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New book tells story of Illinois companies who fought in the Civil War

Preorder by Feb. 15

"The Gallant 15th of Illinois - History of a Civil War Volunteer Infantry Regiment," a project of more than 10 years by Betty Obendorf, curator of the Polo Historical Society, and Kathy Pasch, graphic designer and local historian of Forreston, is in its final stages. 

Preorders at a discounted price of $25 will be taken until Friday, Feb. 15 with publication in the spring 2019. 

The 432 pages tell the story of the companies from Algonquin, Belvidere, Lena, Marengo, Mt. Carroll, Polo, Rockford, Warren, Waukegan, and Woodstock that made up the 15th. 

Personal accounts of the men from these Illinois towns after their muster at Camp Scott, Freeport, vividly describes their experiences. 

Their enlistment took them to Missouri, then to the Battle of Shiloh where their ranks are decimated in the "Hornet's Nest.”

Follow them to Corinth, Vicksburg, the Siege of Atlanta, Andersonville Prison, the March to the Sea, and the Grand Review.

This hardbound, coffee-table style book is loaded with maps and illustrations, official war reports, newspaper accounts from the period, personal accounts, diaries and letters, and more than 150 individual photos of the men.

Book pickup location and to preorder send $25 (add $5 if shipping is desired) to: Polo Historical Society, 113 N. Franklin Ave., Polo, IL 61064. For more information email

Pickup date and locations will be posted on the Facebook page: Civil War Book - The Gallant 15th of Illinois, and the website