“Lake County, War History and Record” written by Charles A. Partridge is a chapter in the book titled “The Past and Present of Lake County, Illinois” in 1877:, pages 461-472. Mr. Partridge gives an overview of the Companies that represented Lake County during the Civil War.
Charles Addison Partridge was born in Westford, Chittenden County, Vermont on December 8, 1843, son of Addison B. and Anna Maria (Stebbings) Partridge. The family arrived in Lake County, Illinois in 1844 locating in the Town of Fremont. Charles enlisted in Company C of the 96th Illinois Regiment on August 11, 1862 and served until the close of the war. He earned the rank of Second Lieutenant of Company C. After the war he came home to engage in farming and teaching in the Town of Fremont. In 1870 he moved to Waukegan, became a business manager of the Waukegan Weekly Gazette newspaper and half owner until September 1, 1885. He would become elected as an Illinois State Legislature in 1886. Mr. Partridge died December 13, 1910 and buried next to his wife, Jane (Earle) Partridge, in the Ivanhoe Cemetery in Mundelein, Lake County, Illinois.
Transcribed by Vernon B. Paddock
WAR HISTORY AND RECORD.
BY CHARLES A. PARTRIDGE.
NOTE BY THE AUTHOR.
To give the detailed narration of the events attending the enlistment of all the soldiers who went to the war from Lake County, and to follow them through the marches and skirmishes and sieges and battles, or into the hospitals and prisons, would require volumes. The reader, therefore, must not look for a history of individuals, except to far as given in the accompanying roster. That roster, copied from the report of the Adjutant General of the State, has been carefully gone through with, and much time and labor spent in making additions and corrections. The sketches of regiments embrace only those which had companies in them from Lake County.
In consenting to undertake the revision of the roster and the writing of these sketches, I confess to having made an under estimate of the work required. The military history, therefore, is not all that I could wish, but is complete as I could make it in the limited time at my command.
But however crude and imperfect the narrative may be, I believe the sketches set forth the doings of the County in a connected manner, and will be of much interest, not only to the patriotic men and women who lived during the memorable epoch from 1860 to 1866, but to the children of these patriots, who must learn by reading – if they learn at all – what part Lake County bore in the War of the Rebellion.
The dawn of the year 1861 found Lake County without the semblance of a military organization, but the announcement of the fall of Fort Sumter aroused the people, and no time was lost in setting about to solve the problem as to what could be done to help to restore and save the Union of States. The news was first received on Monday, April 15th, although there had been rumors of an engagement on Sunday. On Tuesday evening, a most enthusiastic meeting was held in the Court House at Waukegan, the call for the meeting being issued by the Hon. David Ballentine, then Mayor of the city. A. S. Sherman, Esq., acted as Chairman, and William H. Wright, Esq., as Secretary. Patriotic speeches were made by Hon. H. W. Blodgett, Hon. J. S. Frazer, Hon. E. P. Ferry, Rev. J. I Ferree, and Rev. Jas. Selkrig. During the meeting, several persons enrolled their names as volunteers, amid much excitement and enthusiasm. On the Thursday evening following, a second meeting was held in Dickinson Hall which was largely attended by both Democrats and Republicans. I. L. Clarke, Esq., called the assembly to order, the meeting organizing with the following officers: President, James Wiseman; Vice-Presidents, E. M. Dennis and D. H. Stafford; Secretaries, E. B. Payne and E. D. Colgan. Short speeches were made by Daniel Brewer, E. B. Payne, J. J. Huntley, I. L. Clarke, George C. Rogers, J. S. Frazer, P. Munson, J. Dyhrenfurth, A. S. Sherman, and Mr. Coy. Party feeling was entirely ignored, and the most intense Union sentiments were cheered to the echo. A finance committee was appointed to solicit funds with which to defray the expenses of organizing companies, and in a few hours $1,000.00 had been placed at their disposal. During the week, enlistments continued, and at noon on Monday, April 22nd, the first company of Lake County volunteers had completed their organization, and were aboard the cars at Waukegan for Chicago, being the first company to arrive in that city. The same evening, they were sent forward to Springfield, arriving there on Tuesday morning and being placed in quarters at Camp Yates. This company was known as “Company H, Waukegan Zouaves,” and numbered some eighty-five members. At their organization, they chose William Innis Captain; B. Frank Rogers, First Lieutenant, and Eugene B. Payne, Second Lieutenant. Messrs. Innis and Rogers were from Chicago, and had formerly been members of the Ellsworth Zouaves, and were chosen as the first officers of the company because of that fact. The following persons composed the company:
James M. Duzenbury, Edgar M. Bullin, John H. Maynard, A. E. Simons, John M. Hoyt, M. N. Brewster, R. G. Dyhrenfurth, E. H. Gilbert, Thos. McAllister, Washington Smith, T. P. Rockett, J. A. Gilbert, Hugh Berry, C. B. Ladds, C. F. Boardman, Wm. H. Kendall, Stephen McAllister, A. S. Simons, A. H. Brown, Wm. Lewis, H. H. Lewis, I. H. Butrick, Thos. D. Cory, Newton Adams, T. F. Clarkson, H. C. Tiffany, Oscar Olds, E. J. Dupuy, D. M McElvane, T. C. Dickinson, C. H. Wright, Amos Greenleaf, M. Carey, M. McMillan, A. Boardman, D. C. Dickinson, C. C. Morse, A. E. Look, O. S. Johnson, Jos. B. Porter, J. J. Huntley, E. B. Payne, D. R. Nellis, A. E. Ingolls, L. S. Northrop, M. G. Rich, Philip Brand, M. Kautenberger, Horace Butterfield, Nicholas Cloos, Frank Hembolt, W K. Wells, George Groop, J. D. Cleveland, Arthur Whitney, E. H. Rich, Emery Adams, L. Packard, Geo. Hosley, Thos. Carmen, L. C. Manzer, John Adams, Oscar B. Douglas, James Burrows, A. E. Wooley, A. J. Potter, Eugene A. Blodgett, C. H. Pierce, Thos. James, Geo. E. Walters, Chas. Riefsneider, S. W. Day, A. M. Paddock, J. A. Adams, Geo. Brown, L. B. Clogh, L. B. Scoville, A. P. Hamilton, Lafayette Collins, C. M. Maguire, Charles Goodspeed, Edward E. Craig, H. W. Hayward, Charles Paine.
This company seemed to be unfortunate in its organization, and also in its earlier experiences in camp, many of the boys being seriously ill within a short time after their arrival in Springfield. There was, too, an evident lack of sympathy between their Chicago officers and the men, and, after a month of camp life, many more companies having offered their services under the call for volunteers for three months than could possibly be accepted, Gov. Yates ordered that they be disbanded and returned home. So far as we can learn, only one death occurred among these men – Oscar B. Douglas dying shortly after his return home from, disease contracted while in camp.
Sooner or later, all these men entered the service with other organizations.
