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Illinois Military History in Free Books & Articles

Illinois Military History in Free Books & Articles

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Illinois Military History

Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Illinois (9 vols)

Illinois Adjutant General
Springfield: State of Illinois 1900

Volumes 1 through 8 of this 9-volume set are concerned with the Civil War. Volume 1 contains a history of the state’s response to the Federal Government’s calls for contributions of state contributions of regiments and discussion of a number of topics of interest, together with reprints of some documents. Volume 1 also contains a number of schedules, including a list of Illinois volunteers who died at Andersonville prison, and a list of military organizations. The second half of the volume has regimental rosters, and these Civil War rosters continue through the end of Volume 8, with regimental histories interspersed throughout.

Volume 9 is entitled Record of the Services of Illinois Soldiers in the Black Hawk War 1831-1832 and in the Mexican War 1846-1848. This is stated to have a complete roster of officers and enlisted men in both wars. Volume 9 has an appendix “… giving record of the services of the Illinois Militia, Rangers and Riflemen, in protecting the frontier from the ravages of the Indians from 1810 to 1813.”

Beginning on page 345 of Volume 9 is the “Roster of Illinois Volunteers American-Spanish War 1898-99, with historical sketches from time of mobilization, to muster into the United States service.”

Illinois in the Revolutionary War

The Conquest of the Illinois

Clark, George Rogers, edited by Quaife, Milo M.
Chicago: Donnelley 1920

According to the editor, George Rogers Clark’s conquest of Illinois country during the American Revolution, “…was the factor chiefly responsible for giving the Old Northwest to the new-born American nation in the treaty of 1783.” Thanks to Clark, the Great Lakes States are not part of Canada today. If the U.S. had not won the Old Northwest, it seems much less likely that the U.S. would have had the opportunity for the Louisiana Purchase. Battles in Illinois, Battles fought in Illinois.

Clark’s original memoir is very difficult to read. In this edition the editor of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, Milo Quaife, rewrote the memoir and added notes to make it more accessible. He also included an Introduction that explains the historical background for Clark’s campaign.

See the resources on this site for: The Exploits of George Rogers Clark

See also: History of the American Revolution

See the Menu at the top of every page for Directories of Free Online Fiction and NonFiction Books, Magazines, and more, on 400 pages like this at Century Past

Sketch of his Campaign in the Illinois in 1778-9…

with an introduction by Hon. Henry Pirtle, of Louisville and an appendix containing the Public and Private Instructions to Col. Clark and Major Bowman’s Journal of the Taking of Post St. Vincents

Clark, George Rogers (Col.)
Cincinnati: Clarke. 1869

This account of Clark’s campaign is the text of a letter that Clark sent to George Mason of Virginia. In addition to the documents mentioned in the book title, there is also a biographical sketch of Clark. Battles in Illinois, Battles fought in Illinois.

See the resources on this site for: The Exploits of George Rogers Clark

Illinois in the War of 1812

“The Story of James Corbin, a Soldier of Fort Dearborn”

Mississippi Valley Historical Review Vol III, 1916-17, 219-28

Corbin, James
Cedar Rapids, Iowa: Mississippi Valley Historical Association

Corbin was an enlisted soldier at Fort Dearborn in August 1812 when soldiers there were massacred by local Indians. He dictated this account in 1826, and also described the very difficult circumstances of his life afterward as a prisoner of the Indians and then as a prisoner of the British army, and finally as an impoverished and half-crippled veteran. Fort Dearborn massacre, battles in Illinois.

Narrative of the Massacre at Chicago [Saturday] August 15, 1812, and of Some Preceding Events

Kinzie, Juliette A.
Chicago: Fergus. 1914

This volume is basically a reprint of an 1844 edition, with the addition of a genealogy of the Kinzie family in America, and an essay, “John Kinzie, A Sketch” by Eleanor Lytle Kinzie Gordon. Mrs. Kinzie’s first-person account of the Chicago massacre was originally written in 1836. Fort Dearborn massacre, battlefields in Illinois, conflicts in Illinois history.

Heroes and Heroines of the Fort Dearborn Massacre

Simmons, Noah
Lawrence, KS: Journal. 1896

The re-telling of this famous incident was motivated by the author’s desire to highlight the previously-ignored role of his relative in the incident. Nevertheless, it is an interesting narrative, and includes events leading up to the incident. Battlefields in Illinois, Fort Dearborn massacre, battles in Illinois.

