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Civil War Era History

Captain Charles Savoie - 76th Illinois Volunteer Infantry

Kankakee County Museum Photo Archive

Armand Pallissard

When Capt. Francis Seguin of Company D, 76th Volunteer Illinois Infantry became disabled and was discharged on April 14, 1864, Lt. Charles Savoie, a 30-year-old shoemaker from Kankakee, took command. Promoted to captain on April 16, Savoie remained with the 76th until the end of the war. At Three Rivers, Quebec, in 1834, Savoie has been born as Onesime Savoie, the third child of Jean Savoie and Felicite Savoie (nee Martin). He came with his grandparents to Bourbonnais Grove in 1846. At the age of 17, Savoie adopted "Charles" as his first name. After learning the cobbler's trade, Savoie became a salesman. He sold his leather goods throughout Iowa, Missouri, and the southern states. In the late 1850s, he had established a boot and shoe store in Little Rock, Arkansas. When war seemed inevitable, Savoie returned to Kankakee and enlisted in the 76th. Nearly all the men in the 76th were French Canadian from Kankakee, Iroquois, Champagne, and Grundy Countries. They were engaged in the siege of Vicksburg and earned the name "Alligator Regiment" during a Louisiana expedition.