The troops composing this Regiment enlisted under the call of the President of July 2, 1862, and the companies were formed during August, 1862, and from the following places and counties: Company A, Captain Thomas J. Campbell, Fountain Green; Company B, Captain R. W. McClaughry, Carthage; Company C, Captain A. W. Marsh, Hamilton; Company E, Captain J.S. Allen, Warsaw; and Company H, Captain F. G. Mourning, Basco, all in Hancock county,--Company D, Captain J. H. Holton, Quincy; Company F, Captain W. J. Evans, Richfield, and Company K, Captain J. D. Rosenbook, Mendon, Adams county; Company G, Captain Joseph Shaw, Terre Haute, Henderson county, and Company I, Captain Charles During, Gallatin county.
The companies rendevoused at Camp Butler during the month of September, 1862, were respectively sworn into the service by Adjutant General Fuller, and organized into a Regiment. In Octoer an election was held for Regimental officers, at which Major John G. Fonda, of the Twelfth Illinois Cavalry, then commanding Camp Butler, was selected Lieutenant Colonel, Captain R. W. McClaughry, Major, Madison Reece, Surgeon, J. K. Boude, Assistant Surgeon, W. K. Davison, Quartermaster, and Thomas M. Walker, Chaplain.
The Regiment remained on duty in charge of the post and guarding rebel prisoners until December. It was mustered into the United States service on the 7th of November, 1862, by Captain Washington, for three years,--with a total of 820 men and officers. November 21, it was armed with Enfield Rifles. November 29, Lieutenant Colonel Fonda was promoted to Colonel, and Captain Thomas Logan, of Company G, Twelfth Illinois Cavalry, was made Lieutenant Colonel. December 1, left by Chicago and Alton Railroad, for Alton, and there by boat to St. Louis and below, arrived at Memphis, Tenn., and went into camp on Wolf River. Here the Regiment was assigned to the First Brigade (Colonel Sheldon, Forty-second Ohio commanding) Third Division, General G. W. Morgan--and Thirteenth Army Corps, Army of the Tennessee. While here received its first tents, first watery beds, first "powder and ball" cartridges, its first scare, first "turn out for firing on the pickets," and first introduction to rebel jay hawkers, in a day and night skirmish.
On December 20, embarked on the steamer "Northener" with forces under General Sherman, for Vicksburg, Miss. Reached Milliken's Bend December 25, and the following day proceeded up the Yazoo River, and participated in the attack upon Chickasaw Bluffs, from 26th of December to January 2, 1863. On January 2, after the troops had re-embarked, the Regiment while on boat was under a heavy fire from a rebel line.
From here proceeded with the force under General McClernand to Arkansas Post, Ark., and took part in the two days fight January 10 and 11, which resulted in the capture of the fort and some 6,000 prisoners.
January 23, returned to Young's Point, La., where it assisted in digging in the famous "canal," and remained til March 9, when it moved to Milliken's Bend and went into camp.
The Regiment was now Brigaded with the Forty-ninth and Sixty-ninth Indiana, One Hundred and Twentieth Ohio, Seventh Kentucky, First Wisconsin and Seventh Michigan Batteries and part of the Third Illinois Cavalry, as the First Brigade, General T.T. Garrard commanding, Ninth Division, General P. J. Osterhaus, and Thirteenth Army Corps, General John A. McClernand. On April 2, moved out in the expedition against Vicksburg under General Grant, crossed the Mississippi River at Bruinsburg April 30, 1863, and took part in the battle of Thompson's Hill (Port Gibson,) May 1, Champion Hill, May 16, Black River Bridge, May 17, and the assault upon Vicksburg May 19to 23--in the former two and the latter two suffering severely in killed and wounded--in the battle of Black River Bridge, a whole rebel regiment was captured by, and surrendered to Company D, commanded by Captain Brown.
May 24, moved with General Osterhaus' Division to Black River Bridge, and there remained until the surrender of Vicksburg, holding the rear against rebel General Joseph Johnston's forces, having frequent skirmishes with them. About June 10, a Battalion of the Regiment was mounted by order of General Grant.
July 6, started with force under General Sherman to Jackson, Miss., and took part in the fighting and siege from the 10th to the 17th, and from the 17th to the 20th. The mounted portion of the Regiment went on a raid to Brookhaven, a distance of 60 miles, and back, having frequent skirmishes, tore up the railroad and burned the rolling stock and depot buildings.
July 22, started for Vicksburg, where it arrived July 25, and went into camp on the flats below the city.
