The Bloomington lawyer and Civil War cavalry commander, Harvey Hogg (originally from Tennessee), led an eventful and principled, albeit short, life. He was a staunch supporter of the new Republican Party and its goals, and later the Union against the secessionists. The life of the educated and well-traveled Hogg, his time in Bloomington-Normal, as well as his military service during the war, all proved worthy of remembrance and praise.
Born on September 14, 1833 in Carthage, Smith County, Tennessee, Harvey Hogg Jr. was the third and last child of Harvey Hogg Sr. and his first wife, Lurisa (Glasgow) Hogg. Harvey had an elder sister, Elizabeth, and an elder brother, William. Their mother died in 1836 at the age of 32 and was buried at Hogg Cemetery in Defeated, Tennessee. In 1837, about one year later, Harvey Hogg Sr. married Cynthia Glasgow. Out of this union came Harvey’s half-brother, Grant Allen Hogg, born in June, 1838.
Harvey Hogg Sr. was a relatively prosperous man who was involved in local government and business. In 1836, he was elected as the Register for Smith County. In 1839, Hogg Sr. replaced one of the resigning directors at the local Bank of Tennessee. His affluence was also shown through his either inherited or purchased property--his slaves. The Federal Census conducted in mid-1840, shortly before Hogg Sr.’s death, denoted that the household of “Harvey Hogg” contained a total of 14 persons, seven free whites and seven black slaves, six of whom were 23 years old or younger. Harvey Hogg Sr. died on November 28, 1840, in Castalian Springs, Tennessee. He was described as a merchant and “long a respectable and worthy citizen of [Carthage, Tenn.]. He was an exemplary christian, and an honest man.”
Harvey Hogg Jr. was only three years old when his mother passed away and seven years old when his father passed away. Upon his father’s death, he and his family moved to the country under the care of step-mother Cynthia and Jeremiah “Jerry” Jamison, Harvey’s uncle and guardian. It is unclear how Hogg and Jamison were related given the different last names, but he was nonetheless close to the family. Jamison served as a Smith County Trustee alongside Harvey Hogg Sr. As a young Tennessean, Hogg Jr. attended “old field” schools until he could attend college. Described an athletic young man, he once badly fractured his arm “in one of his rough and tumble tussles.” According to William M. Baldwin, who served in Company K of the Second Illinois Cavalry under Hogg during the United States Civil War, Hogg supposedly healed it by putting it under the “drip of very pure spring waters” for hours.
The Hogg family was reported to have been widely respected and held in high esteem by the locals. Their familial bearings and environment were steadfastly pro-slavery. However, the young Hogg was of a decidedly different character. Owen. T. Reeves, a Bloomington lawyer and Hogg’s one-time partner in a law firm, wrote in his recollection of Harvey Hogg that, “in the midst of this environment, [Hogg] felt springing up in his very soul, an irresistible conviction, that human slavery was not right - that the system of slavery was fundamentally and morally wrong,” and how “this conviction grew with his growth.”
When it came time for Hogg to attend college, he attempted to enroll in West Point (The United States Military Academy) for a military education, but his uncle refused to allow him to enroll. It was decided that Hogg would enroll at Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee, where he attended from 1847-49. As of June 1850, he was listed as residing in Lebanon in the home of an Adam Muirhead, a physician, with three other young students like himself. In 1849 a devastating cholera outbreak occurred in the town that killed a “very good many people” and Hogg “nursed his sick friends and classmates,” only leaving the town to pursue a degree after forceful persuasion by his relatives and close friends. He went to Emory, Virginia and studied at Emory and Henry College from 1851-52 and earned the lauded Robinson Prize medal for his oration skills. It was also here that his chosen dissertation on the “Evils of Slavery” aroused furor by the faculty and the college president. Hogg’s reported reply to their anger was that “if I speak at all, I shall speak my honest convictions.” He returned to study law at Cumberland University in Lebanon in 1853-54, where he graduated as the valedictorian of his class. It was also around this time that he freed the slaves he had inherited after his father’s death.
This promising and smart young lawyer married 20-year old Prudence J. Alcorn of Clarksville, Tennessee on April 24, 1855. Interestingly, the New Orleans newspaper The Daily Delta reported on May 27, 1855, that the two had been married in Aberdeen, Mississippi.
