19th Illinois Infantry

19th Illinois Infantry

The act of the Legislature of the State of Illinois, passed May 2d, 1861, authorizing the acceptance for State service of ten regiments of infantry, one regiment of cavalry and one battalion of light artillery, provided that one of such regiments might be raised out of volunteer companies then at Springfield, as the regiment from the State at large, and one regiment from each of the nine congressional districts. That regiment from the State at large, consisting then only of four Chicago companies, commanded by Colonel Joseph R. Scott, was mustered into the State service May 4, 1861, at Camp Yates, and on the 3d of June ordered to Chicago, became the nucleus of a regiment, which, after having been filled up to its quota, was mustered into the United States service for three years on the 17th of June 1861, as the Nineteenth Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry. This date of mustering, although showing that the Regiment was not of the number of the first six regiments organized under the act of 25th April 1861, yet it embraced four original companies that tendered their service to the State and were accepted far earlier than many other companies that belonged to the original six regiments. Thus the “Chicago Highland Guards” was an organized company in the State service, dating its organization back to 1855; it tendered its service to the Governor on the 14th January 1861, three months before Fort Sumter was fired upon; was accepted on the 21st of April, and on the 23d ordered to Springfield under command of Captain A. W. Raffen. Thus “Chicago Light Infantry”, under Captain Frederick Harding, “Company A, Chicago Zouaves”, under Captain James R. Hayden, and “Company B, Chicago Zouaves”, under Captain John H. Clayborne, were organized in March 1861, before the call of the President, tendered their services to the Governor, and on the 21st of April 1861, by order of Governor Yates, formed a part of the expedition under Brigadier General R. K. Swift, to move by rail to Cairo, and to occupy that important strategic point, as future basis of our operations against the rebellious States. Of these last companies “Company A, Chicago Zouaves”, was left by General Swift to guard the Big Muddy Bridge, a very important point on the Illinois Central Railroad, this being the first company on actual guard duty in the State; while the other two companies went to Cairo, where their services with other companies of that expedition were very important at that early time, in keeping down the rebellious spirit of southern sympathizers, in preventing the landing of southern militia in Illinois, and in stopping transportation of arms and munitions on steamers on the Mississippi River from points above Cairo to the points below it. So that, while there four Chicago companies were doing actual service, the six first regiments were not even in their embryo organizations. The roster of the Nineteenth Illinois Infantry, when organized at Camp Long (afterwards Camp Douglas), was as follows: Field and Staff: Colonel, John B. Turchin; Lieutenant Colonel, Joseph R. Scott; Major, Frederick Harding; Adjutant, Chauncey Miller; Quartermaster, Robert W. Wetherell; Surgeon, Samuel C. Blake (resigned in a few months and succeeded by Roswell G. Bogue); First Assistant Surgeon, Preston H. Bailhache; Chaplain, Augustus H. Conant. Line Officers: Company A (Chicago Zouaves): Captain, James R. Hayden; First Lieutenant, Clifton T. Wharton; Second Lieutenant, John C. Long; Company B (Elmira Rifles, Stark County); Captain, Charles A. Stewart; First Lieutenant, Stephen M. Hill; Second Lieutenant, Alexander Murchison, Jr. Company C (Chicago Zouaves): Captain, James V. Guthrie; First Lieutenant, William Ennis; Second Lieutenant, Leavens J. Keeler. Company D (Chicago Light Infantry): Captain, Charles A. Colby; First Lieutenant, Jas. R. Faulkner; Second Lieutenant, D. E. Cunningham. Company E (Highland Guards): Captain, Alexander W. Raffen; First Lieutenant, David F. Bremner; Second Lieutenant, John Young. Company F (Cass County Guards): Captain, Luther L. Allard; First Lieutenant, Knowlton S. Chandler; Second Lieutenant, Thomas Job. Company G: Captain, Charles D. C. Williams; First Lieutenant, Lyman Bridges; Second Lieutenant, Charles H. Roland. Company H (Moline Rifles): Captain, Peachy A. Garriot; First Lieutenant, DeWitt C. Marshall; Second Lieutenant, Alvah Mansur. Company I (AnitBeauregards, Galena): Captain, Bushrod B. Howard, First Lieutenant, Thaddeus G. Drum; Second Lieutenant, John R. Madison. Company K (Chicago Zouaves): Captain, John H. Clyborne; First Lieutenant, Pressly N. Guthrie; Second Lieutenant, Charles H. Shepley. Colonel Turchin having