ILLINOIS in the CIVIL WAR

The One Hundred-First Illinois


The following was transcribed from the newspaper article and submitted by Joe Carone.

The original article appeared in the 'Jacksonville Daily Journal' Jacksonville, Illinois Sunday, May 30, 1909.


The One Hundred-First Illinois

History of Regiment Organized at Camp Duncan -- Mustered Into Service in September, 1862 Saw Hard Service but Lost Few Men in Battle

Rev. C.R. Morrison has compiled in the journal a brief and concise history of the One Hundred and First Infantry Illinois Volunteers, Organized in this city in the late summer of 1862. The records are based in part on material taken from volume 5 of the adjutant general's report.

Organized at Camp Duncan.

The One Hundred and First Infantry Regiment Illinois Volunteers was organized at Camp Duncan, Jacksonville Ill., during the latter part of the month of August 1862 and on the 2nd of September, 1862, was formally mustered into the United States service by Captain Ewing, Thirteenth Infantry, U.S.A.

Officers.

Colonels: Charles H. Fox Resigned May 1, 1864, succeeded by John B. Lesage.
Lieut. Colonels: William J. Wyatt, resigned April 9, 1863, succeeded by Jesse L. Newman, was resigned Jan 3, 1864, succeeded by John B. Lesage,(Promoted).
Majors: Jesse L. Newman, (Promoted), John B. Lesage, (Promoted), Napoleon B. Brown, (resigned Jan 17, 1865). Sylvester L. Moore, (mustered out June 7, 1865).
Adjutants: Harrison O. Cassell, (resigned Feb 2, 1863) Geo. W. Padgett, (mustered out June 7, 1865).
Quartermasters: John M. Snyder, (mustered out for promotion) Charles S. Gove, (mustered out June 7, 1865).
Surgeons: Clarke Roberts, (resigned April 14, 1864). A.L. Kimber, (resigned Nov 6, 1864). Henry C. Robbins, (mustered out June 7, 1863). Geo. S. Smith, (resigned Oct 1, 1862).
First Assistant Surgeons: James Miner, (resigned Jan 4, 1863). A.L. Kimber, (promoted). Henry C. Robbins, (promoted). E.F. Henderson, (mustered out June 7, 1865).
Chaplains: Wingate J. Newman, (resigned May 2, 1864). James B. Seymore, (mustered out June 7, 1865).
Sergeant Major: Melvin G. Lane, (reduced and returned to Co. G). Phillip Lee, (promoted to 1st Lieut and then to Captain of Co. D). John G. Morrisorn (mustered out June 7, 1865).
Quartermaster Sergeant: Joseph C. Mitchell, (mustered out June 7, 1865).
Commissary Sergeant: L.B. Folsom (reduced and returned to Co. A). Peter A. Sinclair, (mustered out June 7, 1865).
Hospital Stewards: Stephen H. Gaston, (discharged Nov 6, 1862). Andrew C. Hatfield, (mustered out June 7, 1865).
Principal Musicians: William T. Humphrey, (mustered out June 10, 1865). Francis M. Bristow, (mustered out June 7, 1865).

Companies.

"A" (Meredosia), Lesage, Folsom, and J.W. Brown, captains successively.
"B" (Concord and Arcadia), N.B. Brown, Wooff and Wm. J. Patterson, captains successively.
"C" (Jacksonville), May, Cattin, Belt and Yaple captains.
"D" (Jacksonville) Coffman, Gillham and Lee captains successively.
"E" (Arcadia and Bethel), Sample and Lamb, captains successively.
"F" (Murrayville), George W. Fanning and Wyatt, captains successively.
"G" (Waverly) McKee, Meacham and Carroll, captains successively.
"H" (Franklin), Joab, Fanning, W.R. Seymore, captains successively.
"I" (Jacksonville), Lightfoot and Hilligass, captains successively.
"K" (Jacksonville), S. Moore and Clarke, captains successively.

History.

For about a month after muster-in the regiment remained at Camp Duncan, Morgan county Fairgrounds, now land owned by state deaf and dumb asylum. (1 mile west of public square, Jacksonville), engaged in drilling and equipping for the field. At last on the 6th Of October, marching orders came and embarking on the cars (Wabash railway); reached Cairo, Ill., on the evening of the 7th of October at sunset.

Here the regiment remained for over a month, during garrison duty. The interim was devoted to drill, in which the regiment became so perfect as to win a very fair name. It consequence of the rainy weather, there was a great deal of sickness while at Cairo, and a good many men were discharged or died from disease.

