James Shields is 'General of the Month' at Old State Capitol
Send a link to a friend
[June 09, 2012]
-- Brigadier Gen. James Shields, famous for fighting against
"Stonewall" Jackson in the Shenandoah Valley, is the "General of the
Month" for June at the Old State Capitol State Historic Site in
Shields, a native of Ireland, was prominent in Illinois politics and
served as a state representative, auditor and associate justice on
the Illinois Supreme Court. He also served as a U.S. senator from
three states, the only person in United States history with that
distinction. Shields nearly fought a duel with Abraham Lincoln in
1842 over an inflammatory letter Lincoln published in an Illinois
newspaper. In the Civil War, Shields faced off against Gen. Thomas
"Stonewall" Jackson in the Shenandoah Valley, and his forces
inflicted the only defeat suffered by the famous Confederate general
during the war. However, Shields' poor performance during the rest
of the campaign led him to resign his commission and return to
The "General of the Month" exhibit is part of the Old State
Capitol's ongoing commemoration of the Civil War 150th anniversary.
Artifacts from Illinois' Civil War generals from the well-known to
the obscure are included, with a different general featured each
month. Some of the exhibit's well-known Civil War generals from
Illinois are Ulysses S. Grant, John A. Logan and John A. McClernand,
but lesser-known individuals such as Thomas E.G. Ransom, William
Gamble and Lewis Baldwin Parsons will also be featured.
During the 1840s and 1850s, the Old State Capitol was the scene
of debate over issues that led the nation to war in 1861. During the
Civil War, the Statehouse, as the seat of government, was the center
of the state's efforts at wartime mobilization. The Capitol also
provided space for local events aiding the needs of local residents
as well as soldier relief efforts.
[to top of second column]
Old State Capitol State Historic Site, administered by the
Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
seven days per week. The "General of the Month" exhibit is located
near the adjutant general's office in the rotunda.
[Text from file received from
the Illinois Historic