This Regiment was organized by Colonel James S. Martin, under call of the President, in June 1862, and was mustered into the service of the United States at Salem, September 18, 1862. The strength of the Regiment at date of muster was 886, officers and enlisted men. Six of the companies comprising this Regiment were raised in Marion county, on in Clay, one in Washington, one in Clinton, and one company composed of men from Wayne and Marion counties, thus making the Regiment a home organization.
By special order No. 211, August 16, 1862, Salem was designated as the place of rendezvous; said order also gave the Regiment its numerical designation. Our camp at Salem was given the name of Camp Marshall, in honor of B. F. Marshall, of Salem, who took an active part in the organization of the Regiment, and who was afterwards appointed Quartermaster of the same.
The Regiment remained at Camp Marshall until the 31st of October, and on that day numbered 930, officers and men. Having received orders to report to Brigadier General Tuttle, commanding at Cairo, in obedience to the same the Regiment broke camp on the morning of the 31st, and marched three miles across the country to Tonti Station, on the Illinois Central Railroad, thence by rail to Cairo, where we arrived at 6 P.M.; reported to General Tuttle and went into camp on the levee in front of the city. On the following morning we embarked on transports for Columbus, Ky., where we arrived at 2 P.M., and reported to Brigadier General Davies, commanding, and went into camp on the bank of the river, awaiting transportation to the front. On November 2 we received orders from General Davis assigning us to duty as part of garrison of the post of Columbus. Every effort to have this order countermanded having failed a camp site was selected on the bluff overlooking the town and river, the erection of winter quarters commenced, which, together with the drill and garrison duty, made up the duties of each day.
January 12, by order of Brigadier General Alboth, commanding, Colonel Martin assumed command of the post, and Lieutenant Colonel J. F. Black of the Regiment.
March 12, by order of General Alboth, the Regiment, under command of Colonel Black, embarked for Fort Heiman, Ky., and arrived at the fort on the evening of the 13th, and went into camp as a garrison for the same. The Regiment remained at For Heiman until May 28, when orders were received to report to Colonel Martin, who was then commanding the post of Paducah, Ky. The Regiment moved to Paducah. While stationed at Fort Heiman the Regiment made frequent raids into the country, capturing a large amount of rebel property and a number of prisoners.
The Regiment remained at the post of Paducah, doing garrison duty, until the 31st day of October, when, by order of General Sherman, Colonel Martin was relieved from duty as commander of the post, and ordered to report to him, with his Regiment, at Florence, Ala. November 2, embarked on boats, moved up the Tennessee River and landed at East Port, Miss.; on the morning of the 5th, disembarked and took up the line of march for Florence. While on this march received orders, from General Dodge, command left wing Sixteenth Army Corps, to go into camp at Gravel Springs, fifteen miles out, and await the arrival of his command, with information that General Sherman had broken camp at Florence, and was marching three days in advance. On this day's march we lost in a skirmish with the enemy two wounded and five missing.
November 7, by order of General Dodge, the Regiment was temporarily assigned to the Second Brigade, Second Division, Sixteenth Army Corps, with orders to report to Colonel Mercy, commanding brigade, and move with the same. Took up line of march, arriving at Pulaski, Tenn., on the 12th, and went into winter quarters with the command February 25, 1864. The Regiment received orders to march to Decatur Junction, Ala., go into camp and await orders. Went into camp on the evening of the 27th. Found the enemy occupying the town on the opposite side of the river. March 7 marched to a point on the river some six miles above Decatur, and under cover of night floated down the river in pontoon boats, and captured the town.
March 16th received orders to report to Major General John A. Logan, commanding Fifteenth Corps, at Huntsville, Ala. Reported to Gen. Logan on the 18th, and went into camp at Huntsville. On the 19th received orders assigning the Regiment to First Brigade, Second Division, Fifteenth Army Corps, with orders to report to Brigadier General Smith, commanding Second Division, at Larkinsville, Ala., for duty. Reported to General Smith, and went into camp at Larkinsville on the 20th, where we remained, doing garrison duty, until May 1, 1864, when our Division broke camp and started on the Atlanta campaign. Our command moved via Bridgeport, crossing the Tennessee River at this point, crossed Lookout Mountain, and made a halt at Rossville on the 6th, with orders to turn over our tents and all extra baggage to the Quartermaster assigned to receive them and receipt for the same. We resumed the march with pack mules, tent flies and dog tents-but we had learned the inexorable laws that govern military life-obey orders- and there is not a murmur at the loss of anything looking to the comforts of camp life.
