CAPT. RANKIN P. McPHEETERS. It is a grateful task to the biographer to tell the
story of the brave fightings and marches of the boys in blue who went forth to the call of the
President to raise again in triumph the stars and stripes which had been assailed by traitors. No
crisis in our country's history since the Revolutionary period had so stirred the hearts of the people
and so entered into the home life of every family as the events which are classed under the
head of the Civil War, and for at least two generations the history of that period will bear a peculiar
and personal value in the eyes of all who love their country.
Capt. McPheeters, whose record we shall be happy to give further on in this sketch, is the son
of the late Addison McPheeters, of whose history our readers will learn more in a biographical sketch
of A. W. McPheeters, of Sullivan, which appears in this volume. The mother of our subject, whose
maiden name was Julia Poague, bore four children, two of them being twins — our subject and A. W.
McPheeters, of Sullivan. These sons were born in what is now Scott County, Ill., July J, 1832, and
there passed the early years of their life up to the age of nine when the father removed with his family
to Fayette County, Ky., and there our subject grew to manhood and received thorough systematic
training as a farmer's boy. When he left Fayette County in the fall of 1852 he came to Moultrie
County and for three years pursued his education in Sullivan and Charleston, Ill.
The education which this young man had now attained he decided to at once put to practical service
in instructing others, and securing a position at the teacher's desk he taught for two years in
Moultrie County before entering upon what has been his life work — farming. He settled upon a
farm and devoted himself to that work continuously from that day to this, excepting the time
which he spent in the army.
Mr. McPheeters enlisted in July, 1862, in Company C, One Hundred and Twenty-sixth Illinois
Infantry, serving for three years, which term ended about the close of the war. It was as a private
that he enlisted, but in March, 1863, he received the commission of a First Lieutenant in his company
and the following July was promoted to the Captaincy of Company C, which official position he
held until the close of the war. He took part in the siege of Vicksburg and in the battles of Humboldt,
Tenn., and Clarendon, Ark. In July, 1864, Capt. McPheeters with his company was detailed
and assigned to the Eleventh Ohio Battery for two months, and shortly after he was given command
of that battery. He took part in the capture of Pine Bluff and Saline River, Ark.
Having passed through his entire term of service unharmed and with an honorable record the young
Captain gladly hailed the return home, and no doubt thoroughly enjoyed the "royal welcome" which
every loyal Northern heart desired to grant when "Johnny came marching home." Sullivan now became
his home again and he soon after engaged in farming in East Nelson Township, where he has
since resided and where he owns three hundred acres, upon which he has placed desirable improvements.
Capt. McPheeters was married in June. 1859, in Attica, Ind., to Ann M. Campbell, a native of that
place. They have a family of four living children and buried their eldest, Julia, when a little child.
Those who are living are: Jessie C. the wife of Melville B. Connell, a druggist of Attica, Ind.;
Susan F., Mary L. and Charles E. The parents of these children are active and earnest members of
the Presbyterian Church and they have brought up their offspring in the faith and practice of the
Christian religion. The office of Trustee of the church has long been filled by this gentleman.
Our subject has taken quite an active part in political matters and has a strong faith that the
Republican party embodies the true principles of political economy. He is prominently identified
with the Grand Army of the Republic at Sullivan, and in the Odd Fellows Lodge has filled every
office of trust and has been the Deputy and representative of his lodge in the Grand Lodge. The
pleasant home which he has provided for his family is delightfully situated and within its walls this
public-spirited gentleman and his excellent and capable companion have created an atmosphere of
true home life and harmony which has had a decided effect not only in the formation of the character
of their children but also upon the social life of the neighborhood.
Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, 1891 - p. 411/412
Transcription copyright 2003/2007, Moultrie County ILGenWeb/USGenWeb