John Rawlins

John Aaron Rawlins (1831 - 1869)

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John Aaron Rawlins
Born in Galena, Jo Daviess, Illinois, United Statesmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married 4 Jun 1855 in Galena, Jo Daviess, Illinois, United Statesmap
Husband of — married 22 Dec 1863 in Danbury, Fairfield, Connecticut, United Statesmap
Died in Washington, District of Columbia, United Statesmap
Profile last modified 28 Sep 2019 | Created 24 May 2019 | Last significant change: 28 Sep 2019
15:03: Rhonda (Tucker) Zimmerman edited the Biography for John Aaron Rawlins (1831-1869). (Added Cemetery Category ) [Thank Rhonda for this]
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John was born in Galena, Illinois 1831. He was the son of James Rawlins and Louvisa Collier. He worked the family farm during the summers and went to school in the winters. He often was a maker of charcoal to earn extra money. He spent a year and a half at Rock River Seminary in Mount Morris, Illinois. And after a period of self-directed study to make up for his lack of formal education, he studied the law in the office of Isaac P. Stevens of Galena. He was admitted to the bar in 1854. In 1861, John helped organize the 45th Illinois Infantry which Ulysses Grant offered to help train. John became Grant's aide-de-camp. According to sources he became Grant's most influential staff officer, advisor, and closest friend. He advanced to the rank of Brigadier General and was the 29th United States Secretary of War during Presidents Grant's term. He passed away in 1869 just 5 months after he took office.


  • 1850-1860 United States Federal Census Records
  • Appletons' Cyclopedia of American Biography; Volume: Vol. VI, pg. 190
  • U.S., Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles, 1861-1865
  • Christian Intelligencer of the Reformed Dutch Church, New York, USA, 9 Sep 1869, Call Number87722
  • Biography & Genealogy Master Index (BGMI), Gale Research Company; Detroit, Michigan; Accession Number: 1024849
  • Illinois, County Marriage Records, 1800-1940
  • Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia- John A. Rawlins, accessed 23 May, 2019
  • U.S. Veterans' Gravesites, ca.1775-2006

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Categories: Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia | Notables