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.
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. They served for varying lengths of time, averaging one hundred days to three years. On September 4, 1862, the 126th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry mustered into service at Camp Steubenville, at Steubenville, Ohio. The men in the regiment were to serve three years, with most soldiers coming from Jefferson, Harrison, Tuscarawas, Fairfield, and Perry Counties, Ohio.
On September 16, 1862, the 126th departed Steubenville for Parkersburg, Virginia (modern-day West Virginia). In mid October 1862, the regiment traveled via rail to Cumberland, Maryland, remaining at this location for six weeks. On December 12, the organization left Cumberland for North Mountain, Virginia (modern-day West Virginia), where the regiment protected workmen repairing and maintaining the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. On December 20, the 126th encamped at Martinsburg, Virginia (modern-day West Virginia), continuing to guard the railroad. On April 15, 1863, the 126th departed Martinsburg for New Creek, West Virginia, hoping to intercept Confederate raiders under General John Imboden. This pursuit took the regiment to Greenland Gap, Virginia, before the organization returned to New Creek and took train cars to Martinsburg. At Martinsburg, officials brigaded the 126th with 106th Regiment New York Infantry and a battery of West Virginia artillery.
On June 13, 1863, a portion of Confederate General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, which was launching its second invasion of the North during the Civil War, attacked the 126th at Martinsburg. The fight lasted until late on the afternoon of June 14, when the 126th retreated to Harper's Ferry, West Virginia. In this encounter, the Southerners captured all of the soldiers in Company I. The regiment arrived at Harper's Ferry on June 15, and officials then placed the organization in the 3rd Brigade, 3rd Division, 3rd Army Corps. In late June, the Union soldiers evacuated Harper's Ferry, with authorities assigning the 126th to guard canal boats moving to Washington, DC on the Ohio and Chesapeake Canal. Upon reaching the nation's capital, the regiment encamped for just two days before boarding trains to Frederick, Maryland.
Following the Army of Northern Virginia's defeat at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, the 126th joined in the Union's pursuit of the retreating Confederates. From Frederick, the regiment marched to Harper's Ferry via Sharpsburg, Maryland. From Harper's Ferry, the organization marched via Upperville, Virginia to Manassas Gap, Virginia, where a skirmish occurred between the 3rd Brigade and retreating Confederates under the command of General James Longstreet. In this encounter, the Southerners retreated from the battlefield. The 126th then advanced to Rappahannock Station, Virginia, remaining at this location until August 18, 1863, when officials ordered the regiment to New York, New York to quell draft riots. The 126th remained at New York for three weeks, returning to Rappahannock Station via Alexandria, Virginia in mid September 1863. On October 14, 1863, the regiment and the rest of its corps participated in the Battle of Bristoe Station, Virginia. Over the next several days, the Union soldiers skirmished with Confederates along Centerville Heights, Virginia, before returning to Rappahannock Station. The regiment next captured some Confederate earthworks at Brandy Station, Virginia and went into winter quarters. At Brandy Station, officials reassigned the 126th to the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Division, 6th Army Corps.
On April 1, 1864, the 126th departed from Brandy Station for Rixeyville, Virginia, where the regiment stayed encamped until Union General Ulysses S. Grant embarked upon the Overland Campaign of 1864 and 1865. On May 4, 1864, the 126th began the Overland Campaign, crossing the Rapidan River at Germania Ford and battling Confederate forces at the crossing. At the Battle of Cold Harbor, Virginia (May 31 to June 12, 1864), the 126th and the rest of its division succeeded in driving Confederate forces from a portion of their line and repulsing several counterattacks. The Union's Army of the Potomac forced the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia to withdraw from Cold Harbor eventually to Petersburg, Virginia, where Northern forces besieged the Southerners until April 1865. The 126th remained at Petersburg until July 6, 1864, when officials sent the regiment to City Point, Virginia and then to Baltimore, Maryland, where the organization arrived on July 8.
