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Songs and Stories
     May 1, 2019      #1A-121 SsK
 

Charles Savoie chose to wear the Union blue 

By Jack Klasey

Charles Savoie wasn’t about to become “Johnny Reb.”

The 27-year-old Savoie, whose family lived in Kankakee County, owned a boot and shoe store in Little Rock, Ark. When that state seceded from the Union in May 1861, he came under considerable pressure to join the Confederate Army.

“He was not long in showing his disapproval,” recalled the Kankakee Daily Republican in a front page obituary on Feb. 1, 1923. “He sold his stock of goods, employed (an African-American) to carry his personal belongings to the railroad station and quietly hurried back to Illinois.”

An unidentified newspaper clipping in the Kankakee County Museum’s files provides a somewhat ...

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