See our Illinois biographies and memoirs

“Illinois in the War of 1812-1814”

Transactions for 1904, pp 62-197

Stevens, Frank E.
Springfield: Illinois State Historical Society

This book-length article about the western front of the War of 1812 is by the same author who had recently published a book on the Black Hawk War, which can be found on this web page. Wars in Illinois, battles fought in Illinois, Illinois in the War of 1812.

Narrative on the Plains of Michigan

Van Horne, James
Middleboro, Mass., L. B. Romaine, 1957?

This is a reprint of an 1817 pamphlet entitled “A Narrative of the Captivity & Sufferings of James Van Horne, Who was Nine Months a Prisoner by the Indians on the Plains of Michigan”, published in Middlebury, VT. Van Horne was a soldier stationed at Fort Dearborn who was taken prisoner in the massacre of most of its garrison by Indians on August 15, 1812. This includes an eyewitness account of that event as well as an account of the war along the Great Lakes as seen by the Indians and their captives. Fort Dearborn massacre, battles in Illinois, battlefields in Illinois.

Illinois in the Black Hawk War

The Sauks and the Black Hawk War, with Biographical Sketches, etc

Armstrong, Perry A.
Springfield, ILL: Rokker. 1887

This history of the Black Hawk war was written about 50 years after the event, and the author strove to make it the most comprehensive account yet written by consulting virtually everything that had been published about it and about the Indian nations that were involved. At the end of the book is a 65-page appendix entitled “Muster-roll of Illinois Volunteers in the Black Hawk War of 1831-2”. Black Hawk War, Wars in Illinois, battles in Illinois.

See the resources on this site for: The Black Hawk War of 1832

Record of the Services of Illinois Soldiers in the Black Hawk War, 1831-32, and in the Mexican War, 1846-8 …

containing a complete roster of commissioned officers and enlisted men of both wars, taken from the official rolls on file in the War Department, Washington, D. C. with an appendix, giving a record of the services of the Illinois Militia, Rangers and Riflemen, in protecting the frontier from the ravages of the Indians from 1810 to 1813

Elliot, Isaac H., ed.
Springfield: Adjutant General 1882

According to the ‘Preface’ in Volume 1 of the Illinois State Historical Library’s 1970 volume of the militia rolls in The Black Hawk War 1831-1832 edited by Ellen M. Whitney (on this web page), this 1882 edition by the Adjutant General’s office contains many errors and omissions. It would be better to rely on the Whitney volume for records of participants in the Black Hawk war.

See the resources on this site for: The Black Hawk War of 1832

The Black Hawk War, including a review of Black Hawk’s life illustrated with upward of three hundred rare and interesting portraits and views

Stevens, Frank E.
Chicago: Stevens 1903

The author of this comprehensive account of the war and events surrounding it claims to have researched the subject for over 25 years. Most of the 300 illustrations are portraits, and the index is filled with names of participants also. There are two appendices entitled, “Abraham Lincoln in the Black Hawk War” and “Jefferson Davis in the Black Hawk War”. The Black Hawk War, Illinois wars, conflicts in Illinois history, battles in Illinois.

See our Illinois Native Americans free books & articles

History of the Black Hawk War

Wakefield, John A.
Jacksonville, ILL: Goudy press 1834

Author John Wakefield had served as a scout during the War of 1812 while a teenager. He subsequently trained as a medical doctor and then as a lawyer, and in the 1820s was a politician in Illinois. He enlisted in the army at the beginning of the Black Hawk War, serving first as a surgeon, then as a scout. He kept a daily journal throughout the campaign, and immediately afterward drew upon that journal to write this history. Black Hawk War.

See the resources on this site for: The Black Hawk War of 1832

History of the War between the United States and the Sac and Fox Nations of Indians …

and parts of other disaffected tribes of Indians, in the years eighteen hundred and twenty-seven, thirty-one, and thirty-two

Wakefield, John A.
Jacksonville, ILL: Goudy 1834

This account was published immediately after the Black Hawk War. The author’s overall approach appears to be to reproduce treaties between the U.S. government and the Indians, and also related public documents, and show how the Indians violated the treaties. His purpose seems to be to show how the Indians bore full responsibility for the wars.

Indian Creek Massacre and Captivity of Hall Girls …

Complete History of the Massacre of 16 Whites on Indian Creek, near Ottawa, Ill., & Sylvia Hall and Rachel Hall as Captives in Illinois and Wisconsin during the Black Hawk War, 1832

Scanlan, Charles M.
Milwaukee: Reic 1915

This was a famous incident during the Black Hawk war that has been included in many histories. This lively re-telling also throws light on the origins of the war. Battles in Illinois, battles fought in Illinois.

