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57th Illinois Infantry
in the American Civil War

Online Books:
57th 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       View Entire Book

Regimental History
Fifty-seventh Illinois Infantry. Cols., Silas D. Baldwin, Frederick J. Hurlbut; Lieut.-Cols., Frederick J. Hurlbut, Frederick A. Battey; Majs., Norman B. Page, Eric Forsee, Frederick A. Battey, Charles Rattray. This regiment was recruited from various portions of the state during the autumn of 1861 under the call of President Lincoln for 300,000 troops. Co. A was enlisted with headquarters at Mendota, Cos. C, E, G and I with rendezvous at Chicago. These five companies with other fragments became quartered at Camp Douglas and were designated as the 57th regiment. Cos. B, F, H and K were recruited in Bureau county, and in the early part of September went into quarters at Camp Bureau, near Princeton, under authority granted to R. F. Winslow to recruit a regiment to be known as the 56th infantry. Co. D. composed wholly of Swedes, was recruited at Bishop Hill in Henry county, and joined under Winslow at Princeton. These companies, with one other which subsequently became a part of the 45th Ill. infantry, went to Springfield in October, and from there were sent to Camp Douglas, Chicago. These two parts of regiments were consolidated in December and on the 26th were mustered into the U. S. service as the 57th Ill. infantry. On Feb. 8, 1862, with about 975 enlisted men, fully officered and armed with old Harper's Ferry muskets altered from flint-locks, it left Camp Douglas over the Illinois Central railroad, under orders for Cairo, where it arrived on the evening of the 9th, thence direct by the steamer Minnehaha, to Fort Henry on the Tennessee river, which had been evacuated by the enemy and taken possession of by the Federal forces. It was under fire but not actually engaged at Fort Donelson, and it was at Shiloh that the regiment was destined to be first tried in the crucible of actual conflict. In the murderous engagement of the first day the 57th lost 187 of its officers and men in killed, wounded and missing, but at the first break of day next morning it moved into position near the center of the line and participated in the general advance upon the enemy, who after some stubborn fighting began to give way, and before night was forced into a general retreat. In the general advance upon Corinth, which began the last of April, the regiment took an active part and shared in the toil, exposure and dangers incident to picket and skirmish duty, building corduroy roads, intrenching, etc., until the evacuation of Corinth on May 30. It participated in the two days' engagement at Corinth in the following October, when the casualties in the regiment were 42 killed, wounded and missing. On Jan. 17, 1864, with the exception of Co. C and a few men from other companies, the regiment veteranized, or reenlisted for three years, starting the next day for Chicago on veteran furlough of 30 days. Returning to the front, the regiment with its brigade and division, moved with the Army of the Tennessee on the Atlanta campaign, passed through Snake Creek gap, took part in the maneuvering against the rear of the Confederate Gen. Johnston's army and participated in the battle of Resaca, which caused the Confederates to withdraw from that position. Cos. H, G, I and E encountered the enemy in force at Rome cross-roads, where he had made a stand to protect the train of the retreating army, and Cos. A and B participated in the fight at Allatoona in October, losing in that heroic contest 3 killed, 7 wounded and 1 missing. On Oct. 13 the regiment, then at Rome, moved out with the brigade on the Cave Springs road, where a portion of Hood's army was encountered, resulting in driving the enemy some distance, with a loss to the regiment of 7 killed and wounded. It accompanied Sherman on his march to the sea and in Jan., 1865, entered upon the campaign of the Carolinas. Considerable opposition to the advance of the army was encountered, severe skirmishing resulting at Branchville, the Salkahatchie and Edisto rivers, and at every point of vantage. On Feb. 10 the regiment assisted in driving the enemy under Gen. Wade Hampton across the Congaree river into Columbia, S. C. It was slightly engaged at the battle of Bentonville, having 1 man wounded. Accompanying the army to Washington, it participated in the grand review and then was transferred to Louisville, Ky., where it was mustered out of service on July 7, 1865.

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

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