ILLINOIS in the CIVIL WAR

46th Illinois Infantry


A Brief History of the 46th Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment

1861-1866

Second Edition, November 1995

Written by Christopher Ohland, 8395 SW Secretariet Terrace, Beaverton, Oregon 97008-9408,
Copyright, 46th Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment, 1995
Submitted by Christopher Ohland


Table of Contents


INTRODUCTION

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The American Civil War, fought between 1861 and 1865, made manpower demands that could not be met by the standing Army, which numbered fewer than 14,000 men at the outset of the war. The early tide of war in the East ran against the Union in 1861, and the disaster at Bull Run (First Manassas) had shamed the Army. It became clear to President Abraham Lincoln that the Army would need many more soldiers in the field to defeat the Confederacy, and that the quality of Generalship needed to improve dramatically. In order to meet the manpower emergency, Lincoln called upon the individual states to provide volunteer regiments to supplement the Regular Army. His first call in 1861 was for 75,000 volunteers, to be assembled from all of the loyal states. As the volunteer regiments were formed, they were numbered in order of creation in their states, becoming known by names such as The 1st Rhode Island Volunteers, The First New York Volunteer Infantry, The Sixth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, and so on. Illinois ultimately sent more than 120 regiments, or approximately 120,000 men, into the Civil War. These Regiments were formed (or mustered), trained together, and went through as much of the War as they were destined to experience as a unit. Friends, neighbors, and relatives signed up and fought side by side.

A Regiment was an Army organizational unit that included approximately 1,000 men during the early part of the war, at full strength. Usually commanded by a Colonel, a regiment includes ten smaller units called Companies, identified by letter from A through K, omitting J. Companies were commanded by Captains, supported by three Lieutenants, five Sergeants, eight Corporals, and included 72 Privates.

As they were assigned to field commands, four Regiments were combined into a Brigade, three or four Brigades might then be combined into a Division, and three or four Divisions would later be combined into a Corps. An Army, such as the Army of the Potomac, would be composed of three or more Corps. Organizations, at all levels, would be realigned from time to time to satisfy the needs of the situation.

FORMATION OF THE 46TH ILLINOIS

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Farm boys and tradesmen, from towns and hamlets in northern Illinois near the Wisconsin border and along the Rock River, answered President Lincoln's call in late 1861. They signed up at small town recruiting offices and public meetings for a three-year enlistment, and headed off to rendezvous points. Companies A, B, C, G, and K from Stephenson County went directly to Camp Butler, an Army training camp in Sangamon County, near Springfield. The southern Illinois counties of Clay, Jasper, and Richland sent company F to Camp Butler on October 4. Lee, Ogle, and Whiteside Counties sent Companies D, I, H, and E to meet at Dixon, and then on to Camp Butler.

There they were formed into the 46th Regiment of Illinois Volunteer Infantry on December 28, 1861. Colonel John A. Davis of Stephenson County was named commanding officer and began the period of drill and training that would turn the farmers into soldiers of the Union. Colonel Davis, his Staff, and his Company officers and noncommissioned officers taught the men to use their new Springfield rifle muskets, to march in the battlefield formations that would bring their fire to bear on the enemy, and to live under Army rules and discipline. The records show that the farm boys learned quickly and adapted well to the routine, eager to prove themselves in battle. Their first test would come sooner than they expected.

BAPTISM OF FIRE, FORT DONELSON

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While the 46th Illinois was still in training, Brigadier General Ulysses S. Grant's Army of 15,000 and a squadron of seven Union gunboats was driving the Confederate soldiers from Ft. Henry, on the Tennessee River, to nearby Ft. Donelson on the Cumberland River. On February 11, 1862, after six weeks of training, the new soldiers of the 46th Illinois took the train from Springfield to Cairo, Illinois, and then boarded the steamer Belle Memphis. The steamer took them East on the Ohio River, then south on the Tennessee River to a landing near Ft. Donelson, where Grant awaited them. With the arrival of reinforcements including the 46th, Grant's Army now numbered 27,500 troops, opposing 17,500 Rebels.

