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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

History of the 48th Illinois Infantry, Union Army

The 48th Illinois Infantry was formed nine hundred strong from: A Company New Liberty, IL. B Company Louisville, IL and Clay County, IL. C Company Elizabethtown, IL and Hardin County, IL. D Company Nashville, IL. E Company Marion, KY and Crittenden County, KY. F Company Centralia, IL and Marion County, IL. G Company Mt.Carmel, IL and Wabash County, IL. H Company Carmi, IL. I Company Johnsonville, IL. K Company Louisville, IL and Clay County, IL in September 1861 Commanded by Colonel Isham N. Haynie.
The Regiment first saw major action at Fort Donelson in February 1862 where the men quickly proved themselves a gallant and fierce fighting force. At Shiloh the men again proved their worth, with the Regiment bearing its full part and losing over half of the men killed or wounded.
Further campaigns included the siege of Cornith, Tennessee and Vicksburg, Mississippi and all of the major battles and engagements in Mississippi, Tennessee, Northern Alabama, Georgia, and both Carolinas. The 48th almost always was on the front lines and constantly engaged in skirmishes and sorties not mentioned in the history books, but only found in the military records.
The 48th Illinois Infantry showed their true fighting spirit in November 1863 by marching over 270 miles without rations and overcoats using their blankets, jackets and trousers to protect their feet from ice, snow and sharp rocks to the relief of General Burnside at Knoxville, Tennessee and in January 1864 ninety percent of the veterans re-enlisted.

They again showed their fighting spirit playing a key role in Sherman's capture of Atlanta and then Sherman's "March to the Sea" when they fought their way from Atlanta to Savanah without being resupplied.

In August 1865 when the Regiment mustered out they had traveled 11,450 miles. Marched 3,000 miles, moved by water 5,000 miles and by rail 3,450 miles. Regimental losses for the entire 48th Infantry during service: Killed and mortally wounded: 10 Officers and 113 Enlisted men. By disease: 6 Officers and 251 Enlisted men.