A young, married, anti-slavery lawyer with excellent oratory skills, Hogg also involved himself in local politics. On July 22, 1855 at a rally and barbecue for the American Party (formerly the Know-Nothing Party) in Carthage, Tennessee, Hogg was listed on the roster of speakers in the evening which included both local and out-of-state speakers. He “made an impressive telling argument.” The rally itself drew between 3,000 and 3,500 people and lasted from 3 p.m. until 12 midnight. In a letter to the editor of the Daily Nashville True Whig, the approving author, named only as Seventy-Six, described sentiments espoused by the party as well as the enthusiasm of the rally goers: “The excitement here is deep and abiding. Smith county . . . is determined to put its stamp of condemnation upon the Foreign Principles and party that now opposes the only AMERICAN Organization that vindicates the Bible Religion of the Protestant, and the Constitutional Liberty of the Anglo-American.”
At some period between late-1855 and February 1856, Harvey and his wife, Prudie, moved to Bloomington, IL. Contemporary accounts shed light upon some reasons that the Hoggs moved from their native Tennessee to Bloomington. Hogg’s aversion to the practice and institution of slavery appears to have been a large factor. According to sources, he wished a change of environment where the local sentiments and residents were unknown and he could “firmly, and without creating any friction, express and advocate his convictions on the subject of slavery.” Hogg had brought with him his last slave, Aunt Sarah, who was at one point likely a wet nurse that had cared for Hogg as a young boy. Upon their emigration to Illinois, he promptly freed her. Unfortunately this freedom came with a cost. According to S.E.R. Fitzwilliams, shortly before the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, a close relative came to collect Sarah and return her to slavery. She escaped via the Underground Railroad to Canada and was never heard from or seen again.
Another version of this story reported that Aunt Sarah left the family on her own accord. Some African Americans were held by chains of ignorance after they arrived in McLean County, but not for long. People moving to Bloomington from the South often brought a slave or two with them. Once the slaves mingled with other African Americans in town, they were soon informed they lived in a free state and were no longer obligated to stay with their masters. While Hogg was campaigning to become the State Representative for McLean County in Illinois, he was accused of keeping a female slave at his home. In August of that year, the Democratic Illinois Statesman newspaper reported that the woman had left, and no one knew her whereabouts. The newspaper additionally reported the rumor that she had overheard Hogg discussing taking her south and selling her, which caused her to run away. Or that Hogg had perhaps kidnapped her, taken her south, and sold her. Hogg refused to discuss these allegations, which were clearly rumor mongering as an effort to smear his campaign. It is most likely that the young woman, like other former slaves brought to Illinois, realized that she was free, and simply left looking for a paying job.Additionally, the couple may have moved to the area because, according to Reeves, Prudie’s distant relative and descendant of the old settlers of Bloomington lived in the town. Fitzwilliams claims that Prudie’s aunt was Isabella Miller, the wife of the Hon. James Miller, a Methodist businessman in Bloomington and twice-elected Illinois State Treasurer.
The Hogg family’s first home in Bloomington unexpectedly burnt down due to a fire breaking out in the kitchen flue on February 4, 1856. The Weekly Pantagraph reported that “Furniture, &c., mostly saved, but the building is almost an entire loss . . . Mr. Hogg is recently from Kentucky, and we very much regret that he has so soon experienced this loss-bad enough at any time, but worse in this very severe weather.” Hogg issued a grateful reply that further entrenched him as a part of Bloomington: “I feel it my duty to return to the citizens of this city, my gratitude for their zeal and activity in extinguishing the fire and preserving my property. . . . The recollection of this kindness to a stranger will be another tie binding me more closely to the citizens of the city, and to their general and individual welfare.”
After the fire that had destroyed the previous house, it is unknown whether Hogg bought new property and built a new house or simply rebuilt on the existing property. Hogg resided at 709 S. Center Street. He became intimate friends with his neighbors, S.E.R. Fitzwilliams, a local circuit preacher, and Owen T. Reeves, himself a lawyer originally from Ohio. The Hogg family seems to have planted themselves firmly and quickly in the community (both literally and figuratively). Hogg seemed captivated and invigorated by the lively, burgeoning, and politically-active town of 5,000. Along his property he planted a “beautiful row of maple trees” that girded the sides of Center and Elm Streets. Elmer and Prudie also became parents with the birth of their first son, John A. Hogg, in 1856.
