The One Hundred and Twenty-Fifth Illinois Infantry was organized at Danville, Illinois, during August, 1862. Most of the members of the regiment were recruited in the counties of Vermillion and Champaign. The unit was mustered into Federal service on September 3, 1862. A total of eight hundred and sixty-three officers and enlisted men were accepted into service as members of the regiment.
Like almost all Civil War units the One Hundred and Twenty-Fifth Illinois Infantry was often known by an alternate designation derived from the name of its commanding officer. Names of this type used by or for the regiment are shown below.
Oscar F. Harmon's Infantry
James W. Langley's Infantry
John B. Lee's Infantry
On September 25, 1862, the One Hundred and Twenty-Fifth Illinois Infantry was ordered to Covington, Kentucky. There it joined the Army of the Ohio. The unit served in that Army until November, 1862. It then joined the Army of the Cumberland, serving in that Army until January, 1865. The regiment ended its career attached to the Army of Georgia. The list below identifies the specific higher command assignments of the regiment.
|Thirty-Sixth Brigade, Eleventh Division, Army of the Ohio||Sept. 1862 - Oct. 1862|
|Thirty-Sixth Brigade, Eleventh Division, III Corps, Army of the Ohio||Oct. 1862 - Nov. 1862|
|Second Brigade, Fourth Division, XIV Corps, Centre, Army of the Cumberland||Nov. 1862 - Jan. 1863|
|Second Brigade, Fourth Division, XIV Corps, Army of the Cumberland||Jan. 1863 - June1863|
|Second Brigade, Second Division, Reserve Corps, Army of the Cumberland||June 1863 - Oct. 1863|
|Third Brigade, Second Division, XIV Corps, Army of the Cumberland||Oct. 1863 - Jan. 1865|
|Third Brigade, Second Division, XIV Corps, Army of Georgia||Jan. 1865 - June1865|
The regiment participated in more than forty-five various type engagements during its career. These are identified below. Numbers after the events locate them on the maps following this history.
|Pursuit of Bragg in Kentucky||Oct. 1 - 16, 1862|
|Battle, Perryville, Ky. (1)||Oct. 8, 1862|
|Movement to Nashville, Tenn. (2)||Oct. 16 - Nov. 7, 1862|
|Movement to Murfreesborough, Tenn. (3)||June 30, 1863|
|Movement to Chattanooga, Tenn. (4)||Aug.20, 1863|
|Battle, Chickamauga, Ga. (5)||Sept.19 - 21, 1863|
|Siege, Chattanooga, Tenn. (4)||Sept.24 - Nov. 23, 1863|
|Campaign, Chattanooga, Tenn. (4) and Ringgold, Ga. (6)||Nov.23 - 27, 1863|
|Engagement, Orchard Knob, Indian Hill, Tenn. (7)||Nov.23, 1863|
|Assault and Capture, Missionary Ridge, Tenn. (8)||Nov.24 - 25, 1863|
|Pursuit to Graysville, Ga. (9)||Nov.25 - 27, 1863|
|March to the relief of Knoxville, Tenn. (10)||Nov. 28 - Dec.17, 1863|
|Demonstration on Dalton, Ga. (11)||Feb.22 - 27, 1864|
|Engagement, Tunnell Hill (12), Buzzard's Roost Gap (13), Mill Creek (14), Ga.||Feb.23 - 25, 1864|
|Atlanta Campaign||May 1 Sept. 8, 1864|
|Demonstration on Rocky Faced Ridge, Ga. (15)||May 8 - 11, 1864|
|Combat, Buzzard's Roost Gap (13) (Mill Creek). (14), Ga.||May 8 - 9,1864|
|Battle, Resaca, Ga. (16)||May 14 - 15, 1864|
|Combats, Rome, Ga. (17)||May 17 - 18, 1864|
|Operations on the line of Pumpkin Vine Creek (15) and Battles about Dallas (19), New Hope Church (20), and Allatoona Him (21), Ga.||May 25 - June 5, 1864|
|Operations about Marietta (22) and against Kenesaw Mountain (23), Ga.||June 10 - July 2, 1864|
|Combats about Pine Hill, Ga. (24)||Jun. 11 - 14, 1864|
|Combats about Lost Mountain, Ga. (25)||June 15 - 17, 1864|
|Assault, Kenesaw Mountain, Ga. (23)||June 27, 1864|
|Combat, Ruff,s Station (26) (Neal-Dows, Station), Smyrna Camp Grounds (27), Ga.||July 4, 1864|
|Operations on the line of the Chattahoochee River, Ga.||July 5 - 17, 1864|
