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The Grand Reunion of the 114th Illinois, at Williamsville, Yesterday – A Gala Day – Speeches by Secretary Harlow, Gov. Jayne and Others – History of the Regiment

            The reunion of the 114th Illinois Volunteers, at Williamsville, yesterday, was an imposing demonstration, and the attendance is estimated at 2,500 at least.  The Springfield delegation was a large one, and besides Secretary of State Harlow, Gov. Jayne and other of the distinguished speakers, the Springfield excursion train conveyed Capt. Mack’s battery, which presented a fine appearance.  Upon arrival at Williamsville, the Battery, the cannoniers and drivers dismounted, were met by the Williamsville Guards, and the commands, headed by the Capital City Band, paraded the principal streets.  When the audience had assembled at the designated place, Secretary Harlow delivered an eloquent address, paying tribute to the martial powers of the gallant 114th, in which connection was presented


            The 114th Regiment has quite a history.  It was organized in July and August 1862 and mustered into the service September 18th, 1862, at Camp Butler.  Companies B, C, E, G, H and I were from this county, companies A and D from Cass, and companies F and K from Menard county.  Its successive Colonels were Col. J. W. Judy, of Tallula, John F. King, of Riverton, and Samuel N. Shoup, of Ball.  The latter went out as Captain of Company E.  The regiment left this city, for Memphis, Nov. 8, ’62, and after remaining on picket duty there a few weeks, it started on the Tallahatchie campaign, being attached to Brig. Gen. Lauman’s division.  After being at College Hill, Miss., and marching to the relief of Jackson, Tenn., then threatened by Gen. N. B. Forrest, the regiment returned to Memphis and guarded the Memphis and Charleston Railroad.  On March 17th, 1862, the command went down the river on transports, and was ordered to Young’s Point, Louisiana, where it was assigned to the 1st Division, 15th Army Corps, Maj. Gen. Wm. T. Sherman commanding, and went into camp at Duckport, La.  The following May the regiment went to the rear of Vicksburg and at the battle of Jackson, Miss., lost five men, subsequently losing twenty more in the siege of Vicksburg.  After the surrender of Vicksburg, the 114th joined the force operating against Gen. Joe Johnson and during the siege of Jackson lost seven men in killed and wounded pursuing Johnson to Brandon, and then going to Camp Sherman, near Vicksburg.  Here by the resignation of Col. Judy, Col. King succeeded to the command.  While at Oak Ridge, Miss., doing picket duty, the regiment had several skirmishes with guerillas; Lieut. McClure of Co. A was killed.  Subsequently the command went on to provost duty at Memphis, during which time it was ordered out on a scout, engaging the enemy at Wyatt, Miss., and behaving gallantly; as it also did on a subsequent scout under Gen. Sturgis.  At the battle of Guntown, Miss., to which the infantry was hurried at a double-quick three miles, the lines were repulsed, and commenced falling back.  The 114th remained as a rear guard and held the evening in check during all the first night’s retreat.  Out of 397 men, the regiment lost 205 in killed, wounded and missing, Assistant Surgeon A. S. French was killed during the action, and among the wounded were Adjutant Henry L. VanHoff, Capt. J. M. Johnson, Lieut. T. S. Barry; and Lieuts. Strickland and Zeizler were captured.  Falling back to Memphis, after two week picket duty, the regiment left again, under Gen. A. J. Smith, for Tupelo, Miss.  On July 13th, the brigade to which it was attacked (attached?) was surprised by the enemy, and after a brisk fight the rebels were repulsed.  For a gallant charge, the 114th received the thanks of the Brigade Commander, on the field.  In the attack on Memphis, by Gen. Forrest, who was repulsed, the 114th charged the enemy and lost 40 men in killed and wounded.  It was on several subsequent expeditions into Mississippi.  It was ordered to Arkansas and thence to Missouri to participate in the pursuit of the rebel General Price.  The regiment was then ordered to Tennessee and participated in several battles under Gen. Geo. H. Thomas, losing 15 men in killed and wounded, and pursuing the Rebel General Hood as far as Pulaski, Tenn.  The 114th was engaged subsequently during the siege of Spanish Fort.  The regiment still later participated in the attack on the forts in Mobile bay, and finally returned home via Vicksburg, and was mustered out at Camp Butler Aug. 15th, 1865.

            Following the eloquent remarks of Secretary Harlow, came the feast, the same being in the form of a most ample and substantial collation, set by the ladies of Williamsville, at the school house.

            After dinner, Col. Harlow unfurled the colors of the regiment, which were tattered and torn.  They had been shot away and torn by rebel bullets but ultimately were saved to the glory of the Boys in Blue.  The speaker paid further tribute to the gallant regiment.  The speaker was frequently applauded.  Rev. John Leman followed in eloquent remarks, and was in turn followed, briefly, by Hon. Jacob Beck, the Republican nominee for State Senator.  Hon Wm. Jayne spoke in eulogy of the patriotism of the boys who fought for the flag, and took occasion, as is his wont, to compliment the ladies for their services in behalf of the boys in the field, and upon this occasion.  O. S. Webster, Esq., delivered an eloquent oration.  The general enjoyment which characterized the occasion was somewhat marred by a shower that abruptly closed the festivities.  The Springfield delegation speak in the highest terms of the compliment of the courtesy extended them by the Williamsville people, and pronounce the reunion in every respect a grand success.
Illinois State Journal - October 16, 1878