June 1, 2014

Achilles Coffey, 1806-1883

In previous blogs I have pondered whether the man some call Archelaus or Archelus Coffey was really named Achilles.

Achilles Coffey
In his book, A brief history of the Regular Baptists, principally of Southern Illinois (1877), the author is described as Elder A Coffey.  However, the title page names the author as Achilles Coffey and includes a drawing taken from a previously published photo of the man I thought was named Archelaus.  The portrait is signed "Yours Truly Achilles Coffey."

Achilles was born in Wayne Co., KY on Jul 30, 1806 to James M. and Frances Lane Coffey.  The dedication to the history book by Richard Fulkerson briefly describes the family's many moves and how Achilles had to struggle to obtain a modest education.

Achilles married Jennie Dean in Hamilton Co., IL and, in 1825 joined up with Hampton's Co., 1st Regiment, 1st Brigade to fight in the Black Hawk Indian War.  He became commanding officer of the 1st Regiment, 1st Brigade of the Illinois Mounter Volunteers.  He was furloughed in Aug., 1832 after losing his horse, saddle, bridle and blanket and mustered out later that year.  It took nearly 20 years but, he eventually received 40 acres of land for his service and, in 1855 he received another 120 acres.

Jennie died in 1876 in Saline Co., IL and was buried at Bethel Creek Church in Galatia, Saline Co., IL. Achilles survived until 1883 and was also buried at Bethel Creek.  Many of their 13 children are also buried there.


  Jack

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