Boats, trains and off to Quincy
As you will recall, Ulysses S. Grant had been named a colonel by Illi-nois Gov. Richard Yates and given the command of an unruly bunch of men known as the 21st Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regi-ment. Rather than travel by train from Springfield to Quincy, Grant chose to march his men in order to build discipline and pre-pare them for the rigors of war. Having arrived at Na-ples late on July 6, 1861, Grant allowed his men to rest in the river town on Sunday, July 7. Early on Monday, the 21st crossed the Illinois River and con-tinued west. After traveling four miles or so, the regiment reached a place known as Gardner’s on the old Perry Road. At that time, there was a house at Gard-ner’s known locally as the “eight-square” because of its octagonal shape. It is likely Grant stopped at this house, allowing his horse to drink the spring water that filled an old log trough.