13th Infantry Dixon Volunteers

Reunion 23 May 1883 Standing in front of the Nachusa Hotel - Photo contributed by Margaret Gagliardi

Company A, of the 13th Infantry Illinois Volunteers was organized at Dixon, Illinois April 22, 1861. The regiment was organized under the Ten-Regiment Bill, for three months service, at Dixon, May 9, 1961, and mustered into the United States service May 24, 1861. The regiment organized with 970 men, and was composed of companies from Dixon, Sterling, Amboy, Rock Island, Sandwich, Sycamore, Morrison, Aurora, Chicago, and DuPage. Sunday, June 16, the regiment was ordred to Caseyville, Ill., by rail; July 6 to Rolla, Missouri; October 10, 1861, ordered to Springfield, Missouri; November 10, 1861, ordered back to Rolla; remained during the winter in Rolla.

March 16 1862 marched via Springfield to Pea Ridge, Ark.; thence via Keltsville, to Batesville; and thence to Helena, Arkansas, arriving on the 14th of July, 1862.

The regiment was actually first at Chickasaw Bayou Dec. 27, 1862, and the assault on the 29th. Participated in the battle at Arkansas Post, January 11th, 1863; Jacksonl, Miss. May 14, 1863; seige of Vicksburg and assault May 22, 1863; siege of Jackson, July 1863,; Tuscumbia, October 26 and 27, 1863; Lookout Mountain, Nov. 24, 1863; Mission Ridge, Nov. 25, 1863; Ringgold, Georgia, Nov 27, 1863; and Madison, Ala. May 1864.

June 18, 1864, regiment was mustered out at Springfield, Illinois. Company A returned home the 21st of June. July 19, 1874, the Veterans were transferred to the 56th Illinois Volunteers, as consolidated.
Contributed by Joan Achille

Ravages of War Revealed by Hollow Ranks of 13th

When Dixon's own 13th Infantry Volunteer Regiment marched off at the beginning of the war with flags flying, amid the strains of fife and drum, they were one thousand strong, with high hopes of quick defeat for the Confederate Armies.

Few realized that ahead of them lay what one of the wives later termed "experiences to turn the strongest heart cold; weariness, loneliness, sickness, exposure, poor food, wounds, starvation in prisons, and death for thousands of them."

The ranks of the one thousand youthful patriots were to be sadly depleted, and when they passed muster once again after the war, on the streets of Dixon, their hollow ranks were to echo the sound of once familiar voices. When the gallant Thirteenth held its first reunion after the war, it was a time for comrades-in-arms to be happy at the sight of a wartime buddy. It was also a time to be sad that a large part of the thousand would never again answer the roll call.

The following newspaper account of the reunion of the 1eth (Dixon) Regiment was reported on March 28, 1868:

The 13th IL Infantry Volunteer Regiment held its reunion at Dixon.

2:30 p.m. - Great Western Band of Chicago played before the courthouse. About 200 or 300 left from the the original 1,000 attended

2:45 p.m. - The band played "Rally Round the Flag," followed by a martial tune by the old drum corps of the egiment. Rev. G.E. Strobridge of Dixon, M.E. Church made opening prayer. President Col. Beardslee, Rock Island, made address. Letters read from: J.D. Crabtree, A.P. Gorgas, Gov. Oglesby, Gov. Fletcher, Gen. Farrar, Gen. F.P. Blair, Gen. Logan, Ed Carr, J.W. Paddock and Mrs. Gen. Sherman, in behalf of husband, who was "absent on the plains." Three cheers made for Gen. Sherman, Capts. Church, Wiser and Everest, sang that happy song, "Marching Through Georgia."

Gen. Partridge elected President for following year; A>J. Pinkham, secretary and treasurer; Mr. Hubbard, corresponding secretary. Planned to meet at Dixon May 27, 1869. Formed in yard for "marching orders," at dismissal and sang "America." Three rousing cheers for Grant and Colfax given. Cpl. (afterward captain) Sockett, who in the battle took the flag from the death-grasp of Cpl. Patrick Riley of Co. K was loudly called for amid cheers and took his station as bearer. Regiments formed in courtyard, marched down Galena and Main streets, headed by band, followed by the war-horse from which the lamented Gen. John B. Wyman had just dismounted to lead the charge in which he was killed. After horse, came drum corps. It was a solemn sight to see the few survivors of that thousand, who at the call of their country, marched full of hope and courage through these same streets to the scene of battle, now with the riderless horse of their beloved commander, and the same old flag at their head, pass through the streets, silent with the sad thoughts which the scene suggests. And where are the remainder? And for what did they die? Let us never forget."

