103rd Illinois Infantry
“Farewell to home and kindred till the traitor cause is dead—
Till Floyd has dropped his plunder and Jeff has lost his head—
When this victory is ours we’ll return with shouts of joy
To our lovely wives and sweethearts in old Fulton, Illinois.
Then shout out your loudest huzzas,
Three cheers for old Fulton’s brave boys!
For our flag shall ever be
The Banner of the free,
While upheld by the brave Fulton boys.”
In response to the August 1862 call by President Lincoln for 300,000 additional troops, the One Hundred and Third Illinois Infantry was recruited and organized in Fulton County, Illinois. The men volunteered from the following areas within the County: Company A-Lewiston and Liverpool townships, Company B-Ellisville and Young Hickory townships, Company C-Farmington, Buckheart, Canton and Banner townships, Company D-Fairview township, Company E-Banner, Putnam and Orion townships, Company F-throughout the County, Company G-Canton and Lewistown townships, Company H-Lewistown township, Company I-Bernadotte and Pleasant townships and Company K-Canton township. On September 7 the Regiment arrived at camp in Peoria and was mustered in for three years of service on October 2, 1862. On October 30, the One Hundred and Third boarded cars of the Illinois Central Railroad for the trip to Bolivar, Tennessee via Cairo, Illinois. By early November, the Regiment was encamped at La Grange performing escort and scouting duties. In December, the Regiment moved south through Holly Springs, Mississippi then on to Waterford, Mississippi for garrison duty and to fortify and guard the bridges of the Mississippi Central Railroad. In January 1863 the Regiment moved north by rail to Jackson, Tennessee, then threatened by Forrest, and in March returned to La Grange. On April 17, as part of the diversion regarding the true intent of “Grierson’s Raid,” the garrison at La Grange (including the One Hundred and Third) under command of General W. Sooy Smith, moved south to Holly Springs and then on to Waterford, Mississippi and back to La Grange. On June 1 the Regiment was placed on guard at various points on the Mississippi Central Railroad and on June 5 were ordered to Memphis, placed on the steamer Henry von Phul and moved downriver to Snyder’s Bluff on the Yazoo River. From the end of June until the fall of Vicksburg on July 4, the Regiment guarded the rear approaches to Vicksburg at Oak Ridge, Mississippi; following the fall of Vicksburg, the One Hundred and Third marched to the Black River and then on to the siege of the retreating Confederates at Jackson. When the rebel army retreated the Regiment returned to camp near Vicksburg. September 25 the Union troops were ordered to Chattanooga, Tennessee to the relief of the Army of the Cumberland. On October 1, the Regiment boarded the Marine Boat Diana, reached Memphis on October 11 and marched east through LaGrange, Tennessee, through Corinth, Iuka and Eastport, Mississippi, across the Tennessee River and arrived at Florence, Alabama on October 30. Turning north the men reached Fayetteville, Tennessee on November 7, Winchester on November 11, crossed the Cumberland Mountains and arrived at Bridgeport, Alabama on the west bank of the Tennessee River on November 15. At Bridgeport, Companies C and G were mounted and detached from the Regiment. The remainder of the Regiment left Bridgeport on November 17, crossed the Tennessee River and camped at Sand Mountain, Georgia. On November 24 and 25 the Regiment was part of a Union force that attacked Confederate positions north of Missionary Ridge-Tunnel Hill; despite a desperate charge the enemy forces could not be dislodged and the One Hundred and Third retreated back to the base of the Hill. Following the battle the enemy withdrew; after a brief pursuit the Regiment was ordered to Knoxville, Tennessee for the relief of Union troops under General Burnside. By the time the Union troops reached Maryville, 16 miles south of Knoxville, the Confederates under Longstreet had quit the siege at Knoxville and retreated back to Virginia. The One Hundred and Third returned to Chattanooga, passed through and spent Christmas 1863 at Stevenson, Alabama. In February 1864 the Regiment was ordered to Cleveland, Tennessee, and from there moved south to Dalton, Georgia and skirmished at Tunnel Hill, Buzzard’s Roost Gap and Rocky Faced Ridge. In May the One Hundred and Third became part of the Atlanta campaign and in the next five months fought at Resaca, Dallas, New Hope Church, Allatoona Hills, Kenesaw Mountain, Nickajack Creek, Ruff’s Mills, Chattahoochie River and at Atlanta. After the fall of Atlanta the Regiment pursued the retreating rebel forces under General Hood as far as Gaylsville, Alabama and returned to the Smyrna Camp Ground, Georgia in early November. In mid-November 1864 the One Hundred and Third joined in Sherman’s “March to the Sea.” The Regiment fought at Griswoldville on November 22, at the Ogeechee River December 7-7 and in the Siege of Atlanta in December. From January to April 1865 in the Campaign of the Carolinas the Regiment fought at Salkahatchie Swamps, South and North Edisto Rivers, Congaree Creek, Columbia and Bentonville. Following the surrender of Johnston and Lee’s forces the Regiment was ordered to Washington D.C. and marched in the Grand Review on May 24, 1865.
 Fulton County Ledger, October 28, 1862. This is a portion of a song—words by Corp. S. Spellman, set to music by Sergt. A. E. Wagstaff and bugler R. R. Marshall of Company C and sung by the 103rdRegiment. The mounted companies, C and G, rejoined the Regiment at this time. The Regimental commander, Colonel Willard Arms Dickerman, was wounded on May 28, 1864 near Dallas and died May 30.