The Seventy-fifth Illinois Infantry was organized at Dixon, Illinois. and was mustered into service September 2, 1862, with Dr. George Ryan as Colonel; John E. Bennett as Lieut. Colonel, and Wm. M. Kilgour as Major. The Regiment remained at "Camp Dement" perfecting its drill until the 27th of September, when it was ordered south. It arrived at Jeffersonville, Ind., on the 29th of September, and crossed the Ohio on the next evening. The Seventy-fifth was assigned to the Thirtieth Brigade, 9th Division and Third Army Corps of the Army of the Ohio.
The Regiment moved with the army against Bragg, whose forces were at Bardstown, Ky., on October 1st. On October 8th the Regiment was engaged in the battle of Perryville. Col. George Ryan having been placed under arrest upon a charge of which he was afterwards acquitted by a Court Martial, Lieut. Colonel Bennett commanded the Regiment in the battle. The loss of the Seventy-fifth in this engagement was severe. Lieutenants Franklin H. Eels and James Blean were killed. Major Kilgour, Captains John Whallon, William S. Frost and D. M. Roberts, and Lieutenants Edward H. Barber, Wm. H. Thompson, Robert L. Irwin and James H. Blodgett were wounded. The Regiment fought bravely and was honorably mentioned by Gen. Mitchell for its gallantry.
The Regiment moved southward with the army and on October 31st arrived at Bowling Green. Upon the re-organization of the army, the Seventy-fifth Infantry was assigned to the First Brigade, First Division, of the right wing of the army. The Regiment participated in the skirmishes and battles of Nolansville, Knob Gap and Stone River. In the battle of Stone River the Regiment was in the right wing, The retreat of Johnson's Division left Post's Brigade exposed to a flank movement of the enemy, and the Brigade was ordered to fall back. Companies E and H of the Seventy-fifth were ordered to contest the advance of the enemy as skirmishers until the line could he reformed. The line was pushed back so rapidly that these companies were so far in the advance that some of the Union forces mistook them for Rebel forces and fired into them a volley, doing, however, but little damage. During the entire battle the Seventy-fifth Infantry was actively engaged. Colonel Bennet, Major Watson and Captain Hall were honorably mentioned in the reports of superiors. The Regiment lost two killed and twenty-one taken prisoners. Twenty-five were wounded.
The Regiment was next with the army at Liberty Gap and Chickamauga. It was at Chattanooga when the army was besieged at that place. Here the army was re-organized, and the Seventy-fifth Infantry was assigned to the Third Brigade, First Division, Fourth Army Corps.
The Regiment participated in the battle of Lookout Mountain, November 24, 1863.
Marched to Camp Blue Springs, Tenn., February 1, 1864, and shared the reconnoissance to Buzzard's Roost, in front of Dalton, on February 24 and 25.
From this time until May 1st, the Regiment remained in camp.
On the 6th of May, started with Sherman on his march to Atlanta. Was engaged in the battles of Dalton, Resaca, Marietta, Kennesaw, and in all the skirmishes and battles of its Brigade until Atlanta was reached, and the campaign ended.
On November 25, 1864. the Seventy-fifth was attached to the Fourth Corps, which was left at Gaylerville by Sherman, from which place it proceeded to Pulaski, Tenn.
The Regiment was in the Battle of Franklin, and suffered severely.
Marching at night the Regiment. with its Corps, reached Nashville on December 1, 1864. Was engaged in the battle of Nashville on the second day; charging through an open field on the enemy's line, and capturing 228 prisoners and a large quantity of arms and camp equipage. Two officers and six men were wounded in the engagement. This was the last battle in which the Seventy-fifth was engaged.
It went into quarters at Huntsville, afterwards at Nashville. While at Nashville, the Regiment was ordered to be mustered out on June 12,1865. Arriving in Chicago, it was paid and finally discharged on July 1, 1865.
[Note: If you are interested in more information about the 75th, you may contact Patrictk Arey at [email protected]]