Procession returned to Nachusa, dismissed to assemble at banquet hall for banquet. Toasts: "The 13th IL Regiment," " The Stars and Stripes," " The Regular Army," "The Pay Department," "The Citizens of Dixon," "The Loyal Press of the Country," "The Ladies of America," "The Rank and File," "Our Honored Dead," Last followed by a "slow and measured dirge from the band that made the heart quake and the tears to flow, so impressively solemn and sad was it."

The banquet was followed by a quadrille and promenade party."


Measles and fever, it is reported, came early to the soldiers of the 13th Regiment and continued with them to the end of service.

To the men of the 13th Regiment the state of Missouri had the nickname of : "The State of Misery" due to soem of the miserable experiences within its borders.

In the fall of 1862, the Illinois Central railroad built an iron bridge in place of the wooden truss work across the river. The bridge was constructed on the old piers. This work was completed without stopping a single train.

Mr. Joseph C. Miller, A Baptist minister from Amboy, was appointed chaplain of the 13th Regiment and was described as " a man of fine appearnace and good address."


(From "The History of the 13th Regiment, IL Volunteer Infantry")

When the thousand men came to camp they brought something more than numbers. Some things that could neither be counted nor weighed - soem things that could either prove a tower of strength, or a source of weakness to them, as they pushed on into the battle line. Back of these men were a thousand homes, more or less. Each of these turned to the camp in Dixon. In these were fathers and mothers, wives, sisters and sweethearts. In these were well-wishers, tears and prayer; from them came many letters filled with inspiration, or as some cases discouragement. We called our regiment, "One thousand strong." But was it not true that one half of our strength was never seen in either the camp or the battlefield? It was found in the homes and hearts left behind."


Soon after the firing on Fort Sumter, a shot which heralded the start of the Civil War, it is recorded by historians that "the prairie was ablaze with patriotism." In less than a month, most of the men who were to make up the 13th Regiment of the Illinois Volunteers Infantry had gathered at Dixon. The date was May 9, 1861. History says that these men were "new, not seasoned and somewhat green; yet that was no fault of the timber." In the long war years ahead of them they were to meet hardships with great valor and courage. One historian of the regiment wrote: "If long marches and sharp fighting be glory, then we got enough to settle the froth on our patriotism of 1861, and cooled to the point of going slow before taking a contract of like size again."

Recollections of those who served in the 13th Regiment indicate that the Civil War armies, like those of modern times, had their "gold-bricks," idlers and others who rebelled against authority. The following account is taken from "This History of the 13th Reg."

"Of course the guard-house was a general resort for malefactors, but by some it was rather enjoyed than otherwise, if the term was not too protracted. This was a common punishment, and yet others were used, soem of which were discontinued, when we got tot he front. I note from memory and a diary, some such as these: "Tied to a tree" - "gaged" - "made to stand on a barrel soem hours for refusing to attend religious services." I suppose the punishment in this case was for disobedience of orders. "While all the men who enlisted pledged themselves to obey allt he commands of their superior officers and, of course, ought to have kept their word, yet it was hardly wise on the part of the officers in volunteer service to absolutely demand attendance upon such service, and later on it was abandoned. The fact is, that many of the officers, to begin with, were not prepared to know what should be insisted upon and what should be left to the good sense and heart of the men.

"I remember one wild, young Irishman, who had never controlled himself nor been controlled, who set out on a general course of wild insubordination. Falling into the hand of drillmaster Brown, for some misdemeanor, he was loaded with a full knapsack and set on a double-quick with a right about face at the end of about ten rods, after this had gone on for half an hour he grew tame, and later I heard him say, he deemed it wise to fall in with the rules."

An historian of the 13th recalls his early days of training - "Drills of all kinds - from "squad" to battalion" was at once instituted and kept up in a most vigorous way. It seemed hard, and was hard work, but it served us well in after months, whether on parade or on the march or in battle line. Our friends had no occasion to feel ashamed of us."

From the 1863 Newspaper - The danger ot life and limb to soldiers were many besides those on the battlefields. In the history of the 13th, is the account of an outfit during a stay in Memphis. One of the batteries was removed from the boat to the levee. The incline from the landing to the city level was steep and paved with heavy cobblestones. One of the guns had been unloaded and was being pulled up the hill. The men mounted the caisson in which the ammunition was packed. The box was full of percussion shells and must not have been properly packed, for as a wheel struck a stone, one of the shells exploded and that set off the rest and four men were killed or wounded. A few months later the same thing occured as a battery was crossing the railroad at Huntsville AL with the same tragic results.

