McCrillis, Lafayette

Born: 1815-06-11 New Hampshire

Died: 1876-11-30 Washington, DC

Lafayette McCrillis was a soldier, lawyer, state legislator, and U.S. Army officer. In May 1837, McCrillis married Mary E. Mason, with whom he had at least five children. Upon the commencement of the Mexican War, McCrillis volunteered for military service, enlisting in June 1846 as a private in Company D of the Fourth Regiment of Illinois Volunteers. Disability forced his discharge from service in October 1846. In 1850, McCrillis was practicing law in Grafton, Illinois, and owned real property valued at $2,000. In 1854, McCrillis won election, as a Democrat, to the Illinois House of Representatives, representing Jersey and Calhoun counties in that body from January to February 1855. Between 1854 and 1858, he acquired approximately 370 acres of public land near Deer Plain in Calhoun County. McCrillis moved his family to Sangamon County, Illinois, where he was practicing law in 1860. Upon the commencement of the Civil War, McCrillis again volunteered for military service, becoming lieutenant colonel of the Third Illinois Calvary Regiment in August 1861. In July 1862, McCrillis received promotion to colonel, and he served with the Army of the Tennessee until he mustered out in September 1864. The War Department breveted him brigadier general for gallant and meritorious conduct in the field.

Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, Greene County, 4 May 1837, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; Isaac H. Elliott, Record of the Services of Illinois Soldiers in the Black Hawk War, 1831-32, and in the Mexican War, 1846-8 (Springfield, IL: H. W. Rokker, 1882), 292; History of Greene and Jersey Counties, Illinois (Springfield, IL: Continental Historical 1885), 106; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Grafton, Jersey County, IL, 13; John Clayton, comp., The Illinois Fact Book and Historical Almanac, 1673-1968 (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1970), 220; List of Members of the Illinois Legislature in 1855; Illinois Daily Journal (Springfield), 2 January 1855, 2:3; Illinois Public Domain Land Tract Sales, Calhoun County, SWP:24, 25, 26, 819:28, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Sangamon County, IL, 15; John H. Eicher and David J. Eicher, Civil War High Commands (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2001), 376; Illinois Daily State Journal (Springfield), 4 December 1876, 4:2; Gravestone, Oak Ridge Cemetery, Springfield, IL.