2nd Illinois
Cavalry
History





Adjutant General's Report

The Second Illinois Cavalry was organized and mustered into the service at Camp Butler, Ill., August 12, 1861, and with Company M which joined the Regiment some months later; numbered 47 commissioned officers and 1,040 enlisted men, this number was increased during its four and a half years term of service to 2,236 enlisted men, and 145 officers, 12 of whom were not mustered. Ninety-six different persons held commissions and were mustered upon them, of them six were killed in battle, two died of wounds and three of disease, while in the service, making a total of eleven.

The Regiment left Camp Butler August 29, 1861, and camped for brief periods in Carbondale, DuQuoin and Fort Massock on the Ohio River. Arrived at the latter place September 24. From this point 6 companies went to Cairo on October 3, 1861. Oct. 14th, five of these companies were attached to the Second Brigad which was commanded by Colonel Oglesby. October 16th Company C was sent to Caledonia, where they spent the winter, in December the companies at Cairo crossed to Bird's Point and did considerable scouting after Jeff Thompson's command. On December 11, 1861, captured 6 of his men and had their first man killed by a rebel bullet. (Josiah Clark of Company B.) Nov 11, four companies of the Regiment moved from Fort Massock to Paducah, Ky.

January 14th this portion of the Regiment except Company K, started on an expedition under General C.F. Smith, toward Fort Henry, approached to within 15 miles of it and then returned to Paducah after an absence of 11 days. March 2, 1862, Lieutenant Colonel Hogg started from Paducah to Columbus, learning that the place was being evacuated he told the boys that he proposed to march direct to Columbus, and that they might meet some rebels. "If we do" said the Colonel "don't use your pistols, but give them the cold steel. The sabre is the weapon for cavalry to rely upon." About sundown, March 3d they dashed into town with drawn sabers and ran up the stars and stripes amid cheers for the union and their gallant Colonel. Jeff Thompson was in the neighborhood with quite a force of rebel cavalry. No attack. The next morning a fleet of gunboats and transports bearing General Sherman and three Regiments of infantry, steamed cautiously down the river not knowing the place was in possession of the "yanks" until they saw the starts and stripes floating to the breeze.

Companies A and B, were with General Grant in Tennessee and participated in the engagements at Forts Henry and Donelson, and also at Shiloh. At Donelson Major Mudd was severely wounded also one other officer and three privates and one missing.

From February 28th to March 14th two companies took part in operations against New Madrid. March 31, 1862, four companies took part in movements against Island No. 10, and two companies under Lieutenant Colonel Hogg accompanied an expedition against Colonel Edward Picketts brigade, which was camped near Union City, Tenn. They routed the enemy, captured 14 prisoners and considerable stores and destroyed all their camp equipage. May 13, 1862, one squadron of the Regiment was attached to General Thomas' command in front of Corinth. May 19th to 23d, 1862, Colonel Hogg with 4 companies took part in an expedition under General Quinby, against Fort Pillow. After the exacuation of Corinth the Regiment took part in opening the Ohio and Mibile Railroad through Tennessee, although they were with different commands.