We crossed Taylor's Ridge, passed Gordon's Springs, and enter Snake Creek Gap, skirmishing with the enemy as we advance. May the 9th we pass through the Gap, and go into camp at the cross roads near the railroad, and in the rear of the rebel army.
May 10th, the Regiment was in line of battle all day, with heavy skirmishing in our front, in which a part of the Regiment took part. During the night we broke camp and moved back into the Gap.
May 12th the Army of the Tennessee moved out of Snake Creek Gap, and formed line of battle at cross roads.
May 13th and 15th the Army Corps was formed in line of battle, and advanced to gain possession of a ridge overlooking the town of Resaca. After gaining the ridge the Regiment was ordered to advance and secure possession of a small stream at the foot of the same. In this little battle the Regiment lost seven killed and eight wounded. This being our first fight of any magnitude, the Regiment was complimented by Brigade and Division Commanders for their good behavior under fire.
May 14th heavy fighting was heard to our left, and a portion of the rebel troops in our front were discovered moving in that direction. To check this move the Regiment received orders to charge the enemy's line, and drive them from a small stream in our immediate front. We drove them from the stream and got possession of a hill beyond, and held the same until reinforced. The Corps was advancing during the night to cover our position. Our loss in this fight was seven killed and twenty-eight wounded. Lieutenant Stover, of Company G, was among the killed. The Regiment was complimented by General Logan, Corps Commander.
May 16th crossed the Ostanola River in pursuit of Johnson's retreating army; 17th resumed the march, moving via Adairsville and Rome; went into camp near Kingston, where we remained until the morning of the 23d, when we again broke camp and moved on the Dallas road.
May 25th we struck the enemy near Dallas, and skirmished all day, with our Regiment in advance. The enemy fell back, and we marched into the town. Here our Brigade came near being surrounded and probably captured. The enemy, after leaving the town, fell back without further resistance, the Brigade following, moving by the flanks, and when about two miles from town, we ran into the main line of the rebel army, and were attacked on the right, left and front. Line of battle was formed under heavy fire, and our position held until reinforcements came to our relief. We felt our position to be a precarious one.
Our part of the army seemed to be in confusion. Sherman says in his Memoirs: The convergence of our columns towards Dallas, produced much confusion. I am sure similar confusion existed in the army opposed to us, for we were all mixed up". We thought we were badly mixed.
May 27th skirmished all day, feeling the enemy, and completing our work. May 28th an attempt was made to withdraw from our position, when our Corps were charged by the enemy, the heaviest forces striking our Division. They seemed determined to break our line, and advance with fixed bayonets to our very works, but we repulsed and drove them back with heavy loss. The Regiment lost in this engagement five killed and fifteen wounded. Among the latter was Lieutenant Colonel J. F. Black. We felt heavily the temporary loss of this brave officer and true soldier.
June 1st, we were withdrawn from our position at daybreak, moved to the left and went into camp at New Hope Church. June 5th, we again break camp and move to the left and pitch our tents at Ackworth on the railroad. June 10th, we moved to the front and went into camp at Big Shanty. 13th we were ordered to the left in support of the Fourth Division, who assaulted the enemy's works and captured a large number of prisoners. June 15th, we were in line of battle all day with heavy fighting in our front. 16th we were ordered to the support of Osterhaus with information that the enemy were massing in his front. 19th we advanced and took a position at the base of Kenesaw Mountain. 24th the Regiment was ordered to advance their line up the side of the mountain. After a hotly contested little fight we forced the enemy back and took a new position with a loss of 2 killed and 2 wounded. 26th, the Regiment received orders to be ready to move at dark. Our Division being relieved by a Division of the Sixteenth Corps, we moved three miles to the right and went into camp and slept on our arms with orders to be in readiness by eight o'clock in the morning for an assault on Little Kenesaw Mountain. We formed line of battle at the hour named, moved forward, drove in the enemy's pickets and charged the works which were located well up the side of the mountain, we advanced to the abattis in front of the enemy's line and held this position for nearly an hour under heavy fire. We found the works impregnable and under orders fell back and took up a position on a ridge facing Kenesaw. Our loss was 1 killed and 16 wounded.
