The Fifty-seventh Illinois Infantry was recruited from various portions of the State, during the autumn of 1861, under the call of President Lincoln for 300,000 troops. Company A was enlisted with headquarters at Mendota; companies C, E, G and I with rendezvous at Chicago. These five companies, with other fragments, became quartered at Camp Douglas under Silas D. Baldwin, and were designated as the Fifty-seventh Regiment. Companies B, F, H and K were recruited in Bureau county, and in the early part of September went into quarters at Camp Bureau, near Princeton, under authority of Governor Yates granted to R. F. Winslow, of Princeton, to recruit a Regiment to be known as the Fifty-sixth Infantry. Company D, composed wholly of Swedes, was recruited at Bishop Hill, in Henry county, and joined under Winslow at Princeton. These companies, with one other, --which subsequently became a part of the Forty-fifth Illinois Infantry--went to Springfield in October by order of Governor Yates, and from there were sent to Camp Douglas, in the southern part of the City of Chicago, under F. J. Hurlbut. These two parts of Regiments (the Fifty-sixth and Fifty-seventh) were consolidated in December, and on the 26th day of the month were mustered into the United States Service as the Fifty-seventh Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry, with S. D. Baldwin as Colonel; F. J. Hurlbut, Lieutenant Colonel; N. B. Page, Major; N. E. Hahn, Adjutant; E. Hamilton, Quartermaster; J. R. Zearing, Surgeon, and H. S. Blood, First Assistant Surgeon--the chaplaincy being vacant. February 8, 1862, the Regiment, with about 975 enlisted men, fully officered, armed with old Harper's Ferry muskets altered from flint-locks, and commanded by Col. Baldwin, left Camp Douglas over the Illinois Central Railroad, under orders for Cairo. Ill., where it arrived on the evening of the 9th, thence direct by the steamer Minnehaha, to Fort Henry, on the Tennessee River, which had been evacuated by the enemy and taken possession of by our forces. The Regiment, without disembarking, was hurried back down the river to Paducah, thence up the Cumberland to a point two or three miles below Fort Donelson, where it landed on the morning of the 14th and made its first field march to a position in front of that rebel stronghold, where fighting had already begun. Here it was attached to Colonel John M. Thayer's Third Brigade of General Lew Wallace's Third Division, which occupied the center of the line. The Regiment remained near this position through the night, the men suffered greatly from exposure, having no protection, except their blankets, from the cold, and snow which fell in quantities, to cover the ground. On the morning of the 15th, the Regiment was assigned to the support of Taylor's and Smith's Chicago Batteries of Artillery, which were actively engaged with the enemy. During the day the Fifty-seventh occupied an unenviable position, being subjected to danger from the cannonading in its front and the bullets of the sharpshooters, without the privilege of retaliation, thus placing it under the severest test.
On the morning of the 16th, the Fifty-seventh, with other troops, was moved toward the right with the expectation of assaulting that portion of the rebel defenses, but word soon passed along the line that the fort with its entire garrison of about 17,000 men and its armament had capitulated to General Grant. The Regiment's course was thereupon changed passing through the line of Confederate works into the town of Dover, some distance above the main fort, but within the outer line of defense, and camping at the outskirts of the town for the night. The following day, the 17th, orders were received to march across the country to Fort Henry, eleven miles distant on the Tennessee River, where it arrived on the 19th, over roads of the worst character. Here it lost by death its Assistant Surgeon, Henry S. Blood, and during its stay a greater portion of the men wer, taken sick with diarrhea, rendering it difficult to muster a sufficient number to perform the ordinary duties of camp, or to hold dress parade. From Fort Henry, on March 8th, the Regiment, on board the steamer Argyle, proceeded up the Tennessee River for Crump's Landing, the boat carrying it being one of one hundred and twenty-two transports, nearly all loaded with troops, constituting the greater portion of the Army of the Tennessee--the fleet forming one of the grandest sights of the war. Stopping at Paris Landing on the 9th, the Regiment made a short march into the country on a scout and foraging expedition; on returning to the boat four men of Company G were reported missing. Resuming its passage, and when opposite Clifton, Tenn., on the 11th, the boat was fired into by guerrillas in ambush on the river bank, wounding two men of the Regiment. Arriving at Crump's Landing on March 13, the Regiment, with other