The companies that were at Paducah moved to Columbus, Ky., the forepart of June and to Union City, Tenn., about June 10th and thence to Trenton, where they arrived June 17, 1862. August 15, 1862, broke camp and August 26th eight companies arrived at Jackson, Tenn., and went into camp for a short time. On August 16th Lieutenant Terry with 36 men of Company C, pursued Captain Binford (who had a much larger force) for 30 miles, overtook and charged them as they lay behind logs at Merriweather's Ferry on the Obion River. Lieutenants Terry and Goodheart, also Private Stone were killed and six wounded, the engagement lasted half an hour, the enemy ost 42 killed and nearly all their equipments. On August 30th seven of the companies from Jackson arrived at Bolivar, Tenn., about 9 o'clock A.M., and as soon as possible Lieutenant Colonel Hogg with about 130 men was ordered to report to Colonel Leggett about 6 miles south of Bolivar, where with a small force of infantry they met the advance of General Armstrong's command which was 6,000 or more cavalry. After a sharp skirmish the Second Missouri commanded by Colonel McCulloch was preparing to charge Colonel Hogg's small farce. Colonel Leggett said to Colonel Hogg, "If you have any doubt about holding your position you had better face back and not receive their charge." He immediately ordered his men to draw their sabers and after giving the command "forward" he exclaimed "give them cold steel boys" and darting ahead of his men he fell pierced by nine bullets. First Lieutenant N.T. Shannon was also killed and Second Lieutenant L.H. List, mortally wounded. Wm. Ross, Chester Eascarton and Martin W. Watson were killed, all of Company F. 18 were wounded, most of whom belonged to the Second Illinois cavalry. The enemy's loss was heavy, but we could not ascertain the number. September 20th and 21st, Colonel Noble and Major Mudd with 350 men of the Second Regiment took the advance of a reconnoisance in force from Bolivar to Lagrange, Tenn. Was out two days, found the enemy in force, had some skirmishing but no casualties on our side. Having obtained the desired information concerning the enemy's force and position, returned to Bolivar. Sept. 28th to Oct 5th, Company D, and a platoon from Company L took part in a scout after a force of rebel cavalry supposed to be in the rear of Fort Randolph but failed to find them, but captured Captains Cloud and Hill, also two privates while out. Oct 17, 1862, Colonel Faulkner with 300 men attacked the camp at Island No 10, but were repulsed and Capt. F.F. Moore of Company L with 40 men followed them 20 miles, overtook and fought them for an hour, when finding himself outnumbered he fell back to camp, the rebels not daring to follow. He captured Colonel Faulkner and Captains Merriweather and Blakemore, Lieutneant Johnson and 11 privates, the enemy's loss was heavy in killed and wounded, Captain Moore lost 3 men killed. Oct. 21, 1862, Major Mudd with a portion of the Regiment ran into Haywoods partisan Rangers 7 miles west of Brownsville, Tenn. Killed one captain, captured 40 prisoners, 60 horses and mules and a wagon load of arms. Nov. 8, 1862, Companies H and K of the Second Illinois Cavalry and one company of the 7th Kansas under command of Colonel Lee attacked the First Mississippi and First Tennessee Regiments as they were moving in column of fours. Came up on a ridge to their left which ran parallel with the road, took them completely by surprise, they became panic stricken and their officers could not succeed in rallying them, the enemy's loss was 20 killed and 130 captured. Our loss was 3 men slightly wounded.

The following is a copy of Major Mudd's official report of the fight at Holly Springs, Mississippi:



HEADQUARTERS SECOND ILLINOIS CAVALRY

Holly Springs, Miss., Dec. 27, 1862.

Sir: I have the honor to report the following brief summary of the part performed by the Second Illinois Cavalry in the unfortunate affair of the 10th instant. We (six companies, D, F, G, H, I, and K) were encamped on the fair ground under Lieutenant Colonel McNiel. I was under orders to proceed that day to Oxford by rail, and was not apprised of any attack being apprehended, until about the time the infantry camp near the depot was captured. Colonel McNiel was at the time rallying the men on the east side of camp and advanced boldly to meet their first attack, but being pressed by overwhelming numbers he was compelled to fall back, and while doing so was unfortunately surrounded and taken prisoner. Not having time to form our men regularly the defense was a series of conflicts, covering each side of our camp, without being aware of the loss of Colonel McNiel., Major Bush rallied a force on the south side. Captain Marsh on the north and myself on the west, each with such aid as could be assembled, and pressed the enemy whose lines now entirely encircled our camp. This fight was now terrible, the enemy gradually giving ground where pressed the hardest, but our detachments in following them up became seperated from each other. About this time the enemy broke into our camp from the east, capturing our stragglers and convalescents, and pressing near the rear of each point of defense our only hope of safety now lay in a saber charge, which appeared to be simultaneously executed on the different parts of our line. Captain Marsh handsomely broke through on the north and passed westwardly, leaving Captain Jones, whose horse was shot under him, and Lieutenant Garrett, wounded and both were taken prisoners. With the small force around me I broke the rebel line on the west and with the loss of several of my best men made my way out chasing a large number of rebels and in turn being followed by a heavy detachment of the enemy.

On the west side of town I was joined by Captain Marsh now carrying three wounds notwithstanding which he continued with me on duty nearly all day, his wounds were severe but not dangerous.

