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17th Illinois Infantry
in the American Civil War
17th Illinois Infantry Soldier Roster - Report of the Adjutant
General of the State of Illinois, Volume 2, Revised by Brigadier General J.N.
Reece, Adjutant General, 1900
|Seventeenth Illinois Infantry. — Cols., Leonard F. Ross, Addison
S. Norton: Lieut. -Cols., Enos P. Woods, Francis M. Smith; Majs.,
Francis M. Smith, Frank F. Peats. This regiment was mustered into the U.
S. service at Peoria, Ill., May 24, 1861, for three years, and left camp
on June 17 for Alton, Ill., for the purpose of more fully completing its
organization and arming. Late in July it proceeded from Alton to St.
Charles, Mo., remaining but one day, and thence went to Warrenton, Mo.,
where it remained in camp about two weeks, Co. A being detailed as
body-guard to Gen. John Pope, with headquarters at St. Charles. Its
first actual engagement with the enemy was on Oct. 21, when it was sent
from Cape Girardeau with other regiments in pursuit of Gen. Jeff
Thompson's forces, meeting and defeating them at Fredericktown, with a
loss to the regiment of several killed and wounded. It charged the enemy
early in the engagement, completely routing him and capturing 2
howitzers and 200 prisoners. The enemy fled in great confusion, leaving
his dead upon the field, among whom was the brigade commander, Col.
Lowe. The following day the regiment pursued the enemy and engaged him
near Greenfield, Ark., in which the 17th lost 1 killed and several
wounded. It participated in the sanguinary battle which was followed by
the surrender of Fort Donelson, losing a number of men ; thence marched
to Metal landing; thence embarked for Savannah, later arriving at
Pittsburg landing, where the regiment was assigned to the 1st division,
Army of West Tennessee, under command of Gen. John A. McClernand, and
took part in the momentous battle of Shiloh. On the first day the
regiment was under fire from early morn until night, when a rain set in.
At nightfall the decimated ranks were formed for the eighth time upon
the 17th regiment to rest on their arms until the morning of the 7th,
when the regiment with the division moved forward to the attack, and in
cooperation with the other Union forces drove the enemy from the field
after a fierce and stubborn conflict. It is a notable fact that the 1st
division, including the 17th regiment, maintained its organization,
fighting out the two days' battle, in which the regiment lost some 130
killed and wounded. The victory won, it marched with the advance forces
to Corinth, and in the autumn of the same year it participated in the
battle of the Hatchie. It arrived at Milliken's bend about May 1, and
marched across the Delta to Perkins' landing on the Mississippi river ;
thence to the crossing below Grand Gulf, advancing with McPherson's
command, via Raymond, Champion's hill, Jackson and the Big Black river
to the final investment of Vicksburg. The regiment remained at Vicksburg
until May, 1864, when it was ordered to Springfield, Ill., for
muster-out and final discharge. A sufficient number not having
reenlisted to entitle them to retain their regimental organization, the
veterans and recruits whose term of service had not expired were
consolidated with the 8th Ill. infantry and were finally mustered out
with that regiment and discharged in the spring of 1866.
Regimental history taken from "The Union Army" by Federal Publishing
Company, 1908 - Volume 3
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