been a Colonel in the Russian Guards, paid particular attention at the start to the drill and discipline of the Regiment, and helped by several officers and sergeants, who belonging to the original company of Ellsworth Zouaves, utilized the first two weeks in Camp Long to the utmost, to make the Regiment as efficient as possible for the service before it. He pursued his endeavors in that respect in future every time the Regiment was not on the march, and finally succeeded in making the Nineteenth Illinois one of the best drilled regiments in the western armies. Brigadier General John Pope having been appointed to command troops in north Missouri, and Brigadier General S. A. Hurlbut to command troops in northeastern Missouri under Pope, with headquarters at Quincy, the Nineteenth Illinois received orders to move to Quincy by rail and report to General Hurlbut. On the 12th of July the Regiment struck tents, and, moving out of camp, marched to the Illinois Central depot. Being largely composed of Chicago men, crowds of relatives, friends and spectators accompanied the Regiment on its way and at the depot, taking leave of the soldiers going to the front. Amidst the touching scenes of parting, cheers and waving of hats and handkerchiefs, the men crowded the cars, the locomotives whistled, and the Nineteenth Illinois started on its martial career of three years of service given patriotically and voluntarily to the nation and the government. On the evening of the 13th it arrived at Quincy, an don the 14th received orders from General Hurlbut to relieve the Twenty-first Illinois, under Colonel U. S. Grant, posted on the Hannibal and St. Joe Railroad from Quincy to Palmyra, and between Palmyra and Hannibal. During two weeks of stay in this locality, the Regiment, besides guarding several important bridges on railroad, made several expeditions to different points in the neighborhood, chased organized rebel companies out of various plantations, destroyed their barracks and provisions, obliged the citizens to give pledges not to support any more such companies, encouraged formations of home guards companies at Palmyra and Newark, suppressed the Secessionists and encouraged the Unionists. The concentration of strong rebel forces at New Madrid, Mo., under command of General G. J. Pillow, obliged General Fremont, then in command of the Department of Missouri, to concentrate a sufficient force at Bird’s Point, opposite Cairo, on the Missouri side. On the 27th of July the Nineteenth received orders to take boats at Hannibal and proceed by river to St. Louis, where it joined a large flotilla, on which a number of troops were embarked, and the whole proceeded down the river. The troops were landed at Bird’s Point, and the Nineteenth was immediately detailed to Norfold, six miles below Bird’s Point, as an advance guard, where its duties were quite difficult and arduous. The information that a portion of Pillow’s army was advancing towards Dallas and Jackson, with a view to strike at Ironton, originated another expedition, in which the Nineteenth participated. On the 14th of August it left Norfold, took boats at Bird’s Point, went up the river, landed opposite Sulphur Springs Station, on the St. Louis and Ironton Railroad, and thence went by rail to Ironton, from which point, on the 29th of August, moved as a part of the expedition under Brigadier General B. M. Prentiss, consisting of six regiments of infantry, one battery of artillery and a squadron cavalry, towards Dallas and Jackson. Approaching Dallas, where it was expected to meet the enemy, General Prentiss requested Colonel Turchin to move with his Regiment as an advance guard of the column. No enemy having been met, the columns stopped at Jackson, and on the 8th of September moved to Cape Girardeau, took boats again and went to Cairo, where the Nineteenth was ordered to cross to the Kentucky shore and take camp by Fort Holt, newly built, but in a few days was ordered, together with Seventeenth Illinois Regiment, under Colonel L. F. Ross, to move down the river and occupy Ellicott’s Mills, twelve miles this side of Columbus. While there the Regiment received orders to move to Cairo, take cars on the Illinois Central Railroad, and proceed to Washington, D.C. On the 16th of September the Regiment left Cairo, and on the 17th, having changed cars at Sandoval, proceeded in two trains on the Ohio and Mississippi Railroad towards Cincinnati. When 46 miles east of Vincennes, Ind, the second train, containing four companies and regimental staff, about 10 P.M. broke through the bridge No. 48, crossing Beaver Creek, between Shoals and Mitchel, Ind., and in that frightful accident 24 men, including Captain B. B. Howard, were killed on