The Ninety-ninth Infantry was organized in Pike county in August, 1862, by Colonel George W. K. Bailey of Pittsfield, and was mustered in at Florence, Pike county, August 23 by Captain J. H. Rathbone; on same day moved to St. Louis, Mo., and went into Benton Barracks on the 24th, where it received its equipments, being the first Regiment out of the State under the call of 1862.
September 8, was sent to Rolla, Mo., thence, September 17, to Salem, Dent county, thence, November 20, to Houston, Texas county. Was assigned to the Brigade of Brigadier General Fitz Henry Warren. Was engaged in a skirmish at Bear Creek, losing 1 killed, 4 wounded and 1 taken prisoner, and in the battle of Hartsville lost 35 killed and wounded.
January 27, 1863, moved to West Plains, Howell county, reporting to Brigadier General Davidson.
March 3, moved to Pilot Knob, then to St. Genevieve.
March 15, embarked for Milliken's Bend, La.; was assigned to General Benton's Brigade, General E. H. Carr's Division, General McClernand's Thirteenth Army Corps.
Left Milliken's Bend April 11, arrived at New Carthage 12th. Marched down Roundway Bayou in Louisiana, passed Vicksburg and Grand Gulf. Crossed the river April 30 and after marching all night met the enemy at Magnolia Hills, near Port Gibson, Miss.; lost 37 killed and wounded.
Marched with General Grant's army toward Jackson, Miss.; was held in reserve at the battle of Champion Hills (the hardest one-day battle fought in the west.) Started into the engagement at nightfall, pursued the retreating rebels to Edwards Station and engaged them the next morning; charged upon their works at Black River and drove them across the river, capturing many prisoners. Our loss was light.
On 19th of May was at the defences (sic) of Visksburg. On the 22d the Regiment took a prominent part in the assault, losing, out of 300 men, 103 killed and wounded. The Colonel and Major were wounded early in the day, leaving Captain A. C. Mathew in command. Its line, during the day, was close to the enemy's works, and its colors planted on their breastworks. This position was held by the Ninety-ninth until 4 o'clock p. m., when it was relieved by another regiment, and moved back 150 yards to where its knapsacks had been left. While calling roll the line which had relieved the Regiment was driven back in great confusion. The Ninety-ninth advanced, and opening a heavy fire, drove the enemy back into his works and held him there, probably saving the whole Division from stampede.
Was engaged during the siege in General Benton's Brigade- Eighth and Eighteenth Indiana, and Thirty-third and Ninety-ninth Illinois. The Ninety-ninth lost during the entire campaign and siege, 253 killed, wounded and missing.
On July 5 the Ninth, Thirteenth and Fifteenth Army Corps, Major General Sherman commanding, moved after Johnson's army to Jackson. Returned to Vicksburg July 24. On 21st of August moved to New Orleans, and on 26th went into camp at Brashear City.
October 3, 1863, the Campaign of the Tesche was commenced. The Regiment was in several skirmishes, and a detachment of the Regiment, Captain A. C. Mathews commanding, was engaged in the battle of Grand Coteau. On 9th November, returned to Brashear City, and moved to New Orleans.
In the assault at Vicksburg May 22, the color bearer, the gallant young hero William Sitton, was wounded, when the invincible Tom Higgins grasped the stars and stripes, and carried them into the breastworks, where he was captured, and lost the stand of colors. In 1873 the colors were sent from Richmond, VA., to Philadelphia, Pa., thence to Springfield Ill., where they now are. Stains of blood can yet be seen on them, the patriot blood of the lamented Sitton.
November 16, embarked for Texas. On 25th, landed at Mustang Island, and marching up to Matagorda Island, commenced the attack on Fort Esperanza, which was soon surrendered. The Ninety-ninth remained in Texas during the spring of 1864.
On 16th of June, 1864, it evacuated the Island, and reported to General Reynolds, at Algiers, La. The Regiment performed garrison duty on the Mississippi during the entire summer, in First Brigade, Brigadier General Slack; First Division, General Dennis; Nineteenth Corps, General Reynolds. The Ninety-night was brigaded with Twenty-first Iowa, Twenty-ninth Wisconsin and Forty-seventh Indiana.
In November, 1864, moved to Memphis. Here the Regiment was consolidated into a Battalion of five companies, and Lieutenant Colonel A. C. Mathews assigned to command. Colonel Bailey, and the other supernumerary officers, being mustered out.
Moved to Germantown, and went on duty guarding railroad. On December 25, three men of the Battalion were captured and murdered by guerrillas. Moved to Memphis, December 28. On January 1, 1865, embarked for New Orleans, and arrived on the 9th. On 1st February, embarked for Dauphine Island, Ala. Was assigned to First Brigade, First Division, Thirteenth Corps, with Twenty-first Iowa, Forty-seventh Indiana and Twenty-ninth Wisconsin - General Slack commanding Brigade, Brigadier General Veatch commanding Division.
On March 17th moved to Fort Morgan, and on 26th, arrived at Fish River. Took part in the siege of Spanish Fort, until the 30th, when the Division was sent to General Steele's Army, and April 1, went into position at Fort Blakely. The Ninety-ninth assisted in its investment and capture, and on the 12th, entered Mobile.
In June, 1865, the Division was ordered to Red River, to receive the surrender of Kirby Smith, and it proceeded to Shreveport, LA. From this place Colonel Mathews was detailed to proceed, with a body-guard of the Sixth Missouri Cavalry, to the Indian Territory, and receive the surrender of Brigadier Generals Cooper and Standwaite, and to form temporary treaties of peace with the Indian tribes. The Colonel formed treaties with ten tribes - including the Choctaws, Cherokees, Chickasaws and Osages - and returned (having traveled a thousand miles) on the 3d of July.
On 19th July, ordered to Baton Rouge. On 31st of July, mustered out by Captain E. S. Hawk, A. C. M.
Arrived at Springfield, Ill., August 6, 1865, and received final payment and discharge August 9, 1865, and by midnight of same day the surviving veterans were in their own county.
The Ninety-ninth had three years of active service and were in the states of Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, and Alabama.
The Ninety-ninth was often honored by having important staff positions given to its line officers. Captain, afterward Colonel Mathews, was on staff duty with different Generals, also Lieutenants Sever, Bowsman and Kinne. Captain Massie was A. A. Q. M. and A. A. C. S and was A. A. A. General in the battles at Spanish Fort and Blakely. No particular distinction is claimed for the officers named, but this mention is due them and the Regiment, as the position came to them unsought, and the survivors of the old Regiment take just pride in remembering the gallant and famous commanders with whom they served, namely, Grant, Sherman, Granger, Steele, Reynolds, Canby, Carr, McGinnis, Veatch, Slack, Lawler, Washburn, and Schenck.
Shortly after their discharge the survivors, their wives and sweethearts, were given a grand dinner by the citizens of Pittsfield, where 3 years before over 900 men had marched out to do and die for their country. At the banquet less than 350 partook of the feast.
The Ninety-ninth was in the following battles and skirmishes: Beaver Creek, Mo., River, Miss., Vicksburg, Miss., Jaskson, Miss., Fort Esperanza, Tex., Grand Coteau, La., Fish River, Ala., Spanish Fort, Ala., and Blakely, Ala.
No. of days under fire .......................... 62 No. of miles traveled ........................... 5,900 No. of men killed in battle ..................... 38 No. of men died of wounds and disease ........... 149 No. of men discharged for disability ............. 127 No. of men deserted ............................. 35 No. of officers killed in battle ................ 3 No. of officers died ............................ 2 No. of officers resigned ........................ 26
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