The Battle of Fort Fisher, N.C.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Sherman's 1865 Carolinas Campaign-- Part 2: From Atlanta to Nashville to Fort Fisher

**  After the fall of Atlanta, Schofield's Army of the Ohio was detached to Thomas in Tennessee and that was when the race between Hood and Schofield and Spring Hill and Franklin took place.

**  The Battle of Nashville was December 15-16, 1864.

**  After the Battle of Nashville and destruction of Hood's army, Schofield was ordered to Washington, D.C. and from there to Wilmington to join up with Sherman who was marching through South Carolina to North Carolina.

**  The lead division of Schofield's 13th Corps arrived within three weeks.  Again, that is a great distance in a short time by 1860s standards.  That some logistics.

**  Schofield came east with some 12,000 men.

--Old Secesh

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

McHenry County Civil War Round Table Discussion Group, Feb. 23-- Part 1: Sherman's 1865 Carolinas Campaign

Meeting at Panera Bread, Crystal Lake, Illinois.

Things I found out:

**  Was it the final campaign of the Western Theater?  Even though it took place in the Eastern Theater.  Essentially it was because it involved the armies of the west on the Union side and the pitiful remnants of the once grand Army of Tennessee on the Confederate side.

**  Logistically, John Schofield moving his 13th Corps from Nashville, Tennessee, to Washington, D.C. in 17 days was a remarkable logistical accomplishment.  However, I wasn't able to find out too much about it.

Sounds like a good idea for somebody's book.

**  In 1864, John Schofield commanded the Army of Ohio in the Atlanta Campaign.  He had problems with Major General John Palmer, who considered himself Schofield's superior.   Sherman removed Palmer.

--Old Secesh

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Hood's 1864 Tennessee Campaign-- Part 5: The Aftermath for the Army of Tennessee

**  Hood described as the only man to really wreck an army.  His force went from 50,000 to 20,000 men.

**  Hood's army had a big problem with desertion and morale.

**  After the Battle of Nashville, the Army of Tennessee essentially ceased to exist, with some going to Mobile and around 4,500 going to North Carolina and joining Johnston at the Battle of Bentonville.

**  I remember reading that at Bentonville, Union troops remarked at how sad it was to see how close together the battle flags of the Army of Tennessee were to one another, indicating very small regiments.

**  Hood's disastrous Tennessee Campaign in 1864 was not a turning point in the war as it wound down.  Lincoln's election in November truly was the end for the Confederacy.

Some OFF-Topic Discussion.  We always have off-topic discussions as well, sometimes more than on-topic.

**  History is now on the back-burner in schools.

**  Ken Burns really caused prices of top level Civil War artifacts to go up because of his series on PBS.

**  Middle of the road collectibles, however, have stayed about the same in price.

Topic for the February meeting will be Sherman's Carolina Campaign.

--Old Secesh

Hood's 1864 Tennessee Campaign-- Part 4: What About Mrs. Peters?

The McHenry County Civil War Round Table discussion group, Jan. 26, 2019.

**  Should Schofield have continued retreating in front of Hood when he had almost the same number of troops?

**  What role did a Mrs. Peters of Spring Hill, Tennessee, play in the Union Army's narrow escape through that town?    Mrs. Peters is of interest also in the death of Confederate General Earl Van Dorn earlier in the war.  I'll have to look up some more info on her.

**  Gen. Hood described "as wrathy as a rattlesnake" after Spring Hill and a big reason for his mad rush to Franklin and attacking before he was ready to do so and as daylight was fleeting.

**  Spring Hill is very built up now.

**  Thomas wanted Schofield to delay Hood at Franklin for three days so he could continue gathering his forces.  That didn't happen.

--Old Secesh

Monday, February 25, 2019

MCCWRT Discussion, January 2019: Hood's 1864 Tennessee Campaign-- Part 3

I always thought Confederate General John Bell Hood's 1864 Tennessee Campaign was a forlorn hope as the Confederacy faded into oblivion, and, of course, the use of his army was highly questionable.  And, he had essentially no chance of pulling it off.