Meanwhile in other parts of the county active preparations for the war were going on. War meetings were held at Antioch, Milburn, Wauconda, Libertyville and in other places. At the two places first named, several volunteers were enrolled in a company, organized in Chicago, with Hiram Hugunin, of Waukegan, as its Captain. This company was assigned as Co. K of the Twelfth Regiment, and spent the greater part of their three months in vicinity of Cairo.
A company was also organized at Libertyville, April 25th, composed largely of men from the south western part of the county, and known as the “Lake County Union Rifle Guards.” They were officered as follows: Captain, J. B. Jones; First Lieutenant, Geo. C. Rogers; Second Lieutenant, J. S. Pratt, and were quartered in Waukegan for nearly two weeks before receiving orders to rendezvous at Freeport. During this time a neat gray uniform was procured at the expense of citizens, and the company attained considerable proficiency in drill under First Sergt. William Reid. Arrived in Freeport, the company was assigned as Co. I, Fifteenth Regiment, and sworn into the State’s service for thirty days, it being found that no more troops could be accepted on the three months call. The company reorganized, and nearly all the men re-enlisting, and were recruited nearly to the maximum number. The regiment was mustered into the United States service, May 24th, and was the first regiment organized for the three years service in the State. After its organization, it proceeded to Alton, where it remained for six weeks, and then participated in the campaign in Southwestern Missouri during the Fall and Winter. In February, it returned to St. Louis, embarking on transports and arriving at Fort Donelson on the day of the surrender, too late to take an active part in that engagement. It next proceeded to Fort Henry, and embarked on transports for Pittsburg Landing, taking part in the memorable battle of the 6th and 7th of April, 1862. This was its first real battle, and its losses were very heavy, 252 men being killed or wounded.
It subsequently participated in the siege of Corinth, and during the summer guarded points of importance in that vicinity. In the battle of the Hatchie, in September, it was actively engaged, losing 50 in killed and wounded. It then took part in most of the severe campaigning of Gen. Grant, and participated in the siege of Vicksburg. After the surrender of that place, it marched to Jackson, Natchez, Kingston, Harrisonburg and other points and assisted in the capture of Fort Beauregard, on the Washita River. In February, it moved with Gen. Sherman through Mississippi to Meridian, having a severe engagement at Champion Hills. During the Spring of 1864, many of the members re-enlisted and visited home of veteran furlough. Upon their return, the regiment marched across the country to Huntsville, Ala., where the non-veterans were mustered out.
The veterans of this regiment were subsequently consolidated with those of the Fourteenth Regiment, and followed Gen. Sherman’s army on the Atlanta campaign, being employed most of the time in guarding the railroad in the rear of the main army. After the fall of Atlanta, the Rebel Gen. Hood, passed around to the rear of Gen. Sherman’s army, and, following the railroad, succeeding in capturing the greater part of the men of this command at Ackworth and Big Shanty; among them nearly every one of the Lrke (sic) County members. The few remaining marched with Sherman to the sea, thence north through the Carolinas to Washington, and were finally mustered out in May, 1865.
During the early part of the summer of 1861, a few from the county enlisted in the Nineteenth Illinois, and a few joined other commands; most of them being accredited to other counties. In the latter part of the Summer, recruiting again became active and two companies were organized in the county with Eugene B. Payne and Erwin B. Messer as Captains. These companies reported at Camp Fry, Chicago, in August, and were assigned as Companies C and F, of the Thirty-seventh Regiment. On the 19th of September, the command was ordered to St. Louis, and shortly after marched to Booneville, Otterville, Springfield and Warsaw, making many hard marches and spending the Winter at the latter place. March 7, 1862, it participated in the battle of Pea Ridge, doing excellent service and losing very heavily. Shortly after the battle, it returned to Cassville, and subsequently to Springfield. In September, it was present at the battle of Newtonia, and later at Fayetteville. In the early part of December, it made a forced march to relieve Gen. Blunt, traveling 112 miles in three days, and going at once into action at Prairie Grove, where its losses were again very heavy, ten of the regiment being killed and fifty-seven wounded. After this engagement, the command followed the enemy to the Arkansas River, where, with the aid of a battery, two or three small boats were sunk. After this, they returned to Carrollton, and subsequently to Cape Girardeau, making a very severe march from the latter place to St. Genevieve, in the attempt to capture Gen. Marmaduke. The expedition was attended with severe skirmishing, and some lives were lost. The command was obliged to return without accomplishing any very satisfactory result. With the exception of occasional expeditions of this character, the Winter was passed at Springfield, Missouri. In April, 1863, the command was sent to St. Louis, but disturbances warned them back, by rail, to Cape Girardeau, from whence an expedition, of which they formed a part, set out, making a march of more than 200 miles, and fighting quite a severe battle at Chalk Bluff, Missouri, on the 2d of May. After this expedition, they returned, via Cape Girardeau, to St. Louis, thence, by rail, to Pilot Knob, and, on foot to St. Genevieve where transports were taken down the Mississippi, nearly to Vicksburg. Landing above that stronghold in June, the command marched around the city to a point below, and assisted in the environment. During the siege, and up to the time of the surrender upon the 4th of July, 1863, frequent reconnoissances were made, and much labor was expended in digging intrenchments, in all of which the Thirty-seventh bore its full part. After the surrender, the regiment was sent up the Yazoo River to Yazoo City, scouting in that vicinity for two weeks. It then returned to Vicksburg, and subsequently went down the river, arriving at Port Hudson on the 26th of July. It subsequently stationed at Point Coupee, Carrollton, Morganza, and New Orleans. On the 24th of October, they left the latter place and went by transports to Point Isabel, near the mouth of the Rio Grande. Encountering a severe storm while on the Gulf, they experienced considerable inconvenience and did not land until the 4th of November. Then they marched to Brownville, Texas, remaining there most of the Winter.
On the 10th of February, 1864, a majority of the regiment re-enlisted, fifty members of Companies C and F signing the muster-roll for three years more. They were shortly afterward sent home on veteran furlough, and were given a hearty reception upon their arrival in Waukegan, March 23.
The non-veterans were left in Texas for a time after the re-enlisting of the majority of the regiment, but were subsequently ordered to New Orleans, doing duty of various kinds at different points along the Mississippi during the Summer of 1864, and until the expiration of their term of enlistment when they were formerly mustered out and returned home.
After a little more than a month at home, the veterans were off again for the front. Arriving at Memphis, they were hurriedly ordered from the boats and immediately sent out upon an expedition to head off the Rebel forces under Gen. Forrest, then threatening that and other points along the river, marching to Ripley, Miss., and return. Again embarking upon the transports, they were taken up the Red River, and subsequently up the Atchafalaya, to meet the Banks expedition, then on its disastrous retreat. A little later, they were marched fifty miles to Morganza Bend, where they lay until July, when they went by boat to the mouth of the White River, where they remained until October. Their next move was to Durall’s Bluff, where they were quartered until February, 16, 1864, when they went to Kennersville, La., and thence by ocean steamer to Pensacola, Florida. Joining the forces sent against Blakely, they lay siege to the place, and on the 9th of April joined in the assault upon the works, which resulted so successfully. The only casualty to the Lake County boys was the losing of a finger by Thomas McAllister.
