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Whether by accident or design, Terre Haute Indiana not only found itself on the National Road (leading from Cumberland Maryland to St. Louis Missouri -- today's Route 40), but Terre Haute sits within a stone's throw of Illinois. That accidental location led to many Indiana citizens joining an infantry regiment associated with Crawford County, Illinois... or more particularly, a regiment associated -- by design -- with a brigade created by Illinois Congressman John McClernand, consisting of the 27th, 30th and 31st Illinois Infantry regiments. One of these "Indiana soldiers" serving Illinois was Benjamin Franklin Boring, who joined the 30th Illinois, Company D, at the age of 21 in August 1861. Rapidly advancing to Corporal, Benjamin Boring first saw action at Belmont; then was "part of the reserve" supporting the 8th Illinois (as part of Oglesby's Brigade) at Fort Donelson. The March 29th 1862 letter from Corporal Boring to his friend, Will Jones of Robinson Illinois, describes the visual scars of battle still evident in the landscape around Fort Donelson; the onset of illness (so severe that at one point only eleven men of 81 could report for duty in Company D); and following the battle, several regiments were sent to garrison Clarksville (which is where Benjamin Boring hopes his regiment will be sent, not really fond of his current location... although he indicates that he "has taught himself to play the piano tolerably well" by making use of the piano found in an abandoned house near Dover.) http://visions.indstate.edu:8888/cdm/ref/collection/vcpl/id/3337 [Letter of 29 March 1862, courtesy of Wabash Valley Visions and Voices of Indiana Libraries.] At the time of Corporal Boring's letter, Major General McClernand's original brigade had been comprehensively removed from his control: the 30th Illinois was on garrison duty at Fort Donelson; the 31st Illinois was also on garrison duty at Fort Donelson; and the 27th Illinois was taking part in the Operation against Island No.10. Following the Battle of Shiloh, the 30th Illinois and 31st Illinois reported to Pittsburg Landing and became part of McClernand's Reserve (Sergeant Benjamin Boring has a number of letters written from Jackson Tennessee: the letter dated 27 May 1862 is most revealing.) The 27th Illinois also joined the Crawl to Corinth, but remained part of Pope's Army of the Mississippi. Sergeant Boring continued to write letters (and contributed stories to Illinois and Indiana newspapers) until his muster-out at expiry of his three-years' term of service in 1864. Many of those letters are to be found at the listed online site (with some of the most interesting detailing his involvement with the Vicksburg -- Raymond -- Champion Hills campaign.) Cheers Ozzy References: http://visions.indstate.edu:8888/cdm/ref/collection/vcpl/id/3337 Letters of Benjamin F. Boring 30th Illinois Co.D http://www.findagrave.com/memorial/26334910/benjamin-f-boring Benjamin Boring at find-a-grave http://www.vigo.lib.in.us/archives/inventories/wars/civilwar/boring.php Benjamin Boring bio at Vigo County Library