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11th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry (Three Years Service)


In the American Civil War, Ohio provided the federal government with 260 regiments of men, including infantry, artillery, and cavalry units. Ohioans also served in several other regiments from other states, most notably from Kentucky, West Virginia, and Massachusetts, as well as in federal units. Almost 330,000 Ohio men, including 5,092 African Americans, served in the Union military during the conflict.

In the American Civil War, Ohio provided the federal government with 260 regiments of men, including infantry, artillery, and cavalry units. Ohioans also served in several other regiments from other states, most notably from Kentucky, West Virginia, and Massachusetts, as well as in federal units. Almost 330,000 Ohio men, including 5,092 African Americans, served in the Union military during the conflict.

Infantry regiments formed in Ohio became known as regiments of Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Soldiers of Ohio infantry regiments served the Union for varying lengths of time, ranging from one hundred days to three years. One of the three-year regiments was the 11th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry. The regiment mustered into service at Camp Dennison, near Cincinnati, Ohio, on June 20, 1861. The 11th Regiment had previously organized for three months service, but officials requested that the regiment's members reenlist for three years service. Those soldiers that did reenlist became the nucleus of the new 11th Ohio. Most of the regiment’s members came from Miami, Clinton, Hamilton, Montgomery, and Columbiana Counties, Ohio.

On July 7, 1861, the 11th Ohio departed Camp Dennison for western Virginia, arriving at Point Pleasant, Kentucky four days later. On July 26, 1861, the regiment, with additional Union forces under the command of General J.D. Cox, advanced up the Kanawha River in modern-day West Virginia. The 11th entered camp at Gauley Bridge, Virginia (present-day West Virginia) but continued to participate in various expeditions from this location, including engaging enemy forces at Cotton Hill and at Sewell Mountain, both in modern-day West Virginia. On December 1, 1861, the regiment returned to Point Pleasant and entered winter encampment.

On April 16, 1862, the 11th departed Point Pleasant for Gauley Bridge. The regiment next moved to Raleigh, Virginia (present-day West Virginia), where the organization performed garrison duty. In late July 1862, the 11th returned to Gauley Bridge, with the exception of Company C, which officials sent to Summerville, in present day West Virginia, to reinforce the 9th Regiment Virginia Infantry.

On August 18, 1862, the 11th departed Gauley Bridge for Parkersburg in present-day West Virginia. The command then boarded railroad cars on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and traveled to Washington, DC, encamping at Alexandria, Virginia. On August 27, 1862, the regiment advanced to Fairfax Court House, Virginia. The 11th served as the rearguard of the Union’s Army of the Potomac after the Battle of Bull Run II (August 28-30, 1862), as the Northerners retreated from Manassas, Virginia to Washington, DC. After this engagement, the 11th's commanding officer issued the following report:


SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the Eleventh Ohio Volunteers in the engagement at Bull Run on the 27th instant:

The regiment arrived at the scene of action about 8 a.m., the Twelfth Ohio in the advance. Almost immediately upon halting the rebels began shelling our troops. My regiment was then moved to the left, our of range of the enemy's guns, by Maj. Jackson (he being in command at that time), and afterward crossed the river agreeably to your order and proceeded about 500 yards when the enemy was discovered in overwhelming numbers. The regiment was then moved along the hill to the rescue of the Twelfth Ohio, which was then nearly surrounded by a force vastly outnumbering them. My regiment then charged upon the enemy and drove them from their position at the bridge. The rebels returned almost immediately in superior numbers, when we retired across the river. It was at this juncture that I arrived and assumed command of my regiment. My regiment was then deployed to the left of the railroad and about 150 yards in rear of the bridge and across Bull run, the Twelfth on our right, when a sharp engagement ensued, the Twelfth suffering severely, but not an officer or man of either regiment wavered, so far as I was able to observe. The Twelfth Ohio fought like veterans. It was also at this point that my adjutant fell mortally wounded. Lieut. McClure and 4 men of the Eleventh were captured while carrying him from the field.

We were at this time compelled to retire before a superior force, I bringing up the rear with my regiment, skirmishing for some distance as we moved along the railroad.

Both the officers and men of my regiment exhibited the greatest coolness, no one being in haste to leave, but retiring slowly and in a good order. When about 3 miles from Bull Run, about 200 cavalry attacked a small detachment of my rear guard, who were assisting the wounded, capturing 2 men and slightly wounding a third. Rebel cavalry appeared at various points on our march to Fairfax Station.

