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 XIII. THE END.

From the 25th to the 30th of May, both days inclusive, the Ninety-Third Illinois remained in the camp in which it located on the 24th. Rain fell all day on the 26th and in the morning on the 27th and in the evening on the 28th. The weather was disagreeable, and it was muddy everywhere. On the 31st, Adjutant H. M. Trimble was, on his own request, relieved from duty as A. A. A. General of the Second Brigade, Fourth Division, Fifteenth Corps, and returned to duty with the regiment, in order to close up its business and prepare for its muster out of service. At 5 o'clock a.m., on that day, the regiment broke camp, and marched to the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad depot, in Washington City, four miles from its last camp. At 9 o'clock a.m., the command was on board the cars, and the train moved out toward Baltimore, Md., bound for Parkersburg, West Virginia. At noon, the junction, or Relay House, was reached, and there the train was switched onto the main line of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. There were thirty-six freight cars in the train when it left Washington. But on account of the heavy grades on this railroad, through the mountains, the train was divided into two sections. Just at twilight, the command reached Harper's Ferry, crossed the Potomac River there, and was again in old Virginia. Harper's Ferry showed many battle scars and traces of the war. At 10 o'clock p.m., the regiment passed through Marinsburg, Va., in the Shenandoah Valley. The place had been almost demolished by shot and shell. All the business part of the town was no better than a heap of unsightly ruins. At midnight, the command was about one hundred and fifty miles from the city of Washington.

On June 1st, at 6 o'clock a.m., the regiment reached Cumberland, in Hampshire County, Virginia, and had breakfast there. The good people there furnished hot coffee, but we had to furnish the hardtack and other provisions. At 8 o'clock a.m., the command reached the foot of the Alleghany Mountains. Here the trains were again subdivided, each engine taking five cars. Even then the different sections of the train moved so slowly that some of the boys said they could get off and gather wintergreen and birchberries and catch up easily enough. At the end of about twelve miles, we reached the summit of the mountains. There the trains were connected up again into two sections, and went sailing down into the valley below. Cheat River was reached at 2 o'clock in the afternoon. Here additional engines were supplied, to assist the trains in climbing Cheat Mountain. The command arrived at Tunnelton, on that mountain, about 6 o'clock in the evening, and stopped there for coffee and lunch. Before leaving there the troops were required to leave the tops of the cars until the trains should descend several steep grades and pass through a number of tunnels. Starting at 6:30 p.m., the regiment reached Grafton, in West Virginia, at 11 o'clock that night, and found more than sufficient coffee and meats to supply all wants, ready prepared for us by the good people of that place. After partaking of their hospitality, they filled our canteens with coffee and our haversacks with meats, and sent us on our way rejoicing. After boarding the trains again, they were switched onto the Grafton and Parkersburg branch of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, and the next morning at midlight, on June 2nd, reached Salem, eighty miles from Parkersburg. At 12:30 o'clock p.m., on that day, the regiment arrived at Parkersburg, where plenty of coffee was again found, ready prepared by the citizens of that place. Between Grafton and Parkersburg the trains passed through twenty-three tunnels. The regiment left the cars immediately after reaching Parkersburg, having made the distance of four hundred miles by rail. One day's rations were issued to the command by the commissary. The regiment immediately embarked on the steamer "Ella Faber," and at 5:30 o'clock p.m., the steamer left the wharf and moved down the Ohio River, bound for Louisville, Kentucky. There were eight steamers in the fleet. Ours was second in the line as they moved down the river. The Ninety- Third Illinois and the Seventy-Sixth Ohio were on board the "Ella Faber." All along down the river, much enthusiasm was exhibited everywhere, at the villages, towns and cities. Crowds of people gathered at the wharves, cheered and waved flags and made other demonstrations, and sometimes fired salutes, while the steamers were passing down the river. June 3rd was a pleasant day on the steamer. Everybody had a good time. At midnight, the steamer reached Cincinnati, Ohio, and stopped there an hour. Of course, but little could be seen of that city at that time.

On June 4th, at 3 o'clock in the afternoon, the regiment arrived at Louisville, Ky., and immediately disembarked from the steamer, and marched to camp, three miles northeast of the city. From the 5th to the 22nd of June, both days inclusive, the regiment remained in camp at Louisville. On the 15th, a telegram was sent to Washington D. C., asking for orders to muster the regiment out of the service. On the 17th, an order was received, from Assistant Adjutant General Vincent, directing that the regiment be mustered out at once. On June 23rd, A. D. 1865, the Ninety-Third Illinois Volunteer Infantry was mustered out of the service of the United States of America, by Capt. William L. Alexander, of the Thirtieth Regiment Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and Assistant Commissary of Musters for the First Division, Fifteenth Army Corps. On the same day, the regiment marched six miles to New Albany, Ind., and there boarded cars, and moved north, bound for Chicago, Illinois. On the 24th, the command was en route to Chicago. On the 25th day of June, 1865, at 12:30 o'clock a.m., the regiment reached Chicago, and immediately went into quarters in Camp Douglass. Rain was falling while the command was moving from the train to the camp. This brought the fact to mind again, that rain was falling when the regiment first entered Camp Douglass, on the 17th day of September, 1862. On that day, June 25th, 1865, Adjutant's office and records were turned over to the government.