the spot, and 105 men wounded. Of the last, some have died in hospitals at Cincinnati; others were crippled for life, and others recovered and joined the Regiment afterwards. This horrible accident caused a loss in life nearly as great as any of the battles fought by the Regiment during the whole of its term of service. The troubles at that time in Kentucky caused the Regiment to be stopped at Cincinnati and wait for orders. It camped a few days at Camp Dennison, when it received orders to take boats and proceed to Louisville, Ky., where it arrived on the 25th of September, where it relieved the Louisville Legion and went to camp. Thus, after thousands of miles of traveling by river and by rail, the Regiment at last got into a somewhat permanent camp, where it could drill and improve itself in guard and picket duty and in battalion movements. Brigadier General Robert Anderson having been relieved by Brigadier General W. T. Sherman, in command of the Department of Kentucky, the concentration of Union troops at Mumfordsville necessitated the moving of the troops to the rear. The Nineteenth Illinois received orders, on the 22d of October, to move to Elizabethtown, and went into camp at that place. Here was another chance to drill. The Regiment took possession of the printing office of “Elizabethtown Democrat”, (a rebel sheet, whose owners fled at the approach of Union forces) and commenced to issue the “Zouave Gazette of the Nineteenth Regiment Illinois Volunteers”. Colonel Turchin profited by the occasion to publish articles on the skirmisher’s drill, out-post duties, bugle signals rendered in woods, and many others on battalion movements, distributing the articles among officers and men of the Regiment, in view of perfecting them in their duty. He prepared also a “Brigade Drill”, in pamphlet form, which afterwards was freely distributed among officers of his Brigade, and which was the first brigade drill adapted to improve arms since the old “Scott’s tactics”. Brigadier General D. C. Buell having been appointed to command the Army of the Ohio, and the formation of Brigades and Divisions having commenced, General Buell went around to review his command, and when he came to Elizabethtown to review the Nineteenth Illinois, he was strongly impressed by the soldierly appearance of the Regiment, and its marching. Contrary to the long established usage to review a Regiment by only passing in review of its companies in marching, he accepted the proposition of Colonel Turchin to see the drill of the Regiment, and after the Regiment went through manual of arms, loading, firing and bayonet exercise, as also through various evolutions of the battalion drill, with a skill and regularity not be surpassed, General Buell confessed to Colonel Turchin that he “never saw a better drilled Regiment”. He soon assigned Colonel Turchin to command the Eighth Brigade of the Third Division, Army of the Ohio, the Brigade consisting of Nineteenth and Twenty-fourth Illinois, Eighteenth Ohio, and Thirty-seventh Indiana Regiments, under Brigadier General O. M. Mitchell, commanding the Division. The Seventh, Eighth and Ninth Brigades, constituting the Third Division, went into camp at Bacon Creek soon afterward, and remained there until the 10th of February 1862. The taking of Forts Henry and Donelson, compelled the rebel forces under General A. S. Johnston to evacuate Bowling Green, before which the advance guard of Buell’s army, under General Mitchell, appeared at three P.M. on the 14th of February, Turchin’s Brigade, being the advance of the Division, and the Nineteenth Illinois in the advance of the Brigade. The railroad bridge being destroyed, and the trains on the other side of the Big Barren being busily engaged carrying away the rebel stores, Colonel Turchin proposed to march down the river, to cross it in a scow by a mill a few miles below, and occupy Bowling Green with his Brigade the same evening. General Mitchell agreeing the movement during the night was successfully executed, and the Nineteenth Illinois was the first Regiment in that stronghold, where a large amount of rebel stores were captured. In the advance on Nashville, beyond Bowling Green, Gen. Mitchell’s Division was in the rear of Buell’s army, arriving at Nashville on the 4th of March 1862. General Buell, moving with his army to join General Grant at Pittsburg Landing, left Mitchell with his Division to protect Nashville, who remained there until March 18, repairing bridges between Bowling Green and Nashville; then moved to Murfreesboro, and from there to Shelbyville, the terminus of the railroad in that direction, where he established his depot of supplies. While there, an expedition was organized to move on Huntsville