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                                Civil War of the United States
                                   Adjutant General Reports
                                    of the 53rd Regiment
                              of the Illinois Volunteer Infantry
                                    Cook County, Illinois


Information contributed for use in Cook County ILGenWeb by
        Ray Brucks [], Jun 2000



The Fifty-third Infantry Illinois Volunteers was organized at Ottawa, Illinois, in the
winter of 1861-'62. by Colonel W. H. W. Cushman. On the 27th of February, 1862. was ordered
to Chicago to complete its organization, and to assist in guarding the Confederate prisoners
captured at Donelaon and confined there.

Ordered to St. .Louis March 23d. and from St. Louis to Savannah. Tenn. April 6th. was
ordered to Shiloh, but for want of transportation did not move until afternoon of tha 7th.

Were assirned to First Brigade, Fourth Division, Brigadier Gleneril J. Q. Laornan commanding
Brigade, Brigadier General S. A. Huribat commanding Division, in which Brigade and Division
the Regiment served until the close of the war.

The Regiment was engaged in the siege of Corinth, and for meritorioas conduct on the
skirmish line were furnished with new Springfield rifles. Marched to Qrand Junction,
LaOrange, Holly Springs, Miss- and Memphis. Tenn., arriving there July 21, 1862. The
weather having been very hot. the troops had suffered very much from heat and scarcity of
water on the march.

September 3. Colonel Cushman took leave of the Regiment, having resigned, leaving the
regiment in command of Captain McClanahan, who had been acting as a field officer since
the evacuation of Corinth.

September 6. moved toward Bolivar. Tenn,. arriving there on the 13th. October 1. moved
toward LaOrange, but meeting a large rebel force, moved back to Bolivar. Acting Adjutant
C, R. May was taken prisoner by the rebel cavalry.

October 4, moved toward Hatchie River, and on the 5th engaged four times their num-
ber of the enemy, who were retreating from Corinth.

While crossing Davis' Bridge, on the Hatchie, a regiment from another State was forced
back through our lines, but the Fifty-third moved steadily forward, holding the bridge and
road for over two hours, until other troops could be crossed and placed in position.  Loss in
this battle, sixteen killed and forty-nine wounded.  The Regiment here assisted in running
a section of artillery, a Missouri Battery, up the bluff by hand, placing it within flfty yards
of the enemy's line. and supported it while it did splendid work.  The Regiment was corn
plimented by General Huribut for its work here.

Returned to Bolivar October 8th. October 15th. Lieutenant Colonel Earl took command
of the Regiment.

Moved to La Orange November 4. 1862. On the 28th of November, moved south with
General Grant's army to Cold Water. Holly Springs. Waterford. Abbeyville and Oxford
Mississippi; arrived at Yocona Creek December 13th, and on the 22d commenced the north
ward march toward Tallahatchie River.

January 1. 1863, the Division was made a part of the Seventeenth Army Corps, General
J.B. Me Pherson commanding Corps :J. Q. Lanman the Division, and Colonel I. C.Pugh
of the Forty-first Illinois, commanding Brigade, now First Brigade, Fourth Division
Seventeenth Army Corps.

January 11th. arrived at Moscow, Tenn. The Division was transferred to the Sixteenth
Army Corps. General S. A. Huribut commanding Corps, and was placed on duty guarding
the Memphis and Charleston Railroad.

March  11. moved to Memphis.

May 17. embarked for Young's Point, On 20th. moved to Haines' Bluff, and on the 25th
swung into line with the main army around Vicksburgh being on the left of the Thirteenth
Army Corps, Major General E. 0. C. Ord commanding, to which our division was temporarily


On JuJy 5, moved with General Shermans army against Jackson, Miss.. and on the 12th.
while closing the lines around that place, the Brigade was ordered to charge the rebel
works. The Fifty third participated in this gallant but disaatrons charge, going into the
fight with 250 men and officers, and coming out with but 66.  Colonel Earl fell near the rebel
breast-works, pierced with four canister shot   Lieutenant Colonel McClanahan was
severely wounded. Captain Michael Leahey and Lieutenant George L. Hemstreet were
killed. Captain J. E. Hudson, mortally wounded.  Captains Potter and King were wounded.

Lieutenant J. B, Smith lost an arm and was taken prisoner. Captain George R. Lodge.
Lieutenants Mark M. Bassett and John D, Hatfleld. and a number of the enlisted men, were
taken prisoners. The color guard and bearers were all either killed or .wounded. The
colors were captured, saturated with the life-blood of Sargeant George Poandstone. the
color bearer.

A few days after this fight the Regiment returned to Vickabnrg. The Division was
assigned to the Seventeenth Army Corps, Brigadier General M.. M. Crocker commanding
Division.  Moved to Natchez August 18th.  Returned to Vicksburg November 30th. and
camped at Milldale.

On the 1st of February. 1864, the Regiment, having re-enliated. was mustered as a vet-
eran organization, and on the 3d started on the Meridian campaign. Returning, arrived at
Hebron. Miss., February 29th.