Captain J. V. Andrews, of company A, was killed, and Captain W. H. Walker, of company B, was severely wounded. A portion of Gen. Thomas' command was assaulted at the same time about a mile to our right with the same result. General Sherman in his Memoirs says, "This was the hardest fight of the campaign". July 3d, the Regiment was engaged in a heavy skirmish on the extreme right of the army. July 8th, moved three miles to the left and skirmished all day with the enemy. 12th, broke camp, Johnson's army having crossed the Chattahoochie River and moved via Marietta and Rossville to Decatur. We were then on the extreme left of the army. July 20th we broke camp and moved in the direction of Atlanta, destroying the railroads in our march. The Regiment had the advance and skirmished all day; we strike the enemy in force about two miles east of Atlanta, form line of battle and hastily construct earthworks. July 22d at early dawn the pickets reported that the enemy had abandoned their works and left our front; we moved forward at 8 o'clock and occupied the same, believing that Hood was evacuating Atlanta. The First and Second Brigade of our Division were each ordered to send a regiment along the railroad to the front and take positions close up to the fortifications with a view of being the first to enter the city, our Regiment was selected for this honor from the First Brigade with Major Mabry in command, Colonel Martin being in command of the Brigade. The Regiment advanced to within a half or three quarters of a mile of the enemy's works, selected a favorable position and threw up temporary earth works and was ready to give our flag the honor to be the first to wave over the doomed city. Our hopes, however, were not be realized. About noon heavy cannonading was heard on the extreme left of the army. We soon heard heavy musketry firing and began to realize that instead of Hood leaving Atlanta he had commenced a great battle; the sound of the conflict grows in volume as it sweeps down the line toward us. At about 4 o'clock Clabourn's Division sallied from the works, formed a line in our front. The Regiment having no orders to fall back prepared to meet the advance; here we think was as bold a stand and as gallant a fight as was severe made by a regiment of men. They were pitted against a Division of the rebel army. We held our position until we were flanked and surrounded when we abandoned our works, cut our way through and fell back on our line. The enemy still advancing charged our main line and drove our Division back in confusion.
The Division was rallied by General Logan in person, when we fought for and gained our lost position, driving the enemy back into Atlanta. Martin's Brigade, which was withdrawn from our line and sent to the support of General Dodge on the extreme left, weakened our line and made Clabourn's assault a partial success. The loss of the Regiment in this fight was 20 killed and 45 wounded, and 80 missing. Captain McGuire, Company E, Lieutenant Larimer, Company H, and Lieutenant Shull, Company B, were among the killed. Major Mabry was severely wounded. Sergeant David Kell, color bearer, received seven wounds from musket balls. On the following morning 110 of the enemy's dead were found in front of the position held by the Regiment. Logan's undaunted courage as a soldier and his great ability as an officer to handle and inspire an army in the midst of a great battle won the day and saved the Army of the Tennessee. The Regiment was engaged in the battle of the 28th, fought west of Atlanta, with a loss of 10 wounded and 1 missing. The 30th we had a heavy skirmish in front of our Division trying to advance our lines. August 3 we again skirmished all day. The 26th we returned from our position under cover of night and moved to the right.
August 31 we were engaged in the battle of Jonesboro. The enemy assaulted our works but were repulsed and driven back with great slaughter. Our loss was 1 killed and 7 wounded.