and take possession of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, between Decatur and Bridgeport, thus thoroughly breaking the direct communications of the enemy’s army at Corinth with east and southeast of the Confederacy, and helping the operations of our armies against Corinth. Turchin’s Brigade, with Simonson’s Indiana Battery, preceded by the Fourth Ohio Cavalry, under Colonel John Kennett, moved, on the 7th of April, to Fayetteville, General Mitchell accompanying. Approaching Fayetteville, it was ascertained from two citizens returning in a buggy from Huntsville, that the day previous (the 6th of April) our army was routed at Shiloh, and driven into the river. Mitchell at once sent an orderly with a dispatch to General Buell, back to Shelbyville, and the next morning, while at Fayetteville, received an answer that Grant’s army was defeated on the 6th, but on the 7th both armies of Grant and Buell attacked the enemy, and drove them back to Corinth. The movement then continued on the 8th, and the force camped for the night within six miles of Huntsville, and at dawn on the 9th Colonel Turchin, with the Fourth Ohio Cavalry and a section of battery, made a dash on Huntsville, while Mitchell, with the Eighth Brigade, followed. One hundred and seventy prisoners, seventeen locomotives, one hundred and fifty passenger and freight cars, and a great amount of property of great value to the enemy, were captured. In two days after the Brigade came to Huntsville, Turchin, with Twenty-fourth Illinois and two companies of the Nineteenth Illinois, moved, on a train, with a gun mounted on a flat car in front of the locomotive, towards Decatur, repairing bridges and culverts which the rebel Cavalry under Colonel Helm tried to destroy, and the next day the expedition was at the bridge across the Tennessee, where a fortification built of bales of cotton was captured, the trestle-work across the slough, that was tarred and cotton-feathered and set on fire, was saved, and the troops, rapidly moving across the bridge, surprised and captured a rebel camp of militia, and took possession of Decatur. The balance of the Nineteenth Illinois, and the Eighteenth Ohio, were ordered to join Turchin at Decatur, and the movement continued to Tuscumbia, within thirty-five miles of the enemy’s fortifications at Corinth, the Nineteenth Illinois occupying the town, while the balance of the Brigade camped back in a grove. During this time General Mitchell, with his other Brigades, took possession of the Memphis and Charleston railroad between Huntsville and Bridgeport. After receiving one hundred thousand rations sent by General Halleck on a transport convoyed by a gunboat, for Mitchell’s Division, and shipping the same to Huntsville, the Brigade withdrew to Huntsville, the Eighteenth Ohio being sent to occupy Athens. During the above expedition the Nineteenth Illinois lost a few men. On the 13th of May, on the report that the Eighteenth Ohio was surprised by Scott’s rebel Cavalry, brought there by some citizens of Athens, and driven from the town, Colonel Turchin, with Nineteenth and Twenty-fourth Illinois, Edgarton’s Ohio Battery, and the Fourth Ohio Cavalry under Colonel Kennett, rapidly moved to Athens. The Eighteenth Ohio was met, and faced towards Athens again, part of it ordered to take wagons and follow the Cavalry, who reached and attacked the rear of the rebels on Elk river. On the 26th of May the Brigade was ordered to move to Fayetteville, where on the 2d of June it joined the expedition, under Brigadier General Jas. S. Negley, to Chattanooga, during which, on the 6th, the Nineteenth Illinois, under Lieutenant Colonel Scott, was detached from the column for the purpose of crossing Cumberland Mountains by the shortest route, and cutting off the enemy’s retreat. The Regiment accomplished the march, came down the mountains opposite Chattanooga, driving in Rebel scouts and pickets and capturing some, while our main force was ten to fifteen miles from Chattanooga. The next day during the demonstration by our forces and connonading, Companies A and G, deployed as skirmishers along the shore, supported by Companies E and D, silenced the Rebel water battery on the opposite side of the river. The loss of the Regiment was one mortally and two severely wounded. The expedition over, the Eighth Brigade returned to Huntsville, from which point subsequently an expedition, consisting of the Nineteenth Illinois with Simonson’s Indiana Battery and a few Cavalry, under Colonel Turchin, was sent to Winchester, Tenn., from which point it went, by Paint Rock Valley, to Larkinsville, and thence was directed by Bellefonte to Stevenson, around which other Regiments of the Eighth Brigade were stationed; the