John Charles Black (January 27, 1839 – August 17, 1915) was a Democratic U.S. Congressman from Illinois. He received the Medal of Honor for his actions as a Union Army lieutenant colonel and regimental commander at the Battle of Prairie Grove during the American Civil War.
John C. Black
|United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois|
January 12, 1895 – 1899
|Preceded by||Sherwood Dixon|
|Succeeded by||Solomon H. Bethea|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Illinois's at-large district
March 4, 1893 – January 12, 1895
|Preceded by||Position Established|
|Succeeded by||Position Abolished|
|15th United States Commissioner of Pensions|
March 19, 1885 – March 27, 1889
|Preceded by||Otis P. G. Clarke|
|Succeeded by||James R. Tanner|
John Charles Black
January 27, 1839
Lexington, Mississippi, US
|Died||August 17, 1915 (aged 76)|
Chicago, Illinois, US
|Resting place||Spring Hill Cemetery and Mausoleum, Danville, Illinois|
|Branch/service|| United States Army|
|Years of service||1861–1865|
|Unit||11th Regiment Indiana Volunteer Infantry|
|Commands||37th Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry|
|Battles/wars||American Civil War|
|Awards||Medal of Honor|
John Charles Black was born in Lexington, Mississippi, on January 27, 1839, and moved to Danville, Illinois, in 1847. His father was a minister of the Presbyterian Church. Black attended Wabash College, Crawfordsville, Indiana, and became a lawyer.
American Civil War serviceEdit
On April 14, 1861, Black (along with his brother, William P. Black) entered the Union Army as a private in the 11th Indiana Volunteer Infantry Regiment on April 14, 1861. He became sergeant major on April 25, 1861.
After three months of service, the brothers were mustered out of the volunteers and organized Company "K" of the 37th Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment. John Black became major of the regiment on September 5, 1861. He was wounded in the right arm at the Battle of Pea Ridge, Arkansas, on March 7, 1862. On July 12, 1862, John Black was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel and became commander of the 37th Illinois Infantry. Black led his regiment against a fortified Confederate position during the Battle of Prairie Grove, Arkansas, on December 7, 1862. The unit suffered heavy casualties and was eventually forced to retreat. Black himself was seriously wounded. An 1896 review of numerous actions during the war resulted in John Black being awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions at Prairie Grove. Black's brother William also received the medal, making them the first of five pairs of brothers to both receive the Medal of Honor as of 2005.
On December 31, 1862, Black was promoted to colonel of the 37th Illinois Infantry Regiment. He was given temporary command of Brigade 1, Division 2, XIII Corps, Department of the Gulf, between November 11, 1863, and February 11, 1864, of Brigade 3, Division 2, Reserve Corps of the Department of the Gulf between February 3, 1865, and February 18, 1865, and of Brigade 3 Division 2, XIII Corps, Department of the Gulf, between February 18, 1865, and March 5, 1865.
Black resigned his commission in the volunteer service on August 15, 1865. On January 13, 1866, President Andrew Johnson nominated Black for appointment to the grade of brevet brigadier general of volunteers to rank from April 9, 1865, for gallant services in the assault on Fort Blakeley, Alabama on that date, and the U.S. Senate confirmed the appointment on March 12, 1866.
Medal of Honor citationEdit
Rank and organization: Lieutenant Colonel, 37th Illinois Infantry. Place and date: At Prairie Grove, Ark., December 7, 1862. Entered service at: Danville, Ill. Born: January 27, 1839, Lexington, Holmes County, Miss. Date of issue: October 31, 1893.
Gallantly charged the position of the enemy at the head of his regiment, after 2 other regiments had been repulsed and driven down the hill, and captured a battery; was severely wounded.
Black was a member of the Illinois Commandery of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States.
Black practiced law and became the United States District Attorney at Chicago. Black was U.S. Commissioner of Pensions between 1885 and 1889. Running as a Democrat, he was elected to the Fifty-third United States Congress, and served from 1893 to 1895.
In 1903, he was honored with the office of Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, the veterans organization for Civil War veterans of the Union Army, for 1903–1904. Black served as president of the United States Civil Service Commission from 1904 to 1913.
- Eicher, John H., and David J. Eicher, Civil War High Commands. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2001. ISBN 0-8047-3641-3. p. 132
- Hunt, Roger D. and Jack R. Brown, Brevet Brigadier Generals in Blue. Gaithersburg, MD: Olde Soldier Books, Inc., 1990. ISBN 1-56013-002-4. p. 56.
- Beyer, W. F.; O. F. Keydel (2000). Deeds of Valor: How America's Civil War Heroes Won the Congressional Medal of Honor. New York, New York: Smithmark Publishers. pp. 99–100. ISBN 0-7651-1769-X.
- Eicher, 2001, p. 740.
- "Civil War Medal of Honor recipients - (A-L)". United States Army Center of Military History. 2005-04-27. Retrieved 2006-09-22.
- Eicher, John H., and David J. Eicher, Civil War High Commands. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2001. ISBN 0-8047-3641-3.
- Hunt, Roger D. and Jack R. Brown, Brevet Brigadier Generals in Blue. Gaithersburg, MD: Olde Soldier Books, Inc., 1990. ISBN 1-56013-002-4.
- United States Congress. "John C. Black (id: B000504)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 2007-11-07.