Pantagraph 11 Dec 1977 McNulta
mil-lioniare. role so of Blooming-ton Sitting on a shelf at the McLean County Historical Society is a sealed with wax, which contains rolled Into cylinders and wrapped cloth. Through the bottom of the bottle, carefully written Instructions can seen: "Souvenirs of the meeting of society of the Army of Tennesse. Held Chicago, November 1879. TO BE KEPT UNOPENED FOR 100 YEARS- signed, John McNulta." That bottle will be opened on March 19, 1979, during the 87th anniversary the McLean County Historical Society. By sealing the bottle McNulta was ensuring that some details of the Civil War would be preserved for posterity. Posterity, without benefit of the in formation in the bottle, has already named a street after McNulta for his achievements during and after that war. The Civil War came to McLean County in the summer of 1862, when 1,200 men from the area enlisted in the Union Army. Out of these men came the 94th Illinois Infantry with Lieutenant Colonel McNulta in command. After a summer of training, the inexperienced men of the 94th found themselves in the decisive position in an important battle. A Union force of about 5,000 men had blundered into a Confederate force of about 30,000 men under General Hindman. In the battle that followed, the 94th, under heavy pressure, held its position on the far left side and filled a gap left by a regiment that fell away. According to a history of the 94th by A.E. Stewart, "It was a critical hour. Lt. Colonel McNulta in command of the regiment, rode back and foreward along the line amid a perfect hurricane of balls, calling to his comrades to standby their colors. He was ably seconded by Major Laughlin. The Chaplin, forgetting his peaceful calling, could be heard as he reloaded his piece, exhorting his brethren to 'trust in God and fire low.' "They held the issue of battle in their hands and they knew it ... the regiment stood like a rock." With his excellent record of military service, McNulta went into law and then politics. He was eventually elected to the state Senate and the U.S. Congress.