Teacher's Regiment was unique Illinois Civil War unit


December 21, 2022

Old Main ISU in 1860

By Tom Emery

In Illinois as elsewhere, Civil War troops came from a wide variety of occupations. In one regiment, many men were future teachers.

The 33rd Illinois Infantry, which originated at Illinois State University in Normal, was famously known as the "Teacher's Regiment" since a high number of the men were students. The nickname was a nod to the original purpose of Illinois State, which was teacher training.

The outbreak of the Civil War in April 1861 riveted the university, which had been founded only four years before as the state's first public institution of higher learning. Many...

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