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3rd Illinois Cavalry
in the American Civil War

Online Books:
3rd Illinois Cavalry Soldier Roster - Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Illinois, Volume 7, Revised by Brigadier General J.N. Reece, Adjutant General, 1900       View Entire Book

Regimental History
Third Illinois Cavalry. Cols., Eugene A. Carr, Lafayette McCrillis; Lieut. - Cols., Lafayette McCrillis, James M. Ruggles, Robert H. Carnahan; Majs., James M. Ruggles, John McConnell, Louis D. Hubbard, James H. O'Connor, John L. Campbell. This regiment was composed of twelve companies, coming together from various localities in the state. Co. A was raised in Sangamon, B in Tazewell, C in Cass, D in Bond, E in Saline and Gallatin, F in Adams, G in Brown, H in Fulton, I in McLean, K in Livingston, L in Macoupin, M in Christian and adjoining counties, making a grand total of company officers and enlisted men, under first organization, of 1,433. The regiment was organized at Camp Butler in Aug., 1861, was mustered in for three years, and remained there under instruction and drill until Sept. 25, at which date it moved to St. Louis, Mo. In Feb., 1862, the regiment went into camp about 8 miles from Springfield, when Maj. Ruggles asked and obtained leave to advance with his battalion 4 miles further on, where the enemy was met, the first engagement fought, and the first victory won in the Curtis campaign, by the 3d battalion of the 3d cavalry. At Sugar creek, a few days later, the 3d battalion participated in a cavalry charge, routing the enemy. The entire regiment was engaged all of the first day at the battle of Pea ridge, doing good service, and in the three days' desperate struggle it performed its full share in the achievement of the victory, losing 10 killed and 40 wounded. A week later it made a flying visit to Fayetteville, Ark., driving out the enemy from that place. In July the regiment marched with the army to Helena, following down the course of the White river, and arrived at its destination on the 15th, after ten days of marching, fighting, starving and famishing for water, the supplies and communications having been cut off and the country laid waste by the enemy. Arriving at Chickasaw bayou, during Sherman's movement on Vicksburg, the regiment was detailed for picket duty and escorts for commanding generals, and did good service in the disastrous attack on Haynes' bluff Cos. A, K, L and M being the last troops to embark after the battle. Retiring from the bayou, the regiment moved up the river with the expedition in command of Gen. McClernand against Arkansas Post, where a lively battle was fought, nearly 5,000 prisoners captured, valuable service being rendered by the 3d cavalry, which returned with the victorious army to Vicksburg. Cos. A, G, K and E took an honorable part in the battles of Port Gibson, Champion's hill, Black River bridge and the siege of Vicksburg. On Aug. 16, 1863, the same battalion was assigned to Brig.-Gen. Lee's cavalry division, taking part in the western Louisiana campaign, and fighting at Vermilionville, Opelousas and Carrion Crow bayou. After leaving Vicksburg the other two battalions of the regiment were engaged in active service along the line of the Memphis & Charleston railroad, participating in the battles of Tupelo, Okolona, Guntown, Salem, and other engagements. In the month of July, 1864, a large portion of the regiment reenlisted as veterans. The regiment took part in the repulse of Gen. Forrest in his daring raid on Memphis on the night of Aug. 21. On Aug 24, the non-veterans having been mustered out, the veterans were consolidated into six companies.

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

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