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37th Illinois Infantry
in the American Civil War

Online Books:
37th Illinois Infantry Soldier Roster - Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Illinois, Volume 3, Revised by Brigadier General J.N. Reece, Adjutant General, 1900       View Entire Book

Regimental History
Thirty-seventh Illinois Infantry. Cols., Julius White, Myron S. Barnes, John C. Black ; Lieut.-Cols., Myron S. Barnes, John C. Black, Henry N. Frisbie, Eugene B. Payne, Ransom Kennicott, Judson J. Huntley; Majs., John C. Black, Henry N. Frisbie, Eugene B. Payne, Ransom Kennicott, Judson J. Huntley. This regiment, known as the "Fremont Rifles," was organized in Aug., 1861, and was mustered into service Sept. 18. It rendezvoused at Camp Webb and on Sept. 19 left for St. Louis. The regiment numbered: field and staff, 15; company officers, 30; enlisted men, 964, and was composed of ten companies of infantry and two of cavalry. From the Lamine river the regiment marched in Feb., 1862, by way of Cassville, Mo., along the "Wire road," skirmishing all the way with the retreating Confederate army to Sugar creek, Ark., where it participated in the battle of Pea ridge, and where, although the Confederate army out- numbered the Federals two to one, the latter won a complete and brilliant victory and saved St. Louis from Price's grasp. The night of March 7 the regiment slept on its arms and the next day renewed the fight. At 11 a. m. a general charge was made, which resulted in putting Price's army to flight and the capture of many prisoners. At this battle the regiment lost 21 killed and 114 wounded. Through the summer of 1862 the regiment guarded the frontier in southwestern Missouri, having frequent fights with roving bands under Coffee and Quantrill, alternating between Springfield and Cassville, Mo. In October it drove the Confederates out of Newtonia, marched thence to Gadfly, thence to Cassville, thence to the old battle field of Pea ridge, and thence to Huntsville, Ark. It broke camp on the evening of Oct. 27, marched all night, and at daylight surprised the Confederates at Fayetteville, Ark., took some prisoners and returned to Osage Springs. It continued marching in light order, chasing Confederates from one place to another until December, when it went into camp at Camp Lyon, Mo. It was engaged at Prairie Grove, Ark., the battle lasting all day and being one of the most hotly contested and bloody battles of the war, considering the number engaged, the regiment losing about one-seventh of its number in killed and wounded. It then spent the winter and spring of 1862-63 in marching from point to point in Missouri and Arkansas, having numerous skirmishes with the enemy until April, when it proceeded to St. Louis and from thence to Cape Girardeau, where it engaged the enemy single-handed and drove him across the sunken country to Chalk bluffs on the St. Francis river. The regiment took a prominent part in the siege of Vicksburg and being hardy veterans marched with every man into the captured city. On July 13 it proceeded up the Yazoo river, landed near Yazoo City and captured that place after a hard fight, taking many prisoners. It was then transferred to Louisiana and in September met the enemy near Morgan's bend. On Oct. 1 it had another "scrape" with the enemy and took 65 prisoners. In Feb., 1864, the regiment reenlisted for three years, was remustered on Feb. 28, and received a furlough of 30 days, the "boys" visiting their homes for the first time in nearly three years. Upon returning to the field the regiment spent the remainder of 1864 in Louisiana, and in Jan., 1865, was transferred to Florida, where in March it marched across the Perdido and Aslumbia rivers, on bridges built by the soldiers themselves, to Pollard, having several skirmishes by the way. In April the regiment participated in the siege and storming of Fort Blakely, Ala., capturing the fort after a hard fought battle, securing 1,200 prisoners and much property. The regiment's loss was 1 killed and 7 wounded. On May 15, 1866, the 37th was mustered out at Houston, Tex., and reached Springfield, Ill., May 31, when it received final payment and discharge, having been in the service of the United States four years and ten months, and having participated in eleven hard fought battles and sieges, innumerable skirmishes, and having marched a distance of 17,846 miles.

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

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