7th Illinois Infantry (Civil War)

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Illinois, United States
Year range
1861 - 1865

7th Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment (3 Months) - 3 months service, and,
7th Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment - 3 years service


Article Overview

This article currently includes excerpts from Dyer's Compendium and the Official Regimental History; information from the Soldiers and Sailors System; and other sources; and a list of article references and general resources on the 7th. Links to related articles on We Relate are also included. Eventually, links to individual soldiers from this regiment will be added.

Introduction to the 7th Infantry

The Official Regimental History reports there were three unique aspects of the 7th Illinois. "... the Seventh Infantry takes great pride ... that it was the first organized regiment from this State ... mustered into the United States service ... and the first to return to the capital of the State and re-enlist as veterans, as well as being the only regiment in the whole army that purchased its own guns - the Henry rifle, 16-shooters - paying $50 each for them out of their meager pay of $13 per month, thereby increasing their effective force five-fold." (From Official Regimental History)

However, the claim that the 7th was the only regiment to purchase its own guns appears to be inaccurate. Evidence shows that men in other regiments also bought their own weapons as a group. A more accurate statement is that the 7th Illinois Infantry was the largest unit to purchase its own Henry rifles. "The largest privately funded Henry regiment was the 7th Illinois Volunteer Infantry. They were armed with over 500 Henrys which they purchased at $52.50 each." (Proceedings of the 1915 Reunion, as cited by Bresnan) Also, while the Regimental History states the soldiers paid $50 each, Bresnan (citing Reunion Proceedings) reports the dollar amount at $52.50. (From Bresnan)

After the battle of Allatoona Pass, the 7th was commended for their role with the Henry rifles, and their significance in the outcome of the battle. "Colonel Rowett, who commanded the Seventh the last four hours of the battle of Allatoona ... while according to all the highest meed of praise for gallant conduct and stubborn courage, insists that without the aid of the 16-shooters, French’s 6000 rebels would have overwhelmed the gallant 1500 of 'The Pass'." (From Official Regimental History)

Brief Facts

  • Three months' service as the 7th Illinois Volunteer Infantry. Mustered in at Camp Yates 25 April 1861, and mustered out 25 July 1861.
  • Three years' service also named as the 7th Illinois Volunteer Infantry. Mustered in at Mound City, Illinois 25 July 1861.
  • Mustered out 9 July 1865 at Louisville, Kentucky.
  • A photo of the color guard of the regiment may be viewed here: [1]
  • The mascot of the regiment was a dog named "Jefferson Davis," also featured in the photo of the unit's color guard.
  • Although not officially named a mounted infantry unit, the 7th was sometimes mounted on donkeys.
    (from Ambrose)
  • The regimental flag may be viewed here: [2] (Source: Civil War Flags of Illinois, [3])

Regimental History

Three Months:
(From Dyers Compendium)

  • Mustered into the United States service at Camp Yates April 25, 1861.
  • Was forwarded to Alton, St. Louis, Cairo and Mound City, where it remained during the three months service.
  • Mustered out 25 July 1861.

Three Years:
(From Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System)

  • Mustered in at Mound City, Illinois 25 July 1861.
  • Regiment organized at Cairo, Ill., July 25, 1861.
  • Attached to District of Cairo to October, 1861.
  • Cook's 4th Brigade, District of Cairo, to February, 1862.
  • 3rd Brigade, 2nd Division, District of West Tennessee, and Army of the Tennessee, to July
  • 3rd Brigade, District of Corinth, Left Wing 13th Army Corps (Old), Dept. of the Tennessee, to December, 1862.
  • 3rd Brigade, 2nd Division, District of Corinth, Dept. of the Tennessee, to November, 1862.
  • 3rd Brigade, District of Corinth, 17th Army Corps, Army of the Tennessee, to January, 1863.
  • 3rd Brigade, District of Corinth, 16th Army Corps, to March, 1863.
  • 3rd Brigade, 2nd Division, 16th Army Corps, to September, 1864.
  • 3rd Brigade, 4th Division, 15th Army Corps, to July, 1865.
  • Mustered out 9 July 1865 at Louisville, Kentucky.

