Civil War Image

Winnetka’s Civil War Heroes

Appeared in the Gazette: Fall/Winter 2012

In the summer of 2011, former Winnetkan John Chimoures stopped by the WHS Museum with a simple question: “Why is there no Civil War star on the cenotaph?” Two Civil War soldiers’ names are called out every year on Memorial Day but are not listed on the cenotaph.

The cenotaph was created as a monument to the fallen of World War I.  After even greater losses were suffered in World War II, those names were added, and the tradition was continued for subsequent conflicts.  WHS contacted board member and Vietnam veteran Phil Hoza about the issue of the Civil War soldiers.  He then raised $815 in private donations to create a bronze star with the Civil War names on it. The star will be unveiled on Memorial Day, 2013.

The two soldiers are:

  • Charles Davis, who lived at 677 Willow with his parents Seth (a cooper) and Elizabeth. Records show that Davis enlisted at the beginning of the Civil War, one of three young men from the area to enlist.
  • George Willson was the only child of James Willson and his wife. George enlisted at the beginning of the war, but was struck with yellow fever and died in action. The Willson’s house was at the crest of the hill on Cherry, (near the tracks) but was moved later.

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