But, the more I read, the more possible it became had he only moved faster.

Some other things discussed at the Jan. 26 meeting:

**  Hood was a private observer for Davis and Bragg during the Atlanta Campaign before he took over.

**  When Davis decided to get rid of Johnston, who was available?

**  Hood started attacking at Atlanta just two days after taking command.

**  Race to Nashville.  Had Hood gotten there before the Union forces consolidated he might have had a chance.

By the way, Frank.  The answer to Thursdays question, who was James Reilly U.S. Army sgt. and C.S. Army major?  He surrendered Fort Johnston to N.C. Confederates in 1861 and Fort Fisher, N.C. to Union forces almost four years later in 1865.

--Old Secesh

Friday, February 22, 2019

Sherman's Carolinas Campaign

This is the subject of the McHenry Country Civil War Round Table discussion group meeting tomorrow in Crystal Lake (see last post for particulars).

From Wikipedia.

Also called the Campaign of the Carolinas, went from January 1 to April 26, 1865.  It was the final campaign conducted by the U.S. Army against the Confederacy.  Wikipedia holds it as being in the Western Theater

On January 1, 1864, Union General Sherman advanced his army from Savannah, Georgia, with plans of marching through South Carolina and North Carolina to where he would link up with the Union Army in Virginia.

The defeat of Confederate General Joseph Johnston's Army at the Battle of Bentonville and its unconditional surrender on April 26, 1865, effectively ended the Civil War.

--Old Secesh

Thursday, February 21, 2019

MCCWRT Discussion Group Meets This Saturday: Sherman's 1865 Carolinas Campaign

The McHenry County (Illinois) Civil War Round Table discussion group will be meeting this Saturday, February 23, at Panera Bread, 6000 Northwest Highway (US-14) in Crystal lake from 10 am to noon.

This month's topic is Sherman's 1865 Carolinas Campaign.

All are invited.

Come On Down.  But be forewarned, we are often off-topic.

And, real good news, we will start having regular meetings in March (we tale January and February off, too cold in Illinois, you know.)  The meeting will be March 12 at the Woodstock (Illinois) Library.  Topic is "Jonathan Letterman" by Steve Acker.

He is a surgeon credited with  originating modern methods for medical organization in the Army.

--Old Secesh

Answers to Frank's Questions from Yesterday-- Part 2

1.  Adelbert Ames--  Last Union general to die.  (Also Benjamin Butler's son-in-law.)

2.  Edward Kerrigan--  Of the 16th Illinois Cavalry.  Supervised the hangings of the six Raiders at Andersonville.

3.  Sgt. Harry Reese--  Of the 48th Pennsylvania.  Volunteered to enter tunnel to what became the Crater at Petersburg to see why it hadn't ignited.

4.  C. C.. Banks--  Of the U.S. Christian Commission.  Informed Lincoln's son Robert that his father had been shot.

5.  Elizabeth Queseberry--  Involved in John Wilkes Booth's escape into Virginia.

6.  Martin Reuben Merritt Wallace-- 4th Illinois Cavalry.  Brother of General Wallace.  Drowned at Cairo, Illinois, in 1862, while embarking for the attack on Fort Henry.

Hard enough there, Frank.

OK, Frank, here's one for you:  Who was James Reilly, Sgt. U.S. Army, Major C.S. Army and what was he noted for?

--Old Secesh

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

MCCWRT Discussion Group, Jan. 26, 2019: Hood's 1864 Tennessee Campaign / Frank's Six-- Part 1

So far this has been the 15th Illinois' month, starting from the first day.  But back to the discussion group meeting now.

One other off-topic thing we discussed (there is a whole lot of  off-topic discussion in the group for some reason) was that Frank Crawford sent in another six trivia questions; evidently not satisfied with the difficulty of his last trivia questions from December.  This time on specific people.  Well, at least I knew the first one, but that was from his Fort Fisher involvement.  But Frank had him in for something else.