On July 9, 1864, the 126th participated in the Battle of Monocacy. The Union forces hoped to stop Confederate Jubal Early's advance towards Washington, DC, but the Northerners lost this battle. The 126th retreated towards Baltimore but soon moved to the nation's capital. On July 11 and 12, 1864, the Battle of Fort Stevens occurred on the outskirts of Washington. At the engagement's end, Early's Confederates began to withdraw into Virginia. The 126th participated in the Union's pursuit of Early's force, engaging the Confederates at Snicker's Gap, Charlestown, Halltown, and Smithfield, Virginia during August 1864. On September 19, 1864, Union forces, including the 126th, under General Philip Sheridan's command attacked Early's army at Opequon Creek, Virginia. The Confederates retreated to Fisher's Hill, Virginia, where the Battle of Fisher's Hill occurred on September 21 and 22, 1864. In this Union victory, the regiment had four men killed and seventeen wounded. The regiment next engaged Early's command at the Battle of Cedar Creek (October 19, 1864). At this fight, the 126th initially was forced to retreat with many of the other Northern regiments, but the Union's superior numbers eventually won the day. During the 126th's various engagements with Early's Confederates, the commanding officer of the regiment issued the following reports:
HDQRS. 126TH REGT. OHIO VOLUNTEER INFANTRY, August 27, 1864.
LIEUT.: In obedience to instructions, I have respectfully to submit the following report of the part taken by this regiment in the present campaign from May 4, 1864, to July 9, 1864:
On the 3d day of May, 1864, the regiment, numbering 23 commissioned officers and 555 enlisted men present for duty, then lying winter quarters at Brandy Station, Va., was ordered to be in readiness to move at daylight on the following morning. At the appointed time I moved with the brigade in direction of the Rapidan River, which stream we reached and crossed without opposition at 4 p.m., and encamped for the night a short distance from the southern bank. During the afternoon of the succeeding day we marched into the Wilderness, meeting the enemy about dark on the extreme right of the line and engaging him until after night-fall. My regiment being in the second line of battle, suffered but a loss of 2 enlisted men wounded. We lay on our arms during the entire night, often disturbed by volleys fired from the skirmish line. The following morning I was ordered into the front line of battle. At daylight skirmishing was commenced and constantly kept up. At 9 a.m. we charged upon the enemy's breast-works, the brigade in two lines of battle. Although we failed to drive the enemy we were not repulsed, but stubbornly held all the ground charged over until late in the evening and until after a line of breast-works had been prepared for us by the rear line, to which we fell back as soon as completed. In this charge myself and Actg. Adjt. Thomas J. Hyatt had our horses killed under us. Although this was the first engagement of the campaign, any failure to drive the enemy could not be attributed to lack of courage of either officers or men, all with a very few exceptions behaving with much gallantry.
The brigade was now no longer the extreme right of the line, Gen. Shaler's brigade, of the First Division, Sixth Army Corps, having been ordered to the right to protect the flank. In this position we rested until just before night-fall, when our skirmish line was suddenly driven in and our position outflanked on the right, thus subjecting my regiment to a severe fire from both front and rear. We held our position, however, until Gen. Shaler's brigade, forming the extreme right, had given away, allowing the enemy to get in our rear, and thereby subjecting us to danger of capture, when we fell back by company successively as the enemy closed in upon us. By this time the enemy, as well as ourselves, had been thrown into confusion, and darkness having set in, friend could not be distinguished from foe. The enemy, who had captured a number of prisoners, was driven back by our partially rallied lines, but was not pursued. In this day's fighting my regiment lost 1 officer and 22 enlisted men killed, 7 officers and 129 enlisted men wounded, and 3 officers and 67 enlisted men missing.
