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William A. Montgomery

15th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry
The Scandinavian Regiment

Database Record Change Request

Name at Enlist

William A. Montgomery

Birth Name

William A. Montgomery


21 Jun 1838 – 21 Aug 1895

Birth Place

Lancaster, PA

Birth Country


Resident of Muster-In

Beloit, Rock County, WI

Company at Enlistment


Rank at Enlistment

Second Lieutenant

Muster Date

14 Dec 1861

Cause of Death

Coronary artery rupture

Death Location

Chicago, Cook County, IL

Burial Location

Oakwood Cemetery, Beloit, Rock County, WI


Mary Catherine Reigart

Mother Lived

18 Feb 1893 – 8 Mar 1848


John R. Montgomery

Father Lived

1801- 3 Feb 1854


Ellen S. Smith

Spouse Lived

– 17 Mar 1866

Married On

17 Apr 1865

Marriage Location

Cook Co, IL

2nd Spouse

Julia M. Estey

2nd Spouse Lived

7 Jul 1846- 12 Dec 1898

2nd Marriage Date

7 Oct 1875

2nd Marriage Location

Jo Daviess County, IL

William A. Montgomery was born into a prominent family in Lancaster, PA, on June 21, 1838. His grandfather, William Montgomery (1762- Jan. 1, 1836), served in the Revolutionary War as a teenager, and then became a lawyer, working in Lancaster. He had a home built in Lancaster in 1804 that still exists called the Montgomery House. He married Fidelia Rogerson, and they had 6 children, including a son named John R. Montgomery. Not much is known about John, but he married Mary Catherine Reigart and also worked as a lawyer in Lancaster. He likely lived 1801-1854. It is also said that John was friends with James Buchanan, who worked in Lancaster, PA, before becoming president. John and Mary had at least 5 children: Mary (1826), Letitia (1830), Margaret (1834), Fidelia (1836), and William (1838). His mother having died and his father institutionalized, William and his siblings were living with Letitia and her husband, Amos Reigart in Lancaster in 1850. William and other members of his family moved to Rock County, WI, in 1856.

William followed his in father and grandfather’s steps to become a lawyer. He first attended Washington College in PA, then graduated from Beloit College in 1857, and went to law school. In 1860, he passed the Wisconsin Bar. At this time, he and his siblings lived in Turtle, Rock County, WI, with Letitia and her husband.

After the war began, William A. Montgomery joined the WI 15th Infantry, Company G. The men of the company called themselves the “Rock River Rangers.”

The army listed Montgomery as living in Beloit, Rock County, WI, born in the United States, age 23, and unmarried. He enlisted for three years on September 18, 1861, at Beloit and mustered at Madison on December 14, 1861. He was commissioned Second Lieutenant (Løytnant) of Company G on January 14, 1862, at Chattanooga, TN, with rank from December 14, 1861. He was then promoted to First Lieutenant on November 8, 1862 ,with rank from October 1, 1862. Montgomery was also acting post adjutant, provost marshall and company commander. He became Captain (Kaptein) on April 4, 1863, with rank from February 23, 1863.

On April 3, 1863, he mustered out of Company G in order to accept captain’s commission with WI 15th Infantry Company I. He took command the next day and served as the district provost marshal in 1863. He was also on recruiting duty in 1863. He mustered out with Company I at Chattanooga, TN, on February 10, 1865.

Montgomery married Ellen Smith on April 17, 1865, in Cook County, IL. They had a son, John Rogerson, and Ellen died the next year. William passed the Illinois Bar in 1867 and married Julia M. Estey in Jo Daviess County, IL, on October 7, 1875. They did not have any children. William practiced law for several law firms, including Wilson, Martin & Montgomery; Montgomery & Waterman; and Montgomery & Smith. After his son, John, became a lawyer, they opened a practice together. William was a member of the University Club, the Chicago Literary Club, and the Illinois Commandery of Loyal Legion. According to one source, “He is well versed in all the subtleties of his profession and enjoys a wide reputation for honesty and uprightness.”

Montgomery died on August 21, 1895, in Chicago of a coronary artery rupture. Julia died on December 12, 1898. Both are buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Beloit, Rock County, WI.


Sources: Series 1200: Records of Civil War Regiments, 1861-1900, Wisconsin Adjutant General’s Office, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, box 76-9, 11; Regimental Muster and Descriptive Rolls, 1861-1865, Wisconsin Adjutant General’s Office, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, vol. 20, pp. 98, 122; Det Femtende Regiment, Wisconsin Frivillige [The Fifteenth Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteers], Ole A. Buslett, 1894, Decorah, IA, p. 581 (photo); Lars Gjertveit, Bodo, Norway; Cook County, Illinois, Deaths Index, FHL Film #1033020;; Illinois, Marriage Index; 1850 Census, Roll: M432_788, Page: 370B, Image: 744; 1860 Census, Roll: M653_1431, Page: 691, Image: 123, Family History Library Film: 805431; The Chicago Legal News: A Journal of Legal Intelligence, Vol. 27 (Chicago: 1895), p. 444; The Biographical Dictionary and Portrait Gallery, Part 2 (Chicago, 1893), p. 589; City of Lancaster website:; Rock County, Wisconsin, Vol. 2, ed. By William Fiske Brown, 1908, Chicago, p. 965; additional family information provided by W. Walters.