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85th Illinois Vol Inf History

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  • 85th Illinois Vol Inf History

    Pards,
    Submitted for your reading pleasure is a link to the digitized version of the regimental history of the 85th Illinois Vol Inf. Thankfully there was a copy at UoI (Champaign-Urbana) and it was digitized during a historical survey. Henry J. Aten was the First Sergeant of Company G and after the war utilized his own "war diary" and the accounts and records of others in the unit and the unit itself to create a full history from the unit's muster in Peoria in the fall of 1862 to the end of the war and beyond. The work was published in 1901 at the behest of the regiment's society who would often hold reunions (I have a photocopy of an image around here somewhere of one of these).

    It's a great look into a Western Theater Illinois Infantry unit. I haven't read too much but a quick skim gave me a few worthy anecdotes:
    *The Regiment fights boredom and camp life in between movements from Peoria to Indiana to Kentucky, participates in Perryville and winters near Nashville (the regiment was provided 5 Sibleys per company which were well used)
    *An interesting anecdote regarding some Confederate spies near Brentwood, Tennessee.
    *A full regimental roster at the end, including occupations and lives after the war if the information was known.

    Published in 1901

    Richard Bledsoe

  • #2
    Re: 85th Illinois Vol Inf History

    That's pretty neat. I normally consider the 83rd IL, whose monument is in Monmouth, Warren County, as my "home regiment", but as a small child I lived in Havana and my parents both grew up in Mason County, so this few couple of pages I have read already have me excited with Capt Moore beginning to raise the regiment in Mason and Fulton counties. Thanks for sharing.
    Frank Siltman
    24th Mo Vol Inf
    Cannoneer, US Army FA Museum Gun Crew
    Member, Oklahoma Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission
    Company of Military Historians
    Lawton/Fort Sill, OK

    Pacifism is a shifty doctrine under which a man accepts the benefits of the social group without being willing to pay -- and claims a halo for his dishonesty. Robert A. Heinlein

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    • #3
      Re: 85th Illinois Vol Inf History

      Excellent! Glad that you are enjoying it. There's a company (IIRC) from Tazewell (my home county) I believe it mentions Pekin, but Pekin in those days could be any of the extensive farmland and river landings on the south side of the Illinois.

      The regimental colors were kept at the Old Mason County Courthouse until being transferred to the Hall of Flags at the Capitol in Springfield. However, due to the natural deterioration in the case they were all sent to Camp Lincoln for preservation. The curator was kind enough to send me an email when I inquired about it and sent me photos of the what they believe to be the wartime regimental and the post-war reunion regimental colors. I believe the latter is in the photograph I have. I'll have to dig it up and scan it.
      Richard Bledsoe

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      • #4
        Re: 85th Illinois Vol Inf History

        Thanks for posting!
        John Pillers
        Looking for images/accounts of 7th through 12th Ill. Inf. regiments from April 1861 - April 1862

        'We're putting the band back together'

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