The One Hundred and Second Infantry Illinois Volunteers was organized at Knoxville, Ill., in August 1862, by Colonel William McMurtry, and mustered in September 1st and 2nd.
On 22nd September the Regiment moved to Peoria, Ill., and October 1 moved to Louisville, Kentucky, and was assigned to Wardís Brigade, Dumontís Division , and immediately moved southward, marching via Shelbyville, Frankfort, Bowling Green and Scottsville, to Gallatin, Tenn., arriving November 26.
The Regiment went into winter quarters in Gallatin.
About the 1st of May, 1863, the commander of the post at Gallatin received information that a band of guerrillas was moving in the direction of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad with the evident purpose of capturing a train with its rich store of mail and express matter. The point of attack selected was supposed to be near Franklin, not far from the state line. Colonel Smith, the commander of the Regiment, was called upon for a detail of 150 men with 80 rounds of ammunition, and the detachment immediately started out for Franklin, taking a north bound train. Upon arriving at the town a large number of citizens were observed about the depot whose nervous and excited manner indicated that trouble was expected. Colonel Smith divided his men, leaving 75 at Franklin, and with the remainder he started out for Bowling Green, expecting to meet a returning train at that point. They had scarcely proceeded more than three miles when the engineer discovered the rails displaced at the end of an embankment and blew the whistle for down brakes, and the train stopped just in time to avoid a fearful calamity. As soon as the train came to a stop a volley of musketry was fired upon the cars, shattering the windows, killing two men and wounding five more. The shots came from a piece of woods at the roadside where the enemy was well protected, but no sooner had the firing commenced than a volley was returned by our men, followed up by a charge upon the bushwhackers who took to their heels and made off as quickly as possible, leaving four dead and several wounded, of whom two afterward died of their wounds. The guerrillas were dispersed and the trains thereafter ran in comparative safety.
On June 1, 1863, the Brigade was ordered to Lavergne, at which point four regiments were stationed for the purpose of guarding the Nashville and Chattanooga R. R. The One Hundred and Second Regiment was sent on the Stewartís Creek, a small post six miles south. Colonel Smith was placed in command of the post, which consisted of his own Regiment and a battalion of the Eighteenth Ohio Cavalry, which was soon after relieved by a battalion of the First Ohio Cavalry and a section of the First Michigan Artillery. In August following orders were received from General Granger, who commanded the district, to mount five companies of the One Hundred and Second Regiment by taking horses suitable for the purpose from the disloyal citizens in that vicinity, which was soon accomplished, and being furnished with Spencerís Repeating Rifles, this Regiment became notorious even among the rebels, as the most effective fighting regiment in that branch of the army.
On the 9th of November, 1863, moved to Lebanon, and returned on the 11th. Surgeon Stanway was severely wounded by guerrillas.
On February 25, 1864, broke winter quarters at Lavergne, and marched via Tullahoma, Decherd, Stevenson, Ala., and camped in Wauhatchie Valley, Tenn.
The One Hundred and Second was assigned to First Brigade, Third Division, Twentieth Army Corps., Brigadier General W. T. Ward Commanding Brigade.
While at Wauhatchie five companies of the Regiment, which had been mounted, gave up their horses, but retained their Spencer rifles during the Atlanta Campaign.
On May 2 commenced the campaign. May 14, was engaged at Resaca, losing 3 killed and 19 wounded. On the 15th the Brigade captured a battery from the enemy at Camp creek - the One Hundred and Second losing 18 killed, 6 mortally wounded, and 70 wounded. On 25th May encountered the enemy at Burnt Hickory, and was engaged four days, losing 4 killed and 14 wounded.
On June 1 was engaged at Big Shanty. June 15th and 16th was engaged, losing 13 wounded, including Colonel Smith and Captain McManus. Engaged at Perch Tree Creek, July 20, losing 2 killed and 11 wounded. On September 16 moved to Atlanta.
On November 15, 1864, commenced the Savannah march. On 22nd arrived at Milledgeville; crossed the Ogeechee on the 29th, and December 11 established line of battle at Savannah, and on 21st entered that city.
On January 5, 1865, moved to Hardeeville, and, on 30th, to Robertville, near Sistersí Ferry.
On February 2 marched westward to Blackville and Willistown, and thence, northward, to Columbia, arriving February 19.
March 11 reached Fayetteville. March 16 was engaged at Averysboro, losing 2 killed and 19 wounded; among the latter were Captains Merritt and Matterson and Lieutenant Trego. On 23rd of March, camped at Goldsboro. On April 10, marched toward Raleigh, where the army remained until Johnsonís surrender.
On 30th Marched for Washington, arriving May 19.
On may 24 passed review with our army.
June 6, 1885, mustered out of service, and started home, arriving at Chicago, Ill., on the 9th. June 14 received final payment and discharge.