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36th Illinois Infantry
Regiment History

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Adjutant General's Report

The Thirty-Sixth Infantry was organized at Camp Hammond, near Aurora, Ill., by Colonel N. Greusel, and was mustered into the service by Colonel Brackett, U.S. Mustering Officer, September 23, 1861, for a term of three years, or during the war. The Regiment numbered 965 officers and enlisted men, and had two companies of Cavalry, ("A" and "B") 186 officers and men. On September 24, moved via Quincy, Ill., to St. Louis, Mo., where the companies of Infantry were armed. Companies "A" and "B" receiving Minnie and Enfield rifles, the other companies remodeled Springfield muskets caliber 69. On September 28, left St. Louis by rail for Rolla, Mo., leaving the Cavalry at Benton Barracks. Went into camp at Rolla September 29, remaining there until January 14, 1862, the time being taken up with severe drill and postguard duty, and an occasional scout.

Left Rolla January 14, 1862, for Springfield, Mo., the Thirty-fifth, Forty-fourth and Thirty-sixth Illinois Infantry, and Twenty-fifth Missouri Infantry composing the Brigade command by Colonel Osterhaus. Passed through Springfield on the 14th of February. Halted on the 22d and remained for a few days near Bentonville, Ark. Companies "B" and "K" participated in the fight at that place March 6; was engaged in the battles at Leetown March 7, and Pea Ridge March 8; went into camp at Keitsville, Mo., after the fight. Broke camp April 5 and started for Batesville, Ark., reaching that point May 3. Here the Regiment was transferred to the command of General Asboth, who started with his command from Batesville for Cape Girardeau, Mo., May 11, arriving on the 22d. On the 23d embarked on a boat for Hamburg Landing, Tenn., marched out to Corinth, Miss., on the 29th. On evacuation of Corinth, marched to Booneville, and from there to Rienzi, remaining there until September 6. Then ordered to Cincinnati; went into camp in Covington, Ky. From there ordered to Louisville, arriving September 19; was assigned to General Sheridan's Division. Started October 1 on the Kentucky campaign, marching via Bardstown and Springfield to Perryville, at which place it was engaged October 8. Moved thence in pursuit of Bragg via Danville and Lancaster to Crab Orchard, returning via Lancaster, Danville, Lebanon, Newmarket, Cave City and Bowling Green to Nashville, near which place it encamped November 8. Remained in camp at this place, "Seven Mile Creek" and "Mill Creek" until December 26, the Regiment broke camp and started on the Murfreesboro campaign. On December 31 took part in the battle of Stone River. After the battle and evacuation of Murfreesboro, went into camp on the bank of Stone River, on the Shelbyville Pike, where it remained until June 24, 1862. The Regiment then took part in the Tullahoma campaign, participating in the skirmishes incident to the driving of Bragg's army out of Middle Tennessee. Reached Cowan July 3, where it went into camp and assisted in bridging the Tennessee River, preparatory to crossing and entering upon the Chattanooga campaign. Crossed the river September 2, and bring in McCook's Corp, marched to Broomtown Valley, crossing Lookout Mountain through Winston's Gap. Here McCook was ordered to join Thomas, which he did by a forced march of 46 miles. The Regiment took part in the battle of Chickamauga September 20, and retired via Rossville with the army into Chattanooga. Sharing with the rest of the army in its privations during the siege. The Regiment took an active part in the battle of Missionary Ridge November 25, 1863, its colors being among the first planted on the Ridge. On the 28th started under Sheridan for Knoxville, Tenn., to relieve Burnside. Reached that point December 6. Moving out on the 12th, marched to different points east of Knoxville until it bivouacked in midwinter at Blain's Cross Roads on the 17th. Re-enlisting at this place January 1, 1864, the Regiment started January 6 for Chattanooga to arrange details of muster for new term of service, preparatory to veteran furlough. Returning, left Nashville, Tenn., March 26, for Chattanooga, marching nearly the entire route. May 3, started on the Atlanta campaign; was under fire almost daily, with quite severe fighting at Rocky Face Ridge, Resaca, Adairsville, New Hope Church, Kenesaw Mountain, Peach Tree Creek and Jonesboro, marching into Atlanta September 8. On September 25 was ordered back to Chattanooga, leaving that place on the 2d of October in pursuit of Hood; marched to Ringgold, Shell Mound, Whiteside, Gordon Mills, Summerville, Alpine, Huntsville, Decatur, Athens, Pulaski, Colombia, Spring Hill and Franklin, being rear guard and under fire almost continuously from Spring Hill to Franklin. It was there engaged in the hottest of that memorable battle, General Thomas personally thanking the Regiment for its bravery and gallantry in that fight. The First Brigade, to which it belonged, Colonel Opdyke commanding, charged the rebel lines, and at different periods in the action captured thirty-three (33) stands of colors, and on the night of November 30 was the last to cross the bridge over the Harpeth River, on retiring from the field for Nashville, which place it reached on the afternoon of December 1. The Regiment was placed in position on the Hillsboro and Granny White Pikes. Was engaged in the battle of Nashville December 15 and 16, and captured a battery and over 100 prisoners on the 15th. On the retreat of Bragg, the Regiment joined in pursuit December 17, passing through Brentwood to Franklin, thence to Columbia and Pulaski, reaching Lexington on December 28. Leaving there on the 31st, passed through Athens on the 5th of January 1865, reaching Huntsville on the 6th, where the Regiment built barracks and went into winter quarters. Leaving Huntsville March 28, proceeded by rail to Chattanooga. From thence through East Tennessee. Marching from Bulls Gap went into camp at Blue Springs April 4. While in camp at this place, the Regiment received, on the night of April 10, the news of Lee's surrender, and, in the same camp, April 15, news of the assassination of President Lincoln. Orders were then received to return to Nashville. The Regiment marching from Blue Springs to Bulls Gap, where it boarded a train and returned to Nashville via Knoxville and Chattanooga. Remained there until June 15, when it proceeded by rail to Johnsonville, on the Tennessee River, where it was placed on transports, under orders for New Orleans, La., reaching that point June 23. At the special request of General Sheridan, the Thirty-sixth was detailed for headquarters and other special duty, thereby receiving from other troops the sobriquet, "Sheridan's pet". The Regiment did special duty quelling disturbances, guarding paymasters and conveying rebel archives captured in the West to Washington, D.C., until October 8, on which date it was mustered out of service and proceeded to Springfield, Ill., received pay, and disbanded October 27, 1865.

