Illinois State Military Museum

Illinois State Military Museum The mission of the Illinois State Military Museum is to preserve and exhibit the military heritage of the Illinois National Guard.
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12/09/2023
Don't forget tomorrow is  Christmas At the Front. From 2-8 p.m. we will have refreshments too!
12/08/2023

Don't forget tomorrow is Christmas At the Front. From 2-8 p.m. we will have refreshments too!

We're getting ready for our Christmas at the Front event Dec 9th from 2-8. Come learn how our Soldiers celebrated Christ...
12/01/2023

We're getting ready for our Christmas at the Front event Dec 9th from 2-8. Come learn how our Soldiers celebrated Christmas during war times. The Soldiers Aid Society will be on hand to tell how they helped the Soldiers during the Civil War not only at Christmas but all year long. We will also have refreshments as well.

11/24/2023

We will be open today our normal hours.

On this Day in 1863: The Gettysburg Address: 272 words that changed a nation.Nearly five months after the Battle of Gett...
11/19/2023

On this Day in 1863: The Gettysburg Address: 272 words that changed a nation.

Nearly five months after the Battle of Gettysburg turned the tide of the war, President Abraham Lincoln approached the podium before 15,000 people that had come to see the dedication of the Gettysburg National Cemetery. In two minutes and 272 words, Lincoln forever shaped America's view on war and how to cope with loss. Lincoln allegedly prepared his most famous speech on the sixty-two-mile train ride from Washington to Gettysburg.

On this Day in 1835: Famous Guardsman: Samuel T. Busey.Shortly after his birth on November 16, 1835, in Greensville, Ind...
11/16/2023

On this Day in 1835: Famous Guardsman: Samuel T. Busey.

Shortly after his birth on November 16, 1835, in Greensville, Indiana, Samuel T. Busey moved with his parents to Urbana, Illinois. Before the Civil War he worked on the family farm, as well as in a local store. By 1862, Busey had joined the Army and become a Second Lieutenant in a recruiting office. Soon he was elected Captain of a volunteer infantry company he had raised. Shortly thereafter Busey rose through the ranks to Colonel for the 76th Illinois Volunteer Infantry. Though noted for his brave conduct under fire throughout the war, his most distinguished act of service came on April 9, 1865, in the final assault against Fort Blakely, Alabama. Busey single-handedly climbed into the rebel fortress, and through seriously wounded, engaged an enemy gun crew in hand-to-hand combat. He killed one, wounded two, and took the gunnery officer and his staff prisoner. Busey mustered out of service in August 1865 as a brevet Brigadier General. His post war life included the founding the Busey Bank in Urbana and serving as the city's mayor and chairman of the Urbana Board of Education.

On this Day in 1990: President George Bush Sr. activated the 108th Medical Battalion for Operation Desert Shield.The 108...
11/15/2023

On this Day in 1990: President George Bush Sr. activated the 108th Medical Battalion for Operation Desert Shield.

The 108th Medical Battalion became the third Illinois Guard unit to be activated for Operation Desert Sheild. It marked the first time the unit had been called to active duty. Thirty-Five members left from Wisconsin a few days later, bound for a ninety-day deployment to Saudi Arabia.

On this Day in 1864: Sherman's March to the SeaAt dawn, 62,000 troops under Union Major General William Tecumseh Sherman...
11/15/2023

On this Day in 1864: Sherman's March to the Sea

At dawn, 62,000 troops under Union Major General William Tecumseh Sherman marched out of the destroyed city of Atlanta bound for Savannah, Georgia. Sherman's infamous March to the Sea comprised 55,000 infantrymen, 5,000 cavalrymen, 2,000 artillerymen, and sixty-four guns. Seventy-two Illinois regiments marched under his command. Sherman wrote about it in his memoirs,
"Behind us lay Atlanta, smoldering and in ruins, the black smoke rising high in the air, and hanging like a pall over the ruined city. Away off in the distance, on the McDonough Road, was the rear of Howard's column, the gun-barrels glistening in the sun, the white-topped wagons stretching away to the south; and right before us the Fourteen Corps, marching steadily and rapidly, with a cheery look and swinging pace, that made light of thousands of miles that lay between us and Richmond"

Six major battles occurred during the March to the Sea. They included:

-Battle of Altamaha Bridge (Confederate Victory)
- Battle of Honey Hill (Confederate Victory)
- Battle of Griswoldville (Union Victory)
- Battle of Buck Head Creek (Union Victory)
- Battle of Waynesboro (Union Victory)
- Second Battle of Fort McAllister (Union Victory)