The 46th disembarked on the 14th of February about three miles from Ft. Donelson, where Federal troops had already engaged the Rebels. They were temporarily assigned to the Division commanded by General Lew Wallace, and assigned to guard General Grant's headquarters during the night. This first night in the field was miserable, the troops standing guard shivering in a snowstorm. Those off duty had only their blankets to cover up with, since no tents had been brought along due to a shortage of transportation. What they had they carried on their backs.

On the morning of February 15, after breakfast, they were ordered to the battle front, in the center of the Union lines. The 46th was moved from place to place as the battle developed, and at 3:00 PM finally were ordered to protect an artillery battery from Rebel infantry and snipers. The Confederates opened fire and attempted to rush the battery, and the 46th went into its first fight. When the smoke cleared from the battlefield, the Rebels had withdrawn and the 46th Illinois had three men wounded, one mortally. Rebel losses were not recorded, but were believed to be serious. After this brief engagement the 46th was withdrawn from action, and as night fell they went again into bivouac.

During the night the Confederate commander, Brigadier General Gideon Pillow, fled the fort by small boat. He left Brigadier General Simon Bolivar Buckner in command, who wrote to Grant and requested "the appointment of commissioners to agree upon the terms of capitulation of the forces and fort under my command..". Grant, awakened by the messenger, wrote in reply "No terms except an unconditional and immediate surrender can be accepted.", earning for himself the nickname of "Unconditional Surrender Grant".

The dawn of February 16 greeted the Union soldiers in the field with the welcome news that the enemy had capitulated. The first, brief test of the 46th Illinois under fire had been passed at reasonable cost in terms of casualties, and had given them the confidence that they would soon need. They had "seen the elephant", soldier slang for having been in their first combat.

MOVEMENT FURTHER SOUTH

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On February 17 the 46th marched to Ft. Henry, and happily moved into the comfortable huts that had been built and previously occupied by the Confederate defenders. They settled into the routine of garrison life for a couple of weeks, as General Grant continued to gather his Army for the push south.

Grant's ultimate objective was Corinth, Mississippi, about 30 miles south of Pittsburg Landing, Tennessee. Corinth was a commercial center for the Confederacy, forming the junction of the Mobile & Ohio Railroad (which ran north to south) and the Memphis & Charleston Railroad (which ran East to West). With this strategically important rail center under his control he would be able to stifle Rebel movement, and equally importantly would be able to improve his supply lines to the north.

On March 5, the 46th Illinois was assigned to the 2nd Brigade, along with the 14th and 15th Illinois and the 25th Indiana. This brigade was commanded by Colonel James Veatch, formerly commander of the 25th Indiana. The 2nd Brigade was assigned to the 4th Division under the command of Brigadier General Stephen Hurlbut of Illinois.

On the morning of March 6, the 46th boarded the steamer Aurora and moved south along the Tennessee River to arrive at Pittsburg Landing, Tennessee on the 19th of March, after a stop in Savannah, Tennessee. They camped about a mile inland just north of the landing, about four miles north East of a little church called Shiloh Chapel.

BLOODY TEST AT SHILOH

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General Grant's Army of Western Tennessee had by now grown to 48,000 strong, fresh from the victories at Ft. Henry and Ft. Donelson. Grant did not expect an attack by the Rebels so soon after the two Union victories, and had his troops deployed more for training and drill than for battle.

Confederate forces under the command of General Albert Sydney Johnston, numbering about 44,700 men, smarting from the two recent defeats, had intended to surprise Grant on April 5. Johnston's men were delayed on the march by heavy rain and muddy roads, but lost none of the element of surprise, attacking the Federal pickets in a fury at dawn on Sunday, April 6, 1862. The Battle of Shiloh had begun.