The forces next moved across Mobile Bay and up the river, the Rebel surrendering Mobile, Selma and Montgomery to their advance. Returning to Mobile, they were sent across the Gulf to Galveston, Texas, by steamer, reaching there July 1, and participating in a grand Fourth of July celebration. Shortly afterward, they went by rail to Columbus, being separated into detachments, and hunting up and looking after branded horses and mules, and other Government property. In the Fall, they were sent to Houston, where they were practically idle all Winter, and until their final muster out, April 16, 1866. As near as we can learn, they were the last regiment of volunteer infantry to leave the service, being in almost five years. No other volunteers from the county were in the service so long as the veterans of the Thirty-seventh Regiment, and few, if any, troops in the service were ever called upon to march as many miles on foot or to travel as far by rail or water. The veterans finally reached home upon the last day of May, 1866. Of the Lake County boys in Company F, ten were killed in action and two died in Andersonville, besides others who died of disease, while more than one-half of the remainder were wounded.
The battles in which the Thirty-seventh participated were: Pea Ridge, Ark., March 6, 7 and 8, 1862; Prairie Grove, Ark, Dec. 7, 1862; Chalk Bluff, Mo., May 2, 1863, and the siege of Vicksburg and Blakely. The skirmishes were: Sugar Creek and Springfield, Mo.; Cow Skin Prairie, Indian Territory; Neosho, Mo.; Atchafalaya, La.; King’s River and Van Buren, Ark.; and Yazoo City, Miss. Before re-enlisting, the regiment marched 2,441 miles on foot.
About the time that the Companies for the Thirty-Seventh Regiment were filled, recruiting for a Company for the Washburne Lead Mine Regiment, afterward designated at the Forty-Fifth Regiment, was begun under Messrs. Putnam, Boyce and Balfour. Only about fifty men were secured, however, and these, with about an equal number from Rock Island County, were united and mustered as Co. I, the Captaincy being given to Oliver A. Bridgford, of Millersburg, and the First and Second Lieutenancy to James Balfour and Henry H. Boyce respectively. The regiment was mustered into service at Chicago, on Christmas Day, 1861. On the 15th of January, 1862, it moved to Cairo, Illinois; thence southward by transports, landing below Fort Henry, on the Tennessee River, February 4th, and marching into the Fort after its surrender to the gunboats two days later. On the 11th of February, it moved toward Fort Donelson, and during the succeeding days bore its full share in the hardships and dangers attendant upon that great battle, its flag being the first planted upon the works after the enemy’s surrender. Its losses were two killed and twenty-six wounded. Two weeks later, it returned to the Tennessee, and again moving southward, took part in the expedition to Pin Hook, and on the 25th of March encamped at Shiloh Church. In the battle of Shiloh, on the 6th and 7th of April, it bore a conspicuous part, its losses being twenty-six killed and two hundred wounded. During the summer of 1862, it was actively engaged in guarding railroads, and in the various expeditions in Western Tennessee and Northern Mississippi, being considerable of the time in the vicinity of Jackson. In the Winter following, it took part in the various maneuvers looking to the capture of Vicksburg, but engaged in no severe fighting until the summer campaign commenced, when it had a conspicuous part in the rapid and brilliant series of engagements under Gen. Grant, whereby the rebel forces intended to protect and operate outside of Vicksburg, were completely out-maneuvered and driven off while, the environment of that great stronghold was made possible. The engagements participated in immediately preceding the seige of Vicksburg were Port Gibson and Thompson’s Hill, on the 1st of May; Raymond, May 12th; Jackson, May 14th, and Champion Hills, May 16th. During the seige of Vicksburg, the regiment was constantly under fire, and frequently engaged in serious work. On the 22d of May, they were part of a charging column, and lost heavily in the assault. At the exploding of the mine prepared by this regiment, on the 25th of June, they were the first to spring into the breach and hold the advantage won. During the day, the regiment had one field officer wounded, and two killed, and lost many line officers and enlisted men. Their losses during the forty-two days’ seige were more that one hundred in killed and wounded. On the Fourth of July, 1863, the Forty-fifth led the advance of Gen. Logan’s Division into the surrendered city, and their flag was the first to wave over the cupola of the Court House.
After the surrender, the Forty-fifth did provost duty in the city most of the time until the 14th of October, when it joined in the Canton raid, having a skirmish at Boguechitts Creek on the 17th. Returning to Vicksburg, it was sent to Black River on the 7th of November, from which point it started on the celebrated Meridian raid. Its only fight on this expedition was at Chunky Station, where it drove off a vastly superior force of the enemy.
On the 5th of January, 1864, and before this raid began, a large part of the regiment re-enlisted, and on their return from Meridian the veterans were sent home on furlough, Galena being their general rendezvous while in the State. Returning, they reached Cairo, Ill., on the 1st of May, and on the 14th arrived at Clifton, Tenn. From this point, it marched to Big Shanty, Ga., more than 300 miles, arriving there and joining Sherman’s army on the 9th of June. During the remainder of the Atlanta campaign, it was engaged in guarding the railroad, the main part of the regiment being stationed at Marietta, Ga., after the rebels retired from the Kenesaw Mountain line until October. It was then moved to Ackworth and subsequently to Atlanta. From the latter place it joined in the memorable march to the sea, its experience being similar to that of the other troops engaged in that triumphal expedition.
The non-veterans were mustered out two days after the fall of Fort McAllister, and as soon as transportation could be obtained, returned home via New York City. From Savannah, the Veteran Regiment was sent by water to Beaufort, and on the 14th of January, 1865, engaged the enemy at Pocotaligo, driving them off the considerable loss to itself. It then rejoined Sherman’s army and marched northward to Washington, from whence it was sent to Louisville for final muster out. The regiment arrived in Chicago on the 15th of July, 1865, when it was disbanded.
During the active recruiting of the autumn of 1861, an effort was made to form a company in the county for the Fifty-first Regiment, which was so far successful that about sixty-five men were secured, and these with a few from McHenry County and others from Chicago were organized as Company G, going into Camp Douglas, Chicago, and being finally mustered in on the 24th of December. The regiment remained in Chicago until February 14, 1862, when it was ordered to Cairo, and assisted in looking after the prisoners of war just arriving from Fort Donelson. Two weeks later, it crossed the river into Kentucky, and on the 4th of March joined Gen. Pope’s forces at Bertrand, Missouri, subsequently moving with that command against New Madrid and Island No. 10, being present at the surrender of Gen. Mackall with 4,000 prisoners. Returning to New Madrid, it embarked on transports on the 11th of April, moving down to Osceola, Arkansas, and subsequently to Hamburg Landing, Tennessee, disembarking on the 22d. From this point it moved out toward Corinth, being severely engaged in the battle of Farmington. After the evacuation of Corinth, the Fifty-first joined in the pursuit of the retreating enemy for a time, but was afterward assigned to duty along the Memphis and Charleston Railroad. In September, it was ordered to Nashville, in which vicinity it remained until December, being engaged in the defense of the city on the occasion of the demonstration against it on the 6th of November. At the battle of Stone’s River, late December, the Fifty-first bore a conspicuous part, losing heavily in officers and men. From the 6th of January, 1863, until the 4th of March, it remained in camp three miles south of Murfreesboro. It then made a rapid march to Eagleville, surprising and capturing a small force of the enemy. From there it moved to Franklin, joining in the Duck River campaign, and afterward returning to Murfreesboro. On the 24th of June, it started on the Tullahoma campaign, and had the advance much of the time until the Tennessee River was crossed, about the 1st of September. It then marched with its corps to Alpine, George, the movement being successful in flanking the rebels out of Chattanooga. Moving across the mountains toward Chattanooga, they joined the main army on the 19th of September, and immediately went into the engagement of Chickamauga. During the afternoon of the first day’s fight, the Fifty-first occupied, for a time a terribly exposed position, and suffered very severely. Company G had its commanding officer, Lieut. Simons, of Antioch, killed, also six enlisted men. Besides twelve, that were wounded and five captured, only seven men escaping unhurt. At the close of the battle, Sergt. Strickland was the ranking officer, and had command of the three left companies of the battalion.
