Main Steet Cemetery

Captain Walter Blanchard

Born: 1807
Died: November 18, 1863



Walter Blanchard was born in New Hampshire in 1807, arrived in Downers Grove in 1836, just 4 years after Pierce Downer. Here he raised a family of 5 children while he practiced law and eventually served as a DuPage County judge for 7 years. Interested in politics he was present at the Wigwam in Chicago when Lincoln was nominated for President in 1860. As the Civil War approached, Walter could not ignore the call to help. He organized a company of the 13th Illinois Infantry, even enlisting himself at the age of 54. His sons William and Franklin also joined. As Captain of this company he fought alongside his men and sadly he was wounded on November 27, 1863 at Ringgold Gap. His leg wound caused a great loss of blood and the best efforts of the doctors could not save his life. His body was escorted back to Downers Grove for burial. His service and sacrifice for DuPage County was remembered for years after his death. Major Edward Blodgett, son of Israel Blodgett, remembered the Captain as "a man like no other and whose memory may be an inspiring force for all as the years go by."

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