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59th Illinois Infantry
Regiment History

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Adjutant General's Report

(Transcribers note: This regiment was originally the Ninth Missouri Volunteers and was changed to the Fifty-ninth Illinois Volunteer Infantry on February 12, 1862)

The Ninth Regiment Infantry Missouri Volunteers was organized at St. Louis. Mo., September 18.1861. by Colonel John C. Kelton, formerly Captain United States Army. The companies composing the Regiment had been raised in the State of Illinois. and mustered in at sundry times, in July, August and September. and Companies A, B and C, under Captain Clayton Hale, had been on duty at Cape Girardeau since August 6.

September 21, 1861, ordered to Jefferson City. 30th, moved to Booneville. and was brigaded with Thirty-seventh Illinois Infantry, Fifth Iowa Infantry, First Kansas Infantry, and Davidson's Illinois Battery. Colonel J. C. Kelton. Ninth Missouri, commanding brigade, Brigadier General John Pope commanding Division. October 13, marched. via Syracuse. to Otterville. arriving 17th. 21st, marched. via Warsaw and Humansville. to Springfield, arriving November 3. November 9, marched toward Syracuse, arriving 17th.

November 20, Colonel Worthington, Fifth Iowa Infantry, took command of Brigade. December 7, moved to Lamine bridge, Colonel Julius White taking command of the Brigade.

December 15, 1861 moved to Georgetown, Missouri. 23d, returned to Lamine bridge. January 1, P. Sidney Post was commissioned Major by Governor Gamble. January 25, moved via Syracuse. Tipton and Lebanon, arriving at Springfield. Mo., February 14, marched in pursuit of the enemy to Cassville, 19th, camped at Sugar Creek. 20th at Osage Springs.

February 12, 1862. by an order of the War Department, the Ninth Missouri Volunteers was changed to the Fifty-ninth Illinois Volunteer Infantry. February 22, moved to Cross Hollows. March 6, moved to Pea Ridge. On the 7th of March. the Division of Brigadier General Jeff. C. Davis. of which the Fifty-ninth formed a part. fought the enemy all (lay. Major P. Sidney Post was severely wounded. 8th moved to reinforce Carr and Asboth. who had been forced to fall back, and were soon engaged. Captain Hale commanded the Regiment during the fight. March 19. moved to Sugar Creek. 15th. Cross timbers. April 1. Colonel Kelton having resigned. Major Post was commissioned Colonel. April 6, marched to Cassville. Mo.. and to Forsythe. April 15. 15th. marched to Bull Creek. 20th. marched eastward. arriving lit West Plains. 28th. Captain Ellet. three Lieutenants and fifty men of the Fifty-ninth were ordered to report for duty to Colonel Charles Ellet's Ram Fleet. The Division arrived at Cape Girardeau. Mo., May 20, and embarked for Hamburg Landing. Tenn. 27th moved toward Farmington. Tenn. 28th, was placed in reserve on left of General Pope's Army. After evacuation of Corinth. pursued the retreating enemy as fur as Bonneville, and returned to Clear Creek. near Corinth. June 27, marched toward Holly Springs. Marched in Ripley, Miss.. and afterward returned to Jacinto. August 5 moved Bay Springs, Miss., and had a skirmish with the enemy's cavalry. Arrived at Iuka 8th. 18th, crossed the Tennessee, at East Port. and camped at Waterloo. Colonel Post took command of Brigade and Brigadier General Robert B. Mitchell of the Division. Arrived at Florence. Ala.. August 24. Thence Marched. via Lawrenceburg, Mt. Pleasant, Columbia. to Franklin, Tenn. Thence to Murfreesboro, arriving September 1,1862.

September 3, commenced the Northward march with General Buell's Army. arriving at Louisville, Ky.. September26.

October 1. the Seventy-forth and Seventh-fifth Illinois were brigaded with Twenty-second Indiana and Fifty-ninth Illinois. forming Thirtieth Brigade. Army of the Ohio. and was assigned to Ninth Division. Brigadier General Robert B. Mitchell, Third Army Corps. Major General Gilbert. Moved via Bardstown. in pursuit of Bragg. October 7. met the enemy at Chaplin Hills. near Perryville-Major Winter commanding Regiment. October 8. was heavily engaged, losing 113 killed and wounded. out of 361 men going into action.