From the 26th day of June until the 6th day of July, both days inclusive, the regiment remained in quarters at Camp Douglass. On June 29th, however, a considerable number of the members of the regiment went to their respective homes, for the purpose of spending the Fourth of July with their friends, and returned to Camp Douglass on July 5th. And on the 6th day of July, A. D. 1865, the regiment was paid in full, by Capt. E. H. Gratiot, Paymaster United States Army, at Chicago, Illinois, and finally discharged.

Nearly all the members of the regiment started for their respective homes on that day. A few remained in the city until the 7th. On that day, the Adjutant made final adjustments of all unfinished regimental affairs, received final vouchers for everything not previously receipted for, and closed the record of the regiment as a military organization in the service of the government.

The average distance from Chicago to the respective homes of the members of the regiment, by rail, was one hundred and ten miles, and this is included in the statement of distance traveled since leaving Washington.

From and including the day of leaving Washington City, the regiment traveled; by rail, eight hundred miles; by water, four hundred and fifty miles; and marched, thirteen miles; making the total distance of one thousand two hundred and sixty-three miles.

During its entire term of service, from the date of organization to the return home, the Ninety-Third Illinois traveled, by rail, one thousand seven hundred and three miles; by water, two thousand two hundred and thirty-one miles; and marched, two thousand six hundred and thirty-one miles; making the total distance of six thousand five hundred and sixty- five miles.

During the term of its service, the regiment passed through portions of the following States, to wit: Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, and Indiana, and also the District of Columbia. Nine of them were States that seceded from the Union. The only two of the Confederate States not visited by the regiment, were Texas and Florida.

The casualties of the Ninety-Third Illinois, during its terms of service, were enormous. The cold figures, found in the tables inserted later on in this volume, are enough to cause the lips to quiver with emotion and the eyes to fill with tears, even at this late day, a full third of a century since the war closed. But the figures, alone, do not fully disclose how great the losses suffered really were. Therefore, that the same may be more readily understood and more fully appreciated, a brief analysis is given here.

Excluding the thirty-two "unassigned recruits," who came to the regiment just at the close of the war, and who never participated in the active services of the command, the tables show a total membership of one thousand and eighteen. Of that number, eleven were rejected as unfit for service, and were never mustered in; four others have no records as to what became of them, but they were never mustered into the service; thirty-three deserted after being mustered in, the most of them before and about the time the regiment went to the field; one was furloughed before the regiment went to the field and never returned; sixteen were recruits who came to the regiment too late to participate in any battle or skirmish; fifty-nine died of disease, eighty-six were discharged for disability, and fifteen were transferred out of the regiment, before it was engaged in any battle or skirmish; and seventy-five others, at least, on account of sickness and disability and subsequent discharge or death, were at no time present with the regiment at or after its first engagement in battle; and it is believed that this last number does not include one-half of those who should really be enumerated under that head, because none have been so counted except those now known to have been so absent. Hence, it will be observed, there were three hundred out of the one thousand and eighteen members of the regiment, who were at no time present in any battle or skirmish in which the command participated. And hence, all the casualties in battle, four hundred and eighteen, and all the other casualties incident to the service, fifty-six, as shown by the tables and records, were suffered by seven hundred and eighteen members of the regiment. So that all percentages of losses in battle, and of other casualties, must be computed the same as if the regiment had only contained seven hundred and eighteen members. With these facts before us, the losses of the regiment assume appalling proportions. They were as follows:

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                                            Officers    Non-Commis- 
                                                       sioned Officers  Men.	 Total.
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Killed in Battle.....................           2        19               64     85
Mortally Wounded in Battle............          ......   19               41     60
Missing in Battle and Died, or Never Heard
     from.......................                ......    7               19     26
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Total Fatalities in Battle..............        2        45              124    171
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Wounded in Battle, not Mortally........         12       57              155    224
Missing in Battle, who Returned........          3        3               17     23
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Total Casualties in Battle, not fatal......     15       60              172    247
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Total Casualties in Battle.............         17      105              296    418
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Casualties not in Battle:
Killed on Railroad, on Furlough............     ......  ............       1      1
Drowned....................................     ......  ............       1      1       
Mortally Wounded, Explosion of Shells......     ......  ............       1      1
Mortally Wounded, Collision on Railroad....     ......  ............       1      1
Killed by Guerrillas, under Cook, A. D.....     ......  ............       1      1
Captured, not in Battle, who Returned......     ....      7               14     21
Injured in Collision on Railroad.........        1        8               21     30
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Total Casualties, not in Battle..........        1       15               40     56 
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Total Casualties during Service.........        18      120              336    474
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The fatalities in battle, 171 out of 718 engaged, were ..... 23.81%
The casualties in battle, 418 out of 718 engaged, were ......58.21%
All casualties in the service, 474 out of 718 engaged, were. ...66%

In addition to the one hundred and seventy-one fatalities in battle and five from other casualties, there were ninety-six deaths in the service, from disease. There were also fourteen deaths, from disease, after the discharge of members of the regiment, but during the period of the war. Thus the total number of deaths, in the service, was two hundred and seventy-two; and during the period of the war, two hundred and eight-six. The percentages here must be computed on the entire membership of the regiment, and they are as follows:

The deaths in the service, 272 out of 1,018, were 26.72% of the whole number.
The deaths during the war, 286 out of 1,018, were 28.1% of the whole number.