Captain's Jones and Higgins ably seconded by Lieutenant Colonel McNiel on the northeast and passed out with Captain Marsh on the west. The former as before stated was taken prisoner, and the latter passing around to the south to the aid of Major Bush who forced the rebel lines on the southeast, and with the aid of many of our officers and men passed through town and back, fighting at every corner, and re-capturing our camp and releasing many of our men who were prisoners; thence to Coldwater, where I subsequently joined him, and aided Colonel O'Meara in preparations for defending his position, then threatened.

Major Bush's report (inclosed) will do justice to other officers who were not under my personal observation. I would be doing violence to were I to omit to mention Lieutenant Stickel commanding Company F, as peculiarly worthy of commendation, as were also Lieutenants Weakley and Venard. Lieutenants Hall, Naylor, Moore, Holt and Captain Whitaker, I am told acquitted themselves with honor. On Sunday morning under orders of Colonel O'Meara I came here under a flag of truce, and finding the place deserted and being joined by Lieutenant Stickel with a few men, I took possession of the place and held it until the arrival of Colonel Marsh at 10 o'clock.

I have to report the loss of 8 men killed (including one since dead) and 39 wounded, a few are yet missing some of whom may be wounded. Somewhere about 70 of my men went to Memphis and are yet there. The paroled prisoners reported to Major Fullerton who left with them in my absence and I am without a list and cannot report the number, but it si about 100. This loss is heavy, but the odds were great and any but the most resolute men would have surrendered without attempting to fight or escape.

Our regimental books were seved, but the papers as well as most of the company books and papers were destroyed. Our camp and garrison equipage together with baggage and clothing were all destroyed except a few tents and our men were suffering for want of tents, blankets, clothing and rubber blankets. We took 12 prisoners, one of whom was a major, we took 12 others whom we were compelled to release, not being able to take care of them. (The remainder of report is omitted.) All of which is respectfully submitted by your obedient servant.

JOHN J. MUD

Major Commanding Second Illinois Cavalry.

Assistant Adjutant General.

Colonel R.C. Murphy, who was in command of the post, in his official report said concerning the cavalry, that they behaved badly, and that after receiving two volleys from the enemy they cleared out."/p>

General Grant, however, in Special Field Order No. 33, issued Dec. 23, 1862, after censuring Colonel Murphy and a portion of the garrison says, "It is gratifying to notice in contrast with this the conduct of a portion of the command; conspicuous among whom was the Second Illinois Cavalry, which gallantly and successfully resisted being taken prisoners. Their loss was heavy, but the enemy's was much greater. Such conduct as theirs will always insure success, etc."

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE TENNESSEE

Holly Springs, Miss., Jan. 8, 1863.

GENERAL ORDERS, NO. 4.

Colonel R.C. Murphy was dismissed from the service, to take effect from the 20th day of December 1862, the day of his cowardly and disgraceful conduct. By order of Major General U.S. Grant.

JOHN A RAWLINS

Assistant Adjutant General

On the 24th of Dec. 1862, Majors Mudd and Bush with about 130 men from companies C, F, G, H and K, joined a force under Colonel Deitzler which was trying to intercept VanDorn's force at Ripley; when within about 12 miles of Ripley, left the rest of the force and pushed on toward the town. When about 7 miles from Ripley, captured 5 rebels, gained considerable information from them concerning the movements of Van Dorn's force and from a negro learned the rear guard had passed a mile from town; we then turned back and met Colonel Mizner and was ordered by him to join in the pursuit and when this was abandoned, returned to Holly Springs. Moved to Memphis the forepart of January and on the 17th of February broke up Major Blythe's camp a few miles from that city, capturing 12 of his command also arms and camp equipage.

On one occasion a lieutenant with parts of three companies was sent out to burn a bridge on Wolf river, Sargent Rider with five men being in advance met a rebel lieutenant with the same number of men and captured the whole party.

Feb 19th, embarked on the steamer Empress destined for Young's Point, La., were stopped at Greenville and Companies F, I and K, of the Second and about 45 men of the Sixth Missouri, under Colonel Wright were started out with a force of infantry and artillery under command of General Burbridge after a rebel force of cavalry and artillery that was often firing on boats passing that point, the cavalry pushed ahead and about 12 miles out, came in sight of their main force, most of their cavalry with their caissons run at once, Company F gave chase and captured the caissons and quite a number of prisoners, but while bringing them back met the artillery which opened on them, the rebel cavalry also rallied and attacked them from the other side forcing them to abandon their caissons and prisoners. Major Mudd urged Colonel Wright to allow him to capture the artillery which had been deserted by the cavalry, but he refused to permit him to do so.