From the close of this engagement until the battle of Mission Ridge, the Fifty-first lay in Chattanooga, living on part rations, but performing no severe labor. During the progress of the last-named battle, it moved across the plain and up the steep sides of the ridge, aiding the work of routing the enemy, whom it followed until nightfall. Immediately afterwards, it started for the relief of the army of Gen. Burnside, making forced marches and enduring much suffering from wet and cold. For months they had received no pay, their clothing was worn to shreds, and full rations had been almost unknown since Chickamauga. Add to this that it was the middle of such a winter as Eastern Tennessee had hardly ever before experienced, and one can justly appreciate the lofty heroism which inspired these battered veterans, after two full years of arduous service, to re-enlist, almost to a man. As soon as they could be safely spared, they were returned to Chattanooga and furloughed home, reaching Chicago February 17, 1864. After thirty days among their friends, they were summoned to Chicago, and, on the 28th of March, returned to the front, marching most of the way from Nashville to Chattanooga and camping at Cleveland, from whence it moved out for the Atlanta campaign on the 3d of May. From this time until September, it was almost constantly under fire. At Rocky Face Ridge it bore a conspicuous part, and lost many men. At Resaca, on the 14th and 15th of May, and at Dallas, toward the close of the month, it suffered to some extent. At Kenesaw mountain, on the 27th of June, it was in the charging column, which was so disastrously repulsed, losing very heavily. At the crossing of the Chattahoochie River, and again at Peach Tree Creek, the casualties were serious. During the siege of Atlanta, it participated in numerous reconnoissances, and, after the evacuation, it followed the enemy to Jonesboro and Lovejoy Station, being engaged at both places. Returning to Atlanta, it enjoyed a brief season of rest. But, after a month or less, again set out with the Fourth Corps, following Hood’s army, via Dalton to Gaylesville, Alabama, then marching to Chattanooga, subsequently proceeding – partly by rail and partly on foot – to Pulaski, Tennessee. It was on the retreat under Schofield, and at Franklin they lost very heavily, occupying in the early part of the engagement, an unfortunate position in front of the main Union lines, from which it was compelled to retreat in the face of a murderous fire. The gauntlet was too terrible, and quite a per centage of the regiment surrendered. At the battle of Nashville, two weeks later, it was in the reserve most of the time, its losses being light. Following Hood to Huntsville, Alabama, it went into winter quarters of the 5th of January, 1865, remaining until March, when it went by rail to Strawberry Plains, East Tennessee, marching from there along the railroad to Greenville. On the 15th of April, it started by rail on the return to Nashville, where it remained until June 15. At this place the non-veterans were mustered out and sent home. The veterans were then sent, via New Orleans, to Placider, Texas, and remained in that vicinity until the 25th of September, when they were mustered out and sent North, being finally paid off and discharged at Springfield, Illinois, October 15, 1865.
During the winter of 1861-2, the Sixty-fifth Regiment, known at the time as the
“Scotch Regiment,” was raised in the northern part of the State, this being the last complete regimental organization of infantry in the State under the earlier call for troops. While the work of recruiting was going on, a nucleus of a company in Lake County was formed by the consolidation of a part of the company from this vicinity recruited for the Forty-fifth Regiment, with the fractional company from Rock Island County, by which there was a small surplus of men and officers. James S. Putnam of Waukegan, who had been tendered a Lieutenant’s commission in the Forty-fifth, set about raising a new company for the Sixty-fifth, and with such success that in a few weeks he had more than the maximum number, one-half of whom were from Lake County. This company was assigned as Company F and was mustered at Camp Douglas, Chicago, Illinois, April 26, 1862. After remaining there for a short time, it was sent to Martinsburg, Virginia, and subsequently to Harper’s Ferry, where it was surrendered to the rebels. The next day it was paroled and sent to Chicago, where it remained until April, 1863, when an exchange was effected. It was then ordered to Eastern Kentucky, campaigning in that region for some months, and subsequently being sent to Knoxville, Tennessee, being attached to Burnside’s command. In the two heaviest engagements at Knoxville, in November, 1863, the Sixty-fifth bore an honorable part and suffered quite severely. The winter campaign was a very severe one, and the members of the Sixty-fifth were subjected to many hardships and privations. But no sooner had the announcement had been made, that having served for two full years, they might re-enlist for three years more and be given a short furlough home, than the men began enrolling their names, more than four hundred going upon the roll of veterans. In March, 1864, they were sent to Chicago, and after the expiration of their veteran furlough, were returned to Tennessee, rejoining the Twenty-third Army Corps, then well advanced upon the Atlanta campaign. Its first sharp engagement after its return was between Kenesau and Lost Mountains on the 15th of June. It had a more or less conspicuous part in most of the subsequent engagements of the campaign, including the battle of Jonesboro. On the 9th of September, 1864, they went into camp at Decatur, Ga., remaining until October 5th, when they joined in the pursuit of Hood, following him via Rome and Dalton to Gaylesville, Ala. Returning to Dalton, it moved by rail to Nashville, and subsequently to Pulaski, Tenn., where the Fourth Corps was entrenched. On the 22d of November, it retreated, with the main army, to Columbia, Tenn., and on the 25th and 26th, was severely engaged, losing more than fifty men in killed and wounded. Retreating again, it was next engaged at Franklin on the 30th, occupying the position most frequently assaulted by the enemy, and doing valiant service. In its immediate front at dark, lay more than two hundred rebels dead and wounded, and the flag of the Fifteenth Mississippi was in its possession. Again retreating, it moved to Nashville and participated in the battles of the 15th and 16th of December, afterward following the enemy to Clifton, Tenn., where it went into camp, remaining until the 15th of January, 1865, when it went aboard transports, being taken to Cincinnati, and from that place by rail to Annapolis, Md. Here it embarked in an ocean steamer and was taken to Federal Point near, Wilmington, North Carolina, landing there on the 7th of February. After two or three skirmishes, they occupied Fort Anderson, and on the 20th, had quite an engagement at Smithtown Creek, capturing three hundred and fifty men, and three pieces of artillery. After the fall of Wilmington, on the 22d, they went into camp until the 6th of March, when they moved toward Kingston, Goldsboro and Raleigh. Here the non-veterans of Company G were mustered out and sent home just after the surrender of Johnson’s army. From Raleigh, the veterans moved to Greensboro, going into camp and remaining there until the 13th of July, when they were finally mustered out. The trip to Chicago occupied until the 22d, and on the 26th of July, 1865, they received their final payment and discharge.