After the battle Hood evacuated Atlanta. Our command moved back toward Atlanta and went into camp at Eastport where we remained until October 4, when we received orders to march in pursuit of Hood who had gotten into our rear and was destroying our railroads; 20th we went into camp on Little River, Ala., six miles west of Galesville; 23d we skirmished with Wheeler's cavalry at Bulls Gap; 29th we broke camp and took up the line of march for Atlanta. November 3 we went into camp at Whitehall, two miles southwest of Atlanta; 15th we broke camp and started on the great march to the sea; we had no knowledge of our line of march. We bade Atlanta adieu with its memory of hard fought battles and desperate struggles and took up the line of march feeling confident in our ability to go where Sherman might lead. December 10 we went into camp two miles east of Savannah, with heavy cannonading in our front. The 13th broke camp with the information that we were marching on Ft. McAllister, located on the Ogeechee River, at the head of Orsbon Sound. At 2 P.M., our Division invested the fort, Colonel Martin in command of Brigade, and Major Mabry in command of the Regiment. About 4 P.M., the bugle sounded the charge and in less than 20 minutes the fort was ours. We claim for our regimental flag the honor of being the first inside the fort. The commanding officer of the fort surrendered to Colonel Martin, and Captain Castle of Company H, now has in his possession the garrison flag of the fort. Our loss was 5 killed and 15 wounded. Lieutenant Lewis J. Land, Company B, and Lieutenant G. W. Smith, Company D, were among the killed. Captain John Foster, Company D, severely wounded.
General Sherman took a boat from the opposite side of the river and communicated with the fleet below, and thus ended the March to the Sea. General Sherman, in his Memoirs, speaking of the assault on Ft. McAllister, says: "On the action of the Second Division to-day depends the safety of the whole army and the success of the campaign".
December 17 we broke camp and marched with Brigade to McIntosh Station on Grand Gulf Railway, with orders to destroy 9 miles of the road by burning the ties and twisting the rails. This order was obeyed to the letter. December 21 we were on the return march with orders to report to General Osterhaus, commanding the Fifteenth Corps, and be ready to take part in an assault on the fortifications at Savannah the following morning. We moved forward on quick time, crossed the river and reported as ordered. We received the good news during the night that Hardee had retired and that Savannah was in our possession. January 27 we embarked for Beaufort, S.C. 28th landed, took up the line of march and went into camp at Pocataligo on the 29th.
February 1 we broke camp and started on the Carolina campaign. The Regiment skirmished with the enemy at South Edisto River on the 9th, and North Edisto on the 12th, losing 1 killed and 1 wounded. February 17 after a heavy skirmish we went into camp at Columbia. We witnessed the great fire that destroyed the city. Broke camp on the 20th, and bidding adieu to the once beautiful but now desolate city, we resumed the march northward. March 6 we crossed the Pedee River at Cheraw, where we had a skirmish with the enemy. 10th we went into camp at Fayetteville, N.C. 15th we broke camp and took up the line of march. 10th we were engaged in the battle of Bentonville. 23d we pitched our tents near Goldsboro. April 10 we broke camp and took up the line of march for Raleigh. Went into camp at Raleigh on the 13th, and remained at that place until after the surrender of Johnson's army, when we again broke camp and took up the line of march for Washington City via Richmond, Va. We went into camp near Alexandria, Va., April 19. The Regiment participated in the grand review held May 24, and went into camp near the city. June 7 we were mustered out of the service. January 10 we broke camp and moved by rail to Springfield. Arrived at Camp Butler and went into camp June 15, and remained in camp until the 27th, when we were paid and received our final discharge from the service of the United States. Disbanded and returned to our homes.
The Regiment was engaged in 8 battles and 17 skirmishes. Number killed in battle, 46; wounded, 141; died in prison, 11; died in hospital, 93; discharged for disability, 71. Total loss 365.
The Regiment marched 1,836 miles, was transported by steamers 650 miles, by railroads 1,250 miles.
Battles - Resaca, Dallas, Kenesaw, Atlanta June 22d to 28, Jonesboro, Ft. McAllister, Bentonville.
Skirmishes - Gravel Springs, November 5, 1863; Decatur, Ala., March 7, 1864, Snake Creek, May 19, 1864; Cross Roads, May 10, 1864; Camp Creek, May 13, 1864; near Dallas, May 25, 1864; Big Shanty, June 13, 1864; Kenesaw, June 24, 1864; near Marietta, July 8, 1864; Decatur, Ga., July 20, 1864; near Atlanta, July 30, 1864; near Atlanta, August 3, 1864; South Edisto, S.C., February 9, 1865; North Edisto, S.C., February 12, 1865; Columbia, S.C., February 17, 1865; Cheraw, S.C., Mar. 6, 1865; Bull's Gap, August 23, 1864.