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61st Illinois Infantry
in the American Civil War
61st 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
|Sixty-first Illinois Infantry. — Cols., Jacob Fry, Jerome B. Nulton ; Lieut. - Cols., Jacob Fry, Simon P. Ohr, Daniel Grass; Majs.,
Simon P. Ohr, Daniel Grass, Jerome B. Nulton, Daniel S. Keeley. This
regiment was organized at Carrollton, three full companies being
mustered on Feb. 5, 1862. On Feb. 21 the regiment, still incomplete,
moved to Benton barracks, Mo., and there a sufficient number of recruits
joined to make nine full companies. On the first day at Shiloh 400 men
of the 61st were formed in line in time to receive the first assault of
the enemy and they stood their ground for an hour and a quarter, until
every other regiment in the division had given way, when they were
ordered back. They were then ordered to support a battery of the 1st Mo.
artillery, and at 1 p. m. were ordered to the support of Gen. Hurlbut —
coming to his support at a very critical moment, and maintaining his
line until relieved by a fresh regiment, their ammunition being entirely
exhausted. When the second line was broken the regiment retired in good
order and took a position supporting the siege guns. Its loss in this
engagement was 80 killed, wounded and missing, including 3 commissioned
officers. In December 240 men of the regiment proceeded by rail to
Jackson, Tenn., where they moved out on the Lexington road with the 43d
Ill. and a detachment of cavalry and took position at Salem cemetery. On
the morning of the 19th this force repulsed the enemy under Forrest,
with 3 pieces of artillery, and on receiving reinforcements from Gen.
Sullivan pursued the enemy some distance, after which they returned to
Bolivar. In Aug., 1863, the regiment was ordered to Arkansas, where it
remained until Aug., 1864. It participated in the combat at Clarendon on
the White river, which resulted in raising the blockade of that river
made by the Confederate Gen. Jo. Shelby. In the early part of the year
1864 enough of the men reenlisted to enable the regiment to retain its
organization as a veteran regiment and on March 20 Co. K joined the
regiment from Camp Butler, Ill. On Aug. 14, the veterans started to
Illinois on veteran furlough, leaving Co. K and the recruits and
non-veterans in camp at Devall's Bluff, Ark. Returning to the front, the
regiment was ordered to Tennessee, and on Dec. 4 was engaged in the
combat of Overall's creek, 3 miles from Murfreesboro. Three days later
it was engaged in the battle of Wilkinson's pike, or the "Cedars" near
Murfreesboro, where it signalized itself by a gallant charge over the
enemy's rail and dirt breast works, capturing the colors of a Florida
regiment and a number of prisoners. Out of about 200 men engaged the
regiment lost in killed and wounded about 30. The last action in which
the regiment was engaged was on Dec. 15, 1864, when, numbering about
175, with a small squad of dismounted cavalry and one company of the 1st
Mich. engineers, it was attacked about 8 miles out of Murfreesboro by an
overwhelming force of Confederates under the command of Forrest. Over
half of the regiment were killed, wounded or taken prisoners. In the
latter part of June, 1865, the recruits of the 83d, 98th, and 123d Ill.
infantry were transferred to the 61st, filling its ranks nearly to the
maximum, and on Sept. 8, 1865, the regiment was mustered out at
Nashville and started home.
Regimental history taken from "The Union Army" by Federal Publishing
Company, 1908 - Volume 3