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56th Illinois Infantry
in the American Civil War
56th Illinois Infantry Soldier Roster - Report of the Adjutant
General of the State of Illinois, Volume 4, Revised by Brigadier General J.N.
Reece, Adjutant General, 1900
|Fifty-sixth Illinois Infantry. — Cols., Robert Kirkham, William
R. Brown, Green B. Raum; Lieut. -Cols., William R. Brown, Green B. Raum,
James F. Cooper, John P. Hall; Majs., Green B. Raum, James F. Cooper,
John P. Hall, Pinckney J. Welsh, James P. Files. This regiment was
organized with companies principally enlisted from the counties of
Massac, Pope, Gallatin, Saline, White, Hamilton, Franklin and Wayne.
Immediately after it was mustered into the U. S. service at Camp Mather
near Shawneetown, Ill, Gen. Grant ordered it to Paducah, Ky., where it
constituted a part of the garrison. At the battle of Corinth, in Oct.,
1862, the 56th, with the 10th Mo., charged at a full run and retook some
Federal batteries that had been captured by the Confederates, drove the
enemy from the works, repulsed reinforcements which were coming up, and
broke the center of Price's army, which immediately retired. The
regiment was engaged in the assault on Vicksburg in May, 1863, and was
with the 7th division when it reinforced Gen. McClernand on the left. It
occupied the crater during a portion of the night of June 25, and lost
heavily in both killed and wounded during the conflict. It was
transferred to eastern Tennessee and in the engagement at Missionary
ridge lost quite a number of officers and men. In May, 1864, the
regiment was reinforced by a new Co. I, composed of the veterans of the
13th Ill., and a new Co. D, which had been organized for the regiment.
During the Atlanta campaign the regiment held Calhoun, Adairsville and
several smaller stations along the line of the road, and successfully
repelled every attack made upon it. It was among the troops which acted
with such great heroism at Resaca in Oct., 1864, and kept at bay an army
of more than five times their number. Without dwelling upon the
incidents of the march to the sea it is enough to say that the regiment
performed its full duty and entered Savannah with the rest of the army.
In the march through the Carolinas it acquitted itself with high credit,
and it took part in the battle of Bentonville. After the surrender of
Gen. Johnston's army to Gen. Sherman the Army of Georgia marched to
Washington, and there the regiment took part in the grand review. It
remained in the service for a few months after this event, going first
to Louisville, Ky., and then to Arkansas, and was mustered out of the
service, Aug. 12, 1865.
Regimental history taken from "The Union Army" by Federal Publishing
Company, 1908 - Volume 3