From the Phrenological Journal and Science of Health, September 1890.
One of many hundreds of notable Civil War figures interred at Arlington National Cemetery, Brigadier General Green Berry Raum also left a substantial mark in American politics, being a one term U.S. Representative from Illinois, a Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service and a U.S. Commissioner of Pensions. In addition to military service and politics Raum also added the title of author to his resume, writing several works relating to the history of the Republican Party, the Civil War, and his home state of Illinois.
Born on December 3, 1829 in Golconda, Illinois, Green Berry Raum was the son of John and Juliet Field Raum. A prominent figure in Pope County, Illinois, John Raum had been a member of the Illinois state senate and served as county clerk for 34 years. Receiving his unusual first and middle names in honor of his maternal grandfather Green Berry Field, Green Berry Raum attended schools local to Pope County and also underwent private tutoring. During his youth he worked as a clerk in his father's law office as well as a general store. Deciding to follow in his father's stead, Raum began reading law in the early 1850s, studying under local Judge Wesley Sloan. After a period of study Raum was admitted to the Illinois bar in 1853 and for a time resided in Kansas, a stay that proved to be short lived.
Green B. Raum had married in Illinois in October 1851 to Maria Field (1831-1915). The couple's near sixty year union would see the births of eight children, including Effie (1854-1938), Maud (1859-1928), Green Berry (1863-1914), Maria (1867-1951) and Frances (1871-1962).
Following his return to Illinois Green B. Raum established his law practice at Harrisburg, and over the next few years saw his practice expand "into several counties". A Democrat prior to the Civil War, Raum was a firm booster for Gen. John A. Logan in the latter's first run for Congress and also chaired the nominating convention that year. Raum would also accept the post of reading clerk for the Illinois House of Representatives, serving during the 1859 session. In the year following Raum was a delegate to the Illinois Democratic State Convention and in that year's presidential election was an alternate delegate to the Democratic National Convention in Baltimore that nominated Stephen Douglas for the presidency.
At the dawn on the Civil War Raum had a change of political faith and took to the stump, speaking to a crowd in Metropolis, Illinois, where he urged steadfast support of the Union and newly elected President Lincoln. After a number of other speaking appearances booming the Union war effort Raum aided in organizing the 46th Reg. Illinois Volunteer Infantry, in which he was commissioned as Major. Following his promotion to Lieutenant Colonel and Colonel, Raum participated in the siege and Battle of Corinth and also served under the command of Ulysses Grant during the capture of Vicksburg in July 1863. Raum continued service under General William Tecumseh Sherman in the Fifteenth Army Corps and at the Battle of Missionary Ridge in November 1863 was wounded in the left thigh.
Following medical attention at a field hospital Raum spent the next few months recuperating at his home in Illinois. By February 1864 his health had improved sufficiently enough to return to the battlefield, and Raum soon joined General Sherman on the latter's March to the Sea. Raum would be brevetted Brigadier General in 1864 and was present at the capture of Savannah. Late in his war service Raum was stationed in the Shenandoah Valley, commanding an infantry division under Gen. Winfield S. Hancock.
Green Berry Raum and his staff.
Green Berry Raum resigned from service in May 1865 and returned to practicing law after his return home. Having switched political allegiance to the Republican Party, Raum launched a campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives in 1866 and in November of that year defeated Democratic nominee William J. Allen by a vote of 13, 459 to 12, 890.
Serving during the 1867-69 congressional term, Raum sat on the house committees on Military Affairs and Mileage. In November 1868 he narrowly lost his reelection bid, being defeated by Republican John M. Crebs by only 500 votes. Raum would attempt two further runs for a congressional seat in 1872 and 1874 but was unsuccessful. Despite these losses, Raum continued to be a standout figure in Illinois Republican circles, serving as the President of the Illinois Republican Conventions of 1866 and 1880, and in 1876 was the convention's temporary chairman. He would also serve as part of the Illinois delegation to the Republican National Conventions of 1876 and 1880 and at the latter convention was one of 306 delegates who lobbied hard for a third term for ex-President Grant.
Portrait courtesy of the Library of Congress.
