A few weeks ago I was looking through the pictures that I took on the Western Tour Chris Mackowski, his daughter Steph and I did in May. As I progressed through the pictures of the Raymond battlefield and at Vicksburg, something caught my eye. A particular unit continued to show up on the plaques and monuments: Battery D, 1st Illinois Artillery. Due to the Mississippi heat, I did not realize until well later that we had unconsciously followed the battery through part of the Vicksburg Campaign.
Organized in Cairo, Illinois and mustered into Federal service on July 30, 1861, the battery compiled an impressive record through the early stages of the war with Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s Army of the Tennessee. It saw action at Fort Donelson, Shiloh and the Siege of Corinth. The battery was commanded by Captain Henry Rogers during the operations against Vicksburg. It was attached to Brig. Gen. John Logan’s division in Maj. Gen. James McPherson’s XVII Corps.
On June 28, 1863 Captain Rogers was killed after leaping to the top of the parapet to observe the effect of his fire. He fell in the vicinity of where the Illinois monument stands at Vicksburg.
The battery fought at Kennesaw Mountain during the Atlanta Campaign and then later on at Jonesboro. Following Lt. Gen. John Bell Hood’s North Georgia Campaign, the artillerists were sent to Tennessee and fought at the Battle of Nashville. They were mustered out of Federal service on July 28, 1865.