Federal troops in the camps to the West, many awakened by the sound of onrushing Rebel musket fire, panicked and broke at the sudden onslaught. The rattle of distant musketry was first heard in the camp of the 46th Illinois at about 7:30 AM, just as they were finishing breakfast. Colonel Davis and Lieutenant Colonel John Jones had the Companies formed up, and they marched toward the sound of the guns, arriving at the battlefield at about 9:30AM. Colonel Veatch, the Brigade Commander, personally showed Colonel Davis where to position his troops, just south of the Corinth Road near Water Oaks Pond. As the boys nervously shuffled into position, the firing increased and the Federal Regiment to their front broke and ran back through the ranks of the 46th. The 46th opened fire, and after a few volleys the resolute farm boys from Illinois had the Rebel advance temporarily stopped. However, the Union Regiment to the right of the 46th gave way. After receiving heavy losses from Rebel cross-fire on the right, Colonel Davis withdrew his Regiment in good order for a short time.

After this temporary retreat, the 46th found itself in the vicinity of the 49th Illinois whose Commander, Colonel Pierce, requested Colonel Davis to take command of the two Regiments, presumably due to his seniority. The two Regiments were then assigned the duty of protecting an Artillery unit, called Taylor's Battery, from Rebel snipers and infantry. The 49th was posted to the left of the Battery, with the 46th to the right. Another fire fight with the Rebels ensued, and Davis' horse was shot down. Immediately after this fight Colonel Davis and the 46th were ordered to join the 1st Brigade of Brigadier General William Tecumseh Sherman's Division. Davis moved the 46th north through the woods at about 11:00AM to a spot on the south edge of Jones' field. Arriving at about 11:30, they were immediately engaged with Rebel troops who had moved into the woods just south of Jones' field, where the 46th had been just minutes before. The 46th moved up to within 100 yards of the Confederate lines and "poured a most destructive fire" upon the enemy, advancing 200 yards into the woods, fighting all the way. During the musket volleys in this fight, Captain Young of Company "G" of the 46th was killed in action. When the Regiment to the right fell back, Colonel Davis, discovering that the 46th was running low on ammunition, withdrew the Regiment from the field. Since it was now 1:00 PM, and they were only a half mile from their Regimental Camp, Colonel Davis sensibly marched the 46th back to camp for dinner (lunch).

After this most welcome meal and brief respite from combat, the 46th was ordered forward to join the Brigade of Colonel Marsh, and they soon became engaged in yet another fight. Again, the Regiments on the left and right fell back, but the 46th held its ground and "fought with great spirit." In this action, Major Dornblaser was seriously wounded. Following the example of the steadfast 46th Illinois, the other regiments rallied, and the enemy's advance was stopped. It being necessary to stay on the field to keep the ground secure from Rebel advance, the 46th lay on its arms that night, through another driving rainstorm.

The Union forces had suffered a serious setback on this first day of the Battle of Shiloh, being pushed back toward Pittsburg Landing and suffering heavy casualties. The Confederates had been shocked by the death of their Commander, General Albert Sydney Johnston, whose place was taken by General Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard.

For the Union, it had been a desperate day. After the fighting had died down, General Sherman came to visit General Grant, who had been sheltering from the rain under an oak tree. Sherman said "Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?". Grant replied "Yes, yes. Lick 'em tomorrow". Grant had an ace up his sleeve, in the person of 17,900 reinforcements being sent from General Don Carlos Buell's Army of the Ohio, who arrived at Pittsburg Landing during the night. With these reinforcements, the Union counterattack was to be mounted early in the morning on Monday, April 7.

On Monday, April 7, 1862, the second day of the Battle of Shiloh began. Colonel Marsh moved his Brigade forward in the center of the Union lines. The Union pickets were driven back by Confederate musketry, and when the opposing forces came within 200 yards of each other both sides opened fire, Colonel Davis losing another horse in this exchange. As the tide turned against the 46th, Davis called for an orderly retreat and personally carried the 46th's colors off the field. While removing the colors, Colonel Davis was seriously wounded in the left side by a shell fragment, a wound that was at the time thought mortal. Now without their Commander, the 46th held its fire until the Rebels were only 30 yards away in the trees, and then opened fire again. Reinforcements arrived, and the 46th helped to drive the enemy back toward the Shiloh Chapel. All over the battlefield the strength of the reinforcements heartened the Federal troops, and the Rebels finally withdrew. Union forces had saved the day, and the Battle of Shiloh came to a close. General Hurlbut personally ordered the 46th Illinois back to their quarters.