Service (Troop Movement)

Three Months:

  • Duty at Alton, Cairo, Mound City, Ill., and St. Louis, Mo., until July.
  • Expedition from Cairo to Little River June 22-23 (Cos. "E" and "G").
  • Mustered out July 25, 1861, expiration of term.

Three Years:

  • Moved to Ironton, Mo., thence to Cape Girardeau, Mo., August 23, 1861.
  • Duty there and at Fort Holt, Ky., till February, 1862.
  • Expedition toward Columbus, Ky., September 21-22, 1861.
  • Expedition toward Columbus, Ky., September 21-22, 1861.
  • Skirmish at Mansfield's Creek September 22.
  • Expedition to Elliott's Mills during Belmont November 6-7.
  • Reconnoissance of Columbus, Ky., January 13-20, 1862.
  • Movements against Fort Henry, Tenn., February 2-6.
  • Investment and capture of Fort Donelson, Tenn., February 12-16.
  • Expedition to Clarksville and Nashville, Tenn., February 19-21.
  • Moved to Pittsburg Landing, Tenn., arriving there March 22.
  • Battle of Shiloh, Tenn., April 6-7.
  • Advance on and siege of Corinth, Miss., April 29-May 30.
  • Pursuit to Booneville May 31-June 11.
  • Duty at Corinth, Miss., till October.
  • Battle of Corinth October 3-4.
  • Pursuit to Hatchie River October 5-12.
  • Duty at Corinth till April, 1863.
  • Dodge's Expedition to Intercept Forest, and operations in West Tennessee, December 18, 1862, to January 3, 1863.
  • Dodge's Expedition to Northern Alabama April 15-May 8.
  • Iuka, Miss., April 16.
  • Great Bear Creek, Cherokee Station and Lundy's Lane April 17.
  • Rock Cut, near Tuscumbia, April 22.
  • Tuscumbia April 23.
  • Town Creek April 28.
  • Guard Railroad from Bethel to Jackson, Tenn., May 12 to June 8.
  • Regiment mounted [on donkeys] June 18 and engaged in scout and patrol duty through West Tennessee till October, participating in numerous expeditions and skirmishes.
  • Expedition from Corinth to Henderson, Tenn., September 11-16.
  • Skirmish at Clark's Creek Church September 13.
  • Henderson's Station September 14.
  • Expedition into West Tennessee September 27-October 1.
  • Swallow's Bluff September 30.
  • At Chewalla October 4-26.
  • Moved to Iuka October 26,
  • Thence marched to Pulaski, Tenn., November 1-12.
  • Scout to Lawrenceburg November 17-19.
  • Scout duty around Pulaski till December 22.
  • Skirmishes near Florence December 1.
  • Near Eastport December 2.
  • Scout to Florence December 11-17.
  • Shoal Creek, near Wayland Springs, December 12.
  • Regiment Veteranize December 22 and mustered in as Veterans January 5, 1864.
  • Veterans on furlough January and February, 1864.
  • Return to Pulaski February 23-27.
  • Duty at Florence, Ala., patrolling Tennessee River till June.
  • At Florence, Sweetwater and Centre Store till June 14.
  • Repulse of Roddy's attack on Florence May 7.
  • Decatur May 8.
  • Pulaski May 13.
  • Regiment dismounted and moved to Chattanooga. Tenn., June 14-17.
  • Thence to Tilton, Ga., and patrol Railroad from Dalton to Resaca, Ga., till July 7.
  • Moved to Rome, Ga., July 7, and duty there till October.
  • (Non-Veterans mustered out July 29, 1864.)
  • Action at Etowah River September 15.
  • Operations against Hood September 29-November 3.
  • Defence of Allatoona Pass October 4-5.
  • Reconnoissance from Rome on Cave Spring Road and skirmishes October 12-13.
  • March to the sea November 15-December 10.
  • Regiment remounted [on donkeys] November 21.
  • Ogeechee Canal December 9.
  • Siege of Savannah December 10-21.
  • Hinesville December 16.
  • Campaign of the Carolinas January to April, 1865.
  • Hickory Hill, S. C., February 1.
  • Salkehatchie Swamps February 2-5.
  • Fishburn's Plantation, near Lane's Bridge, Salkehatchie, February 6.
  • South Edisto River February 9.
  • North Edisto River February 11-12.
  • Columbia February 15-17.
  • Lynch's Creek February 26.
  • Cheraw March 2-3.
  • Expedition from Cheraw to Florence and skirmishes March 4-6.
  • Battle of Bentonville, N. C., March 19-21.
  • Occupation of Goldsboro March 24, and of Raleigh April 14.
  • Bennett's House April 26.
  • Surrender of Johnston and his army. March to Washington, D. C., via Richmond, Va., April 29-May 19.
  • Grand Review May 24.
  • Moved to Louisville, Ky., June, and duty there till July.
  • Mustered out July 9, 1865.


