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44th Illinois Infantry
in the American Civil War

Online Books:
44th 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
Forty-fourth Illinois Infantry. Cols., Charles Knobelsdorff, Wallace W. Barrett; Lieut.-Cols., William J. Stephenson, John Russell; Majs., Thomas J. Hobart, Luther M. Sabine. This regiment was organized in Aug., 1861, at Camp Ellsworth, Chicago, under the supervision of Col. Charles Knobelsdorff, was mustered into the U. S. service on Sept. 13, and on the 14th embarked on board the cars for St. Louis, Mo., where it arrived on the next day. It received its baptism of fire in the terrible battle of Pea ridge, which resulted so disastrously to the Confederates, and in which the regiment took a prominent part. After the enemy had been routed it was one of the regiments selected to follow up his retreat, which was done for three days, capturing a stand of colors, several hundred prisoners and some artillery. The regiment was engaged in the battle of Perryville in October, being in the division commanded by Gen. P. H. Sheridan. In the bloody battle of Stone's river it took a prominent part, losing more than half its number in killed and wounded. It remained with the army at Murfreesboro till June 26, 1863, when it again marched to meet the enemy, and was engaged at Hoover's gap, Shelbyville and Tullahoma, Tenn. It arrived at Cowan on July 2 and remained there for a few days, when it marched to Stevenson, Ala., driving the rear of the Confederate army across the Tennessee river at Bridgeport. After three days and nights of forced marches it arrived on the field in time to take part in the bloody conflict of Chickamauga. It was foremost in the desperate charge upon Missionary ridge, Gen. Sheridan giving it praise for having placed one of the first flags on the Confederate works. Following the enemy next day it captured many prisoners and several pieces of artillery, and on the 27th was ordered back to Chattanooga to prepare for a forced march to Knoxville to relieve the forces there then being besieged by the Confederates under Gen. Longstreet. It went into camp at Blain's cross- roads, and nothing could more fully prove the patriotism of the men than the fact that there, on the point of starvation, exposed to the most inclement weather, over three-fourths of them voluntarily consented to serve three years more for that government for which they had suffered so much during the previous two years and a half. It remained there until Jan. 12, 1864, when it marched to Dandridge, Tenn., where an attack was made by the enemy. After considerable hard fighting it became evident that the whole Confederate army was advancing, the Union forces fell back to Knoxville, and from there marched to Kingston, Tenn., where a stand was made until Jan. 30, when the regiment was ordered to Chattanooga to receive its veteran furlough. Returning to the front it passed through nearly all the battles and skirmishes of that ever memorable Atlanta campaign and entered the city on Sept. 8 with the main army. Among the many battles and skirmishes in which the regiment was engaged during this campaign might be mentioned Buzzard Roost, Rocky Face ridge, Resaca, Adairsville, Dallas, New Hope Church, Kennesaw mountain, Kolb's farm, Chattahoochee river, Peachtree creek, Atlanta and Jonesboro. It followed Hood into Tennessee and there was more or less fighting every day till Nov. 30. It participated in the battle of Franklin, which, though the conflict was short, was one of the most desperate in which the regiment was ever engaged. The brigade commander, Col. Opdycke, afterward, in a general order, by the authority of the general commanding, gave to the brigade of which the regiment was a part the honor of gaining the victory and saving the army. The next day Nashville was reached, where the regiment took part in the battle in December, and then followed the broken and scattered columns of the Confederate force to the Tennessee river. The regiment being ordered to Texas the following spring, it landed at Port Lavaca and went into camp on the La Plasido river, where it remained until Sept. 25, 1865, when it was mustered out and placed en route for Springfield, Ill.

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

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