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.
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).
Jesse L. Newman, (Promoted), John B. Lesage, (Promoted), Napoleon B.
Brown, (resigned Jan 17, 1865). Sylvester L. Moore, (mustered out June 7,
Harrison O. Cassell, (resigned Feb 2, 1863) Geo. W. Padgett,
(mustered out June 7, 1865).
John M. Snyder, (mustered out for promotion) Charles S. Gove, (mustered out June 7, 1865).
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,
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
- 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).
- "A" (Meredosia), Lesage, Folsom, and J.W. Brown, captains successively.
(Concord and Arcadia), N.B. Brown, Wooff and Wm. J. Patterson, captains
- "C" (Jacksonville), May, Cattin, Belt and Yaple captains.
(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,
- "I" (Jacksonville), Lightfoot and Hilligass, captains
- "K" (Jacksonville), S. Moore and Clarke, captains successively.
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
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
the Battalion. Upon leaving Holly Springs, Company "A" proceeded to
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"
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".
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,
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
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
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
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.
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
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
Transferred to other commands..........................37
Mustered out June 7, 1865.............................381
101st Illinois Infantry
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