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8th Illinois Infantry (3 years)
in the American Civil War

Online Books:
8th Illinois Infantry (3 years) Soldier Roster - Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Illinois, Volume 1, Revised by Brigadier General J.N. Reece, Adjutant General, 1900       View Entire Book
 

Regimental History
Eighth Illinois Infantry (Three Years' Service). Cols., Richard J. Oglesby, Frank L. Rhodes, John P. Post, Josiah A. Sheetz; Lieut. -Cols., Frank L. Rhodes, John P. Post, Robert H. Sturgess, Josiah A. Sheetz, Lloyd Wheaton ; Majs., John P. Post, Robert H. Sturgess, Herman Leib, Josiah A. Sheetz, Lloyd Wheaton, Noah W. Dennison. On July 25, 1861, this regiment was reorganized and mustered in for three years' service. It remained at Cairo until October, when it was ordered to Bird's Point, Mo. With other troops it made expeditions to Cape Girardeau, Commerce, Bloomfield and Norfolk, Mo., Paducah and Blandville, Ky., and joined the feint on Columbus in January. On Feb. 2, 1862, it was taken up the Tennessee river to a point near Fort Henry and on the 5th it reconnoitered the enemy's position, approaching near enough to attack and drive in his outpost. It was among the first to enter the fort after its reduction by the gunboats. In the movement on Fort Donelson it was in the advance of the column, where it met a strong outpost of the enemy about noon, but a few volleys dislodged and drove them toward their intrenchments. On Feb. 14 the regiment was in position near the Dover road, with pickets thrown well to the front in constant action with those of the enemy. The ensuing night was one of intense cold, with sleet and snow, and at early dawn on the 15th the enemy attacked. The men were quickly in line, and although stiffened and suffering with the cold, they met the first onset and stood their ground for about 3 hours, when, ammunition exhausted and the brigade to the right giving way, they were forced to retire, losing in this battle 57 killed, 191 wounded and 10 missing. When called into line for the impending battle of Shiloh, 25 officers and 453 enlisted men responded. At once they received a fierce attack from the enemy, but held their ground. The fight became furious and the regiment was forced back, but recovering and reforming, it drove the enemy back over the ground it had lost. It was in the front lines that moved against the enemy early the next morning and performed its share in the battle of the day. Near the close of the second day's fight the regiment, with the 18th Ill., charged upon and captured a Confederate battery which was pouring a destructive fire into the Union lines, some of the gunners being killed at their posts. The regiment lost at Shiloh 26 killed, 95 wounded and 11 missing. In the movement against Corinth it experienced the fatigues of the approach, following closely the advanced troops and being often thrown far out to cover the right of the line. On April 25, 1863, it marched out through Richmond and to Perkins' landing, thence to De Shroon's landing, crossed the river to Bruinsburg, and took part in the stubborn battle of Port Gibson. It was in line of battle at Raymond and won great distinction by charging the enemy and relieving the center, which was hard pressed. In this engagement it lost 6 killed and 15 wounded. It took part in the capture of Jackson and the bloody battle of Champion's hill. In this battle the brigade in which was the 8th was moved to the extreme right of the line and it charged up the hill on the northern slope, capturing a battery of 6 guns with horses and caissons. The regiment took part in the general assaults on the enemy's works at Vicksburg, did its share of the work incident to the approach on Fort hill, and was in the trenches on June 25, when the mine was fired under the fort, ready to push through the opening and enter the Confederate lines. After the surrender the regiment, being in Logan's division nearest the enemy's works, was among the first troops to enter the town. In October it moved with the 17th army corps towards Canton, Miss., and in an engagement near Brownsville lost 2 men wounded. Picket guard and patrol duty and drill occupied the time until Feb. 3, 1864, when it moved with Gen. Sherman to Meridian, Miss., having several encounters with small bands of the enemy on the march and doing its share of foraging on the country. On March 24 the regiment reenlisted as a veteran organization and was sent on furlough to Camp Butler, Ill. Returning to the field, it formed part of the expedition to Jackson, Miss., and occupied that place in July. Returning towards Vicksburg, it found the enemy in considerable force in position to dispute the march and skirmished until dark. At daylight the following morning it charged upon the Confederates and drove them from their position, opening the road and permitting the safe passage of the wagon train. In this spirited action the casualties were 3 killed, 21 wounded and 2 missing. On March 26, 1865, the regiment reached the vicinity of Spanish Fort, where it intrenched and for 4 days worked in the approaches to the fort, having frequent engagements with the enemy and losing a number of men in killed and wounded. It took part in the grand assault on the fort, doing gallant service and planting its colors first on the earthworks, its loss in this charge being 10 killed and 54 wounded. On April 12 it was sent across the bay, and marching on the shell road was the first to enter the city of Mobile. The regiment spent the following summer in Texas engaged in guard duty, and late in the fall was ordered to Alexandria, La., where it remained until the spring of 1866, and was then ordered to Baton Rouge, where on May 4, 1866, it was mustered out and sent to Springfield, Ill.

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

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