Francis Marion Eakin


In a letter written by Martha Wood Walker (Eakin) to Dr. Henry Walker, her brother, on 27 June 1852, she writes about her oldest sons, "Frances M., the oldest, is married and living in Greenville, Bond Co., Ill. He learned the cabinet business there after he was of age and is very steady and industrious. He is an elder in our church, and his wife is a Presbyterian. He expects to move down in the fall and settle here.

Wm. Nathan (Eakin) and John Larrin (Eakin) are together near Memphis, Tenn. Wm. bought half of a steam circular saw mill running two saws. He and his partner have established a lumber yard in Memphis and have a good prospect of doing well. So, you see they are doing much better than if they had stayed round here all the time."

According to the 1875 Kansas Census, Francis Marion Eakin, was 46 years of age, value of real property was none, value of personal property was $353, the state lived in prior to Kansas was Illinois, and his occupation was Mechanic.

The 1875 Kansas Agricultural Census listed the following:

Name of Owner Agent Manager: Eakin, F. M.
Number of acres of land Under Fence 84
Number of acres of land not Under Fence 36
Present Value of Farm $400
Present value of farm Implements $25
Total amount of wages paid during year $25
Crops planted: Winter Wheat 16ac Irish Potato 1/2ac
Corn 40ac Sorghum 4ac
Oats 13ac Broom Corn 1/4ac

Source of this entry: The collection of Ernalee and Curtis Eakin, Yorba Linda, CA.

Francis Marion Eakin married Sarah Birt in 1851 at Greenville, Bond County, Illinois. he died 17 April 1920. Following the death of Sarah Birt he married Mrs. Barrow of Gas City, Kansas and lived with her in Kansas City, Kansas. He was a life member in the Grand Army of the Republic having served three years as as a Private through Sergeant in Company D, 3rd Ill. Cavalry. He was the superintendent of many schoolhouse Sunday Schools and an active member of the Methodist church. A quote from his obituary sums up the kind of man he was, "In the early days in case of death it was Frank Eakin who made the coffin from the rough lumber and they were well made and a comfort to the bereaved one. Always a temperate man, he and his were enthusiastic workers for the cause and lived to see and enjoy the fruits of their labors." The funeral services were conducted by W. L. Harris, minister of the Christian Church. He is buried in the Iola Old Cemetery (Leavenworth National Cemetery), Iola Kansas, Lot 98, Book(Block?) 2, 3rd Grave.

Source: Obituary in, The Iola Daily Register.

Bessie's headstone reports that he was buried 20 April 1920 and his age at death was 91. It also shows he was a Sergeant in Company O(see**NOTE**, below), Illinois Cavalry.

**NOTE** Source: William C. Lathan, Jr. research at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.: Records regarding Francis Marion Eakin's pension for service during the Civil War, list him as a Sergeant in Company D, 3rd Ill., Cavalry instead of Company O. Company D, is the correct company.

The Illinois Marriage Index, page 6480, Francis M. Eakin married Sarah P. Birt on 3 December 1851 in Montgomery County, Illinois

Source: Eakin Archives by Ernalee and Curtis Eakin of Yorba Linda, CA.

Francis Marion Eakin was a Sgt. in Co. D, 3rd Ill Cavalry.
Copies of Returns concerning Francis Marion Eakin, similar to modern Army Morning Reports, are included below.

Civil War Pension:

Francis Marion Eakin was pensioned by the U.S. Government due to illnesses contracted during his service in the Civil War. The actual pension file is available at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. It is many, many pages long. It contains dozens of small increases in pension money, notations concerning the death of his first wife, his remarriage, his death and the continuation of his pension to his second wife. Frequently, his paper work was rejected for some clerical problem so there are dozens of duplicate forms on file.

Of possible interest is a letter from former Capt. James K. McLean who was Sgt. Eakin's Company Commander. It stated that (Sgt.)Francis Marion Eakin had been a good soldier, had made an outstanding effort in caring for Captain McLean when he had been ill and left behind in contested territory. In a Letter to the War Dept., former Capt. James K McLean stated that he knew that (Sgt.) F. M. Eakin had been sick with dysentery from July of 1862 until February of 1863. He also stated that he had known F. M. Eakin before the war and that he had been a hard worker, a good soldier and was an active Presbyterian (note: Obit. mentioned above says he was a Methodist). Furthermore, said that he knew him to have "no vices."

Also of possible interest is one form in his Pension File which shows his signature in 1915.

