The Chanute Daily Tribune, Tuesday, Oct.
17, 1922, Pg. 1
Vol. XXXI, No. 158
DENNIS LONG, A
LAST UNION SOLDIER TO
He Came to Kansas in 1869
In Butler County at a Time
When Buffalo Were
Dennis Long, 82 years old, the
last Union soldier to leave Libby prison, died at 7:30 last evening of heart
trouble. He was stricken as he was entering his room at the Rickel flats,
318 East Main street. The end came very unexpectedly, J. H. Rickel, owner
o the flats, saw Mr. Long at about 7 o’clock. At that time he was in
good health and spirits and spoke of eating and enjoying a hearty supper.
Half an hour later while Colonel
Rickel was passing, on the sidewalk in front of the room occupied by Mr. Long,
he saw the door standing open and what appeared to be a bundle lying just inside
the threshold. He paid no particular attention at first glance, but when
he got to where he could look into the window and failed to see Mr. Long within
the room, he went to see what was the matter and found the latter’s body was
lying just inside the door.
He had evidently been fatally
stricken before he had time to reach a chair or bed. Colonel Rickel felt
for pulse and heart action, and there were none. He then notified Dr. R.
A. Light, county coroner, who diagnosed the cause of death as heart trouble.
Mr. Long had been in failing
health for some time, but seemed better yesterday than usual.
No funeral arrangements had been
made today, pending the receipt of word from his only son, Charles Long, who is
in Casper, Wyo. Mr. Long received a letter from his son yesterday morning.
The only other immediate relative here is Claude Long, a grandson, who lives
between this city and Humboldt upon an oil lease of which he has charge.
Mr. Long enlisted at Quincy, Ill.
In the sixteenth Illinois Infantry as soon as President Lincoln, after Fort
Sumter had been fired upon, called for 75,000 troops to preserve the union of
the states. The regiment received no uniforms for six months. Its
principal offensive weapon was a cannon used to fire salutes for neighborhood
celebrations. The volunteers took possession of this painted “Abe
Lincoln” on it, dragged it over the state by hand and finally sent it to the
Mr. Long was captured as a
prisoner of war twice, the second time after having been paroled. Upon the
latter occasion he was acting as a scout at Savannah, Ga., while Sherman was
marching to the sea. The last time he was captured it was by Joe Wheeler,
the famous confederate cavalry leader.
His captors helped themselves to
his clothing, each taking whatever he had until at last the only garment that
remained to him was a homemade cotton sack with three holes, one for his head
and two for his arms.
He was moved from prison to prison
until he had been in five, and was the last to leave Libby. He was in
Salisbury prison at the time of the great smallpor (sic) epidemic there and was
a member of the detail to dig trenches into which the corpses were placed.
It was during a rainy season and each morning the trenches made the preceding
day would be partly uncovered and the bodies exposed.
Mr. Long pioneered in Kansas,
coming to this state in 1869 and settling in Butler county. He has told of
seeing great herds of buffalo in that part of Kansas at the time he arrived.
He had lived in Chanute more than thirty years, being engaged in the restaurant
business for a time, later an employee at the oil refinery southeast of the
His father was a country physician
and was anxious that his son should follow in his footsteps. Mr. Long
studied with him three years then ran away from home, having decided that he did
not care for the long hours, hard work and meager pay of a county (sic)
practitioner of those days.
In honor of Mr. Long the city
today half-masted the flag given it by the Ladies of the Grand Army of the