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Champaign County, Illinois

Biography - Oscar Dunlap

SOURCE: "History of Champaign County, Illinois with Illustrations," 1878


Captain OSCAR DUNLAP - To willingly offer oneself to the service of the country, with a strong probability of never living to enjoy the peace for which he had fought, is a sacrifice that should not be lightly passed over. Captain Dunlap, when a mere boy, offered his service to his government, and though he has sacrificed two of his limbs in the discharge of his duty, he does not regret having assisted to protect the old flag.

He was born in Leyden, Cook county, Illinois, May 9th, 1843, and is a son of the late M. L. DUNLAP, of this county. The family originally came from Cherry Valley, New York, and after remaining for some time in Cook county, came, in 1856, to this county, and located at the "Rural Home," where the father, M. L. Dunlap, died, in 1875. Captain Dunlap spent his early life at the "Rural Home," and received his schooling in the district school, and when a call for troops sounded across the continent, he enlisted in the 26th Illinois Volunteers, for three years. Having assisted to raise company I, of that regiment, he was appointed orderly sergeant.

In the spring of 1862, the 26th was united with Pope's forces, and sent to capture New Madrid. Captain Dunlap took part in the battles of Farmington, May 9, and Corinth, May 28th, 1862. Taken sick, however, he returned home on a furlough, and while at the north, was appointed a recruiting officer, with head quarters at Champaign. Soon after returning to his regiment, he was promoted to the position of a second lieutenant, in the spring of 1863. He continued with his regiment in its meanderings through the south, and was promoted to the first lieutenancy in March, 1864, and on September 16th, of the same year, was commissioned a Captain, at that time being at home on a furlough. Returning to the front, he was unable to gain his regiment, and reported to the headquarters of Gen. Sherman, for temporary duty. He was assigned U. S. military conductor, and while in discharge of his duty as such, met with the accident that deprived him of a hand and a foot, which happened by his being thrown from a moving train, by a wrecked car. After remaining for a short time in the hospital, he was sent home, and on the 15th of May, 1865, was discharged on "account of disability, and his services being no longer needed."

Captain Dunlap was married February 9th, 1870, to Mary J. VAN BUREN, a very excellent young lady of Albany New York. Although badly crippled, the Captain persists in trying to do something toward his own support, and has laid out and adorned a lovely little fruit-farm in the north-west corner of Tolono township, which shows the excellent taste of the proprietor. May he long enjoy the peace he so well merits.

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