troops, moved out to Adamsville, Tenn., a few miles west of the river, but returned that night. This proved to be one of the most tedious and trying marches, for a short one, of the whole service. The rain poured down in torrents, swelling the creeks, which were forded up to the waists of the men, and rendering the roads deep with mud, which was as tenacious as southern clay can be; tired out and wet to the skin, the Regiment on its return went into camp on the bluff next to the river, to soak for the remainder of the night from the drenching rain, which continued to fall unceasingly. On March 16, and during the stay here, a series of resolutions were passed extending thanks to Dr. J. A. Hahn, of Chicago, for professional services rendered in aid of the Regimental Medical Staff at Fort Henry, and up to this time in the care and attendance of the large number of sick in the Regiment, March 26 the Regiment went up the Tennessee River about five miles to Pittsburg Landing, where it encamped a short distance out from the river, and to the right of the Landing, having become a part of Colonel T W. Sweeney's Third Brigade, General C. F. Smith's Second Division. At this camp the Regiment remained until Sunday, the 6th of April, on the morning of which firing was heard in the direction of the front, toward Corinth. Preparations were at once made for the impending struggle, by the distribution of ammunition, etc., and under orders the line of march was taken up on the Corinth road leading out from the camp, Colonel Baldwin in command. Arriving at the front the Regiment was held in reserve for a time, when orders were received to take position in support of a battery of artillery, which was sharply engaged with the enemy, somewhat to the left. The fighting at different points had become very heavy, and increased in severity as more troops were brought into line.
During the varying strife the battery supported by the Fifty-seventh was gradually moved to the left and new positions taken, as the enemy seemed to be pressing the fight farther and farther in that direction. Stray bullets and cannon balls occasionally fell into the ranks or in close proximity to the Fifty-seventh, with, however, few casualties. Later, however, the Regiment was destined to be tried in the crucible of actual conflict. Well along in the afternoon, under orders, it took position on the left of General Hurlbut's Division, and on the extreme left of the Union line, not far distant from the Tennessee River; here, about 4 o'clock P. M., an advance was made, encountering the enemy in strong force directly in front; firing began almost simultaneously on both sides, a constant roar of musketry ensuing for about twenty minutes. Notwithstanding this being the first severe engagement of the Fifty-seventh, they fought with all the heroism and valor that could have distinguished older and tried soldiers, but the contest was unequal; the old altered flint-lock muskets of the Regiment became foul after a few rounds, rendering it impossible to get a load down, though many of the men, in their effort to drive the "charge home" after getting them started, drove the rammers against the trunks of trees, some baffled in this attempt to force the load down, picked up the muskets of their comrades, who had been killed or disabled by wounds, and renewed the fight. Thus crippled by unservicable arms and left without support, flanked upon both sides, and under an enfilading fire, the gallant command was forced to retire or suffer capture. In falling back the Regiment was subjected to a storm of grape and cannister from the enemy's cannon until it passed through the line of artillery, massed not far from the landing by Colonel J. D. Webster, which opened on the enemy with its awful effect, checking his advance and starting him on the retreat in confusion. This ended the conflict for the day, night closing over the scene. In this murderous engagement the Fifty-seventh lost 187 of its officers and men in killed, wounded and missing--among the killed being its Major, Norman B. Page, Captain R. D. Adams, Company E, and First Lieutenant Theodore M. Doggett, of Company I; and of the wounded were Captain John Phillips, Company A; A. H. Manser Company B; William S. Swan, Company C; F. A. Battey, Company F; First Lieutenants B. D. Salter, Company E; J. W. Harris, Company F; Frederick Busse, Company G; and Second Lieutenant William S. Hendricks, Company I, taken prisoner.
The effects of the day's great battle were visible on every hand, and, as if to add to the discomfort and confusion, and to continue through the night a parody of the day, the elements broke forth in terrific peals of thunder, lit up the ghastly scene with lurid flashes of lightning, and poured floods of rain upon the unprotected armies, sparing neither the dead, dying nor wounded who still lay upon the field where they first fell.
