Leverett Mansfield Kelley – Captain, United States Army

Born at Schenectady, New York, September 28, 1841, he earned the Medal of Honorduring the Civil War while serving as Sergeant, Company A, 36th Illinois Volunter Infantry at Missionary Ridge, Tennessee, on November 25, 1863. The Medal was actaully issued to him on April 4, 1900.

He died on April 9, 1924 and was buried in Section 2 of Arlington National Cemetery.

His wife, Frances Kelley (1841-1922), is buried with him.


Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company A, 36th Illinois Infantry. Place and date: At Missionary Ridge, Tennessee, 25 November 1863. Entered service at: Rutland, Illinois. Birth: Schenectady, NEw York. Date of issue: 4 April 1900.


Sprang over the works just captured from the enemy, and calling upon his comrades to follow, rushed forward in the face of a deadly fire and was among the first over the works on the summit, where he compelled the surrender of a Confederate officer and received his sword.

Leverett M. Kelley
“Captain Kelley, Aged 83, Dead in Washington,”
The Elgin Daily Courier, April 10, 1924
Pioneer Elgin Resident Was Once Sheriff Of Kane County.
Participated In Many Important Engagements Of Civil War.

Captain Leverett M. Kelley, pioneer resident of Elgin, for many years, deputy pension commissioner at Washington, D.C., died at his residence in Washington yesterday morning, according to word received here today. Captain Kelley was 83 years old.

Few men possessed the military record or had been active in more of the important engagements of the Civil War.

Captain Kelley was at one time sheriff of Kane county, later entering the drug business with William Hart in a firm known as Kelley and Hart. After serving as an Indian agent, the deceased became a deputy pension commissioner in Washington. He erected the building in Grove avenue, known as the Kelley Hotel building, and was a holder of considerable real estate holdings in the county.

Born in Schenectady

Captain Kelley was born in Schenectady, N.Y., September 28, 1841. He came to Illinois with his father when a boy four years old, settling on a farm in Rutland township, near Pingree Grove. After attending school in his neighborhood, Capt. Kelley took up a course in the Elgin Academy, later attending Beloit college. He was pursuing his studies when the Civil War broke out.

He was 19 years old when he enlisted as a private in Company A, 36th Regiment of the Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and was mustered in at Camp Hammond, Ill., August 22, 1861. Early in the service he became a corporal, afterwards being promoted to the rank of sergeant, then as first lieutenant and as captain, often being in command of the regiment. He was in active duty for more than four years.

During the war he participated in such engagements as Pea Ridge, Perryville, Stone River, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, Dalton, Resaca, Adairsville, Dallas, Kenesaw Mountain, Peach Tree Creek, Lovejoy Station, Jonesboro, Columbia, Spring Hill, Franklin and Nashville.

Shows Valor in Battle

“When sergeant of Company A at Missionary Ridge, calling upon his comrades to follow him, he rushed forward in the face of an incessant and deadly fire, and was among the first over the works on the summit, where he compelled the surrender of a Confederate officer and received his sword,” the Kane county history says. “Many other tangible evidences of his valor might be given but this is sufficient to indicate the nature of his service.”

When the war was over Captain Kelley returned to Illinois. He was married in 1867. The following year he became sheriff of Kane county and was again elected to that office in 1874. He became Indian agent at Standing Rock and Los Pingos agencies in 1878, in which capacity he consummated an important treaty with the Indians. From 1889 to 1893 he filled the position of chief of the division of pension bureau at Washington, and in 1897 was made deputy commissioner of pensions.

Captain Kelley was a Republican. He was always interested in military affairs and was member of the G.A.R., Military Order of the Loyal Legion, and the Medal of Honor Legion of the United States.

He is survived by two daughters, Mrs. Eugene E. Andrews of Chicago, and Mrs. Frank L. Molby of Detroit. George M. Peck is a cousin of the deceased.

Burial was at the Arlington cemetery at Washington today.

“Funeral of Capt. L.M. Kelley Today,”
The Elgin Daily News, April 11, 1924
Body of Famous Elgin Pioneer Placed at Rest in Arlington National Cemetery

Amidst the pomp of a military funeral, Captain Leverett M. Kelley, pioneer Elgin and Kane county resident, who died Wednesday morning, was laid to rest this afternoon in Arlington national cemetery, Arlington, Va. Captain Kelley was 83 years of age.

Captains J.C. Ratsall and Robert Armour, Loyal Legion members, and a delegation from the G.A.R. acted as pallbearers.

Colonel H.C. Rizer, head of the Loyal Legion, and Graham Powell, recorder, drew up resolutions of sympathy on the death of Captain Kelley, who was well known in organization circles in Washington, D.C., his home for the past 35 years.

Conspicuous bravery displayed at the Civil war battle of Missionary Ridge won for Captain Kelley a membership among the Medal of Honor men of the great war.

Captain Kelley was deputy commissioner of pensions under President McKinley, and prior to that time won considerable recognition through his work for the government as an Indian agent in the west. He left Elgin, his home for many years, in 1889.

Two daughters, Mrs. Eugene E. Andrews, of Chicago, and Mrs. Frank L. Molby, of Detroit, attended the funeral.


  • CAPT CO A 36TH I11 INF
  • DATE OF DEATH: 04/09/1924


  • DATE OF DEATH: 02/22/1922


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