Though very little is known about Prudie Hogg, she took part in the committee that organized the first Floral Exhibit in Bloomington at the Phoenix Hall, on June 9, 1859. Her work helped in part to put on a well-received and beautifully abundant display of the local nurseries, including that of Dr. Herman Schroeder. Her older brother, John, a grocer, who sometimes alternated between living in McLean County and Tennessee, married Myra Bell Wilkinson in McLean County in 1859. She gave birth in Bloomington in 1861 to their short-lived son, Myron, who died that same year. John died in the city in 1864.
Hogg’s career as a lawyer and interest in politics often went hand in hand, with Hogg numbering among the small but determined members of the McLean County bar. Judge Reuben Benjamin recalled some of these members present in the spring of 1856: “Gridley & Wickizer, William H. Holmes, Major W. Packard, Hanna & Scott, Swett & Orme, Brier & Birch, Strain & Rodgers, Harvey Hogg and Owen T. Reeves.” Hogg earnestly threw himself into supporting the fledgling Republican Party and its first ever candidate for President, John C. Fremont (a naturalist-explorer-soldier-politician), canvassing McLean County for “Fremont and freedom.” Ezra Prince, a fellow Republican and lawyer on the Eighth Judicial Circuit originally from Maine, offers a humorous anecdote about an occurrence during that campaign. At a joint discussion at the Center School House, where Adlai E. Stevenson I, Hogg, and Prince were participants, an “unwashed democrat . . . set up the call for the hogs, sui, sui, sui; everyone, including Col. Hogg, laughed at the interruption, and the speaker went on with his address, apparently unmoved by the rustic wit.” Hogg also traveled to Eureka College in the fall to hear Abraham Lincoln, a prominent lawyer and politician in Illinois (and future United States President), speak in favor of Fremont. In the same campaign, after hearing a speech by the abolitionist Owen Lovejoy, he discussed its contents--slavery--with Judge David Davis. He remarked on Lovejoy’s statements with approval, that “Slavery was wrong, it was a sin.” Ultimately, Fremont lost the 1856 election to the Southern Democrat James Buchanan. Buchanan had carried Illinois, but the Republican Party firmly established itself with handsome gains made nonetheless; with all of the vigorous local campaigning paying off, Fremont won McLean County, taking 55% of the vote over Democrat Buchanan’s 32% and Know-Nothing Millard Fillmore’s 12% in Bloomington.
On February 7, 1857 Hogg entered into a partnership with Ward H. Lamon (Lincoln’s future personal bodyguard when he became President) as Lamon & Hogg, lawyers on the Eighth Judicial Circuit. Their office was above Crothers & Chew’s Drug Store at 116 West Washington Street (the upper floors of the current Francois and Associates architectural firm and the). This building also contained the office of Leonard Swett, a skilled lawyer and eventual Lincoln family lawyer. Hogg went around the county on appointments with Fitzwilliams and befriended the local farmers, becoming for many an “eloquent pleader” in court. The most interesting and tantalizing case in which Hogg likely made a favorable impression and cut his teeth on, came in early April 1857 with the Wyant murder trial.
Isaac Wyant was accused of murdering William “Anson” Rusk in the circuit clerk’s office in Clinton, Illinois on October 12, 1855. However, the trial was delayed by two years and granted a change of venue to Bloomington instead. The prosecuting team consisted of Lamon, the State’s Attorney for the Eighth Judicial Circuit, Abraham Lincoln, Clifton H. Moore (from Clinton), and Hogg. The defendant’s counsel consisted of Leonard Swett and William W. Orme (another prominent Bloomington lawyer who would serve as a brigadier general during the Civil War). Laden with two pistols, Wyant entered the office where Rusk was located and fatally shot him four times: once each in the head, shoulder blade, side, and arm. Wyant said he had killed the man that “murdered” his arm. The issue stemmed from a land dispute, whereupon Rusk and Wyant traded insults, with Rusk ultimately shooting Wyant (who had pulled out a knife), in the arm. The arm had to be amputated as a result. Rusk reportedly had been acting strange, speaking irrationally, and even dug up his amputated arm as a means to cope with phantom limb pains.
Swett argued, in a historic judicial moment, that Wyant was not guilty due to insanity, whereby he was not in a right state of mind and therefore not totally cognizant of his actions. Swett based his argument on the fact that the chloroform used to anesthetize Wyant before the amputation, had caused him to act irregularly and conversely affected his otherwise normal state of mind. The skilled lawyer used the testimonies of multiple doctors to prove the widely-believed notion that chloroform had such mind-altering effects, i.e. causes insanity. The jury accepted Swett’s argument and declared Wyant not guilty due to insanity at 1:30 a. m. on Sunday, April 5. Wyant was acquitted and transferred to the Illinois State Hospital for the Insane in Jacksonville, Illinois.