November 26th, the regiment left Cairo, and proceeded down the river to Columbus, KY and thence by rail to Davis Mills, Miss. Where it was assigned to Loomis brigade of Ross division, Army of the Tennessee.

At the Front.

November 28th it started on its first march and on the 30th reached Lumpkin's Mills, six miles south of Holly Springs, where the regiment first heard the clash of contending arms, on the Tallahatchie river, six miles beyond. The regiment removed at Lumpkin's Mills, three days, when it received orders to return to Holly Springs, Miss. for provost and garrison duty.

December 13th, Co. "A" Capt. J. B.. Lesage, was sent to Cairo with rebel prisoners. December 20th, Holly Springs was captured and Cos. "B", "C", "E", "F", "I", and the sick men of Co. "H" who had been left behind were taken prisoner and paroled. Soon after they were sent to Memphis and thence to Benton Barracks, MO., where they remained until exchanged in June 1863.

At the Holly Springs disaster the men of this regiment on duty, did all they could have done, under the circumstances. Another regiment was doing the picket duty while the 101st was in town, doing provost duty and divided about the town, in squads too small to make successful resistance to the overpowering numbers that surrounded them. Wherever the blame of the disaster shall rest it surely should not attach itself to the 101st. Ill Vol.

When the town was captured Companies "D", "G", "H" and "K" which were stationed along the railroad, fell back in with the 90th Illinois. (Irish Legion) and assisted greatly in repelling Van Dorn's attack on the place.

The 101st and the 14th.

Afterwards those four companies were formed into a battalion and temporarily assigned to the 14th Illinois Volunteers and did a great deal of scouting service over Tennessee, finally bringing up at Memphis, TENN., in February, 1863. Here they were joined Companies "A" (Captain Lesage) who took command of the Battalion. Upon leaving Holly Springs, Company "A" proceeded to Cairo and thence to Vicksburg but was sent back up the river with prisoners. About the first of February the prisoners were turned over at Alton, but not until the company had been fearfully decreased by sickness incurred while on duty. Often Captain Lesage could not muster half dozen men for duty, and this too, when he had over 1000 prisoners under his charge.

Early in March the battalion was ordered down to Vicksburg where it was broken up and the companies assigned to various independent duties. Company "K" was assigned to General Grant's headquarters. Company "A" was assigned to the gunboat "General Bragg", Company "G" to the Ram, "Switzerland", Company "D" to the "Rattler" and the "Crocket" and company "H" to the "Lafayette".

Scattered Companies.

September 24, 1863, the regiment received orders transferring it to the Department of the Cumberland and it started at once for Louisville, KY., to Cairo, to Sandoval, Ill., and thence to Mitchell and New Albany, IND., arriving at Louisville, Sept. 2;. On September 30, it left Louisville via Nashville and arrived at Bridgeport, ALA., Oct 2, 1863, and remained there until the 27th. This period of service is always referred to as a hard time, owing to the severe rains and destitution of tents. In fact most of the regiment were tentless until the Ist of January, 1864. On October 27th, the regiment was temporarily assigned to the First Brigade, Third Division of the Eleventh Army Corps, and started on the march to the front, arriving next day at Lookout Valley, where on the night of its arrival, it participated in the night battle of Wau-hatch-ie, where by singular good fortune, not a man was hurt. For nearly a month following, the regiment lay encamped in the valley, exposed to the daily shelling from Lookout Mountain which during that time one man was killed and one wounded. Nov 22, the regiment received marching orders and proceeded to Chattanooga where it participated in the battle of Chattanooga, losing one man, killed.

Hard Service.

Immediately after the battle, it was ordered to the relief of Knoxville, and participated in that severer march, and finally returned to Lookout Valley, December 17. Many of the men were barefooted, and in that condition had marched many a weary mile, over the frozen ground and sharp rocks, even as their forefathers had done in the revolutionary times, leaving their blood to mark their steps.

Recruiting its strength in the valley for a few days, the regiment was then set to work building corduroy roads, after which on the 1st of January, 1864, they were sent to Kelly's ferry to relieve the 16th Illinois, then about to return home on veteran furlough. Here the regiment remained until the last of January, when upon completion of the railroad to Chattanooga, they were ordered to Bridgeport, Ala., where they went into camp, and quietly remained there until the 2nd of May, when they started for the front

Resaca.

