John Charles Mitchie enlisted as a private in the Illinois Infantry and fought on the Union side during the civil war. At the age of 17 on April 2, 1861, he enlisted in Company K, 12th Volunteer Illinois Infantry where he served 90 days. Then in the fall of 1861, he enlisted in Company F, 37th Illinois Infantry. He re-enlisted at Brownsville, Texas as a veteran after the civil war and was eventually discharged with his whole unit from the army in Houston, Texas, May 12, 1866. He fought in many significant battles of the civil war including Sugar Creek, Pea Ridge, Neoska, Netonia, Prairie Grove, Vicksburg, and Blakely (Alabama).
After the civil war, John Michie returned to Chicago where he worked in a bakery for eleven years. On November 26, 1868, he married Mary Susan Curtis. September 1877, John and Mary Susan homesteaded near Beaver Creek (Ravenna) in Nebraska. They had twelve children with seven surviving to adulthood (Margaret Michie Curran “Maggie” 1871-1950; John Charles Michie Jr 1873-1936; George Curtis Michie 1881-1930; Katharine McGregor Michie Hochreiter 1883-1968; David Francis “Dave” Michie 1886-1946; James Michie 1889-1958; Veronica Michie Cleveland “Ve” 1890-1984; and Joseph Esam “Ese” Michie 1892-1976).
John and Mary Susan Michie farmed near Beaver Creek, Nebraska. After a while, they sold their farm and moved into the town of Ravenna. John served his community well as justice of the peace, town clerk, school director, and as a Sherman County schoolteacher. Their children Margaret “Maggie” Michie Curran and Katharine McGregor Michie Hochreiter continued to live in Nebraska. Their son John Charles Michie Jr moved to Chicago, Illinois to work in the bakery business. Their daughter Veronica “Ve” eventually moved to California with her husband Grover “Pete” Cleveland. Three of their sons (James, Ese, and George) moved to Merigold, Bolivar County, Mississippi to work for their Bremner – Michie cousins in a cotton plantation business set up by Illinois Infantry 19th’s Captain David Francis Bremner — who married John’s sister Katharine Michie. David Francis Michie joined the Burlington Railroad and worked out of Alliance, Nebraska before transferring to Rawlins, Wyoming and eventually working for the Union Pacific Railroad, dying in 1946 in a train wreck in Sweetwater County, Wyoming near Rock Springs.
John was an active member in the G.A.R. Grand Army of the Republic after the civil war. He was said to have enjoyed talking about the days of the civil war with other veterans. When he went to Lincoln, Nebraska he would inquire as to where the civil war veterans would be so that he could visit. In his later years, the joke would be that he would be told that the veterans were all at Wyuka where upon he would ask where Wyuka was so that he could go there to visit. Wyuka, of course, was a cemetery in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Contributed May 2000 by Tawnya Michie Kumarakulasingam [Passed down from John Charles Michie to David Francis Michie to John Richard Michie to William David Michie to Tawnya Marie Michie Kumarakulasingam.]