The 46th Illinois fought bravely and suffered heavily at Shiloh, with a total of 198 casualties, including 31 killed, 148 wounded, and 19 missing. Of the wounded, 24 more would die in the days and weeks following the battle. While they were not the most experienced soldiers in the Union Army, they had proven themselves to be brave under fire and capable of performing reliably on the battlefield.

The two-day Battle of Shiloh resulted in more casualties than in all other previous American wars combined, with a combined casualty list from both sides of over 23,700 killed, wounded, and captured. As costly as Shiloh was, it remained a victory for the Union. The Rebel attackers had been driven off, and the campaign of conquest in the West had gained energy and confidence. The shame of the Union defeat at Bull Run was now forgotten, but it was now clear to all that this was to be a prolonged and costly war

THE SEIGE OF CORINTH

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The losses at Shiloh were a shock to the President, with General Grant now being called a "butcher" by those in Washington who remained naive about the realities of war. Grant was soon relieved of command, to be replaced by Major General Henry Halleck, who traveled immediately to Pittsburg Landing and summoned General Pope's Army of the Mississippi to join him. Halleck's force grew to about 100,000 effectives, large enough to give the cautious General the confidence to continue the advance south.

On April 24th, the 46th and the Brigade marched four miles from the battlefield of Shiloh and went into camp to rest, receive their first Army pay, and refit for six days. They then made a miserable, rain-soaked march through Monterey, Tennessee, to set up camp at Pea Ridge. The retreating enemy was now being met nearly every day, with minor skirmishes becoming accepted as a fact of life. The Federal soldiers were in enemy country, and could never really relax. By May 14th they had reached the vicinity of Corinth, and began to build the earthworks that would be needed for a siege.

The 27th and 46th Illinois were sent on a reconnaissance to the rear of Corinth along with a large force of Union Cavalry. A brief, sharp engagement near Purdy Church followed, with the Rebels losing eight killed. There were no losses to the Union forces, but they were somewhat mystified as to the wisdom and purpose of the expedition. To quote the official Regimental History, "The particular object of sending one small regiment of Infantry on a scout with over three thousand cavalry, and when the enemy was encountered, hurrying the Infantry forward on the run to the front, could never be fully comprehended by the combined wisdom of the regiment.".

The Union forces moved their positions closer to Corinth, building more earthworks. It became clear to the Confederates that they were outnumbered and unable to defend Corinth, but General Beauregard kept up a good show of contesting Union advances while he began the evacuation of Corinth by rail. He prudently had most of the supplies loaded on trains, and to deceive the Federal forces ordered his soldiers to "cheer repeatedly, as though reinforcements had arrived" whenever a train whistle was sounded. He succeeded in removing the sick and wounded, along with the heavy artillery, but had to leave behind considerable food, clothing, and ammunition to be captured by the Union soldiers. By 8:00 AM on the morning of April 30th, the sound of explosions and the sight of pillars of smoke from the burning supplies signaled the departure of the Rebel forces. The Seige of Corinth had ended, with little additional losses in casualties to either side.

FURTHER MOVEMENT IN TENNESSEE

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The Army now began the pursuit of the Confederate forces throughout Western Tennessee during the late spring and summer of 1862. The 46th marched through Corinth and on to the Hatchie River where they helped to rebuild a bridge burned by the Rebels. In consideration of the heat and lack of the presence of the enemy in force, they marched at a more leisurely pace through towns such as Grand Junction, Cold Springs, LaGrange, Holly Springs, and Cold Water Creek. With no real action for months the 46th then returned to Memphis by way of Moscow, Lafayette, Germantown, and White's Station. Thoroughly worn out by the heat, with their uniforms becoming tattered, they went into camp at Memphis for a solid month to rest and refit.

President Lincoln promoted Henry Halleck to General-In-Chief of the Army, and Halleck returned to Washington on July 16th, leaving U.S. Grant in charge of the troops in the field from Corinth all the way back to Kentucky. While Grant had not been returned to his original command level, he was in fact the field commander.