On this Day in 1918: WWI Combat ceases with the 11th hour armisticeAfter occupation duty in Luxemburg, the Division retu...
11/11/2023

On this Day in 1918: WWI Combat ceases with the 11th hour armistice

After occupation duty in Luxemburg, the Division returned to the United States and mustered out of federal service in late spring 1919. General Bell gave these parting words at Camp Grant, "... duty to God, to country, and to home, well done, is the highest standard humanly attainable. The officers and men of the 33rd Division did their duty superbly. Their deeds and the example which they set are imperishable. Illinois may well be proud of her sons, both the living and the dead." Casualties totaled 7,659 for Illinois National Guard units, 1,136 killed and several remain missing.

On this Day in 1918: Severely wounded, Illinois Soldier remained on duty to complete task.Sergeant Fred T. King of Headq...
11/08/2023

On this Day in 1918: Severely wounded, Illinois Soldier remained on duty to complete task.

Sergeant Fred T. King of Headquarters Detachment, 149th Field Artillery worked tirelessly with a repair crew under intense enemy shell fire near Bulson, France to mend a damaged telephone line. An incoming shell exploded directly in their vicinity, killing 5 of the Soldiers and wounding 13, including him. When the thick shower of dirt and smoke had cleared, he discovered blood loss from a wound. Nevertheless, King remained on the field to repair the downed line. After he had successfully established telephone contact with the battery, he allowed himself medical treatment. For his determination and courage under fire Sergeant King received the Distinguished Service Cross.

On this Day in 1918: Member of ambushed Illinois Unit Awarded Distinguished Service Cross. On patrol along the edge of d...
11/04/2023

On this Day in 1918: Member of ambushed Illinois Unit Awarded Distinguished Service Cross.

On patrol along the edge of deep woods in St. Maurice, France, A German Machine-Gun nest opened fire on soldiers of Company A, 132nd Infantry. The squad immediately took cover and returned fire. Sergeant Samuel E. Casaga (pictured) crawled forward under deadly exchanges of small arms fire and flanked the enemy nest. Despite the extreme danger he managed to get close enough to capture a member of the gun crew and took the prisoner back to the American lines. For his sudden show of courage and tenacity in executing his attack, Casaga received the Distinguished Service Cross.

Today is the day! We also have the Boy Scouts here cooking food for purchase!
11/04/2023

Today is the day! We also have the Boy Scouts here cooking food for purchase!

On this Day in 2001: Operation Noble Eagle: Nuclear Power Plants happened.As part of Operation Noble Eagle, Illinois Gov...
11/03/2023

On this Day in 2001: Operation Noble Eagle: Nuclear Power Plants happened.

As part of Operation Noble Eagle, Illinois Governor George Ryan ordered members of the Illinois Army National Guard to provide additional protection for the state's nuclear power plants. One-hundred Five Soldiers in Companies C and D of the 1st Battalion, 131st Infantry manned security posts at eight nuclear facilities. Operation Noble Eagle came to a close on May 31st, 2002.

11/03/2023
This weekend
11/01/2023

This weekend

On this day in 1918: Two Illinois artillerymen received recognition for gallantry under fire during intense WWI combat.B...
10/31/2023

On this day in 1918: Two Illinois artillerymen received recognition for gallantry under fire during intense WWI combat.

Battery A of the 124th Field Artillery moved into action at Remonville, France. Enemy shells pounded the horse-drawn caissons; the explosions illuminated the terrified animals and the gun crews that rode them. While riding the lead horse, Private William W. Fink received severe shrapnel wounds from a shell burst. Sergeant George C. Ammons replaced him when he fell from his horse due to loss of blood. Ammons finished moving the caissons into position, and though wounded, he managed to take the horses and limber carriages to the rear. For determination in accomplishing their mission under immense fire, both men received the Distinguished Service Cross.

On this Day in 1918: Three members of the 122nd Field Artillery earned the Distinguished Service Cross for heroic conduc...
10/30/2023

On this Day in 1918: Three members of the 122nd Field Artillery earned the Distinguished Service Cross for heroic conduct under fire.

