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. In 1864, the governors of several Northern states convinced federal authorities to call up state militia forces for regular military duty. The governors believed that these militiamen would free regular soldiers currently serving in forts or guarding other important sites in Northern states for duty with the Union's invading armies in the Confederacy. Hopefully this surge of men, known as Hundred Days' Men, would allow the North to defeat the South in one hundred days or less while keeping Northern states safe from Confederate attack and anti-war unrest.
On May 12, 1864, the 130th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry mustered into service at Johnson’s Island, near Sandusky, Ohio. The men in the regiment were to serve one hundred days. The regiment primarily consisted of Lucas County’s 1st Regiment Ohio National Guard with the addition of three companies from Fulton County.
In mid May 1864, authorities dispatched the 130th to Johnson’s Island, where the regiment guarded Confederate prisoners. On June 4, 1864, the 130th departed for Washington, DC. The regiment remained in Washington for just three days before departing for Bermuda Hundred, Virginia onboard the steamship George Weems. Upon the regiment reaching Bermuda Hundred, General Benjamin Butler ordered the 130th to Point of Rocks, Virginia, where the regiment occupied trenches on the frontlines for several days but never came under attack. Officials soon moved the 130th to Butler’s Signal Tower on the Union’s left. Here, the regiment performed picket duty and dug rifle pits. On June 21, 1864, the regiment marched to Deep Bottom, Virginia, where the 130th performed picket duty and dug entrenchments. On June 22, the 130th engaged in a minor skirmish with Confederate forces. One member of the regiment was wounded. The 130th remained at Deep Bottom until August 11, 1864, when the regiment marched to Bermuda Hundred and then sailed to Fort Powhatan in Virginia. The 130th finished its term of service at Fort Powhatan, setting sail for Washington on September 7, 1864. Upon reaching Washington, the regiment then traveled by train to Toledo, where the 130th mustered out of service on September 22, 1864.
During the 130th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry’s term of service, twenty-three men, including one officer, perished from disease or accidents. No men died from wounds received on the battlefield.