The Patriotism of Illinois
A Record Of The
Civil and Military History
Of the State In The
War For The Union,
History Of The Campaigns In Which Illinois Soldiers
Have Been Conspicuous,
Sketches Of Distinguished Officers, The Roll Of The
Illustrious Dead, Movements Of The Sanitary And Christian Commissions.
By T. M. Eddy, D. D.,
Editor N.W. Christian Advocate.
Illustrated With Steel Engravings Of Eminent Men.
In Two Vols.—Vol. II
Clarke & Co., Publishers.
SIXTY-FOURTH ILLINOIS INFANTRY
Recruiting for the 64th Illinois Infantry was commenced in September, 1861, under authority to raise a battalion of four companies of riflemen. By the 31st of December, however, six companies had been raised, and on that day the battalion was mustered into the service, taking the title of “Yates Sharpshooters.” The following is the original roster:
Lieutenant-Colonel, David E. Williams; Major, Fred. W. Matteson; Adjutant, Aaron E. May; Quartermaster, A. T. Cameron; Surgeon, J. T. Stewart; Chaplain, Charles Cain.
Co. A—Captain, John Morrill; 1st Lieutenant, James C. Cameron; 2d Lieutenant, Charles J. Conger.
Co. B—Captain, George W. Stipp; 1st Lieutenant, Samuel B. Thompson; 2d Lieutenant, Robert R. Gibbons.
Co. C—Captain, C. B. Keasey; 1st Lieutenant, George E. Doran; 2d Lieutenant, George A. Caine.
Co. D—Captain, J. W. Stewart; 1st Lieutenant, Wm. N. Stewart; 2d Lieutenant, George W. Reid.
Co. E—Captain, D. G. Grover; 1st Lieutenant, M. W. Manning; 2d Lieutenant, E. H. Moore.
Co. F—Captain, O. H. Payne; 1st Lieutenant, J. W. Baker; 2d Lieutenant, J. S. Reynolds.
The battalion left Camp Butler January 8, 1862, for Quincy, where it remained until February 4th, when it went to Cairo. On the 13th of March, with General Pope’s command, it arrived before New Madrid, Missouri, in the reduction of which place it took an active part. [Vol. I., p. 216] The 64th then joined the forces moving southward, and on the 3d of May had a severe skirmish with the rebels at Chambers’ Creek. On the 8th it again met the enemy at the battle of Farmington, and on the 30th was among the first to enter Corinth. It also participated in the battle of Iuka on the 19th of September, in which it lost heavily. [Vol. I., pp. 284-295] From this date the battalion was engaged in various duties, with occasional skirmished, until December 31, 1863, when it re-enlisted for another three years’ service. On the 22d of January, 1864, the battalion arrived at Chicago, where it was given thirty days’ furlough. A month later, the men rendezvoused at Ottawa, where a sufficient number of recruits were obtained to fill the six companies to the maximum. At this time Captain Manning brought to the battalion four new companies, making a full regiment, which was mustered in as the 64th Illinois Infantry, with the following roster:
Colonel, John Morrill; Lieutenant-Colonel, M. W. Manning; Major, S. T. Thomson; Adjutant, Wm. H. Hinckley; Quartermaster, L. S. Ames; Surgeon, J. T. Stewart; 1st Assistant Surgeon, W. D. Plummer; 2d Assistant Surgeon, H. A. Mix; Chaplain, Alphonso D. Wyckoff.
Co. A—Captain, Charles I. Conger; 1st Lieutenant, Frank Smith; 2d Lieutenant, D. M. Moore.
Co. B—Captain, R.R. Gibbons; 1st Lieutenant, George W. Bell; 2d Lieutenant, George W. Robinson.
Co. C—Captain, T. C. Fullerton; 1st Lieutenant, James H. Yates; 2d Lieutenant, Thomas Horner.
Co. D—Captain, George W. Reid; 1st Lieutenant, Duncan M. Reid; 2d Lieutenant, Darius N. Myers.
Co. E—Captain, Ed. H. Moore; 1st Lieutenant, George Bargus; 2d Lieutenant, John Baker.
Co. F—Captain, Joseph S. Reynolds; 1st Lieutenant, Ward Knickerbocker; 2d Lieutenant, Wm. W. Zuel.
