10th Illinois Volunteer Cavalry

Regiment Personnel

In Memoriam

In Memoriam - Jon Austin - Jacksonville, Illinois

Portrayed Dr. Benjamin F. Lyford, M.D.
Embalming Surgeon of Washington D.C.

Jon came to the 10th Cavalry with an extensive knowledge of historic embalming and funeral customs. He had varied interests which included research in genealogy, local history, 19th century social history, textiles, and performing first person living history. He appeared on the History Channel as an authority on funeral customs, including the funeral and burial of President Lincoln. Jon was the co-chairman of the 2015 Lincoln Funeral Coalition's reenactment in Springfield, Illinois. He was last employed by FEMA in disaster relief in Puerto Rico after the hurricanes there. Jon was well known across the nation, and his death has been felt far and wide. His seemingly inexhaustible knowledge about so many subjects has left a void that will be hard, if not impossible to fill. Jon graduated from New York University with a Master's degree in Museum Science. He was a member of organizations as varied as the Illinois Historical Society, the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, and of course, we of the 10th Illinois Volunteer Cavalry Regiment had the honor of his membership as well. For several years, Jon had visited our camp at reenactments, and finally, in 2010, he just sat down at our campfire and said, "I think this is the reenactment group I need to join." He was always teaching us about history and we all learned so much from him. He was a gentle soul who is very sadly missed. Unexpectedly, Jon passed away on November 24, 2020. He was 61 years old. Ride Well, Ride Long, Ride Proud, Dr. Lyford.

Regiment Surgeon - Major Ted Zelinski Regiment Surgeon - Major Ted Zelinski

In Memoriam - Ted Zelinski - Springfield, Illinois

Portrayed Surgeon, Major Augustus A. Shutt

Major Zelinski joined the regiment in September 2007. He had a long career in reenacting - over 25 years. With the 10th Cavalry, Ted explored many Civil War persona.
He began as our surgeon, reenacting techniques of battlefield surgery that made even grown men faint. In addition to being the Regiment's Surgeon, Ted portrayed enlisted Trooper Brown as a dismounted soldier during reenactments. He was the regiment's field drummer as well. Ted added Flag Signal Corps to his list and was able to demonstrate this on the battlefield - if the field was large enough! He was also a telegraph operator, and added the Pioneers to his talents, carrying an ax to cut down trees to build roads and bridges for the troops. Ted also recruited others for his medical staff of stewards and nurses.
Ted was an accomplished folk dancer and was especially interested in Polish Folk dance. He was a professional percussionist and played in many local bands and ensembles, including the 10th Illinois Volunteer Cavalry Regiment®Band. He was responsible for setting and keeping the cadence for the 2015 Lincoln Funeral Reenactment Procession which was a 3 mile march from downtown Springfield to Oak Ridge Cemetery. The Procession included military participants, as well as civilians, and a hearse drawn by 8 horses.
Ted passed away on August 8, 2020. He had two daughters, Julie and Jaime, and 6 grandchildren. Ted was our go-to man for everything Civil War. It seemed he knew everything, or at least knew where to find the answers to anything we needed. He will be sorely missed by everyone who knew him. Ride Well, Ride Long, Ride Proud, Major.

Sergeant-Major Alan KilgoreIn Memoriam -- Sergeant-Major Alan Kilgore - Chestnut, IL

Alan joined the Regiment in October of 2008. It all started when he found a black powder pistol in his wife's aunt's barn. It took several months to talk his wife Carol into letting him join. Even as a child there are pictures of him wearing a kepi on family vacations. It just happened to be Gray back then. Alan decided to follow the tradition set by his Great Grandfather, Martin Van Buren Joyce (8th Kentucky Union) and joined a Union Cavalry Regiment. Alan had a passion for history, especially when it came to the Civil War. He was a graduate of East Peoria High School. His other interests included his sons, Daniel and Rex, their wives, and the five grandchildren, Brit, Ericka, Jace, Camden and Liam. Alan passed away on Thursday, July 16, 2015. Ride Well, Ride Long, Ride Proud, Sergeant Major!