Revisiting another popular question that we have posted for a while…
What’s your favorite Civil War regiment?
The 36th Illinois Infantry, the Fox River Valley Regiment, raised in 1861, reenlisted in 1864.
The Governor’s Greys, a militia company based at Dubuque Iowa became the first state military unit pledged to the service of the United States Federal Government as result of the Secession Crisis, that offer of “service, anywhere required” delivered to President James Buchanan on 24 January 1861. But Buchanan never responded to Governor Kirkwood’s offer. Instead, the Governor’s Greys continued training; and shortly after the Attack on Fort Sumter the volunteers from Dubuque formed the core of a new military organization, Company I, around which was created the First Iowa Volunteer Infantry Regiment. The most significant service of the First Iowa was at Wilson’s Creek, Missouri in August 1861, after which the 90-day regiment was disbanded.
Palmetto Sharpshooters – it was my great great grandfather’s regiment and it sounds much cooler than a state and a number. Runner-up is Orr’s Rifles – had another ancestor in this regiment, too, and its regimental flag is displayed at the beginning of “Gods and Generals “.
The 2nd New York Volunteer Cavalry – the Ira Harris Regiment.
Col. John Mosby’s “Grey Ghost” cavalry in Northwestern Virginia or Gen. Turner Ashby’s cavalry in The Shenandoah Valley.
148th Pennsylvania, seven companies from Centre County.
The 11th Maine Infantry Regiment, raised primarily along the Penobscot Valley, where we live.
10th South Carolina Infantry. My ancestor John Purtell was a member
The 14th Brooklyn, aka 14th New York State Militia aka 84th New York.
Also the ones I have family connections to: 30th, 44th, 100th Indiana; 21st, 43d, and 46th Wisconsin; and 1st Wisconsin Heavy Artillery.
33rd United States Colored Troops, the “First South” subject of T. W. Higginson’s minor classic: Army Life in a Black Regiment.
4th United States Colored Infantry. Sgt. Maj. Christian A. Fleetwood, Sgt. Alfred B. Hilton, Corp. Charles Veal, and Lt. William Appleton all received the Medal of Honor for courageous acts at New Market Heights.
Colonel James B. Likens’ 35th Texas Cavalry Regiment. This was a hard fighting unit with another unit having the same numeral so records are hard to come by and as such it has been largely forgotten. This hard fighting unit fought along the Texas coast and in the Red River campaign in Louisiana followed by service in the chafalaya region. At the end of the war they were at Galveston.
The 22nd USCT regiment. My g-g-grandfather was captain of Company C (William W. Burke). This regiment had the honor of being chosen to lead Abraham Lincoln’s funeral procession from the White House to the Capitol after his assassination.
125th Ohio…Opdycke’s Tigers
4th Michigan infantry. Of the original 1,000+, by wars end they were down to less than 200, after having fought at so many important battles. Oh, I’m from Michigan!
Partial to the Ninth Texas Cavalry, here.
8th Mich Inf because both my and my wife’s ancestors both fought in it albeit different companies.
21st Wisconsin Infantry is my favorite because my wife’s great grandfather was with it from muster in September 1862 to muster out June 1865. Fought in Perryville, Stone river, Chicamauga, Mission Ridge, and Resaca where he was wounded in the left arm. He and the regiment went on with Sherman to Atlanta, Savanah and up through the Carolinas and finally the last battle at Bentonville. They marched from there through Richmond and to Washington DC and marched in the Grand Review. They were put on a train to Milwaukee and mustered out. Of the 960 men who left with the regiment only 260 of these men returned with it.
The 5th NY Zouaves, and it’s successor regiments, the 165th and the 5th VeteranTo me, the regiment is representative of all those that sustained horrific casualties, but endured through the actions of survivors.
11th NY “Fire” Zouaves–Remember Ellsworth!
1st Michigan Engineers and Mechanics!
200th Pennsylvania. My great uncle, a private in the regiment, was wounded during the counter attack on Fort Stedman
3rd Maryland Volunteers, but I am hopelessly biased since my GGGF William Henry Sinclair served in that regiment.
26th North Carolina. My GGGF fought in the 26th and was captured at New Bern in1962 and at Falling Waters in 1863
20th WI Vol Infantry & Great Great Grandpa Peter Nettesheim who was mustered in with the regiment in 1862…force marched 100+ miles in winter to fight at Prairie Grove & with Grant at Vicksburg…served on the Rio Grand & “invaded” Mexico for 2 days to save the US Counsel…fought at the Spanish Fort at Mobile Bay & was wounded 2 days before Appomattox…fascinating history.
I have three: 55th Illinois, 21st Illinois and the 95th Illinois. Each have their own little stories but the 21st never had a regimental history. I wish someone would do so.
The 21st, from central eastern Illinois had several ancestors and many “small town” individuals. It was General U. S. Grant’s first command, where they went from a regiment with a Colonel True to a regiment with a true colonel.
The 55th was a regiment formed in Chicago and made up of men from all over the state. They saw their first heavy action at Shiloh where an ancestor was killed. Their history is well written and I am proud to have family represented in it.
The 95th was from where I lived most of my adult life, Boone and McHenry Counties and it contained unique members, especially Company G. which had four black soldiers and one female soldier. Their regimental history was written just at the end of the war and was not a well researched task.
Well of course the 45th Illinois Infantry, whose flag flew over Vicksburg Courthouse on July 4, 1863, as Grant’s Army of the Tennessee took possession of the captured city.
It’s hard to pick…
For today, I’ll say the 20th Massachusetts Infantry and the 11th Virginia Cavalry.
The short- lived 4th South Carolina. First to engage the Union on Matthews Hill at First Manassas. Failed to reorganize in April of following year.
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