A Brief History of the Eighty-Ninth Illinois Infantry Regiment
Brief Battle History Of the Eighty-ninth Illinois Infantry Regiment
The Eighty-ninth Regiment was called the "railroad regiment" because it was organized in Chicago in 1862, by the railroad companies of Illinois. The Eighty-ninth Regiment participated in twenty five major engagements or battles and numerous minor skirmishes.
It was ordered to Louisville, Kentucky, 4 September 1862, and was assigned to the Third Brigade, Second Division, McCook's corps of Buell's Army. Its initial experience was in pursuit of General Bragg for a month, finally breaking off the pursuit at Bowling Green, Kentucky.
The Eighty-ninth bore an active and honorable part at the battle of Stones River. Captain Henry Willet of Company H, was among those killed. Herbert L. Blake of Company C, fell at Liberty Gap. At Chickamauga, Lieutenant Colonel DuncanHall, Captains Rice, Spink and Whiting, and Lieutenant Ellis lost their lives.
The army of Cumberland was re-organized and the regiment was transferred to its new position in the First Brigade, Third Division, Fourth Army Corp. Lieutenant E. O. Young of Company A and Captain Henry L. Rowel of Company C, were among the killed at Mission Ridge. The regiment was in the Knoxville expedition for the relief of Burnside and was later engaged in the various marches and counter-marches in East Tennessee. It bore its share of the load in the Atlanta campaign, during which Lieutenant Nathaniel Street of Company D, and Captain William Harkness, of Company A, were killed.
The regiment was on detached duty until 30 October 1864, when it was ordered to rejoin the command at Pulaski, Tennessee. It participated in the battles of Spring Hill, Columbia, Franklin, and Nashville. Lieutenant P. G. Taite, of Company G, was killed by a cannon ball in the battle for Nashville.
On 1 February 1865, the regiment traveled by train from Huntsville, Alabama, where it had been in winter quarters, to Nashville, Tennessee. The regiment was loaded on trains for East Tennessee about the middle of March to re-establish communications from Tennessee to Virginia and to prepare to repel an expected invasion by Rebel forces. Shortly thereafter, Lee's army surrendered and the Fourth Corps returned by rail to Nashville.
The regiment was mustered out of service in the field near Nashville, 10 June 1865. They left there for Chicago, on the same day, arriving in Chicago two days later. They were discharged in Chicago, 14 June 1865.
Of the 1701 men who served with the regiment, almost half, 820 men were killed in action, died from wounds, or discharged for disability received in the service.
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