His pension started in 1883 and was $2 per month and was slowly increased to $40 per month on June 10, 1918.

His widow had a very difficult time collecting his pension after his death and finally had to contact her Congressman W. O. Atkeson of the 6th Dist. of Mo. He wrote a letter to the Bureau of Pensions on January 13, 1922 stating that she had first filed on April 1, 1920 and stated that he wanted them to take prompt action. Interestingly, action was promptly taken.

Compiler's note: Problems getting govt. clerks to do there jobs continues but Congressmen seem to be able to get INSTANT ACTION. I had a similar problem getting my Father's Military and Government Employment Records. After almost a year of waiting I wrote my Congressman and in about a month I had the requested information.

Francis Marion Eakin's disability was attested to by a number of people including an employer who stated that he was sick with dysentery and piles so much that he could at best work 1/3 of the time after returning form the war. In 1883, Francis Marion Eakin worked for J. G. Small helping him cut his wheat. Mr. Small stated in his testimony that Francis Marion Eakin was frequently taken ill and had to regularly leave the fields due to illness and during the wheat harvest became sick and had to take to his bed.

Cause of Death: He was admitted to the Western Branch Home/Hospital for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, Leavenworth Kansas, on October 16, 1917 and he died at that location on April 17, 1920. Cause of death was recorded in his Civil War Pension file as Arterio Sclerosis & Hypostatic Pneumonia.

Address at time of Death: 2911 W. Prospect Place, Kansas City, MO.

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A transcription of the Soldier's Service Record (returns)
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Co. D, 3rd Regt. Ill. Cavalry

Francis M Eakin
Joined: August 12, 1861
Born: Age 24/32
Height: 6 ft + inch
Complexion: Light
Eyes: Blue Hair: Brown
Born: Botetourt Co., Virginia
Occupation: Farmer

Joined August 12, 1861
Where: Greenville, Ill.
By: J.M. Davis Term: 3 yrs.
_____________________________________________

Discharged: September 9, 1864
At: Springfield, Ill.
At experation of term
_____________________________________________

Pvt. in Capt. DavisÆ Co., 3rd Regt. Ill. Cav.
Age 32
Springfield, Ill. Aug. 20, 1861
Valuation of horse $115.00
______________________________________________

Aug. 12-Oct 31, 1861
Private Co.D, 3rd Regt. Ill. Cav.
Greenville, Ill.
Horse $115.00
_____________________________________________


Nov-Dec 1861
Corporal F.M. Eakin
Present
Horse $115.00

Promoted to rank of Corp. Dec. 13, in place of E.B. Diamond. Has rec'd full equipment for his horse.
____________________________________________

Feb. 28, 1862

Corp. Eakin
Absent
Left back at Lebanon, Mo. Waiting on Leut. McLean who is sick on Jan. 30, 1862.
____________________________________________

March-April 1862
Corp. F.M. Eakin
Co.D, 3rd Regt. Ill. Cav.
Present
Horse $115.00
Own horse and equipment for the care and risk of which he has recd pay of the U.S.
Govt.
______________________________________________

May-June 1862
Corp. F.M. Eakin
Co.D, 3rd Regt. Ill. Cav.
Present
Horse $115.00
_________________________________________________

July-August 1862
Corp. F.M. Eakin
Co.D, 3rd Regt. Ill. Cav.
Present
________________________________________________


Aug 18, 1862
Corp. F.M. Eakin
Co.D, 3rd Regt. Ill. Cav.
Special Muster Roll
Present
_________________________________________________

Sept.-Oct. 1862
Corp. F.M. Eakin
Co.D, 3rd Regt. Ill. Cav.
Absent
Horse $115
Absent w/o leave Oct. 14, 1862
Stoppage for R.R. Passage from Cairo to Hillsboro $4.00
_________________________________________________

Nov-Dec. 1862
Corp. F.M. Eakin
Co.D, 3rd Regt. Ill. Cav.
Present
__________________________________________________

Jan.-Feb. 1863
Corp. F.M. Eakin
Co.D, 3rd Regt. Ill Cav.
Sick and w/Regt entitled to pay for use of hors & horse equipment.
__________________________________________________

Feb. 28, 1863
Corp. F.M. Eakin
Co.D, 3rd Regt. Ill. Cav.
Memphis, Tenn.
Detactment Muster Roll of Cos. A, D, K & L
Present
Has one horse.
__________________________________________________

