When war broke out, John Fiegen was already 43
years old, and living with his wife and children in
a farmhouse on Illinois Road in what was to
become the Village of Gross Point (now west
Wilmette). He joined Mulligan’s 23rd Illinois
Infantry in Chicago on March 2, 1862, along with
neighbor Mathias Selzer. Fiegen was captured in
the same battle that claimed the life of James
Mulligan, and sent to the notorious Confederate
prison at Andersonville, Ga. He died there on
August 20, 1864.
The tintype shown here was treasured by his
widow – the Wilmette Historical Museum has a photo of
her holding it – and passed down in the Fiegen
family for generations. Some of John Fiegen's
descendants still live in Wilmette today.
Narrative and photograph courtesy of the staff of the Wilmette Historical Museum.
Two from village served in the Civil War Details