. Her Moores, Goldsmiths and
Davises live where poetry is admired and love and patriotism
votaries. Her Burkes, Grattans, O'Connells and Parnells were
statesmen seldom equaled and never excelled, while her Emmets
Tones stand in the front rank of martyrs for liberty wherever it
known and cherished.
In religious circles no race has shown more fervor
[fervour?] or zeal
than the Irish. Her saints, cardinals, archbishops, bishops,
monks, ministers and last, but most beloved of all, her sisters
won the plaudits of sectarian and infidel, as well as Christian,
their heroism on tented field, amid the pestilential air of the
hospital and in the highways and byways where want and woe lurk,
well as "beside the bed where parting life is laid". Their
the world over bear the ineffaceable impress of the sisters'
endeavours to "allure to brighter worlds and lead the way." In
of the learned and in the parlors [parlours?] of the cultured,
refinement and purity taught by precept and example lend a charm
and beyond all other accomplishments to the graduates of their
academies and convents.
But while some may question the superiority of the Irish
in all these walks of life, few will be found to contend that
Irishman can be outclassed as a soldier. His valor, [valour?]
self-sacrificing bravery, in countless forlorn hopes, on land
entitle the Irish soldier to a proud position among the "bravest
the brave". No proof is necessary to sustain this assertion.
historians of nearly every nation have adorned their brightest
with sublime examples of the heroism of Irishmen in ancient and
times. To recount their perilous feats of bravery, which the
knows by heart, would be a needless waste of time, while to call
roll of those who have written their names in letters of living
high upon the scroll of fame would transcend the limits of an
introduction to the life of the greatest Irishman who ever trod
American soil, whose name shines in the judicial, legislative
records of Illinois, Minnesota, and of the United States of
James Shields was born at Altmore, in a mountainous district
of the County of Tyrone, Ireland, on May 6, 1806, of Catholic
His father was Charles Shields, and his mother was Anne
died in 1842, after her son James had won renown in Illinois.
husband died in 1812. There were but three children born to
James, at the date aforesaid; Daniel, on April 2, 1808, and
March 17, 1810. Patrick died two years after the General's
Daniel two or three years later. General Shields' father is
an ancient graveyard at Donaghmore, in the County of Tyrone.
mother is buried at Galbally, in the same parish, and his
in one grave at the little chapel on Altmore Mountain.
to the effect that the McDonnells, Shields' mother's family,
Limerick and settled in the County of Antrim. The General's
was being "waked" when the news of the battle of Waterloo was
received. ([?] [?] Waterloo was in 1815 not 1812)
Like causes produce like effects. There is much truth in
saying that "blood will tell," and Shields' remarkable career is
verification of it. That his brothers followed peaceful
in their native country is much more strange that James should
sought in other lands a chance to improve his condition in life,
was denied him on his native soil. No Catholic then could be a
There is much in heredity. His paternal ancestors for many
generations had been imbued with military spirit. They lived at
Shanes Castle in the County of Antrim. The father and four sons
one of the earliest ancestors of which any record can be found
authenticated espoused the cause of King James of England
William. At the battle of the Boyne the father and one son were
killed. Daniel, the youngest son, found their bodies the night
the battle and buried them. He then rejoined the Irish army and
fought at Aughrim, Athlone and at the siege of Limerick. After
surrender the surviving brothers separated never to meet again.
The two eldest went with some of the Irish soldiers to
where one rose to a high grade as an officer and finally became
governor-general of Cuba. The youngest, Daniel, returned to his
in the north of Ireland, amid the mountains of Tyrone, then
only refuge for Catholic patriots, misnamed rebels. Secretly he
visited the home of his childhood, to find all his father's
confiscated and granted to a follower of King William.
One son escaped to France and emigrated to Jamaica, where he
died. Daniel found it no easy task to avoid arrest on his way
and reached it in safety by hiding in the fields by day and
at night. From a hiding-place in a field near the
historic banks of Lough Neagh he saw a boat capsize in which two
ladies were sailing; swam to their assistance and rescued them
watery grave. They proved to be daughters of Captain Morris,
military governor of Mount Joy fortress, a strong British
Lough Neagh. The father gratefully thanked young Shields for
noble act and invited him to his family circle where his bravery
gallantry were highly appreciated and eventually rewarded by the
and heart of one of the accomplished young ladies he had saved
death. She became his wife, and from such noble blood descended
warrior, jurist and statesman whose experiences will be found in
following pages. Well might the wise predict brave acts and
deeds of the children of such parents. The young lady who was
from a watery grave by the gallant soldier was the
great-great-great-grandmother of General James Shields.