January 14, 1863 - From daylight to dark it continued to rain in perfect torrents; not even holding up long enough for us to cook anything. The new Monitor came up from the Mississippi river. She carries two 13 inch Dahlgren guns and is one of the best gun-boats ever built. Toward night it began to grow cold and we had to leave the decks and hunt places below. Hartman and I laid (not slept) down on some cord-wood near the boiler. About 12 midnight it began to snow and we lay shivering till morning, which brought us no abatement of the storm.

On July 4, 1863 at 10 a.m. the white flag went up on the fortifications of Vicksburg Mississippi - one of the most significant victories in the war. Members of the 13th Dixon Regiment recalled the event as "the best 4th of July since 1776."

Sunday July 5, 1863 - Our division took the road at 2 a.m. to reinforce General Sherman who is after Johnston. The day was excessively hot. Passed through the fortifications that have been erected as our rear line. We came 15 miles and camped just at dark.

July 6, 1863 - Spent most of the day in a very pleasant camp. We found blackberries in great profusion and they were sought after and enjoyed. This kind of fruit was without doubt a great preserver of health during the siege. Much foraging was done during the day. Came two miles ot the Big Black River.

July 7 - Started early, crossed the river on pontoons, came 12 miles and camped near Bolton. The heat and dust as very severe on the army. Many men were sunstruck and some died of the heat. We passed General Tuttle's division. A kind providence gave us a show of rain this evening.

July 8 - Skirmish with the enemy on the part of the cavalry was carried on. Our division started in the afternoon and marched some ten miles in the vicinity of Clinton. We are laying in line of battle. Losses for the day small. The Fourth Iowa skirmished into taking a number of prisoners and killing and wounding some.

In the records of the 13th Dixon Regiment it is recounted how, in 1863, a band of southern prisoners en route north and passing the encampment of the 13th, called out to them: "All fashionable Southern gentlemen took a trip north during the summer months."

During the battle of Lookout Mountain in 1863 - the 13th Dixon Regiment is credited with taking 258 prisoners of war.

Christmas 1863 for the men of the 13th was a dreary day. The dawn came cold and cloudy and the regiment celebrated the holiday with a march of 16 miles over a rough road and put up for the night in the vicinity of the city of Larkinsville, Alabama. One member of the regiment later recalled:

"We rolled up in our blankets and looked up at the twinkling stars until they put us to sleep." After a rainy night and on a morning equally as cold and wet, the outfit moved to the west. Marching along the railroad tracks,the infantry regiment left the more common road to the wagon trains and artillery. They moved in this way for about ten miles and at 3 o'clock in the afternoon went into camp at Woodville, a small railroad station. The regiment remained there for the remaining days of the year, all of which were cold, wet and disagreeable.

In 1864, their term of enlistment finished, the members of the 13th (Dixon) Regiment, IL Volunteer Infantry, were homeward bound. Amos H. Miller, historian, writing in the annals of the 13th Regiment saif of that memorable date: Thursday, May 26th at 9:45 p.m. the train started us homeward. We went by the way of Decatur, Alabama, and Pulaski Tennessee and arrived at Nashville at 11 a.m. on the 27th. As the train rolled up the great open valley from Franklin to Nashville, one of the men standing on the top of the cars said, "What a fine place for a great battle" It was here at Franklin that General Hood dashed his forces so fiercely against General Thomas' ranks and following it up to Nashville was defeated; and it was down this valley that his army went to pieces, never to gather again to do any great service.

On the 28th we went on board the steamer Imperial and started down the Cumberland river. The greatest object that met our gaze was Fort Donelson. It was here that our army on those terrible days and nights of Feb. 1862, fought and suffered and won. It was here that General Grant lifted himself up before the eyes of the public, and from this time his sun of glory never set, nay, was scarcely clouded. Donelson will be memorable in the records of the Civil war, as one of the favorable turning points of our cause and one of the disastrous points of the Confederate army.

At 2 p.m. on the 29th we were out of the Cumberland and in the Ohio river, at 6:30 p.m. on the same day, and were safely l anded at the wharf at Cairo Illinois.

We spent the night on the streets without shelter, waiting for railroad transportation. At 11 a.m. of the 30th we were again moving on the Illinois Central railroad, the same over which we had started out about three years before, now we were northbound, then were going south. Then we were ready for glory and experience and now we had much of experience and some of glory. Then we were mostly boys, now we were men, if severe experience and hard service could bring it about. But the boys were not all on the train this morning, and we did not hear the ringing voice of our gallant Colonel Wyman as on that other morning.