My loss in killed, wounded, and missing is 21. Permit me, colonel, to express the entire satisfaction of the officers of my regiment for the coolness with which you conducted the affair at Bull Run and the masterly manner in which our retreat was conducted from Fairfax Station to Annandale.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

A. H. COLEMAN, Lieut. Col., Comdg. Eleventh Ohio Volunteer Infantry.

Col. E. P. SCAMMON, Commanding First Provisional Brigade.

The 11th occupied Fort Munson at Munson’s Hill, Virginia, before, on September 6, 1862, marching in pursuit of the Confederacy’s Army of Northern Virginia, which had launched an invasion of Maryland. On September 11, 1862, the 11th helped Union forces to drive enemy soldiers from Frederick, Maryland. Three days later, the organization participated in the Battle of South Mountain. On the morning of the battle, the 11th attacked a Confederate force attempting to flank the Northern position. In the afternoon, the regiment attacked Confederate soldiers behind a stone wall. In a hand-to-hand fight, the Ohioans drove back the enemy soldiers, helping the Northern command to attain a victory. After this engagement, the 11th's commanding officer issued the following report:

HDQRS. ELEVENTH REGIMENT OHIO VOL. INFANTRY, Antietam Creek, Md., September 20, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to report part taken by the Eleventh Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry at the engagement of the 14th instant on South Mountain, Md., Lieut. Col. A. H. Coleman, since deceased, being then in command:

The First Brigade made the advance up the hill. After our ascent to the open field on the principal batteries of the enemy, we were ordered to skirmish the woods beyond the field. The right wing, under Lieut.-Coleman, deployed and advanced, and, on reaching within a few rods of the woods, a heavy fire of musketry was opened in his rear and to the right from the enemy in the woods and behind a stone wall. We moved rapidly forward to the protection of the woods, suffering heavily from their fire until a charge from two other regiments of our division drove them away.

We then fell back to the hill-side in the open fields, where we were out of reach of their guns, and remained here with the rest of our brigade until and advance was made against the enemy by the Pennsylvania and Rhode Island troops on our right. We then, in conjunction with them and the others troops of our division, amide a bayonet charge thought the woods on the battery and over the stone fences held by the enemy, driving them from it with fearful slaughter.

Lietenant-Col. Coleman took down the enemy's colons with his own hands. Our men behaved most gallantly. Three of our officers were wounded.

Inclosed I transmit our loss.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

LYMAN J. JACKSON, Maj., comdg. Eleventh Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry.

Col. GEORGE CROOK, Commanding Second Brigade, Kanawha Division.

By the morning of September 17, 1862, the Army of the Potomac, including the 11th, had taken up a position near Sharpsburg, Maryland. The Battle of Antietam erupted that day, with the regiment placed on the Union left. Early in the conflict, the 11th attacked the Confederate right across Antietam Creek. After this victory, the regiment’s commanding officer issued the following report:


SIR: I have the honor to report to you the part taken by the Eleventh Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry in the engagement of the 17th instant:

We were ordered and led by Lieut.-Col. Coleman, then commanding the regiment, to move toward a bridge across Antietam Creek, then occupied by the enemy. I do not know the duty assigned, but as two, of our companies had been sent forward as skirmishers to the woods and hill side on our side of the creek, I suppose it was to support them. Advancing in line across a plowed field and hill, the right and left divided, under conflicting orders, the right moving to our skirmishers forward on the right, the left moving to the base of hill by the creek. Lieut.-Col. Coleman, moving with the left under a severe fire, was shot through the right arm by a sharpshooter, and died in about an hour after. I must say of this that no better, braver, truer officer ever served our country, and no regiment can feel a loss more sorely.

