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  • Writer's pictureLawrence Lore

Stage Coach Driver

 CHARLES W. ACKMAN was born in the Blue Grass regions of Kentucky, in 1828.  In 1851 he came to this State by stage. After his first arrival in Lawrence County, Illinois, he went to stage driving, which business he followed for many years, mostly in Clay and Richland Counties.  The roads in those days were very bad, especially in wet weather, when they became nearly impassable, and if he had not been supplied with an excellent team, he could not have  made his scheduled trips.


 On the 13th of October 1853, he married Alvina Lawson, by whom he had thirteen children.  When he first married, he quit stage-driving, and settled down to farm. He always had a great love for horses, and fine stock; his father owned a fine farm in the Blue Grass regions of Kentucky.  It was natural then, when he engaged in farming, that his highest ambition should be to raise fine stock of all descriptions.  For this purpose, he imported largely from Kentucky, and obtained considerable improvement in hog and cattle stock.  


When the war broke out, though a married man, aged 34 years, in possession of a fine farm, and raising a large family, Charles offered himself in defense of his country.  He enlisted on the 1st of January 1862, in the 62d Illinois Volunteer Infantry.  He was mustered into service in Cairo, Illinois. Military records indicate that he was 30 years old, 5’9” tall, with light hair, blue eyes, and a light complexion.  He listed his occupation as that of farmer and told the enlistment officer he had been born in Kentucky.


Charles was first sent with his regiment to Tennessee, and then to Mississippi, after which he served in various places all over the Southwestern Department.  He saw a great deal of hard fighting, and was under Steel in Arkansas.  He was mustered out of service at Little Rock, on the 19th of April 1864, and received an honorable discharge as a corporal.  Although another resource noted that he had been discharged April 10, 1863, with a disability.


Charles returned to Lawrence County Illinois to farm. Alvira, Charles’ wife, died March 11, 1874, leaving him with a large family.  On the 10th of May 1875, Mr. Ackman married Miss Mary J. Tinsley.  This young lady was born in Knox County, Kentucky.  She came to this State in 1862, with her father, who died in 1869, her mother having died the year before.  Thus, leaving her an orphan, Mary went into business to support herself. Mr. Ackman made her acquaintance, and proposed marriage to her, which was accepted, and they were married.  By exposure to bad weather, Mr. Ackman caught a severe cold, which turned into pneumonia.  He died on the 24th of May 1875, just 2 weeks after his 2nd marriage vows, thus leaving his young and bereaved wife in a very trying position.

Charles Ackman was buried at Zion Cemetery with a Military marker.


The 1870 census listed his children as Lawrence, Clarinda, Charles, Albert, Allen, Henry, and Ella. When Charles died the children were placed with other families.  On March 24, 1890, a minor’s application was filed for a Civil War pension based on their father’s service.   There is no certificate number indicating that one was received. 


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