Having rested on our arms during the night after the battle of the 6th of May until after midnight, we moved silently by the left flank along the line of breast-works to a point near the Wilderness Tavern. Soon after daylight we were attacked, but the enemy were driven off by a battery near us. In this position we remained until 8.30 p.m., when we marched in direction of Spotsylvania Court-House. The march during the night was extremely tedious and slow, the men often dropping to sleep in the road. After a march rendered very severe by excessive heat and dust, we found the enemy in the evening in a strong position, and made preparations to storm his works. After having been formed, apparently for that purpose, we lay quietly until after dark, then moved forward, and approached as near the enemy's works as possible without bringing on an immediate engagement. In this position we remained during the night. Early on the following morning skirmishing commended, and was continued during the day without intermission. Soon after daylight we constructed a line of breast-works and lay behind them during the day, nothing occurring in our front but continued and heavy skirmishing. In the evening four companies of my regiment were detailed to support the skirmish line in an advance upon the enemy. By straggling shots and this heavy skirmish my regiment sustained a loss of 1 officer and 2 enlisted men killed and 6 enlisted men wounded. During the succeeding day, the 10th, we lay behind our works, momentarily expecting an attack. Desperate fighting occurred a few hundred yards from our right, the enemy evidently attempting to break our lines at that point. On the 11th one company was sent out on the skirmish line. My regiment lay this day near its former position, having moved but a short distance to the left. This afternoon it rained very heavily, continuing nearly all night. On the morning of the 12th of May artillery firing between the enemy's batteries and our own was very severe. About 9 a.m. we marched to the left, where heavy fighting was in progress. The division having been formed in position about noon, my regiment was detached from the division and sent to support Brig.-Gen. Wheaton's brigade, of the Second Division, Sixth Army Corps. Here I marched over several lines of battle to the front line and within about 100 yards of the enemy's works, where we engaged him until 50 rounds of ammunition were expended, and until every fourth man had been killed or wounded, then retiring to the rear in good order. This I consider the most severe engagement in which my regiment participated during the present campaign. Early in this engagement I was struck by a musket-ball on the head, which glancing inflicted no serious injury. I was, however, knocked down and render unfit for duty during the remainder of the day. My regiment in this day's battle lost 16 enlisted men killed and 1 officer and 53 enlisted men wounded. The entire regiment was not engaged at this place, part having been left on the skirmish line in front of our former position.
May 13, the enemy having been driven from his works by yesterday's fighting, we were ordered on a reconnaissance, and soon found the enemy in force. In the evening we moved back to a position near the battle-ground of the 12th, and rested during the night under orders to move with the corps at daylight. In the morning of the 14th we moved in direction of the Richmond and Fredericksburg turnpike, crossing the River Ny in line of battle in the evening and securing a position on the heights south of that stream, where we intrenched during the night. During the 15th and 16th our position was unchanged. About sunset on the 17th we received an order to put ourselves in readiness to move at once. At dark we moved out and marched very show, but continually, during the night, arriving at a point near the battle-ground of the 12th soon after daylight the following morning. Soon after getting in position the enemy opened on us with shot and shell, killing and wounding several in the brigade, but fortunately for my regiment, it suffered no loss. Having lain under artillery fire some hours, we returned to yesterday's position without an engagement. On the 19th we moved forward as far as possible without bringing on an engagement and intrenched, having advanced about 2 miles. But little skirmishing occurred during the day.
May 20, skirmishing was very brisk. About noon on the 21st we moved to the right and a few hundred yards to the rear into a new line of works parallel to those we left just being completed. A short time before sunset a sharp skirmish took place, in which the enemy drove our skirmish line into the line of works we had recently abandoned. At 10 p.m. we left the works and marched for Guiney's Station.
