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78th Illinois Infantry
in the American Civil War

Online Books:
78th Illinois Infantry Soldier Roster - Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Illinois, Volume 5, Revised by Brigadier General J.N. Reece, Adjutant General, 1900       View Entire Book

Regimental History
Seventy-eighth Infantry. Cols., William H. Bennison, Carter Van Vleck; Lieut.-Cols., Carter Van Vleck, Maris R. Vernon; Majs., William L. Broaddus, George Greene, Robert S. Blackburn. This regiment was organized at Quincy and mustered into service Sept. 1, 1862. Co. A was recruited in Schuyler county, B, E, F, G and K in Adams, C and I in McDonough and D and H in Hancock. On Sept. 19 the regiment was ordered to Louisville, Ky., and was provost guard a few days in that city, while Buell was equipping his army after his celebrated race with Bragg. On Dec. 26 the guerrilla John Morgan captured and paroled Cos. B and C at Muldraugh's hill, near Elizabethtown. They were under fire from 9 pieces of artillery some 2 hours. The first actual engagement that the regiment participated in was at Chickamauga, and there it lost heavily in killed and wounded, its loss being about 40 per cent, of the number engaged, with 8 officers out of 20. When the regiment left Rossville on the morning of Sept. 22 pickets were left in front of the enemy with the understanding that they would be relieved later on, but by the blunder of a staff officer the pickets were not relieved and hence were captured and sent to Southern prisons, where 24 of them died. The regiment lost by this capture 4 officers and 51 men from Cos. I and F, who were on picket duty. The regiment engaged in the Atlanta campaign, May 13 finding it in line of battle in front of Resaca, where the command met with slight loss. The regiment left Rome on the 24th and marched toward Dallas, driving the Confederate pickets through Burnt Hickory. It participated in the pursuit of the enemy from Kennesaw mountain, skirmishing with him constantly, crossed the Chattahoochee river on July 17, and fought at Peachtree creek with some casualties. It also participated in the assault on enemy's intrenchments at Jonesboro. On the entire campaign the regiment was hardly out of the sound of guns any day during the entire period from May 2 to the fall of Atlanta and casualties were of almost daily occurrence. The regiment lost in killed and wounded about 200 men during this period. On Sept. 29, with its division, it moved by rail to Athens, Ala., and then marched to Florence in pursuit of Forrest, who was in the rear with a large force doing great damage. The command had a skirmish with the enemy and drove him across the Tennessee river at Florence. The regiment accompanied Sherman on his march to the sea and up through the Carolinas. It proceeded in a northeasterly direction towards Averasboro, where the enemy made the first positive resistance after leaving Savannah and a lively engagement ensued in which the 78th suffered some loss. After the surrender of Johnston the regiment marched north through Richmond, Va., arriving at Washington on May 19, and participating in the grand review. On June 7, 1865, it was mustered out and sent to Chicago, where it was paid off, June 12. It is estimated that the regiment lost about 400 men, killed and wounded about 96 killed on the field, 24 died in Confederate prisons, and 77 in hospitals from wounds and disease. The original enrollment was 862 ; recruits received, 140 ; and the number mustered out was 393.

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

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