Ordered to Cairo, Illinois, February 11, 1862. From thence proceeded, via the Cumberland River to Fort Donelson, Tennessee, arriving 14th, and was assigned to the command of General Lew Wallace. On the 15th, lost one man killed and two wounded. 16th. moved throught the works and to Dover. 19th moved to Fort Henry.
March 6th embarked for Pittsburg Landing, where it arrived on the 18th. The Regiment was now in Second Brigade, Fourth Division, with Fourteenth, Fifteenth and Forty-sixth Illinois, and Twenty-fifth Indiana, Colonel James C. Veatch, Twenty-fifth Indiana commanding Brigade, and Brigadier General S. A. Hurlbut, of Illinois, command Division.
In the battle of Shiloh, the Forty-sixth took a conspicuous and honorable part, losing over half of its officers and men, in killed and wounded, and receiving the thanks of the commanding generals. Among the wounded were Colonel John A. Davis, Major Dornblaser, Captains Musser, Stephens, Marbel and McCracken. Lieutenants Hood, Barr, Arnold, Ingraham, and Howell. In this action the "Fighting Fourth Division" of General Hurlbut, achieved a reputation for bravery, to which it added on every field in which it was engaged until the close of the war.
The conduct of the Regiment at Shiloh is fully set forth in the following extracts from the reports of the several commanders whose names are attached thereto:
HEADQUARTERS SECOND BRIGADE, FIRST DIVISION
April 9th, 1862
Dear Sir: - I beg to thank you and the officers and soldiers of the Forty-sixth Illinois Infantry for their noble conduct during the action of Monday morning last, when your lamented Colonel so promptly responded to my request to take a position in my command, and so gallantly led you in the face of the enemy with so
fatal a result to himself. My heartfelt sympathies are with you in your severe loss, and your soldierly conduct shall receive a fitting notice in my official report.
I am, sir, truly yours.
[Signed] C.C. MARSH
Colonel Twentieth Illinois Infantry, Commanding Brigade
Colonel Davis, Lieutenant Colonel Jones and Major Dornblaser of the Forty-sixth Illinois Infantry, each displayed coolness and courage in resisting the heavy columns thrown against them. Major Dornblaser was wounded and compelled to leave the field early on the first day. Colonel Davis was severely wounded on the second day while gallently fighting in Colonel Marsh's Brigade and was carried from the field. Lieutenant Colonel Jones took command and conducted his Regiment with skill and courage until the battle closed.
[Signed] JAMES C. VEATCH
Colonel Commanding Brigade
The General commanding tenders his heartfelt congratulations to the surviving officers and men of his Division for their magnificent services during the two days of struggle which, under the blessing of God, has resulted in victory. Let the Division remember that for five hours on Sunday they held, under the most terrific fire, the key point of the left of the army and only fell back when outflanked by overwhelming numbers, pressing through points abandoned by our supports. Let them remember that when they fell back it was in order, and that the last line of resistance in rear of the heavy guns was formed first by this Division. Let them remember that on the morning of Monday, without food and without sleep, they were ordered forward to reinforce the right, and that whenever either Brigade of this Division appeared in the field of action, they were in time to support the broken phalanx and to hold the line. Keep these facts in your memory, to hand down to your children when we conquer a peace, and let it be the chief pride of every man in the command - as it is of your General - that he was at Pittsburg with the FIGHTING FOURTH DIVISION.
By order of Brigadier General S. A. HURLBUT
[Signed] SMITH D. ATKINS
A. A. A. General Fourth Division
Was engaged in the siege of Corinth, in the month of May.
June 2, camped six miles west of Corinth. On the 10th, marched to the Hatchie River. 15th, passed through Grand Junction, and camped three miles from town. 24th, moved to Collarbone Hill, near Lagrange. On the 30th, moved to Old Lamar Church.
July 1, marched to Cold Water, and returned on the 6th. On the 17th, moved toward Memphis, and marched via Moscow, Lafayette, Germantown and White's Station, camping two miles south of Memphis on the 21st July.
August 27th, engaged in the scout to Pigeon Roost.
September 6th, moved from Memphis toward Brownsville. 7th, marched through Raleigh and Union Stations. 9th, marched to Big Muddy River. 11th, via Hampton Station to Danville. 12th, via Whiteville, to Pleaseant Creek, 14th via Bolivar, to Hatche Rivier.
September 27th, all the troops on the river, at this place, were reviewed by General McPherson.
