The National Blues was a home-grown militia in Peoria,
Illinois, formed in 1856.
Hugh Neill was a private in the National Blues. He left the National Blues and joined the 8th Missouri Volunteer Infantry (US), becoming a 1st lieutenant in Company L (the sharpshooters).
Joseph W. Barr was a private in the National Blues. He also left the National Blues to join the 8th Missouri Volunteer Infantry (US) - Company I - but transferred to the Chicago Mercantile Battery. Joseph W. Barr was mortally wounded at the battle of Sabine Crossroads, Louisiana.
David Grier was in the National Blues. Click here for his biography.
HERE IS AN ACCOUNT OF THE FOUNDING OF THE NATIONAL BLUES:
"The Citizens of Peoria for some time previous to 1856, had been impressed with the necessity of having among them one or more volunteer companies, who would be available in case their services should be required in protecting property and aid in enforcing the laws. And in order to get an expression from those who were disposed to favor such an Organization, a meeting was held on the 9th day of July, 1856, in Engine House No.2, on North Adams Street, in said city, Andrew J. HODGES was appointed chairman and George S. BLAKELY, secretary. At that meeting the question was very fully discussed as to the necessity, and prospect of organizing a first-class volunteer company of infantry, and it was resolved that such a company be at once formed."
The above information is adapted from the Illinois Trails website:
"The Organization and the History of The National Blues"
(Click here for a
explanation of why people from other states joined the 8th Missouri)