See our Jane’s Military Books PDF

The Expedition against the Sauk and Fox Indians 1832…

The following narrative of the expedition against the Sauk and Fox Indians, last year, has been kindly furnished to the Military and naval magazine by an officer who served in General Atkinson’s brigade

Smith, Henry
NY: 1914

Reprinted from the Military and Naval Magazine of the United States of August 1833. This account reads much like an official military report of the war. There is no sympathy here for the acts of the Indians and no significant analysis of the causes of the war, but it is a valuable account of the strategies and actions of military commanders throughout the campaign.

See the resources on this site for: The Black Hawk War of 1832

The Black Hawk War, 1831-1832, Vol 1

Volume 2, Part 1

Whitney, Ellen M., Comp. and ed.
Springfield: Illinois State Historical Library 1970-1973

The Illinois State Historical Library produced four volumes in this documentary series on the Black Hawk War. Only two of the four are available online; Volume 1, and Volume 2, Part 1. The volumes not included here are Volume 2, Part 2, Letters and Papers June 24, 1832 – October 14, 1834; and Volume 2, Part 3, Appendices and Index.

Volume 1: Illinois Volunteers.
The ‘Foreword’ contains an explanation of the various collections of records that were used to compile these rolls of participants in the Black Hawk War, and notes accompany the rolls of each military unit throughout the volume. This volume includes muster rolls for 244 units of Illinois volunteers who served in the 1831 and 1832 campaigns. The rolls accounted for 204 companies and detachments and 40 staff organizations. Chapters of Volume 1 are:

-Introduction, “Prelude to Disaster: The Course of Indian-White Relations Which Led to the Black Hawk War of 1832” by Anthony F. C. Wallace
-Part One – Black Hawk Campaign of 1831: Muster Rolls
-Part Two – Black Hawk Campaign of 1832: Muster Rolls
-Appendix: Service Records and Reports

Volume 2, Letters and Papers Part 1 April 30, 1831 – June 23, 1832.
Approximately 1,400 items were selected by the editors from available collections of documents for presentation in both parts of Volume 2. About half of those are in Part 1. Black Hawk War, wars in Illinois, Illinois wars.

Illinois in the Civil War

Illinois Civil War Regimental Histories Collection

This collection of about 80 books on Illinois units in the Civil War is in the Internet Archive. It includes histories of regiments, memoirs of individual soldiers, and other books about Illinois participation in the Civil War.

Bugle Echoes; The Story of Illinois 47th

Bryner, Cloyd
Springfield: Phillips 1905

A Civil War history of the 47th Illinois Infantry Regiment.

For histories of the Civil War, see also on this site: Civil War in America

See our Illinois government & politics free books & articles

Reminiscences of the Civil War from Diaries of Members of the 103d Illinois Volunteer Infantry

Committee of 103d, comp.
Chicago: Leaming 1904

The compiling committee collected and transcribed material directly from diaries and letters that were written by officers and men of the Regiment from mustering in 1862 to discharge in 1865.

Regimental Publications & Personal Narratives of the Civil War: A Checklist. Vol. 1, Part 1 – Illinois

Dornbusch, Charles Emil
NY: New York Public Library 1961-1972

This is Part 1 of a 7-part work, which covers Civil War histories of 17 participating northern states. Part 1 is dedicated entirely to Illinois. According to the compiler’s Preface, every battery and regiment is listed, and arranged numerically by arm of service – Artillery, Cavalry and Infantry. Any publications that could be associated with a particular battery or regiment are listed under that unit, including regimental histories, personal narratives, reunion proceedings, unit rosters and even sermons preached at soldiers’ funerals. Personal narratives by individuals who served under more than one unit are found under the unit of their first service.

Many or most of these articles and books are likely available online, free. For assistance in finding these, see our blog post Searching for eBooks.

The Patriotism of Illinois. A Record of the Civil and Military History of the State in the War for the Union …

Volume 2

with a history of the campaigns in which Illinois soldiers have been conspicuous, sketches of distinguished officers, the roll of the illustrious dead, movements of the sanitary and Christian commissions (2 volumes)

Eddy, T. M.
Chicago: Clarke 1865

The History of Company A, Second Illinois Cavalry

Fletcher, Samuel H.
Self-published 1912?

Fletcher was a member of company A. A roster of the unit is included at the end.

Muskets and Medicine, or Army Life in the Sixties

Johnson, Charles Beneulyn
Philadelphia: Davis 1917

A personal narrative by an Illinois volunteer in the Civil War.

