Galena’s Nine Generals
Many wonder how a small town like Galena could have been home to nine Civil War Generals, not the least of whom was Ulysses S. Grant. Keep in mind, however a number of things:
Galena in 1861 was one of Illinois’s largest and most influential cities with a population of nearly 12,000.
Galena had been the largest river boat port north of St. Louis for 20 years and a gateway for settlers moving north and west.
*Galena was home to Congressman Elihu Washburne, the senior Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives and one of its most influential members. He was instrumental in furthering the military, and later political, career of U.S. Grant.