1.  Who was Adelbert Ames?

2.  Who was Edward Kerrigan?

3.  Who was Sergeant Harry Reese?

4.  Who was C.C. Banks?

5.  Who was Elizabeth Quesenberry?

6.  Who was Martin Reuben Merritt Wallace?

Do You Know?  Answers Tomorrow.   --Old Secesh?

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Mustering Out for Co. A, 15th Illinois

Mustered out May 24, 1864.  Did not reenlist.


Joined Veteran Battalion Co. E


Joined Veteran Battalion Co. C


Joined Veteran Battalion, Co. B


Reenlisted as Veteran


Mustered out June 3, 1864


Mustered Out June 11, 1964


Mustered out at Consolidation


Muster Me Out, Please.   --Old Secesh

Monday, February 18, 2019

Deaths in Co. A, 15th Illinois

April 19, 1862   The only death from Woodstock.


November 1, 1861

February 28, 1862

September 27, 1862

December 4, 1862

December 17, 1862

June 1, 1864

--Old Secesh

Friday, February 15, 2019

Breakdown of Residences of Co. A, 15th Illinois-- Part 3

Out of State.

With McHenry County located on the border with Wisconsin, it is not surprising that there would be some Cheeseheads in the regiment.


Big Fort--  1
Sharon--  5
Darien--  1
Delavan--  2


Louisville, Ky.--  1
Texas--  1

Also one from Ringgold, but I was unable to find out where that was.

--Old Secesh

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Breakdown of Residences of Co. A, 15th Illinois Infantry-- Part 2

Other Illinois towns:

Freeport--  7
Chicago--  6
Ripley--  1  (Brown County)
Keithsburg--  1   (Murcer Co.)  These last two counties are over by the Mississippi River in the western part of the state.
Palatine--  1
Rockford--  2
LeRoy--  1  (McLean County)
Oneco--  1  (Stephenson County)

--Old Secesh

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Breakdown of Residences of Co. A, 15th Illinois-- Part 1: McHenry County

Woodstock--  32
Dorr--  8     (Dorr Township in McHenry Co.  Woodstock is in it.  Named for Gov. Thomas Wilson Dorr.  Dorr was the governor of Rhode Island and an interesting story in itself after he was tried for treason against Rhode Island and found guilty.)

Other McHenry County towns

McHenry-- 2
Algonquin--  4
Chemung--  1
Greenwood--  2  (McHenry County township)
Seneca--  13   (Township in McHenry County, was called Franklinville.)
Richmond--  2
Hebron--  2
Hartland--  2   (May refer to Hartland Township or an unincorporated town)

So, a total of 68 came from Woodstock and McHenry County.

I'd say this was a McHenry County regiment.

--Old Secesh

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Co. A 15th Illinois Men Discharged With Disability-- Part 2

I've already posted Co. A 15th Illinois men who were discharged for disability.  These are the dates of the rest of the men discharged for that in Company A.

January 4, 1862  transferred to Invalid Corps
September 25, 1861
April 28, 1862   2 men
July 28, 1862
October 19, 1862
December 17, 1862   2 men
September  24, 1863

--Old Secesh

Monday, February 11, 2019

15th Illinois Infantry Actions and Campaigns-- Part 1: Battle of Shiloh

In Missouri to Feb. 1, 1862
Oct-Nov. 1861, part of Fremont's advance toward Springfield, Mo.
Capture of Fort Donelson, Tn.,  Feb. 16, 1862

Battle of Shiloh, Tn.,  April 6-7, 1862
Siege of Corinth, Ms.,  April 29-May 30, 1862
Duty at Memphis to Sept. 6, 1862

Battle of Hatchie River  Oct. 5, 1862   Also known as Battle of Hatchie's Bridge or Metamora
Operations in Mississippi  Oct. 31 to Jan. 10, 1863
Duty at Memphis until May 1863

Siege of Vicksburg   May 22- July 4, 1863
Assault in Jackson, Ms. July 12, 1863
Duty Natchez, Ms. Aug. 15 to Nov. 10, 1863