At the base of the hill I found myself in a useless position with a part of the regiment, and recrossed the field to a point of the hill opposite the brigade, formed my men under cover, and kept up a fire against the enemy until our ammunition was exhausted. I was exhausted. I was then ordered to fall back and reform the regiment on the left of the Thirty-sixth, which I did, and moved up with that regiment, participating with it in the last charge made from the hills by the creek. Our army had then driven the enemy from the cree. We charged across the open fields west of the creek, where we were halted close to a stone fence. The movement was made in conjunction with troops on our right and left. Those on our left, being unexpectedly attacked in flank by a superior force, were compelled to fall back. Under some indications that the enemy were about to follow up the charge on our flank, I wheeled the regiment left and backward, the right standing fast on the line of battle, so as to oppose a front any such flank movement. Shortly after, our left was re-enforced by one regiment, and I resumed the first position, to follow up the charge. The re-enforcement was insufficient, was in a situation exposed to a terrible fire of infantry and artillery, and after a fearful loss of life, fell back. I then resumed a position fronting the left, at right angles to and resting on our line. Shortly after, our whole line fell back, and I followed in rear of the Thirty-sixth to the eastern slope of the hill west of the bridge. We formed there on right of the Thirty-sixth, and to the left of the road, and remained until about 3 o'clock p. m. of the next day, when we were both relieved by the One hundred and eighteenth Regt. Pennsylvania Infantry.

I thank my officers and men for their coolness and courage during the whole engagement. It is the more creditable, because the death of a commanding officer would naturally tend to weaken confidence and diminish courage.

Capt. J. B. Weller was wounded at the time Lieut.-Col. Coleman was killed, which left his company without a commissioned officer. Companies A, E, and were without officers, and yet the men did their duty well.

I have the honor to be, your most obedient servant,

LYMAN J. JACKSON, Maj., Comdg. Eleventh Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry.

Col. GEORGE CROOK, Commanding Second Brigade, Kanawha Division.

The 11th encamped on the Antietam battlefield until October 8, 1862, when the organization advanced to Hagerstown, Maryland. The regiment crossed the Potomac River at Hancock and traveled via the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad to Clarksburg, in present-day West Virginia. The 11th proceeded to Summerville, Virginia (modern-day West Virginia), where the command performed garrison duty. The regiment also conducted a raid into the Greenbrier Valley of present-day West Virginia, while garrisoned at Summerville.

On January 24, 1863, the 11th marched to Loup Creek Landing, where the organization boarded the steamer T.J. Patton and sailed to Nashville, Tennessee. On February 22, 1863, the regiment’s division entered camp at Carthage, Tennessee. On March 24, 1863, the 11th participated in an expedition against Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest’s cavalry, capturing twenty-nine prisoners, a wagon train, and approximately seventy horses and mules. On April 13, 1863, the organization joined an advance against a Confederate force at McMinnville, Tennessee but returned to Carthage without removing the enemy from the town. Ten days later, the 11th and the 89th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry marched against Forrest's and General Joseph Wheeler's cavalry forces. The enemy retreated, preventing an engagement, but the Ohio units did seize and burn some supplies, before marching to Murfreesboro, Tennessee. At this location, the 11th joined the Third Division, Fourteenth Army Corps of the Army of the Cumberland.

In late June 1863, the Army of the Cumberland, including the 11th, embarked upon the Tullahoma Campaign (June 24-July 3, 1863), a Union advance into southern Tennessee and northern Alabama. The regiment helped Union forces to drive enemy soldiers from Hoover's Gap and from the road approaching Tullahoma, Tennessee. Upon the campaign's conclusion, the regiment encamped at Big Springs, Tennessee, where the organization performed garrison duty.

In mid-August 1863, the 11th embarked upon the Army of the Cumberland's advance into northern Georgia. The regiment skirmished repeatedly with Confederate forces belonging to General Braxton Bragg's Army of Tennessee. On September 19 and 20, 1863, the two armies fought the Battle of Chickamauga. On the engagement's first day, the 11th twice attacked the Confederate line, driving the enemy back on both occasions. On the second day, the Southerners flanked the 11th's position. The regiment's brigade attacked the enemy soldiers in its rear, driving the Confederates away. On the evening of September 20, the entire Army of the Cumberland withdrew to Chattanooga, Tennessee. After this battle, the 11th's commanding officer issued the following report:

HDQRS. ELEVENTH REGT. OHIO VOLUNTEER INFANTRY, Chattanooga, Tenn., September 26, 1863.

SIR: I have the honor to report the following details of the part taken by the Eleventh Regt. Ohio Volunteer Infantry in the action of the 19th and 20th instant:

The effective strength of the regiment was 413 enlisted men and 20 commissioned officers, all our commissioned officers being present except Capt.'s Duncan and Layman and Lieut.-Col. Street, sick in hospital. We arrived on the battle-field at 9 a. m. on the morning of the 19th instant, and were soon after placed in a position to support the Ninety-second Ohio Regt., then under fire.