With the weather moderating a bit, the 46th again went on the march in pursuit of the enemy on September 6, 1862, heading for Bolivar, Tennessee. A Union force was gathered near Bolivar for a review, and the 46th warmly greeted the return of Colonel Davis, who had been absent since Shiloh.

THE BATTLE OF DAVIS BRIDGE

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On October 5, 1862, near the town of Matamora, on the Big Hatchie River, the Union Army encountered a large force of Rebels of the Confederate Army of Western Tennessee. Three brigades under Major General E. O. C. Ord (USA), enroute from Bolivar to Corinth, seized the high ground to the east of the bridge across the Hatchie. The 46th Illinois was ordered to advance in support of Bolton's Battery, about two miles west of the river. The Battery's guns opened fire on the Confederate forces, with Rebel cannons returning canister and solid shot. Colonel Davis was soon hit by canister shot in the left side, nearly the same place as his previous wound. Lieutenant Colonel John Jones immediately took command of the 46th, and in the sharp engagement that followed the Rebels were driven across the River.

The enemy forces consolidated on the East side of the Hatchie, believing that they had a good position and that the Union soldiers would not cross the river to pursue them. To their surprise, Jones and other Federal commanders ordered their units across the bridge at the double quick, taking light losses as they reformed and fired on the enemy lines. The soldiers of the 46th, still angered by the wounding of Colonel Davis, made several charges, each time driving the enemy back, until the Rebels retreated just after 4:00 PM.

Returning to Bolivar, the 46th went into camp while the sick and wounded were tended. The sad news of the deaths of Colonel Davis and Lieutenant Moses R. Thompson was given to the men on the 10th of October. Colonel Davis' remains were sent back to his home town of Davis, Illinois, where they now rest under a marble monument in the family plot, in a little cemetery just north of town.

VICKSBURG

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Vicksburg is located in Western Mississippi on the East Bank of the Mississippi River. The town is situated on a 200-foot bluff with its back to the river, bordered on the south by swamp, with low swampy land facing it across the river. Vicksburg was a naturally strong position from which the Confederacy could control traffic on the Mississippi merely by placing batteries of cannons at strategic points. It was sometimes called the "Gibraltar of America". Without free navigation of the Mississippi, the movement of Union forces and supplies was hindered. Lincoln, looking at a map on the wall, once told a visitor "See what a lot of land these fellows hold, of which Vicksburg is the key. . . Let us get Vicksburg and all that country is ours. The war can never be brought to a close until that key is in our pocket.". The Confederacy realized its importance, and defended Vicksburg most vigorously.

Early in May of 1863, General Grant sent expeditions toward Vicksburg by approaching it from the south, then moving East across the roads to battles at Port Gibson, Raymond, turning back West at Jackson to fight at Champion Hill and Big Black, until they reached the Confederate entrenchments at Vicksburg.

While all of this was happening, the 46th Illinois was brought into the vicinity of Vicksburg from the north, and was in position next to the bluff north of Vicksburg on May 20. With the rest of the 2nd Brigade they joined the extreme right of the Union lines, ready for the fight. To their disappointment they were moved back ten miles on the next day, to block a large Rebel force believed to be coming to the aid of the Vicksburg garrison. When nothing transpired, the 46th was marched around Vicksburg, back to the extreme left of the Union lines. While on picket duty on the night of the 25th, Rebels captured one hundred and thirteen officers and men of the 46th. This disaster was believed to be "more attributable to injudicious posting of the pickets than to a lack of vigilance". The remainder of the Regiment did its part in the siege, digging trenches and doing picket duty both in the front and rear lines.

The Confederates surrendered Vicksburg on July 4, much to the satisfaction and relief of the Federal soldiers. On the same day, news was received of an important victory in a little town in Pennsylvania called Gettysburg.

With the tides of war now clearly favoring the north, the 46th went on an expedition into Louisiana. When that largely uneventful but strenuous march was completed, they settled into camp near Natchez for a couple of months. They were then moved back to the vicinity of Vicksburg to settle down into winter camps.