The march from Spotsylvania Court-House to the North Anna River was not attended with any fighting, the regiment with the brigade acting as guard to the trains. In this capacity we moved with the trains until the evening, of the 25th, when, leaving them, we crossed the North Anna and took a position behind a line of breast-works. On the morning of the 26th we crossed the works and marched forward across the Central railroad, but immediately countermarched to the works again. During the night it rained very heavily. At dusk in the evening we recrossed the North Anna, marching with much difficulty over roads rendered almost impassable with mud and water, arriving at Chesterfield Station at about 12 midnight. At 6 o'clock on the following morning we took up the line of march in direction of Pamunkey, halting within a few miles of the river, and remained in position during the night. At 12 m. on the 28th we crossed the Pamunkey on pontoons and threw up breast-works on high ground 2 miles from the southern bank. At 3 p.m. on Sunday, the 29th, we were ordered under arms, to be in readiness to support Gen. Russell's division in a reconnaissance; lay during the night in the works. Moved at daylight on the 30th in a northwestern direction, striking the Hanover Court-House and Richmond road at the 17-mile post, following this road 1 1/2 miles. The regiment moved with the corps to the Totopotomoy, and formed in line of battle on the north side of that stream. Remained in position in sight of the enemy until 12 m. on the 31st, when we moved across the stream to the front. The brigade was here formed in two lines of battle, my regiment in the front line. Two of my companies were on the skirmish line. At one time during the afternoon the enemy drove the skirmish line back upon the line of battle, but advanced no farther. In this skirmish I had 1 man wounded. In the evening the remaining eight companies of my regiment were detailed for picket duty. Soon after dark 100 of my picket detail returned and rested near the rear line of battle.
At 1 a.m. June 1, leaving the picket out, we commenced the march for Cold Harbor. Having reached a point near the enemy, after a march rendered doubly severe by heat and dust, at 10.30 a.m., we rested a short time and commenced work on a line of breast-works. Before they were completed, however (our pickets having arrived in the mean time much exhausted and hungry), the brigade was moved to the left and formed in four lines of battle, preparatory to charging the enemy's works. My regiment in this charge was placed on the right of the rear line. Gen. Smith's troops having arrived, and all preparations having been completed, we advanced with a yell upon the enemy, driving him in confusion form his works, and capturing many prisoners. Although having been placed in the rear line immediately on crossing the enemy's works, by some mistake I found myself in the front, which position I held during the night. In this charge I had but 1 officer and 9 enlisted men wounded, and 2 enlisted men missing.
June 2, having reconstructed the enemy's works for our own protection, my regiment remained in them until evening, then moved to the rear. I had 2 men wounded this day.
From the 3d to the 11th the regiment took its regular turn in going to the front without any unusual occurrences. On the 6th I had 1 officer killed, shot through the head by a rebel sharpshooter. About 2 a.m. on the 11th I moved with the brigade to the rear, halting at daylight and remaining in the rear during the day. At night fall we moved to that part of the front line occupied by the Second Army Corps, relieving the troops there. The brigade was here formed in two lines of battle, my regiment in front. Our front line in this place was between 50 and 75 yards from the enemy. In this position we lay until 10 p. m. of the 12th, when, leaving 150 men of my regiment in the works, we commenced the movement in direction of the Charles City Court-House. During the march from Cold Harbor to the James River no occurrence of an unusual nature took place. The Sixth Corps was the last to reach the James River, being in rear of the army.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. W. EBRIGHT,
Lieut. Col. 126th Ohio Volunteers.
Lieut. JOHN A. GUMP,
A. A. A. G., Second Brig., Third Div., Sixth Army Corps.
HDQRS.126TH REGT. OHIO VOLUNTEER INFANTRY, August 27, 1864.
On the 13th [June] we crossed the Chickahominy at a point near Jones' Bridge. Our picket detail joined us to-day at noon.
On the morning of the 15th my regiment received 114 drafted men and substitutes. With this accession to my strength I moved with the corps on the 16th to a point near the river and assisted in constructing a strong line of works facing to the rear and with each flank resting on the banks of the river. In the evening we moved to the river, and, embarking on steam transports, reached Bermuda Hundred at 11 p.m. At this place the corps lay in or near the works until Sunday, the 19th, when, having been relieved by the Eighteenth Army Corps, we moved across the Appomattox in direction of Petersburg.