March-April 1863
Corp. F.M. Eakin
Co.D, 3rd Regt. Ill Cav.
Absent
Sick and w/Regt. entitled to pay for use of horse and horse equipment
___________________________________________________


March-April 1863
Corp. F.M. Eakin
Co.D, 3rd Regt. Ill. Cav.
Detachment Muster Roll of Cos. A, D, K and L
Germantown, Tenn,.
Owns horse and horse equipment.
__________________________________________________

May-June 1863
Corp. F.M. Eakin
Co.D, 3rd Regt. Ill. Cav.
Sick w/RegÆt. Entitled to pay for use of horse and horse equipment.
___________________________________________________-


May- June 1863
Corp. F.M. Eakin
Co.D, 3rd Regt. Ill. Cav.
Detached Muster Roll
Germantown, Tenn.
Present
Owns horse and horse equipment
______________________________________________________

July-August 1863
Corp. F.M. Eakin
Co.D, 3rd Regt. Ill. Cav.
Company Muster Roll
Absent
Sick and with Regt. Now non-comissioned officers are entitled to pay for use and risk of horse and horse equipment.
________________________________________________________

September-October 1863
Corp. F.M. Eakin
Co.D, 3rd Regt. Ill. Cav.
Company Muster Roll
Present
Entitled to pay for use of and risk to horse to Oct. 14, 1863
__________________________________________________________

November-December 1863
Corp. F.M. Eakin
Co.D, 3rd Regt. Ill. Cav.
Present
Not entitled to horse pay for 17 days.
___________________________________________________________

January-February 1864
Sgt. F.M. Eakin
Co.D, 3rd Regt. Ill. Cav.
Company Muster Roll
Present
Promoted to Sgt. from Corpl. On Feb. 8, 1864. Entitled to pay for use of horse and horse equipment.
________________________________________________________________

December 31, 1863-April 30, 1864
Sgt. F.M. Eakin
Co.D, 3rd Regt. Ill. Cav.
Present
Promoted to Sgt. from Corpl. On Feb8/64. Entitled to pay for horse and equipment.
(apparently a duplicate filing)
__________________________________________________________________

December 31, 1863-June 30, 1864
Sgt. F.M. Eakin
Co.D, 3rd Regt. Ill. Cav.
Company Muster Roll
Present
Due Govt. $0.46 for Ordinance.
Promoted to Sgt. from Corpl. On Feb.8, 1864. Entitled to pay for use of and risk to horse
and equipment since last paid.
___________________________________________________________________
(apparently he either lost something very small, or more likely was charged for new
stripes to put on his uniform after promotion)
______________________________________________________________

His company was engaged in Cavalry operations in Mo. and Ark. It appears that they were involved in a number of major skirmishes and took some casualties. Part of the Reg't was used in the early days of the Vicksburg campaign but not Sgt. Eakin's Company. He was in one interesting fight where the two Armies, Union and Confederate were on opposite sides of a river and due to the size of the river could not cross. So, both Armies charged up and down the river firing across the water at each other. On another occasion they were involved in a Reg't size charge on open ground against a similar sized Confed. Cavalry outfit. The report said that they faired rather well having no killed and only a few wounded.

Also, of interest is a notation of this Reg't. being issued repeating rifles. A letter was written by Capt. McLean about these rifles. It stated that they were of poor quality and had caused injury to the men firing them. It appears that Capt. McLean must have had some money. He stated, that at least on a temporary basis, he had secured other arms for his men, "at personal expense", due to the problems with the above rifles.

Other historical documents read by this researcher confirm that some of the "Spenser Repeaters" were built by companies other than the original manufacturer and were of poor quality. The Spenser was a VERY controversial rifle and not just because of quality and prejudice. It was thought by one source that if a man had a rifle that loaded and fired quickly he would be encouraged to aim quickly thereby contributing to poor marksmanship.

The one BIG advantage to the Spenser was that the soldier did not have to stand up to reload. The muzzle loaded rifled musket/carbine required the soldier to stand up in order to get the powder and ball down the barrel causing him to be exposed to enemy fire. The Spenser had the advantage that the soldier could fire from cover (a protected place) without having to expose himself to enemy fire.

Pension, Service Record and Cause of Death Researched by:
William C. Lathan, Jr.

Source: National Archives, Compendium of the War Of The Rebellion, Soldiers War Records and the Pension File for Francis Marion Eakin, all on file in NARA in Washington, DC. Researched by William C. Lathan, Jr.