This was Andersonville

The True Story of Andersonville Military Prison as told in the personal recollections of John McElroy, sometime Private, Co. L, 16th Illinois Cavalry

McElroy, John
NY: McDowell, Obolensky 1957

Illinois in World War One

The History of the 33rd Division A.E.F., Vol 1

Volume 2

Volume 3

Volume 4

Huidekoper, Frederic Louis
Springfield: Illinois State Historical Library 1921-22

The history of the 33rd Division of the Illinois National Guard in World War I. The first three volumes contain the history; Volume 4 contains over 40 accompanying maps. These are the first four volumes of the State Historical Library’s series Illinois in the World War.

See our free novels set in Illinois

The War-Time Organization of Illinois

Jenison, Marguerite Edith
Springfield: Illinois State Historical Library 1923

Volume 5 of the State Historical Library’s series Illinois in the World War. According to the Preface, the Historical Library began in 1919 to collect documents and materials of all sorts relating to the part of Illinois in World War I. This volume is “an encyclopedic resume of the civilian and military organization of Illinois, official, semi-official, and private, for the World War. It is designed to put the essential information about each of these organizations in convenient and accessible form. It is a handbook for the future historian and not a definitive history.”

Chapter headings are:

1. State Organizations 2. War Laws and their Enforcement 3. Military and Naval Activities 4. War Finance 5. Food and the War 6. Fuel and the War 7. Labor and the War 8. War Industries 9. Welfare Organizations 10. War Relief Organizations – Appendix – Bibliography

War Documents and Addresses

Jenison, Marguerite Edith, ed.
Springfield: Illinois State Historical Library

Volume 6 (final volume) of the State Historical Library’s series Illinois in the World War. Published by the War Records Section of the State Library, this consists of “selected documents of various classes, speeches, resolutions, etc., regarding the activity of Illinois in the World War.” It is intended to illustrate “… the various phases of Illinois’ contribution to the victory of 1918 and the mental reaction of the state and her leaders toward the war.”

Chapter headings are:

1. Public Opinion and the War 2. Mobilizing the State’s Resources for the War 3. Mobilizing Illinois Men for Service 4. Preserving Law and Order in the State 5. Visits of Foreign Missions 6. The Illinois Centennial 7. Bringing War Activities to a Close 8. Post-War Legislation 9. Return of the Illinois Service Men

Illinois in the World War; An Illustrated History of the Thirty-Third Division, Vol 1

Volume 2

States Publications Society, comp.
Chicago: States Publications Society 1921

This is actually a compilation of histories of the military units that made up the 33rd division, authored by their commanding officers or written under their supervision. Numerous photos. Chapter headings are:

Volume 1:
Definitions of Military Terms – Equivalents of French Measurements – Decorations Awarded to American Soldiers – Illinois in the World War – A Record of Service – World Dominion the Stake – America Turns the Tide – The Thirty-Third Division – – A Dedication by General Bell – History of the Division – The Thirty-third Division Staff – The Sixty-sixth Infantry Brigade – The 131st Infantry – The 132nd Infantry – The 124th Machine Gun Battalion

Volume 2:
The Sixty-fith Infantry Brigade – The 129th Infantry – The 130th Infantry – The 123rd Machine Gun Battalion –
The Fifty-eighth Field Artillery Brigade – The 122nd Field Artillery – The 123rd Field Artillery – The 124th Field Artillery – The 108th Ammunition Train – The 108th Trench Mortar Battery – The 108th Engineers – The 122nd Machine Gun Battalion – The 108th Field Signal Battalion – The 108th Trains Headquarters and Military Police – – The 108th Sanitary Train – – The 108th Supply Train – The Thirty-third Division Auxiliaries

War Publications and Reports of the War Committee of the University of Illinois 1917-1919

War Committee of the University of Illinois
University of Illinois 1923

The University’s War Committee produced publications throughout World War I to advise government leaders or to provide guidance to citizens of Illinois. Many are illustrated. Titles include:

Food Conservation – Municipal War Work – The War Garden – Food Production – War Legislation – War Activities and Moral Leadership – Milk – Sugar in War Time -The Great Condition – The German War Code – Responsibility for the Great War – The College Man and the War – Italy and the Peace Conference – New Arab Kingdom – The Republic of the Ukraine – Conflict of Parties in the Russian Revolution – The New Poland – Aims and Claims of Germany – Mobilization for Food Production – Farm Machinery Situation – Use of Farm Labor during the War – Grow More Wheat in Illinois – Home Economics Exhibits – Shall I Plant a Garden? – Apple Flakes – Growing Plants for War Gardens – Conserving Sugar in Ice Cream – War Bread Receipts [recipes] – Applications of Trigonometry [to aim artillery] – An Outline of Economic Readjustment – Historical Background of the Great War

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