The Eleventh and Twelfth army corps had been consolidated into the Twentieth army corps and the old brigade to which the 101st had been transferred to the First Division, in the new corps, and became the Third brigade of that division This brigade was commanded by Colonel (afterward Brigadier General) Robinson of the 82nd Ohio. Leaving Bridgeport on May 2 they reached Taylor's Ridge on the 6th, which was crossed next day and encampment was made at Anderson postoffice. The regiment remained there until midnight of May 10th, then marched to Snake Creek Gap where it remained two days. On the 13th, having marched through the Gap the troops were ready for action, near Resaca, but were held in reserve all day. On the 14th still being held in reserve until 3 O'clock in the afternoon, when they started on the double quick for the left, where the brigade rendered important service in the action then in progress.

During this engagement, it is said, the 101st was ordered to take a hill in front of them, occupied by the enemy, which they did in so gallant a style as to win the admiration of General Joe Hooker, who cheered the troops, with the encouraging shout of: "Go in, my Illinois boys!" The next afternoon it was ordered forward and at 4 o clock while in column was charged by a rebel force.

New Hope Church.

Both officers and men of the regiment conducted themselves gallantly and rendered valuable services, losing one man killed and six mortally wounded and forty wounded pressing the rebels, it again came upon them at Cassville GA., on the 19th but did not get into a fight as the rebels left. Again, followed on the 23rd, and on the 25th of May got into a hot and heavy fight at New Hope church. Among the wounded at this place were Adjutant Padgett, Lieutenant Hardin, and Lieutenant (afterward Captain) Belt of Co. "C." who subsequently died of wounds.

After this the regiment bore an honorable share in the various maneuvers around Kenesaw and Pine mountains, losing one killed and five or six wounded. During the battle of Kulp's farm, June 22, it supported Battery 1, First New York, which did signal execution during the fight. June 27th Lieutenant Dimm of Co. "D" was killed on the skirmish line.

Peach Tree Creek.

After the rebels evacuated Kenesaw, the regiment engaged in the pursuit, and on the 6th of July, took position on Chattahoochie Heights, where it remained eleven days. On July 17th the river was crossed, and after crossing Peach Tree creek on 20th the corps was assailed with terrific force by the rebels. Forming line fire the enemy was held at bay, and their charge repelled until 8 o'clock p.m. when he abandoned the attack and returned to his fortifications. In this engagement five men were killed and 35 wounded. Among the killed was Captain Thomas B. Wooff of Co. "H." The morning report, next day, showed only 120 effective men on duty, having left Bridgeport, ALA., with 365 men.

Atlanta.

On the 23rd of July, the depleted regiment took position in front of Atlanta, supporting Battery I, First New York, in which position it remained until the 25nd of August when it was ordered back to the Chattahoochie bridge, which the corps was to guard while the rest of the army swung into the rear of Atlanta. On September 2nd, the regiment, together with the 13th New Jersey, 107th New York were sent out on a reconnaissance and as a consequence the 101st Illinois claims the honor of being the first to enter Atlanta, after its fall, which occurred on its second anniversary of mustering in (Sept 2.) It remained in Atlanta until the destruction of the place, most of the time having charge of the fire department.

Marching thro' Georgia.

November 15th, 1864, the regiment with Sherman's great army, started on the march through Georgia to the sea. It participated in all its glories, its trials and its triumphs, and whether as advance guard, driving rebels cavalry before it, or as rear guard, pulling wagons out of the mud, or making corduroy roads, over unfathomable mud holes, the 101st Illinois, always did its duty so well as to win high commendations from brigade and division commanders. The story of the march is the same as of the other regiments of the great army. It reached Savannah and entered the city Dec. 22, 1864. It was at this time and place that General Sherman sent his famous greeting to President Lincoln presenting him Savannah as a Christmas present. On Jan 17, 1865, the crossing was made into South Carolina, on whose soil the regiment participated in the battles of Averysboro and Bentonville, losing only one man, wounded. On March 24 entered Goldsboro, and on the 13th of April entered Raleigh, where the regiment remained until the final surrender of the rebel army, after which, on the 30th of that month it resumed its march toward Richmond VA, which place was reached May 8, 1865. It remained there until the 11th, when marching through Richmond, it took up the line of march towards Alexandria, where it arrived on the 19th.

Grand Review.

On May 24th it participated in the grand review at Washington, D.C., and then went into camp at Bladensburg, where it remained until June 7, 1865, when it was mustered out of the service and started via railway for Springfield, Ill., where, on the 21st of June, 1865 it was paid off and disbanded.

Statistics of the Regiment

Killed in battle ......................................16
Died from wounds or of sickness during enlistment.....124
Discharged on account of disability...................193
Resigned...............................................32
Transferred to other commands..........................37 
Deserted...............................................60
Mustered out June 7, 1865.............................381
                                                    ------
Accounted for.........................................843

101st Illinois Infantry

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