James Kidd


Simon James Kidd was born on March 10, 1848 in Barr’s Store, in Barr Township. He was only 15 years old when he left home to join the Union Forces during what is now known as the Civil war. He was taken prisoner by General hood on October 6, 1864, and held prisoner, mostly in Andersonville, for 6 months.

His parents were Benjamin and Hannah Reese Kidd. They lived at Barr’s Store in northwestern Macoupin County. His brothers and sisters were: Mary Ann (Barr), John, Sarah (Henderson), Robert Isaac, Thomas, and Lizzie.

One of his daughters, Mary Olive Kidd Chism, kept a journal he had written. He began his enlistment by walking from Barr Store (in Scottville) to Jacksonville. James wrote, “The last thing my father said was to keep out of bad company and never turn your back on the old flag.” On his journey he said he, “…got in a famers wagon to ride.  I noticed several places at the side of the road board and stamp filled with Bullets.  I asked him what it meant.  He said it was the Knights of the Golden Circle practicing to kill abolitionists.  I did not tell him what my politix was.”

He served in Atlanta where he was captured.  His journal notes only a few of the horrors he and the others endured.  When they were released he believed they left behind thirteen thousand dead. He believed that was every third man who had entered Andersonville during his imprisonment. He thought many more suffered from wrecked health the rest of their days.

He heard of Lincoln’s assassination during a hospital stay in Mississippi.

Eventually he returned to Barr Township, married and raised a family. At his death he was living in Virden and is buried in a cemetery there.



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