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21st Illinois Infantry
in the American Civil War

Online Books:
21st 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
Twenty-first Illinois Infantry. Cols., Ulysses S. Grant, John W. S. Alexander; Lieut. -Cols., John W. S. Alexander, George W. Peck, Warren E. McMakin, James E. Calloway, William H. Jamison; Majs., Warren E. McMakin, James E. Calloway, William H. Jamison, John L. Wilson. This regiment was called into the state service under the "Ten Regiment Bill," and rendezvoused at Mattoon on May 9, 1861. On May 15 it was mustered into the state service for 30 days by Capt. U. S. Grant, and was known during that period of service as the 7th Congressional district regiment. It was composed of companies from the following counties : Co. A from Macon, B from Cumberland, C from Piatt, D from Douglas, E from Moultrie, F from Edgar, G from Clay, H from Clark, I from Crawford and K from Jasper. On June 28 the regiment was mustered into the U. S. service for three years. It was ordered to Missouri and remained at Ironton until Oct. 17, when it marched to Fredericktown, supporting Walker's squadron of the 1st Ind. cavalry; discovered the Confederate Jeff. Thompson in force; returned to Ironton; marched to Fredericktown on the 20th, with the 38th Ill. infantry and 1st Ind. cavalry, and participated in the battle at that place the following day. In May, 1862, it moved to the front and was before Corinth during the last days of the siege in the 2nd brigade, 4th division, left wing, Army of Mississippi. In October it was engaged in the battle of Perryville, Ky., after which it joined in the pursuit of Bragg as far as Crab Orchard, and then marched through Lancaster, Danville, Lebanon and Bowling Green, to Edgefield Junction near Nashville, arriving Nov. 9. When the army marched from Nashville in Dec, 1862, the regiment formed a part of the 2nd brigade, 1st division, 20th army corps, and was in the skirmish at Knob gap. In connection with the 15th Wis., 38th Ill. and 101st Ohio, it had a severe engagement with the enemy near Murfreesboro, where it charged the famous Washington (Confederate) light artillery, 12 Parrott guns, and succeeded in driving every man from the battery, when it was compelled to fall back by a division of Confederate infantry. During the battle of Stone's river it was fiercely engaged and did gallant duty, losing more men than any other regiment that participated. It was also engaged in a severe skirmish at Liberty gap in June, 1863. On Sept. 17 it entered McLemore's Cove and lay in line of battle before Dug gap, in Pigeon mountain. On the 19th it marched past Crawfish springs and entered the battle of Chickamauga near Gordon's mill on the double-quick, formed under fire and was hotly engaged until dark. It went into position at 10 a. m. on the 20th and was heavily engaged, losing in the two days' battle, 238 officers and men. In Jan., 1864, it marched to Ooltewah, east of Chattanooga, where it remained until March, when it reenlisted and after a month's furlough in Illinois rejoined the army in front of Kennesaw mountain. It was engaged at the outer lines before Atlanta and participated in the battle of Jonesboro. Being transferred to Tennessee it threw up works and skirmished with the enemy at Columbia in November, and took a prominent part in the battle of Nashville. On the first day it was placed in position near the Hardin pike, at 4 o'clock p. m. was in the charge on Montgomery hill, and was among the first to enter the enemy's works, capturing a battery and many prisoners. On the second day it was in the reserve line and joined in the pursuit when the enemy's line was broken. The 4th army corps, of which the 21st regiment was a part, was sent to Texas by way of New Orleans in the spring of 1865; camped two weeks on the old battle ground at New Orleans; embarked on a vessel for Matagorda bay ; disembarked for Victoria, thence to San Antonia, where the regiment was mustered out Dec. 16, 1865.

Footnotes:
Regimental history taken from "The Union Army" by Federal Publishing Company, 1908 - Volume 3

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