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17th Illinois Cavalry
in the American Civil War

Regimental History
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

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