At 10 p.m. on the 21st, having reached the extreme left of the line in front of Petersburg, after marching a short distance in line of battle, we took position, the men constructing slight defenses without the aid of intrenching tools.
On the 22d we completed a strong line of works, but at 10 a.m. moved out of them to the front, the brigade in two lines of battle, my regiment in the front line. Having built breast-works of rails, we lay behind them until evening, when we about faced and moved back to our original works. Considerable skirmishing had occurred in our front during the afternoon. This day I had one man accidentally and mortally wounded while lying in the rail breast-works. In the evening we moved forward again in two lines, and, charging through the woods with a yell, captured a line of works from the enemy, from which he fled, offering but little resistance. During the night and succeeding day we held a position in the woods [having built new works] until evening, when we retired to our original works on the line first formed. In this position our line remained unchanged till noon of the 29th, when the corps marched to the left to operate on the Petersburg and Weldon Railroad. Having destroyed a considerable portion of the railroad, in which my regiment took no part, we returned again to original works without meeting the enemy in battle, arriving July 2.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. W. EBRIGHT,
Lieut.-Col. 126th Ohio Volunteers, Cmdg. Regt.
Lieut. JOHN A. GUMP,
Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen.,2d Brig.,3d Div., 6th Army Corps.
HDQRS. 126TH OHIO VOLUNTEERS, In the Field, September 26, 1864.
SIR: In compliance with direction of this date from the headquarters of the brigade, I have respectfully to report the operations of my command at the late engagements at the Opequon and Fisher's Hill, as follows, to wit:
The regiment entered into the battle of the 19th instant forming the extreme left of the first line of battle of the brigade. It advanced with the line over the open fields, charging upon that part of the enemy's line in the ravine, a few rods east of ——-'s house, driving it in much confusion and taking many prisoners. The advance was continued to a point a few rods beyond the house (the left of the regiment passing just to the right of it), where the line halted; after which it continued in the line and participated in the final and victorious advance in the evening. Lieut. Col. A. W. Ebright, in the early part of the action soon after the rebel line was broken, fell, killed by a musket-ball piercing his breast while gallantly leading his regiment; also Capt. Thomas J. Hyatt, ever conspicuous for his valor on the field, and Lieut. Rufus Ricksecker, bravely leading his company in his first battle, were killed near where the colonel fell. The strength of the regiment engaged was 11 officers and about 270 enlisted men (30 of whom were skirmishers). The loss, 3 officers and 9 enlisted men killed, and 3 officers and 37 men wounded, and 2 men missing.
On the 21st instant, in the vicinity of Fisher's Hill, in the movement of the corps toward the right, under an order from the colonel commanding the brigade, I moved the regiment rapidly forward to aid our skirmishers to drive back those of the enemy who were strongly posted behind rail defenses. On advancing through a wood the right of the line was suddenly met by a galling fire from the front and right, when a portion of the men (many of them inexperienced soldiers) commenced firing, upon which the line halted. The right of the line, resting on open ground, being much exposed and suffering terribly without the ability to inflict much loss on the enemy, temporarily gave way, but was easily rallied a short distance to the rear, and soon after, other troops coming up and extending the line to the right, we again advanced and the enemy was driven from his position. The loss in this affair was 4 enlisted men killed and 17 wounded.
On the 22d instant the regiment formed the extreme left of the line of battle of the brigade in the advance of the division to the position it occupied near the enemy's works at the time his left was turned. Soon after the attack by Gen. Cook's command was begun, that portion of the enemy in our front having commenced moving to the relief of that part of his forces engaged, to prevent the object I took forward a part of the regiment, by order of the colonel commanding the brigade, and made feint of charging his works. This feint had the desired effect, for the rebels were soon seen hurriedly returning, some into their works, but more rushing panic-stricken to the rear. Soon after the regiment moved forward in the grand charge made by the division and did its part in winning the glorious victory of that day. The loss was 1 officer slightly wounded and 2 enlisted men killed and 8 wounded.
