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61st Illinois Infantry
in the American Civil War

Online Books:
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       View Entire Book

Regimental History
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.

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

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