October 4th, moved toward Corinth. 5th, met the enemy at Metamora. The Forty-sixth was in position on the right of Second Brigade, supporting Bolton's Battery. After an hour of shelling, by the batteries, the infantry were ordred forward, and at a double quick advanced, driving the enemy across the river. The First Brigade coming up, "Hurlbut's Fighting Fourth Division" advanced and drove the enemy from the field, compelling their flight. Colonel John A. Davis, of the Forty-sixth, was mortally wounded in the action, and Lieutenant M. R. Thompson, also - both dying on the 10th. After the battle returned to Bolivar.
Brigadier General Veatch, in his report of the battle of the Hatchie, complimented his Brigade very highly, of which this is an extract: "The field and staff officers of every regiment appeared to do all that could be done to render victory complete. The line officers, so far as their conduct came within my notice, did their whole duty, and the men moved with steadiness and resolute courage not easily surpassed. The loss in killed and wounded embraces many valuable officers. Colonel John A. Davis, of the Forty-sixth Illinois Infantry, fell severely wounded early in the action while gallantly leading his Regiment in a charge. He has since died of his wounds. He was generous, noble and brave, and will be regretted by all who knew him."
November 3, marched to Lagrange. 28th, moved to Holly Springs. 30th, toward Tallahatchie River, and camped near Waterford, Mississippi, where splendid winter quarters, with mud chimneys, and bake ovens complete, were fitted up, in time to move away from them.
December 11, to Hurricane Creek, and 12th, to Yocona Station, where it remained until December 22, when it marched to Taylor's Station.
Van Dorn having captured Holly Springs, marched, on 23d, via Oxford, to Hurricane Creek. 24th, the Forty-sixth Illinois and Thirty-third Wisconsin moved, as train guard, to north side of Tallahatchie River. 26th, moved camp four miles nearer Holly Springs, between Waterford and Wyatt Station.
January 6, 1863, moved to Holly Springs. 10th, Fifteenth and Forty-sixth Illinois were escort to ammunition train to Lagrange. 13th, marched to Moscow, where it remained until February 5, when it moved to Lafayette. The garrison of Moscow was First Brigade, Fourth Division, the Forty-sixth and Seventy-sixth Illinois, of the Second Brigade, and two batteries; and the garrison of Lafayette, the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Illinois and one battery, Colonel Cyrus Hall commanding.
After rejoining Brigade at Lafayette, marched, 9th of March, via Collierville and Germantown, to Memphis.
April 21st, 1863, engaged in the expedition to Hernando, and returned 24th.
May 13, embarked for Vicksburg, and on the 15th, landed at Young's Point. 18th, marched to Bowers' landing. 19th, moved to Sherman's Landing. 20th, moved, by steamer, up Yazoo to Chickasaw Bayou. Disembarked, and moved across the swamp to the bluff.
May 21, proceeded to the right of General Grant's Army, and were then ordered to Snyder's Bluff. 24th, marched in the direction of Vicksburg. 25th, marched to the extreme left of the line. The Regiment was detailed on picket duty, and, during the night, the outpost, consisiting of five companies of the Regiment, were captured by the enemy. One hundred and four men and seven officers were captured, seventy escaping.
The remainder of the Regiment took an active part in the siege of Vicksburg. July 5, moved to Clear Creek. 6th, to Bolton Station. 8th, to Clinton. 9th, to Dicken's Plantation, where it remaind guarding train. 12th, moved into position on the extreme right of the line near Pearl River. Engaged in the siege until the 16th, when the enemy evacuated Jackson; after which the Regiment returned to Vicksburg.
The Division was now transfer to the Seventeenth Corps, and Brigadier General M. M. Crocker assigned to command.
August 12, moved to Natchez.
September 1, went on an expedition into Louisiana, returning on the 8th. September 16th, moved to Vicksburg.
November 28, moved to Camp Cowan, on Clear Creek.
January 4, 1864, the Forty-sixth was mustered as a Veteran Regiment, 12th, started North, for veteran furlough. 23d, arrived at Freeport, Illinois, and on the 27th, the Regiment was furloughed.
During the month of February, 1864, the officers of the Regiment were engaged in recruiting it, and one new company, raised at Freeport and commanded by Captain James W. Crane, was attached to the Regiment as Company D.
