Mount Union Stories: Jacob L. Berry (1838-1885)

The following biographical information was published online at Camp22.org, the website for the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.

Jacob Landis Berry

Co. B, 98th Illinois Infantry (Wilder’s Lightning Brigade)

Co. B, 61st Illinois Infantry

Jacob Landis Berry was born in January 1838 at Olney, Richland Co., Ohio to Jacob William Berry and his second wife, Susan Esther Landis.

On February 9, 1864 Jacob Berry enlisted as a Private in the Union Army, and was mustered into Company B, 98th Illinois Infantry. This was part of Col. John T. Wilder’s famous “Lightning Brigade” of Mounted Infantry, armed with the Spencer Repeating Rifle. On May 23, 1864, the regiment crossed the Etowah River and moved towards Van Wert. Within two miles of Dallas it met the enemy on the 25th and moved toward Powder Springs. On May 28 it took position on McPherson’s right, dismounted and repulsed a charge of the enemy, and on the 29th moved to Burnt Hickory. At Noonday Creek it skirmished with the enemy, then marched through Marietta and skirmished heavily, and on July 5 moved toward Rosewell factory, drove the enemy’s pickets from Chattahoochee and took possession of the factory on the 9th. In April 1865, the regiment participated in the capture of Selma, Alabama. The regiment was mustered out June 27, 1865, but Private Berry’s enlistment not being up, he was transferred into Company B, 61st Illinois Infantry. This regiment had recently suffered 50% casualties and Private Berry and other transfers returned the regiment to nearly full strength. However, the regiment did not participate in any further engagements and Private Berry was mustered out on September 8, 1865 at Nashville, Tennessee.

After the war, Jacob Berry became a minister of the United Brethren Church and settled in Benton County, Oregon. He was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) and started the first commercial strawberry farm at Hood River.

He died at Philomath, Benton County, Oregon on August 15, 1885 and was buried at Mount Union/Newton Cemetery … where his grave is decorated with a GAR flag holder.

All of Jacob’s brothers served in the Union Army, one of whom was killed at Vicksburg, Mississippi.

Editor’s note: Not much information about Mr. Berry’s life and death appeared in the Corvallis newspapers other than the following excerpts:

Published as it appeared on Aug. 21, 1885, in the Corvallis Gazette, Page 8, Column 5.

Died near Philomath; August 15, 1885, Rev. J.L. Berry.

Published as it appeared on Aug. 14, 1885, in the Corvallis Gazette, Page 1, Column 3.

Rev. Berry and several members of his family are sick.

Published as it appeared on Aug. 28, 1885, in the Corvallis Gazette, Page 8, Column 4.

… In the vicinity of our City there has been quite serious sickness; Rev. J.L. Berrys family are still sick, Mrs. Berry and two children with typhoid fever, he having died as was announced over a week since, also Wm. R. Dixon living close to Felgars mill is dangerously sick with typhoid fever, and S. Grey, only son of Joseph Grey, living on the south fork of Marys river, is very sick with the same fever. Miss Emma Liggett, daughter of E. Liggett, has been very low but is convalescing. …

Philomath
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