The rebel loss was six killed, several wounded and 9 prisoners, also all their wagons, ambulances, tents and baggage.

Arrived at Young's Point March 1st, while there a lieutenant and 5 men went 40 miles into the enemy'scountry by boat and captured 2 lieutenant colonels, 1 sergeant-major and 2 privates, wounded one of them.

From March 30th until the investment of Vicksburg May 17th the Regiment in company with a part of the Third Illinnois and Sixth Missouri Cavalry was in the advance and had almost daily skirmishes with the rebels; opened the Champion Hill battle, but after the engagement became general were held in reserve until the rebels began their retreat, at that time and the next day captured several hundred prisoner. On May 5, 1863, near Jackson, Miss., Lieutenant Stickel with 20 men charged a force of 80 rebels, killing and wounding 12 and capturing about 30 prisoners and drove them five miles; the lieutenant was complimented by General Osterhaus. During the siege of Vicksburg was stationed on Black River and had frequent skirmishes with General Johnson's scouts; in one of these Colonel Mudd was shot at close range, in the face and neck, and dangerously wounded. The next day after the capture of Vicksburg, the Second and parts of the Third Illinois and Sixth Missouri took the advance toward Jackson, skirmishing all the way, and after the capture of that place, went south to Brookhaven, destroying the railroad and much of the rolling stock (4 engines and about 50 cars,) also large quantities of sugar and other supplies. Captured 1 major, 1 captain, 1 lieutenant and about 30 privates without losing a man; returned to Vicksburg July 24th.

August 16th, embarked for New Orleans and upon arriving there went into camp at Carrollton, just above the city, took part in the general review held there Aug. 22, 1863. Started the fore part of October for Berwick Bay, went from there to Iberville, Salt Island, Vermillion Bay and New Iberia. From the time of leaving New Orleans until about the 10th of December was skirmishing almost daily and captured nearly 300 prisoners.

November 7th, Captain Kelly with a squadron charged into Vermillionville, killing and capturing several of the enemy.

Companies F, H and K, being the advance of a force sent out from New Iberia to Camp Pratt, came upon a force of Texas Rangers that outnumbered them considerably and after firing one volley charged them, and chased them several miles, killing 2 and wounding 4, capturing 1 captain and 75 men, making their total loss 82 men; all without losing a man.

On another occasion a lieutenant and 16 men were left to guard a bridge. They had only been there a short time when a like number of the enemy appeared; the boys charged them at once, capturing all but one of them.

While camped at New Iberia, 150 from these six companies re-enlisted about the middle of January, 1864; returned to New Orleans; during the fore part of February the veterans went home on 30 days furlough, Colonel Mudd and Lieutenant-Colonel Bush accompanying them. The non-veteran portion of the Regiment started for Shreverport, Feb. 29, 1864, accompanied by a large force of cavalry, infantry and artillery, after 22 days march, arrived at Alexandria March 20, 1864. Twenty-five gunboats and a large force of infantry and artillery was already there; March 30th the advance guard had some sharp skirmishing and killed 2 rebels and wounded several, the next day near Natchitoches killed 2 and wounded 3 or 4, also captured Captain Faulkner and one of his lieutenants; the captain was quite a noted officer. In a skirmish later in the day lieutenant Irwin of Company I, and Private Trowncell of Co. K were wounded; from then until April 8th, had heavy skirmishing and fighting daily. On that date General Bank's army met the enemy under Generals Taylor, Price and Muttal, their force being concentrated and in a good position at Sabine Cross roads, about 3 miles from Mansfield. Bank's force was scattered for 30 miles or more, and consequently were defeated with heavy loss, the Second losing 42 killed and wounded and 10 missing most of whom proved to be wounded and captured, out of about 150 men engaged and also had 82 horses killed and wounded. Major Marsh seemed to lead a charmed life, his voice was always heard in the thickest of the fight. At Bayou DeGlaze a shell burst over his head sending a fragment through his horse a few inches from the saddle. Adjutant Moore also distinguished himself by his soldierly bearing; he had his third horse killed June 1st in a charge at the Atchafalaya.

