The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

May 26, 2013

County has five Medal of Honor recipients

DANVILLE — This year’s Memorial Day observance coincides with the 150th anniversary of the sinking of the USS Cincinnati in the Mississippi River. While serving on that ironclad, Navy Seaman Martin McHugh (McCue) saved his crewmates’ lives — and those heroic actions brought him to the attention of President Lincoln and the U.S. Congress.

The Danville man was awarded the Medal of Honor for his valor exhibited that day during the siege of Vicksburg. After more than 100 years in an unmarked grave, McHugh received a special Medal of Honor military stone and plaque, which were dedicated last spring at Resurrection Cemetery.

McHugh is one of five Medal of Honor recipients buried in Vermilion County. Six others have ties to the county, but are buried elsewhere. Most communities the size of Danville and Vermilion County have far fewer recipients of the nation’s highest military award.

Other Medal of Honor recipients include Lt. Morton Read of the 8th New York Cavalry, who is buried in Section 10 at the Danville National Cemetery.

Colonel and Brevetted Gen. John Charles Black of the 37th Illinois Infantry is interred at Spring Hill Cemetery’s Block 12. Also at Spring Hill, Kenneth Bailey — one of the most well-known of all the U.S. Marines from World War II — is buried in Block 16.

Woodlawn Cemetery at Indianola is the final resting place of Lt. Col. Ernest Williams, also a U.S. Marine.

Medal of Honor recipients associated with Vermilion County, but not buried here, are: Capt. William Black of the 37th Illinois Infantry, Pvt. Harry Finkenbiner of the 107th Ohio Infantry, Sgt. William Holmes of the 3rd Indiana Cavalry, Sgt. Joseph Knight of the 6th U.S. Cavalry, Major Carlos Ogden of the U.S. Army, and Sgt. Benjamin Schenck of the 116th Illinois Infantry.

The Medal of Honor is the United States’ highest military honor, awarded for personal acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty. The medal is awarded by the president in the name of Congress to U.S. military personnel.

Holiday’s history

Decorating the graves of fallen soldiers is an ancient custom, and has taken place in America on an individual basis since the birth of the country. But the first official nationwide observance was in May 1868, following various springtime “Decoration Days” that had started during the Civil War.

Organizations and individuals had come together to honor the war dead in the North and South. There are numerous claims on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line as to where the first Decoration Day was held.

Starting in 1866, a Confederate Memorial Day was being observed across the South. Two years later, John A. Logan of Illinois — namesake of Danville’s Logan Avenue — who had served as a general in the Civil War and also in the U.S. Congress, was the commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, a Union veterans group. He issued a proclamation that all the individual observances across the country should be merged into one observance and held each year on the same date.

In 1968, Memorial Day became one of the uniform Monday holidays, moving from its previous May 30 designation.

Text Only
Local News
  • NWS-CN 07-20 Foster mug County clerk on hunt for general election judges DANVILLE — The Vermilion County Clerk’s office is looking for a few good men and women for this year’s general election.On Thursday, Vermilion County Board members certified the county’s first group of election judges for the November general electio

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS-CN 07-29 Talking photo Report: Medicare looking better WASHINGTON — Medicare’s financial future is looking brighter despite a growing wave of baby boomers reaching retirement.Getting relief from a slowdown in health care spending, the program’s giant hospital trust fund won’t be exhausted until 2030, the

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police Reports Incidents reported to police include:DanvilleFriday:Battery and obstructing an officer in the 1600 block of East English Street.Burglary at The Juke, 1214 E. Main St.Saturday:Theft in the 1500 block of Oak Street.Vehicle burglary in the 100 block of

    July 29, 2014

  • Two hurt in weekend shootings in Danville DANVILLE — Two victims are listed in good condition following a pair of weekend shooting incidents in Danville.Danville Director of Public Safety Larry Thomason confirmed the shootings, which took place around 8:15 p.m. Friday and just before 5 a.m.

    July 29, 2014

  • Fire Calls Firefighters responded to the following calls:Saturday, 10:08-10:23 a.m. — A medical call in the 200 block of Delaware Avenue.Saturday, 10:47-10:54 a.m. — Assist Medix in the first block of East Harrison Street.Saturday, 11:37-11:49 a.m. — A medical

    July 29, 2014

  • Library sets program for Farmers' Market

    July 28, 2014

  • Reception celebrates truck

    July 28, 2014

  • Police, Fire Reports

    July 28, 2014

  • Artists can sell artwork

    July 27, 2014

  • Children’s show auditions set

    July 27, 2014

Spring 2014 Photos

Buy these photos and more via Smugmug

AP Video
Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage
NDN Video
'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years
Must Read