RE-ENLISTMENT

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With the initial three-year enlistment of the Regiment about to expire, the Government issued General Order number 191, relating to the re-enlisting of Veteran Volunteers. This was to be a voluntary re-enlistment, and with the enthusiastic support of the officers and noncoms, three-fourths of the 46th Illinois Volunteer Infantry signed up on January 4, 1864, for another three years or less, depending on how long the war was to last. The re-enlisted Regiment now numbered twenty officers and three hundred and thirty four enlisted men, who were embarked on a steamer headed north. They reached Freeport, Illinois on January 23, where they proudly marched through the town to a hall where the citizens gave them a big reception and dinner. After the festivities ended, they marched out to the fairgrounds west of town, where they were given a 30-day furlough.

Having made a name for itself, the 46th Illinois was able to attract new volunteers to join the ranks. Recruiting offices were set up in Lee, Ogle, Whiteside, and Stephenson counties, hoping to bring the Regiment back to full strength by the end of the leave. On March 2, 1864, the Regiment left Freeport with a total of nine hundred eighty-seven men, heading south.

THE LAST YEAR OF THE WAR

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By March 10 they were in Mississippi about ten miles East of Vicksburg, back in the war. Federal forces were now roaming Mississippi, looking for the scattered Confederate units who remained. On May 12, the 46th Illinois joined the 76th Illinois in pursuit of the enemy near Luce's plantation outside Benton, Mississippi. The Rebels had posted three field pieces across a road and were firing on the Union soldiers when the Illinois troops formed up and marched across an open field at the guns. Supported by a section of artillery, they fired repeated volleys at the Rebels and drove them from the field.

A similar encounter later in the summer, on July 6, reminded them that there was still some real fight left in the south. Near Jackson, Mississippi, the 46th and 76th Illinois were involved in a late afternoon struggle with some more Confederate cannons. Faced with well-posted Rebel sharpshooters, the Union artillery could not move forward enough to gain a secure position. Waiting through the night until 4:00 AM, the Union Commanders moved the soldiers forward into another heavy fight, with the Confederates firing from a ditch behind a hedge into the blue ranks. After disengaging and re-engaging several times, the Rebels finally withdrew and left the Union in possession of the field. The 46th suffered serious casualties on this expedition, including three killed, thirty-six wounded, and four missing.

Staying in Tennessee, the 46th spent a miserable part of the winter near Memphis. This part of the south was by now pretty well stripped of materiel for war, and the civilians were suffering. There was no wood for huts or fuel, and the tents didn't provide much relief from the cold. The 46th was marched out on another expedition to guard the railroads from Confederate raids, but eventually ended up back in camp near Memphis.

In early 1865 the 46th Illinois was moved further south, to the Alabama coastal region where they were engaged in the brief sieges of Spanish Fort and Blakely on April 8 and 9. On April 16 the news of General Lee's surrender at Appomattox was received with joy and relief. The rest of 1865 was spent in various encampments, as the north was obliged to continue to occupy the south for some time while the war fever cooled. Finally, on December 27, the orders to return to Springfield were received.

MUSTERING OUT

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The 46th Illinois Veteran Volunteer Infantry Regiment was mustered out of the service of the United States Government on January 20, 1866 at Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The men then boarded the steamer Lady Gay for Cairo, arriving on the 25th. They went back to Camp Butler by train to await final pay and discharge, and were finally headed back home on February first.

FINAL NOTES

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DEATH BY DISEASE

While combat losses due to hostile fire were quite heavy early in the campaigns, disease ultimately claimed more men from the 46th than did all of the fighting. This was a period when germ theory did not exist and modern medicine was in its infancy. The young men of the 46th Illinois, while physically tough and proven to be brave, were easy prey to disease. Their diets were inconsistent and they were also under fairly constant exposure to the elements, making them more susceptible. They were unaccustomed to the warmer southern climate, and to the sicknesses that would beset them in the south, including malaria and yellow fever. The records show that 191 men of the 46th, or nearly 20% of the entire strength of the Regiment, died of disease during the war.

