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Songs and Stories
     March 4, 2020      #8A-64 SsK
This drawing shows the original Illinois Central Railroad depot, where the soldiers of the 76th Illinois went off to war on August 22, 1862. The wooden station building stood squarely across Station Street between East Avenue and the railroad tracks. At that time, railroad crossings were located at

KLASEY | LOOKING BACK: The day the 76th Illinois

KLASEY | MIRANDO HACIA ATRÃS: El día del 76 ° Illinois

By Jack Klasey

“That was a great day in Kankakee’s history, the day the boys of the old 76th went to war,” wrote pioneer Kankakee historian Burt Burroughs in his “Stories of Town and Country” column that appeared in the Kankakee Republican-News on Oct. 4, 1933.

That “great day” was Aug. 22, 1862, when the young men of the 76th Illinois Volunteer Infantry climbed aboard a southbound Illinois Central train to serve in the Civil War. For the next three years, they would fight in Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama.

Of the 1,008 soldiers who left Kankakee that day, 259 would not come home: 52 men died in battle and 207 succumbed to ...

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The train that the 76th Illinois boarded in Kankakee would have been pulled by a locomotive similar to the one shown in this photo. This passenger train, photographed at the Kankakee station in the late 1860s, was called the “Kankakee Accommodation,” making daily trips between Chicago and Kankak

Jack Klasey
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