Fifth Illinois Cavalry
Of this regiment Companies A and I were enlisted in Cumberland County.
The officers of Company A were:
E. W. Pierson, till January, 1863
J. M. Cullers till January, 1865
Gordon Webster, till March, 1865
Joshua Tuthill, rank dated from October, 1865.
Chas. Nicewanger, till July, 1862
Gordon Webster, till January, 1865
John D. Rawlins. till mustered out.
Gordon Webster, till July, 1862
J. M. Cullers, till January 1863
Lyman Clark, till May 1864
Warren Harper, rank to date from October, 1865.
Of Company I the officers were:
Bartholomew Junkins, till April, 1862
B. G. Glenn, till December, 1862
E. S. Norfolk, till March, 1863
J. A. Balch, till March, 1865
J. K. Brown, till mustered out.
E. S. Norfolk, till December, 1862
J. K. Brown, till April, 1865.
J. F. Smith, till September, 1862
J. K. Brown, till May, 1862
W. F. Snowdon, till December, 1863
Leander Coffman, till June, 1865
R. H. Osborne, from August, 1865, but not mustered.
The Fifth Cavalry regiment was organized at Camp Butler, Illinois, in November, 1861, and Hall Wilson appointed Colonel. On February 20, 1862, the regiment moved to Benton Barracks, Saint Louis, and early in the spring to Pilot Knob. On the 27th, the Fifth marched to Doniphan, where it had its first skirmish with the enemy, capturing his camp and seven prisoners. The regiment, a few days later, marched to Pocahontas, where it remained until the latter part of June. On the 27th of this month, the regiment marched for the Mississippi River, joining Curtis’ army at Helena, July 13. Here the regiment did forage and escort duty the balance of the year, losing seventy eight mean and an officer, by an attack of the enemy on one of the forage trains. The balance of the year, losing seventy eight men and an officer, by an attack of the enemy on one of the forage trains. In January, 1863, the regiment made an expedition to Duval’s Bluff, and, in April, went in pursuit of Marmaduke, who was retreating from Missouri. In the latter part of May, under orders for Vicksburg the regiment embarked for Snyder’s Bluff, and, two days after landing made a reconnaissance to Mechanicsburg, skirmishing heavily on the way, and driving the enemy ten miles. Forming a junction with the forces under General Kimball, the combined command, consisting of three regiments and eight pieces of artillery, made an attack upon the enemy, who was strongly posted, and defeated him, the Fifth losing eight men, killed and wounded. On the 6th of July, the regiment moved with Sherman’s command to Jackson, and thence, with a strong detachment, made a march to Canton, where they destroyed the public workshops, after sonic fighting, and returned to the main army under General Sherman.
In August, the regiment took part in an expedition to Grenada, capturing wagon trains and destroying bridges along the Mississippi Central Railroad, and reached their destination on the 17th, driving the rebels under Chalmers from the pLace and effecting a junction with the command under Lieutenant Colonel Phelps. The bridge over the Yallabusha being destroyed, the rolling stock of the road captured could not be saved, and forty engines and 320 cars were burned. Continuing their march, the force turned toward Memphis, encountering Blythe’s rebel cavalry at Coldwater, in which engagement the Union forces were victorious, the Fifth losing some six men. Arriving at Memphis, the regiment embarked for Vicksburg and encamped at Black River on the 29th of August. Here the regiment remained until January, 1865, in the meantime being in a number of expeditions through Mississippi and Louisiana. In October, the regiment moved with General McPherson’s Corps to Jackson, took part in the cavalry charge at Brownsville, losing three men. In February, moved with General Sherman’s command on the Meriden raid.
In January, 1864, many of the regiments re-enlisted, and on March 17th the veterans were furloughed, returning May 10th. At this time eight companies were dismounted, companies A, B, C and D, being fully equipped and mounted. On July 1st this battalion, with detachments of the Eleventh Illinois Cavalry, Second Wisconsin Cavalry, and Third United States Colored Cavalry, under the command of Major H. P. Mumford with a brigade of infantry, Gen. Dennis commanding the expedition, moved to Jackson with continual skirmishing. On the return march this force was attacked by a large force of the enemy, who was repulsed after severe fighting. The battalion lost several men wounded and killed. On September 27 the same force of cavalry moved clown the river, landing at Port Gibson, and drove the enemy from the place, the Fifth losing one man killed. From thence the expedition moved to Natchez, where it was joined by the Fourth Illinois Cavalry and a battery, and moved on to Tonica Bend. Here the expedition landed and moved to Woodville, where it captured a rebel camp. During the night a force of 600 of the enemy, with one gun, advanced, but were driven in confusion by a charge of the cavalry. From this point the expedition returned to Vicksburg. November 20 the Fifth took part in an expedition sent out to destroy the Mississippi central Railroad, over which the supplies of Gen. Hood’s army were being transported. The expedition was successful, the command destroying many miles of the road.
On January 24, 1865, the Fifth moved to Memphis, where it was assigned to the First Brigade of the Cavalry Division. From this point the regiment took part in an expedition to southern Arkansas and northern Louisiana, returning about the middle to February. In March the regiment took part in an expedition to Ripley, Mississippi, and on its return was assigned to the duty of guarding the Memphis and Charleston Railroad. Here the regiment remained until July, when it was moved via Red River to Texas. From Alexandria, La., the regiment marched to Hempstead, Texas, where it remained until October 6, when it was ordered home. The regiment arrived at Springfield on the 16th of October, 1865; was mustered out on . the 27th, and received final payment and discharge October 30., 1865.
Of the fourteen or more regiments that drew a part of their numbers from Cumberland County, though no organizations were formed here, the Fifty Fourth, Sixty First, and Sixty Second are certainly entitled, from the number of citizens they contained, to a place among Cumberland County's interests. The Fifty Fourth Illinois Infantry was organized in Coles, Clark and Jasper counties, and in Company G were some fifteen or twenty of Cumberland County's young men. The Fifty Fourth was organized at Camp Dubois, Anna, Ill., as a part of the Kentucky Brigade. It was mustered into the United States service for three years, February 18, 1862. A week later the regiment proceeded to Cairo, and a few Shelby attacked an overwhelming force and captured one station. Six of the companies were concentrated at one station, and for five hours, resisted the attack with great bravery. The breastworks, hastily constructed of hay, having been fired and destroyed by the enemy's artillery, the regiment was driven out of their defenses and captured in detail. The regiment lost some fifty men in killed and wounded at this fight. Companies F and H at a distant station were not molested. The part of the regiment captured was paroled and reached Benton Barracks, Missouri, in September. December 5, 1864, it was exchanged and returned to Hickory Station on the same railroad where it remained on this duty until June. On the 9th of this month the regiment proceeded to Pine Bluff, thence to Fort Smith, Ark., and thence to Little Rock, where it was mustered out October 16, 1865, and proceeded to Camp Butler, Illinois, October 26, where it was discharged.