Twenty First Illinois Infantry


    Company B, of this regiment, was principally made up from Cumberland County volunteers, a few members only coming from Coles County. The officers of the Company were: Captain, J. P. H. Stevenson, till 1863; P. Wolsheimer, till March, 1865; Austin Blake, till mustered out. First Lieutenant, P. Wolsheimer, till promoted; C. L. Smeidell, till 1863; Austin Blake, from April to August, 1863; H. A. Ashmore, till mustered out. Second Lieutenant, C. L. Smeidell, May, 1861, till March, 1863; Austin Blake, from March 19 till April 27, 1863; A. Y. Hart, April, 1863, to September, 1864; O. Goodin, till mustered out. The regiment was organized in the Seventh Congressional District, and rendezvoused at Mattoon. On the 15th of May it was mustered into the State service, for thirty days, but on the 28th of June it was mustered into the United States service for three years, with U. S. Grant as Colonel. August 6, 1861, Col. Grant was commissioned Brigadier General, and was succeeded in command of the regiment by Lieut. Col. J. A.Y.. S. Alexander, who was killed at Chickamauga.
    On the 4th of July, 1861, the regiment marched for Missouri, an innovation in the usual plan of moving troops out of the State. Arriving at Mexico, Mo., after various experiences which savored of war, but without meeting an enemy, the regiment rested for two weeks, when it proceeded by rail to Ironton, Mo. Here the Twenty First remained until October 20, when it marched out and participated in the fight at Fredericktown, returning after the engagement to Ironton, where the regiment remained until the latter part of January, 1862. At this time it formed a part of Gen. Steele's force, which marched on Jacksonport, Ark., but here it was ordered to Corinth, via Cape Girardeau, and reached Hamburg Landing May 24,1862. On the evacuation of Corinth, the Twenty First was placed in pursuit of the retreating enemy, Whom. it followed as far as Booneville, Miss., when it returned and formed a part of the expedition to Holly Springs. On the 14th of August, 1862, the regiment was ordered to join Gen. Buell's army in Tennessee, and, marching via Eastport, Miss., Columbia, Tenn., Florence, Ala., Franklin, Murfreesboro and Nashville, Tenn., it arrived at Louisville, Ky., September 27, 1862. In the ensuing campaign against Bragg, the Twenty First bore an honorable part, engaging in the battles of Perryville and Champlin Hill, Company F being the first to enter Perryville . From thence the regiment marched to Crab Tree Orchard, and Bowling Green, in Kentucky, and thence to Nashville, Tenn.