10th. pursued the enemy. 14th, had a severe skirmish at Lancaster. Ky. 15th. arrived at Crab Orchard. Arrived at Nashville, November 7th. and camped at Edgefield. near which the Regiment remained during the year.

The Fifty-ninth Regiment Illinois Veteran Infantry was attached to the First Brigade. First Division. Twentieth Army Corps, and on the 25th of October, 1862, was in camp eight miles from Nashville. The Brigade - consisted of the Fifty-ninth. Seventy-fourth and Seventy-fifth Illinois Infantry and Twenty-second Indiana Infantry and Fifth Wisconsin Battery. and was Commanded by Colonel P. Sidney Post; the Division, by General Jeff. C. Davis, and the Corps, by General A.M. McCook. On the 25th of December, Colonel Post's Brigade, to which was added the Twenty-first Illinois Infantry, made a reconnoisance towards Franklin, and skirmished with the enemy all day. The Fifty-ninth pressed down the road from Brentwood towards Nolensville. On the 26th, the Army of the Cumberland was put into motion for the Stone River Campaign. Colonel Post's Brigade taking the advance towards Nolensville. The Fifty-ninth was deployed as skirmishers, and drove the enemy before them nine miles, until he was found, in force at Nolensville. The Regiment took part in the attack upon Nolensville, from which the enemy was driven in confusion; and, also, was in the combined assault of Colonel Post's and Colonel Carlin's Brigade upon Knob Gap. On the 27th, the enemy was driven to Triune, where the Regiment lay until the 29th, when it marched toward Murfreesboro. On the 30th, the enemy was found, in force, and entrenched. An unsuccessful attempt was made to drive him from his position, and the Regiment lay, during the night of the 20th, within a few hundred yards of the enemy's works. Early on the morning of the 31st, the enemy turned the right flank of the Twentieth Corps. The Fifty-ninth changed front to the rear, and supporting the Fifth Wisconsin Battery, for a long time help the enemy in check, and, when withdrawn, brought with it the funs of the battery, from which the horses had all been killed. It was then put in position on Murfreesboro pike, which it help until January 2d when Colonel Post's Brigade crossed Stone River, to the extreme left of the army, to drive back the enemy, who had succeded in turning the left flank. The regiment forded the river, swollen by recent rains, and assisted in driving back the enemy, and help their position in the extreme front until the morning of January 4th, when it re-crossed Stone River, and the enemy evacuated Murfreesboro.

June 23, the Tullahoma campaign was commenced. Colonel Post's Brigade moved to Liberty Gap, and engaged the enemy from the 24th to the 27th; thence pressed the enemy to Winchester.

August 17th, Colonel Post's Brigade left Winchester, and during the night of the 17th, and the day of the 18th, was engaged in hauling a train of 200 wagons up the Cumberland mountains. On the 20th, reached Crow Creek, near Stephenson. August 30, the Regiment left Stevenson, crossed the Tennessee River, ascended the Sand Mountain. September 2, marched to Lookout Valley, and, on the 4th reached Winstons. September 18, Colonel Post's Brigade marched 26 miles to Stevens' Gap; thence, to Crawfish Springs. Colonel Post's Brigade was this in the rear of the rebel army. Leaving Crawfish Springs, the Regiment arrived at Chattanooga, Tenn., on 22d September. Distance marched from Stevenson, 122 miles.

During the siege of Chattanooga, the Fifty-ninth was constantly under fire of the enemy's batteries. On the 21st of October, the Army of the Cumberland was re-organized, and the Fifty-ninth became a part of the Third Brigade, First Division, Fourth Army Corps.

October 25, the Regiment, with the Brigade, was ordered to Whitesides, Tenn., a distance of 65 miles.

November 23, Regiment started on the Lookout Mountain campaign. On the 25th, the Regiment led the Brigade in the assault on Mission Ridge, from which the enemy was driven in confusion. Pursued him 15 miles, to Ringgold, where it again attacked him and drove him from his position.

November 30, Regiment was sent to the battlefield of Chickamauga, where it was occupied the 1st day of December in burying the dead left upon the field in the battle of September 19 and 20.

December 22, Regiment returned to Whitesides.

January 12, 1864, the Regiment was mustered as a veteran organization, and, on the 27th of January marched to Chattanooga, and on the 6th of February, started for Springfield, Ill., which place it reached the 10th.

