ILLINOIS in the CIVIL WAR

part of a volume entitled History of the Ninety - Third Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry: From Organization To Muster Out --Statistics Compiled by Aaron Dunbar Sergeant, Company " B", Revised and Edited by Harvey M. Trimble, Adjutant

Submitted by Jeffrey MacAdam, to whom every reader should be grateful.

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CHAPTER I. ORGANIZATION AND MOVEMENTS TO THE FIELD.

At the date of the enlistment and organization of the Ninety - Third Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry, the people of the North, as well as the Government, were well aroused to the necessity of a vigorous prosecution of the war for the Union. Calls for six hundred thousand men had lately been issued by President Lincoln, and were being responded to in a manner therefore unknown in history. Every city and village and country schoolhouse all over the northern state was a recruiting station. Volunteers not in the service were acting as recruiting officers, enrolling volunteer soldiers and organizing companies and regiments with marvelous facility and speed. Hundreds of thousands so organized were asking and begging the Government for arms and that they might be sent to the front for active service in the field. Drill and discipline were acquired, if at all, while companies and regiments were really moving toward the front. Under such conditions as these, this regiment was enlisted and organized and sent to the field. The experiences through which it passed, its wondrous activity, covering over six thousand five hundred miles of distance, its power as a fighting force, and its immense losses in battle, make its early history, as well as the days of its valiant service, intensely interesting to its surviving members and to the kindred of those who fell fighting in its ranks and of those who otherwise died in its membership. And, certainly, its entire history will not be wholly uninteresting to the people of the three counties and state out of which it came to do service for their cause, the preservation of the Union, and to bind them yet a little closer, by its great sacrifices, to patriotic love of the great republic.

The then companies of the regiment were organized within the limits of ten days in the month of August, A. D. 1862. Company A was organized on the 14th day of the month, at Camden Mills, in Rock Island County, Illinois. Company D and G were organized in Stephenson County, Illinois, the first at Freeport, about the 12th day of the month, and the other at Cedarville, on the 15th day of the month. Company F was organized on the 9th day of that month, at Albany, in Whiteside County, Illinois. The other six companies were organized in Bureau County, Illinois; Company B on the 11th day of the month, at Dover; Company C on the 15th day of the month, at Wyanet; Company E on the 13th day of the month, at Tiskilwa; Company H on the 14th day of the month, at Neponset; Company I on the 13th day of the month, at Princeton, and Company K on the 19th day of the month, at Princeton. At the date of its organization, Company B was named "Bureau County Rifles." In like manner Company C was named "Wyanet Union Guards;" Company E was named "Tiskilwa Tigers;" Company H was named "Bureau County Tigers;" Company I was named "Princeton Light Infantry," and Company K was named "Princeton Guards." If any of the other companies had names, they have escaped. They had one insertion in the newspapers of that time, and if ever heard of thereafter no one is now able to remember it.

The company rosters contained in this volume show the original officers, commissioned and non-commissioned, chosen for each of the several companies at the dates of organization, except in four cases. Lieut. Col. Nicholas C. Buswell was chosen as the first Captain of Company H; Major James M. Fisher was chosen as the first Captain of Company I; Adjutant David W. Sparks was chosen as the first First Lieutenant of Company C, and Quartermaster Edward S. Johnson was chosen as the first Second Lieutenant of Company E. When the regiment was organized these officers were elected to the positions in the field and staff of the regiment indicated above and were never commissioned as officers of those companies.

On the 2nd day of September, A. D. 1862, all of these companies, except A, assembled at Princeton, and made their camp on the fair grounds. It was called "Camp Bureau." Here they remained just a half month. Here these men, just entering upon their soldiership, first divided straw for their beds. And it was their last divide of that kind, too - for lack of straw. Here they first shared blankets with each other. Here they first "drank from the same canteen." Here began that comradeship which was to continue for three long years, on the march and in bivouac and camp and on bloody fields of battle, and thereafter through life for all who should survive the conflict. And here, also, began the squad and company drills and the dress parades. They were well dressed then, (much better than on numerous occasions afterward), but, from a military point of view, their dress parades were simply horrid. Here, it has been stated, (although it cannot now be satisfactorily verified, perhaps, because of the great lapse of time and consequent loss of valuable testimony), they received their first lessons in the art of foraging. It is barely possible that it may then have been true. Watermelons were ripe and chickens hatched that year were not quite full grown. The truth of history requires it to be stated that they were not then anything like as good foragers as they were a couple of years later.