Though it is unknown at what point Hogg befriended Lincoln, the pair likely became acquainted through their shared work as lawyers on the Eighth Circuit and as supporters of the 1856 Republican campaign of Fremont for President. Hogg avidly supported Lincoln’s run for the United States Senate against Democratic incumbent Stephen A. Douglas in 1858. Hogg, a member of the Young Men’s Association and the Republican Club, gave a rousing and “eloquent” speech in favor of Lincoln at a meeting of the latter. In it, he denounced the Dred Scott decision, calling into question its validity based upon precedence: “The Courts of Missouri had repeatedly decided, had always decided until very recently, that slaves removed into Illinois became free, and remained free when taken afterwards into Missouri.” He also discussed the controversial issue of Squatter Sovereignty, noting its cultivated pro-slavery agenda at the expense of anti-slavery advocates. Referencing the 1857 Kansas constitution, the pro-slavery Lecompton Constitution, “Mr. H. said that the English bill was not a finality as claimed by Mr. Douglas,” and could be voted down and rethought. Both Hogg and the Club “want[ed] a man in the Senate whose vote on that question we can be sure of.”
Hogg became not only an active speaker and supporter of Lincoln as well as a member of the local Republican Party, but also a delegate in the Bloomington and McLean County Republican Conventions. Baldwin notes that Hogg had participated in the first (and famous) Bloomington Anti-Nebraska Convention on May 29, 1856 that organized the Republican Party in Illinois. The Pantagraph noted that the “remarks of H. Hogg, Esq., being recently from a slave state, were enthusiastically applauded.”
The momentous event in Bloomington in which Hogg participated had its roots in the Anti-Nebraska State Convention, held in Springfield, IL, from October 4-5, 1854. The name stemmed from opposition to the recently passed Kansas-Nebraska Act, signed by President Fillmore into law on May 30, 1854. This act repealed “the Missouri Compromise and thereby remov[ed] the restriction against the introduction of slavery into territory north of the parallel of 36 degrees and 30 minutes.” Between 1854 and 1856, the Whig party started to break down and party allegiances began to shift into increasingly polarized pro- and anti-slavery camps. On February 22, 1856, an Editorial Convention, consisting of those newspaper editors in Illinois opposed to the Kansas-Nebraska bill, convened in Decatur. This convention echoed a conservative Republicanism similar to the position of the Springfield convention two years prior. However, the really important aspect is that they set the date for a “State Convention of the Anti-Nebraska party of Illinois” to be held in Bloomington for May 29, 1856.
The convention was held on the third floor of Major’s Hall, located on the corner of Front and East streets, resolved against the expansion of slavery into free territories, objected to the repealing of the Missouri Compromise, declared itself firmly unionist, favored Kansas’ admittance into the Union, and opposed the Pierce administration and the Southern Democrats. Some contemporary reports display the intensity within the city and give praise and adulation in response to Lincoln’s famously known “Lost Speech.” The Chicago Democrat wrote that “we never met a more determined and encouraged body of men than at the late Anti-Slavery Extension State Convention.” In an editorial from the “Democratic Press” reporting on the convention, the author noted that “we found the city full of people. . . . Men are here from all parts of the state. . . . It is a spontaneous outpouring of the people. . . . The feeling is intense, and in every bosom beats the stern resolve to relieve our noble state from the stigma under which it now rests. Illinois furnished the ‘ruthless hand’ which broke down the barrier erected by our patriot fathers against the spread of slavery. Her people must repudiate the act. They will do it. Mark that.” The author further attested, “Greater enthusiasm I have never witnessed.”
The author regarded Lincoln as the man of the hour, for he “made the speech of the occasion. Never has it been our fortune to listen to a more eloquent and masterly presentation of a subject. . . . For an hour and a half he held the assemblage spell bound by the power of his argument, the intense irony of his invective, and the deep earnestness and fervid brilliancy of his eloquence. When he concluded, the audience sprang to their feet and cheer after cheer told how deeply their hearts had been touched, and their souls warmed up to a generous enthusiasm.” The young Hogg could not have found himself in a less favorable setting.