|Battle, Peach Tree Creek, Ga. (28)||July 19 - 20, 1864|
|Siege, Atlanta, Ga. (29)||July 3 - Aug.25, 1864|
|Combats, Utoy Creek, Ga. (30)||Aug. 5 - 7, 1864|
|Flank Movement on Jonesborough, Ga. (31)||Aug.25 - 30, 1864|
|Battle, Jonesborough, Ga. (31)||Aug. 31 - Sept. 1, 1864|
|Engagement, Lovejoy Station, Ga. (32)||Sept. 2 - 5, 1864|
|Operations against Hood in Northern Georgia and Northern Alabama||Sept.29 - Nov. 3, 1864|
|Campaign against Savannah, Ga. (33) (Sherman's March to Sea)||Nov.15 - Dec.10, 1864|
|Skirmish, Louisville, Ga. (34)||Nov.30, 1864|
|Skirmish, Cuyler,s Plantation, Ga.||Dec. 9, 1864|
|Siege, Savannah, Ga. (33)||Dec.10 - 21, 1864|
|Campaign of the Carolinas||Jan.30 - Apr. 26, 1865|
|Battle, Averysborough (Taylor's Hole Creek), N. C. (35)||March 16, 1865|
|Battle, Bentonville, N. C. (36)||March 19 - 21, 1865|
|Occupation, Goldsborough, N. C. (37)||March 24, 1865|
|Advance on Raleigh, N. C. (38)||April 10 - 14, 1865|
|Occupation, Raleigh, N. C. (38)||April 14, 1865|
|Surrender, Bennett's House, Durham Station, N. C. (39)||April 26, 1865|
Three days after the surrender of Johnston's forces in North Carolina the regiment was ordered to march to Washington. It arrived there on May 19, 1865. Five days later the unit took part in the Grand Review of Western Armies staged in Washington. The unit was finally mustered out of Federal service at Washington on June 9, 1865.
During its career the One Hundred and Twenty-Fifth Illinois Infantry sustained the loss of nine officers and eighty-eight enlisted men killed or mortally wounded. An additional three officers and one hundred and four enlisted men died from disease or other non-battlefield causes.
View the maps
[Note: This history and maps are from the private papers of the Slauson family. I believe it was compiled by Morda Slauson circa 1957 from an earlier hand-written history. Her sources were her husband, Howard Langley Slauson (Col. Langley's grandson) and James Langley Slauson (Col. Langley's great-grandson and my father) - Kenneth Langley Slauson]
BLUE AND GRAY
General Govan Honored at a Reunion in Seattle.
The following from the Seattle Post Intelligencer explains how a citizen of Snohomish County was especially honored in that city last week:
The reunion of the "Blue and the Gray," under the auspices of John F. Miller Post, G. A. R., at Ranke hall last Tuesday night, was one of the most notable events of the season. For the first time on the Pacific coast the Grand Army men invited their late opponents to meet with them in fraternity, and judging by the interest taken in the affair and the immense audience, composed of the best element of Seattle society, its effect will be as excellent as enduring. Some six weeks since Judge J. W. Langley, who commanded a brigade in Sherman,s army, met General Govan, now Indian agent at Tulalip, who commanded a brigade and afterwards a division in the Confederate service, whom over thirty years ago the fortune of war had made his prisoner. The incidents growing out of this suggested to the Miller post the idea of inviting Gen. Govan to be its guest at the next open meeting, and from this grew the project of a union of both sides. A committee was appointed by the post, consisting of Richard Bradley, chairman and Comrades Amos Brown, George Hooker, L. T. Dodge and W. W. Perrigo, with full power to make all necessary arrangements, and that they performed their duty well is evidenced by the success of the somewhat delicate undertaking. Of course, the interest centered somewhat around Generals Langley and Govan as the chief representatives of each side, but the entire program was most enjoyable.