On the 8th day of September A. D. 1862, the regiment was organized at Princeton, Illinois, by the election of officers, as follows: Colonel, Holden Putnam, of Freeport, Illinois; Lieutenant Colonel, Nicholas C. Buswell, of Neponset, Illinois; Major James M Fisher, of Princeton, Illinois; Adjutant, David W. Sparks, of Wyanet, Illinois; Quartermaster, Edward S. Johnson, of Tiskilwa, Illinois; First Assistant Surgeon, Samuel A. Hopkins, M. D., of Dover, Illinois; Chaplain, Rev. Thomas H. Haggerty, of Princeton, Illinois; Sergeant Major, Harvey M. Trimble, of Princeton, Illinois; Quartermaster Sergeant, William M. Herrold, of Fulton, Illinois; Commissary Sergeant, Phineas T. Richardson, of Princeton, Illinois; Hospital Steward, Leroy S. Hopkins, of Hollowayville, Illinois; and Principle Musician, Myron W. Lyman, of Freeport, Illinois. The Surgeon and Second Assistant Surgeon were not then chosen. This election was by the officers of the nine companies then in Camp Bureau. Thus an agreement was reached for the regimental organization. Measures were immediately inaugurated to secure the tenth company, which resulted in procuring Company A to join the other nine companies after they had reached Chicago and gone into Camp Douglass.

On the same day that these nine companies entered Camp Bureau, the following verses, written by Lieutenant Colonel Buswell, were published in the Bureau County Patriot, at Princeton, Illinois

"THE SOLDIERS' FAREWELL"
Tune: "Jamie's on the Stormy Sea"
Friends, farewell, we now must serve,
Till this bloody war is over;
We will fight, and yielding never,
'Till our land from rebels free.

With our flag high floating o'er us,
We will drive our foes before us;
Then we'll sing the joyful chorus,
Dixie's land from rebels free!

South we go to meet in battle;
In that land of human chattel
Freedom's drum shall loudly rattle,
Rebels' slaves shall then be free.
We will fight to save our nation
Rebel food shall be our ration,
As we fight for unity.

If John Bull should wish to meddle,
We will show our Yankee mettle;
Eastward front, in line of battle,
Drive them back across the sea.
Should European combination
Seek to crush this noble nation,
We will fight the whole creation;
Then, dear friends, return to thee.

Then farewell, we now must sever,
'Till this bloody war is over;
We will fight, unyielding, ever
Fighting for our flag arid thee.
With our flag high floating o'er us,
We will drive all foes before us;
Then we'll sing the joyful chorus,
Dixie's land from rebels free!

On the 17th day of September, A. D. 1862, under the first "marching orders" received, the nine companies, then in Camp Bureau, broke camp and moved, on the Chicago Burlington and Quincy Railroad, to Chicago, Illinois, and took quarters in Camp Douglass that evening. Soon after, they were joined by Company A, from Rock Island County, as indicated above. Joseph Huyett, M. D., of Camden Mills, Illinois, was selected as Surgeon of the regiment.

Drill and discipline and the perfection of the organization of the command and the making of preparations to take the field now engaged the constant and undivided attention of all. Squad drills, and platoon drills, and company drills, and regimental drills, and dress parades, every day; preparing the muster rolls, and beginning the records of the companies and of the regiment; making arrangements to be mustered into the service; procuring clothing and quartermaster's stores and camp and garrison equipage; the desperate struggle for arms and ordnance stores; all this, and more, was real work, for serious purposes, and it was all prosecuted with great zeal and energy.

