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17th Illinois Cavalry
in the American Civil War
|Seventeenth Cavalry.— Col., John L. Beveridge; Lieut.
-Cols., Dennis J. Hynes, Hiram Hillard; Majs., Hiram Hillard, Lucius C.
Matlack, Philip E. Fisher, Jesse D. Butts, Charles Parker. This regiment
was organized under special authority from the war department, issued
Sept. 11, 1863, to Hon. John F. Farnsworth. The rendezvous was
established at St. Charles, Kane county, and eight companies were
mustered in on Jan. 22, 1864, for three years. Four other companies were
mustered in and the organization of the regiment completed Feb. 12,
1864. By the close of the following April 650 horses had been brought in
by the men under instruction from the cavalry bureau and sold to the
government. On May 3 the regiment moved under orders from the
general-in-chief to report to Maj.-Gen. Rosecrans, commanding the
Department of Missouri, at St. Louis. For a period of 4 months the three
battalions of the regiment were separate and remote from each other,
their duties being mainly escort and provost guard duty. Among the
fights engaged in by the 2nd battalion may be named one near Allen on
the North Missouri railroad in July; one near the Porsche hills; and a
third near Rocheport. The service of the regiment was wholly within the
Department of the Missouri, and while it did not experience any severe
engagements, it performed hard and valuable services in frequent
skirmishes with the enemy, in routing guerrilla parties, and in long and
weary marches. Its last important work was accompanying the
commissioners who went to Fort Smith to treat with the Indians, at the
great council held in Sept., 1865. It was mustered out in Nov. and Dec,
1865, at Leavenworth, Kan.
Regimental history taken from "The Union Army" by Federal Publishing
Company, 1908 - Volume 3