During the period in which the regiments sketched were recruited, a few Lake County men scattered in various other commands, some joining the Eighth Cavalry, others the Nineteenth Illinois Infantry, and still others enlisting in Chicago batteries. They formed no complete organization, however, and we cannot follow their campaignings in a work like this. So far as they are credited to Lake County their names will be found in the list given elsewhere. Quite a number were also members of three months’ regiments enlisted in the Spring of 1862 for the express purpose of guarding rebel prisoners at Camp Douglas, but many of these, as of other regiments, were credited to Chicago, although residents of Lake County, and we must pass their rosters without extended comment.
The Spring of 1862 brought comparative quiet at the North, and it was hoped and believed that the Union armies were sufficiently large to cope with and eventually crush the enemy. For some months there was almost an entire lull in recruiting. But in the early Summer months there came the news of fresh disaster to our armies in the battles at the East, while from Northern Mississippi and Tennessee, reports were received that the campaigns were unsuccessful, and our faithful soldiers were being overworked in caring for long lines and watching their wide-awake enemy.
Then came the call for 300,000 additional troops, and, in a few days, the supplemental call, swelling the aggregate of men asked for to 600,000. Recruiting began at once, but in Lake County the harvest was just coming on, and many who were willing to volunteer were needed upon the farms for a few weeks, at least. Assurances being given that the volunteers would not be required to report for duty until about the 1st of September, a fresh impetus was given to the work, and enlistments were rapidly made. A. Z. Blodgett, C. A. Montgomery and others of Waukegan procured a muster roll, and within a few days had the satisfaction of seeing a full company enrolled. Isaac L. Clarke, Esq., of Waukegan, and Dr. Salisbury, of Hainesville, started out to recruit a company, but speedily their lists were overflowing, and about the middle of August, two companies were organized, one at Hainesville, with Dr. Salisbury as its Captain, and the other at Waukegan, with Mr. Clarke as its ranking officer. At about the same time, J. K. Pollock, Esq., of Millburn, had quite a list of volunteers, and two or three others had a few. It was supposed that the county had already raised about its quota, and that very few, if any, additional men could be obtained. But in a few days Capt. Clarke’s Company had a surplus, and a dozen of his men were asked to join in the organization of a new company. These being obtained, the fourth company was formed and recruited to ninety-four men.
Meanwhile, the leading men of the county were pondering the question as to what could be done to secure their assignment to good and well-officered regiments. Remembering that while our enlistments in the county during the previous year had aggregated half a regiment, yet, because of the different companies and parts of companies being so scattered in different organizations, we had not had up to that time a single field officer, it was determined to attempt to have the four companies assigned to a single regiment, with one or more field officers from the county. Accordingly these four companies, with six from Jo Daviess County, were assigned as the Ninety-sixth Regiment, and ordered to rendezvous at Rockford. Going into camp Sept. 5, 1862, they organized with Thomas E. Champion, of Jo Daviess County, as Colonel, Isaac L. Clarke, of Lake County, as Lieutenant-Colonel, and John C. Smith, of Jo Daviess County, as Major. The Lake County companies were lettered as follows: Company B, Capt. David Salisbury; Company C, Capt. J. K. Pollock; Company D, Capt. A Z. Blodgett; Company G, Capt. James Clarke.
On the 8th of October, the Ninety-sixth was ordered to Cincinnati, and for some weeks was engaged in guarding various points on the Kentucky side of the Ohio River. Early in November, it marched southward, camping for a short time at Lexington and for some weeks at Harrodsburg. At the latter place, the printers of the regiment under Major Hicks, who was an old newspaper man, obtained possession of an office and issued a spicy sheet, entitled the Soldier’s Letter. The next move was to Danville, Ky., where the regiment remained until near the close of January, 1863, except that late in December they made a severe march in the direction of Lebanon for the purpose of diverting the attention of a force of rebels, and preventing their joining Gen. Bragg, then fighting the battle of Stone’s River. This march was made during a severe and prolonged winter rain storm, the command going out one day and returning the next. From Danville they marched to Louisville, taking transports down the Ohio and up the Cumberland River, arriving at Fort Donelson the day after the severe engagement in which the Eighty-third Illinois drove off a large force of rebel cavalry, which had made a desperate effort to retake the fort and intercept the fleet then coming up the river.
Proceeding to Nashville, they remained in camp for a few days, then going by a rail to Franklin and joining in the Duck River campaign. Returning, it remained in camp, doing picket duty and assisting in building forts, until the last of May, when it marched to Triune. While here the Confederates made a strong demonstration against the place, but the Ninety-sixth suffered no casualties.
