The "Rail Road Regiment" was organized by the Railroad Companies of Illinois at Chicago, in August, 1862, Captain John Christopher. Sixteenth United States Infantry, was appointed Colonel, and Charles T. Hotchkiss, Lieutenant Colonel. it was mustered into the United States service August 24.
Ordered to Louisville, Ky., September 4, and was assigned, by Major General Wright, commanding Department of Ohio, to Third Brigade, Colonel Woodruff; Second Division, General Cruft; Army of Kentucky, General Nelson. Assigned, October 1, to Sixth Brigade, General Willich; Second Division, General Sill; McCook's Corps of Buell's Army.
The Regiment, on leaving Louisville, started in pursuit of the rebel forces under General Bragg, and, after a fruitless and wearisome march of a month, reached Bowling Green, Ky. At this point the tenth company, F, joined the Regiment. When in the service but about four months, it took an active part in the memorable battle of Stone River, where, by its gallant conduct, the men soon became classified among the old, tried soldiers. It did well, and among the heroes who that day died in liberty's cause was Captain Henry S. Willett, of Company H.
On the 7th of January, 1863, Colonel Christopher, who had never joined the Regiment, resigned. The line of promotion then ensuing made Captain William D. Williams, of 'Company F, Major.
At Liberty Gap another loss was sustained: Captain Herbert M. Blake, Company K. a truly brave and efficient officer fell mortally wounded. Chickamauga seemed to affix the seal of its devotion. There fell Lieutenant Colonel Duncan J. Hall, Captains Rice, Spink and Whiting, and Lieutenant Ellis, besides the scores of brave men who fought with noble heroism, and who dared to "do and die" in defense of the "old flag."
Upon the reorganization of the Army of the Cumberland the Regiment was transferred, with Willich's command to its new position in the First Brigade, Third Division, Fourth Army Corps. At Mission Ridge it again encountered the foe, scaling the enemy's entrenchments and driving him from them. In this charge fell those gallant officers, Lieutenant E. O. Young, Company A, and Captain Henry L. Rowell, Company C.
It then marched to the relief of Burnside, besieged at Knoxville. This accomplished, it moved on with the Brigade, in the marches and counter marches through East Tennessee.
Early in April, 1864, it marched with the command to Southern Tennessee, preparatory to General Sherman's glorious campaign through Northern Georgia, for the occupation of Atlanta.
With the Brigade, it participated in the splendid victories of Rocky Face, Resaca, Pickett's Mills, Kenesaw Mountain, Peach Tree Creek, and the flank movement of Atlanta, and pursued the routed enemy In his retreat to Jonesboro and Lovejoy's Station.
On this campaign, Lieutenant Nathaniel Street, of Company D. and Captain William Harkuess, Company A, offered up their lives a sacrifice to their country.
After the unsucessful attempt of the rebel forces to destroy the railroad communications of the army between Atlanta and Chattanooga, the Regiment rendered very important service, while on detached duty, in repairing the damages on the railroad inflicted by the enemy.
On the 30th of October, 1864, the Regiment was ordered to rejoin the command at Pulaski, Tenn. It participated in the brilliant achievements of Spring Hill, Columbia, Franklin and Nashville, in the latter of which fell Lieutenant P. G. Taite, of Company G. pierced by a cannon ball. Subsequently it pursued Hood's shattered forces in their flying retreat across Tennessee.
It passed winter Quarters at Huntsville, Ala., in January, 1866, and on the 1st of February traveled by railroad for Nashville, and after lying there five days, returned to Camp Green. About the middle of March, the command embarked on the cars for East Tennessee, to re-establish communications through to Virginia, and prepare to repel rebel invasion.
On the surrender of Lee's army, further movements in that section were abandoned, and the Fourth Corps returned by cars to Nashville, to muster out of service its non-veterans.
On the 10th of June, 1865, the Regiment was mustered out of the United States service, in the field, near Nashville, Tenn. Left there June l0th, by the Louisville, New Albany & Chicago Railroad, and arrived in Chicago on the night of June 12th, 1865, and was discharged at Camp Dougles, on the 24th of June, 1865, making its term of service two years. nine months and twenty-seven days.
CHRONOLOGICAL RECORD OF ENGAGEMENTS.
October 7th, 1862, battle of Lawrenceburg.
October 8th. 1862, battle of Perryville.
December 31st, 1862, to January 4th, 1863 battle of Stone River.
January 24th and 25th, 1863, battle of Liberty Gap.
September 19th and 20th, 1862, battle of Chickamauga.
November 23d. 1863, occupied Orchard Knob.
November 24th, 1863. battle of Lookout Mountain.
November 25th. 1863. battle of Mission Ridge.
Night of January 17th. 1864, Regiment retreated from Dandridge.
May 9th to 12th, 1864, battle of Rocky-Face.
Night of May 12th, 1864, enemy evacuated Buzzard's Roost.
May 14th and 15th, battle of Resaca.
Night of May 15th, enemy evacuated Resaca.
May 27th. 1864. battle of Pickett's Mill.
Night of June 4th. enemy evacuated Dallas.
June 11th to July 2d, 1864, investment of Kenesaw Mountain.
Night of July 2d, 1864. enemy evacuated Kenesaw Mountain and Marietta.
Night of July 20th, 1864, enemy evacuated Peach Tree Creek.
July 22d to August 26th, 1864, investment of Atlanta,
September 1st, 1864, battle of Jonesboro. Enemy evacuated at night.
September 3d and 4th, 1864, action before Lovejoy's Station.
September 8th, 1864. entered Atlanta.
November 24th and 25th, 1864, skirmish of Spring Hill.
November 30th, 1864, battle of Franklin.
December 15th and 16th, 1864, battle of Nashville.
In 1864, 440 recruits were added to the Regiment, making a total borne on the rolls of 1,403. The Regiment left in the field 202 recruits. (transferred to the Fifty-ninth Illinois Veteran Volunteers,) and mustered out on Its rolls 381 men, of the rank and file. leaving 820 killed In action, died from wounds, or discharged on account of disability contracted in the service. The principal losses were, at the battles ofStone River, killed, wounded and prisoners............. 142