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23rd Illinois Infantry
in the American Civil War
23rd 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
|Twenty-third Illinois Infantry. — Col., James A. Mulligan;
Lieut.-Cols., James Quirk, Samuel Simison; Maj., Charles E. Moore. The
organization of this regiment was commenced under the popular name of
the "Irish Brigade," at Chicago, immediately upon the opening of
hostilities at Sumter, and it served until the war had fully closed. The
formal muster of the 23d was made June 15, 1861, at Chicago, when the
regiment occupied barracks known as Kane's brewery on West Polk street
near the river. It moved on July 14 to Quincy, Ill., and thence after a
few days' encampment to the arsenal at St. Louis. On Sept. 1, it
commenced a march of 120 miles to Lexington, Mo., where the first
notable siege of the war occurred. Lexington, reinforced by the
regiment, which arrived on the evening of Sept. 9, became a post of
2,780 men, which for nine days sustained an unequal conflict against a
force of 28,000 men with 13 pieces of artillery. On the 20th the most
determined and systematic of the enemy's assaults were made and
repeatedly repulsed, but in the afternoon it was determined to
surrender. The killed and wounded of the regiment numbered 107, while
Gen. Price, the Confederate commander, officially reported his loss at
800. The officers and men were paroled, with the exception of Col.
Mulligan, who was detained as a prisoner and accompanied Price in his
march into Arkansas. On Oct. 8 the regiment was mustered out by order of
Gen. Fremont, but upon the personal application of Col. Mulligan, who
had been exchanged for Gen. Frost, Gen. McClellan, then commanding the
army, directed that its organization be retained and that it should be
considered as continuously in the service from the date of its original
muster. Reassembling at Camp Douglas in Chicago, it guarded the
Confederate prisoners there until June 14, 1862, when it was ordered to
Harper's Ferry, Va. It was at Clarksburg in September and later at
Parkersburg, in both cases saving the towns from the menace of Gen.
Imboden. On Nov. 10 Cos. B, D, and K attacked Imboden on the south fork
of the Potomac, capturing 40 prisoners and a large amount of supplies.
It was on the flank of Lee in his retreat from Gettysburg, having an
engagement with Wade Hampton at Hedgeville. Having reenlisted as
veterans at New creek in April, 1864, the regiment was reorganized at
Chicago, and upon the expiration of the month's furlough returned to
Virginia. During the month of July it participated in engagements at
Leetown, Maryland heights, Snicker's gap, and Kernstown. In the last
named engagement the regiment lost in killed and wounded about one-half
of those engaged. In Aug., 1864, the ten companies of the regiment, then
numbering 440, were consolidated into five companies, and was designated
the "Battalion, 23d regiment Illinois veteran volunteer infantry." The
regiment was thanked by Congress for its part at Lexington, and was
authorized to inscribe "Lexington" upon its colors.
Regimental history taken from "The Union Army" by Federal Publishing
Company, 1908 - Volume 3
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