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 6, 1864, the 133rd Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry mustered into service at Camp Chase, at Columbus, Ohio. The men in the regiment were to serve one hundred days. The 133rd consisted of the 3rd Regiment Ohio National Guard, two companies of the 58th Battalion Ohio National Guard, and two companies of the 76th Battalion Ohio National Guard.
On May 6, 1864, the 133rd departed for Parkersburg, West Virginia, arriving there on May 8. The regiment soon moved to New Creek, West Virginia, where the 133rd garrisoned Fort Fuller and practiced military maneuvers. On June 7, 1864, the regiment moved to Washington, DC and then traveled to Bermuda Hundred, Virginia, arriving on June 12. At Bermuda Hundred, officials assigned the 133rd to the 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 10th Corps. On June 16, authorities ordered the 1st Division to destroy portions of the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad. In a five-hour battle, the 1st Division destroyed four miles of track. The 133rd protected an artillery battery during the fight and saw limited combat until the Northern forces withdrew. The 133rd served as part of the rearguard and had two men wounded as the regiment helped protect the division’s withdrawal to Bermuda Hundred.
On July 17, 1864, the 133rd moved to Point of Rocks, Virginia and then to Fort Powhatan on the James River. At Fort Powhatan, the regiment improved fortifications, built a magazine and a signal tower, and served on garrison duty. The 133rd also repaired a telegraph line between Fort Powhatan and Swan’s Point. While the regiment completed the telegraph line, Confederate forces routinely attacked the Northern men. In one skirmish, the Rebels killed two members of the 133rd. The regiment remained at Fort Powhatan until August 10, 1864, when it moved to Washington and then to Camp Chase, where the 133rd mustered out of service on August 20, 1864.
During the 133rd Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry’s term of service, thirty men, including one officer, perished from disease or accidents. Two men died from wounds received on the battlefield.