My Union Ancestor
Battery D, 1st Illinois Light Artillery
Jacob Sloop was born on March 9, 1834 at Haselbach, Canton Bern, Switzerland, one of ten children of Johannes and Christina (Gerber) Schluep. When he was about thirteen years old, he immigrated to America with his parents aboard the ship Marianna, sailing from Le Havre, France and landing at New York Harbor on November 6, 1847. For a time they remained in New York where his father worked as a carpenter. In the 1850 census of Herkimer County, New York, Jacob, at age seventeen, was enumerated with his parents, and his occupation was listed as "boating". Sometime in the 1850's the family migrated as far west as Illinois.
On September 15, 1861 at Ramsey, Fayette County, Illinois, Jacob Sloop enlisted as artificer/blacksmith in Battery D, 1st Illinois Light Artillery for a three year term. He was described as a twenty-seven year old blacksmith, height five feet, two and a half inches, with fair complexion, blue-grey eyes, and brown hair.
Battery D was organized at Cairo, Illinois on September 2, 1861 and on September 18th they moved to Fort Holt, Kentucky. They were engaged in the siege of Fort Donelson, Tennessee on February 15, 1862, where two of the guns were disabled.
On April 6-7, 1862, the battery took part in the Battle of Shiloh (also called Pittsburg Landing) in Tennessee. Jacob Sloop, while "Number 5" on a gun in front of a rebel battery, was wounded in the left shoulder by a fragment of a shell fired by the enemy.
Jacob Sloop was honorably discharged due to disability on July 22, 1862 at Jackson, Tennessee, the discharge papers having been approved by Brig. Gen. John A. Logan. Suprisingly, his discharge was not granted for a physical disability, but rather for a mental disability, as follows:
"Said soldier has during the past two months been labouring under a mental deraingement, to such an extent as to totally disqualify him for the duties of a soldier. About half of the time his conversation is irrelevant and disconnected. He has wondered from camp and remained all night. Those of our company who have known him for years say he has been subject to such turns of insanity. Heretofore, in our company, he has been a faithful battery blacksmith, a patriotic man and a brave soldier on the field of battle."
The examining surgeon made these additional comments:
"Partial insanity as above stated, and advise that he be discharged from the service because his malidy is of such nature and character as to make his return to friends preferable to any care of the Government in such cases provided."
Jacob must have recovered somewhat from his mental disabilities for on February 16, 1865 he was again mustered into the service of the U.S. Army at Springfield, Illinois, this time as a Private in Company H, 7th Illinois Cavalry for a term of one year.
After the surrender of the Confederate armies, this regiment remained on guard duty in the south, the greater part of the time at Decatur, Alabama, until October 20, 1865, when it marched to Nashville and was mustered out. It received its final pay and discharge November 17 at Camp Butler.
Jacob Sloop was present with the company from his enlistment until July 13, 1865 when he was detached as blacksmith at Brigade Headquarters.
Private Sloop was mustered out with the rest of his company on November 4, 1865 at Nashville, Tennessee.
The pension file of Jacob Sloop also mentions a second injury received in the line of duty, that of "injury to left side, hip, and thigh" due to the mule upon which he was mounted throwing him. He was alone at the time of the incident, no one else being closer than four miles. The date and location of this latter incident was not stated.
After the war, Jacob continued to reside at Ramsey, Illinois for about a year when he moved to Pana, Illinois. Here he remained until 1872 when to moved to McPherson County, Kansas with his brothers John, Andrew, and Samuel Sloop, also a Union veteran.
He continued to work as a blacksmith after the war, but suffered from severe weakness in his left side and shoulder.
Jacob Sloop was a member of J. B. Steadman Post No. 456, G.A.R. He died unmarried on September 17, 1913.
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