Biography - Alexander H. McTaggart

ALEXANDER H. McTAGGART, a farmer and stock-raiser who resides on section 10, Oconee Township, Shelby County, was born in Washington County, Ohio, January 15, 1841. His parents, Neil and Catherine (Loynacham) McTaggart, were born in Scotland, the former in 1811. They both came to America in their youth, and settled with their parents in Washington County, Ohio, where they were married in 1836. Six sons and two daughters were born to them, of whom David was the eldest. This son died in his native State at the age of eighteen, and all of the children were born in Ohio. The second child was our subject, and after him came Neil, who married in Canada, and now resides in Colorado, where he fills the office of Postmaster. Daniel A. married Miss Harson, and is engaged in farming in Marion County, Iowa. Belle married James Amsbury, a farmer in Warren County, Iowa. Hugh E. married in Iowa, and located in Kansas, where he is engaged as a passenger conductor on the Santa Fe Railroad. He has been with this road for nine years, and makes his home at Newton, Kan. Mary J. married William Stumph, and resided in Knoxville, Iowa, during her married life, dying there in July, 1887. Douglas D. married in Colorado, and is now carrying on farming in Nebraska.

The subject of this sketch became a soldier in the Union Army during the Civil War, enlisting in Company K, Thirty-ninth Ohio Infantry, June 20, 1861. At the expiration of his term of service in 1863, he re-enlisted for the remainder of the war, and was finally discharged in June, 1865. He was assigned to duty in St. Louis, and served in Northern Missouri until February, 1862, when he was ordered to New Madrid under Gen. Pope. He participated in the engagements at New Madrid and Island No. 10, and was afterward sent to Helena, Ark., after which he returned to reinforce Gen. Grant at Pittsburgh Landing. He was in the siege of Corinth, and remained in that vicinity for several months. He took part in the battles of Iuka, Miss., and Corinth, remaining at the latter place through the winter of 1862-63. During the summer of 1863 he did garrison duty at Memphis, and the following winter was spent at Prospect, Tenn., where he was guarding the railroad, scouting, and watching the rebel Gen. Forrest. While here the Thirty-ninth Regiment re-enlisted as veterans.

Mr. McTaggart was promoted to the position of Orderly-Sergeant of his company at the time of reenlistment. In the spring of 1864 his regiment joined Gen. Sherman's army at Chattanooga, and participated in the Atlanta campaign, taking part in the battles of Snake Creek Gap, Resaca, Ringgold, Big Shanty, Kenesaw Mountain and Ruff's Mills. In the latter battle Col. E. F. Noyes, of the Thirty-ninth, who was afterwards the Governor of Ohio, lost a leg.

Sergeant McTaggart received a severe wound in his left shoulder July 22, 1864, at Atlanta, Ga. This has permanently disabled him. He was in the hospital for some time at Marietta, Ga., and afterwards spent two months at home on a furlough. He rejoined his regiment at Atlanta, and marched with Sherman to the sea. Here our subject received the commission of a Second Lieutenant, and was transferred to Company B, of the same regiment. He was placed on detached duty, having charge of the forages of the First Division, Seventeenth Army Corps, and he superintended the gathering of supplies during the march northward through the Carolinas, which finally terminated at the city of Washington. While on the duty Lieut. McTaggart was again honored with promotion, being commissioned First Lieutenant, and assigned to the command of Company D. in his regiment. He was mustered out of service at Goldsboro, N. C, March 29, 1865. He then marched from Raleigh, N. C., to Washington, D. C, a most fatiguing and exhausting march in the heat of that tropical region. He participated in the Grand Review at Washington, and was sent to Louisville, Ky., for his final discharge.

Lieut. McTaggart returned to Ohio, although his parents had removed to Iowa the previous year, but there was an attraction in Washington County for the young man, and he was wedded July 18, 1865, to Miss Margaret Brown, daughter of James and Elizabeth Brown. She was one of three sons and three daughters, and was born in Washington County November 16, 1840. Those of her father's family who are still living are Betsey, the widow of John Irwin; John C., who married, and resides on a farm in Oconee Township, and Robert, of whom more may be learned by the perusal of the sketch of John C. Brown. One sister, Nancy, married in Ohio, but died soon afterward.

Four children were born to Mr. and Mrs. McTagarart, one of when died in infancy. Edwin, born August 18, 1870, lives at home William F., born August 3, 1872, and Arthur C., January 17, 1874. Mr. McTaggart takes an active interest in political affairs, and votes with the Republican party. In 1888 the Seventeenth Congressional District of Illinois honored itself and this gentleman by making him its Presidential elector. Next to his army record. Mr. McTaggart recognizes this as the highest distinction of his life.

Our subject has never united with any church organization, although he gives liberally of his means to the support of the Gospel and to Sunday schools. He owns a farm of one hundred and forty acres of land, with fine buildings and improvements. It is situated within sight of school and church, and is in every way a desirable location.

Extracted 17 Dec 2018 by Norma Hass from 1891 Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties Illinois, pages 570-571.

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