General W. H. L. Wallace, who had commanded the division by reason of the illness of General C. F. Smith, having been killed during the afternoon of the 6th, the command of the Division on the 7th developed upon Colonel J. M. Tuttle, of the 7th Iowa; and Colonel Sweeney having been wounded, Colonel Baldwin took command of the Brigade, and Lieutenant Colonel F. J. Hurlbut that of the Regiment. At the first break of morn the Fifty-seventh with the Brigade moved into position near the center of the line, and participated in the general advance upon the enemy, who, after some stubborn fighting, began to give way, and before night, was forced into a general retreat. Returning to camp at night, the Regiment rested from the trying scenes of the two days' conflict. On the 9th, the regimental dead, who still lay on the field, were buried by a detail for that purpose made from each company. Upon the organization of the army, after the battle of Shiloh, General T. A. Davies was assigned to the command of the Division.
In the general advance upon Corinth by the army, which began the last of April, the Regiment took an active part and shared in the toil, exposure and dangers incident to picket and skirmish duty, clearing and building corduroy roads, entrenching, etc., etc., until the evacaution of Corinth on the 30th day May. During this advance the Regiment received new arms, of the Enfield rifle pattern. On the 31st, the regiment joined in the pursuit of the retreating enemy, and followed him to Boonesville, Miss. Returning, it went into camp to the southeast of Corinth, where it remained until about the middle of September, when, on the 18th of that month, the army under Rosecrans having been sent to meet the force of the rebel General Price, at Iuka, a short distance east, the Regiment moved into Corinth, which it guarded until after the battle of Iuka, September 19; then it went into camp to the southwest of the town. During the summer many of the men were sick with diarrhea and fevers, resulting in a number of deaths.
On the morning of the 3d of October, the army in and around Corinth, commanded by General Rosecrans, moved out to the west of the town three or four miles to meet an expected attack by the combined commands of the rebel Generals Van Dorn, Price, Lovell, Villipigue and Rust. The Third Brigade, under the command of Colonel Baldwin, took position to the left of the Chewalia Road on a ridge running parallel to the line chosen, the Fifty-seventh, under command of Lieut. Col. Hurlbut, on the left of the brigade; and its left resting at a deep cut on the Memphis and Charleston Railroad. Here, about 9 o'clock A. M., Company G, commanded by Captain G. A. Busse, was thrown forward as skirmishers, supported by Company K. Captain Harlan Page in command, to ascertain the position and strength of the enemy. He was soon found in force, the two companies of skirmishers being quickly driven back upon the main line, followed by a compact and rapidly moving line of rebel infantry; this precipitated a general engagement, with quick, sharp firing on both sides. For a time the contest seemed to be indecisive. Sharp firing, however, was kept up until a new stand had been taken and the advance of the enemy checked. Soon after this Col. Baldwin relinquished the command of the Third Brigade and returned to Corinth. General McArthur assuming command of the Third Brigade in connection with his own. The rebels bringing new troops into position farther to the right necessitated a change of front toward the north with the position somewhat retired to the south of the railroad. Here in the afternoon the Brigade made a charge, driving the rebel line some distance. Encountering an overwhelming force the brigade was ordered to fall back to the original position, resulting in its withdrawal to the Corinth Seminary, to the southwest of Corinth. The dawn of day, on the 4th, found Davies' Division to the north and west of the town, with its right resting on Battery Powell and its left on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad; the Third Brigade in the center and somewhat to the front, along a temporary line of breastworks improvised from logs, with dirt thrown over to the front. Some distance out to the northwest of town the heavy timber had been felled over a considerable area, forming a decided obstruction to the progress of an army; but the enemy, between 9 and 10 o'clock in the forenoon, emerged in solid columns from the woods beyond and came with resistless force over the fallen timber. The guns from batteries Robinet and Powell opened upon the advancing columns with terrible effect, and when within range, musket firing opened along the entire line. Heedless of the destruction caused in their ranks, they pressed forward, capturing Battery Powell and forcing to the rear into town the line of Davies' Division; but here the retreating columns made a stand and an advance was made upon the broken ranks of the enemy, driving him in confusion back over the fallen timber, through which he had advanced but a few moments befere. This terminated the battle, as the whole rebel army was soon in full retreat, leaving its dead and wounded upon the field. and a large number of prisoners in the hands of the Union Army. The weather had been intensely hot during both days, which, with the scarcity of water obtainable, and the constant and rapid movements to which the troops were subjected, caused great prostration among the men. In the two days' engagement the casualties in the Fifty-seventh were 42 killed, wounded and missing.
