33rd Indiana Volunteer Infantry Regiment

“The record [the 33rd Indiana Infantry] made shows that for bravery in battle, willingness to perform every duty, however great the difficulty or discomfort, and loyalty to the cause in which it had enlisted, it was the peer of the best regiments in the service.”

— John McBride, Adjutant, 33rd Indiana Infantry
33rd Regimental Flag
Flag created by a ladies group from Lexington KY for the Indiana 33rd Volunteer Infantry.

Colonel John Coburn, an Indianapolis lawyer, commanded the 33rd Indiana Infantry, and later a brigade composed of the 33rd, 85th Indiana Infantry, 19th Michigan and 22nd Wisconsin. He distinguished himself during Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign and had the honor of accepting the surrender of the city of Atlanta from Mayor James Calhoun on September 2, 1864. In the closing days of the war, Coburn was brevetted a Brigadier General for his honorable services in the field.

“History cannot be written without a record of your (2nd Brigade) calm patience, disciplined courage, and heroic daring.

— Colonel John Coburn, 33rd Indiana Infantry, commanding 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, 20th Army Corps, September 20, 1864

In three years of war, the 33rd Indiana, led by Coburn, participated in battles and campaigns in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Georgia. It played a leading role in the Union’s first victory in Kentucky, the Battle of Wild Cat, fought in the fall of 1861 in the rugged southeast part of the state. And, during the Atlanta Campaign, the 33rd sustained more casualties than any other regiment in Sherman’s army. After Atlanta, the regiment went on to participate in the March to the Sea and the Carolinas Campaign, under the command of Colonel James H. Burton of Monroe County, Indiana.

“For the well-known bravery in the face of the enemy of the Thirty-third Indiana Veteran Volunteers, it will always be entitled to honorable mention.”

— Colonel Daniel Dustin, 105th Illinois Infantry, commanding 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, 20th Army Corps

The story of the 33rd is easily told considering the volume of letters, diaries, newspaper accounts, official state and federal records and reminiscences of the men who fought. The purpose of the site is to share information on this important regiment through photos, and primary documents. The most remarkable feat of the site is to offer biographical information on nearly every soldier in the regiment, and in this respect it has no equals among Civil War regimental websites. Nearly 2,000 men passed through the ranks of the 33rd during the years 1861-1865, and therefore it has required years of research to gather information on each soldier. It is hoped that the site will not only attract those who are interested in the Civil War generally, but also be a great resource for genealogists or those who have the distinction of being a descendant of a 33rd Indiana Infantry soldier.

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