On the 13th day of October, A. D. 1862, these ten companies were mustered into the service of the United States, "for three years or during the war," by Capt. T. Barri, United States Mustering Officer, at Camp Douglass, as the Ninety-Third Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry. The regimental organization was thus completed. It then consisted of thirty- eight commissioned officers and nine hundred and twenty-two non- commissioned officers and privates. Eleven privates, whose names appear in the company roster, were rejected on account of physical disqualification, and four others have no record as to what became of them, but they were not mustered in. Three commissioned officers and forty privates who were assigned to companies were added afterward, making the total membership of the regiment, as show by the rolls, one thousand and eighteen. Shortly before the war closed, thirty-two recruits were sent to the regiment, who were never assigned to companies. Their names appear in the roll of "Unassigned Recruits," following the company roaster. They were not included in the one thousand and eighteen above enumerated; but, being added, make one thousand and fifty, all told, as the total membership of the companies and regiment, from first to last.

On the 16th day of October, the barracks that were occupied by four companies of the regiment were burned. It was rumored, at the time, that the fire was willfully ignited by paroled prisoners from Harpers Ferry. Two days later, the regiment moved out of Camp Douglass, and occupied Sibley tents, in a new camp ground, near Douglass Place. This was called "Camp Putnam," in honor of the Colonel. The command remained in that camp twenty-two days.

On the 8th day of November, A. D. 1862, orders were received directing the regiment to move to Columbus, Kentucky, without delay. The next day the command left Chicago, traveling on the Illinois Central Railroad, and reached Cairo, Illinois, about 3 o'clock p.m. the following day, and immediately embarked on the steamer "Tecumseh," for Columbus, Kentucky, reaching there at 10 o'clock p.m. the same day. The next morning, before the regiment had disembarked, the destination was changed to Memphis, Tennessee, and the steamer resumed its course down the Mississippi River. At 11:30 o'clock a.m. on the 12th day of November, the steamer went aground on a sandbar. The "Emerald" put the troops ashore on the Arkansas side. After marching about two miles, the command reembarked and proceeded on its course down the river. During the afternoon of the same day it disembarked again, to enable the steamer to pass another bar. But, after it was thought the bar had been safely passed, she ran aground again, about four rods from the shore, in the attempt to make a landing. It was late that night when she was again released. The regiment then reembarked and proceeded on its way. On the 13th day of November, at 4 o'clock p.m., the command went ashore again, to permit the steamer to pass still another bar, and marched about four miles before going on board again. On the 14th day of the month, at 10 o'clock a.m., the regiment arrived at Memphis, and immediately disembarked from the steamer, and went into camp a little more than a mile from the city.

The trails and tribulations of this first experience in military movements were quite sufficient to fix the belief in the individual minds of the members of this raw command that their days of soldiership were not to be surfeited with comfort and pleasure. It was, indeed, a severe lesson, for the first one; but it was of considerable value. In view of the campaigns in which the regiment was so soon to bear a part, it was, perhaps, necessary that the change from the ordinary pursuits of home life to the rugged realities of soldiering should be quickly realized. And it was.

On the same day the regiment reached Memphis, November 14th, 1862, it was assigned to Col. R. P. Buckland's Brigade, of General Lauman's division, in the right wing of the Army of West Tennessee. The next twelve days were full of active and energetic preparations for the campaign in Northern Mississippi. Fort Henry and Donelson were then safely in the possession of are troops; the battle of Shiloh had been fought and won; and Corinth and Island No. 10 were securely in the grasp of our Army. Memphis was the base of supplies for the Army of West Tennessee. The silent soldier, who was already famous as "Unconditional Surrender" Grant, was in command. His two great lieutenants, Sherman and McPherson, were with him. Vicksburg, Mississippi, was the next objective point. "We are coming, Father Abraham, six hundred thousand more," was heard at every camp in the army and everywhere throughout the northern states. It was at once the Nation's song and the Nation's hope of ultimate victory, Thousands upon thousands of new troops, with those who had already seen considerable service, were assembled at Memphis and quickly organized into that marvelous and irresistible military force, the Army of the Tennessee. Before the end of that month it was ready to move, and did move. From the time the regiment left "Camp Bureau," at Princeton, Illinois, to this date, it had traveled, by rail, four hundred and forty miles; by water, one hundred and sixty miles; and had marched six miles; making the total distance of six hundred and six miles.


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