Soon after Gen. Hazen notified me that one of his regiments to my front and right was out of ammunition and were falling back, and wished me to occupy its position. I referred him to you, but in the meantime the regiment fell back, and I took the responsibility of ordering my regiment forward to fill the gap, but before the movement was completed I received your order to occupy the position. The Ninety-second Ohio was soon after relieved and the Thirty-sixth Ohio Regt. moved up on our left; the enemy kept up a brisk fire on our front and right flank; my regiment was ordered to charge, which was done with spirit and we drove the enemy from a field in our front and captured a number of prisoners. At the commencement of the charge the color-bearer was struck by a spent ball and fell. The colors were seized by Lieut. Peck, of Company E, and carried at the head of the line. We held the ground gained for half an hour or more, and then I moved the regiment by the left flank under cover of timber and to support the Thirty-sixth Ohio Regt., which was then lying to the left and rear and exposed to a heavy fire on their right. We were then ordered to fall back to our first position and change our front more to the right to meet the enemy, who were making heavy demonstrations in that direction. The Eleventh [being] on the left and Thirty-sixth on the right, we were ordered to make a second charge, which was done successfully, cleaning the front of the enemy and taking a number of prisoners. We then fell back to our first position, which we held until dark.

On the morning of the 20th, we were stationed on the second line to support the Thirty-Sixth Ohio Regt., in rear of a rude fortification on the left of the Second Brigade. We were kept alternately on left and rear until the afternoon, all the time under a brisk fire. During the hardest fire out rude fortification caught fire, and Second Lieut. Hardenbrook, Company B, took a part of his company and separated the timber to prevent its spreading and destroying the protection it afforded us. Company B, took a part of his company and separated the timber to prevent its spreading and destroying the protection it afforded us. Company D, deployed as skirmishers on the left of the line, lost 13 killed and wounded in a short time. We were withdrawn from this position to make a charge on the enemy, who were moving in our rear. The charge was made by the rear rank and the line became much broken, but it was made with spirit and success, taking a large number of prisoners. We followed up the enemy some 3 miles on the Rossville road; by some misunderstanding more than two-thirds of the regiment marched by the left flank soon after the first line of the enemy was broken. The other third and about the same proportion of the Thirty-sixth kept to the front, led by Maj.-Gen. Reynolds. We found the enemy in force on the Rossville road, about 3 miles from the point we started from. We halted here and formed the fragments of the Eleventh, Thirty-sixth, and Ninety-second Ohio Regt.s, and marched by the left flank and joined Gen. Granger's command where we found our brigade. Our loss during the two days was 5 killed, 36 wounded, and 22 missing. The missing are probably nearly all prisoners, as they were sent to the rear with prisoners on our last charge, and the enemy being in that vicinity, our men and their prisoners were captured. Up to the time of our last charge not more than 6 of my men were missing.

The officers and men of my regiment endured every hardship and braved every danger with cheerfulness. Many of our men were without water for twelve or fifteen hours. Nearly all of our wounded of the 20th were left on the field. Our hospital arrangements were a total failure; neither surgeons, hospital corps, nor ambulances were to be found.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

P. P. LANE, Col. Comdg. Eleventh Regt. Ohio Vol. Infantry.

J. B. TURCHIN, Brig.-Gen., Comdg. Third Brigade.

At Chattanooga, Bragg's Confederate army besieged the Union garrison from late September to late November 1863. The 11th first occupied rifle pits to the left of Fort Negley. On October 25, 1863, the regiment joined an advance on Brown's Ferry, Tennessee on the Tennessee River. The Northern force drove Confederates from the ferry, opening a tenuous supply line into Chattanooga. On November 23, 1863, the 11th resumed its old position at Fort Negley, before moving in front of Fort Wood the next day. On November 25, 1863, the organization fought in the Battle of Missionary Ridge, driving Bragg's remaining soldiers from the ridge, attaining a Union victory, and ending the Chattanooga Campaign. After the siege, the 11th's commanding officer issued the following report:

HDQRS. ELEVENTH OHIO VOLUNTEER INFANTRY, Chattanooga, Tennessee, November 30, 1863.

