November 1862 Letter by Lieutenant Frank D. Patterson, 15th Illinois - Describes Regiment's Battles & Movements through November 1862 - Shiloh - Hatchie's Bridge


November 1862 Letter by Lieutenant Frank D. Patterson, 15th Illinois - Describes Regiment's Battles & Movements through November 1862 - Shiloh - Hatchie's Bridge


Item No. 8569539

A fascinating November 1862 letter written by Lieutenant Frank D. Patterson of the 15th Illinois Volunteers. Writing from LaGrange, Tennessee, to his sister in Woodstock, Illinois, Patterson gave a concise history of the 15th regiment “from the day of muster May 24th 1862, down to the present date, which we have been compiling.” It is a very detailed point-by-point history of where the regiment marched, camped, and fought through November 1862, including the battles of Shiloh and Hatchie’s Bridge, noting the officers who became casualties.

The letter was written upon four folio pages measuring about 8” x 12 1/2”. It is in very good condition with light foxing and toning. Creased where originally folded. Minor paper loss at a couple of points around the edge, as well as a couple of very small tears. Includes the original stamped postal cover addressed to Lydia Patterson in Woodstock, Illinois.

The full transcript follows:

Head Quarters 15th Regt. Ill. Vols.
LaGrange Tenn. Nov 14th 1862

Sister Lydia,
I. This regiment originally rendezvoused at Freeport Ill. Was mustered into the U.S. Service May 24th 1861 and left for the seat of War on July 19th / 61, going first to St Charles Mo. by steamer from Alton Ill., thence to Mexico Mo. by R.R. on the 21st of July. At Mexico the regiment was divided, the Right Wing under command of Major Wm R. Goddard marching from Mexico on the 29th inst. and arriving at Fulton Mo. on the 30th.

On Thursday Aug 8th marched from Fulton to St Aubert on Mo. River, where it embarked Aug 10th on steamer Galan for Jefferson Barracks, at which place the regiment was reunited. The left wing meantime under the command of Lt. Col. E[dward] F. W. Ellis having marched to Hannibal Mo. and from thence descended the Miss. River. From St Louis the regiment moved by R.R. to Rolla Mo. On August 14th arrived, where it remained with the exception of a two days march to the Gasconade river until October 4th, when it again moved by R.R. to Tipton Mo.

Here it became a part of the 1st Brig. 1st Div. Army of the West, under command of Gen. [David] Hunter.

Marched from Tipton on Oct 21st for Warsaw, crossed the Osage river on Oct 24th and continuing the march southward, with a weeks delay at Camp Au Revior, reached Springfield Mo. on Nov 4th. Commenced return on November 9th. Arrived at Tipton on the 19th inst. Distance marched since Oct 21, 208 miles.

Camped near Tipton till Nov 27th, on which day the Regiment marched to Syracuse Mo., returning to the vicinity of Tipton on Nov 29th. Marched to the Lamine Bridge near Otterville Mo. on [December] 8th from which place the Regiment marched to Sedalia on December 15th. Was employed at this post as reserve force until the return from Warrenton of Gen. [John] Pope’s Expedition, when on Dec 23rd the regiment returned to the vicinity of Otterville. Marched from Otterville on Feb 7th 1862. Reached Jefferson City on Feb 10th. Moved from this place by R.R. to St Louis on Feb 12th, where the regiment embarked Feb 13th on steamer D. A. January.

Arrived at Fort Donelson Tenn on Feb 16th a few hours after the surrender of the fortifications.

Here it became a part of the 4th Division, Army of the Tenn. under the command of Brig. Gen. S[tephen] A. Hurlbut. Marched from Ft Donelson to Belle Landing near Ft Henry on the 5, 6, & 7 days of March 1862. Started for Pittsburg Landing on steamer Hastings and Aleck Scott on March 11th. Disembarked at Pittsburg Landing on March 17th. Here took a prominent part in the Battle of Shiloh, having five hundred (500) men engaged and losing one hundred and ninety four (194) in killed and wounded. Among the killed were Lt Col E. F. W. Ellis, Commanding the Regiment at the time of his death. Major Wm R Goddard, Capts Holder Brownell and Harley Wayne and Lieut J[ohn W.] Puterbaugh.

During the advance on Corinth it encamped near Chewalla Miss. till June 10th, when the march to Grand Junction commenced. Arrived at the latter place on June 15th. Marched to Holly Springs Miss. on June 16th and 17th. Returned to vicinity of Grand Junction on June 18th and 19th. Marched to LaGrange on June 22nd. arched to Goldwater Creek near Holly Springs on June 30th and July 1st.

Returned to LaGrange Tenn on July 6th and 7th, having had no action with the enemy.

Commenced march from LaGrange to Memphis July 13th. Arrived at the latter place on July 21st. Camped below Ft Pickering until Sept. 6th 1862.

On the last three days of August took part in an Expedition having for its object the dispersion of a Guerrilla force on Noncannah Creek, 16 miles south east of Memphis. This expedition under the command of Gen [James C.] Veatch resulted in the total rout of the enemy and the capture of thirty prisoners.

On Sept 6th the regiment again took the field, and after a march of ninety (90) miles reached Bolivar Tennessee on Sept 13th. On Sept 15th marched to Dunlap Springs returning on the following day.

On Oct 4th marched twenty three (23) miles and camped on Big Muddy Creek, three miles west of Matamora.

On the succeeding day the 15th Regt under the command of Lieut Col Geo C Rogers took part in the Battle of the Hatchie, which resulted in the complete rout of the enemy and the capture of a Battery and four hundred (400) prisoners.

Returned to Bolivar on Oct 8th. Left Bolivar en route for LaGrange Nov 3rd and arrived at LaGrange on Nov 5th, at which place the regiment is now encamped.

Col. [Thomas J.] Turner having resigned his commission on Oct 29th on account of ill health received a notification of its acceptance on Nov 3rd and with our deep regret that a separation was necessary, parted with his old companions in arms, while on the march to LaGrange Tennessee Nov 3rd 1862.

II. Originally mustered 1013 Officers and Men.

III. Has lost (killed in battle and died of disease) 140 Officers and Men.

IV. Discharged for disability 282 Officers and Men.

V. Added by new recruits 35 men.

VI. No. of men now on the rolls 626 Officers and Men.

VII. Present Brig. Commander Brig Gen. James C. Veatch.

VIII. Division Commander Brig. Gen. Thos. J. McKean.

IX. Commander of Army Corps Maj. Gen. James B. McPherson.

X. Other Regiments and Batteries in 4th Div.

First Brig. 3rd Iowa, 28th, 32nd, 41st, & 53rd Ill. Infantry Vols.

Second Brig. 14th, 15th, 46th, 76th Ill., 25th & 53rd Ind. Vol. Infantry.

Third Brig. 103 Ill., 12 Mich. and 12 Wis. Vol. Infantry.

Bolton’s Chicago Battery and Burnapp’s Ohio Battery

2nd Ill., 5th Ohio & 2nd Tenn. Vol. Cavalry.

Sister Lydia
The foregoing is a brief history of the 15th Ill. Regt. from the day of muster May 24th 1862, down to the present date, which we have been compiling, of late, and, as I have written all of the army news to Augustus yesterday, I thought this would be more interesting to you and other friends and relatives than anything else I could write in answer to your letter of Nov 9th / 62. When all have read this that wish to, lay it away and preserve it. Edwin’s letter of late date is read. Will answer it in a day or two.

From Your Brother
F. D. Patterson

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