United States Regiments & Batteries > Illinois

The 8th Illinois Cavalry Regiment lost 7 officers and 68 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded and 1 officer and 174 enlisted men to disease during the Civil War. It is honored by a monument at Gettysburg, as well as a marker commemorating the first shot of the battle.

September 18 The 8th Illinois Cavalry Regiment was organized at St. Charles, Illinois, and mustered in under the command of Colonel John Farnsworth and Lieutenant Colonel William Gamble.
October 13-17 Moved to Washington, D.C.; At Meridian Hill
December 17 Attached to Sumner’s Division, Army of the Potomac; at Alexandria, Va.
March Attached to Cavalry, 2nd Army Corps, Army of the Potomac
March 10-19 Advance on Manassas, Va.
March 20 Reconnaissance to Gainesville
March 28-29 Operations along the Orange and Alexandria R. R.
March 28 Warrenton Junction, Bealeton Station
March 29 Rappahannock Station
April 2 Reconnaissance to the Rappahannock
April 23-May 1

Peninsula Campaign

Moved to the Peninsula, Virginia; Attached to 2nd Corps

May 4 Near Williamsburg
May 5

Battle of Williamsburg

May 23-24


May 31-June 1

Battle of Fair Oaks, Seven Pines

June Attached to Averill’s Cavalry Brigade, 5th Corps
June 25-July 1

Seven days before Richmond

June 25 Ashland (Detachment)
June 26 Mechanicsville, Atlee’s Station and near Hanover Court House
June 26-27 Hundley’s Corners
June 27

Garnett’s Farm and Gaines’ Mill

June 28 Despatch Station (Companies E and K)
June 29

Savage Station

June 30

White Oak Swamp and Glendale

July 1

Malvern Hill

July Attached to 2nd Brigade, Stoneman’s Cavalry Division, Army of the Potomac
July 4 Reconnaissance from Harrison’s Landing; At Harrison’s Landing
July 5 Malvern Hill
July 20-22 Expedition to Malvern Hill
August 5
Skirmish at Malvern Hill

Lieutenant Colonel Gamble was badly wounded with a bullet to the chest

August 16-23 Movement to Fortress Monroe, then to Alexandria
September Attached to 1st Brigade, Pleasanton’s Cavalry Division, Army of the Potomac
September 3-4 Falls Church
September 7-8 Poolesville, Md.
September 9 Barnesville
September 9 Monocacy Church and Nolansville
September 10 Middletown
September 11-12 Sugar Loaf Mountain
September 12 Frederick
September 13 Middletown and Catoctin Mountain
September 14

Battle of South Mountain

September 15 Boonesborough
September 16-17

Battle of Antietam

From the brigade marker on the Antietam battlefield:

The Second Brigade crossed the Middle Bridge under a severe fire of the Confederate Artillery posted on Cemetery Hill. The 8th Pennsylvania was thrown to the right to support the Artillery north of this road. The remaining Regiments took position in the ravine on the left between this point and the Antietam, where, in support to the Batteries in front, they remained until relieved by the advance of the Regular Infantry, when the entire Brigade was withdrawn. The 8th Illinois and 3d Indiana moved up the west bank of the creek and bivouacked in rear of the right wing of the Infantry line. The 8th Pennsylvania crossed the Middle Bridge, ascended the east bank of the Antietam, recrossed the stream near Neikirk’s and bivouacked near the Illinois and Indiana Regiments. The 1st Massachusetts recrossed the Antietam by the Middle Bridge and bivouacked near Keedysville.

September 19
Shepherdstown Ford
October 1 Reconnaissance from Sharpsburg to Shepherdstown, W. Va.
October 1 Martinsburg
October 9-12 Pursuit of Stuart into Pennsylvania
October 12 Mouth of Monocacy
October 16-17 Sharpsburg and Hagerstown Pike
October 29 Purcellsville and near Upperville (Detachment)
October 31 Snickersville
November 1-2 Philomont
November 2-3 Upperville
November 3 Union
November 5-6 Barber’s Cross Roads, Chester Gap and Markham
November 7 Sperryville
November 8 Little Washington
November 10 Markham Station and Barber’s Cross Roads
December 5 Colonel Farnsworth was promoted to brigadier general. Lieutenant Colonel Gamble, who had returned from a three month convalescence from his wound, was promoted to colonel.
December 12-15

Battle of Fredericksburg

January 30 Turner’s Mills
February Attached to 1st Brigade, 1st Division Cavalry Corps, Army of the Potomac
February 10-16 Operations in Westmoreland and Richmond Counties
March Colonel Gamble received medical furlough for rheumatism and neuralgia along with the continuing effects of his wound. He would return just before Gettysburg.
March 15 and 29 Near Dumfries
March 30 Zoar Church
April 27

Chancellorsville Campaign

April 29-May 8

Stoneman’s Raid

May 1 Rapidan Station
May 6 Warrenton
May 20-21 Lancaster
May 20-28 Clendennin’s Raid below Fredericksburg
June 9

Battle of Brandy Station

The regiment was command by Captain Alpheus Clark until he was mortally wounded. Captain George A. Forsyth then took command until he was also wounded.

