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William Funk

submitted by: Sandra Wilkinson Blandford

William Funk was born on 20 Jan 1826 in Louisville, Kentucky and was the son Captain Jacob Funk (1795 Ė 24 Aug 1864),  a river pilot on the falls. William attended Hanover College, Indiana  and was regarded as a bright young man.  In June 1846 William, against his fatherís wishes, enlisted as a Private in Captain Aaron Penningtonís Company G, 1st Regiment Kentucky Cavalry. The regiment traveled over land into Texas and Mexico to serve under General Zachary Taylor, United States Army. While on a scout under the command of Major John Pollard Gaines and then Captain Cassius Marcellus Clay, William was captured by the enemy Mexican Army in mid-January 1847. He with several others were marched into Mexico City and imprisoned. The group of prisonersí of war were later moved to different locations in Mexico. A group of five soldiers escaped six months later. William was the only one of the five men to safely arrive in Tampico, Mexico. He subsequently returned to Kentucky.

William Funk was to suffer for his imprisonment for the rest of his life. Shortly after his return home, signs of mental illness were noticed and attributed to his wartime experience. His father was unwilling to have his son committed to the asylum at Lexington. Only after his fatherís death would William be sent there. Williamís sister, Mrs. Elizabeth Griffin, and her husband, Mr. J. E. Griffin, a wealthy Louisville merchant and tailor, paid  Williamís charges up to the time of Griffinís death amounting to $1,208 per year. William Funk died 28 Dec 1896 of apoplexy in Jefferson County Kentucky and was buried in the Cave Hill Cemetery. Mrs. Griffinís son-in-law, A. F. Winn of Paris, Missouri, notified the military pension office of his death.

Sources: Federal Military Pension Application File, William Funk, SC-11331; Scott, John Encarnacion, or the Prisoners in Mexico. Louisville, KY: G. H. Monsarrat & Co., Steam Press, 1848, p 103. Copyright 2010 Sandra Wilkinson Blandford.

 

 

 

 
 

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