  • Three months' service: Regiment lost 5 by disease during service.
  • Three years' service: Regiment lost during service 8 Officers and 81 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 3 Officers and 174 Enlisted men by disease. Total 266.

County of Origin for Each Company

Company A from Elgin and vicinity
Company B, Mattoon and vicinity
Company C, Aurora and vicinity
Company D, Litchfield and vicinity
Company E, Atlanta and vicinity
Company F, Bunker Hill and vicinity
Company G, Springfield and vicinity
Company H, Lincoln and vicinity
Company I, Springfield and vicinity
Company K, Carlinville and vicinity.

Related Articles

Other articles on We Relate regarding the 7th Illinois Infantry include:

  • Official Regimental History of the 7th Illinois Infantry (American Civil War) [4]
  • Timeline for the 7th Illinois Infantry at Shiloh Part I (American Civil War) [5]
  • Timeline for the 7th Illinois Infantry at the Battle of Shiloh Part II (American Civil War) [6]
  • Timeline for the 7th Illinois Infantry at the Battle of Shiloh Part III (American Civil War) [7]
  • Timeline for the 7th Illinois Infantry in the Campaigns Against Forts Henry and Donelson (American Civil War) [8]

Each of these articles includes separate lists of resources, with some repetition from those cited here, as well as additional sources.

References and Other Resources

Books and Articles Available On-line with Full Text

  • Ambrose, Daniel L. "History of the Seventh Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry, from Its First Muster into the U.S. Service, April 25, 1861, to Its Final Muster Out, July 9, 1865." 1868. Google Books. Print. Internet resource. Author Ambrose served in Company H of the 7th. He evidently combined a personal journal with official records to write this book, and includes rosters. Accessed 4 August 2011. [9]
  • Bresnan, Andrew L., M.S. "The Henry Repeating Rifle - Victory thru rapid fire." Internet resource. Rare Winchesters. Accessed 5 Aug 2011. Describes general information regarding the Henry, as well as details on the 7th Illinois Infantry's purchase and use of the rifles. [10]
  • Dyer, Frederick H. "A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion." Des Moines, Ia: The Dyer Pub. Co. 1908. Google Books. Print. Internet Resource. Contains (nation-wide) regimental histories and searchable rosters. [11]
  • Illinois, Adjutant General. "Reports of the Adjutant General of the State of Illinois, Containing Reports for the Years, 1861 - 1866." rev. ed. (Springfield, 1900-1901). Archival material. [12]


  • American Civil War Discussion Forum. Civil War Talk dot com. Internet resource. Numerous references to the 7th Illinois. Multiple sections on this forum. Includes section on tracing ancestors who served in any unit, with suggested resources. Also in this section, posts requesting information on specific individuals may be made. [13]
  • Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System. Internet resource. Contains Regimental histories, searchable rosters, etc. National Parks Service website. [14]
  • Home of the American Civil War. Civilwarhome.com. Internet resource. Includes battle descriptions, biographies, essays, links, and more. Note from site: 'The 'Index of Civil War Information Available on the Internet' formally maintained by the LSU Civil War Center is now maintained by civilwarhome.com.' [15]
  • Illinois Civil War Muster and Descriptive Rolls Database. Illinois Civil War Controller. Internet resource. Searchable database of veterans, with results of the veteran's transcribed service card, often including birth place, physical description, etc. [16]
  • Seventh Illinois Company H. Internet resource. Website created by a descendant of the 7th, includes rosters, photos, biographies, links, etc. [17]