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125th Illinois Infantry
in the American Civil War

Online Books:
125th Illinois Infantry Soldier Roster - Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Illinois, Volume 6, Revised by Brigadier General J.N. Reece, Adjutant General, 1900       View Entire Book

Regimental History
One Hundred and Twenty-fifth Illinois Infantry. Col., Oscar F. Harmon; Lieut -Col., James W. Langley; Maj., John B. Lee. This regiment was formed of good war material, mainly drawn from the rural precincts of Vermillion and Champaign counties, with a sprinkling of mechanics, professional and laboring men and clerks from the towns, practically all of whom could read and write, so that the war and its possible requirements were well comprehended by them before enlistment. A brief rendezvous at Danville, the muster-in Sept. 3, 1862, the equipment, the sad farewells, and the command moved to Cincinnati, thence across the Ohio to the heights above Covington on the "neutral" ground of Kentucky, where it relieved a provisional regiment of "squirrel hunters." Excepting a slight taste of war at the battle of Perryville, the regiment was not actually engaged in conflict until at the battle of Chickamauga, where it was under fire all of the afternoon on the second day, and also the following day at Rossville gap. Crossing the Tennessee on Sherman's pontoons, the regiment engaged in the battle of Missionary ridge. At the battle of Kennesaw mountain its loss was 120 killed and wounded in the short space of 20 minutes, nearly half of whom, including 5 officers, were killed outright, and 4 officers were wounded. On July 18 the regiment crossed the Chattahoochee on pontoon at Pace's ferry, advanced with strong skirmishing to Peachtree creek, where in a spirited charge at dusk it drove the enemy from a commanding height, and from this point on through the siege of Atlanta until the signal victory at Jonesboro, the regiment was practically under fire every hour, at the latter place being the center and guide regiment in the assault. The regiment marched with Sherman to the sea, and up through the Carolinas. In North Carolina its progress was checked at Averasboro and stubbornly resisted at Bentonville. The fighting at the latter place was very severe, a full share of which fell on the regiment, when it not only well sustained its past reputation for courage, but justly added new laurels to its victorious crown. A peaceful "on to Richmond" from the south, then to Washington, the grand review, and the muster out on June 9, 1865, were the closing scenes in the regiment's part of the great military drama.

Regimental history taken from "The Union Army" by Federal Publishing Company, 1908 - Volume 3

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