Little Egypt in the Civil War

Little Egypt’s contribution to the Civil War is particularly unique in the regiments it raised. From a region of internal conflict, came one of the Civil War’s most decorated regiments, and one of its most uncommon. The story of the 31st Illinois, and the 15th Tennessee are both gems in Illinois Civil War history. The 31st was organized by John A. Logan, and went on to become a highly decorated Union regiment. The 15th Tennessee was a Confederate regiment, whose G Company was nicknamed the Southern Illinois Company. It is one of the only Confederate regiments in Civil War history to have a company of men all officially registered from a state fighting for the Union. Moreover, the two regiments are important towards understanding the Civil War from the eyes of Little Egypt’s residents.

2-flagsMost of the men from the 31st Illinois were from Little Egypt, particularly Williamson County Illinois, home of John A. Logan. Likewise all of the men from Company G of the 15th Tennessee where from Little Egypt, many of them from Williamson County. Both the 31st regiment, and Company G, had family or neighbors who were fighting on the opposing side. In fact, the two regiments even lined up across from each other on the field of battle, at Belmont, Missouri. This is an extremely unique story to the Civil War, as dozens of men from the same community, in a completely Union state, directly fought each other in the war. By looking at their actions, and memoirs, one can draw an appreciation for Little Egypt’s contribution to the Civil War.