While here the Regiment was dismounted and its horses turned over to the Quartermaster's Department, and the Regimeny with the Thirteenth Army Corps was turned over to the Department of the Gulf.
August 8, left by boat for Port Hudson, where it went into camp the next day. Remained there until August 15. Shipped for Carrollton, La., and encamped there on the 16th. September 4, joined in a grand review of 20,000 troops, by General Grant and Banks. September 5, crossed the river to Algiers, on the 6th, took cars for Bayou Boeuf, where arrived the morning of the 7th.
September 16, marched to Brashear City on Berwick Bay. September 26, crossed Berwick Bay to Berwick City. October 3, started with an expedition under General Franklin up the Teche Bayou, at Camp Bisland, that night received orders to report to General A.L. Lee, chief of cavalry, Department of Gulf, at Algiers, La. October 6 took the boat to Brashear, and cars to Algiers, arriving there on the morning of October 7.
The Regiment having been again mounted, on October 11, returned by cars to Brasheaar, crossed the bay and started on the march. October 12, marched to Franklin, La. 13th, New Iberia. October 14, rejoined the main force and our Army Corps (Thirteenth.) October 15, passed Vermillionville, having a heavy skirmish, and at night reached "Carrion Crow Bayou." October 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20, scouting and skirmishing. October 18, Colonel Fonda assigned to the command of the Brigade composed of the One Hundred and Eighteenth Illinois Mounted Infantry, Second Illinois, Fourteenth New York and First Louisiana Cavalry. October 21, marched to Opelousa, skirmishing all the way. October 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 28 and 30, scouting and skirmished with the rebels. November 1, moved back to Bayou Bourbent, or Carrion Crow Bayou, or Grand Goteau, as it is known. November 2, heavy skirmishing . November 3, in the battle of Carrion Crow Bayou, or as sometimes called Grand Goteau, in which our forces lost two regiments and a battery, and about 108 to 150 men killed and wounded.
On the 5th, reached Vermillion Bayou. On the 7th, re-brigaded with Second and Third Illinois Cavalry under command of Colonel Fonda. November 11, battle near Vermillionville, in which lost severely. November 15, moved to New Iberia. November 22 and 23, on a scout to Vermillion Bayou, heavy fight and captured 100 prisoners. December 2 and 3, scout to St. Martinsville, heavy skirmish and took some prisoners. Remained at New Iberia taking part in daily scouts and skirmishing until December 18, when received orders to march to Donaldsonville, La. On December 23, halted at General Bragg's plantation, at night camped on Senator Pugh's plantation--sorry the gentlemen were not at home--but entertained ourselves with the delicacies thereof, reached Donaldsonville on the Mississippi December 24. January 3 to 7, 1864, the Regiment was transferred to Port Hudson. For some time the Regiment was without tents or shelter, in the mud, rain and snow, and suffered intensely, remained here doing outpost duty and scouting and skirmishing almost daily, until July 3. January 12, on a scout, had a skirmish, and captured a number of prisoners. January 21, received the first tents had since last August. February 10, after a fight captured Jackson, La., with some prisoners and much property. February 16, had a skirmish. February 22, a raid to Bayou Sara and a skirmish. March 3, Lieutenant Colonel Logan, with a detachment, went to Baton Rouge, and on the way had a skirmish, and Colonel Fonda with a detachment of the One Hundred and Eighteenth and the Third Illinois Cavalry made a raid to Jackson, La., and had a severe fight. March 26, detachments of the Regiment had skirmishes; Company D, Captain Brown commanding, were entirely surrounded by rebels, but cut their way out taking some prisoners. March 28, 30, April 1 and 5, had scouts and skirmishes. Early in April Lieutenant Colonel Logan, with about 150 men from the One Hundred and Eighteenth and Third Illinois Cavalry, crossed the Mississippi River to superintend the construction of telegraphic lines to Red River, made a scout to Bayou Gross Tete, encountered a largely superior rebel force, and after a determined saber charge had a hand-to-hand fight, routed the rebels, killing and wounding a large number, captured a large quantity of ammunition, stores, etc., captured more prisoners than he had men in his command. April 7, Captain Shaw with 100 men of the One Hundred and Eighteenth and Third Illinois Cavalry and one gun of a New York battery were attacked by 600 rebels, surrounded, and three time cut off from camp. After a desperate fight they succeeded in cutting their way out and reached camp with a loss of only 15 men and the gun.
May 13, 1864, Major R. W. McClaughry appointed Paymaster, U.S.A.
