The Thirty-Fifth Infantry was organized at Decatur, on the 3d day of July 1861, and its services tendered to the President. On the 23d day of the same month, it was accepted by the Secretary of War, as Colonel G. A. Smith's Independent Regiment of Illinois Volunteers.
On the 4th day of August, left Decatur, and arrived at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, next day. Remained there one week, and then was ordered to Marine Hospital, St. Louis. Eight companies were there mustered into the United States service. Aggregate strength of Regiment, 793.
On the 15th of September, moved, by railroad, to Jefferson City, Missouri. 25th of September, moved to Otterville-same transportation. 15th October, marched to Sedalia, 15 miles, and joined General Sigel's advance on Springfield; arrived there on 26th. Distance marched, 125 miles.
November 10th, marched to Wilson's Creek, and returned on the 12th. Distance, 25 miles.
November 13, left Springfield for Rolla; arrived there on 19th. Distance, 114 miles.
January 23, 1862, began advance on Springfield, and arrived on the 13th day of February. Next day followed Price's retreating army, and arrived at Cross Hollows, Arkansas, on the 21st, after a hard and fatiguing march. Line of battle formed, and skirmishing with rebels nearly every day. Distance, 228 miles.
March 5, retired from Cross Hollows to Pea Ridge-12 miles. 7th, Dodge's Brigade, composed of Fourth Iowa and Thirty-fifth Illinois Infantry, with First Iowa Battery, moved north on Cassville road, about one mile and a half, to Elkhorn Tavern, and commenced the battle of Pea Ridge, for that day, about 10 A.M. Soon after, were supported by Vandever's Brigade, composed of Ninth Iowa, Twenty-fourth Missouri Infantry and Dubuque Battery, with a detachment of Third Illinois Cavalry-being the whole of Carr's Division. The enemy, composed of Missouri troops, under General Price, were repulsed in all their attempts to gain the table land upon which the Elkhorn Tavern and Pea Ridge are situated, until 4 P.M., when, assaulting Carr's position with 12,000 men and 30 cannon, it was carried after obstinate resistance and heavy loss. This Regiment lost as follows: Killed, 15; wounded, 45; prisoners, 55-of whom 15 were wounded.
Colonel G. A. Smith was severely wounded in head and arm, early in the action, and was so disabled that he never rejoined his Regiment to take command of it after. The Regiment was engaged in repulsing the enemy on the morning of the 8th, but without loss. The losses in Carr's Division, composed of four Regiments, two batteries, and detachment of cavalry, was more than half the entire loss of General Curtis' Army in the three days' fighting of that battle. Distance marched, from Pea Ridge to Keitsville, 49 miles.
April 5, 1862, commenced march to Batesville, Arkansas-Regiment in command of Major McIlwain-Lieutenat Colonel Chandler commanding the brigade-arrived at Batesville May 8. Distance, 291 miles.
May 10, assigned to General Jeff. C. Davis' Division, and began march to Cape Girardeau, Missouri; arrived there on 21st; distance, 252 miles.
May 22, embarked on steamer Sunshine, for Hamburg Landing, Tennessee; arrived there on 25th. On 27th, moved to Farmington, Mississippi, and took part in siege of Corinth until its evacuation on the 30th.
June 1 to 6, following rebel army, and in front of Booneville. 12th, camped at Clear Creek. 22d, at Jacinto. Distance marched, from Hamburg Landing to Jacinto including countermarches, 92 miles.
June 27, trip to near Holly Springs, and return; distance 100 miles.
August 8, marched to Iuka; distance, 35 miles.
August 9, detached to guard Bear Creek Bridge; remained on guard duty until the 21st. While at this place, sent to Iuka, 112 bales of cotton, abandoned by rebel owners. Left Bear Creek on the 21st, and joined Buell's Army at Murfreesboro, Tennessee, on September 1. Distance, 175 miles.
September 2, started for Louisville, Kentucky; arrived there on 25th. Distance, 220 miles.
October 1, advanced on Bragg's Army, in front of Louisville. On the 8th, was at battle of Perryville. Skirmished with rebel left; no loss. Reached Nashville, Tennessee, on 6th; distance, from Louisville, 200 miles.
November 10, was escort for train to Mitchelville; distance, going and returning, 60 miles.
November 26th, the Twenty-fifth and Thirty-fifth Illinois Volunteers started on four days' scout, to Harpeth Shoals; distance, both ways, 132 miles.
December 26th, left Nashville, for Murfreesboro, via Triune; distance 45 miles.
December 30th and 31st, 1862, and January 1st, 2d and 3d, was in battle of Stone River. Losses, as follows: Killed, 1 commissioned officer and 10 men; wounded, 1 commissioned officer and 44 men; missing, 21 men; captured and paroled, 4 men; wounded and paroled, 5 men; total, 2 commissioned officers and 84 men. Went into action with 20 commissioned officers and 419 men.