On August 28, 1858, Hogg was appointed as the Secretary to the Township Convention in Bloomington and was elected as a delegate to the McLean County Republican Convention, which he attended on September 6. At this Convention, county officers were nominated that included Sheriff, Coroner, and most importantly Representative for McLean County in the state Legislature. Leonard Swett was resoundingly nominated for Representative through his reputation and traits “of a good Republican.” Though reluctant, he acceded and spoke hoping to be “instrumental” in assisting Lincoln in defeating Douglas in the race for Senator. Two days previously, on September 4, the Republicans held a mass meeting in Bloomington, where Republican supporters from around the county flocked to hear Lincoln, among others, speak. Lincoln’s speech, about two hours long, was part of his campaign for Senator and largely a rebuttal to Senator Douglas on several points such as slavery into the U.S. territories, equality of races, popular sovereignty, the Declaration of Independence, and the Dredd Scott decision.
On April 25th, 1859 the Bloomington City Council met for elections and Hogg was nominated and duly elected as the City Clerk and Attorney. A mere four months later and Hogg was already exercising his authority in a particular situation: “The hose recently purchased . . . for engine No 1 proved to be worthless-a perfect swindle-and Harvey Hogg, Esq., was authorized . . . to put the party of whom it was bought through a course of legal sprouts, unless redress was otherwise obtained.” It was also in this year that tragedy struck Hogg and his small family with the death of their infant daughter, Mattie Lou Hogg, on March 20. She was buried in the city cemetery, today known as Evergreen Memorial Cemetery.
The year 1860 marked the precipitous election year, whereby tensions between the North and South would reach their apex before descent into civil war. Excluding hindsight, Hogg carried on his practice as usual. As of March 30, 1860, he formed a new law partnership with Owen T. Reeves. Their office was located over Richardson & Miller’s Store, a dry goods retailer, at Number 8 Main Street. He continued his avid support of Republicanism, nominated during a Republican meeting on April 2 as a delegate (along with his former partner Ward Lamon) to the Republican State Convention in Decatur, IL on May 9 and 10 that year. This assembly, in concert with other Republican state conventions and the national Republican convention in Chicago, supported the nomination of Republican candidates. Indeed, in arguably the most memorable and important moment during this convention, the banner displayed by Lincoln’s cousin, John Hanks, coupled with the convention unanimously voting for Lincoln as candidate, helped project his image to even greater heights: “Abraham Lincoln, The Rail Candidate in 1860.” Here, Lincoln transcended the role of politician; he was at once the common man, the Rail-Splitter, “one of the people and the advocate of free labor, a powerful force in that time.”
At this same April 2 meeting, the Republicans of McLean County published a statement in the Pantagraph heartily endorsing Lincoln as their choice for Republican presidential candidate: “The Hon. Abraham Lincoln, above all others, . . . is the available candidate for that position; and that the spotless purity and integrity of his character and his eminent abilities mark him as the man peculiarly fitted to restore the government to the policy of our fathers; and, therefore, under his leadership, we feel that we can march forward to certain victory in behalf of the great principles and the policy of our party.”
In the second-ever national Republican Convention on May 16-18, 1860--the first national political convention ever held in Chicago--Lincoln (the least-well known) was duly nominated on May 18 as the Republican Presidential Candidate, overcoming the likes of former New York Governor William H. Seward, Ohio Governor Salmon P. Chase, Missourian Edward Bates, and Horace Greeley, founder and editor of the New York Tribune. This was in part due to Lincoln’s well-worded and persuasive messages (like the Lincoln-Douglas debates and the carefully-crafted Cooper Union Address) as well as able managers like Judge David Davis. Davis, in a team that consisted of several members of the 8th Judicial Circuit and area residents like Leonard Swett, Jesse Fell, Ward Lamon, Clifton Moore, Richard Oglesby, and William Orme, among others, had a talent for getting what he wanted. “His commanding interpersonal skills were well suited to the give and take of the difficult and sometimes heated cajoling of those outsiders who had to be persuaded to cast their ballots for Lincoln.”
At the same time, in the local political scene, Hogg was nominated as the McLean Country Representative to the State Legislature. He would go on to canvass for himself as well as Lincoln; representing his cause, he spoke in Hudson alongside Richard J. Oglesby, candidate for State Senator, where they “made speeches in their usual happy style and with the applause of the meeting.” Hogg also spoke at the Arrowsmith School House in eastern McLean County, only one of many places he surely canvassed. Reeves offered good testimony to Hogg’s support of Lincoln: “Young Hogg was found everywhere on the stump in Central Illinois, with great vigor and impassioned eloquence. . . . Of all the phases of Lincoln’s character, Hogg was an ardent admirer, but it may be safely said that the fact that both were of Southern birth and antecedents, and both were thoroughly anti-slavery, was no weak tie in binding the youthful Tenneseean [sic] to the Achilles of Republicanism.”