May 15, had a several hours fight with a large force of rebel cavalry, in which they killed and wounded several, and recaptured some prisoners they had before taken. Kept up the telegraph to the mouth of Red River until the failure of the Banks expedition, and while so doing companies A, B and F were on May 3d, cut off by the rebels, and relieved by the gunboat General Bragg.
June 13 and 17, had skirmishes.
July 3, moved to Baton Rouge, and were re-brigaded with the Sixth Missouri, Fourteenth New York and Second Louisiana Cavalry, under command of Colonel Fonda.
August 24th to 27th, with the command of General A. L. Lee, went to Clinton, La., on which we were fighting parts of two days and all one night, having a battle at the Comite River; and on the 26th, repeatedly charged the rebel column, fighting for miles.
September 4, marched to Doyal's Plantation, and September 7, to Hermitage plantation, opposite Donaldsonville, to relieve the Eleventh New York Cavalry. From here scouted the surrounding country almost daily, and fought bushwackers and captured many.
September 14, October 2, 14 and 24, had skirmishes.
November 12th, 200 of the Regiment, under Captain Evans, reported to General Lee, at Baton Rouge, and on the 15th, left with his command on a raid to Liberty, Miss. Part of the Regiment went with a detachment to Summit, on the Jackson and N.O.R.R., having a severe skirmish, and burning depot and cotton. A party went with a detachment to Brookhaven, had a fight, re-captured cannon taken from Captain Shaw, on April 7, and took many prisoners, and the remainder were in battle with General Lee, at Liberty.
November 19, returned to Baton Rouge. November 21, having been gone some seven days, marched 200 miles, and with other forces captured one cannon and over two hundred prisoners, and fought five of the seven days.
November 24, moved from Hermitage to Baton Rouge. November 27, left on an expedition under General Davidson, which marched across the Amite River, past Greenville Springs, Greensburg,Tanglpahoe, across Tanglpahoe and Techfaw River, through Columbia and Bogue Chitto, Mississippi, over Pearl River, near Augusta, Alabama, across Red and Black Creeks, and reached West Pascagoula, on Mississippi Sound, December 12. During several days of this march, had skirnishes. Returned by vessel to New Orleanss, and by boat, to Baton Rouge, on December 27, 1864. From this time to May 22, doing out-post duty, and almost daily scouts into the surrounding country, with frequent skirmishes with the rebels.
February 25, Lieutenant Colonel Logan, with the Regiment, made an expedition west of the Mississippi River. March 1 to 10, in an expedition under General Bailey, to Olive Branch, Louisiana. May 22, 1865, by order, turned the horses over to the Post Quartermaster, and from that time until October 1, remained on provost duty at Baton Rouge.
Colonel Fonda commanded a Cavalry Brigade from October, 1863, until May, 1865. June 28, 1865, he was Breveted Brigadier General, and assigned to the command of the District of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, which command he held until October, 1865.
In September, 1865, almost the entire Regiment had the "breakbone fever," and at one time, less than a hundred men and officers being able to do duty.
October 1, 1865, mustered out by Lieutenant E. M. Schuyven, First New Orleans Volunteers.
October 2, embarked on steamer W. R. Carter, for the North. Reached Cairo, Illinois, October 8, St. Louis, Missouri, October 9, thence by railroad to Camp Butler, October 10, 1865, where the Regiment was mustered in November 7, 1862. Were paid off by Paymaster Major Holbrook, on October 13, 1865, and the Regiment thence disbanded and forever seperated.
The number of battles, or days of battles, in which the Regiment or a considerable portion was engaged amounts to over forty. The number of skirmishes in which the Regiment or a detachment took part, outside of mere picket skirnishing, is over sixty; making over one hundred days in which some portion of the Regiment was engaged with the enemy.
The movements by railroad of the Regiment, aggregate some four hundred miles; by steamboat and vessel 3,300 miles, and the marches of the Regiment, as a body, irrespective of what would be termed "scouts," or little expeditions of the Regiment or detachments thereof, about 2,000 miles, making a distance traveled by the Regiment of over 5,700 miles.
The Regiment was mustered in to the service with 800 men and officers; received 283 recruits, making a total of 1,103; mustered out October 1, 1865, 523. The losses are as follows: 267 resigned and discharged for disability; 176 died; 63 missing; 17 killed in battle; 1 dishonorably discharged; 2 accidentally killed; 1 lost at sea; 2 drowned; 1 committed suicide; 7 absent at muster; 3 discharged by the President; 1 dismissed the service, and 25 transferred to other branches of the service, leaving 14 unaccounted for. This statement does not include 36 mustered under cooks, and 25 unassigned recruits who never reached the Regiment.