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40th Illinois Infantry
in the American Civil War

Online Books:
40th 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
Fortieth Illinois Infantry. Col., Stephen G. Hicks ; Lieut. -Cols., James W. Boothe, Rigdon S. Barnhill, Hiram W. Hall; Majs., John B. Smith, Rigdon S. Barnhill, Hiram W. Hall. This regiment was enlisted from the counties of Franklin, Hamilton, Wayne, White, Wabash, Marion, Clay and Fayette. With ten companies it reported at Springfield, Ill, and on Aug. 10, 1861, was mustered into the U. S. service for three years. It moved to Jefferson barracks, Mo., on Aug. 13. and remained there until the 30th of the same month, when the regiment was moved to Bird's Point, and thence to Paducah, Ky. It was engaged in the battle of Shiloh, where it lost 1 commissioned officer killed and 3 wounded, 42 men killed and 148 wounded. After the battle it was moved to Corinth and there participated in the engagements of the siege until the fall of that city. After the fall of Vicksburg it went with Sherman's command to Jackson, Miss., in pursuit of Johnston's army, skirmishing all the way. It was engaged in the battle of Jackson and the officers and men of the regiment were complimented in public orders for bravery and gallant conduct. It participated in the battle of Missionary ridge, where at daylight on Nov. 24 it crossed at the mouth of Chickamauga creek, captured a high hill, driving back the enemy, then placed a battery in position and supported it through the night. At daylight on the morning of the 25th the regiment was deployed and under fire led the assaulting column upon the enemy's works on Missionary ridge, drove in the pickets and scaled his works, losing several men inside. The enemy was then strongly reinforced in front and the regiment being unsupported it was compelled to fall back under cover of the hill. The Confederates, with heavy reinforcements, charged upon the regiment, but the battery the latter had supported during the night poured a deadly fire into the enemy's ranks and checked his advance, although at the same time it made sad work in the ranks of the regiment, killing and wounding its own men. Again the 40th was deployed and assaulted the enemy's works, supported in the charge by the brigade. Gen. Corse was wounded, the brigade fell back, but the regiment lay down in the enemy's front, and by picking off his gunners silenced the batteries and kept them quiet until a heavy assault on the right engaged the forces of the enemy and the regiment was enabled to withdraw. Of the five companies engaged, numbering 130 men, 7 were killed and 44 wounded, many of the latter mortally. On the 26th the regiment pursued the retreating enemy, skirmishing in the rain all day and capturing many prisoners. On Jan. 1, 1864, the 40th was mustered as a veteran regiment, and at that date its aggregate strength was 443. During the two years and five months' service it had lost by deaths, 261; other casualties, 196; discharged, 17; transferred to other commands, 6; missing in action and desertion, 17. In March the veterans of the regiment took their 30 days' furlough, after which they started on the great Atlanta campaign. At the assault on Kennesaw mountain the regiment led a column to the enemy's works, but the charge was a failure and the regiment suffered severely. It was actively engaged in all the marches, skirmishes and battles which finally resulted in the capture of Atlanta. On July 22 it was attacked in the rear and before it had entirely checked the enemy it was assaulted in front. It fought on both sides of its works, first driving back Hardee and then jumping the parapets to receive the attack of Stewart, holding its position until dark, when the enemy fell back, leaving many of his killed and wounded. On July 28 the 40th Ill. and 6th Ia. moved at a double-quick into a breach that had been made in the ranks and checked the enemy, driving him back as often as six times, in each instance with great slaughter. The struggle was severe and the loss of the regiments heavy, but they held their position until the enemy gave up the fight. At Jonesboro the regiment was again warmly engaged, holding its position for 2 hours during heavy fighting until the enemy was repulsed, leaving his killed and wounded on the field. On the march to the sea the regiment, in advance of Walcutt's brigade, met the Georgia militia at Griswoldville, where the brigade repulsed the enemy twice and drove him back in the direction of Macon. On the march through the Carolinas, on Feb. 13, 1865, the regiment, being in the advance, met the enemy's cavalry early in the morning and drove them all day until they fell back into their works in the evening, when artillery opened upon the regiment, and caused it to halt. At Bentonville, N. C, where the enemy made a stubborn resistance, the regiment was also hotly engaged. It then marched in the direction of Raleigh, skirmishing on the way. It took part in the grand review at Washington, where it was highly complimented for its gallant services. It remained in camp near the city a few days, then moved by rail to Parkersburg, W. Va., and from there by steamboat to Louisville, Ky., where it was mustered out on July 24, 1865, and sent to Springfield, Ill., to be paid off. The aggregate loss of the regiment during its four years' service is set down at 395.

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

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