March 19, Regiment, re-organized, left Springfield, via Nashville and Chattanooga and arrived at Cleveland, Tenn., 197 miles from Nashville.

May 3, the Atlanta campaign was commenced. On the 7th, Regiment supported the attack upon Tunnell Hill, and, on the 8th, commenced the attack upon Rocky-Faced Ridge, where it was constantly engaged, until the 13th, when the enemy abandoned his position.

On the 14th and 15th, Regiment was warmly engaged at Resaca. On the 16th, again came up with the enemy, at Adairsville; thence, to the time of crossing the Chattahoochie the Regiment was engaged at Kingston, Dallas, Ackworth, Pine Top, Kenesaw Mountain, Smyrna Camp Meeting Grounds, besides innumerable skirmishes.

July 12, the Regiment crossed the Chattahoochie and presented itself before the fortifications around Atlanta; and from that time until the 25th of August, it assailed the works of the enemy, and was under fire night and day.

On the 18th of August, the Fifty-ninth was assigned to the Second Brigade, Third Division, Fourth Army Corps., and was commanded by Colonel P. Sidney Post. On the 25th the Regiment marched around Atlanta, with the army, in the direction of Jonesboro. On the 18th and 29th, the Regiment was engaged in skirmishing with the enemy at Red Oak. On the 31st, it reached the enemy's line of communications, and destroyed the railroad at Rough-and-Ready.

On the 2d of September, the Regiment was engaged in the battle of Lovejoy Station.

On the 6th, the Regiment started for Atlanta, and encamped on the 8th, between Atlanta and Decatur, where it remained until the 2d of October, when General Hood's Army, having passed around Atlanta, commenced destroying the railroad between Atlanta and Chattanooga.

October 3, Regiment crossed the Chattahoochie, and came in the presence of the enemy at Pine Top. The pursuit was continued through Kingston, Rome Resaca and across the mountains to Snake Creek Gap, and to Galesville, which place it reached on the 10th. On the 17th, the Regiment started for Chattanooga, and left Chattanooga, on the 10th, for Athens Tenn.

November 1, marched to Pulaski, and commenced erecting fortifications. November 23, Pulaski was evacuated, and, on the 24th, commenced skirmishing with the enemy at Columbia. November 27, crossed Duck River. November 29, Colonel Post's Brigade moved up Duck River, and attacked the Confederate Army in the flank, as it was marching toward Spring Hill. The fight continued on all day, and, at night the Regiment marched 20 miles, and reached Spring Hill on the morning of the 10th. Resting at Spring Hill but an hour, the Regiment marched to Franklin, and during the afternoon the battle of Franklin was fought. On the morning of December 1, Regiment arrived at Nashville, and commenced fortifying the place.

December 15, the battle of Nashville began. Colonel Post's Brigade assaulted Montgomery Hill, and in the language of General Thomas, "took the initiative in the brilliant deeds of that day." The Fifty-ninth was in the first line of the assaulting column, and planted the first colors on the captured works. In the afternoon, it assaulted and carried the enemy's works, near the Hillsboro pike. December 16, Colonel Post's Brigade made the memorable assault upon Overton's Hill. In this battle, the Regiment lost, in killed and wounded, one third of its numbers engaged, among whom were nine officers, including Colonel Post, who was severely wounded with a grape shot. On the 17th, the Regiment started in pursuit of the flying foe, which was continued to the Tennessee River, and, on the 3d of January, it camped at Huntsville, Alabama.

For gallant and distinguished services at the battles at Nashville, Colonel Post had been appointed Brigadier General of United States Volunteers, by brevet.

January 31, 1865, Regiment moved to Nashville, returning to Huntsville, February 7

March 15, moved to Strawberry Plaines, East Tenn.: thence to Greensville, Tenn.

April 6, Regiment went to Warm Springs, N.C., returning to Greensville on the 10th.

April 23, left Greensville for Nashville.

June 16, the Regiment left Nashville, for New Orleanes, La., and on the 9th of July arrived at Indianola, Texas; thence, it marched to San Antonio, Texas, and was stationed at New Braunfels, Texas, until the 8th of December , when it was mustered out of service, and ordered to Springfield, Ill., for final payment and discharge.

Transcribed by Susan Tortorelli

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