The Chanute Daily Tribune, Tuesday, Oct. 17, 1922, Pg. 1

Vol. XXXI, No. 158








He Came to Kansas in 1869 and Settled

In Butler County at a Time

When Buffalo Were Plentiful

There—Death Sudden.


  Dennis Long, 82 years old, the last Union soldier to leave Libby prison, died at 7:30 last evening of heart trouble.  He was stricken as he was entering his room at the Rickel flats, 318 East Main street.  The end came very unexpectedly, J. H. Rickel, owner o the flats, saw Mr. Long at about 7 o’clock.  At that time he was in good health and spirits and spoke of eating and enjoying a hearty supper.

  Half an hour later while Colonel Rickel was passing, on the sidewalk in front of the room occupied by Mr. Long, he saw the door standing open and what appeared to be a bundle lying just inside the threshold.  He paid no particular attention at first glance, but when he got to where he could look into the window and failed to see Mr. Long within the room, he went to see what was the matter and found the latter’s body was lying just inside the door.

  He had evidently been fatally stricken before he had time to reach a chair or bed.  Colonel Rickel felt for pulse and heart action, and there were none.  He then notified Dr. R. A. Light, county coroner, who diagnosed the cause of death as heart trouble.

  Mr. Long had been in failing health for some time, but seemed better yesterday than usual.

  No funeral arrangements had been made today, pending the receipt of word from his only son, Charles Long, who is in Casper, Wyo.  Mr. Long received a letter from his son yesterday morning.  The only other immediate relative here is Claude Long, a grandson, who lives between this city and Humboldt upon an oil lease of which he has charge.

  Mr. Long enlisted at Quincy, Ill. In the sixteenth Illinois Infantry as soon as President Lincoln, after Fort Sumter had been fired upon, called for 75,000 troops to preserve the union of the states.  The regiment received no uniforms for six months.  Its principal offensive weapon was a cannon used to fire salutes for neighborhood celebrations.  The volunteers took possession of this painted “Abe Lincoln” on it, dragged it over the state by hand and finally sent it to the president.

  Mr. Long was captured as a prisoner of war twice, the second time after having been paroled. Upon the latter occasion he was acting as a scout at Savannah, Ga., while Sherman was marching to the sea.  The last time he was captured it was by Joe Wheeler, the famous confederate cavalry leader.

  His captors helped themselves to his clothing, each taking whatever he had until at last the only garment that remained to him was a homemade cotton sack with three holes, one for his head and two for his arms.

  He was moved from prison to prison until he had been in five, and was the last to leave Libby.  He was in Salisbury prison at the time of the great smallpor (sic) epidemic there and was a member of the detail to dig trenches into which the corpses were placed.  It was during a rainy season and each morning the trenches made the preceding day would be partly uncovered and the bodies exposed.

  Mr. Long pioneered in Kansas, coming to this state in 1869 and settling in Butler county.  He has told of seeing great herds of buffalo in that part of Kansas at the time he arrived.  He had lived in Chanute more than thirty years, being engaged in the restaurant business for a time, later an employee at the oil refinery southeast of the city.

  His father was a country physician and was anxious that his son should follow in his footsteps.  Mr. Long studied with him three years then ran away from home, having decided that he did not care for the long hours, hard work and meager pay of a county (sic) practitioner of those days.

  In honor of Mr. Long the city today half-masted the flag given it by the Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic.