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Ninety-fourth Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment Collection

Processed by: , October 2013


Contents

  1. Collection Information
  2. Historical Sketch
  3. Photographs
  4. Scope and Content Note
  5. Box and Folder Inventory
Collection Information

Volume: One Box
Dates: 1843-1921
Restrictions: None
Reproduction: Permission to reproduce or publish material in this collection must be obtained in writing from the McLean County Museum of History.
Location: Archives

Historical Sketch

The Ninety-Fourth Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment was mustered into service the summer of 1862. This regiment was important in that it was comprised entirely of volunteers from McLean County. The response was so great that several companies of McLean County men had to be placed in another regiment.

The Ninety-Fourth was led by Col. William W. Orme and second in command was former cavalry commander John McNulta. Both were well to do Bloomington citizens who had previous experience in war. Third in command was Lt. Col. Rankin Laughlin of Heyworth. Majors in the regiment were Alexander Briscoe and James McFarland. The regiment left Bloomington for St. Louis on August 25, 1862 with a force of 930 men. In St. Louis, the regiment trained through the autumn. On December 7, 1862, the Ninety-Fourth participated in the Battle of Prairie Grove, Arkansas. Repeated Confederate charges were repelled by the Union troops. Despite seeing heavy action, the Ninety-Fourth's casualty list included only one killed and twenty-six wounded.

After participating in a minor campaign to secure Van Buren, Arkansas, tragedy struck New Year's Day 1863. As the Ninety-Fourth was marching back into Missouri, Company H Captain Joseph Orme was accidentally shot through the lungs, mortally wounding him. On January 6, 1863, during a Confederate assault on a Springfield garrison, the Ninety-Fourth suffered one dead and two wounded. One month later, seventeen men from the regiment died from pneumonia.

In June and July 1863, the Ninety-Fourth participated in Gen. U. S. Grant's epic siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi. With William Orme's appointment as brigadier general, McNulta was left in command of the regiment. The Ninety-Fourth's role in the siege included digging trenches and capturing rifle pits. Vicksburg, the last Confederate stronghold on the Mississippi River, fell on July 4, 1863. 

In August 1863, after an uneventful expedition to Yazoo City, the Ninety-Fourth was sent to Carrollton, Louisiana, located six miles north of New Orleans. Here, the regiment struggled with the swampy terrain, insects, a lack of fruits and vegetables, and the oppressive heat. On September 5, 1863, the Ninety-Fourth engaged in a "running battle" at Morganza, Louisiana with a pocket of Confederates. During the fighting, Col. McNulta was shot in the hip. Though he survived and continued to lead the regiment, he had the noticeable limp the remainder of his life. On October 25, 1863, the Ninety-Fourth boarded a Gulf Coast steamer and participated in the capture of Brownsville, Texas. The regiment stayed in Brownsville for several months, checking the ability of Confederates to cross the border.

In August 1864, the Ninety-Fourth participated in the successful siege and capture of Fort Morgan, Alabama, located on the eastern approach to Mobile Bay. The battle to capture the City of Mobile began on March 25, 1865. An impediment to the taking of the city was the "Spanish Fort," a line of breastworks almost two miles long with forts at either end named "Battery Alexis" and "Spanish Fort Proper." The Ninety-Fourth was placed on the left flank of the Union line across from Battery Alexis. During the siege, the regiment suffered only a handful of casualties, including one killed and three wounded. On April 9, after several days of repeated artillery bombardment, the Ninety-Fourth stormed Battery Alexis. A few days after the fall of its main defenses, the city of Mobile fell to the Union army.

Shortly after the capture of Mobile, Union troops learned of General Robert E. Lee's surrender at Appomattox, Virginia. The Ninety-Fourth was then shipped to Galveston, Texas, and remained there until late July.

On August 9, 1865, the Ninety-Fourth returned home to Bloomington with about 680 men. The men of the Ninety-Fourth were away from home almost three years. They had traveled 1,200 miles by foot, 610 miles by rail, and 6,000 miles by steamer. The regiment from McLean County also took part in nine battles, sieges, and skirmishes.

Photographs
  • The 94th Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment reunion.

Scope and Contents Note

This collection contains documents, both official and personal, related to the Ninety-Fourth Illinois Infantry Regiment. Mustered into service the summer of 1862, this regiment, comprised almost entirely of McLean County men, served in Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, and Alabama. There are thirteen folders in one box.

Box and Folder Inventory
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Folder 1: Regimental History
Folder 1
Regimental History
1.1 Information on the Battle of Prairie Grove, the Ninety-Fourth's first engagement
1.2 Information on all engagements the Ninety-Fourth was involved in
1.3 Statistical information of the Ninety-Fourth
1.4 A history of the Ninety-Fourth Infantry as told by an Adjutant General (2x)
1.5 A listing of long-arms used by the Union infantry during the Civil War (2x)
1.6 A summary of the Ninety-Fourth's history in the Civil War
Folder 2: Extra Vouchers
Folder 2
Extra Vouchers
folder is empty
Folder 3: Invoices of Ordnance and Stores I
Folder 3
Invoices of Ordnance and Stores I
3.1 9/2/1862; For rifles, ammunition, and tools from the Ordnance Officer at Springfield, IL
3.2 9/2/1862; For swords and belts from Springfield, IL
3.3 9/3/1862; For muskets and ammunition from Springfield, IL
3.4 9/3/1862; For muskets, ammunition, and tools from Springfield, IL
3.5 9/5/1862; For swords and belts from Springfield, IL
3.6 9/10/1862; For muskets, ammunition, belts, and equipment from the St. Louis Arsenal
3.7 9/30/1962; For some clothing and equipment from Springfield, MO
3.8 10/9/1862; For envelopes and paper from Springfield, MO (in triplicate)
3.9 10/18/1862; For ink and paper from Springfield, MO (in triplicate)
3.10 10/18/1862; For an axe and a hatchet from Springfield, MO
Folder 4: Invoices of Ordnance and Stores II
Folder 4
Invoices of Ordnance and Stores II
4.1 10/18/1862; For an axe and a hatchet from Springfield, MO (in duplicate)
4.2 10/20/1862; For a horse and a halter from Springfield, MO (in triplicate)
4.3 10/31/1862; For some blankets from Springfield, MO
4.4 11/11/1862; For a few rifles, ammunition, and belts from Springfield, MO (in duplicate)
4.5 11/15/1862; For rifles, muskets, revolvers, ammunition, and tools from Springfield, MO
4.6 12/5/1862; For swords and belts from Springfield, MO (in duplicate)
4.7 12/25/1862; For a saddle, bridle, and blanket from Springfield, MO (in triplicate)
4.8 4/28/1963; For tents and poles from Missouri (in triplicate)
4.9 1/4/1964; For some desks, chairs, and a stove from Chicago, IL (in duplicate)
4.10 1/15/1964; For and office table from Chicago, IL (in duplicate)
4.11 10/27/1964; For ammunition and boxes from Mississippi
Folder 5: Ordnance Receipts
Folder 5
Ordnance Receipts
5.1 9/14/1862; Received weapons and equipment for all of Company G
5.2 9/14/1962; Received weapons and equipment for all of Company I
5.3 9/14/1962; Received weapons and equipment for all of Company C
5.4 9/14/1962; Received weapons and equipment for all of Company E
5.5 9/14/1962; Received weapons and equipment for all of Company A
5.6 9/14/1962; Received weapons and equipment for all of Company D
5.7 9/14/1962; Received weapons and equipment for all of Company K
5.8 9/14/1962; Received weapons and equipment for all of Company A
5.9 9/14/1962; Received weapons and equipment for all of Company H
5.10 9/14/1962; Received weapons and equipment for all of Company F
5.11 9/14/1962; Received weapons and equipment for all of Company B
5.12 9/15/1862; Received 10,000 ball cartridges (in duplicate)
5.13 9/16/1862; Received various guns, belts, and plates
5.14 11/13/1862; Received some guns, belts, and plates
5.15 11/15/1862; Received long rifles
5.16 11/15/1862; Received rifles, muskets, and tools
5.17 11/15/1862; Received rifles and tools
5.18 11/15/1862; Received a Colt revolver
5.19 11/15/1862; Received long rifles
5.20 11/15/1862; Received many rifles, ammunitions, and swords
5.21 11/15/1862; Received a few rifles and 1000 rounds of ammunition
5.22 11/15/1862; Received rifles and tools
5.23 11/15/1862; Received rifles and tools
5.24 12/5/1862; Received swords and belts
Folder 6: Special Recommendations
Folder 6
Special Recommendations
6.1 A letter from General Gordon Granger recommending promotions and awards for some officers of the Ninety-Fourth
Folder 7: Laughlin Orders
Folder 7
Laughlin Orders
7.1 4/23/1963; An inspection order to Lt. Colonel Laughlin
7.2 5/24/1964; An order authorizing a trial for officers said to have been AWOL while on duty in Brownsville, Texas
7.3 3/16/1865; A note authorizing transportation to New Orleans for John Moore, who was on sick leave
Folder 8: Circular of Instruction
Folder 8
Circular of Instruction
8.1 4/13/1964; A circular with new rules in it as written by Colonel Laughlin
Folder 9: Orme/Laughlin Letters
Folder 9
Orme/Laughlin Letters
9.1 8/7/1864; A letter written by Orme while at home in Bloomington to Laughlin, with a memoranda from Laughlin in response
Folder 10: Orme Medical/Personal
Folder 10
Orme Medical/Personal
10.1 11/7/1862; A list of men to whom Col. Orme owed $2 each
10.2 11/11/1863; Note by Col. Orme after receiving $500 from a John Potts
10.3 11/22/1863; A letter from a medical officer advising Charles Orme's removal from command due to contacting hepatitis
10.4 12/2/1863; A letter from Charles Orme to headquarters asking to be allowed to go to New Orleans for treatment with an accepting response on the back from a commanding officer
Folder 11: Deceased Soldiers
Folder 11
Deceased Soldiers
11.1 1/6/1862; A listing of eight men of the regiment who died from typhoid fever
11.2 2/1863; An envelope from a report of deceased soldiers from February of 1863
11.3 2/1863; The report of deceased soldiers (1 man) from February of 1863
Folder 12: News Clippings
Folder 12
News Clippings
12.1 3/24/1862; A clipping from the Daily Pantagraph featuring Bloomington's abolitionist sympathies
12.2 3/1/1859; A clipping from the Daily Pantagraph about Frederick Douglass speaking in Bloomington against slavery
12.3 8/20/1962; A farewell show ticket for the Ninety-Fourth
12.4 7/17/1865; A discharge from the military for Jasper Gilmore
12.5 A story about the possibly last reunion of the Ninety-Fourth Regiment
12.6 3/17/1963; A story from the Daily Pantagraph about a Ninety-Fourth Regiment discussion as held by the McLean County Historical Society
Folder 13: Reunion Material
Folder 13
Reunion Material
13.1 8/25/1888; An invitation to the Ninety-Fourth's 6th annual reunion
13.2 8/25/1892; A regimental roster of the Ninety-Fourth from the 1892 reunion (2x)
13.3 8/29/1901; An invitation to the Ninety-Fourth's 18th reunion
13.4 8/24/1916; 94th Illinois Volunteer Infantry Reunion Association Thirty-third Annual Reunion Bloomington, Illinois
13.5 8/25/1921; An invitation to the Ninety-Fourth's 38th reunion