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Civil War Genealogy Database
All Units - Artillery - Cavalry - Engineers - Infantry - Marines - Medical - Misc - Naval
161st Illinois Infantry      
Company B
Stephen Michael Lester - Corporal   
Stephen and 2 of his brothers, Thomas and Virgil joined the 79th. Their residence at the time was in Tuscola,Douglas County, Illinois. After the war Stephen and his family moved to Texas. According to the 1880 Federal Census, they lived in Grayson County, Texas. Stephen died October 18, 1912 in Dallas, Dallas County, Texas. He is buried in the Oakwood Cemetery in Whitesboro, Texas. 11/9/2005 SKL
Contact Name:  Sarah Lester
Contact Email:  Click for E-mail
Date Added:  11/9/2005
Company B
Algernon Lyght - Private   
I would like more information about what the unit did in the war
Contact Name:  Sherry Kirksey
Contact Email:  Click for E-mail
Date Added:  9/22/2008
Company C
James L Mercer - Private   
Killed 25 Jun 1863 at Liberty Gap, Tennessee
Contact Name:  Marty Craig
Contact Email:  Click for E-mail
Date Added:  10/28/2009
Company D
William R Merriman - Private   
The Seventy-ninth Infantry Illinois Volunteers was organized at Mattoon, Ill., in August, 1862, by Colonel Lyman Guinnip, and was mustered into United States' service August 28, 1862.

William was born in Lexington, KY, the son of William R. Merriman, possibly of Virginia. William joined on August 1, 1862, in Paris, Illinois; enlisting for a period of three years, and reported for duty at Camp Terry, Illinois, on August 28, 1862. He was age 30, married to Harriet Coughenour, 5'4', brown hair, blue eyes, fair complexion, and listed his occupation as a merchant (family tradition has that he worked in a saddle and leather shop). Prior to leaving for war, he had one son, Harry C. Merrymon (the spelling of the last name that Harry used).

Ordered to Louisville, KY., and September 13, assigned to Third Brigade, Brigadier General Craft's Division, Army of Kentucky. On September 29th, it was transferred to Colonel Buckley's (Fourth) Brigade, General Sill's (Second) Division.

October 1, 1862, commenced the march through Kentucky. At Frankfort, it was transferred to General Kirk's Brigade (Fifth). Arrived at Perryville, Ky., October 9, and continued its march to Crab Orchard; thence to Lebanon, Bowling Green, and Nashville, Tenn., arriving November 7.

Moved toward Murfreesboro, December 26, and on the 31st, entered the Battle of Stone River. The Regiment was engaged until the 4th of January, 1863, losing one officer killed, 3 wounded and 3 missing; 23 men killed, 68 wounded and 121 missing. June 24, 1863, moved to Liberty Gap. 25th, engaged the enemy, 5 men killed and 36 wounded.

William is reported as missing for a period, when it is believed that he took the body of his brother-in-law back to Illinois for burial. William returned to the Army for the Battle of Chickamauga.

August 16, crossed Cumberland Mountains, Tennessee River, Sand Mountain, Lookout Mountain, and went into the battle of Chickamauga, September 19, and was engaged during the day and on the 20th. Loss, 7 officers missing, 4 men killed, 13 wounded and 97 missing. On the evening of the 20th, fell back to Chattanooga with the Army.

William R. Merriman died in the Battle of Chickamauga, and is buried at the National Cemetery in Chattanooga, TN. There is a surviving photograph of him taken in uniform before leaving for the war.
Contact Name:  Richard Rose
Contact Email:  Click for E-mail
Date Added:  1/7/2010
Company F
James Davis Ingle - Sergeant   
Enlisted as a Private on 1 August 1862.
Enlisted in Company F, 79th Infantry Regiment Illinois on 28 Aug 1862.
Promoted to Full Sergeant.
Mustered Out Company F, 79th Infantry Regiment Illinois on 13 Jun 1865.
Contact Name:  Fred Rose
Contact Email:  Click for E-mail
Date Added:  4/5/2009
Company I
Nathan Wells - Private   
Died, Bowling Green, KY Nov. 29, 1862
Contact Name: 
Contact Email:  Click for E-mail
Date Added:  3/27/2004
Company K
Eli Benjamin Hon(n) - Private   
U.S., Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles, 1861-1865
Enlisted: 19 Jul 1862 Company K, Illinois 79th Infantry Mustered out on 24 Dec 1862 at Nashville, TN. Death
Cemetery: 1420 Gallatin Road, South Madison, TN 37115
Buried At: Section B Site 6279
Contact Name:  Susan Rizzo
Contact Email:  Click for E-mail
Contact Homepage:  Civil War
Date Added:  3/21/2018
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