In these actions the officers and men behaved well, and the drafted men (some fifty of whom had joined the regiment as late as the 2d instant) vied with the old soldiers in deeds of valor, and deserve great credit for the manner in which they acquitted themselves.
The command of the regiment devolved upon me on the death of Col. Ebright.
Accompanying this report, as directed, I forward a nominal list of the casualties occurring in the foregoing engagement. The loss of so many brave men is deeply to be regretted.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
G. W. HOGE,
Capt., 126th Ohio Volunteers, Cmdg. Regt.
Lieut. JOHN A. GUMP,
Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., Second Brig., Third Div., Sixth Corps.
HDQRS. 126TH OHIO VOLUNTEERS, November 3, 1864.
CAPT.: In obedience to instructions received from headquarters of the brigade, I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by this regiment in the engagement of October 19 at this place:
At about daylight, the Eighth and Nineteenth Corps having been attacked by the enemy, the regiment, less two commissioned officers and 100 men then on picket duty, was ordered under arms at once, and after some maneuvering in changing and recharging the line was ordered to advance. Under this order we crossed the creek near our present camp, and having advanced but a few yards beyond it, were ordered to fall back to the crest we had previously occupied. In this crossing and recrossing the stream, the regiment was thrown into considerable confusion, and order could not be restored until after passing the crest in our rear. Here the regiment engaged the advancing columns of the enemy, whose progress was sensibly checked at this point until the gradual falling back of our line to the point where a permanent stand was made by the corps. From this place the regiment moved with the brigade and division to the left and into the woods, resting about an hour, then moved in line of battle to the rear a short distance, then to the left, and again to the front. Having advanced in line a short distance, a line was established and strengthened by logs, rails, &c., behind which we lay until about 3.30 o'clock, when the line was ordered to advance upon the enemy. In this advance the regiment formed the extreme right of the brigade and was increased by the officers and about twenty men of the picket guard. After considerable resistance, the enemy suddenly and unaccountably gave way and retreated precipitately and in confusion over the ground they had gained by our temporary reverse, and were followed by our line in as quick time as possible to the works occupied by the Eighth Corps in the morning. It being now dark, we returned to the position we occupied at the commencement of the battle, and having collected the dead and wounded, friend and foe, in our vicinity, went quietly into camp.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
G. W. HOGE,
Capt., 126th Ohio Volunteers, Cmdg. Regt.
Capt. J. J. BRADSHAW,
Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., Hdqrs. 2d Brig., 3d Div., 6th A. C.
Statement of casualties in the regiment in the engagement of October 19, 1864:
Killed–enlisted men, 4. Wounded–officers, 1; enlisted men, 14. Missing–enlisted men, 4. Aggregate, 23.
On November 7, 1864, the 126th and the rest of the Union's Army of the Shenandoah encamped at Kernstown, Virginia. The regiment spent several weeks constructing fortifications, before leaving for Washington, DC on December 3. The organization then traveled by ship to City Point and then advanced to Petersburg, where it established camp near the Weldon Railroad. On February 9, 1865, the regiment moved to Squirrel Level Road, constructing a new camp. On March 25, 1865, Union forces, including the 126th, attacked the Confederate lines, with the regiment capturing a portion of the Southerners' entrenchments. On April 2, the Union renewed the assault, forcing the Confederates to retreat from Petersburg. The commanding officer of the 126th issued the following reports regarding the regiment's engagements in late March and early April 1865:
HDQRS. 126TH OHIO VOLUNTEERS, April 17, 1865.