Co. G—Captain, H. Logan; 1st Lieutenant, Benjamin Snyder; 2d Lieutenant, Hanson H. Crews.
Co. H—Captain, Henry J. Stoner; 1st Lieutenant, Robert S. Rives; 2d Lieutenant, Peter Bogardus.
Co. I—Captain, John J. Long; 1st Lieutenant, Ambrose H. Brown; 2d Lieutenant, Julius W. Brown.
Co. K—Captain, Charles Case; 1st Lieutenant, Harley Kingsbury; 2d Lieutenant, Howland Meeker.
On the 15th of March, 1864, the regiment left Ottawa for the front, arriving at Decatur, Alabama, on the 23d. Leaving this place to join in the movement upon Atlanta, it reached Resaca on the 9th of May, where for five days it held the front line. In next met the enemy at Dallas. In the grand charge on Kenesaw Mountain the regiment bore a conspicuous and honorable part, and for twelve hours lay on the ground under the very muzzles of the enemy’s guns, finally planting its regimental flag on the rebel works. From this time until the fall of Atlanta the regiment was actively engaged. Soon after tat event it took part in the pursuit of the rebels under Hood, after which it joined in the grand march to the sea, bearing its full share of the privations of that campaign and the one immediately succeeding it, in the Carolinas. After taking part in the national review at Washington, it was ordered to Louisville, Kentucky, where on the 11th of July, 1865, it was mustered out of the service, and on the 18th received final payment and discharge at Chicago. The following is the roster of the 64th Illinois at the time of its final discharge:
Colonel and Brevet Brigadier-General, John Morrill; Lieutenant-Colonel and Brevet Brigadier-General, Joseph S. Reynolds; Adjutant, Robert Russell; Quartermaster, Edwin G. Lewis; Surgeon, Henry A. Mix; Assistant Surgeon, Otto E. Roesch; Chaplain, Alphonso D. Wyckoff.
Co. A—Captain, Robert M. Woods; 1st Lieutenant, John Bunker; 2d Lieutenant, Theodore Gaylord.
Co. B—Captain, John L. Hack; 1st Lieutenant, Isaac Hindman; 2d Lieutenant, Edward Forward.
Co. C—Captain, William W. Zuel; 1st Lieutenant, Isaac Seaman.
Co. D—Captain, Darius N. Myers; 1st Lieutenant, Henry Miller; 2d Lieutenant, J. B. J. S. Evans.
Co. E—Captain and Brevet Major, Ed. H. Moore; 1st Lieutenant, Patrick Feely.
Co. F—Captain, Hanson H. Crews; 1st Lieutenant, Rufus T. Sparks; 2d Lieutenant, Francis M. Frank.
Co. G—Captain, Henry Logan; 1st Lieutenant, Joseph H. Bishop; 2d Lieutenant, John Berow.
Co. H—Captain, L. S. Ames; 1st Lieutenant, Oliver H. Abbott.
Co. I—Captain, John J. Long; 1st Lieutenant, Julius W. Brown.
Co. K—Captain, Charles Case; 1st Lieutenant, Howland Meeker.
Brevet Brigadier-General Joseph S. Reynolds was born at New Lenox, Will County, Illinois, February 3, 1839, where his parents still reside. At the age of sixteen young Reynolds came to Chicago, and attended the Scammon school, where he was awarded the highest prize—the Foster medal. He graduated in the High School in 1861. In the fall of that year he entered the 64th Illinois as 2d Lieutenant. By successive steps he rose to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. Soon after the discharge of his regiment from the service, Colonel Reynolds was, on the recommendation of his superior officers, commissioned as Brigadier-General of Volunteers by brevet—a compliment he richly deserved.
Major Fred. W. Matteson, who died in the battalion hospital at Clear Creek, Mississippi, August 8, 1862, was a son of Ex-Governor J. A. Matteson, and a young man of superior ability and education. Graduating at Yale College, he spent a year in a military school in Vermont, and then went to Germany to complete his military education. Returning to his native land, he at once entered the service; but at the end of six months, worn out with the toils of war, he laid down his life for the flag he had so bravely defended.
Transcribed by Scott Gutzke, 2003.
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