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131st Illinois Infantry
in the American Civil War

Online Books:
131st 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 Thirty-first Infantry. Col., George W. Neely; Lieut. -Col., Richard A. Peter; Maj., Joseph L. Purvis. This regiment was composed of men from the counties of Hamilton, Gallatin, Hardin, Pope and Massac. They were enlisted during the months of July and Aug., 1862. By order of Gov. Richard Yates the regiment was organized and went into camp at old Fort Massac, Massac county, in September, and remained there until Nov. 13, when it was mustered into the U. S. service. The regiment then numbered 815 men, excluding officers. While at Fort Massac it was without tents, camp equipage or arms, except a few inferior guns borrowed for use in guard duty and squad drill, but notwithstanding its limited outfit the guard duty and squad drill were kept up. During this time the measles broke out in camp and about 100 of the men were prostrated therewith, nearly all of whom either died or were afterwards discharged for disability. After the regiment was mustered into the service it was ordered to hold itself in readiness to proceed to Memphis, Tenn., which order was received with joy by all the men, notwithstanding quite a number of them were sick at the time. On Dec. 2 it embarked on the steamboat Iowa and proceeded to Cairo, where the men were furnished with guns of inferior quality, being the Harper's Ferry flint-lock guns altered for caps, three different sizes in caliber and were received under protest. The regiment then went on the same boat to Memphis, arriving there Dec. 7. From there it went to Milliken's bend, La., where it was engaged in picket duty until Dec. 27, when it again embarked on the same boat and with a portion of the fleet moved up the Yazoo river to near Haynes' bluff, where it took part in an engagement. It remained on duty in the vicinity of Vicksburg until Sept. 16, 1863, when, in compliance with a general order, it was consolidated into a battalion of four companies.

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

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