Increased German artillery fire in the allied sector, "Massachusetts," forced American batteries to reevaluate their proposed barrage patterns. Three soldiers from the 122nd Field Artillery scouted enemy positions around Romagne, France. For extended periods of time, they gathered intelligence with sketches and handwritten notes, all while under intense enemy artillery, machine-gun, and sniper fire. All made it back to their lines safely and with information that pinpointed artillery barrages for subsequent fire missions. The three artillerymen earned the Distinguished Service Cross: Corporal Gordon W. Kellogg, Battery A; Private First-Class Harvey M. Hopp, Battery C; and Corporal Irwin Myers, Headquarters Detachment.

On This Day in 1840: Famous Guardsman: Joseph Fifer Joseph Fifer from Staunton, Virginia first entered military service ...
10/28/2023

On This Day in 1840: Famous Guardsman: Joseph Fifer

Joseph Fifer from Staunton, Virginia first entered military service in 1861. He enlisted as a Private with the 33rd Illinois Volunteer Infantry. In the Vicksburg Campaign he received serious wounds in 1863 that affected him throughout the rest of his life. He finished the war as a guard aboard a prison boat. Fifer refused a medical discharge. He graduated from Wesley University in 1868. His postwar career as a city attorney in Bloomington led to involvement in state politics. Fifer spent one year as Bloomington's Corporation Counsel. He served 2 terms as States' Attorney for McLean County from 1872-1880 and as a two term Illinois state Senator from 1880-1884, before being elected as the 21st Illinois Governor, serving from 14 January 1889 to 10 January 1893. As Governor he founded the State Historical Library which eventually became the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library. After serving as governor, he worked for the Interstate Commerce Commission from 1899-1906 and served as delegate to the Illinois Constitutional Convention in 1920. His daughter became the first female Senator of Illinois in 1924. Fifer died in 1938 and was buried in Bloomington.

The photo is the National flag of the 33rd Illinois Volunteer Infantry.

The presentation by Timothy B. Smith
10/28/2023

The presentation by Timothy B. Smith

On this Day in 1863: Major General Ulysses S. Grant travelled to Cairo, Illinois, having been summoned by Secretary of W...
10/16/2023

On this Day in 1863: Major General Ulysses S. Grant travelled to Cairo, Illinois, having been summoned by Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton.
On the same day that he received a summons to Cairo from Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton, Major General Ulysses S. Grant took command of the newly formed Military Division of the Mississippi. The new appointment consolidated the Departments of the Tennessee, Cumberland, and the Ohio into one body. With this development, the majority of the Union Army now served under Grant’s command.

On this Day in 1874: Six Illinois Guard units escorted President Grant in Springfield parade.The unveiling of a statue o...
10/15/2023

On this Day in 1874: Six Illinois Guard units escorted President Grant in Springfield parade.
The unveiling of a statue of Abraham Lincoln in Oak Ridge Cemetery prompted a ceremonial parade. Six Illinois units marched in the procession of President Ulysses S. Grant through downtown Springfield. Forty-thousand enthusiastic people turned out along the two mile parade route to cheer the troops and catch a glimpse of the President. The parade lasted thirty minutes and ended with the dedication ceremony at the Lincoln Tomb. The Illinois units present that day included: the University Cadets, Militia of the Industrial University of Champaign, Sterling City Guards, Governor’s Guard, Sherman’s Guards, and the Springfield Zouaves.

On October 28th We will be having a Guest Speaker Timothy B. Smith who will be speaking on Grierson's Cavalry Raid. Timo...
10/14/2023

On October 28th We will be having a Guest Speaker Timothy B. Smith who will be speaking on Grierson's Cavalry Raid. Timothy B. Smith is author of "The Real Horse Soldiers" He will speak at 10 a.m.

Even though it's a little misty our amazing Living History Detachment is setting up for the Military Vehicle Show. Gates...
10/14/2023

Even though it's a little misty our amazing Living History Detachment is setting up for the Military Vehicle Show. Gates and Museum open at 10.

Two of the modern Military Vehicles have arrived for the Vehicle Show tomorrow. Gates and Museum will open at 10 a.m. Th...
10/13/2023

Two of the modern Military Vehicles have arrived for the Vehicle Show tomorrow. Gates and Museum will open at 10 a.m. The Military Vehicle Show will end at 4:00 p.m. & the Museum will close at 4:30.

Address

1301 N MacArthur Boulevard
Springfield, IL
62702

Opening Hours

Tuesday 1pm - 4:30pm
Wednesday 1pm - 4:30pm
Thursday 1pm - 4:30pm
Friday 1pm - 4:30pm
Saturday 1pm - 4:30pm

Telephone

(217) 761-3910

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