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Celebrating ‘The Unsung Hero of the Battle of Shiloh: A Tribute to General William L. Wallace’

Published: Wednesday, April 4, 2012 2:41 p.m. CDT

OTTAWA — The Ottawa Avenue Cemetery Association and the Reddick Mansion Association present a weekend of events honoring the life and death of General William H.L Wallace, one of LaSalle County’s greatest Civil War heroes. Several events have been planned on April 14 and 15 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Wallace’s death.

Born in Ohio in 1821, Will Wallace moved to Illinois with his family in 1834. Twelve years later while a lawyer in Ottawa, he enlisted in and was promoted to an officer in the Mexican War. In 1851, he married Martha “Ann” Dickey, the daughter of his law partner.

Wallace enlisted for the Northern Cause for the Civil War in 1861. General W. H. L. Wallace is credited for withstanding a Confederate onslaught during the Battle of Shiloh on April 6-7, 1862. He was shot through the head while he stood in the saddle to get a better view of the battlefield. Wallace died on April 10, 1862, from wounds he received during the battle. His wife, Ann, was with him during the last days of his life. Will and Ann Wallace, along with their adopted daughter, are buried in a private family cemetery on Ottawa’s north bluff.

Calendar of Events

• The 104th Illinois Infantry Regiment Re-enactors will encamp in Washington Square on the weekend and serve as honor guard for the Sunday dedication.

• Sign-in and tickets for events at the Reddick Mansion, 100 W. Lafayette St. Open at 9 a.m. on April 14.

April 14 events

• All-day silent auction of a print from a beautiful Wallace painting created by local artist Charles Funk who will announce the winner in the evening (Reddick Mansion).

• Reddick Mansion guided tours from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; $5 for adults, $2 for children.

• Washington Square guided tours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; $2 for adults, children free with adult.

• Documentary video of General Wallace’s final days and hours; showings at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.; $5 donation for adults, children free with adult.

• Bus tours to the gravesides of General Wallace and his family in the Dickey Cemetery from 1 to 4 p.m.; $10 adults, children free with adult.

• Masonic Temple, Christ Episcopal Church and the District Appellate Court are open to view Wallace related items from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at no charge.

• Civil War book signing by local authors from 4:30 to 9 p.m. (Reddick Mansion).

• Presentation on the life of W.H.L. Wallace at the Reddick Mansion by local historian and author David W. Mumper with reception to follow. Begins at 7 p.m.; $5 for adults, children free with adult.

April 15 events

• Ceremony dedicating ground for a future monument honoring General Wallace in the Ottawa Avenue Cemetery at 1 p.m.; public invited. Honor guard and rifle salute by Civil War re-enactors.

• Self-guided walking tour to view resting places of many notable Civil War people. Begins at 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the Ottawa Avenue Cemetery; $5 for adults, children free with adult.

Tickets for the events are available at the Reddick Mansion, 100 W. Lafayette St., Ottawa. All money raised will be used toward the cost of placing a 10-foot-tall monument honoring General Wallace in the Grand Army of the Republic section of the Ottawa Avenue Cemetery. Tax-exempt donations can be made to WHL Wallace Memorial Fund, c/o Ottawa Avenue Cemetery Association, Attn: Joe Ferrero, 1506 Ottawa Ave., Ottawa, IL 61350.

For more information, visit www.reddickmansion.org and www.ottawaavenuecemetery.com.

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