After the enemy's repulse and withdrawal the regiment went into camp. Captain William S. Swan, of Company C, with a proper guard from the Regiment. was placed in charge of the prisoners captured at the battle, something over 2,000 in all. A few days succeeding, a portion of the regiment, under command of Lieutenant Colonel Hurlbut, proceeded south under a flag of truce, with 300 prisoners, to a point on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, called Baldwin, where, encountering some Confederate Cavalry, the prisoners were turned over and receipted for by the Confederate commander. Colonel Hurlbut, with his command, returned to Corinth. About the same time Colonel Baldwin, with a detail of men from the Regiment, was ordered to Memphis with 1,600 prisoners, where, by direction, he turned the command over to Capt. William S. Swan, and went north on leave of absence. Captain Swan with his charge proceeded down the Mississippi River to Vicksburg, where he turned the prisoners over to the rebel authorities and received about 500 paroled Federal prisoners, which he took to St. Louis, then joined the Regiment.
On December 18, following, the Fifty-seventh, commanded by Lieut. Col. Hurlbut, with the Brigade, left Corinth on a scout after the rebel General Forrest's command to Lexington, Tennessee; thence to Henderson Station on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, and by cars back to Corinth. Communication having been completely destroyed, the troops in and about Corinth were placed upon short rations, nearly everything in the way of subsistence being consumed before supplies were again received. During the winter months of 1862 and 1863, the regiment constructed substantial hewed log barracks near Battery Robinet, just out of the town, and performed garrison duty. While here the Brigade and Division became part of the left wing of the Sixteenth Army Corps, under the command of General G. M. Dodge, who was also assigned to the command of the district of Corinth. Colonel M. M. Bane, of the Fiftieth Illinois, wounded at Shiloh, having returned, assumed command of the Brigade, which was increased by the Thirty-ninth Iowa and Eighteenth Missouri Regiments of Infantry--Col. Baldwin returning to the commad of the Regiment.
On March 12, 1863, Col. Baldwin was dismissed from the service and returned north; on June 11, following, by sanction of President Lincoln. he was recommissioned by Governor Yates of Illinois, whereupon he reported at Corinth with a request to be reinstated. The matter was referred by General Dodge to General S. A. Hurlbut, at Memphis. commanding the department, and by him to General Grant, by whose orders he was sent out of the lines under guard to Cairo. April 16, the Regiment, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Hurlbut, left Corinth on an expedition with General Dodge's command to Town Creek and Tuscumbia, Ala., where a junction was formed with Colonel A. D. Streight, covering his movement with his command into Central Georgia, which proved disastrous by the capture of his whole force near Rome. After Streight's departure a lively skirmish was had with General Roddy's force. The objects of this demonstration having been attained, the troops under Dodge returned to Corinth on May 2. The Fifty-seventh remained at this place, with the exception of an occasional raid or scout into the surrounding country, until the fall of 1863, when, with about the same force as on the Tuscumbia expedition, a movement was made to Holly Springs, Mississippi, returning again to Corinth.
On November 4, 1863, this entire command, composing a part of General Sherman's Army moved to Middle Tennessee, where, at Lynville, the Fifty-seventh was assigned to outpost duty. January 17, 1864, with the exception of Company C, and a few men from other companies, the Regiment veteranized, or re-enlisted for three years' more service, starting the next day for Chicago on veteran furlough of thirty days, arriving the 27th; Captain Swan remained at Lynville in command of the non-veterans. Having recruited nearly 250 men and raising its number to some over 500, the Regiment, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Hurlbut, left Chicago, March 9, on its return South, arriving at Athens, Alabama, on the 15th. where it was joined by Captain Swan's command. Here it performed garrison duty until May 1, when it left for Sherman's Army at Chattanooga. From this place, the Regiment, commanded by Hurlbut, the Brigade by Bane and the Division by Sweeny, moved with the Army of the Tennessee on the Atlanta campaign south, passing through Snake Creek Gap May 13, taking part in the maneuvering against the rear of the rebel General Johnston's Army, and in the battle of Resaca, Georgia, which caused the rebels to withdraw from that positien.