SIR: I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by my regiment in the movements of the past week:

In accordance with orders from headquarters First Brigade, Third Division, Fourteenth Army Corps, the regiment reported at the said headquarters on Monday afternoon, the 23d instant, being assigned to the right of the first line. We moved during the afternoon to the picket front on the right of the Rossville road, drove in the pickets of the enemy without resistance, they firing but three shots. The regiment was halted on the ground occupied by the skirmish lines of the enemy's pickets. Skirmishers were thrown out from the regiment, when it was moved to the rear and occupied the ground of our own picket skirmishers.

The regiment remained on or near the line without anything transpiring until the morning of the 25th instant, when it was ordered out on the Rossville road to support a section of artillery sent to shell the camp of the enemy at the base of Mission Ridge.

Encountering nothing there, the regiment returned and rejoined the brigade after having been absent one hour. It thereupon moved with the brigade toward the left of our line and took position in front of Fort Wood and on left of Wood's division, Fourth Army Corps. Soon the order was given to move on the enemy's position directly in our front. Having been formed in double column at half distance, the regiment was deployed and moved in line with the rest of the brigade. After clearing the timber in the enemy's front, we moved at a run across the open ground to the base of Mission Ridge, up which we advanced steadily, though in broken order, under a severe fire of musketry and artillery. When we arrived at the breastworks of the enemy on the top of the ridge, the men were too much exhausted to dash at once across. After resting a short time, I, with officers of other regiments, crossed the works, and with our men drove the enemy from his position, and feel proud to know that the colors of the Thirty-first Ohio and my own were the first inside the works. Finding the ridge on our right by this time clear of the enemy, I directed my attention to the left, where there was a battery of two guns that was annoying us much. I collected a force composed of men of several regiments of the brigade and started for the guns, which were soon ours with but slight resistance. A second point and a two-gun battery was taken in the same manner, the colors of my regiment being the first on the position. A third point was stormed; here we met with decided resistance, but carried the position and captured another two-gun battery. The part of the regiment under my command remained at this point fighting until darkness closed and the enemy retired.

In moving across the open ground to the base of the ridge, a number of my men became so much exhausted as to be unable to keep with the regiment, and upon gaining the summit of the ridge the colors were not in sight, whereupon they kept directly on over the hill and captured a section of artillery at the eastern base of the ridge. When the fighting ceased I collected the two parts of the regiment and formed them on the third point taken by us.

I inclose a list of killed, wounded, and missing. Among the killed the regiment has to mourn the loss of two brave and efficient officers, Capt. Curtis and Lieut. Peck. I cannot to their heroism justice.

Officers and men behaved themselves bravely. Color Sergt. James B. Bell deserves special mention, being wounded in five places before he gave up and left the field. Private Harvey M. Thomson, Company H, also deserves mention for gallantry, carrying the standard of another regiment when the bearer had been wounded.

Corpl. George Greene and Private H. R. Howard I must mention for the capture of a battle-flag.

On the morning of the 26th, the regiment moved with the brigade on a reconnaissance toward Chickamauga Bridge, from there to Ringgold, Ga., where we arrived on the forenoon of the 27th instant; remained there until the forenoon of the 29th, from whence we moved to this place.

Very respectfully, yours, &c.,

OGDEN STREET, Lieut. Col., Comdg. Eleventh Ohio Volunteer Infantry.

Capt. W. B. CURTIS, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.

The 11th next pursued the retreating Confederates to Ringgold, Georgia, before returning to and entering camp at Chattanooga. In late February 1864, the regiment joined an expedition into northern Georgia, engaging enemy soldiers at Buzzard's Roost. In an assault against the Confederate line at this location, the 11th failed to take the position and had one-sixth of its men killed, wounded, or captured. The regiment withdrew to Ringgold, arriving at this community on March 26, 1864. At this time, the unit's members who had reenlisted in the Union military in January 1864 received a thirty-day furlough to their homes in Ohio. Upon returning to the front, these men joined the rest of the 11th at Ringgold.

On June 11, 1864, the 11th's soldiers who did not reenlist mustered out of service and departed Ringgold for Camp Dennison, near Cincinnati, Ohio. Officials discharged the regiment at Camp Dennison on June 21, 1864, allowing the organization's members to return to their homes. The veterans at Ringgold remained in the service until June 11, 1865, serving as the 11th Regiment Detachment Ohio Volunteer Infantry.

During the 11th Ohio's term of service, fifty-four men, including four officers, died from wounds received on the battlefield. An additional ninety-eight enlisted men died from disease or accidents.

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