Simsport, being in the battle of Marksville, and engaged with confederate force on May 14, 15, and 16 1864. The regiment was stationed at Simmport on May 16, 1864.
On May 20, 1864 the regiment crossed the Atchafalaya River and marched to Morganza Bend, Louisiana, arriving on May 21. 1864. The regiment remained there during the summer and fall, engaged in scouting and fighting along the network of bayous between the Mississippi on the east and Atchafalaya one the west, Red river on the north and Bayou Plaquemine on the south. Additionally the regiment took part in the battle of Cane River, Ohaneyville, Alexandria, Yellow Bayou and the blockade of the Red River. Duncan’s diary states the regiment was in skirmish on the 30th of May and captured Confederate soldiers on the 31st of May, June 4th, and June 18 1864.
On July 2, 1864, during the battle of Morgan’s Ferry, Louisiana, the regiment suffered one man killed, a Private Robert Lindsay of B Company.
In late August 1864, the regiment was in a minor skirmish during which they killed three, wounded four, and took 16 prisoners of the Confederate forces, while suffering one man wounded, Private Oliver Hughes of K Company. This action is believed to have been part of the Monett’s Ferry battle (also know as Cane River Crossing).
During the period of time the regiment was camped at Morganza they were reported to have captured more prisoners, horses and stores and destroyed more Confederate property, than all other forces camped at Morganza.
Special Order Number 107 dated August 24, 1864, established a cavalry brigade attached to the 19 Corp consisting of the 1st Texas cavalry (Union), 1st Louisiana cavalry, 2nd New York cavalry, and the 87th Illinois infantry (mounted). The August 31, 1864 reported “order of battle” for the Department of Gulf, General Banks commanding. Shows Colonel John Crebs commanding the Cavalry Brigade with Major Lands in command of the 87th.
September 3, 1864 part of the regiment embarked on transports for the mouth of White River Arkansas, the remanding troops being left for lack of transportation. On September 16, 1864 a detachment of about 70 men, under the command of Captain James E. Willis, was sent on a scout from Morganza. Captain Willis left 40 men at Williamsport Louisiana, with Captain Stewart while he and the remaining force proceeded up the river. On his return he learned that the Williamsport Louisiana detachment had been attacked by a regiment of Confederate cavalry, with the result that 2 were killed, 1 wounded and the balance except for 1 man were made prisoners. Captain Will’s official report follows: “The scout was composed of Captain Sheridan, with fifty men from the 87th Illinois and Lieutenant Shaffer, with twenty-five men from the 1st Louisiana, (consolidate with the 2nd Louisiana Cavalry). We moved out on the up-river road at 3 p.m. and encamped near Pringle’s about dark. We moved up the river next morning about sunrise. At Williamsport a picket was found, but dispersed when fired on by our advance. Here Captain Sheridan was left with forty men. I went up the river with Lieutenant Shaffer and thirty-five men; finding no enemy we returned. On arriving at the point where Captain Sherdan was stationed we were fired on by a rebel picket. We soon found one of our men dead and another severely wounded. Supposing Sheridan had been driven toward Merganser we pushed down the river expecting to cut through the rebels and join Sheridan, but after passing below the rebels we learned that but one of Sheridan’s men had passed; that the remainder had been captured was evident, so we pushed on toward camp as fast as possible. Of the party with Sheridan, one was killed, one escaped, two wounded; one of the wounded died in three hours, with the other was brought in by a scout. In the hands of the enemy, 1 captain and 31 men from the 87th Illinois, and 5 men from 1st Louisiana Cavalry.”
Brigadier General McLawler dispatched Colonel Edwin J. Davis with a heavy force of cavalry, supported by infantry to intercept the Confederate force. No record could be found providing the results of this effort.
The unit organization as of October 31, 1864 shows the cavalry brigade (87th Illinois, 2nd New York, 1st Texas, and Mass. Light Artillery 2nd Battery) under the command of Colonel Edmund J. Davis with Colonel Crebs in command of the 87th. Special Field Order Number 14 dated November 6, 1864 from General J. J. Reynolds ordered the commanding officer at Morganza Louisiana to send the 87th regiment to the mouth of the White River Arkansas without delay. On November 7, 1864 the remaining members of the 87th regiment re-joined the regiment.
Major George W. Land, who had left the regiment, died of illness on December 4, 1864, at home.
Sometime during the Christmas time 1864, the officers found out about a “ball” to be held at a Mrs. Stewart home about ten miles away. Upon arrival, at Mrs. Stewart’s home, six to eight men ran out and began to shoot, wounding Terry Anderson in the hip. One prisoner was reported taken. Not wanting to