On March 2, 1864, the Regiment, numbering 987 officers and men, left Freeport, and proceeded to Cairo, Ill., by rail, thence to Vicksburg, Miss., by boat, thence to Camp Hebron, ten miles east from Vicksburg, where the Regiment rejoined the Second Brigade, Fourth Division, Seventeenth Army Corps.
From March 10th to April 5th, the Regiment was in camp for instruction. Upon the latter date the Brigade to which it was attached marched to Big Black Bridge, twelve miles east of Vicksburg and reported to Brigadier General E. S. Dennis, commanding.
On April 25th, the Regiment moved to Vicksburg, by rail, and encamped near Battery Ransom, northeast of the city, doing garrison duty. On May 4th the Regiment started on an expedition to Benton and Yazoo City, Miss. with the command under Brigadier General John McArthur; the Regiment was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel John T. Jones. Colonel Dornblaser being in command of the Brigade. Benton was reached on the 9th. On the 13th the Regiment moved to Vaughn's Station; on the 15th to Yazoo City; on the 18th, via Liverpool, Sartaria and Haines' Bluffs, to camp at Vicksburg, having marched during the expedition over two hundred miles, and losing one killed. The Regiment remained in camp until July 1, upon which day it started on the expedition to Jackson, Miss. Reached Big Black Bridge on the 1st, and Clinton on the 4th. After a skirmish with the enemy the Regiment reached Jackson on the 5th. Returning on the 6th, a large force of the enemy was met and an engagement took place, which was continued on the 7th. The Regiment reached Vicksburg on the 9th, having sustained a loss of forty-three men in the expedition - three killed, thrity-six wounded, one captured and three missing. July 29th the Regiment embarked on board the steamer Adams, and dropping down the river disembarked at Morganzia Bend, La., where it did guard duty for some time. On August 13th, the Regiment was assigned to the First Brigade, second Division, Nineteenth Army Corps; Colonel Dornblaser commanding the Brigade, General Dennis the Division, and General Reynolds the Corps.
On August 23d, the Regiment marched to Port Hudson, La., arriving there on the 24th. The Regiment then moved to Clinton, La., returning via Port Hudson to Morganzia, arriving there on the 29th.
On the 13th of September left Morganzia, and proceeding up the river arrived at the mouth of White River, in Arkansas, and went into camp there on the 9th. On the 13th the non-veterans of Companies A, B and C left for Springfield, Ill., to be mustered out of service.
On October 7th the Regiment started for Duvall's Bluff, Ark., arriving there on the 9th. On the 28th moved toward Memphis, Tenn., reaching there December 31st. While in camp here the non-veterans of Companies E, F, H, I and K were mustered out of service. On the 12th of December the Nineteenth Army Corps was reorganized, becoming the Reserve Corps, Military Division of West Mississippi. The Forty-sixth Illinois Volunteers was attached to the Second Brigade of this Corps.
On December 31st moved to Germantown, then to Moscow, then to Wolf River, Tenn. Returning, reached Memphis on December 31st.
On January 2, 1865, the Regiment proceeded to Kennerville, La. On February 8th embarked on board steamers Planter and Alabama at Lake Port, and steamed to Fort Gaines, Dauphin's Island, Ala. where the Regiment arrived and went into camp on the 10th.
On March 1st, Colonel Dornblaser who had been home on a leave of absence, returned to the Regiment, bringing with him one hundred and sixty recruits for the Regiment. While in camp at Fort Gaines the Reserve Corps was reorganized and named the Thirteenth Army Corps, the Forty-sixth Infantry being assigned to the Second Brigade of the First division of the Corps, Major General Gordon Granger commanding the Corps, and Brigadier General James C. Veatch the Division. On the 18th the Regiment commenced the march with the Corps to Mobile. Was at Spanish Fort and Fort Blakely, and arrived at Mobile on April 12th. On May 12th the Regiment moved by rail to Meridan, Miss. Returned to Mobile on the 21st of May, and on the 27th embarked on steamer for New Orleans, arrived there on the 28th of May. On the 30th of May the Regiment embarked and proceeded to Alexandria, Natchitoches and Shreveport, on the Red River. On June 19th moved to Grand Ecore, La. The Regiment remained doing garrison duty until November 20th, when it moved to Shreveport.
On December 27th the Regiment was ordered to Baton Rouge, La., and Springfield, Ill., for muster out and final discharge. On January 20, 1866, the Regiment was mustered out at Baton Rouge, and started for Springield, Ill., arriving there on the 27th, where, on February 1, 1866, the Regiment was finally paid and discharged.