In addition to prominence in Illinois politics, Raum's name gained further distinction in 1876 when President Grant (remembering Raum's service to him in the Civil War) put forth his name for U.S. Commissioner of Internal Revenue. Raum accepted the position, and during his seven years in office "collected $850,000,000 and disbursed $30,000,000 without loss." Raum's stewardship of the IRS also saw him utilize new methods in curbing fraud and securing fair tax collection, and
"Brought into play his army experience, by inaugurating a system of inspection and reports by competent revenue agents as to the entire revenue force of the country. In regard to all officers having financial responsibility, he established a system of periodic evaluation and versification of their accounts. All possibility or partiality or collusion in these reports was avoided by the continuous rotation of the inspecting officers."Raum retired from the post of commissioner in 1883 and returned to practicing law. During his time away from politics he authored the "Existing Conflict Between the Republican Government and the Southern Oligarchy" in 1884 and was called to public service one again in 1889, accepting the appointment of U.S. Commissioner of Pensions under President Benjamin Harrison. Raum's term in office continued through the duration of that administration, and he was remarked as being
"Desirous of taking up and adjudicating at once pending claims found complete in order to place old claimants on the rolls, who, once there, will have something to keep the wolf from the door, and increases and new claims must take a back seat, and cannot outrank those in waiting for years."After leaving that post in 1893 Green B. Raum returned to Illinois and would reside in Chicago. His twilight years saw him author a number of articles featured in periodicals of the time, including a history of the Atlanta campaign featured in the Washington National Tribune. Raum would author one further book, the "History of Illinois Republicanism" published in 1900. His final months were marred by ill health and on December 18, 1909 he died at his home in Chicago. Raum was survived by his wife of 56 years and his remains were later brought to Washington for internment at Arlington National Cemetery. Maria Field Raum was also interred here following her death in 1915.
On May 9, 2017 I was able to photograph Green Berry Raum's gravesite at Arlington (along with several others), and those photos are featured below.
Portrait from the History of Illinois Republicanism, 1900.
From the History of Kentucky: From Its Earliest Discovery and Settlement, 1892.
Kentucky's Green Berry Swango is another man endowed with the names "Green Berry". A former doorkeeper of the Kentucky House of Representatives, Swango was elected as County Judge of Wolfe County, Kentucky and served two terms in office. He later was elected as a delegate to the Kentucky State Constitutional Convention of 1890 and in the year following began service as the Register of the Land Office of Kentucky.
Born on February 8, 1846 near Hazel Green, Kentucky, Green Berry Swango was the son of Stephen and Caroline (Trimble) Swango. His education occurred in schools local to the area of his birth and at age fifteen enlisted in the Confederate Army, serving amongst the ranks of the Fifth Kentucky Infantry. The year 1862 saw Swango serving with Co. E of the Tenth Kentucky Cavalry, and saw action under Gen. John Hunt Morgan. In 1864 Swango was captured while escorting his captain's body home for burial, but later made a daring escape on horseback, snatching a flag from a Union color bearer and dodging a hail of bullets from Federal troops.
Soon after his escape Swango received a head wound at Cynthiana, Kentucky, but survived his injuries. He would rejoin his fellow soldiers in Virginia and served until the conclusion of the hostilities. Swango married in August 1869 to Eliza Jane Young (1846-1925). The couple's fifty-six year union saw the births of three children, James Hugh (1870-1937), Charles Stephen (1871-1901) and John Morton.
After return from military service Swango followed farming and mercantile pursuits and in 1870 was elected to his first political office, that of school commissioner for Wolfe County. From 1877-78 he was doorkeeper of the Kentucky House of Representatives and in 1882 won election to his first term as Judge of Wolfe County, Kentucky. Swango was returned to the bench for another four year term in 1886 and in 1890 was one of Wolfe County's delegates to the Kentucky State Constitutional Convention.
In 1891 Green B. Swango became the Democratic candidate for state register of the Kentucky Land Office. He would win that election and in the mid 1890s won a second term in office. Swango died in Montgomery County, Kentucky on March 15, 1926, one month after his 80th birthday. His wife Eliza had predeceased him the year prior to his death and both were interred at the Macpelah Cemetery in Mount Sterling, Kentucky.