May 16th, with the Third Brigade in advance, the line of march was taken up on the Cal houn road. Company H, commanded by Captain Josiah Robbins, was thrown forward with the line of skirmishers, which was soon after strengthened by Companies G, Captain Busse, I, First Lieutenant Frank Cutler, and E, Lieutenant Edward Martin, the whole commanded by Major Forsee, of the Fifty-seventh, encountered the enemy in force at Rome Cross Roads, where it had made a stand to protect the train of the retreating army. The Brigade was brought into line of battle and soon became engaged, the fighting at intervals being quite severe, and lasting until nearly night. Following the enemy's retreat the next day, the Division moved to Kingston. thence to Rome, arriving at the latter place on the evening of the 18th. The Third Brigade, consisting of the Seventh, Fiftieth and Fifty-seventh Illi nois, and the Thirty-ninth Iowa lnfantry Regiments, was detailed to garrison the place, the balance of General Dodge's command continuing with the advance on Atlanta. During its period of stay at Rome the Regiment, with the Brigade,. went on a fruitless expedition after the rebel General Wheeler's command of cavalry through Middle Tennessee, taking three days' rations, but being gone a month or more. At Rome, General Bane having resigned, General Vandever was assigned to the command of the Brigade and Post, he being relieved in August by Colonel Dick Rowett, of the Seventh Illinois Infantry. After the fall of At lanta the army was re-organized and the Left Wing of the Sixteenth Army Corps--General Dodge's command--was consolidated with the Fifteenth Corps. The Second Division be came a part of the Fourth Division. As now organized, the Fifty-seventh belonged to the Third Brigade (Colonel Rowett) Fourth Division (General John M. Corse) Fifteenth Army Corps (General John A. Logan).
On September 29, General Corse, returning from Atlanta, arrived in Rome with the balance of his Division and took command of the post. October 4, he received orders from General Sherman to re-enforce the garrison at Allatoona Pass for the purpose of resisting an expected attack from the rebel General French's command of Hood's army, then moving to the north in the rear of Sherman's position. That evening Companies A, Captain William F. Conkey, and B, Captain Linas Van Steenberg, of the Fifty-seventh Illinois, commanded by the latter officer, with the balance of the Third Brigade, accompanied by General Corse, left Rome for Allatoona, where they arrived at midnight. Captain Van Steenburg's two companies were assigned to the right of the Thirty-ninth Iowa, which was thrown to the front near the rifle pits, north and west of the fort. About 10 o'clock A. M.. by direction of Colonel Rowett, Van Steenburg deployed his command as skirmishers about 160 rods in advance, with his right resting on the railroad running north. This line was soon driven in by the enemy. The rebel General French then made a demand to surrender: this was promptly refused by General Corse, who intimated that he was ready for the attack. Promptly the enemy made a movement along the whole line, driving the beleaguered force into the redoubts, situated on either side of the cut through which the railroad ran. Charge after charge was successively made upon this position, meeting with repulse at every attempt. The conflict continued with ghastly carnage until 4 o'clock P. M., when the enemy withdrew, leaving his dead and wounded upon the field.
The train which arrived with the first troops the night before had been immediately sent back to Rome for the remaining eight companies of the Fifty-seventh, but by reason of a break in the railroad between Rome and Kingston, did not arrive at Allatoona, on its return, until the evening of the 5th, after the battle was over.