Hogg likely had an genial time canvassing for the Republican ticket with such contemporaries, some of whom he knew personally or cordially, like Owen Lovejoy, campaigning for Congress, Oglesby for State Senator, Swett as a Presidential Elector At Large, Lamon as the Prosecuting Attorney for the Eighth District, and of course Lincoln. While campaigning, the Hogg family welcomed another son, whom they named Harvey, in early 1860. In mid-September, Illinois Governor Koerner gave a “very able and gentlemanly speech” at a large rally, presenting two banners to the local Republican clubs, the Wide Awakes (represented by Ezra Prince, club Secretary), and the Lincoln Rangers (by Hogg). Prince and Hogg then “responded in beautiful brief speeches,” and the “whole demonstration was eminently successful.”
The Wide Awakes, a Republican-supporting political marching club made up largely of young men like Prince, had formed originally in Hartford, Connecticut, in early 1860; by September of the same year, “such clubs were established in nearly every village and hamlet in Illinois except in lower ‘Egypt.’” The club imbued vigor, youth, energy, and excitement into the political process, all with the trappings of a military group. This Republican ‘paramilitary’ served several functions that aided the Party, its politicians, and its adherents: “[T]hey escorted public speakers, maintained order at party gatherings, canvassed the voters, guarded the ballot-box against election day frauds, circulated documents, sang patriotic and party songs, and did the rough work incident to great political rallies.” The future cavalry commander’s involvement with the Lincoln Rangers seems fitting, as this club was characterized by groups of men on horseback, intended for parades, but they too carried out tasks similar to the Wide Awakes. Other clubs were formed in Illinois for juveniles and for older men. One such group of the latter formed in Bloomington called the “Lincoln Continentals.”
The Lincoln Club, consisting of an avid group of Republican supporters that was somewhat a parent body in relation to the aforementioned groups, had formed in 1856. Initially organized as the Bloomington Republican Club, it went by other names such as the Bloomington “Fremont Republican Club” of 1856 and later the “Lincoln Republican Club.” Hogg was an active member of the club, serving in 1858 on its Committee of Correspondence and in 1860 on its Committee of Managers. He gave a “first rate” speech at the Lincoln Club on September 14, 1860, cutting “up effectually the monstrous falsehoods of which we . . . [spoke of] the other day, that the principle of the Kansas-Nebraska bill was founded upon the compromise measures of 1850.”
There was one rather lengthy and colorful diatribe against Hogg personally late in the election season. The article was authored by William. O. Pepper, an Illinois Democrat. Originally published in mid-September of 1860 in the Bloomington Illinois Statesman--a pro-slavery, Southern-leaning publication--it even warranted a supportive republication and short introduction in the Clarksville Jeffersonian in Tennessee some weeks later. The Tennessee paper noted sardonically, “Pepper, Salts, Hogg good, and what makes the thing hurt is its truth. . . . we have little patience with such men as Mr. Hogg, who born a slaveholder in a slave State, sell out their ‘human chattels’, move north and join the Republican party.” The paper then showcased Pepper’s article.
Pepper firmly rejected any rumor that he would vote for Hogg and instead charged the Republican Party with “prejudiced and sectional principles. . . . I expect my opposition . . . to continue until every vestige of its blighting influence shall be, as error surely will, blotted from our political annals.” He further noted his distaste as a Southern man for those Republicans that would attack his constitutionally privileged institution (i.e. slavery), accusing Hogg of being swayed by petty and insignificant political gain and of serving as a pliant tool of the destroyers of the Union and his fellow Southerners. He even compared Hogg’s “fanaticism and political zeal” to other Republicans in their exertions to “second in [agree to] the overthrow and ruin of the Government . . . [by seeking] a precedent in the scenes of St. Domingo. [Successful slave rebellion on a wealthy French Caribbean colony in the late 18th century].” As if for clarity, Pepper ended his tirade with a post-script: “Among those who I name as Southern citizens, is Harvey Hogg, who sold his negroes, and in the short space of a few days, was miraculously transformed into a Black Republican.”
