ILLINOIS in the CIVIL WAR

History of 52nd Illinois Infantry


contributed by Cathy Babbs

The Fifty-second Infantry IL Volunteers was organized at Geneva, Kane Co., Illinois in Nov 1861 by Col J.G.Wilson and mustered into United States service Nov 19 by Lt. J. Christopher.

Nov 28 moved with 945 men to St. Louis, MO and went into quarters at Benton Barracks. Here Col Wilson resigned.

Dec 8 the Regiment, Lt Col. J.S. Wilcox commanding, moved to St. Joseph, MO. Jan 16, 1862 moved to Cairo via Palmyra. Quincy and Mississippi River. Jan 24, moved to Smithland. Feb 7 T.W. Sweeny was commissioned Col. of the 52nd.

Feb 10, 1862, embarked for Fort Donelson and arrived 17th. 18th was sent with prisoners to Chicago. Mar 7 arrived at St. Louis. March 13 left for Army of the Tennessee and 20th, disembarked at Pittsburg Landing, and was assigned to 3rd Brigade, 2nd Div, Col. Sweeney commanding Brigade and Gen Smith the Division.

The regiment took a prominent part in the battle of Shiloh Apr 6 and 7, losing 170 killed, wounded and missing--Maj Stark commanding first day and Capt Bowen on the second The regiment was engaged in the siege of Corinth May, 1862. Pursued the retreating enemy to Booneville, Mississippi and returned to Corinth where the Regiment remained until the battle of Corinth, Oct 3 and 4. Was heavily engaged in this action., Col Sweeny commanding the Regiment--the loss being 70 killed and wounded. Pursued the retreating enemy as far as Ruckerville, and returned 12th.

Oct 3, moved to Hatchie River and returned.

Dec 9, 1862 moved with an expedition to Alabama. Met the enemy near Little Bear Creek, drove him 15 mile and returned to Corinth, arriving 14th. Dec 19 under command of Lt Col Wilcox, left Corinth with the expedition of General G.M. Dodge to intercept Forrest. Marched 100 miled in 4 and 1/2 days and returned weary and foot sore.

Jan 2, 1863 moved to Tennessee River to intercept Forrest, and he had already crossed at Crump's Landing. Expedition returned.

Jan 26 moved to Hamburg TN embarked on a little steamer and on the next day disembarked and returned to Corinth.

Feb 25,1863 moved Major Brown commanding REgiment, Col. Sweeny commanding expedition to Jacinto, Mississippi. Arrived 27th. Remained until March 4 when it returned to Corinth.

On the 15th April Lt Col. Wilcox commanding Regiment, moved with an expedition of 4 brigades of infantry, one of cavalry, and 14 pieced of artillery. Brig. Gen G.M. Dodge commanding to Northern Alabama. Marched to Burnsville on the 15th, through Iuka on the 16th; crossed Bear Creek on the 17th--Col. Cornyn's cavalry skirmishing with the enemy.

Apr 20 Col Sweeny was promoted to Brig General. 23rd the whole force advanced driving the enemy. That night lay in line of battle. 24th, moved forward and entered Tuscumbia, Ala.

Apr 27 moved toward Courtland. Met the enemy at Town Creek and skirmished till night. 28th gained possession of the railroad bridge. effected a crossing and drove the enemy 3 miles, 29th returned arriving at Corinth.,May 2, 1863.

August 18, moved to Germantown, and Regiment assigned to guarding railroad,.

October 29, moved to Iuka. 31st Bivouacked three and a half miles east of Iuka. Nov 6 the whole left wing of the 16th Corps moved eastward. Arrived at Eastport and cross the the Tennessee. Nov 11, arrived at Pulaski TN. Remained doing provost duty.

Jan 9, 3/4 of the regiment having re-enlisted, it was mustered as a veteran organization. Started for Illinois and arrived at Chicago Jan 17. Proceeded to Geneva, Kane county and was furloughed 20th. February 24, moved to Pulaski, TN under command of Lt Col E. A. Brown, Col Wilcox having resigned. Arrived at Pulaski 29th. April 29 in Col E.W. Rice's brigade (first brigade) General Sweeny's Division (second) Left Wing, Maj Gen G.M. Dodge, 16th Army Corps, moved southward, arriving at Chatanooga May 2.

May 3, 1864 commenced the Atlanta campaign. The regiment participated in the battle of Snake Creek Gap, Resaca, Lay's Ferry, Rome Cross Roads, Dallas, Kenesaw Mountain, Nickajack Creek, Decatur, July 22 and 28, before Atlanta and Jonesboro, and went into camp at East Point.

Sept 26, 1864, the second division, left wing, 16th Army corps, was transferred to 4th division, 15th Army corps, moved to Rome and by rail to Cartersville and from thence marched to Allatoona. Arriving there too late for battle, it regturned to Rome.

Oct 11, Lt Col Bowen being mustered out, Maj Boyd took command. The regiment marched with the division, Brevet Maj Gen J.M. Corse commanding, to Savannah, Georgia.

Dec 18th the non-veteran officers were mustered out, and J.D. Davis, having received a commission as Lt Col, took command of the regiment. Dec 21 marched into Savannah. January 29, 1866 started on the Carolinas campaign. Was present at the battle of Bentonville and arrived at Goldsboro March 24. April 10 marched to Raleigh. Lay at Morrisville during Johnson's surrender.

Marched via Richmond and Alexandria and was in the grand review at Washington May 24, 1865. June 2 moved to Louisville, Kentucky. July 5, mustered out of the United States service. Moved to Camp Douglas, Chicago, IL and received final payment and discharge July 12, 1865.


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