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A Laurel Founder's Life
Laurel        Civil War     Japan

June-December 2004


Early Years (1804-1834)

Laurel Years (1835-50)

A Life In Transition


Civil War (1860-65)

Department of Agriculture 1866-1871

Japan (1871-1875)

Final Years (1875-1885)

Credits & Acknowledgements



Civil War:  1860-1865

Civil War Overview
Horace Capron Civil War Timeline
Stoneman's Raid
Horace Capron, Jr.
Medal of Honor
The Price of War



Horace Capron 
Library of Congress
(click to enlarge)


Battle Record of
the 14th Illinois






Horace Capron's Discharge Recors.  National Archives

Horace Capron Discharge Record (click to enlarge)
National Archives Horace Capron's Service Records

Letter clearing Horace Capron of misconduct regarding the Confederate mules at the end of the war. (click to enlarge). National Archives. Horace Capron's Service  Records

Excerpt from Horace Capron's letter to General Stoneman outlining why he should receive a Brevet promotion.(click to enlarge). National Archives. Horace Capron's Service  Records





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Horace was happily involved with his family and farm in Illinois when war broke out in 1861.
That fall, President Lincoln called for troops.

 There was no hesitation on the part of either the father or the sons, to making the sacrifice…the two oldest-Horace and Albert then and there changed their pruning hooks for the spear…  HC Autobiography p. 135

Horace Sr. continued farming, but  beginning in the summer of 1862 the call came:  war Department Secretary Stanton asked for 3 year volunteers including cavalry units. Horace and others sought recruits for three regiments but only one could be raised. The result was the 14th Illinois Cavalry, formed in January 1863.  Horace Capron, then in his 59th year, was named its Colonel.  "

"In the contest for the command of the regiment Col. Capron won.  The war Governor Richard Yates, preferred him to Jenkins or Hancock."  Maj. Henry C. Connelly,  Journal Ill. Hist. Soc. Jan. 1913 v. 5 #4, page 458.

Horace’s three sons: Horace Jr., Albert and Osmond eventually joined him in the regiment.  The family would pay a high price for their dedication.

Horace Capron during the Civil War. Library of Congress

Albert Capron

Horace Capron during the Civil War

Albert Capron

The 14th Illinois saw service from , Kentucky through Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee,  North Carolina, Virginia, into Georgia

In March 1863 the regiment was sent to Kentucky to repulse raids by Confederate cavalry. In July 1863 it pursued Morgan’s Raiders from Kentucky into Indiana and Ohio. These Confederates were known and feared for their guerilla fighting tactics—and their dashing leader, John Hunt Morgan.  July 26, 1863 the 14th Ill. participated in Morgan’s capture. (He later escaped.)

Horace Capron, Jr. was killed in February 1864.  In July 1864  the 14th Ill. joined General Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign under General George Stoneman.  Stoneman's campaign, known as Stoneman's Raid or the Battle of Sunshine Church was a military disaster. In the aftermath, Albert was captured, and Horace and Osmond barely escaped.

Horace Capron was injured when his horse fell in late 1864.  He was released from service for medical reasons in January 1865.  Controversy followed him.  There were allegations he kept some Confederate mules and horse for his own use.  These charges were never proven, and he was exonerated.

After lobbying for promotion, Horace Capron was brevetted to the rank of Brigadier General in 1867, retroactive to march 1865.

The Price of War

Horace Capron lost much during the war.  Not only was his oldest son, Horace jr., kill, but Albert served time in a Charleston prison of war camp. Osmond received a disability discharge, and may also have been in a prison.

"The second and third [Albert and Osmond] returned to me...with constitutions impaired from the exposures of the services and imprisonments in Rebel prisons." Horace Capron Autobiography, p. 140.

Horace Capron's wife, Margaret, was unable to manage the farm. Horace's autobiography suggests that hired help took advantage of her lack of farming experience.  By the end of the war his beloved herd of Devon cattle and farm had been all but destroyed.  Horace had to start over, again, at the age of sixty.