June 17
June 18
Goose Creek
June 21
July 1-3

Battle of Gettysburg

Commanded by Major John Beveridge. The 8th Illinois had 491 men present, of whom 1 was killed, 5 were wounded and 1 missing.

From the monument at Gettysburg:

First line of battle July 1, 1863. Occupied until relieved by 1st Corps. One squadron picketed ridge east of Marsh Creek and supported by another squadron met enemy’s right advance, Lieut. Jones, Co. E, fired first shot as the enemy crossed Marsh Creek Bridge. On reforming line regiment took an advanced position on Hagerstown Road. Late in the day delayed enemy’s advance by attacking his right flank, thereby aiding the infantry in withdrawing to Cemetery Hill. In the evening encamped on left flank. July 2,1863 Buford’s Division retired toward Westminster.

The rear of the monument is inscribed with the name, “David Diffenbaugh,” the only member of the regiment killed at Gettysburg.

Monument to the 8th Illinois Cavalry at Gettysburg

Monument to the 8th Illinois Cavalry at Gettysburg

July 6-7
July 8 Funkstown, Maryland and Boonesborough
July 9 Chester Gap and Benevola or Beaver Creek
July 10-13 At and near Funkstown, Md.
July 15
Falling Waters
July 21-22 Chester Gap
July 22 Lovettsville
July 31-August 1 Kelly’s Ford
August 1-3 Near Culpeper
August 4 Brandy Station
August 27 Weaversville
September 8 Brandy Station
September 10-11 Raccoon Ford and Stevensburg
September 13 Culpeper and Pony Mountain
September 21-23 Reconnaissance across the Rapidan
September 21 Liberty Mills
September 22 Jack’s Shop, Madison Court House
October 7 Mitchell’s Ford
October 9-22

Bristoe Campaign

October 9 Culpeper
October 10 Raccoon Ford
October 10 Morton’s Ford
October 11 Stevensburg, near Kelly’s Ford and Brandy Station
October 12 Fleetwood or Brandy Station
October 15 Oak Hill
October 16 Madison Court House
October 17 Hazel River
October 27 Bealeton
October 30 Near Catlett’s Station
November 2 Major John Beveridge mustered out. He would become Colonel of the 17th Illinois Cavalry Regiment.
November 7-8 Advance to line of the Rappahannock
November 8 Warrenton or Sulphur Springs, Jeffersonton and Hazel River
November 26 –
December 2

Mine Run Campaign

November 29 Parker’s Store
December 1 Jennings’ Farm, near Ely’s Ford
January to March Camp at Giesboro Point. Veterans on furlough until May
January 1864 Attached to Defenses of Washington, D.C., 22nd Army Corps. Patrol duty at Washington, D.C., and scout duty at Fairfax, Va., having numerous engagements with Mosby’s guerrillas and the Black Horse Cavalry
January 31 Reconnaissance to Madison Court House (Detachment)
April Attached to 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division Cavalry Corps, Army Potomac. Colonel Gamble, who continued to suffer from health issues throughout the war, transferred to Washington D.C. where he was given command of Camp Stoneman.

Rapidan Campaign (Detachment)

May 5 Craig’s Meeting House, Va. (Detachment)
May 5-6 Todd’s Tavern (Detachment)
May 8 Alsop’s Farm (Detachment)
May 18 Guinea Station (Detachment)
May 27 Salem Church and Pole Cat Creek
June 1-12

Cold Harbor

July 5 Moved to Washington DC and assigned to the Defences of Washington.
July 5 Point of Rocks, Maryland and Noland’s Ferry
July 7 Middletown and Solomon’s Gap
July 7, 8 Frederick (Detachment)
July 9

Battle of Monocacy; Rockville and Urbana

July 11 Near Fort Stevens, D.C.
July 11-12 Along northern defenses of Washington, D.C.
July 13 Rockville
July 18 Cockeyville
July 20 Philomont
July 21 Snickersville
July 30 Monocacy Junction
October 9 Near Piedmont
October 10 Near Rectortown
October 11 White Plains
October 28 Upperville (Detachment)
October 28-29 Operations at Snicker’s Gap (Detachment)
November Attached to 1st Separate Brigade, 22nd Corps, Department of Washington
November 11 Manassas Junction
November 26 Fairfax Station
December 26-27 Scout from Fairfax Court House to Hopewell Gap
February 6-7 Scout from Fairfax Court House to Brentsville
February 15-16 Scout to Aldie and Middleburg (Co. B)
March 3-8 Operations about Warrenton, Bealeton Station, Sulphur Springs and Centreville
March – July Duty about Washington, D.C.
July Ordered to St. Louis, Mo., then to Chicago, Ill.
July 17 The 8th Illinois Cavalry Regiment mustered out