Soon after the return of the veterans, Colonel Mudd was appointed chief of Cavalry, on General McClernand's staff and started up Red River to join the general at Alexandria. On May 3d the steamer was captured and Colonel Mudd and two other colonels were killed.

While at Baton Rouge, three columns under direction of General Lee, moved by different routes on Liberty some 50 miles east of Baton Rouge. Colonel Marsh with the Second started on the evening of Nov. 15, 1864, swam the Amite River, and arrived in vicinity of Liberty next evening. Lieutenant Stickel with 20 picked men had the advance with instructions to disperse all pickets and bands of the enemy. The instructions were carried out to the letter, and the place was taken completely by surprise. On nearing the town, the advance captured a prisoner who mistook them for confederates and stated that General Hodges with most of the troops had gone to meet the Regiment, leaving his adjutant-general with some detachments in town; the advance followed at some distance by the Regiment, moved into town singing Dixie and answering the questions of soldiers met on the street in such a way as to entirely deceive them; halted in front of the hotel and called for the adjutant-general, who came out and with other members of the staff were taken in. About 100 prisoners were captured that night and as many more the next day. Major Jones made a raid in the country and captured a cannon. General Lee and the other columns came up the next day when the rebels made a determined attack, but were repulsed with loss. (See General Order.) Soon after the raid to Liberty the Regiment joined General Davidson's expedition towards Mobile. Crossed Pearl River at Columbia, and with some other cavalry went to Paseagoula.

The object of the expedition was accomplished, which was to prevent a rebel force from leaving Mobile to attack Sherman's flank on his march to the sea. About the first of January, 1865, the Regiment took a steamer for New Orleans and went into camp at Carrollton, March 11th; again passed through the mouth of the Mississippi and the next evening arrived at Pensacola, Florida, and went into camp at old Fort Baraucas, just across the bay from Frort Pickens. March 20th started towards Fort Blakely, captured a train of cars with a rebel paymaster on board, and on April 1st drove the enemy inside the works at Fort Blakely. Captured a battle flag and held the position until the infantry invested the place. After the fall of the fort April 9th, started through Alabama in pursuit of Jeff Davis. April 11th near Mount Plesant encountered the enemy and had a running fight with them. Killed 2, wounded 10 and captured 70 prisoners. Captain Kelly of Company I captured the regimental colors of the 15th regular confederate cavalry; the federal loss was 2 killed, and 6 or 8 wounded. The First Louisiana Cavalry was in the advance and took part in this engagement on May 3d; when about 2 miles from Willow Springs General Pillow entered the road near Sergeant Burnell and inquired for the commanding officer, he was taken to Colonel Marsh and tendered his sword to him, but the Colonel refused to accept it. June 4th go into camp 4 miles from Vicksburg on the 14th go to Vicksburg and the next day embark for the mouth of Red River; June 16th start up Red River with a fleet of 22 steamboats, arrived at Shreveport June 21, 1865, and on Sunday June 25th the Regiment was consolidated, forming six companies, A, B, C, D, E, F. On July 9th started on the march to San Antonio, Texas, arrived there August 2, 1865, and on Oct 31st received orders for muster out of service Nov. 15th, grand review by Major General Merrett and General Gibbs and turned over ordinance stores to Post Quarter Master and ordinance officers. Nov. 19th Major-General Merritt in special order No. 99, complimented the officers and men very highly, said that they had performed actions which reflected great glory on themselves and their state and that the conduct of the officers and men had been of the most exemplary character, with scarcely a single exception.

Was mustered out of the service Nov. 24th by Lieutenant Stickel.

November 27th started for home via New Orleans, Vicksburg and Cairo; December 20th took the train at Cairo for Springfield, where they arrived Dec. 28th at 4:30 P.M.

Jan 3, 1866, received their pay and final discharge from the service. The men are filled with a strange mixture of joy and sadness; were joyful on account of their release from the hardships, privations and dangers incident to the life of a soldier and also at the prospect of meeting the loved ones at home.

And sad on account of the severing of ties of friendship made doubly strong by those very hardships, privations and dangers which had been borne together by these men. This sketch revised by,

WM. M.BALDWIN, Pana, Ill.

Secretary Second Illinois Cavalry Reunion Association.








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