army of General Buell gradually advancing towards Chattanooga. During the march through Paint Rock Valley the advance guard of the Nineteenth was fired upon by guerrillas from an ambush, in retaliation for which the Regiment burned several houses in that neighborhood. Colonel Turchin was now ordered under court-martial by General Buell, on account of the disorders committed by his troops at Athens, Ala., but before the sentence of his dismissal from the army as Colonel of the Nineteenth Illinois had been pronounced, he was commissioned by President Abraham Lincoln as Brigadier General, and left the army for Chicago to await orders. The Regiment was ordered to guard bridges in little squads scattered in stockades along the railroad from Huntsville to Decatur, and thence up to Columbia. When the Rebel army, under General Bragg, moved from Chattanooga, by Sparta and Carthage, to invade Kentucky, and had struck at Buell’s communications between Bowling Green and Franklin, Ky., the Brigade was ordered to concentrate at Nashville; the Nineteenth Illinois was one of the last Regiments that were withdrawn from the front, during which withdrawal it had several times to fight guerrillas and Rebel Cavalry, every time whipping the enemy. From the 5th of September 1862, it remained at Nashville, as a part of garrison under General Negley, during the blockade of that place, having its share of guard duty, short rations and sharp skirmishing with the enemy. After the battle of Perryville Major General W. S. Rosecrans superseded General Buell; the Army of the Ohio changed its name to the Army of the Cumberland and was reorganized; the Nineteenth Illinois was brigaded with the Eighteenth and Sixty-ninth Ohio and Eleventh Michigan, under the name of the Second Brigade, Second Division, Fourteenth Army Corps; the Division being commanded by General J. S. Negley, the Brigade by Colonel T. R. Stanley, of the Eighteenth Ohio, and the Corps by Major General H. Thomas. On the 10th of December 1862, Negley’s Division moved from Nashville out about eight miles and camped on the Franklin pike, remaining there until the 26th, when a general movement of the army took place towards Murfreesboro, occupied by the Rebel army under General Braxton Bragg. On the night of the 29th the army approached the enemy’s position, Negley’s Division being in the center of the line, and on the morning of the 30th the Nineteenth deployed as skirmishers, entered the cedars and soon attacked the enemy and drove him across Wilkinson pike into the woods, except a part of the Rebels that occupied a brick kiln close to the pike, which Colonel Scott with the reserve of the Regiment attacked and drove back also. McCook’s troops coming up, the Nineteenth was withdrawn to its place in the line. On the morning of the 31st the troops stood under arms, the Division being ready to move, when the disaster overtook McCook’s Corps, forming the right of the army, and Negley’s right flank became exposed. The Division partly changed front and checked the advance of the enemy, but was overpowered and fell back to the edge of the cedars. Here it tried to make a stand but again was forced back. But here the Nineteenth Illinois showed its pluck and daring, performing an act of heroism which alone should make the name of the Regiment to shine in our history. When Sheridan’s Division was displaced by the enemy and formed at an angle on the right of Negley, two Brigades of Rosseaus’ Division were posted to the right and rear of Sheridan, but when Sheridan’s Division, broken and out of ammunition, fell back, the Rebels followed it closely and got into the interval between Rosseau and Negley. Thomas ordered Rosseau to fall back out of the cedars and form a temporary line on the open ground in a depression, to give chance to the batteries and to Negley’s Division to fall further back to the high ground and form a permanent line there. At this critical time, in order to check the Rebels, the Nineteenth Illinois occupying the cedars not only remained there wile a new line of Rosseau’s troops were forming, but Colonel Scott boldly advanced and remained for over half an hour against the Rebels pressing him in front and on the flanks; the Regiment sustained a heavy loss in officers and men, being at one time entirely surrounded by the enemy, but fought its way out, passing over large numbers of Rebel dead in its heroic struggle to join the main line, but it helped Rosseau to form a new intermediate line, and then the Nineteenth, with the whole of Negley’s Division, fell back to the designated position on the high ground where afterwards Rosseau’s troops and reserves were formed, and where the Rebel army was definitely stopped and the