The loss to Companies A and B, in this heroic contest, was 3 killed, 7 wounded and 1 missing. Among the wounded was First Lieutenant George N. Barr, of Company B. Colonel Rowett having been severely wounded, Lieutenant Colonel Hurlbut assumed command of the Brigade, and Major Forsee that of the Regiment. On the 7th, the Brigade and Regiment started on a return march to Rome, arriving on the 9th. From Kingston, Company F, and a detachment of Company D, commanded by Captain F. A. Battey, were sent to Chattanooga in charge of 200 rebel prisoners taken at Allatoona. On its return the command was taken prisoner at Dalton, Ga.. together with the garrison, a regiment of colored troops, Captain Battey having tendered the services of his command to Colonel Johnson commander of the place, to assist in its defense against an attack from the rebel General Cheatham, of Hood's army. The surrender was made by Colonel Johnson, without a fight, and against the protest of every officer in the fort. Being paroled in a couple of days, Captain Battey, with his command, returned to Chattanooga, and by order ef General Steadman was placed in charge of the district of Etowah prison, but after a short period joined the Regiment at Rome by orders of General Sherman.
In the meantime, on October 13, the Regiment, under command of Major Forsee, being at Rome, moved out with the Brigade, which was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Hurlbut, on the Cave Springs road, where a portion of Hood's army was encountered, resulting in driving the enemy some distance, with a loss to the Fifty-seventh of 7 killed and wounded.
Major Forsee having resigned on October 16, the command of the Regiment devolved on Captain Harlan Page, of Company K. Upon the return of Capt. Battey and his command from Chattanooga and prisoner of war, he assumed command of the Regiment by reason of seniority, Lieutenant Colonel Hurlbut being still in command of the Brigade,
On November 10, 1864, at 4 o'clock P. M., the Regiment, with 504 enlisted men in line and seventeen officers present, under command of Captain Battey, moved out from Rome, with other portions of Corse's command, four miles toward Kingston, being the initial movement on its part for what proved to be "Sherman's March to the Sea." On the 11th it passed through Kingston, Ga., and past General Sherman's headquarters. Enroute to Atlanta it passed through Cartersville, Allatoona, Big Shanty, near Kenesaw Mountain, through Marietta, at Sandtown Crossing of the Chattahoochie River, and took dinner on the 15th about one mile north of Atlanta, where the last mail was received before severing connection with the North, in which notice was received of the assignment of 200 drafted men and recruits to the Regiment by Governor Yates, of Illinois. The city of Atlanta had been set on fire, and by this time was enveloped in flames, presenting a sublime spectacle. The Regiment moved through the outskirts of the city and encamped a few miles south. On the 16th the march was resumed from Jonesboro, thence in a southeasterly direction, passing through Jackson and camping on the Ocmulgee River November 19th, until the train had crossed on the pontoon bridge. Here Company A, Captain Conkey, was detailed to fire and burn a large quantity of cotton. On the morning of the 20th, the Fifty-seventh crossed the river, and entering a good country, supplied itself liberally with forage and provisions--orders having been issued placing the army on short rations of coffee and sugar, with instructions to gather the supply of provisions, principally from the country. On the 24th crossed the Georgia Central Railroad at Gordon, and the Oconee River at noon on the 26th. On the 27th struck the Georgia Central Railroad again at the place called Deep Cut, and under orders, destroyed it for several miles by tearing up and burning the ties, heating the rails, twisting them out of shape and often around saplings of trees, leaving them to cool in that position; thence marched to Tennell, where the destruction of the railroad begun by the Twentieth Corps was completed, after which went into camp for the night near General Sherman's headquarters. Broke camp at daylight on the 28th and passed through the Seventeenth Army Corps camp. On the march through the day secured plenty of forage for the animals and provisions for the men; camped early for the night. The 29th, moved to the advance of the other Division of the Fifteenth Corps and joined the Fourth, the Regiment having been detached in the destruction of the railroad; at dark camped for supper, after which moved forward five miles to General Howard's headquarters, going into camp at 1 o'clock at night. November 30th, passed through a swampy country. December 1st, made but little progress until after .3 o'clock P. M., when the march was rapid, though several times the teams had to be helped along over the swampy roads by men detailed from the Regiment; went into camp at 10 o'clock at night. December 2d, being in advance, the Regiment had to construct a bridge across Skull's Creek. After crossing, went into