Joining in the Tullahoma campaign, made especially memorable from the fact that it rained for seventeen successive days, it marched nearly to Shelbyville, when it took charge of a large body of rebel prisoners, conducting them to Murfreesboro. Returning, they were stationed for a short time at Shelbyville and War Trace, and subsequently guarded the railroad bridge across Elk River, and Estell Springs, until September. At this time it was part of the Reserve Corps. On the 6th of September, it broke camp and moved forward, making no stop of importance until it reached Bridgeport. Here, after a stop of a day or two, the regiment was ordered to move to Chattanooga, leaving all camp equippage and all men not able to march. Marching all day and the succeeding night, the command reached Rossville, a little distance out from Chattanooga, on the 14th of September. On the afternoon of the 18th, the brigade was ordered out to reconnoiter the Ringgold road, the Ninety-sixth leading. At Chickamauga Creek the rebels had a small picket force, which fired upon the command, but at first without injury to any one. Co. D was at once deployed as skirmishers and moved forward. In crossing the road, Corporal Elisha Haggert was killed, he being the first man in the regiment to fall in action. Pushing the rebels back for a short distance, night put a stop to further operations, and the command lay on its arms. During this skirmish, Capt. Blodgett and two or three of his men were wounded. The next morning, the regiment retired a short distance, and during the day was under an annoying fire, although not actively engaged, the main fighting on this part of the line being upon its right. On Sunday morning, September 20th, the enemy was gone from its immediate front. The command, however, lay near its position of the day before until nearly noon, when it made a rapid march to join the main army, then heavily engaged. Arriving on the field, the command passed to the extreme right and immediately went into action, being upon the right of the front line. Charging the enemy then massing upon a wooded hill, and it met a murderous fire, but maintained an advance position until every regiment to its left and rear had given way. Retiring for a short distance only, it reformed its lines and moved to the support of a battery, then in danger of capture, and saved it after a desperate fight. Through all that Sabbath afternoon the Ninety-sixth was on the move and in the front line, and when night shut down over the field it was the last organized force to retreat. The Reserve Corps had saved the day and made a retreat possible, and no regiment had contributed more to that result this the Ninety-sixth. But at what a fearful cost! Early in the afternoon the gallant Lieutenant-Colonel Clarke had been carried from the field with a bullet wound in his breast, from which he died next day. The casualties of the regiment, including capture, numbered 231 out of a total of a little more than 400. In the four Lake County companies there were twenty killed and mortally wounded, and about sixty more or less severely wounded. Retiring from the field at dark, the fragment of a regiment rested for the night in the camp at Rossville, from which it had gone out for the fight. Next day it fortified a line on Mission Ridge, but abandoned it by midnight. Not all, however, for by some blunder Company C, fourteen strong, under Lieut. Earle, together with Company H, from Jo Daviess County, and two or three companies from other regiments, were left on picket, and next morning found themselves within the enemy’s lines and were obliged to surrender. Lieut. Earle afterward dug out of Libby prison and escaped. Of the fourteen men captured with him, nine died in rebel prisons. After Chickamauga, the regiment occupied an exposed position on Moccasin Point, across the Tennessee River from Lookout Mountain, for some time, afterward crossing the river and going out to meet Hooker’s forces coming from Bridgeport. It was next sent to Nick-a-Jack Cove, near Shell Mound, but again moved out to take part in the battle of Lookout Mountain, with its brigade, which had been temporarily detached from its corps and assigned to Hooker’s command. In this engagement the Ninety-sixth had the honor of bearing a conspicuous part. Ascending the mountain by the flank, some three or four miles from the river, it had the head of the column composing the rear line. When the advance had marched nearly to the mountain’s top the grand forward movement began, the long lines extending from the base to the summit, swinging around the mountain and surprising the rebels occupying works upon its side by charging them from the flank. Before much progress had been made, the rear line moved forward and the Ninety-sixth was in the advance throughout the whole of the fight. During a part of the day, heavy clouds hung far below them, and they were indeed fighting above the clouds. The casualties embraced on Lake County man – Esau Rich, of Company B – killed, and a number wounded. Night checked operations before the rebel forces were driven off, but they discreetly withdrew, and next morning the Ninety-sixth Illinois and the Eighth Kentucky were permitted to mount to the top , and from their elevated position watch the battle of Mission Ridge.
Returning to Nick-a-Jack, the Ninety-Sixth Regiment remained in Winter quarters until near the close of January, 1864, when it marched to Cleveland, Tennessee, stopping at various points, and taking part in the reconnoissance to Dalton, having quite a severe skirmish at that point. The remainder of the Winter was spent at Cleveland and Blue Springs, and from the latter place it started out for the Atlanta campaign, about the 1st of May. On the 9th of May, it took part in a strong demonstration against Rocky Face Ridge, and toward night reconnoitered the gap through which the railroad passes to Dalton. Its losses during the day were thirty, four of whom were killed or mortally wounded. On the 14th and the 15th of May, it was engaged at Resaca, losing twenty-four men. Skirmishing its way to Dallas, it lost nine men; and, before reaching the Kenesaw Mountain line, six more. At Kenesaw Mountain it lost fifty men – most of them on the 20th of June – where Col. Champion and Lieut. Col. Smith were both severely wounded, and Capt. Gilmore, of Company B, and Capt. James of Company G, mortally wounded. In the engagements along the Chattahoochie, at Peach Tree Creek, and along the Atlanta line, it had a constant part, and during July and August it lost more than twenty men. Marching to the rear of Atlanta, it was engaged at Jonesboro and Lovejoy Station, having the advance upon the latter place, losing about a dozen in killed and wounded. Returning to Atlanta, it rested for a month, then joined in the pursuit of Hood, via Dalton, to Gaylesville, Alabama, when it marched to Chattanooga, taking the cars until near Huntsville, when it marched to Pulaski. Retreating to Nashville, it had a part in the battle of Franklin, November 30, 1864, losing but four or five men, however. Two weeks later, it was engaged at Nashville, charging the enemy on the afternoon of the second day, breaking their line and capturing a four-gun battery, and more prisoners then there were men in the regiment. Its losses in this engagement were about twenty.
Following the retreating rebels to the Tennessee River, it encamped at Huntsville, Alabama, January 5, 1865, remaining there until March, when it went, by rail, to East Tennessee, stopping at Strawberry Plains, Russellville and Bull’s Gap. Upon the receipt of the news of the surrender of Lee’s army, it moved, by rail, to Nashville, where it was mustered out on the 10th of June – its recruits being transferred to the Twenty-First Illinois Regiment, and sent to Texas, where they remained until the following Autumn. From Nashville the regiment was sent to Chicago, being finally paid off and discharged on the 28th of June, 1865. On the same day, a grand reception was given the Lake County companies, at Waukegan, the ladies spreading an elegant collation at Dickinson Hall, and Judge Upton delivering an eloquent welcoming address. During the service of the four Lake County companies, between ninety and one hundred of the four hundred who left their homes were killed, or died of wounds, exposure or disease.
During the Summer and Autumn of 1868, the movement in behalf of the Sanitary Commission – whose object was to furnish vegetables, fruits , and other necessaries to the soldiers, in the field and hospitals – took definite shape, the people organizing for the work, and carrying it forward with an earnestness that bore hearty testimony to their patriotism. At the great North-western Fair in Chicago, October 27th, Lake County bore a conspicuous part, forwarding large amounts from the various railroad stations, besides sending more than eighty wagons in procession, loaded with sanitary stores, labeled with patriotic inscriptions, and ornamented with flags and banners. And there were no small loads, but such a generous offering as only the big hearts of the sturdy patriots, who formed the rank and file of the population, could have conceived. And the ladies, too, were wide awake, and Soldiers’ Aid societies and other organizations, for the purpose of providing hospital stores and dainties for the sick and wounded husbands and brothers, sprung up in every township and neighborhood. This work was continued until the very close of the war, and until the very name of LAKE COUNTY became a proverb in the Northwest for all that was noble or generous or patriotic in the grand work of alleviating, the sufferings of the soldiers.
But even the 600,000 was not enough, and when the armies of the West were checked at Chickamauga, and the campaigns of the Summer of 1863 had failed to secure any substantial advance at the East, there came a feeling that more men were wanted. During the Summer and Fall of 1863, the militia roll was prepared with the expectation that a possible draft might be required. During the Winter of 1863-4, after a lull of more than a year, recruiting was again begun, Nathaniel Vose, Esq., of Warren, raising a company of 108 men for the Seventeenth Cavalry, a new regiment then forming at St. Charles, in this State. This company was mustered as Company I, February 12, 1864. Nearly all of the men purchased their own horses, and the regiment was especially well equipped.