Whether this message served to dissuade any others from voting for Lincoln or Hogg is unknown, but its effect seemed negligible. Instead, Baldwin (himself a student at Illinois Wesleyan University in 1860) noted that “Colonel Hogg’s acquaintance with the daily aspects of slavery, his fairmindedness [sic], his love for the southern people, his appreciation of their fatal entanglements with the institution, rendered him a popular and effective speaker especially among those like himself of southern birth of which there were very large numbers in Mclean County.” In November, Lincoln effectively became the 16th President of the United States with Hannibal Hamlin as his Vice President, with much of the Republican candidates also securing office. Both McLean County and Illinois voted for Lincoln with a clear margin. Hogg was elected as the Republican and only Representative for McLean County, the 38th District, in the 22nd Illinois General Assembly. It was here that Hogg, “from the opening of the Session,” where “he took a high rank and was distinguished for his integrity and talents,” “became a leading actor in the stirring scenes of ‘60 - ‘61.”
These stirring scenes occurred in the larger national context, where much of the South now felt threatened by President Lincoln and his anti-slavery platform. Talk of secession had occurred for some time, but it now became a reality when South Carolina formally seceded from the Union on December 24, 1860. Soon six other southern states would secede and band together to create the Confederates States of America. Lincoln, however, did not recognize this government, fearing a total collapse of the Union and the United States’ power and influence. The incident that provoked the war was the famous CSA attack on Fort Sumter in Charleston Bay on April 12, 1861. “By the end of 1861 nearly a million armed men confronted each other along a line stretching 1,200 miles from Virginia to Missouri.” Harvey Hogg was one of these men.
Due to Hogg’s ability serving as a Representative, Illinois Governor Yates offered the talented lawyer and politician the position of Lieutenant-Colonel in the newly formed Second Illinois Cavalry. Hogg duly accepted and was appointed to the command on July 24th, 1861. He gave up his position as the City Attorney, halted teaching at Illinois State Normal University, and resigned his seat as a Representative to do so. The Second Cavalry was formally mustered in on August 12, 1861, at Camp Butler outside Springfield, Illinois. The total strength of the regiment numbered around 47 commissioned officers and 1,040 enlisted men. The regiment made its way south-southeast through Illinois, to then make forays into Tennessee and Kentucky. It mostly served as reconnaissance, especially during the winter of ‘61-’62. During this period, Hogg “was instrumental in organizing several companies of cavalry.” Having since been stationed in Kentucky since mid-November, Lt. Col. Hogg took part in reconnoitering Columbus, Kentucky on the evening of March 2, 1862. He then learned the following day that the city was evacuating and told his men he would go straight for the town and meet the rebels. Here he gave an oft-quoted order: “If we do . . . don’t use your pistols but give them the cold steel. The saber is the weapon for the cavalry to rely on.” Gallantry notwithstanding, Hogg was nevertheless “a careful student of the military evolutions of this branch of the service.”
At the end of March, Hogg and the Second Cavalry took part in an expedition under the leadership of General Quimby, dispersing a rebel brigade near Union City, Tennessee. In April, his regiment took part in the column that opened up the Ohio-Mobile Railroad throughout Tennessee after Corinth, Mississippi was evacuated. Hogg arrived in Trenton, Tennessee on June 17 and was tasked with dispersing local guerrilla bands. Always the orator, on July 4, 1862, “Colonel Hogg . . . gathered a large number of citizens from the surrounding country [to the town] and delivered an address to them calculated to induce any that were undecided or wavering to cast their lot with the Union and did much good.”
Sometime after Hogg enlisted in the Union Army, his wife Prudie became ill in Bloomington and her health deteriorated rapidly. Hogg took leave to be beside his wife and returned her to Tennessee so “that she might have the care of her mother and relatives in her last sickness.” Unfortunately, her condition did not improve and Prudie died at the age of 27 on May 27, 1862. Hogg had her remains returned to Bloomington in June to be buried next to their infant daughter Mattie. Though full of grief, he nevertheless hastened back to his regiment and resumed his duties.
On August 30, 1862, Col. M. D. Leggett of the 78th Ohio came under attack by a large Confederate force at Bolivar, Tennessee. Reinforcements were called for, which included a small section of Hogg’s company, roughly 130 men. After seven hours of skirmishing, Leggett ordered Hogg to hold their left against rebel cavalry; this Hogg’s group initially accomplished, driving off two waves of cavalry and infantry with their Sharps carbines, accurate rifles favored by mounted units. Leggett then noticed that a whole cavalry regiment, around 2,000 men, prepared to take on this small band of men. He asked Hogg if he could hold his position to which Hogg replied, “For God’s sake, Col. Leggett, don’t order me back.” Leggett ordered a charge, Hogg ordered sabers drawn, and the Lt.-Col. ordered them forward with a valiant cry, “Foreward! [sic] Give them cold steel, boys.”