CAPT.: I have respectfully to forward the following report of the part taken by my command in the assault of the enemy's picket-line on the 25th ultimo:
At daylight on the morning of the 25th ultimo the regiment was placed under arms in the trenches and remained thus until 12 m. The regiment, except two officers and 100 men left to garrison Fort Welch, was ordered through the works and passed to the reserve picket-line post, where it halted. About 1 p.m. orders were received to move out to the picket-line and take position on the left of the Sixth Maryland Volunteers, which was to precede this regiment in gaining this position. This was accomplished by moving by the flank to within 100 yards of the picket-line, coming to a front, and moving directly forward under a vigorous fire from the enemy's picket-line. After remaining in this position about half an hour, the assault, upon the signal being given, was made with great promptness. The regiment leaped over our intrenched picket-line and rushed upon the rebel line under a heavy line of musketry, capturing almost all of the enemy's pickets in our front. Our loss in this engagement was one enlisted man killed by one of our own shells and four enlisted men wounded. The behavior of the officers and men on this occasion could not have been better.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
T. W. McKINNIE,
Capt. WILLIAM L. SHAW,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-Gen.
HDQRS. 126TH OHIO VOLUNTEERS, April 16, 1865.
CAPT.: In compliance with instructions, I have respectfully to make the following report of the part taken by my command in the engagement of the 2d instant, in front of Petersburg:
About 1 o'clock in the morning orders were received to move out in front of our works, which I did with that portion of the regiment remaining in camp, four officers and 100 men being on picket. We moved forward and took position on the left of the second line of battle, near our picket-line. After considerable maneuvering, changing position of regiments, &c., the regiment lay under arms until shortly after 4 a.m., when the signal gun was fired and the regiment moved forward with the column. The charge was successfully made, and the enemy's lines broken, my regiment entering between two forts or redoubts, under a severe fire of musketry and artillery, capturing a number of prisoners. After breaking through the lines and swinging to the left upon the fort, the rebels fled, but rallied and succeeded in driving our men out, but they, in turn, rallying, and with the assistance of a column coming down on the rebels' flank, drove the rebels out and held the fort. The loss in this assault was, 1 officer (Lieut. and Actg. Adjt. C. C. Crawford) wounded, 1 enlisted man killed, and 8 wounded.
Immediately after the capture of the rebel works the regiment moved with the column to the left a distance of about one mile, and halted. After remaining about one hour moved again to the right along the rebel works, recrossed the captured works, and took up position on the line held by the enemy's pickets before the assault in front of Fort Fisher, where we lay in support of a battery which was engaged in shelling the enemy. Remaining here until between 3 and 4 p.m., we moved still farther to the right along the same picket-line, and took up position in front of Fort Keene, where the enemy shelled us considerably, inflicting no damage. We remained in this position during the rest of the day, and the evening were rejoined by those of the regiment still on picket. Many who were on picket in the morning charged with the column and fought with the regiment during the whole engagement.
The officers and men behaved gallantly. For cases of distinguished gallantry and meritorious conduct, your attention is respectfully invited to accompanying report.
B. F. SMITH,
Capt. J. P. DUDROW,
Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., Second Brig., Third Div., Sixth Corps.
The 126th pursued the retreating Confederates on April 3, 4, and 5, when officials assigned the regiment to guard prisoners. On April 15, authorities ordered the 126th to North Carolina to aid in the defeat of General Joseph E. Johnston's Confederate army. Fortunately for the Northerners, upon reaching Danville, Virginia, they learned that Johnston had surrendered.
On May 16, 1865, the 126th departed Danville, Virginia and took railroad cars to Richmond, Virginia. The regiment next marched to Ball's Cross-Roads, arriving on June 3, 1865, on the outskirts of Washington, DC. On June 25, 1865 the 126th Regiment mustered out of service and soon moved to Columbus, Ohio, where officials discharged the organization's members.
During the 126th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry's term of service, 152 men, including nine officers, died on the battlefield. An additional 144 men, including two officers, succumbed to disease or accidents.