Jacob Landis Berry
Co. B, 98th Illnois Infantry (Wilder’s Lightning Brigade)
Co. B, 61st Illinois Infantry
Great-grandfather of the late Kirby R. Morgan
On February 9, 1864 Jacob Berry enlisted as a Private in the Union Army, and was mustered into Company B, 98th Illinois Infantry. This was part of Col. John T. Wilder’s famous “Lightning Brigade” of Mounted Infantry, armed with the Spencer Repeating Rifle. On May 23, 1864, the regiment crossed the Etowah River and moved towards Van Wert. Within two miles of Dallas it met the enemy on the 25th and moved toward Powder Springs. On May 28 it took position on McPherson’s right, dismounted and repulsed a charge of the enemy, and on the 29th moved to Burnt Hickory. At Noonday Creek it skirmished with the enemy, then marched through Marietta and skirmished heavily, and on July 5 moved toward Rosewell factory, drove the enemy’s pickets from Chattahoochee and took possession of the factory on the 9th. In April 1865, the regiment participated in the capture of Selma, Alabama. The regiment was mustered out June 27, 1865, but Private Berry’s enlistment not being up, he was transferred into Company B, 61st Illinois Infantry. This regiment had recently sufferred 50% casualties and Private Berry and other transfers returned the regiment to nearly full strength. However, the regiment did not participate in any further engagements and Private Berry was mustered out on September 8, 1865 at Nashville, Tennessee.
After the war, Jacob Berry became a minister of the United Brethern Church and settled in Benton County, Oregon. He was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) and started the first commerical strawberry farm at Hood River.
He died at Philomath, Benton County, Oregon on August 15, 1885 and was buried at Mount Union/Newton Cemetery in Corvallis, where his grave is decorated with a GAR flag holder.
All of Jacob’s brothers served in the Union Army, one of whom was killed at Vicksburg, Mississippi.