The charge into the mass of rebels would be Hogg’s last. Riding ahead of his men, he was shot down with around nine rounds hitting his body. C.H. Benson of the Second Cavalry recounted that at least three shots hit Hogg’s chest, one in his forehead, and two in his limbs. Benson then wrote that “after he fell, our boys fell back, and the enemy rifled his pockets of a large sum of money and a gold watch, then, having stripped the body, they left it exposed on the ground, and the swine mutilated the corpse fearfully.” His half-brother, Dr. Grant A. Hogg, reported a different manner of death. He claimed that the Lt. Col. was engaged in hand-to-hand combat with the commanding officer of the Second Missouri Cavalry, Col. Robert McCullough, and only then was shot down by one of McCullough’s men. Dr. Hogg was a surgeon for the First Mississippi Cavalry, though he was not present at Bolivar as had sometimes been claimed, having been left a day behind because he was a medical officer. Another man from McLean County, Sergeant William Ross of LeRoy, was also killed at the head of this charge. After Hogg’s body was recovered, he was initially buried with full military honors at the Corinth National Cemetery in Mississippi.
The official report given by Major General Ulysses S. Grant on September 1, 1862, noted that Hogg and his company were “attacked by about 400 rebels yesterday. Our troops behaved well, driving the enemy, whose loss is over 100. Our loss is 25 killed and wounded, Col. Hogg being one of the number.” In a subsequent reprint, the number of rebels increased tenfold to 4,000. Having read this announcement, the Bloomington City Council held a meeting in response to “the death of our highly esteemed fellow townsman.” They resolved to retrieve his remains and authorized local resident and wagon maker, Lyman Ferre, to carry out this task. Ferre returned with Hogg’s remains on the evening of Friday, September 12, having received much assistance by Governor Yates and other military officers. The Pantagraph offered a tentative date for Hogg’s funeral on Sunday, September 14th, at two p. m.
A large public flyer corroborated the Pantagraph’s announcement: “The funeral of Colonel Harvey Hogg Whose body has been brought here, will take place from Phoenix Hall, to-morrow, Sunday, at 2 o’clock, P.M. Services by Rev. Mr. Pitner.” The Sunday sermon given by Reverend John L. Pitner, the sometimes-pastor at the First Methodist Episcopal Church of which the Hogg family were members, was “truthfully adapted to the occasion. It was patriotic without being political, and Christian in spirit.” Hogg’s funeral was said to have been the largest in Bloomington up to that time. The funeral procession to the city cemetery consisted of large numbers of residents on foot, a large military procession, and 55 carriages. Hogg was buried in Evergreen Memorial Cemetery next to his wife, Prudie, and their infant daughter, Mattie. Interestingly, his tombstone denotes he was killed on August 29, 1862 and not on August 30.
After Hogg’s death, his contemporaries offered the utmost praise for this young man and his talents. Fitzwilliams noted, had Hogg lived, “he would have occupied a distinguished place in his country’s government. He was one of the truest, most generous southern gentlemen I have had the pleasure of knowing.” Ezra Prince, looking back at Hogg’s early years in Bloomington, described Hogg as “temperate in his habits, cordial and popular in his address, a good speaker, and looked upon as a rising young man.” Reeves, his law partner, wrote of his death: “Thus perished, in the defense of liberty, one of the bravest of the brave, without fear and without reproach. A more gallant hero never drew sword, chivalrous, brave and manly, his name is one of the brightest in the annals of Illinois history.” Baldwin echoed similar sentiments.
Hogg’s character was of such respect that his name and dedications for him continuously reappeared in the decades following his death. The Board of Supervisors of McLean County offered their heartfelt sentiments as did Swett and his fellow members of the bar, cherishing the “remembrance of his virtues and his noble example.” Two years after his death, a monument honoring him was revealed at the cemetery, and when this fell into disrepair after several years, Hogg’s friends came together to fix it. Hogg was mentioned in the speech of Hon. Lawrence Weldon, another Bloomington lawyer, at the dedication of the McLean County Soldiers’ Monument in Franklin Park in 1869, during a remembrance ceremony in 1871, and during Bloomington’s Decoration Day in 1879.