In general engagements alone the Thirty-sixth (Infantry) Regiment lost in killed and wounded over 700 men. It was reinforced by 221 recruits and drafted men. It marched and was transported by rail and boat over 10,000 miles during its term of service, Changed commanding officers ten times, yet it maintained throughout its term of service the esprit de corps of its original organization.

The Regimental Commanders have been Colonel Nicholas Gruesel, Lieutenant Colonel Ed. Josly, Colonel Silas Miller, Lieutenant Colonel Albert Jenks, Lieutenant Colonel Porter C. Olson, Captain J. B. McNeil, Captain Wm. Mitchell, Co. "A"; Major L. P. Holden, of the Eighty-eighth Illinois Infantry, assigned by Colonel Opdyke, Brigade Commander. Major Holden was relieved by Captain Geo. W. Mossman, Co. F, on his promotion to Major, who was himself relieved by Lieutenant Colonel B. F. Campbell, assuming command and retaining the same until the Regiment was mustered out of the service.

The Brigade Commanders have been Colonels Osterhaus, Hausendifel, Knoblesdorf and Greusel, General Sill, Colonel F. T. Sherman, General W. H. Lylte, General Nathan Kimball and Colonel Opdyke.

Division Commanders, Generals Sigel, Asboth, Jeff. C. Davis, Gordon Granger, Sheridan, Newton, Wagner and Elliott.

Corps Commanders, Generals Curtis, Pope, Gilbert, McCook, Granger, Howard, Stanley, Thos. J. Wood.

Department Commanders, Generals Fremont, Hunter, Halleck, Wright, Nelson, Buell, Rosecrans, Thomas and Sheridan.

Companies "A" and "B" Cavalry. After receiving arms at Benton Barracks they joined the Regiment at Rolla, Mo.; made occasional scouts until late in December, when they started upon an expedition under General Carr in the direction on Springfield, Mo. Early in February joined the army of General Curtis, made several expeditions with General Asboth; moved to Osage Springs, thence into the Indian Territory with General Siegel. Returning was with him in fight at Bentonville, March 6, Leetown, March 7, and Pea Ridge, March 8. Thence moved to Batesville, and about May 1, started with General Jeff. C. Davis to Cape Girardeau, Mo. Thence by boat moved to Hamburg Landing, Tenn., thence to Corinth, Miss., Company A being assigned to General Schuyler Hamilton, and Company B to General Gordon Granger as escorts; subsequently Company B to General Rosecrans and then to General Mitchell, moving into Alabama. The companies never again serving in the same departments they will be given separate reports.

