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At this time the firm steps of Illinois' patriot men were heard, keeping step to the mnsic of the Union. In every
direction her stalwart sons were seen marching towards the Capital. The loyal pulse never beat so central and quickening as at this period. After the organization of the regiment, on the twenty-seventh, they are marched from Camp Yates to the armory, where they receive their arms--the Harper's Ferry altered musket-after which the regiment marches to the depot and embarks for Alton, Illinois, where the regiment arrives at 4 P. m., and are quartered in the old State Penitentiary. With men who were eager for war-whose hopes of martial glory ran so high—to be quartered in the old criminal home, grated harshly, and they did not enter those dark recesses with much gusto.
During our stay here, the regiment was every day marched out on the city commons by Colonel Cook, and there exercised in the manual of arms and the battallion evolutions, until they attained a proficiency surpassed by none in the service.
On the nineteenth of May, private Harvey, of Company A, died--the first death in the regiment. The first soldier in the first regiment to offer his life for the flag and freedom. On the second of June, private Dunsmore, of the same company, falls into a soldier's grave. May the loyal people ever remember these first sacrifices so willingly offered in the morning of the rebellion.
On the third of July, the regiment embarked on board the steamer City of Alton, for Cairo, Illinois. Passing down the river, the steamer is hailed and brought to at the St. Louis Arsenal, and after the necessary inspection, proceeds on her way. Pass the steamer Louisiana, with the 12th Illinois, Colonel McArthur, on board, arriving at Cairo on the fourth, and go into camp on the flat ground in the rear of the city and near the levee. This camp is very appropriately named Camp Defiance. From Cairo, on the seventeenth of June, the regiment is marched up the Ohio river as far as Mound City, where it is quartered in a large brick building, on the bank of the river, which the Seventh will remember as Camp Joslyn, named in honor of Captain Joslyn of Company A. These were quiet days with the Seventh. In their ardor they felt in themselves the strength of giants.
June 25th.—Brig. General Prentiss, and Colonels Oglesby and Paine, visit the camp of the Seventh, addressing the men upon the subject of re-enlisting.
June 26th.-A general alarm seemed to prevail today, concerning hostile appearances on the Kentucky shore, and in consequence, Colonel Cook sends Captains Monroe and Babcock, with a squad of men, across the river to reconnoiter. They soon return and report all quiet; nothing but the movement of farmers with their stock.
June 29th.-To-day a member of Company F is “drummed out of the regiment” per verdict of Court Martial. Two single lines were formed facing inward, with a space between of about thirty feet. The disgraced soldier was marched along between the two lines, accompanied by two drummers, who kept up a terribly discordant drumming, while the men kept up a hooting and hissing.
Sunday, June 30th.-Divine service at the grove to-day by Chaplain Davis; largely attended by the regiment.
July 3d.-An alarm to-night; “long roll” beaten; the men formed in line; no ammunition; considerable confusion; three rounds issued to the men while in line; false alarm, caused by the firing of the pickets.
July 4th-Dawns gloriously. The national salutes roll from the Illinois shore, sending their joyous music southward, telling a story that runs back to the morning of the Republic. At 10 o'clock the regiment is formed and marched to the grove, where they listen to the reading of the Declaration of Independence by Colonel Cook. Oration by Chaplain Davis. Valedictory by Captain Joslyn.
July 7th.—The regiment's period of enlistment is now drawing to a close, and it has not been out of its native State. The drums are now beating for volunteers to fill up the call made on the fourth of May for three years' troops. The Seventh stood on the banks of the Ohio. They looked southward and they knew that they had not been down there where
the wicked enemies of freedom trailed the old flag. They had performed the engagements the government had required of them; but sanguine hearts had been disappointed, and the country was calling again for defenders. The majority of the Seventh say they will stay; that they will re-enlist; that they will harken to every demand the country makes for the defense of her honor and glory. Those re-enlisting are given a short furlough to their homes, and after returning to Mound City, the regiment is mustered out of the three months' service the twentyfifth of July, and on the same day is mustered into the three years' service by Captain Pitcher, U. S. A:
The story of Bull Run's battle field is now borne to our ears. Its wail has gone to the hearts of a throbbing people. The hearts of the men beat high to carry the flag into the Southland. This part of the Seventh's history I have seen fit to make brief; being anxious to lead the reader on as fast as possible to the days when the deep intonations of battle were heard. Days when the dogs of war barked loudly in tones of thunder around where the old Seventh's flag ofttimes stood encircled by a barricade of steel.
The commencement of the three years' service.--The Roster of
Officers.—Camp at Mound City, Ills.-Camp at Cairo, Ills.Leaving Cairo.--Ascending the Mississippi.--Landing at Sulphur Springs.-Camp at Ironton.–Pilot Knob.-Expedition through Missouri.-Camp at Cape Girardeau.-Descending the Mississippi.-Landing at Fort Holt.—March to Elliott's MillsBattle of Belmont.—Return to Fort Holt.-Expedition to Blandville and Elliott's Mills. Preparation to leave Fort Holt.
The Seventh Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry now commences its three years' service with the following roster of officers :