It is hushed. We are all more sober. We have seen sad sights. But the flag we bore is still given to the breeze. It is dearer, it means more, it is not fine silk at so much a yard, it is the baptized emblem of liberty. But it did not even yet float over all our dominion, yet six hundred thousand brave men were in the field and on the rampart to say that it should.

GORGAS, Adam B. Captain Promoted to Col. Dec. 1862
NOBLE, Henry T. 1st Lt. Promoted to Capt. July 1863
DEMENT, Henry D. 2nd Lt. Promoted to 1st Lt.
GILMAN, Benjamin 2nd Lt. Resigned 1 Oct 1862, d. Mar 1863
AIKEN, George L. 1st Sgt. Promoted to 2nd Lt., d. 12 Apr 1863
PINKHAM, A.J. Sgt Promoted to 2nd Lt., Capt. Aug 1863
HOUGHTON, Henry Sgt. Discharged Nov 1863, Comm. as Maj.3rd Ar Cav.
HEATH, Coldon L. Sgt. Discharged Nov 1862, Disability
UHL, Samuel Sgt. Died Dec. 5, 1863, on furlough
PITTS, Alexander Cpt. Pro. Sgt, 1st Sgt. Reduced to Sgt. M.O. Jun 18 1864
SNOW, Edwin A. Cpl. Pro. sgt., Disch. 1862 Disability
HEATON, Dwight Cpl Mustered out June 18, 1864
AULD, Martin C. Cpl. Trans. to Bowens' Cav. (Now 10th MO) Aug 1 1861
DEPHES, Henry M. Cpl Disch. Mar 1863 to accept position as Hospital Steward
YOUNG, Richard B. Cpl Disch. Oct 10, 1861 Disabiltity
AYERS, C.B. Pvt Disc 18 Mar 1863
ANDERSON, Henry A. Pvt Mustered out June 18 1864 as Cpl
ABLES, Martin Pvt Mustered out June 18, 1864
ATKINS, Palmer Pvt Mustered out June 18, 1864
BECKER, Charles A. Cpl Wnd. near Vicksburg Dec 1862 Died Boucher
BOUCHER, Charles Pvt Trans to Inf. Corps Sep. 1863
BOYER, Samuel Pvt Mustered out 18 Jun 1864
BOYD, James H. Pvt Disch. Sep 19, 1861 for habitual drukenness
BRANDON, Dennison Pvt Vet. Trans. to Co I, 56th Inf.
BRUBAKER, John H Pvt Must. out June 18 1864, 1st Sgt.
BRENNAN, James Pvt Killed at assault of Chickasaw Bayou Dec 29, 1862
BEAL, Horace W. Pvt Disch. Apr 12 1863, Disability
BLAER, Martin Pvt Mustered out June 18, 1864
BENJAMIN, Charles A. Pvt Mustered out June 18, 1864
CURRY, Amos P. Pvt Trans. to Bowens Bat. Cav. 1861
CRABTREE, John D. Pvt Trans. to Bowens Bat. Cav. 1861
CHEESEMAN, William H. Pvt Disch. Feb. 17, 1861 Disability
CHENEY, Osborn Pvt Died Mar. 21, 1864
COVELL, James Pvt Mustered out June 18, 1864
COFFEE, William Pvt Mustered out June 18, 1864
DEVLIN, Henry Pvt In General Hospital at Memphis
DRIVER, Arthur J. Pvt Trans. to Invalid Corps Sep. 1863
DUNWIDDIE, George F. Pvt Mustered out June 18, 1864
EVANS, Mark Pvt Promoted 1st Lt.
GLASSEY, Henry W. Pvt Trans. to Invalid Corps Feb. 1863
GOBLE, Charles Pvt Died Dec. 28, 1862 of wounds
GREGWIRE, Lewis Pvt Drowned July 7, 1862
GILGAN, John H. Pvt In General Hospital in Memphis
GILES, Milton Pvt Mustered out June 18, 1864
GALLUP, Austin Pvt Mustered out June 18, 1864
HADLEY, Robert Pvt Mustered out June 18, 1864
HOLLOWWELL, Leroy Pvt Mustered out June 18, 1864
HAMILL, John Pvt Mustered out June 18, 1864
GILES, Milton Pvt Mustered out June 18, 1864
HAMILTON, Orville Pvt Trans. to Invalid Corps Sep. 1863
HILL, James A. Pvt Disc. Dec. 13, 1861 Disability
