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John C. Hankins 106th Illinois Volunteer Infantry

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Item No. CV6875JR Category


Leaving Illinois behind, the 106th took a train to Columbus, Kentucky, where it was attached to the Army of the Tennessee. They spent much of the winter of 1862-1863 around Jackson, Tennessee, tasked with guarding the Mobile & Ohio Railroad. In late December Confederate forces under Nathan Bedford Forrest, led a cavalry raid on Jackson. This attack took the regiment by surprise and Companies C and G surrendered without a fight. The rest of the regiment built a makeshift breastwork out of railroad ties and bridge timber and fended-off the Rebels with some difficulty. After Forrest’s raid, the regiment was assigned to guard railroad stations north of Jackson until May 31, 1863, when it was ordered to Vicksburg to participate in the siege already taking place there. While en route to Vicksburg, the regiment’s steamboat came under fire from Rebel infantry and artillery on Island No. 63 near Clarksdale, Mississippi. Being unable to return much fire, the regiment suffered several men killed and twenty-five wounded, before it even arrived at Vicksburg. Throughout the month of June the 106th served in the trenches of Vicksburg, where the men suffered from high heat, lack of water, lack of shade, and continual fire from the enemy. Toward the end of the siege, they were transferred to the Yazoo River to protect the army’s flank and rear against enemy raiders operating north of Vicksburg. After the surrender of the Confederate bastion on July 4, 1863, the 106th was transferred to Helena, Arkansas. Here it took part in the advance on Little Rock and the Battle of Bayou Fourche on September 10, 1863, which secured Little Rock and most of Arkansas for the Union. For the rest of the war the 106th was assigned to guard posts throughout Arkansas, keeping the peace and guarding against possible Confederate counter-thrusts in that region. The report of the Illinois Adjutant General sums up the 106th Illinois’ service succinctly: “Except the siege of Vicksburg, the Regiment was not in any of the most noted battles, but, nevertheless, it performed well its part in putting down a rebellion, and it suffered many privations and hardships marching through swamps and bayous, guarding railroads, government property, fighting and foraging, as is proven by its long list of casualties.” For John’s part he would be hospitalized several times during his service for illness but was otherwise present for the majority of his term. This view shows Hankin’s dressed in a service jacket with a large black felt cap resting on the table beside him. A period pencil inscription located on the front, bottom reads, “John Hankins K 106th Ill”. There are a few small areas of paper loss to the front of the card. No back mark on this one.














Carte view identified as John Hankins of the 106th Illinois Volunteer Infantry. Hankins would muster with Company K in September, 1862. He would take part in the repulse of Forrest’s attack on Jackson, Tennessee in November of that same year. The regiment would see action during the Siege of Vicksburg and Battle of Claredon as well as performing service at Devall’s Bluff, Pine Bluff, Hot Springs, Dardenelle and several others. Hankins would be hospitalized with lumbargo in June, 1863 and again in August with dispepsia. He would be discharged in July, 1865. Interestingly, this view shows Hankin’s dressed in a service jacket

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