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 14, 1864, the 131st Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry mustered into service at Camp Chase, at Columbus, Ohio. The men in the regiment were to serve one hundred days. On May 2, 1864, the regiment initially formed at Camp Lowe, near Dayton, Ohio, but officials furloughed the men until May 10, when they reported again at Camp Lowe and proceeded to Camp Chase. The 131st primarily consisted of Montgomery County’s 1st Battalion Ohio National Guard and the same county’s 12th Battalion Ohio National Guard.
On May 15, 1864, authorities dispatched the 131st to Baltimore, Maryland via the Central Ohio Railroad and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. Due to a washed-out bridge at Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia, the 131st experienced a delay at North Mountain. Upon reaching Baltimore, the regiment spent its term of service performing garrison duty at Forts Marshall, Federal Hill, and McHenry, including during Confederate General Jubal Early’s raid on Washington, DC during early July 1864. On August 19, 1864, the 131st departed for Camp Chase, traveling via Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The regiment arrived at Camp Chase on August 21, 1864 and mustered out of service on August 25, 1864.
During the 131st Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry’s term of service, two men perished from disease or accidents. No men died from wounds received on the battlefield.