PHYSICAL APPEARANCE OF THE WESTERN ARMIES

The uniforms worn by Regiments were determined to some extent by the wishes of the Commanding officers and the generosity of their home states. Early in the War, the soldiers of the 46th Illinois were issued a snugfitting but untrimmed blue shell jacket, along with the distinctive Federal forage cap and blue wool trousers. Many photos of the soldiers show the collars of the shell jackets turned under, as they chafed the neck and were uncomfortably warm in the southern climate. The forage cap did not offer much protection from the sun, so there was room for improvement in that article as well.

Later in the War the 46th was issued the Hardee Hat, a tall black wool felt hat with a wide brim. They also began to receive the blue Federal sack coat, a garment that was looser fitting and made of lighter weight wool than the shell jacket. The 46th wore no colorful corps badges, brass unit identification numbers, brass infantry bugles, black feathers, nor blue wool hat bands on their hats. The overall appearance was quite plain, which was intentional. In his book "The Civil War - A Narrative" (Volume Two, "Fredericksburg to Meridian"), Shelby Foote noted that the western soldiers "preferred Confederate-style blanket rolls to knapsacks, walked with the long, loose-jointed stride of plowmen, and paid their officers little deference. 'Except for the color of their uniforms, they looked exactly like the rebels'.".

Since they lived in enemy territory for over three years, supplies were often hard to get, so the soldiers of the 46th had to rely on foraging among the civilians for part of their diet. The harder they were to identify to their commander by an irate southern farmer, who had just lost a piglet, chicken, or an armload of ears of corn, the better off they were.

BATTLEFIELD MARKERS TODAY

The Battlefield at Ft. Donelson is very well preserved, and the view across the Cumberland River must be much the same as it was during the War. There is little in the way of modern development to distract the visitor from the splendid positioning of the Confederate water batteries, and the earthworks are all in place. There is a marker to the 46th Illinois, among other units, off the property of the Battlefield on Wynn Ferry Road. When you visit Donelson, ask the National Parks Guide for a look at their set of Battlefield maps, they can show you how to find the marker.

The National Military Park at Shiloh is also beautifully preserved, covering about a square mile of woods and rolling hills on the east side of the Tennessee River. Again, there is almost no modern development to detract from the atmosphere of the Battlefield. Across the Tennessee River at Pittsburg Landing there is a wilderness, spreading north and south as far as you can see. It's not at all hard to imagine yourself being there as the soldiers disembarked from the transports, trudging up the hill to the campgrounds. There are two very prominent markers dedicated to the 46th Illinois at Shiloh, one of which is a marble monument on the south side of the Corinth-Pittsburg road near Water Oaks Pond. The other marker is an iron tablet, located on the south edge of Jones' Field, just north of the woods.

The End

BIBLIOGRAPHY

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  1. Complete History of the 46th Illinois Veteran Volunteer Infantry Bailey & Ankeny Printers, Freeport, Illinois, 1866 courtesy of Dan Davis and Jim Robbins
  2. Official Copies of Regimental Returns, Field, Staff, and Company Muster Rolls unknown Government sources, originally copied in 1895 courtesy of Jim McArdle
  3. From Fort Henry to Corinth, by M. F. Force, Campaigns of the Civil War series Jack Brussel, Publisher, New York (no date listed)
  4. The Mississippi by Francis Vinton Greene, Campaigns of the Civil War series Jack Brussel, Publisher, New York (no date listed)
  5. Struggle for Vicksburg by the editors of Civil War Times Illustrated Stackpole Books, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 1967
  6. The Civil War, A Narrative: Fort Sumter to Perryville, by Shelby Foote Vintage Books, 1986
  7. The Atlas of the Civil War, edited by James M. McPherson MacMillan, New York, 1994
  8. Reports of Officers in Relation to a Recent Battle at Pittsburg Landing Kraus Reprint Company, Millwood, New York 1977 courtesy of Andy Gelman
  9. Battle of Davis Bridge The Davis Bridge Memorial Foundation, Inc. and Camp #338, Sons of Confederate Veterans, Bolivar, Tennessee (no publication date)

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