camp, where it remained until the 4th, on which day the march was continued. During the 5th the country was sandy and the water scarce. Remained in camp during the 6th. During the 7th the wagon train was moved, doubled on two roads, the Fifty-seventh following the Fiftieth Illinois. The First Division of the Fifteenth Corps was passed, which Division had thrown up fortifications in the line of battle. Went into camp near the Ogeechee River, the first brigade crossing and skirmishing with some of the enemy. Heavy cannonading heard down the river. Crossed the river on the 8th, and during the day passed some rebel fortifications. Some skirmishing at the front; at night camped on the Ogeechee Canal. March 9, moved forward four miles and went into camp: the Third Brigade constructed a line of rifle pits in front. Broke camp at 8 o'clock A. M. of the 10th; the Third Brigade, in advance, moved forward three mile's, with some skirmishing, to within about twelve miles of Savannah. At this point, came to a large open field, on the opposite side of which. in plain view, were the rebel forts, flags, tents and men. The rebels soon opened with their artillery, resulting in heavy cannonading from both sides during the afternoon. Captain DeGrass' battery of six-pound rifled Parrott guns, and Company H, First Missouri Artillery, opened about 1 o'clock, almost directly in front of the Fifty-seventh, which was withdrawn somewhat to the rear at dark and the left wing thrown forward on the picket line for the night, during which rain fell heavily, General Sherman's army was brought into position as rapidly as each command arrived, and the investment of Savannah with its garrison under General Hardee, began just one month from the day the Fifty-seventh left Rome, Ga. On the 11th cannonading was resumed; the Fifty-seventh moved to the rear and left, then advanced, but coming under the fire of the enemy's heavy guns, it was ordered to retire to camp. At dark, the left wing, excepting Company F, was relieved from picket duty. On the 17th, received a mail from the fleet, the first since the 15th of November. December 18th one day's rations of "hard tack" and sugar were received--the troops having previously been placed on one-fourth rations. On the 19th partially constructed a good line of rifle pits in front ef the position, which were completed on the 20th by Companies B and G. Heavy cannonading continued during the day, Orders were received about 10 o'clock A. M. of the 21st to move in light order, with plenty of ammunition prepared for an engagement. This was supplemented with instructions to take all baggage. Soon after the line of march was entered upon, it was ascertained that the enemy had vacated their line of defense, and the advance being continued, the army entered Savannah, the rebels having evacuated by crossing the Savannah River and passing to the north, leaving large quantities of heavy ordnance and ordnance stores. The Fifty-seventh went into camp on the 22d to the east of the town; on the 23d began hauling lumber for the construction of barracks, and on the 24th passed in review before General Sherman. December 26th, all non-veterans from the ranks of the Regiment, excepting Company C, were mustered out of the service. and on the 29th, its term having expired, Company C was also mustered out, leaving for the North the following day.
January 7, 1865, 187 drafted men and recruits out of the 200 previously assigned, of which notice was received in the last mail, which came to hand before leaving Atlanta, reported to the Regiment for duty. On the 9th in pursuance of authority received, a new company was formed out of these, to take the place of Company C, mustered out. January 19th, Lieutenant Colonel Hurlbut was mustered as Colonel of the Regiment. January 27th, the Regiment, with 485 muskets in line, Captain Battey commanding, left Savannah with the Brigade, Colonel Hurlbut in command; on the march north February 3d, at 8 P. M. crossed the Savannah River at Sister's Ferry, from the Georgia to the South Carolina side. En route roads, good, bad and indifferent were passed over, often necessitating building through extensive swamps with logs, brush and rails, or whatever was most convenient at hand, in order to pass the wagon train over, resulting in the construction of miles of such roads by the Fifty-seventh as its share. Considerable opposition to the advance of the army was encountered by contact with the enemy, severe skirmishing resulting at Branchville, Salkehatchie and the Edisto Rivers, and at every point of vantage; on the 10th assisted in driving the enemy, under General Wade Hampton, across the Congarie River into Columbia, South Carolina. At dark the Fifty-seventh crossed the Saluda River and camped near the Broad River. On the 17th the United States forces entered Columbia, the Regiment passing through and encamping about one mile to the southeast; witnessed the burning of the place during the night; the 18th and 19th engaged in the destruction of the Memphis and Charleston R. R.; on the 20th renewed the march northward; on the 28th forded