January 31st to February 12th, 1863, on scout to Franklin and return; distance, 84 miles.
March 7th to 15th, on scout to Triune, and return; distance 52 miles.
June 24th, left Murfreesboro, for Winchester, via Manchester and Tullahoma; arrived there on 3d day of July; distance 60 miles.
August 7th to 20th, on march to Stevenson, Alabama; distance, 40 miles.
August 28th, marched to Caperton's Ferry. Next day, Heg's Brigade, composed of Twenty-fifth and Thirty-fifth Illinois, Eighth Kansas, and Fifteenth Wisconsin Infantry, crossed the Tennessee River, on pontoons, and drove the rebel pickets back, while the bridge was being laid-being the first Infantry on the south side of the Tennessee River.
August 29th to September 19th, crossed Raccoon, Sand, and Lookout Mountains; marched to Alpine, to Dug Gap, 6 miles in front of Lafayette, Georgia, and to battle field of Chickamauga; distance, 150 miles.
September 19th and 20th, battle of Chickamauga. Losses as follows: Killed, 3 commissioned officers, 15 men; wounded, 5 commissioned officers, 125 men; missing, 12 men; total 8 commissioned officers and 152 men. Went into action with 18 commissioned officers and 281 enlisted men.
September 22d, arrived at Chattanooga; distance, 15 miles.
November 23d, was in assault on rebel rifle-pits, in front of Mission Ridge.
November 25th, was in the storming and capture of Mission Ridge. This Regiment was formed in front line on left of Willich's Brigade, Wood's Division, Fourth Army Corps. Wood's Division was the first to carry the crest of the Ridge, and the rebel works, there. The men were led by the regimental flags being advanced in front. The flag of this Regiment was carried, in advance of the men, to within twenty steps of the rebel works on the crest. All of the color guard but one, Corporal Preston, Company K, had been wounded, and he, at this time, being instantly killed, by a bullet through his head, the flag fell into the hands of Lieutenant Colonel Chandler, commanding Regiment, who was there to receive it, and by him carried into the enemy's works, followed by his men. None were in earlier, and the enemy's line was broken in many places nearly at that moment. Losses as follows: Killed, 6 men; wounded, 2 commissioned officers and 46 men. The Regiment went into action with 212 officers and men.
November 28th to December 7th, on march from Chattanooga to Knoxville; distance, 138 miles.
December 11th to 16th, on scout to Mayville, and return; distance, 30 miles.
December 17th, marched to Blain's Cross Roads; distance, 20 miles.
December 21st, ordered to Strawberry Plains, to rebuild railroad bridge across the Holston River. Built and planked bridge, 1100 feet long, in 18 days.
January 21, 1864, destroyed bridge at Strawberry Plains, and marched to Knoxville; distance, 16 miles.
January 22d, marched to Loudon; distance, 27 miles.
Remained at Loudon, building railroad bridge at that place, until the 13th day of April. In that time, one scout to Knoxville, and return; distance, 54 miles.
April 14th, marched to McDonald's Station, distance, 60 miles.
April 20th, marched to Altoona Station, and return; distance, 20 miles.
May 3d, marched to Catoosa Springs; distance, 20 miles.
May 7th to August 26th, Atlanta campaign; distance, 100 miles
Losses during said campaign, as follows: Killed, 1 commissioned officer and 12 men; wounded, 5 commissioned officers and 100 men; missing, 6 men; total 6 commissioned officers and 188 men. Most of the losses occurred at the following places:
May 9th and 10th, Rocky Faced Ridge; May 14th and 15th, Resaca; May 26th and 27th, Dallas; June 18th, Mud Creek; June 21st and 22d, Kenesaw.
Major McIlwain was killed on the 22d day of June, in front of Kenesaw. He was a brave and efficient officer-always prompt in the discharge of his duties. He distinguished himself at the battle of Stone River, as commander of the skirmishers of the brigade.
August 26th, left Chattahoochie bridge, for Chattanooga. Went into camp at Chattanooga on the 27th of August, and remained until the 31st; then started for Springfield, Illinois, to be mustered out of service. Were 11 days on the road to Nashville, having encountered Biffel's Cavalry, at Athens, Alabama, and Wheeler's, at Campbell Station, Tennessee. Rebuilt 6 miles of railroad track, and brought everything through. The Sixth Indiana Volunteers accompanied this Regiment.
Were mustered out at Springfield, Illinois, on the 27th day of September, A.D. 1864.
Total distance marched, exclusive of railroad and steamboat transportation, 3,056 miles.