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6th Illinois Cavalry
in the American Civil War

Regimental History
Sixth Illinois Cavalry. Cols., Thomas H. Cavanaugh, Benjamin H. Grierson, Mathew H. Starr, John Lynch; Lieut. -Cols., John Olney, Reuben Loomis, Mathew H. Starr, John Lynch, William D. Glass; Majs., Benjamin H. Grierson, William L. Caldwell, Arno Voss, John Wood, Isaac Gibson, Reuben Loomis, James D. Stacy, Mathew H. Starr, Thomas G. S. Herod. This regiment was organized at Camp Butler Nov. 19, 1861, and was mustered in for three years. It moved to Shawneetown on Nov. 25 and encamped there until Feb., 1862, when it moved to Paducah, Ky., and thence to Columbus, where the regiment was divided five companies going to Trenton, Tenn., five to Memphis, and two remaining at Paducah and Bird's Point. During the spring and summer of 1862 the several detachments operated against guerrillas, and were in several engagements, the most important of which were Dyersburg, Tenn., and Olive Branch and Coldwater, Miss., in all of which the detachment participating was successful, with a loss of 2 killed, 6 wounded and 1 taken prisoner. In the latter part of December the regiment was united and was engaged with others in the pursuit of Gen. Van Dorn after his raid upon Holly Springs, engaging him for 7 consecutive days. In Jan., 1863, the regiment surprised and routed Richardson's command, near Covington, Tenn., capturing its entire camp equipage, ammunition, books, papers, etc. In March a detachment of the regiment was attacked by a superior force, and although in a manner surprised, the command repulsed the enemy with effect, losing 9 killed and 31 wounded. In the Grierson expedition in April the regiment traveled about 800 miles, was engaged a number of times with the enemy, destroyed a vast amount of property, and arrived safely at Baton Rouge, La., on May 2, after a continuous march of 17 days. On June 3 it had a heavy engagement with the enemy and returned to or near Port Hudson, La., with a loss of 2 killed, 4 wounded and 3 taken prisoners. It had a sharp engagement at LaGrange, Tenn., in November and was heavily engaged at Moscow in December, sustaining a loss of 5 killed, 6 wounded, 20 captured and 2 missing. In Feb., 1864, it had a 3 days' engagement with Gen. Forrest's command at West Point, Miss., after which it removed to Germantown, where it remained in camp until March 30, when the regiment reenlisted as veterans and was ordered to Illinois on furlough. Having returned to the field, the regiment had an engagement in August with Gen. Forrest's command at Hurricane creek, Miss., losing 3 men killed and 6 wounded. It took an active part in the battle of Franklin, and in the battle of Nashville it was a part of the cavalry that charged and captured the first two redoubts, losing in the first day's fight 2 men killed and 3 wounded. This was the last battle in which the regiment was engaged. It remained on guard duty at various points in the South until ordered home. It was mustered out Nov. 5, 1865, 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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