HEATON, J.A.D. Pvt Trans. to US Cav. Nov. 28, 1863 as Drum Major
HARKNESS, George W. Pvt Mustered out June 18, 1864
HARRISON, Clinton D. Pvt Died Nov. 9, 1863
IRWIN, William Pvt Mustered out June 18, 1864, Sgt.
KELLY, Albert Pvt Mustered out June 18, 1864
LING, Mark W. Pvt Died Sep. 16, 1863
LAW, David H. Pvt Trans. to non-comm. staff, hospital
MANN, William H. Pvt Mustered out June 18, 1864
MANN, George F. Pvt Mustered out June 18, 1864
MORRILL, Joseph Pvt Mustered out June 18, 1864
MOSELY, Henry Pvt Mustered out June 18, 1864
MEAD, William H. Pvt Disc. Dec.23, 1861 Disability
OAKLEY, John Pvt Disc. Apr 5, 1862 Disability
PHILBRICK, Oscar Pvt Died Aug. 14, 1863
REYNOLDS, Charles Pvt Mustered out June 18, 1864
REMINGTON, Edw. V.E. Pvt Vet. Trans. to Bowens Batt Cav
SANTEE, Miller Pvt Trans. to Bowens Batt. Cav. 1861
SMURR, Thomas H. Pvt Mustered out June 18, 1864
Snyder, Charles Pvt Trans. to 49th USCI, Sgt. Maj.
SHAW, Jed Pvt Mustered out June 18, 1864, Cpl.
STERLING, Norman Pvt Mustered out June 18, 1864
STARY, David Pvt Vet Trans. to Co. I 56th Inf
VOORHEES, Andrew Pvt In General Hospital at St. Louis
WILLIS, George Pvt Disc. Sep. 1, 1861 Disability
WOOD, Joshua Pvt Mustered out June 18, 1864
WOLVERTON, Jacob Pvt Disc. Dec. 23, 1862, disability
WILSON, Hugh Pvt Deserted Sep 20, 1861
WILLIAMS, Martin H. Pvt Trans. to Bowens Batt Cav. 1861
WILLIAMS, Charles A. Pvt Trans. to Bowens Batt Cav. 1861
WOODYAT, William H. Pvt Disch. Sep. 8, 1863 Disability
WALSH, Patrick Pvt Vet. Trans Co. I 56th Inf.
WELTY, John M. Pvt Mustered out June 18, 1864
BURTON, George D. Recruit Jan 1 1864 Mustered out June 18, 1864
COLE, Lyman Recruit Jan 1, 1864 Vet, Trans to Co. I 56th Inf.
COOK, William Recruit May 24 1861 Disch. Dec 23 1861, Disability
EDSON, James E. Recruit Mar 1 1862 Trans. to Co. I 56th Inf.
HILL, Joseph Reruit Sep 15 1861 Died Nov 15, 1863
HEATON, Seth J. Recruit Sep 15 1861 Died Dec 5 1861
KING, John W. Recruit Aug 15 1862 Trans to Co. I 56th Inf.
McGINNIS, William Recruit Sep 15 1861 Trans to Co. I 56th Inf.
McKEVER, Patrick Recruit Dec 31 1863 Trans to Co. I 56th Inf.
NOBLE, Charles Recruit Sep 15 1861 Trans to Co. I 56th Inf.
SCHWABE, John Recruit Feb 15 1864 Trans to Co. I 56th Inf.
WEBB, Oscar Recruit Sep 16 186? Trans to Co. I 56th Inf.
WICKES, Hobert P. Recruit May 24 1861 Trans. as Pricipal Musician non-com staff
MONTGOMERY, James H. Co C May 24 1861 Died Aug 7 1863
COOK, Charles Co F Dec 18 1863 Trans. to Co. I 56th Inf.
AUSTIN, Stephen Co G Dec 18 1863 Died Jan 23 1863, wounds
GENUNG, Samuel Co G May 24 1861 Died Apr 3 1863, wounds
GENUNG, Leroy Co G May 24 1861 Mustered out June 18 1864
GENUNG, Warren Co G May 24 1861 Mustered out June 18 1864
HAYES, John Co G May 24 1861 Killed at Chickasaw Bayou Dec 29 1862
LINGIN, John Co G May 24 1861 Deserted Oct 27 1862
WAGNER, Jacob Co H Jun 25 1861 Mustered out Jun 18 1864
WOOD, Hercules Co G Jun 25 1861 Deserted Apr 23 1862

13th Infantry 60th Anniversary

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