1862 History

80th Indiana Volunteer Infantry
An American Civil War Regiment

"We leave our plows and workshops, 
our wifes and children dear,
With hearts too full for utterance, 
with but a silent tear;
We dare not look behind us, 
but steadfastly before.
We are coming, Father Abr'am,
three hundred thousand more!"

--From the song We Are Coming, Father Abr'am
by J. S. Gibbon & L. O. Emerson, 1862

The 80th Indiana was formed as a direct result of President Abraham Lincoln's July 1, 1862, call for 300,000 more men to volunteer for the Union Army in order to help the Federal government win the American Civil War.  The table below contains information about the 80th's initial formation and service, including its role in the bloody battle of Chaplin Hills at Perryville, Ky., and the initial wave of illnesses, deaths and desertions that it underwent in the fall of 1862.

On this page the column on the left contains links that lead to day-by-day overviews by month, the center column contains overviews of what the 80th was doing and where it was located during the last 5 months of 1862, and the column on the right features quotes from primary and secondary sources, which are intended to give insights into what the times, and the soldiers' lives, were like.  These quotes have been entered on the date they were written or published (unless otherwise noted) and without changing the original grammar or spelling.

Abbreviations used on this page include: C.S.A.=Confederate States of America; Gen.=General; Gov.=Governor; Ind.=Indiana; Ky.=Kentucky; and U.S.=United States.

This is the first comprehensive history ever written about the 80th Indiana.  It is being assembled using data from many sources, and is very much a work in progress.  Contributions are both encouraged and welcomed.  All who do so will be credited on the list of Modern 80th Indiana Volunteers on this website.  For details, visit the Help Needed section of this site.  Together this history can grow to be a rich tribute to the men of the 80th Indiana, who helped preserve the United States of America and end slavery within it.

Months Synopsis of 80th Service Quotes


Call for 300,000.  National and State efforts leading to formation of 80th Indiana.

"Your telegram to the President has been received... Give us the fifteen regiments if you can do so, and at the earliest moment, raising them on any plan you deem most expedient."
--U.S. Secretary of War Edward M. Stanton, July 4, 1862 telegram to Indiana Governor Oliver P. Morton


Camp of Rendezvous. Enlistments in the 80th, training at Camp Gibson, Princeton, Ind.

"I hope to have God on my side, but I must have Kentucky. I think to lose Kentucky is nearly the same as to lose the whole game."
--President Abraham Lincoln


Rushed to Kentucky. After only 2 weeks of training the 80th was sent to help resist the Confederate invasion of Kentucky. Received its arms in Indianapolis, Ind., and was sent to Cincinnati, Ohio. Spent 2 weeks building entrenchments near Covington, Ky., then joined Gen. Buell's Army of the Ohio at Louisville, Ky.

"The Operator has just bid good bye at Lexington.  It is occupied by the enemy...Our causes in Kentucky will be lost if the most vigorous measures are not adapted."
--Ind. Gov. Oliver P. Morton, telegram from Louisville, Ky., Sept. 1, 1862


Perryville: Seeing the Elephant. First taste of campaigning. First combat in Battle of Chaplin Hills at Perryville, Ky. Helped pursue Bragg's Army out of Kentucky, then did guard duty.

"Just before the battle, Mother, I am thinking most of you, While upon the field we're watching, with the enemy in view, Comrades brave are round me lying, fill'd with tho'ts of home and God; For well they know that on the morrow, some will sleep beneath the sod."
--From the song Just Before the Battle, Mother by George F. Root


Guard Duty in Kentucky.  Camped at Columbia, Ky. at end of month.  Many men in hospital with wounds and illness.  Averaged nearly 2 deaths every 3 days.

"'Twill be many days in Gibson, before we cease to feel, the loss sustained in battle, on the field of Perryville.  But we wait a brighter dawning, of a day which, come it must, shall see our Country's enemies, all leveled in the dust.  When the Stars and Stripes wave proudly, over every sovereign State, and our nation still be recognized, the greatest of the great."
--from the poem Was The 80th In The Fight?  by ECKLES, published in the Clarion newspaper, Princeton, Ind., Nov. 1, 1862


First Christmas Away.  Guard duty at Columbia, Ky.  Many men in hospital with wounds and illness.  Averaged 1 death per day.  Pursued C.S.A. Gen. John Hunt Morgan's Cavalry at end of month.

"Disease was woefully prevalent.  It was not uncommon for new regiments to have two-thirds of their strength on the sick list...individual units suffered most during the first few months of their service."
--Bell Irvin Wiley in his 1952 book The Life of Billy Yank: The Common Soldier of the Union

This page Copyright by Scott Cantwell Meeker of Deep Vee Productions.
All Rights Reserved. Created January 1, 2000. Last updated January 1, 2005.






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