Armstrong & Espersen Home Page

This site contain material on Civil War Capt. John Cheney as well as some of our genealogical material


Civil War Material - Capt. John T. Cheney, Battery F, 1st Illinois Light Artillery

John Cheney was a well educated businessman living in Dixon, Illinois. In 1862 he raised an artillery company – Battery F, 1st Illinois Light Artillery – and served as its captain. Battery F fought in the Western Theatre in the Army of the Tennessee (Gens. Grant and Sherman).

I am preparing a book that edits 318 entries from Cheney’s Civil War diary and 100 letters he wrote home to his wife, plus additional documents, photos, and material relating to his life before, during and after the war. Cheney’s letters and diary entries have a warmth and intimacy that is unusual in writing of that time.

John Cheney served out a strong sense of duty to the country that had provided him with security and opportunity. Over time he developed health problems that tested that sense of duty. Cheney was entirely absorbed in his activities when in combat or advancing on Confederate troops. During times of inactivity he suffered boredom and experienced loneliness being separated from his wife and two children. During the Atlanta campaign, his 11-year-old son Royce accompanied him. Cheney was an ordinary man doing his best in the extraordinary occurrences of war.

Photos of John Cheney, Battery F 1st Illinois Light Artillery

Before the war      During the war      After the war      1887 reunion of Battery F at Dixon Illinois


Roster of Battery F


Contraband (slave) admitted to the battery - On August 1, 1862 Capt. Cheney admitted a white contraband, Pvt. Richard Petty, as a member of Battery F


Meals John Cheney reported in his diary and letters to his wife Mary.  Some of my friends who are reenactors are interested in the contents of meals so they are extracted here.


Book - I have published a 304 page book of Cheney's letters and diary entitled Illinois Artillery Officer's Civil War.  It is available on Amazon.


Armstrong and Espersen genealogy material

Pictures of houses in Nantucket, MA associated with Francis Barnard b. 1747

Picture of marker of Tristram Coffin home site, Nantucket, MA


PT Boat Material from Lt. Cmdr. Simpson L. Efland

I bought some WWII PT Boat items that had belonged to a local veteran who died in 2001.  My purpose in putting them on this web site is to help me learn more about them from helpful folks who are experts on PT Boats.


World War I Canadian soldier George Rex Tucker

I wrote a small remembrance to a soldier, my great uncle, killed in action in World War I.


To contact me - Gordon Armstong -



Last Updated: March 17, 2006