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James McBride Gaston collection

James McBride Gaston collection
Creator: Gaston, James M. B. (James McBride), 1824-1889
Date: 1847 - 1848
Diary of James McBride Gaston and his experience traveling the Santa Fe Trail during the Mexican War. Born on March 22, 1824 in Randolph County, Illinois to William Gaston, Jr. and his wife Elizabeth Couch, Gaston came from a line of soldiers. His father, from Kentucky, served in the War of 1812, and his grandfather William Gaston, Sr. of South Carolina served in the Revolutionary War. James himself enlisted with the 1st Illinois Infantry Regiment, Co. C in the spring of 1847 and made the march via the Santa Fe Trail to New Mexico. He returned to Illinois in the fall of 1848. In July 1852, Gaston married Mary Margaret Storment, daughter of John Storment and Margaret Kell, in Marion County, Illinois. When civil war broke out, he re-enlisted, serving in Co. G, 22nd Illinois Infantry Regiment. He received a gunshot wound in November 1861 at the Battle of Belmont (Missouri), but continued to serve for three years, until discharged with a disability in 1864. He held the rank of corporal in both wars. Mary died in 1866, two months after the birth of their fourth child, only one of whom lived to maturity (Margaret Elizabeth Gaston, who died in 1898). In 1867, James married again, to Mrs. Nancy Jane Hill Creel, who died in 1891. James Gaston died on February 27, 1889 and was buried with both wives in Marion County, Illinois.


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