Baptists and the American Civil War: June 17, 1861

Mr and Mrs Melvina KingToday Uriah King, a Baptist, Illinoisan, and the son of southern-born parents and grandparents, enlists in Company E, Twenty-fourth Illinois Infantry. Few soldiers experience as much time inside Confederate prison camps as does King:

Uriah King obtained a common school education and was reared to farm life. He has seen the county develop from a sparsely settled region to one of the densely populated districts of the state in which are found all the evidences of an advanced civilization in the various departments of life. He assisted in the work of the home farm until June 17, 1861, when, in Chicago, he enlisted in Company E, Twenty-fourth Illinois Infantry, for three years. He was wounded in the battle of Chickamauga, September 19, 1863 and the next day was captured by Texas Rangers. He endured all the hardships and horrors of the southern prisons – Richmond, Danville, Andersonville, Savannah, Millen, Thomasville, and was sent a second time to Andersonville, after which he was released March 25, 1865. He returned home by way of Vicksburg and St. Louis, to Springfield, where he arrived May 7, 1865, and on the7th of June was honorably discharged, his military service covering almost a year more than his term of enlistment.

Andersonville prison camp, located in south Georgia, gains the reputation of a death camp for Union captives. Living outdoors, exposed to the harsh heat of summer and chill of winter and without adequate water, some 30% of prisoners die.

After the war, King marries, has fourteen children, at times serves as a tax collector for Clear Lake township, and farms for a living until his health fails.

Source: Uriah King biography (link)