Service: Civil War, Recruit, 87th Regiment, Company E
William was born 1846 to 1848 in Fulton county Indiana, the son of Andrew Eslinger Dukes and Mary Troutman.
He claimed to be eighteen years of age February 23, 1864 when he enlisted into Company E 87th Indiana Volunteer Infantry, following his father Andrew and uncle James Dukes footsteps, as well as his maternal uncles James H., John Greenup, and Darius Troutman.According to his enlistment he was 5ft 7in tall, with grey eyes and black hair. He enlisted from Pleasant Grove (Kewanna), and by March 8, 1864 was leaving Indianapolis to join the regiment.
On or about May 24, 1864 while on duty at Snake Gap, Georgia, William was disabled by diarrhea and taken to the hospitol at Lookout Mountain, Georgia. Chronic diarrhea as they called it, lasted until June 28, 1864. He was ordered for medical examination July 7, 1864 resulting in “no diagnosis” and returned to duty. December 28, 1864 William was again stricken with diarrhea and this time accompanied with fever, and did not return to duty until February 4, 1865. While in the hospitol the 87th reported William as asbent without leave Jan/Feb 1865.
April 22, 1865 William came down with tonsilitis and was transferred from Lookout Mountain, Georgia to the hospitol in Louisville, Kentucky. From the hospitol in Louisville he was able to secure a thirty day convalescent furlough to return to his home in Fulton county, Indiana.During this time he is listed “in charge of Sgt. Bragdon Co. E 17th Regt. V.R.C.”. At the expiration of his furlough, he reported to the goverment hospitol in Indianapolis and from there was sent to the soldiers home. He then made application to General Carrington for transportation to join his regiment. Transportation was granted but was cutoff at Chattanooga, Tennessee. He was then put on detail service as a guard on the train from Chattanooga to Knoxville. He fell from the train and claimed injury to both shoulders “without any fault or improper conduct on his part and said injury not due to any vicious habits”. William worked (or walked) through his injury.
June 1865 he was transferred to Company E 42nd Regiment Indiana Volunterr Infantry and honarably discharged in Indianapolis August 1865.
William E. Dukes married Francis Anne Burns of Missouri February 23, 1881 in the city of Decatur, Macon county, Illinois by S.W. Needermeyer. Francis Burns of unknown parts Missouri, was born June 10, 1861.
September 6, 1890 William made application for pension. On this application, he says since leaving service has resided in Indiana, California, and currently the state of Illinois. Had never recieved or applied for pension. Was previously married to Mary J. Robinson in Iowa, and Mary died January 22, 1869. He was then married to Adelia Philbert of Logansport, Indiana, which ended in divorce proceedings. At this time was 43 years old and resident of Easton, Mason county, Illinois. It seems that he tried very hard to obtain pension, starting September 6, 1890 and not receiving any payment until August 11, 1896. Pension was ten dollars per month, paid quarterly. Several affidavit filed by William’s friends and neighbors claim that he suffered severe pain or rheumatism to the shoulders and was only able to do 1/4 the work of an able bodied man with said disability increasing each year.
William E. Dukes died March 3, 1902 near Easton, Mason county Illinois. Francis’ Declaration for Widow’s Pension April 1902 lists three children.
Andrew Edward Dukes born July 20, 1886.
Mary E. Dukes born November 9, 1887.
Sadie B. Dukes born November 8, 1890. Sadie said to be “ mentally and physically helpless”. Family tradition is that Sadie may have been struck by lightening as a young girl.
Francis Dukes (Burns) married Joshua Griffith, June 1904, in Mason City, Illinois.
Brian L. Dukes, P.O.Box 427, Rock Falls, IL61071-0427
Source of information was William's Service Record and Pension File