Since the war, one hundred and twenty-five members of the regiment have died. There may have been, and probably have been, a few more, but only those known are counted as deceased. Thus, during and since the war, the total number of deaths appears to have been four hundred and eleven, leaving six hundred and seven of the members of the regiment still surviving. The percentages here must be computed on the entire membership of the regiment, and they are as follows:

The deceased members, 411 out of 1,018, constitute 40.37% of the whole.
The surviving members, 607 out of 1,018, constitute 59.63% of the whole.

These figures make an eloquent history of the splendid services and immense sacrifices of the Ninety-Third Illinois in the cause of the Union. And yet, the story is underdrawn. The truth is, that the regiment never took more than five hundred and two officers and men into any battle. That was about the number at the battle of Jackson, Miss., and it never reached that number afterward. There were about four hundred and ninety-four at Champion Hill, Miss.; three hundred and thirty at Vicksburg, Miss.; two hundred and ninety-three at Mission Ridge, Tenn.; two hundred and ninety-four at Allatoona, Ga.; and about two hundred and fifty on the Georgia campaign, and on the campaign of the Carolinas. The percentages of loss, in killed, wounded and missing, in the different battles and campaigns in which the regiment participated, were as follows:

In the Yazoo Pass Expedition..    1    out of 525 engaged,       .20%
In the Battle of Jackson, Miss    8    out of 502 engaged,      1.60%
In the Battle of Champion Hill, 
    Miss. ..................    164    out of 494 engaged,     33.20% 
In the Siege of Vicksburg, Miss  55    out of 330 engaged,     16.66%
In the Battle of Mission Ridge
    Tenn.................        96    out of 293 engaged,     32.76%
In the Battle of Allatoona, Ga.  89    out of 294 engaged,     30.30%
In the Battle of Savannah, Ga.    3    out of 250 engaged,      1.20%
In the Battle of the Carolinas    1    out of 250 engaged,       .40%

These figures only include the casualties actually suffered in battle; the fifty-six other casualties, not in battle, but which were incident to the service, being wholly omitted from these computations.

In the charge of the Light Brigade, the "Brave Six Hundred," at Balaklava, Lord Cardigan took in six hundred and seventy-three officers and men. The charge was senseless and useless blunder. But it has been written about, and praised in verse and song, because of the great losses suffered. Yet the fatalities, in killed and mortally wounded, were only one hundred and thirteen, being 16.8% of the number engaged. And the Light Brigade never repeated that great loss. The fatalities of the Ninety- Third Illinois, in killed and mortally wounded and captured who died in prison, at the battle of Champion Hill, Miss., were seventy-four out of four hundred and ninety-four, being 15% of the number engaged; and at the battle of Mission Ridge, Tenn., they were forty-seven out of two hundred and ninety-three, being 16% of the number engaged, thus duplicating a loss almost equal to that of the Light Brigade; and then a supplement was added, at Allatoona, Ga., of thirty-one fatalities, out of two hundred and ninety-three, being 10.6% of the number engaged. And the total fatalities of this regiment, as shown above, in the first table of percentages given, exceeded those of the Light Brigade by a little more than seven percent. When it is remembered that the average rate of fatalities in battle, in the wars of the last hundred years, in Europe as well as in this country, has scarcely reached five percent of the number engaged, the full meaning and force of the statements made above become apparent. After thirty-three years of peace these figures are indeed startling. During the excitement of the war, under the pressure of the stupendous issues involved, the sacrifice did not seem so great. But in the cool and deliberate judgment of the after-time, that always comes with advancing years, we more fully realize and appreciate the full measure of the responsibilities met and discharged during the momentous period of the war, and again, at least, to comprehend the marvelous and astounding price then so freely and willingly paid for the preservation of the Union, and that this "government of the people and by the people and for the people might not perish from this earth." As the lengthening shadows of the evening of our lives stretch across the plains behind us, we halt a moment at the graves of our fallen comrades, looking to that bright emblem that blazed in lustrous beauty over more than three thousand battlefields, now "a thousand times more dear for their dear sake who died, and say: Oh, flag, that loss would make us bankrupt but that thy folds are priceless!" In the memories of the past their forms rise up before us in heroic grandeur. They stand on the beautiful slopes of Jackson, on the crest of Champion Hill, and the fortresses at Vicksburg, upon the embattled heights of Mission Ridge, and the rugged hills at Allatoona, and in the marshes at Savannah, everywhere baring their breasts to the enemies who assail it, and lift that flag higher and higher above the storm-clouds and carnage of the war into the clear blue sky of enduring peace, as the emblem of union and universal liberty! The benediction of all the best impulses of our hearts are laid upon their graves, and we again march on, and on, to join them in their great encampment on the shore beyond.


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