Brigadier General Edward M. Kittilsen
M1902 Full Dress Uniform
General Kittilsen joined the Illinois State Militia in 1875 and in time became Sergeant Major of the Fourteenth Battalion, a rank he maintained after the unit’s consolidation with the 6th Illinois Infantry. In 1886, Kittilsen was advanced to the rank of Major and then Lieutenant Colonel of the 6th Illinois in 1893. When the Spanish-American War broke out in 1898, the 6th Illinois was mustered into federal service. As second in command of the regiment, Kittilsen embarked for Cuba with the 6th Illinois between July 8 and 10. Spanish troops around Santiago surrendered while the 6th Illinois was en route and the regiment was then sent to Puerto Rico, arriving on July 25. The 6th Illinois saw little action by the time an armistice was reached on August 12 and returned to Illinois by September 16. By 1908, Kittilsen had been promoted to Brigadier General, commanding the 6th Illinois. He long served Illinois in law enforcement in addition to his military career. Kittilsen was appointed Chief of Police of Moline, Illinois, in 1883 and was elected Sheriff of Rock Island County in 1906, serving until 1910. He was also a member of Doric Lodge No. 319, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons.