The One Hundred and Forty-seventh Illinois Infantry Volunteers was organized at Camp Fry, Chicago, Ill., by Col. H. F. Sickles, and mustered into the United States service for one year, February 18th and 19th, 1865, and was the first of ten regiments recruited under the call of December 19, 1864.
The Regiment was recruited as follows: Company A, from Winnebago county; company B, from Whiteside county; company C, from Kendall and LaSalle counties; company D, from Cook county; company E, from Stephenson county; company F, from DeKalb county; company G, from Whiteside, Lee and Ogle counties; company H, from LaSalle county; company I, from Lake county, and company K, from Kankakee county.
On the 21st of February, 1865, the Regiment moved via Louisville, Ky., to Nashville, Tenn., arriving on the 25th. On the 27th, moved to Chattanooga, Tenn., and thence to Dalton, Ga., arriving on the 28th. At this time the troops at Dalton consisted of the One Hundred and Forty-seventh Illinois, One Hundred and Forty-fifth Indiana, a Georgia battalion of 100 men, and four pieces of artillery. Colonel Sickles assumed command of the post.
On March 8th, companies C, F and B, under command of Captain Clendenin and two companies of the One Hundred and Forty-fifth Indiana, all under command of Major Williams, of the One Hundred and Firty-fifth Indiana, were ordered to Spring Place, Ga., about 16 miles east, to break up a guerrilla camp. On account of the limited means of crossing a stream 8 miles distant, could not reach destination at time designated in orders, and the expedition was abandoned.
On March 12th, the One Hundred and Eighty-seventh Ohio Volunteer Infantry arrived, and on the 13th, the One Hundred and Fifty-first Illinois.
On March 14th, Major Bush, with about 125 men, went on an expedition to Mill Creek, on the Cleveland road, and broke up a nest of guerrillas, having several skirmishes with them--one man of the One Hundred and Forty-fifth Indiana being wounded.
On March 16th, Brigadier General H. M. Judah arrived, and assumed command on the 17th; and the One Hundred and Fifty-seventh Illinois, One Hundred and Fifty-first Illinois, One Hundred and Forty-fifth Indiana, One Hundred and Eighty-seventh Ohio, First Georgia Infantry, and First Ohio Artillery, were organized as the First Brigade, Second Separate Division, Army of the Cumberland.
On March 20th, Major Bush, with seven companies of the Regiment, went to Spring Place, Ga., to break up guerrilla bands, and protect Union men and their families. While en route skirmishing took place between our scouts and guerrillas, one on each side being wounded. Arrived at Spring Place and went into bivouac about 10 P. M.
On 21st, marched at 5 A. M. to house of Judge Turner, a Union man, about 4 miles beyond Spring Place, where about seven teams were loaded with household goods to take to Dalton. After going about one mile on return trip, our advance scouts were fired upon by guerrillas and driven back, but were checked by our command. Company B was ordered in advance, and Lieutenant W. H. H. Jones, with 15 men, deployed as skirmishers on right of road. When within about one-fourth of a mile of Spring Place, were again attacked, and the balance of Company B, under Captain Clendenin, deployed on left of road, and the enemy were driven through the town. The return march to Dalton was then taken up, and after two miles march the rear guard, under Captain Clendenin, was attacked, and two men, John D. Johnston and Martin V. Durstine, of Company B, were wounded in left leg; the former so severely that his leg was amputated April 5, and death took place within a few hours thereafter. Durstine was discharged on account of his wound July 2, 1865. The fire was returned by the whole command, and several casualties inflicted on the guerrillas, who were seen no more. Arrived in Dalton on 22d.
On March 28, Colonel Sickles went to Chattanooga to serve as President of a court martial, and the Regiment went to Ringgold, to resist a reported attack of 300 rebels; the only troops there being Company K, under command of Captian Chiniquy. It proving a false alarm, returned on the 29th. In passing a large wood pile, the door of a car was knocked off, and injured 10 of our men. Captain Chiniquy remained at Ringgold. Catain Borland, with Company D, was guarding a block house on the line of the railroad.
On the 30th, the Sixth Regiment of Tennessee Cavalry, only part being mounted, arrived.
On April 1st, the Regiment (except Companies A, D and K,) and two companies of Cavalry, went on a scouting expedition under command of Lieutenant Colonel Bjerg. As we entered Spring Place in the evening a few harmless shots were fired by guerrillas. On the morning of the 22d, the pickets were attacked, doing no damage, except wounding a horse of one of the cavalry, which had to be killed. Moved in a southerly direction, and after a two mile march were again attacked by the enemy, had one company deployed as skirmishers and had pretty sharp firing for a little while resulting in the retreat of our foes; marched about 16 miles and camped on the Cossawattee River. During the night shots were exchanged by our pickets with those of the enemy on the opposite side of the river. On the 3d, Major Bush, with three companies of the Regiment and one of Cavalry, moved up the river to find a crossing place and Colonel Bjerg with balance of command moved south for the same purpose. Colonel Bjerg's command found a crossing place at Pullen's Ferry, and boat hid on opposite side; two men swam across and secured it, were fired on but crossed and found a quantity of forage and provisions, indicating the place as headquarters for guerrillas. Leaving Captain Clendenin with companies B and H, and twenty Cavalry to hold place and guard the ferry, Colonel Bjerg with balance of command proceeded to find Major Bush; on return with him was attacked by guerrillas. Captain Clendenin's command was attacked twice, but repulsed. When our forces were united the enemy made a vigorous attack, but were repulsed, their commander, Major Edmesten, and several other officers and men being killed. Our loss was two wounded. We then crossed the river and after a five mile march camped for the night. On our march to camp on the 4th, were saluted with a few harmless shots from the guerrillas.
April 17, Brigade reviewed by General Jos. B. Steadman and staff.
On May 1, Captain Clendenin with company B, was ordered to report to Major Williams, of the One Hundred and Forty-fifth Indiana, who with company F, of One Hundred and Forty-fifth Indiana, was to repair roads and bridges to Resaca 16 miles south, and arrived at latter place on the 2d. The One Hundred and Forty-seventh Illinois arrived at Resaca in the afternoon of 2d and went into camp. On May 4, companies D and K rejoined Regiment from detached service.
May 9, command marched to Calhoun, Georgia, 6 miles, consisting of "the Merrill Horse," the One Hundred and Forty-seventh Illinois, One Hundred and Forty-fifth Indiana Eighteenth Ohio Battery, One Hundred and Fifty-first Illinois, One Hundred and Eighty-seventh Ohio, Sixth Tennessee Cavalry, One Hundred and Forty-seventh Regiment returned to Resaca in a few days.
On May 12, General Wofford commanding the rebel forces in northern Georgia, surrendered his command to General H. M. Judah, at Kingston, Georgia, the preliminaries having been arranged on May 3d. A detail of officers from each Regiment were present to assist Captain Clendenin and Quartermaster Sears of the One Hundred and Forty-seventh. There were about 4,000 rebels at surrender, but all belonging to rebel regiments, if absent, were included, being over 10,000. Colonel Merrill was appointed paroling officer and the representatives of the different regiments as assistants. Three days were consumed in parolling them.
May 14, Colonel Sickles assumed command of Brigade.
May 24, Lieutenant Fay, of company B, and 20 men, went to Pullen's Ferry to ascertain the facts in regard to negroes being still held to slavery.
May 25, Company D, under Captain Borland, went to Calhoun to be stationed there.
June 1, Captain Bardwell of company G, detailed as Provost Marshall for Brigade.
June 26, moved to Calhoun, Georgia.
July 2, marched to Dalton, Georgia.
July 3, returned to Calhoun.
July 27, moved by rail to Marietta, Georgia, and from there to Macon and Albany, Georgia, arriving on the 31st, where we relieved the Fourth Kentucky Cavalry. Company D was left at Smithville, and Company G at Americus Georgia.
August 5, companies A, E and K, moved to Americus. Company D also moved to Americus and from Smithville Brigade Headquarters at Americus in Howell Cobb's old House.
Colonel Bush assumed command of Post at Albany August 7, and Major Clendenin command of Regiment. Company K was stationed at Andersonville for a while.
October 16, Brigade organization dissolved.
October 19, Colonel Sickles left for Savannah, Georgia, having been detailed in Freedman's Bureau there.
November 4, moved by rail to Macon, Georgia, and thence to Hawkinsville, Georgia, arriving on the 6th.
November 25, Colonel Bush and 8 companies ordered to Savannah, Georgia, via Macon and Augusta, and left on the 26th. Major Clendenin and companies F and I to remain at Hawkinsville.
November 28, Major Clendenin's detachment left (in pursuance of orders of 27th) for Savannah, marching to Macon and proceeding thence by rail arriving on the 5th; the Regiment arrived on the 3d of December.
December 6, Lieutenant Chas. Bent and 20 men of company B were sent to Fort Pulaski as a Garrison. Lieutenant Bent being responsible for the Government property amounting to several millions of dollars, and which he satisfactorily turned over to his successor when relieved.
December 11, a Military Commission convened, of which Lieutenant Colonel G. H. Bush, Major F. Clendenin and Captains Borland and Fay, of the One Hundred and Forty-seventh were members. The cases tried before them were Aaron A Bradley, colored, for using insurrectionary language inciting lawlessness among the colored people. Brigadier General H. W. Mercer of rebel army for hanging 7 U. S. soldiers who were prisoners of war. G. B. Lamork Sr., for stealing cotton from the Government and attempting to bribe United States officers.
January 3, 1866, order for muster out read at dress parade, being Special Order No. 171, dated December 26, 1865, Nashville, Tennessee, by order of General Thomas, in accordance with instructions from Lieutenant General Grant.
January 11, Captain Henry S. Wood arrived and on the 22d the muster out was made, the rolls being dated the 20th. January 23d the Regiment started for Springfield, Ill., via Augusta and Nashville, arriving on the 31st. The officers serving Military Commission were detained in accordance with orders from War Department until their finding were approved. They were mustered out at Savannah on the 24th, and left via steamer the 27th for New York and arrived in Springfield, February 4th. On February 8th the Regiment received final payment and discharge.