fortune of the battle turned in our favor. During the same battle, on January 1, 1863, Negley’s Division was ordered to our extreme right to support McCook, in anticipation of a second effort of the enemy to turn our Regiment. During the afternoon VanCleve’s Division, command by Sam Beatty, moved across the Stone River, supported by Grose’s Brigade, and formed a line of battle in front of Breckenridge. On the 2d of January, anticipating an attack on our left, Negley’s Division was moved back to the river, and posted to the right and rear of Sam Beatty’s troops that were beyond the river, while a battery of 58 guns was concentrated back of Negley, on the elevated ground. Breckenridge impetuously attacked our left, and routing Price’s and Gryder’s Brigades, of the first line, drove them pell-mell from the heights to the river and across it, when our guns opened up, while most of the Regiments of Miller’s and Stanley’s Brigades of Negley’s Division, the Nineteenth Illinois leading, without orders, rushed to the river, and checked the enemy. Then the Nineteenth crossed the river, reformed on the opposite side, protected by the bank of the river, and charged on a Rebel battery, eagerly followed by other troops, which drove the Rebels back to their position, captured four guns and a Rebel flag, and defeated the plan of Bragg to break our left. In this brilliant movement the Nineteenth played a most conspicuous and honorable part, but again lost heavily in officers and men, losing also its commander, the gallant Colonel Scott, here dangerously wounded, and afterwards died from this wound. After the fall of Scott, Lieutenant Colonel A. W. Raffen, a brave and efficient officer, assumed the command of the Nineteenth Illinois. During the three days of the Stone River battle, the Regiment lost 1 officer and 13 men killed, and 7 officers and 88 men wounded and missing. Early in the spring of 1863, General Turchin joined the army, and was assigned to command Stanley’s Brigade, to which the Nineteenth Illinois belonged, but only for a few days. Earnestly solicited by General Rosecrans and General Garfield to take command of the Second Division of Cavalry, he reluctantly accepted, and with regret was obliged to forego the pleasures to command a Brigade in which were his own Regiment, the Nineteenth Illinois, and another that belonged to the First Brigade-the Eighteenth Ohio. During the time the Army of the Cumberland was lying at Murfreesboro, the Nineteenth had its share of picket and guard duty, as well as taking part in a number of expeditions, and became prominent as the best drilled Regiment. Several times it was called out in front of the Army, when reviewed by the General commanding, and went through the manual of arms and bayonet exercise. During the campaign of Tullahoma, it did its full duty, and on the 8th of September it crossed the Tennessee River, on the Chattanooga campaign. General Negley’s Division, being designated as an advance guard of General Thomas’ Corps, after crossing Raccoon and Lookout Mountains, on the 10th of September descended by Steven’s Gap into McLamore’s Cove, and moved across the cove to Dug Gap, in Pigeon Mountains, on direct road to Lafayette. On the 11th, at Davis’ Cross-roads, it had a spirited engagement with the Rebels, in which the Nineteenth participated. After McCook’s Corps joined Thomas, Negley’s Division was ordered, on the 18th, to relieve Palmer’s and VanCleve’s Divisions at Owen’s Ford, on the Chickamauga, and at Crawfish Spring. During the first day of the battle of Chickamauga, Negley’s Division did not participate until late in the afternoon, when, moving from Widow Glen’s house to the front, it met a portion of the Rebel force that broke between Davis and VanCleve’s Divisions, and drove them back, the Nineteenth participating in the fight. On the 20th of September skirmishing began at daybreak. General Thomas’ intention was to have Negley’s Division on his left, but during the severe fighting of that day the Brigades became separated. When Stanley’s Brigade reached the extreme left of Thomas’ wing, about 10 A.M., it was just in time to meet the second assault of the enemy, in which the Rebels greatly overlapped the flank of Baird’s Division. Stanley’s Brigade checked the Rebel advance, and charging in turn, drove the enemy in disorder through the woods for half a mile, capturing a considerable number of prisoners, among whom were General Adams and staff, who surrendered to Major Jas. V. Guthrie, of the Nineteenth Illinois. The Rebels being reinforced, the Brigade fell back in order, taking all the prisoners and most of its wounded. The Brigade was then ordered by General Thomas to support our forces on the famous “Horseshoe