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59th Illinois Infantry
in the American Civil War

Online Books:
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       View Entire Book

Regimental History
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 When it was withdrawn it brought off the guns of the battery, from which the horses had all been killed.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.

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

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