Transcribed by Mary Ann Kaylor
ARNOLD, John H. - Those who gave up their lives on the battlefields of the Civil War, did not suffer after all as have those who lived to carry in their bodies during forty-five years or more, the reminders of what it cost to save the Union. It is easy enough for one who has never faced the death-belching guns of war to rise to heights of oratory over the high call of patriotism; true heroism lies in living when each day is a long-drawn-out agony because of a response to that same spirit of loyalty to flag and country. The man who enjoys the distinction of being Springfield's oldest living veteran of the Civil War is John H. Arnold, who was fearfully wounded at the Siege of Atlanta, after years of faithful service. Mr. Arnold was born in Clay County, Ky., and comes of good, honorable, brave Kentucky stock. The date of his birth was January 1, 1833, so that he is now (1912) seventy-nine years old. His parents, Anderson and Nancy (Pierce) Arnold, were also born in Clay County, Ky., where the father died, but the mother moved to Springfield when John H. was six months old, and lived there until she passed away in 1898. The Arnold family is a fighting one, for Grandfather Arnold and his son, Anderson Arnold, both served in the Black Hawk War, distinguishing themselves as brave and loyal men.
John H. Arnold was educated in Springfield, but early learned to work on a farm, and was engaged in that peaceful occupation when he felt constrained by his love of his country, to enlist, in 1862, in Company E, Eighty-fifth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, serving under General Sherman. He participated in the battles of Perryville, Big Spring, Buzzards' Roost, Look-out Mountain, Gordon's Mill, Peach Tree Creek, Stone River, North Chickamauga, and others of less importance. At the Siege of Atlanta he was the color bearer and thus was the target for the enemy. When he fell, still clinging to the flag, which he bathed with his blood, he was riddled by nine bullets. He has never fully recovered from this, although he has earnestly endeavored to round out his life industriously and uncomplainingly. He is an honored member of Stephenson Post, G.A.R., and also belongs to the Volunteers of America. In politics he is a republican, steadfastly upholding the principles he fought to have established, and for which Abraham Lincoln was martyred.
The marriages of Mr. Arnold occurred in Springfield, the first one being celebrated in 1866. There was no issue. On May 28, 1903, Mr. Arnold married Mildred Amie (Taylor) Large, born in Winchester, Scott County, Ill., October 29, 1870. Her father served through the Civil War and spent his mature years in Springfield. One child has been adopted by Mr. and Mrs. Arnold, Richard Harvey Ellsworth Arnold, born August 16, 1907. The family residence at the corner of Phillips and Ohio Streets, owned by Mr. Arnold, and is surrounded by a large lawn which covers a double frontage. During his life Mr. Arnold has had many experiences and at all times has obeyed the call of duty, regardless of what it might cost him.
Mrs. Mildred A. Arnold was born in Winchester, Scott County, Ill., October 29, 1870. She is a daughter of Alexander and Mary Frances (Cothern) Taylor, her father born in Kentucky in 1841, and her mother in Virginia, in 1842. Mrs. Arnold's maternal grandfather, William Burnwell Cothern, emigrated from Virginia to Illinois by wagon, settling in Illiopolis, where he farmed. Both the Cotherns and Taylor were old Southern families and extensive slave owners.
Mrs. Arnold belongs to a family of six children born to her parents: Alexander; William; Belle, wife of George Guthrie; Leonora, wife of James Tofer; Mary Ann, wife of James Woods, living near Springfield; and Mrs. Arnold.
In May, 1890, Mrs. Arnold was married in the English Lutheran Church, to James Large, later a member of the Illinois General Assembly. One child, John M., was born April 2, 1891. In 1903 she became the wife of John H. Arnold, as before noted. She is interested in current events and keeps herself posted with regard to them. She is devoted to her home and husband, but is also active in social matters, and possesses a pleasant, genial manner, attaches people to her and has many friends, wherever she may happen to be.