Major General Richard James Oglesby (USA) Richard James Oglesby was born in Floydsburg, Oldham County, Kentucky on 25 July 1824. He was orphaned and moved to live with his uncle in Decatur, Illinois, in 1832, where he later worked as a farmhand, ropemaker, and carpenter. He enlisted as a first lieutenant in Company C, 4th Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment when the Mexican-American War broke out. He fought at Veracruz and Cerro Gordo “where his regiment almost captured Mexican President General Santa Anna, but they had to settle for his cork leg, carriage and $20,000 in gold.” He might have participated in what may have been the first baseball game ever played outside the U.S., at the end of April 1847, a few days after the Battle of Cerro Gordo, “with the wooden leg captured from General Santa Anna”. He studied at Louisville Law School but traveled to California for the gold rush in 1849. After two years traveling in Europe, he returned to Illinois, joined the Republican Party at its formation, ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Congress in 1858, and was elected to the Illinois Senate in 1860. Oglesby was appointed colonel of the 8th Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment on 25 April 1861, and was soon given command of the 1st Brigade, 1st Division, District of Cairo, Department of Missouri, under Ulysses S. Grant. He was well-liked by his troops and known as “Uncle Dick”. He fought at Belmont, Fort Henry, and Fort Donelson. He was promoted to brigadier general on 21 March 1862. He commanded the 2nd Brigade, 2nd Division, Army of the Tennessee, during the Siege of Corinth. He was severely wounded in his chest and back at the Battle of Corinth in October 1862. Oglesby was promoted to major general on 29 November. He commanded the Left Wing of the XVI Corps, Army of the Tennessee, in western Tennessee and northern Mississippi from April to July 1863. He resigned his commission on 26 May 1864, to run for governor. He was present at the Petersen House when President Abraham Lincoln died on 15 April 1865. Oglesby was elected by a large majority and served as the Governor of Illinois from 1865 to 1869. He advocated improving the quality of care of the mentally ill and for other groups of disabled citizens. He signed legislation expanding the State Hospital system from one campus to three. He then practiced law until 1872, when he agreed to a scheme in which he ran again for governor, but turned the office over to the lieutenant governor immediately after inauguration in return for a seat in the U.S. Senate. He served as senator from 1873 to 1879. In 1884, he was reelected governor for a third time, becoming the first man in Illinois history to serve three times as governor. At the end of his third term, he tried unsuccessfully to be reelected to his Senate seat. He spent his remaining years in retirement and died at his “Oglehurst” estate in Elkhart, Illinois on 24 April 1899.