Co. A was soon transferred to General Rosecrans' headquarters and remained with him through the battles of Iuka and Corinth, then to General C. S. Hamilton and with him to Memphis; thence as escort to General Lauman to Vicksburg, May 17. The company was in action near Greenville, and was on expedition to Haines' Bluff. Joined Grant's army on Big Black River, thence moved with Sherman's army to Jackson. July 25, embarked for New Orleans; was in action at Morganzia Bend in General Heron's Division. Went to the Techs country, was in action with General Dick Taylor and General Kirby Smith. On General Banks' expedition to Red River with General Lee; returned to New Orleans and was consolidated as Company I, 15th Illinois Cavalry. Sent to regiment at Helena, Ark., January 25, 1865. Moved to Brownsville. Again consolidated as Company M, 10th Illinois Cavalry, and returned to New Orleans. In June, embarked for Shreveport. July, started on march to San Antonia, Texas. Remained until November 22, and moved via Galveston, New Orleans and Cairo to Springfield, Ill., and received final muster and discharge January 6, 1866. Company commanders have been Captain Albert Jenks, Lieutenant Samuel B. Sherer, Lieutenant Azariah C. Ferre, Captain George A. Willis, and Captain Daniel Dynan.

Company B Cavalry, upon joining General Buell's Army was transferred from General Mitchell to General Carlin and marched through Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee and Kentucky to Louisville, returning through Kentucky with General Carlin. Was in the battle of Perryville (first to enter the town) and in action at Lancaster and near Crab Orchard. Countermarched to Cave City, thence to Bowling Green, thence to Edgefield via Tyree Springs where had an engagement with General John Morgan, and also the following day at Shackle Island. Was in a cavalry action at Hepworth Shoals (special mention by General Rosecrans). Then assigned as escort to General Jeff. C. Davis. Camped near Nashville December 26, led the advance of McCook's corps to Nolensville (complimented by McCook and Davis personally, and official reports). Crossed Ovarall's Creek and was in Cavalry fight with Colonel Stokes. Was in battle of Stone River; with Davis's expedition to Eaglesville, Versailles and Franklin. Had cavalry action at Versailles, Rover, Franklin and Walnut Church. In June 1863, transferred as escort to General T. L. Crittenden, and marched with him to Stevenson, Ala. then to Chattanooga, Tenn., and on to Ringgold, Ga., back to Crawfish Springs. Had cavalry engagement at Rossville and Rinngold. Was in the battle of Chickamauga, then marched back to Chattanooga. Generals McCook and Crittenden subsequently being relieved the company escorted them to Stevenson. Returned to Chattanooga, assigned to General Thomas' headquarters. Took seven hundred starving horses and mules to Stevenson, returned to Chattanooga. Assigned to General Hooker as escort, marched to Stevenson, thence via Whiteside to Wauhtehie and camped in Lookout Valley. By order of War Department transferred as Company K, 15th Illinois Cavalry. In battles of Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge and Ringgold; returning to Lookout Valley, camped until the spring of 1864. Was escort to General Hooker in Atlanta campaign; charged across and saved a burning bridge over Pumpkinville Creek (special mention). General Hooker being relieved by General Howard, the company went through with him to the sea as escort and scouts. Was in actions at Rome, Adairsville, Resaca, Snake Creek Gap, Taylor's Ridge, Lafayette, Greysville, Lynch's Creek, Mt. Elon and Fayetteville. Captain Wm. Duncan was twice taken prisoner but escaped. With five men he received the surrender of Milledgeville with General Howard thirty miles away. With two men he floated down the Ogeechee River in a dugout past Ft. McAllister out into the bay and thus opened communications between Sherman and Dahlgren. Mustered out September 23, 1865. Company Commanders have been: Captain Henry A. Smith, Lieutenant Francis E. Reynolds, Captain Samuel B. Sherer, Lieutenant John A. McQueen and Captain William Duncan.

Transcribed by Susan Tortorelli

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