Poem written by a Macomb, IL woman upon hearing of the sad losses sustained in Battle of Chickamauga:


―Cold are the sleepers
Wrapt in their shrouds
Pale are the weepers
The battle has bowed;
Softly they slumber,
Our soldiers in death
While hearts without number Cry with hushed breath
O’ God are they dead!
Pale are the sleepers
Like marble they lie
Sad are the weepers
Tears stained their eyes.
Quiet they slumber
Soldiers entombed
While hearts without number
All shrouded in gloom
Cry– O, are they gone?
Calm are the sleepers
Taking their rest—
Sad are the weepers,
Joyless their breasts;
Softly they slumber
Our soldier’s today,
While hearts without number
Cry—Only this way—!

Can our battles be won?

Author Unknown.  Poem submitted by Helen Nasep.


Gowin S. DeCamp

78th Illinois Infantry,Company I

Great-Great Grandfather of
Helen Nasep

     My Great-Great Grandfather was Gowin S. DeCamp. He was born 24 March 1821 in Washington County, Pennsylvania and died on 4 June 1903 in Macomb, Illinois. Gowin was married to my Great-Great Grandmother, Sarah A. McNeeley, on 22 November 1866, his second wife. Five sons were born to this union. Sarah died in 1913 and is buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Macomb, Illinois.
     Gowin enlisted as a Private into Company I of the 78th Illinois Infantry and was mustered in 1 September 1862. He was in service from 1862 to 1865 and saw many battles including the Battle of Chickamauga. The area was named River of Death by the Indians long before the battle occurred. Gowin was fortunate to have survived the battle but many soldiers from Macomb did not.
     My first “yard” to play in was across the street from our apartment building. It was called Chandler Park and it is where I rode my tricycle over the brick sidewalks every day. Mr. Chandler was in the 78th Illinois Infantry also, however, was wounded in battle and sent home. He built this park, which had a statue in it to honor all the Civil War Veterans. I grew up playing on that statue. Other battles Gowin fought in included Missionary Ridge, Atlanta Campaign, Buzzard Roost Gap, Kennesaw, Peach Tree Creek and ended with Sherman’s March to the Sea in 1864 with over 100,000 men.

     The poem to the left was written by a woman in Macomb, Illinois upon hearing of the sad losses sustained in the Chickamauga Campaign.

     Gowin died on 4 June 1903 in Macomb, Illinois and is buried next to his wife in Oakwood Cemetery in Macomb, Illinois.

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