Ridge”, on the extreme right of the army. Here, the Nineteenth Illinois did its fullest duty, with other as brave and patriotic commands as itself, performing acts of bravery and devotion to the flag unsurpassed in any battle of modern warfare. Here, during a long hour, between 2 and 3 P.M., all the assaults of three Divisions of Longstreet’s Corps, supported by Preston’s and Hindman’s Divisions, were repulsed with slaughter by our troops, not over 5,000 strong, but the bravest of the brave; but when Hindman’s Division was ready to take our position in flank, and the men were preparing to die, Steadman’s Division arrived, and rolled back the Rebel wave. Here the Nineteenth Illinois, like others, fought till night, and withdrew in the dark. The loss of the Regiment in this battle was very great. After the Army of the Cumberland got to Chattanooga, it was reorganized, and the Nineteenth Illinois assigned to Second Brigade, First Division, Fourteenth Army Corps. The Brigade consisted of First and Second Battalions of Fifteenth, First Battalion of Sixteenth, First and Second Battalions of Eighteenth, and First Battalion of Nineteenth United States Infantry; Eleventh Michigan, Nineteenth Illinois and Sixty-ninth Ohio, Volunteer Infantry, and commanded by Brigadier General J. H. King; the Division commanded by Brigadier General R. W. Johnson, and the Corps by Major General John M. Palmer. During the blockade at Chattanooga, the Nineteenth, like other Regiments, was doing its share of duty in throwing up fortifications, in picket and outpost duty, as well as in suffering from privations and hardships. General Geo. H. Thomas relieved General Rosecrans in command of the Army, General Grant came, the battle of Missionary Ridge began on the 23d, continued on the 24th, and culminated in the assault on the Ridge by the four Divisions of the Army of the Cumberland, that finished the battle and gave us the victory on the 25th of November 1863. In this assault, Johnson’s Division was on the right of the four Divisions, and when the signal was given and the troops cleared the open space and reached the rifle pits of the enemy, at the base of the Ridge, the Nineteenth Illinois did not halt at the pits, but leaped over them, and started to ascend the steep slope ahead of others. After the pursuit of the enemy was over, the Regiment returned to Chattanooga, where it remained with its Brigade till February 22, 1864, when the reconnoissance towards Buzzard Roost Gap was ordered, in which the Regiment participated, and afterward camped at Graysville, Georgia, till May 3, when, by a special request of General Turchin, it was, together with the Twenty-fourth Illinois, transferred to his Brigade-First Brigade, Third Division, Fourteenth Army Corps, with which the Regiment made a part of the Atlanta campaign, under Major General W. T. Sherman. It participated in the battle of Resaca, and in the movements towards Kingston and beyond Etowa River, as far as Burnt Hickory, from which the Nineteenth was sent to Ackworth, Georgia, from which, on June 8, it started to Chicago, arriving there on the 17th of June, and on July 9, 1864, it was mustered out of service. This Regiment left Chicago on July 12, 1861, nearly one thousand strong, had received during its service a large number of recruits, and was mustered out with less than 350 men. The following is its muster-out roster: Lieutenant Colonel, Alexander W. Raffen; Major, James V. Guthrie; Surgeon, Roswell G. Bogue; Assistant Surgeon, Charles F. Little; Adjutant, Lester G. Bangs; Acting Regimental Quartermaster, Lieutenant John Young; Sergeant Major, S. H. McDowell; Quartermaster Sergeant, Hyler A. Downs; Commissary Sergeant, Hiram Bush; Hospital Steward, Henry C. Mattison. Company A-Captain, James R. Hayden; First Lieutenant Clifton T. Wharton; Second Lieutenant, Thomas M. Beatty. Company B-Captain, Alexander Murchison; First Lieutenant, William Jackson; Second Lieutenant, John T. Thornton. Company C-Second Lieutenant, Cyrus E. Keith. Company D-Captain, William A. Calhoun; First Lieutenant, Oliver E. Eames. Company ECaptain, David F. Bremner; First Lieutenant, John Young; Second Lieutenant, James W. Raffen. Company F-Captain, James G. Campbell; First Lieutenant, Samuel L. Hamilton. Company HFirst Lieutenant, John Dedrick. Company I-Captain, John Longhorn; First Lieutenant, William Quinton; Second Lieutenant, D. B. Morehouse. Company K-Captain, Pressly N. Guthrie; First Lieutenant, Cornelius B. Lamberson; Second Lieutenant, Bradford Bell. (Company G was lost to the Regiment, having been turned into a Battery of Artillery, at Murfreesboro.)


Histories of Illinois Civil War Regiments and Units

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