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24th Illinois Infantry
in the American Civil War

Online Books:
24th 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-fourth Illinois Infantry. Cols., Frederick Hecker, Geza Mihalotzy ; Lieut.-Cols., Geza Mihalotzy, John Van Horn; Majs., Julian Kune, Julius Standan, George A. Guenther, John Van Horn. The 24th infantry, known as the First Hecker regiment (the 82nd being the second), was organized at Chicago, with two companies, to-wit : the Union Cadets and the Lincoln Rifles, from the three months' service in June, 1861, and was mustered in July 8, 1861, for three years. It left Chicago early in July, under orders to report at Alton, Ill., whence it moved to St. Charles, Mo., and thence to Mexico, Mo. It was engaged in various duties, covering a wide stretch of country, until the spring of 1862, when it took part in the campaign into Alabama. On the same day that Huntsville was occupied, the whole of the 24th and two companies of the 19th Ill., with one section of Simonson's battery, moved to Decatur on the Memphis & Charleston rail-road, captured in the fortifications built there for the protection of the Decatur bridge 500 bales of cotton, and on the opposite side of the bridge the full equipage of a Confederate regiment. Joining Gen. Negley in May, the regiment encamped with his command on June 4 at the foot of the Cumberland mountains, crossed Waldron's ridge on the 5th, drove back Gen. Adams' cavalry across the valley, and arrived opposite Chattanooga on June 7. The regiment arrived at Stevenson, Ala., on June 11, and marched thence to Jasper, Tenn., where it encountered the enemy and engaged him in a sharp fight. When Bragg commenced his march into Kentucky, the regiment joined the forces in pursuit and took an active part in the battle of Perryville. With the 2nd Ohio it was ordered forward to support the skirmishers. The Ohio regiment was driven back, but the 24th Ill., led by Gen. Rousseau in person, reached the position and went into action on the left of the 33d Ohio. The order was given to charge bayonets, which was done, and then a hand-to-hand conflict ensued with clubbed muskets, the Confederates being finally driven from the front of the regiment. About one-third of the entire command were stricken down, but the regiment rallied around its colors and fought until the enemy was routed. At one crisis of the battle the artillery horses at the left were all killed or had become unmanageable. The 24th Ill. and 79th Pa. were ordered to hold the enemy in check while the guns were drawn from the field by the 1st Wis. and the order was successfully carried out. The regiment participated in the battle of Stone's river and after that engagement went into camp near Murfreesboro. It participated in the Tullahoma campaign during the early summer of 1863, and took a prominent part in the battle of Chickamauga. At a critical time during the first day's fighting the 79th Pa., which was in front, was thrown back in dismay, leaving a battery wholly exposed, with the 24th Ill. a few steps away in the rear. Then ensued a desperate struggle for the possession of the battery, and the loss sustained by the regiment in the encounter was even greater than that suffered at Perryville. For a time it stood alone against an overpowering force of the enemy, until finally Johnson's division came to its relief and the battery was saved. In the assault on Missionary ridge the regiment formed a part of the reserve. It joined in the pursuit of the enemy as far as Stevens' gap and then returned to camp at Chattanooga, where it remained until Feb., 1864, when it accompanied the 14th corps in the fight on Dalton by way of Tunnel Hill. It participated in a sharp little engagement to the right of Dalton, when it was advanced as an outpost into Buzzard Roost gap. During the Atlanta campaign the regiment participated in a number of engagements, chief of which were the battles of Resaca and Kennesaw mountain. Its term of service having expired, it was returned to the rear during the latter part of July, 1864, and on Aug. 6, was mustered out at Chicago.

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

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