    On the movement of the army from Nashville, in December, 11 1862, this regiment formed a part of the Second Brigade, First Division, Twentieth Army Corps, and was in the skirmish at Knob Gap. On the 30th of the month, the Twenty Sixth, in company with the Fifteenth Wisconsin, Thirty Eighth Illinois, and One Hundred and First Ohio, had a severe engagement with the enemy near Murfreesboro, where it charged the famous rebel " Washington Light Artillery," twelve Parrott guns, and succeeded in driving every man from the battery, when it was compelled to fall back by the advance of a division of infantry. During this battle this regiment had a fierce struggle and did gallant duty, losing more men than any other regiment engaged. From Murfreesboro to Chattanooga, the Twenty First was with Rosecrans' army, and took part in the skirmish at Liberty Gap, and subsequently in the great battle of Chickamauga, where it lost 238 officers and men. After the latter light, the regiment was attached to the First Brigade, Fourth Division, Fourth Army Corps, and remained at Bridgeport, Ala., till the latter part of 1863. The regiment was subsequently ordered to Texas, where it was mustered out of the service, and finally discharged at Camp Butler, January 18, 1866.
    From, the publication of the society of the regiment, in 1881, the casualties of Company B are given, as follows: Allison, Lewis F., died at Andersonville Prison, June 24, 1864; Ashmore, Thos. J.. killed at Stone River, December 30,1832; Ashmore, John H., killed at Stone River, December 31,1862; Ashmore, Hezekiah A., died at Oak­land, Ill., date unknown; Akers, Albertis, died at,???? Ill., date unknown; Buchanan, Wm. W., died at Neoga, Ill., 1865; Benge, Lewis F., died, place and date unknown; Brannon, Thos. H., died tit Neoga, Ill., 1878; Compton, Wm. H., died at Andersonville Prison, November 16, 1864; Collins, John G-, died in Wisconsin, date unknown; Dodds, Thos. H., died at Ironton, Mo., October 16,1861; Devers, Geo. W.., died -at Andersonville Prison, April 18,18:54; Furguson, Wm. E., killed at Stone River, December 31, 1862; Gordon, Allen, died at Charleston, Ill.; Gilliard, Leander, died in Coles County, Ill.; Hedge, Wesley, died of wounds, at Stone River, January 11,1853; Howard, Samuel, died in Cumberland County, Ill., 1877; Kensell, Wm., killed at Stone River,, December 31,1862; Kensell, Ephraim, died at Ironton, Mo., November 5,1861; Kise, Edward, died at Watseka, Ill., date unknown; Lake, John, died at Louisville, Ky., date unknown; Lake, Andrew J., died since discharge; Lewis, John W.., died of wounds, at Stone River, February 8, 1810; Miller, Hiram C., died at Columbus, Ky., 1852; Maynard, Jno., died of wounds, at Nashville, Tenn., February 25, 1.863.; McCormack, Hugh, died in Rebel Prison, Danville, Va.; Moffat, James M., killed at Chickamauga, September 20, 1863; Potter, Francis M., died at Ironton, Mo., date unknown; Russell, Samuel D., died at Niles, Cal., date unknown; Redfern, John H., killed at Stone River, December 31,1862; Robinson, Thomas, died of wounds at Stone River, February 13,1863; Ruwsey, John C., died at Andersonville Prison, May 10, 1864; Ross, Henry, died in Illinois, place and date unknown; Rhodes, Jacob E., died at Corinth, Miss., September 27,1862; Rhodes, Franklin, died in Coles County, Ill., date unknown; Sell, James, died at Buffalo, Kansas., December 27, 1878; Tefft, Jerome, died at Ironton, Mo., October 17, 1861; Williams, Daniel, died May 4, 1864; Wharton, Henry, died in Illinois, place and date unknown; West, David, died at Chattanooga, Tennessee., December 23, 1863; Willson, Thomas J., died since discharge. The surviving members were reported at the same time, as follows: Captain P. Wolsheimer, Neoga, Ill., Postmaster ; Captain Austin Blake, Thayer, Kansas., farmer; Second Lieutenant A. Y. Hart, Paradise, Ill., carpenter; Alliback, Joseph R., New York City, commercial agent; Berry, W. N., Majority Point, Ill., farmer; Bemer, Chris., Brushy Fork, Ill.; Curtis, Thos. H.,' Lovington, Ill., shoe-maker; Curtis, Edward, Tuscola, Ill., painter; Condit, Jacob H, Neoga, Ill., farmer; Clark, William, Great Bend, Kansas., farmer; Clark, Fred. L., Great Bend, Kansas., farmer; Cain, John G., Nashville, Tenn., R. R. postal clerk; Eggers, George, Majority Point, Ill.., farmer; Elliott, Aaron, Ironton, Mo.; Ewing, M. A., Neoga, Ill., mechanic; Forcum, John E., Neoga, Ill., farmer; Wilson, James, Mattoon, Ill., laborer; Gordon, Robert S-, Mount Carmel, Ill., druggist ; Goodwin, Orville S., Bell Air, Ill., farmer; Hendrix, Samuel, Paradise, Ill., farmer; Hoover, Samuel N., Xenia, Ill.., farmer; Hacket,) Charles R., Great Bend, Kansas., farmer; Hart, Chesterfield, White's Mill, Ky., farmer; Hilderbrandt, Francis, southeast corner Twenty Fifth Street and Cass Avenue, Saint Louis, tailor; Jones, Wiley, Johnstown, III., farmer; Kiery, Alfred W., Neoga, Ill., farmer; Kiger, George W., Whitley's Point, Ill., farmer; Landsdown, Marion, Oakland, Ill., artist; Lands-down, James  E., Oakland,  Ill., farmer;  Martin, James, Carlton, Neb.., farmer; Mimdell, Robert, ????   , Kansas., farmer; Newbanks, Henry M., Effingham, Ill., laborer; Poorman, Noah, Larned, Kansas., farmer; Pemberton, James B., Newman, Ill., hotel keeper; Phipps, Thomas J., Newton, Ill., miller; Phipps, William, Shell City, Mo.; Pitt, William, Blue Earth, Minn., farmer; Rice, William; Rhodes, Edwin, Ottumwa, Iowa, farmer; Stone, John, Newman, Ill., merchant; Sayre, Thomas P., Florence, Kansas., farmer; Wilson, Samuel F., Neoga, Ill. druggist; Wooley, Horace F., Rattle Snake, Kansas., farmer; Wright, Richard, Jonesville, Ind., farmer ; Waller, John T., Mattoon, Ill., locomotive engineer; Waller, Franklin, Keokuk, Iowa, carpenter; Winkler, John, Oakland, HI.; Bigelow, William H.; Davis, Eli, Jones­ville, Ind.; Ferguson, James ; Holbrooks, Columbus, Castle Rock, Colo.; Kinney, Oliver C. W.; McComas, Armond -; Ziegler, William, Spring Ranch, Neb.., farmer.



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