From St. Charles they proceeded to St. Louis, and then to Alton, Ill., early in May the Third Battalion, of which Company I formed a part, guarding prisoners at that point until August, when it was ordered to Benton Barracks, Mo., and subsequently to Rolla. From the latter place it made a forced march to rescue Gen. Ewing’s command at Leesburg. Returning to Rolla, it moved to Jefferson City, where it crossed the Missouri River alone in the face of a vastly superior force, estimated at nearly ten times the number of men in the Seventeenth. The next morning, Price’s forces attacked the regiment, then re-enforced by the arrival of troops in the night, but speedily withdrew upon discovering that additional troops were confronting them. The command quickly followed, marching to Boonesville and Independence, and having a light skirmish at each place. Near the close of October, it joined in the pursuit of Marmaduke, moving seventy miles in twenty-four hours, and helping to capture the General with ten cannon and a thousand men. With scarcely any rest, they followed the main rebel force to nearly Fort Scott, having frequent skirmishes, and completely wearing out their horses, so that not a few of the men were compelled to travel on foot. So badly used up was the command that the pursuit was necessarily abandoned, the forces returning to Springfield, and then to Rolla, via Cassville. In forty-three days they marched over a thousand miles, and lost six hundred horses. In January, 1865, they were ordered to Pilot Knob, where new horses were furnished them. In April, they were ordered to Cape Girardeau, from whence detachments were sent out in different directions to guard various points, having occasional encounters with bushwhackers who swarmed in the locality. Early in May, they went with the Commissioners to Jonesboro, Ark., where the last of the Confederate army, under Jeff Thompson, was surrendered.
Returning to Cape Girardeau, they were ordered to Kansas City, marching across the country. Their next move was to Fort Smith, whence they returned to Fort Scott, remaining there until October. They were then ordered out for a trip to the plains, but on arriving at Fort Leavenworth, the order was changed, and on the 23d of November, 1865, they were mustered out and started for Springfield, where they received their final payment and discharge.
Upon the arrival in Chicago of the Thirty-ninth Regiment, in January, 1864, upon veteran furlough, R. S. Botsford, of Waukegan, was commissioned to recruit for Company F, and in a short time had sufficient men to fill it to the maximum number, fifty-two of whom were from Lake County, Mr. Botsford being commissioned Second Lieutenant, and subsequently promoted to Captain. Joining in their command at Camp Fry, Chicago, they started, March 15th, for the seat of war, going to Washington and then to Alexandria, where it lay in camp until April 24th. On that day the Thirty-ninth took a steamer down the Potomac to Fortress Monroe, and afterwards up the James River to City Point, from whence it moved out with the Tenth Army Corps, joining in the operations along the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad. On the 14th and 15th of May, it was engaged to some extent, and on the 16th had a hard fight, being forced to retreat for some distance, and losing 115 in killed and wounded. On the 20th, it attacked the rebels, carrying two important positions and capturing many prisoners, including Gen. Winder. Its losses in killed and wounded were about forty. On the 2d of June, another action was had on almost precisely the ground fought over on the 20th of May, and with about an equal loss. From the 16th to the 19th, it was under heavy fire, losing thirty-five men. On the 20th of June, it withdrew to a point near Bermuda Hundred, and was not particularly exposed until August 14th, when they crossed the James River and operated with the Second Corps in a movement against Richmond. On the 16th, they had a hard fight at Deep Run, charging the enemy’s breastworks and breaking their line, the regiment losing 104 men. It next moved into the trenches in front of Petersburg, remaining there several weeks. Moving to the north side of James River, it met and repulsed three rebel charges on the 7th of October, and on the 13th charged the enemy’s works, losing sixty men and coming out of the fight under command of a Lieutenant. On the 27th of October, it was engaged in a heavy skirmish. From that time until March, it had no severe fighting, but lay in the works upon the north side of the James River. On the 2d of April, it took part in the charge on Fort Gregg, and was the first to plant its flag upon its works. Its losses were sixty-one out of 150, but its success was remarkable, as the fort with its entire garrison fell into their hands. The regiment was highly complimented for its gallantry, and received a magnificent bronze eagle as a testimonial to its courage. When the rebels retreated from Richmond, the Thirty-ninth had the advance in the pursuit, making very severe marches and having frequent skirmishes, its final engagement on the 9th of April resulting in the loss of several men. It was present at the final surrender of Lee’s army, after which it marched to Richmond, remaining there until August. It then removed to Norfolk, doing provost duty until December 6th, when it was mustered out and ordered to Springfield, Illinois, where it was finally discharged December 16, 1865.
In January, 1864, the Sixty-fourth Regiment re-enlisted, and was allowed to return home for a brief furlough. Previous to this time, the command had been composed of but six companies, and had been known as the “First Battalion of Yates Sharpshooters;” but it was decided to fill up the regiment, and authority was given to raise four companies for that purpose. Charles Case, Esq., of Waukegan, undertook to fill one, and in a short time had more than one hundred men upon his roll, thirty-two of whom were from Lake County. This company reported at Ottawa, where the regiment was to rendezvous, in March, and was assigned as Company K. On the 17th, they started south and made their first stop at Decatur, Alabama, where they remained until May, when they moved to Chattanooga and joined in the Atlanta campaign, being attached to the Sixteenth Army Corps. Their first engagement was near Resaca, where they met with slight losses. At Kingston and Van Wert they had more or less skirmishing, and at Dallas, from the 27th to the 30th, they were quite heavily engaged. Other skirmishes followed, but the next severe fighting was at Kenesaw Mountain. On the 27th of June, the Sixty-fourth led the assaulting column upon the left, pushing its way to nearly the summit of the mountain, and holding its advance position until relieved and ordered to fall back, at 2 o’clock next morning. In this fight it lost fifty-seven men. When the rebels fill back, on the night of July 20th, the Sixty-fourth was the first to occupy the mountain. The national holiday was spent in forcing the rebels back toward the Chattahoochee, the Sixty-fourth having the skirmish line, and losing twenty-five in killed and wounded. At the crossing of the river they were again engaged, and on the 19th of July had another fight near Decatur, Georgia. In the battle of the 22d, when the gallant McPherson fell, they bore a conspicuous part, losing eighty-nine men. They captured forty prisoners and one battle-flag, and recovered the field-glass and papers taken by the rebels from the person of Gen. McPherson. On the 28th, they repulsed three successive charges, inflicting heavy losses upon their assailants. Moving with the main army around Atlanta, they had a part in the fights at Jonesboro and Lovejoy Station, and returned, via Atlanta, to East Point. After a reconnoissance to Fairburn, they followed Hood to Gaylesville, Alabama, having a sharp skirmish at Snake Creek Gap. Returning to Atlanta, they marched to the sea, and when near Savannah they had a part in some reconnoissances and skirmishes. Early in January, they went, by steamer, to Beaufort, South Carolina, and then to Pocotaligo, having a skirmish at the crossing of the Salkahatchie, in which they lost a few men. Most of this fighting was done where the water was up to their waists, and when the weather was quite cold. At Cheram the Sixty-fourth captured a beautiful English Rodman gun in the street, with the horses attached, on which was inscribed, “Presented to the State of South Carolina by friends residing abroad, in commemoration of the Act of December 20, 1860.” At Bentonville, on the 20th of March, they attacked the enemy, capturing Gen. Johnson’s headquarters, with twelve prisoners and thirty-five horses. Their losses in this engagement were thirteen in killed and wounded. They then camped at Goldsboro until March 10th, when they marched to Raleigh, and subsequently to Washington, where they lay until June 6th, at which time they were sent to Louisville, Kentucky, for muster-out. They were finally paid off and disbanded at Chicago, July 18, 1865.
