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Young lieutenant, Thomas Levi Job, lost to ‘friendly fire’ at Hannibal, Missouri, during Civil War

If you have access to Robertson Cemetery in Cass County, Ill., and would be willing to locate and photograph Lt. Job's graveside, click here to contact Mary Lou Montgomery. Thank you!


Thomas Levi Job and his, brother, Archibald William, were the youngest of Jane and Archibald Job’s six children, all reared in Cass County, Ill., near Beardstown, Ill.

In 1861, when the president called Illinois men to fight for the union cause, Thomas signed on – at the age of 24 - as a lieutenant with the Cass County Guards, Company F of the 19th Illinois Infantry in Chicago. His brother, three years his junior, was the last of the Job children living at home, and would soon follow his brother’s lead.

The men trained at Camp Long, which was later renamed Camp Douglas, before leaving on July 13, 1861, from the Illinois Central depot by rail to Quincy, Ill., where their orders awaited. On July 14, General Stephen Augusts Hurlbut ordered the men to relieve the Twenty-first Illinois, who were under Col. U.S. Grant, and to guard the Hannibal and St. Joe Railroad from Quincy to Palmyra, and between Palmyra and Hannibal.

The men remained in the Hannibal area for two weeks, during which time they fought off newly organized rebel forces by destroying barracks and provisions, and urging citizens against supporting Secessionists.

During the mid morning of July 22, 1861, while drilling with his company in South Hannibal, Lt. Thomas Job suffered wound from a misfired gun.

The ball ricocheted off the ground with such force as to pass through a man’s hat, and continued toward Lt. Job, who was standing some distance away.

The ball hit Lt. Job in the abdomen, passed through is bowls, and lodged against the skin on the opposite side.

When hit, the newspaper the Hannibal Messenger reported that Lt. Job exclaimed, “I’m shot. God have mercy on my soul.”

The newspaper further reported: “He was conveyed to the nearest dwelling, where he lingered until two o’clock, when his spirit took its final flight. He had told the first Lieutenant to ‘lead the company on to glory,’ and requested to be buried in the old burying ground at home.”

The body was packed in ice in preparation for its transport back to his hometown for burial at Robertson Cemetery.

Corp. Archibald William Job continued on with the company.

“On the 27th of July the Nineteenth received orders to take boats at Hannibal and proceed by river to St. Louis, where it joined a large flotilla, on which a number of troops were embarked, and the whole proceeded down the river. The troops were landed at Bird's Point, and the Nineteenth was immediately detailed to Norfolk, six miles below Bird's Point, as an advance guard, where its duties were quite difficult and arduous. The information that a portion of Pillow's army was advancing towards Dallas and Jackson, with a view to strike at Ironton, originated another expedition, in which the Nineteenth participated.”

After the war Archibald William Job married Permelia Jane Almira Cartwright. They named their son Thomas Levi Job (1876-1926), after Archibald’s brother lost at Hannibal in 1861.

Archibald William Job died Aug. 1, 1927, and is buried at Cleveland, Cass County, Mo.

The elder Archibald Job is buried near his son in Robertson Cemetery, Cass County, Ill.


1850 Census

1860 Census

1920 Census

Daily Illinois State Journal Springfield, Ill., July 26, 1861, genealogybank

Mary Lou Montgomery is a writer, speaker and researcher with a specialty in history. She is the former editor of the Hannibal courier-Post.

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