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17th Illinois Infantry
in the American Civil War

Online Books:
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       View Entire Book

Regimental History
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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