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59th Illinois Infantry
in the American Civil War
59th 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-ninth Illinois Infantry. — Cols., John C. Kelton, P.
Sidney Post ; Lieut. - Cols., Charles H. Frederick, Calvin H. Frederick,
Joshua C. Winters, Clayton Hale; Majs., P. Sidney Post, D. McGibbon,
Joshua C. Winters, Clayton Hale, James M. Stookey. The 9th Mo. infantry
was organized at St. Louis, Mo., Sept. 18, 1861, by Col. John C. Kelton,
formerly captain in the U. S. army. The companies composing the regiment
had been raised in the state of Illinois and mustered in at sundry
times, in July, August and September, and Cos. A, B and C, under Capt.
Clayton Hale, had been on duty at Cape Girardeau since Aug. 6. On Feb.
12, 1862, by an order of the war department the name of the regiment was
changed to the 59th Ill. infantry. On March 7 the division of Brig.-Gen.
Jeff. C. Davis, of which the 59th formed a part, fought the enemy all
day at Pea ridge and the following day moved to reinforce Gens. Carr and
Asboth, who had been forced to fall back. On Aug. 5 it moved to Bay
Springs, Miss., and had a skirmish with the enemy's cavalry. It next
fought at Perryville, Ky., losing 113 killed and wounded out of 361 men
going into action. On Oct. 14 it had a severe skirmish at Lancaster, Ky.
The regiment was deployed as skirmishers in the advance on Stone's river
and drove the enemy before it 9 miles, until he was found in force at
Nolensville. It took part in the attack upon Nolensville, from which the
enemy was driven in confusion, and also was in the assault upon Knob
gap. At the battle of Stone's river the 59th changed front to the rear,
supporting the 5th Wis. battery and for a long time held the enemy in
check. When it was withdrawn it brought off the guns of the battery,
from which the horses had all been killed. It was then put in position
on the Murfreesboro pike, which it held until Jan. 2, when it forded the
river and assisted in driving back the enemy. It then held a position in
the extreme front until the morning of Jan. 4, when it recrossed Stone's
river and the enemy evacuated Murfreesboro. During the siege of
Chattanooga the regiment was constantly under fire of the enemy's
batteries. It led the brigade in the assault on Missionary ridge, from
which the enemy was driven in confusion and pursued for 15 miles to
Ringgold, where the 59th again attacked and drove him from his position.
On Jan. 12, 1864, the regiment was mustered as a veteran organization,
and on Feb. 6 started on furlough for Springfield, Ill., which place it
reached on the 10th. Returning to the front, on May 7 it supported the
attack upon Tunnel Hill, and the following day commenced the attack upon
Rocky Face ridge, where it was constantly engaged until the 13th, when
the enemy abandoned his position. It was warmly engaged at Resaca, again
came up with the enemy at Adairsville, and thence to the time of
crossing the Chattahoochee, was engaged at Kingston, Dallas, Acworth,
Pine mountain, Kennesaw mountain, Smyrna camp ground, besides
innumerable skirmishes. It crossed the Chattahoochee and presented
itself before the fortifications around Atlanta, and from that time
until Aug. 25 was under fire night and day. On Aug. 28-29 it was engaged
in skirmishing with the enemy at Red Oak, and fought in the battle of
Lovejoy's Station. It followed Hood into Tennessee, skirmished with the
enemy at Columbia, was in the first line of the assaulting colunm at
Nashville, and planted the first colors on the captured works on the
afternoon of the first day's fighting, assaulting and carrying the
enemy's works near the Hillsboro pike. In this battle the regiment lost
in killed and wounded, one-third of its number engaged, among whom were
9 officers. On June 16, 1865, the regiment left Nashville for New
Orleans, La., and on July 9 arrived at Indianola, Tex., thence marched
to San Antonio, and was stationed at New Braunfels, Tex., until Dec. 8,
1865, when it was mustered out and ordered to Springfield, Ill., for
final payment and discharge.
Regimental history taken from "The Union Army" by Federal Publishing
Company, 1908 - Volume 3