Left Vicksburg March 13th; reached Ottawa. Illinois, 22d. where the men were fur-
loughed for 30 days. Companies I and E having been consolidated, a new company was
organized and assigned to the Regiment as Company I. Captain Samuel I. Haynie com-

The Regiment rejoined the Division at Cairo, Major General F. P. Blair having been
assigned to the Corps. Moved up the Tennessee River to Clifton; marched via Huntsville
and Decatur. joining General Sherman's army at Kingston, Ga.

June 8th. the Fifty-third was ordered to Allatoona Pass, and instructed to build earth-
works on each side of the Pass. They worked hard at that untill July 13th. when they re-
joined the Division at Marietta. Colonel B. F. Potth commanding Brigade. General W.Q,
Gresham commanding Division.

On the 17tb. joined the main army at the front. Was engaged in the siege of Atlanta.
and in the engagements of July 19th, 20th, 21st and 22d: lost 101 men killed and wounded.
Captain Samuel 1. Haynie and Sergeant Major Oran M. Bull being killed.

Was engaged as skirmishers at Jonesborough. and went with the army as far south as
Lovejoy Station: returned to East Point. After a few days rest at Bast Point, the Seven-
teenth Army Corps, under Major General T. E. G. Ranson. moved. October 1st. on a recon-
noissance toward Sandtown.

Returned to East Point; October 4th. moved north in pursuit of General Hood's army.
Followed Hood's army to Gaylesville. Alabama, where the army halted and rested a week
or so.

October 27th. the army received orders to move to the vicinity of Atlanta. Major Gen-
eral Ranson being very sick. and not able to ride in an ambulance, the Fifty-third was de-
tailed, at his request, to carry him on a litter and escort him to Rome. Georgia; carried him
to within six miles of Rome. where he became too weak to go farther.  At the farm house of
James Berryhill. near Boroe, the brave and gallant General T. E. G. Ranson died at 2:80
o'clock p.m., October 29. 1864.  The Regiment escorted the remains to Rome. and the next
day acted as an escort for a large number of officers, who were returning to their commands
in the main army.

Went into camp near Marietta, Georgia, November 6. November I3th, moved to West
Point, and on the 15th commenced the March to the Sea. Brigadier General Giles A, Smith
commanding Division. Arrived in front of the fortifications of Savannah December 10th;
a very foggy morning. The first shell from the enemy exploded in the ranks of company I,
killing five and wounding six men.  On the 21st marched into the city, and went into camp
near Bona Venture Cemetery.

January 4. 1865, the Forty-first Illinois, of 222 men and officers. Major Robert H, McFad-
den commanding, was consolidated with the Fifty-third Illinois.

On the 6th, embarked tor Beaufort, South Carolina, and soon after for Pocotaligo.

On January 29th. commenced the Carolina campaign  Moved by the way of Orange-
burg. Columbia. Fayetteville and Cheraw. participating in the battle of Bentonville. March
20th and 21st. losing one man killed and three wounded, among whom was Lieutenant
Palmer, who had his right leg amputated just below the knee.

Marched lo Goldsborough, Raleigh and Jones Station; and after Johnson's surrender
marched with the army to Washington. Was in the grand review of May 24, 1866.

FIFTY-THIRD INFANTRY.                  655
June 6th, left Washington for Louisville. Kentucky, where, on the 22d of July. the Regi-
ment was mustered ont of service by Lieutenant Robert M. Wood, A, C. M.. and moved to
Chicago. July 28th, received final pay and discharge.

The Regiment was commanded from its organization until the latter part of August,
1862. by Colonel Cushman, when he tendered his resignation, and left for his home in
By Captain MeClanahan from September 1. 1862, to October 15, 1862.
By Colonel Earl from October 15. 1862. to July 12. 1883.
By Colonel McClanaban from July 12. 1863. to June 21. 1865.
By Colonel MeFadden from Jane 21. 1865. to July 28. 1865.

Lieutenants Mark M. Bassett and John D. Batfield made their escape from Libby Prison
on the night of February 9, 1864, through the famous tunnel. Hatfleld coming into the Union
lines at or near Washington  Bassett was recaptured the fourth night out. but subsequently
effected his escape from Columbia. South Carolina.

The following officers from the Forty-first Illinois were assigned positions in the Fifty-
third. upon the consolidation of the two Regiments:
 Major Robert H. McFadden. promoted to Lieutenant Colonel.
 Surgeon George M. Warmoth.
 Captain David H. McFadden, Captain K Company.
 Lieutenant John M. Bobinson, Second Lieutenant B Company.
 Lieutenant William H. Palmer. First Lieutenant B Company.
 Lieutenant John Churchill. Second Lieutenant B Company.

The Regiment marched 2,855 miles. Transported by boat and cars 4.168 miles. Over
1.800 officers and men belonged to the Regiment during its term of service.

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