Colonel Langley introduced General Govan to the audience. After relating the circumstances attending the capture of the distinguished Confederate officer before Atlanta, he closed as follows:
"Three days later the brigade escorted the prisoners, 1,647 in all, to Atlanta, a distance of 21 miles, a day of great anxiety with me, but from which I was in part relieved by the courteous and helpful action of General Govan in admonishing our captives to obedient and orderly conduct on the march.
"When I shook the hand of my chief prisoner at the barracks in Atlanta late that night I supposed my acquaintance with him was ended forever, only to be associated in memory with one of the episodes of the great war, yet in just 30 years from the day of the battle of Jonesboro, I broke the bread of friendship at the family table of my distinguished enemy here on the shores of Puget Sound and we were friends, rejoicing in a restored Union, owing allegiance to one government and giving honor to one flag. And now in the name of John F. Miller post and I believe with the approbation of every Union soldier who has a record of brave deeds, together with all good citizens within the sound of my voice, I present to you General D. C. Govan, once a daring soldier of the Confederacy, now an honored citizen of the republic."
General Govan thus replied:
"For the honor and pleasure of being present tonight to participate in the reunion of the blue and the gray, I feel that I am largely indebted to an honored citizen of Seattle, who was a gallant Federal officer then, and is now an ornament to the bench. I allude to the Honorable J. W. Langley. It was long years ago, when the country was convulsed with civil war; when the roar and thunder of artillery and crash of small arms was familiar to the soldier,s ear, that I saw him first in the storm and tempest of battle at Jonesboro, a gallant officer leading his men. I met him just thirty years afterwards, at the anniversary of that memorable occasion, and though time had left the impress of his finger upon his brow, I found him a courteous whole-souled gentleman. And I say with all the compliment that is implied to General Langley,s command that, whatever might have been the fortune of other portions of the army, the first and only time that the veteran line of General Cleburne was broken, was before the impetuous and irresistible onslaught of General Langley,s command. I endorse every word he has said and approve fully the fraternal spirit which pervades his speech. Why should it not be so? Why should not the fraternal spirit which pervades the rank and file of the men who bore the heat and burden of the day be shared by every man, woman and child in the land, for are we not citizens of one common country with one common hope and one common destiny? Does not the same flag float over all? All the great perplexing issues in the constitution which the patriotic statesmen, both north and south, labored in vain to reconcile, have been settled by a court of last resort, from which there is no appeal, and the decree sealed with the best blood of the north and south, and happily acquiesced in by all. Speaking for the old confederate, there is not one drop of bitterness in the heart for the living, only sorrow for the unreplying dead. The war has resulted in a profound respect for the courage and manhood, each for the other. For I have seen exhibitions of courage both by the blue and the gray that could not be surpassed by any other soldiers in the world. McDonald,s charge at Wagram, or the charge of the old guard at Waterloo, or the six hundred at Balaklava, were equaled, if not surpassed by the soldiers of our own armies. I need only call to the mind of the old soldier Shiloh, Gettysburg, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, Lookout Mountain, Kenesaw Mountain and hundreds of other battles too numerous to mention. The time is not far distant, if not already here, when the heroism and valor of American soldiers will be looked upon proudly as the common heritage of the whole country. Apart from the pleasure of meeting you here tonight, such reunions as we are participating in are productive of incalculable good, for you are a representative body of 2,500,000 Federal soldiers, and you address yourself in words of friendly greeting to the representatives of 700,000 Confederate soldiers scattered all over the south, many of them occupying positions of high trust and responsibility. Of the dead soldier, whether he wore the blue or the gray, whether officer of high rank whose last resting place is marked by beautiful monumental shaft recording his deeds and achievements, or the unostentatious private over whose unmarked grave the flowers of thirty springs have blossomed and the snows of thirty winters have fallen, we can all unite in saying:
"Their swords are rust, the bodies are dust,
And their souls are with God, we trust."
The above clipping originally appeared in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer in November 1894, and was saved by the Slauson family. The private Slauson archives also have an account of the original meeting between Govan and Langley at the former,s home north of Seattle in September 1894.
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