--Old Secesh

15th Illinois Infantry Actions and Campaigns-- Part 2: Atlanta Campaign

Duty Vicksburg, Ms. Nov. 10 to Feb. 1864
Meridian Campaign Feb. 3 to March 5, 1864
Atlanta Campaign June 8 to Sept. 8, 1864

Assigned garrison duty Altoona Pass, Ackworth, Big Shanty and Marietta until Nov.
Consolidated with 14th Illinois July 1, 1864 and became the 14th and 15th Illinois Battalion Infantry
March to the Sea  Nov. 15 to Sept. 10, 1864

Siege of Savannah Dec. 10 to Dec. 21
Campaign  of the Carolinas January to April 1865
Battle of Bentonville  March 19-21

Occupation of Goldsboro, NC, March 24
Occupation of Raleigh April 14
Bennett's House April 26.  Surrender of Johnston's Army
Grand Review Washington, D.C.. May 24

Duty on the plains until September 1
Mustered out Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, Sept. 16, 1865

--Old Secesh

Friday, February 8, 2019

Co. A, 15th Illinois Woodstock Men Discharged for Disability

These are the dates of when the Woodstock men in Company A of the 15th Illinois were discharged for disability.  Were they disabled by disease or wounded in battle, leading to their discharge.?

September 20, 1861 1 man

May 20, 1862   3 men

September 26, 1862   1 man

October 18, 1862   1 man

October 25, 1862   1 man

November 15, 1862     1 man

November 20, 1862     1 man

March 27, 1863    1 man

One man died of wounds on April 19, 1862.

--Old Secesh

Thursday, February 7, 2019

15th Illinois Company A-- Part 4: Sanborn to Wylie

Continuing with men from Woodstock.  Muster in date and rank are May 24, 1861, and private unless otherwise noted.

DANIEL B. SANBORN--  Recruit  March 31, 1864  Transfer to Co. E, Veteran Battalion

WILLIAM H. SHERMAN--  Sergeant  2nd Lieut. promoted October 21, 1862,  1st Lieut. December 23, 1862.  Mustered out at consolidation.

FREDERICK W. SMITH--  Corporal,    Promoted to 2nd Lieut.  February 15, 1862,  Promoted 1st Lieut. October 21, 1862,  Promoted to Captain December 19, 1862.  Mustered out at consolidation.

ROBERT C. ST. CLAIR--  Reenlisted as Veteran

WILLIAM W. WILLS--  Discharged October 25, disability

JAMES WYLIE--  Recruit   Transferred to Co. E veteran Battalion

--Old Secesh

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

15th Illinois Company A-- Part 3: Men From Woodstock

Continuing with the list of this company, but only writing down the names of ones whose residences were listed as from Woodstock where the McHenry County Civil War Round Table meets at the library.

Again, muster in date is May 24, 1861, unless otherwise noted.  All mustered in as privates unless otherwise noted.

DANIEL C. JOSLYN--    1st Lieut.    Resigned October 16, 1861.

LOUIS D. KELLY--  Captain   Resigned October 21, 1862

ALEXANDER M. KENT--    Corporal.    Mustered out May 24, 1864

REUBEN MILLER--  Mustered out May 24, 1864

WASHINGTON NEWMAN--  Mustered out May 24, 1864

ISAAC C. PERKINS--  Mustered out May 24, 1864

CHARLES D. RAMSEY--  Reenlisted as Veteran   January 1, 1864

CHARLES ROSS--  Discharged September 26, 1862, disability

JACOB SAMLER--  Mustered out May 24, 1864

--Old Secesh

Monday, February 4, 2019

15th Illinois Company A-- Part 2: Freeman to Jones

Company A, of the 15th Illinois was primarily made up of men from McHenry County.  Continuing with men with Woodstock listed as their residence.

All mustered in May 24, 1861, unless otherwise noted.  All mustered in as privates unless otherwise noted.