Of the plantations of Ulster, Sir Toby Caulfield had
to him the Castle Caulfield estate, on condition that he build a
fortress on the Altmore Mountains to protect Scotch planters
disinherited Irish gentlemen, or Rapparee, who had organized and
intrenched [entrenched?] in those mountains.
British soldiers for years occupied the fortress erected by
Sir Toby Caulfield, and when at last those chiefs of the
their gallant followers were exterminated in true English style,
"o'er their cold ashes upbraided" by the name of robbers, the
were withdrawn to take part in the battle of Culloden Moor and
garrison finally abandoned.
Charles Shields, grandson of Daniel, leased the
barracks, and it was in his portion of it that General Shields
born. The Shields have lived there over two hundred years.
Charles' forefathers repose in an old graveyard at Donaghmore,
County of Tyrone. A tombstone therein records the death of his
ancestor who was buried there in 1771. The ancient names
have been O'Shiel, anglicized into Shields.
The General's grandfather and father are also buried in that
grave, it being the custom to bury descendants in the graves of
their forefathers. In 1770 the Shields family were four in
James, Patrick, Daniel and Bessie. James, the eldest,
was intended for the priesthood, and went to France
to complete his studies, but finally abandoned them and
America. Daniel married, but died at Altmore without issue.
also died there childless. Charles married Miss Katharine
a lineal descndant of the Glencoe McDonnells. She was a woman
superior education and varied accomplishments, who gave her sons
the educational advantages then allowed Catholics by English
The present century saw the largest number of great men ever
living at one time. It is certain that there is no period to
the first years of the nineteenth century in its number of great
no period even to compare with it except the fifth century
Christian era. In the year 1821, the year in which Napoleon
following were alive: In literature, Byron, Shelly, Keats,
DeQuincey, Wordsworth, Lamb, Landor, Tennyson, the three
Victor Hugo, Heine, Goethe, Holmes, Dickens, Thackeray, Clough
Blake. Among soldiers were living the Duke of Wellington,
and Moltke, besides a number of great generals who had either
Napoleonic wars or were to see the Crimea and the Indian mutiny.
Among philosophers and men of science were Hegel, Darwin, the
Herschels, Owen, Cuvier, Daguerre, Wheatstone, Faraday and
The painters included Wilke, Landseer, Turner and Meissonier,
Mendelssohn, Beethoven and Wagner represented music. Lesseps,
and the two Stephensons represented engineering. Among
orators were Gladstone, Bright, Bismarck, Russell, Cavour,
Abraham Lincoln, Thiers and Victor Emmanuel. Among historians
Grote, Niebuhr, Mommsen and Guizot; and of a countless host of
were famous in other directions were sir Richard Burton, Speke,
Verrier, Rowland Hill, Cornelius Vanderbilt, John Walter,
William E. Gladstone got into the year of great babies,
only by a scratch. If he had been born three days later he
would be a
child of a year which was not so memorable for its births.
great personages who were born in 1809 were Darwin, Tennyson,
Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Edgar A. Poe, the historian,
Mendelssohn, Jules Favre, Lincoln, Hamlin, Oliver Wendell Holmes
ex-speaker and ex-governor Robert C. Winthrop.
James H. Gibbert, Lindgren & Haugan; Merchants Phelps, Dodge
Palmer, Charles P. Kellog & Co., George J. Brine of Armour & Co;
Lawyers Simeon P. Shope, ex-justice of Illinois Supreme Court,
ex-Attorney General McCartney, Roy C. West, J.B. Gascoigne,
Proprietor Eden of Hotel Northern; Edward Grace of Hotel Grace;
William McCoy of McCoy's Hotel; S. Gregston of Hotel Windsor,
scores of other prominent citizens have petitioned for so small
space within which to honor [honour?] so eminent a man, yet the
Commissioners have hitherto resisted all such appeals, while
by word and act favored [favoured?] every project calculated to
large portions of said Park for avaricious purposes, evidently
the tacit consent of the Circuit Judges, whose relations and
crowd their pay rolls.
Since small parks are to be established, where the poor will
not by their garb, offend the rich or otherwise mar their
there is no doubt leave can be obtained to commemorate one of
Grandest types of Manhood Americans ever honored [honoured?] and
trusted, one who was ever true and brave.
The book will be printed on good paper, bound in green and
gold and will be sold for Two Dollars and a Half by the author
WM. [WILLIAM?] H. CONDON,
Suite 511, 160 Washington Street,
January 20, 1900. CHICAGO, ILLS. [ILLINOIS?]
WM. [WILLIAM?] H. CONDON.
511 JOURNAL BLDG., [BUILDING?] CHICAGO, ILL. [ILLINOIS?]
Please send me a copy of your Life of Gen. [General?]