Lynch Creek, South Carolina, where there was some skirmishing by the Brigade foraging party in advance. Here the men were obliged to strip themselves of clothing, which, with their guns and ammunition, they carried above their heads as they passed through the water to their necks; the stream swollen by the excessive rains, was one-fourth of a mile wide and almost impassible for teams; those of the Regiment became stalled and were abandoned in the water and mud until the following day, when they were hauled out by hand with long ropes, aided by mules hitched to the end; entered Cheraw, South Carolina, on the 4th of March, and on the 5th the Regiment took charge of the town as provost guard; on the 7th left Cheraw, and crossing the Peedee river in rear of the Twentieth Army Corps, and as rear guard of the army, resuming the march in charge of the pontoon trains, rejoined the Division on the 8th, and camped at Fayetteville, North Carolina, Sunday, March 12th, on the 14th crossed the Cape Fear River, and continued the march through the 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th, and on the 19th heavy cannonading was heard toward the left in the direction of the Fourteenth and Twentieth Army Corps; the Fifteenth Corps was hurried forward rapidly, the Fifty-seventh not camping until midnight. Moved at 7 A. M. on the 20th, on the Bentonville, N. C. road, reaching the scene of action about noon, when line of battle was immediately formed and breast works thrown up. Very heavy and constant skirmishing was kept up during the afternoon directly in front. March 21st the Regiment advanced to a new position in front and threw up a new line of works. Here the skirmish line was heavily engaged the entire day, the Fifty-seventh having one man wounded. The rebels evacuated their position during the night and retreated toward Raleigh. the Third Brigade entering their works, where it remained during the 22d. On the 23d the line of march was taken up, passing the Twentieth Army Corps and crossing the Neuse River and reaching Goldsboro, where it went into camp one-half mile northeast of town. While here Colonel Hurlbut went north on leave of absence, and Colonel Hanna, of the Fiftieth Illinois, took command of the Brigade. April 7th the news was received of the capture of Richmond by Grant's army; on the 10th the Regiment, with the balance of the army, left for Raleigh, North Carolina. April 12th. while en route, official notice of the surrender of Lee's army to Grant came to hand: passed through the city of Raleigh, and in review before General Sherman on the 14th; on the 15th marched to Morrisville, about eighteen miles west of Raleigh, where the confederate army under General Jos. E. Johnston, was confronted; the 17th, notice of the death of President Lincoln, by assassination, was received, and report of interview between Generals Sherman and Johnston on terms of surrender of the confederate army; April 21st the Fifty-seventh returned to near Raleigh, and went into camp; the 22d, Colonel Rowett having returned, took command of the Brigade; Company C, which was organized at Savannah, was disbanded and the men assigned to other companies by orders from the Adjutant General's office, at Washington, by reason of the number of men of the old companies not being up to the minimum; on the 27th, notice of the surrender of Johnston's army was received; April 29th, the Regiment, with the Brigade and Corps, left Raleigh, on the march north, reaching Petersburg. Virginia, the 27th of May. In passing through the city of Richmond, on the morning of the 13th of May, the Regiment and its officers were the recipients from the ladies of crowns, wreaths and boquets of flowers. While in camp near Alexandria, Virginia, intelligence was received that Colonel Hurlbut was accidently drowned in the Chicago River, at Chicago, Ill., April 27th. The Regiment left Alexandria the 23d of May, and marched to near the long bridge on the Potomac, where it bivouacked for the night. May 24th, crossed the river and participated with Sherman's army in the grand review at Washington, D. C., before President Johnson, Generals Grant, Sherman and Meade. The Regiment and its battle-torn flags, in common with other troops, were received with wild enthusiasm from the multitudes that thronged every available place along the line of march; went into camp at Georgetown; June 3d, moved from Washington by rail over the Baltimore & Ohio R. R., and down the Ohio River from Parkersburg, Virginia, for Louisville, Kentucky, where it arrived June 8, at 10 A. M., disembarked and moved to camp six miles to the southeast of the city; on the 7th of J uly, the Regiment was mustered out of the service, but retained its organization and returned to Chicago, under the command of Col. F. A. Battey, where it received final pay and was disbanded on the 14th of July, at Camp Douglas. its point of first departure, after three years and five months' active service in the field, under Generals Grant, Halleck and Sherman, or three years and ten months from the time of enlistment of a greater portion of the Regiment.