MARTIN FRITSCH--  Discharged November 15, 1862,  disability

GEORGE T. FREEMAN--  Discharged September 20, 1861, disability

WELLINGTON T. FRIEND--   Discharged May 20, 1862, disability

HARVEY T.H. FRYE--   Discharged March 27, 1863, disability

FRANK E. HANAFORD--  Reenlisted as Veteran  Jan. 1, 1864

MARK HATHEWAY--   Mustered in as 2nd Lt.,    Resigned October 16, 1861

AUGUST HILDEBRANDT--  Died April 19, 1862 of wounds.

CHARLES M. HOWLAND--   Discharged October 18, 1862,  disability

LAWRENCE H. JONES--   Mustered in as 1st Sergeant.     Promoted 1st Lt.  October 26, 1861.  Failed to pass the examination, Discharged February 15, 1862

I kind of wonder what that examination was for this last man?

--Old Secesh

15th Illinois, Company A Men From Woodstock-- Part 1: Austin to Dobbins

From Civil War Illinois Gen Web.

This is a list of some of the men having Woodstock, Illinois, as their residence.

GEORGE A AUSTIN--    Enlisted as private May 24, 1861,  Promoted to 2nd Lt. Dec. 23, 1862.  (I was born May 24, 1951.)   From here on, all enlisted May 24, 1861, unless otherwise noted.

LANTHROP H.S. BARROWS --   Discharged May  20, 1862, disability.

JOHN B. BROWN--   Died November 1, 1861

GILMAN CHASE--  Discharged May 20, 19862.  Disability

ALWIN W. CUMMINS--  Transferred to Company F.

HENRY B. CUTTING--  Joined as a Recruit, no date given.     Discharged November 20, 1862, disability

HENRY DeWOLF--  Recruit,    Mustered March 30, 1864,   Transferred to Company B, Veteran Battalion.

JOSEPH DOBBINS--    Mustered out May 24, 1864.

--Old Secesh

Friday, February 1, 2019

15th Illinois Infantry Regiment

From Wikipedia.

Raised under the 10 Regiment Act and mustered in at Freeport, Illinois, on May 24, 1861.

Companies  A, D and F from McHenry County,
B--  Boone County
C--  Winnebago County
E--  Jo Davies County
G--  Stephenson County
H--  Ogle County
I--  Lake County
K--  Carroll County

In all actions, the 15th was with the 14th Illinois Infantry.  Stationed around Rolla, Missouri.  Took part in the Fort Donelson Campaign and at the Battle of Shiloh.  On the second day of Shiloh, General Grant took personal command of the two regiments in the attack on the Confederates.

After the engagement, Grant ordered that the 14th and 15th remain together for the rest of the war.  As a result of losses and refusal to take in new recruits the two regiments were consolidated and became the 14th and 15th Illinois Battalion Infantry on July 1, 1864.

During the course of the war the 15th suffered 6 officers and 81 enlisted killed in battle or died from wounds and 5 officers and 135 died from disease.

Commanders were Col. Thomas J. Turner who resigned on November 2, 1862 and Col. George Clark Rogers to the end of the war.

--Old Secesh

MCCWRT Discussion Group, Jan. 26-- Part 1: New Book on the 15th Illinois Regiment

This last Saturday, the McHenry County Civil War Round Table discussion group braved the cold to meet at Panera Bread in Crystal Lake, Illinois.  This month's topic was "Hood's 1864 Tennessee Campaign."

The first thing we discussed was the forthcoming book by local authors Betty Obendorf and Kathy Pasch "The Gallant 15th  of Illinois--  History of a Civil War Infantry Regiment,"  on the 15th Illinois Volunteer Regiment.  This regiment is of particular interest to us because three of the companies, A B and F were from McHenry County.  And the rest of the companies were from the northern part of Illinois.

Companies came from Algonquin, Marengo and Woodstock in McHenry County.  Other companies from Belvidere, Lena, Mt. Carroll, Polo, Rockford, Warren and Waukegan.

A whole bunch of us placed orders for the book and we hope to have the authors speak at a regular meeting in the future.

The book took ten years to write.

Looking forward to getting it.

A Book A day.  --Old Secesh