Of the Lake County boys, in Company K, ten died or were killed, during their sixteen months’ service.
In the spring and early Summer of 1864, quite a number of men from the county volunteered for the one hundred days’ service, but no organizations were effected in the county. Most of these men were sent to guard various points in Kentucky and Missouri, and in some instances their terms of service were prolonged to four or five months.
During the latter part of the Summer, the One Hundred and Forty-sixth Regiment was raised, the men enlisting for one year, for service within the State. Lieut. William Reid, of Waukegan, who had recently returned from three years’ service with the Fifteenth Regiment, was authorized to recruit a company, and raised something over fifty men from this county alone, and filled up with recruits from other counties. This company was assigned as Company D, and mustered into service September 3, 1864. Upon the organization of the regiment, Lieut. Reid was made Lieutenant Colonel and Julius L. Loveday became Captain of Company D. The command was scattered in detachments throughout the State, Company D being at Quincy most of the time. During the latter part of its service, it was stationed at Camp Butler, where it was mustered out of service on the 5th of July, 1865. So far as we can learn, no deaths occurred among the Lake County men during the entire period of enlistment.
The next company organized in the county was recruited by Capt. J. S. Pratt, of Wauconda, who had previously served three years in the Fifteenth Regiment. About fifty of his men were from Lake County, and upon their organization were assigned as Company I, One Hundred and Forty-seventh Regiment, being mustered into the service for one year at Camp Fry, Chicago, February 18, 1865. Three days later, they moved via Louisville, to Nashville, and thence via Chattanooga to Dalton, George, from which point they made numerous reconnoissances in various direction, having several skirmishes with rebel cavalry and bushwhackers.
On the 2d of May, they moved to Resaca, where, ten days later, the rebel Gen. Wofford surrendered his forces. June 26th, they marched to Calhoun, where they remained a month. From Calhoun they were sent, via Macon, to Albany, Georgia, arriving there July 31st, and remaining three months. Their next move was to Hawkinsville, from where they went to Savannah, remaining until their final muster out, January 20, 1866, when they returned to Springfield, Illinois, and disbanded.
During the winter of 1864-5, two other companies were largely recruited in the county by Capts. Turner and Judd, and on the 27th of February, 1865, were mustered as Companies F and H of the One Hundred and Fifty-third Regiment, at Camp Fri, Chicago.
On the 4th of March, they left the State, proceeding by rail to Tullahoma, Tennessee, where they were encamped until July 1, when they moved to Memphis, being mustered out September 15th, and sent to Springfield, Ill., receiving their final discharge September 24, 1865.
Capt. E. B. Messer, of Libertyville, who had served three years with the Thirty-seventh Regiment, helped to organize the One Hundred and Fifty-sixth Regiment, the last organization formed in this State, and was elected its Lieutenant-Colonel. The regiment had in it no organized force from Lake County.
During the Autumn of 1864, the war was being pushed vigorously, and large bodies of men were enlisted under the stimulus of big bounties. But the quota of a county had not been furnished, and, on the 29th of September, the Provost Marshal of the District ordered a draft at his office in Marengo, 380 men being taken from this county. The enrollment was quite imperfect, however, and some of the men drawn were already in the service, a few were physically unfit for duty, and still others were dead or had removed from the State, so that two supplemental drafts were found necessary, that of November 3d being ninety-six men and that of November 17th twenty-four men. These men were scattered through various Illinois regiments, and took part in the closing campaign of the East, or were hurried forward to assist in driving back the rebel forces then making a desperate effort, under Gen. Hood to capture Nashville. As a rule, the drafted men from Lake County accepted the situation gracefully, and made excellent soldiers. Just before the close of the war, still another draft was ordered, and preparation for it and a few names drawn, when the surrender of Lee’s army, and the collapse of the Confederacy were announced.
Next to the regiments sketched, perhaps the Twelfth and Thirteenth Cavalry received the greatest number of three years’ volunteers, but they were scattered through the various companies and were enlisted at different times, so that it is next to impossible to give a connected account of the part they bore.
A few from the county entered the naval service, most of them being attached to the gunboats on the Mississippi, the Tennessee and the Cumberland Rivers.
During the four years from April, 1861, to April, 1865, Lake County furnished about two thousand men for the various branches of the service, of whom more than sixteen hundred were volunteers, and this with a population of less than nineteen thousand. Indeed, it is probable that her volunteers were considerably in excess of the number stated, as, owing to her near proximity to Chicago, many men drifted there to enlist and were credited to Cook County, especially at the time the draft was impending and large bounties were being offered. Her soldiers were widely scattered in the various departments, and bore a part in nearly every skirmish and battle in the West, and in many of the campaigns and engagements of the East. At Fort Donelson, where the first substantial success of the war was received; at Pea Ridge, where it was sheer pluck that won; at Pittsburg Landing, where a victory was snatched from the jaws of defeat; in the campaigns, the battles and the siege that gave us Vicksburg; in the march, march, march, through successive days and nights, to Prairie Grove, helping to “save the left” at Stone River; standing like a wall of fire between the rebels and their coveted prize at Chickamauga; fighting above the clouds at Lookout Mountain; helping to win “the privates’ victory” at Mission Ridge; enduring hardships in that midwinter campaign in East Tennessee, without a parallel since Valley Forge; in the campaign to Atlanta, where the engagements succeeded each other so rapidly that they seemed like a continuous battle of a hundred days; guarding the outposts of Texas, or the forts along the Southern waters; pressing through the seemingly unimpenetrable abbattis to the defenses of Mobile; aiding to check Hood’s forces at Franklin, and to crush them at Nashville; marching from Atlanta to the sea; fighting amid the swamps and forests of the Carolinas; galloping over the plains and through the groves beyond the Mississippi; bearing up under hardships and adversities at the East, and waiting through long years for the oft-deferred victory that came only when the heart of any other than an American soldier would have grown sick and given up the contest; starving in foul prisons of a foe whom desperation had made inhuman; in at the death when Lee’s army had been pushed to Appomattox and Johnston’s into North Carolina; witnessing the final surrender of the rebels east and west – everywhere where daring and endurance were demanded, there were the representatives of our county, always responding with alacrity to the call of duty, no matter how arduous the service or how dangerous the undertaking, until the Union was restored and the cause for which they fought so long and well had fully triumphed. But there were saddened homes, for more than four hundred of the noble men who went fort to the field were counted with the “unreturning braves.” The sacrifice was a costly one, and only justified by so worthy a cause as restoring and redeeming from the curse of slavery the Union of the States.”