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William R. Townsend Civil War Diary: Brief History 42nd IL Infantry

EXCERPTS from the Civil War diary of William R. Townsend, 42nd Illinois Infantry, Co. E -- plus contextual narrative.

42nd IL Infantry History

This regiment was organized at Camp Douglass, Chicago, Illinois from July 23 to September 21, 1861, to serve three years.  On the expiration of its term of service the original members (except veterans) were mustered out, and the organization, composed of veterans and recruits, retained in service until December 16, 1865, when it was mustered out, in accordance with orders from the War Department. *


The Regiment took part in the siege of Nashville, the Murfreesboro Campaign and the Battle of Stony River, where they suffered heavy losses.  They took part in the Atlanta Campaign and were engaged in the Battles of Nashville, Mission Ridge, and Chickamauga to name a few.  The 42nd was partly composed of Michigan men, mostly in Companies E, F and H. **




* Source:  Official Army Register of the Volunteer Force of the United States Army for The Years 1861,’62,

  ’63, ’64, ’65 – Part VI, Indiana-Illinois.  Published by the Adjutant General’s Office, Washington, D.C.

  August, 31, 1865.


** Source: