The 55th Illinois Infantry regiment was organized at Camp Douglas, Chicago. Mustering into service on October 31, 1861, it would move to Benton Barracks, MO, where it would remain through January 12, 1862. Moving, to Paducah, KY, on January 12, it would be part of the 2nd Brigade, Fifth Division, of the Army of Tennessee. The 55th would see its first action at the Battle of Shiloh.
Originally commanded by David Stuart, it would later be commanded by Oscar Malmborg.
Besides fighting at Shiloh, the 55th Illinois would participate in many other battles:
- Chickasaw Bayou
- Arkansas Post
- Champion’s Hill
- Sherman’s March to the Sea
- Sherman’s Carolina Campaign
The 55th Illinois would suffer a total of 286 casualties during the course of the Civil War. It would be mustered out of service on August 14, 1865.