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 11, 1864, the 135th 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 135th consisted of portions of Licking County's 5th Regiment Ohio National Guard and Hardin County's 32nd Battalion Ohio National Guard.
On May 11, 1864, authorities dispatched the regiment to Cumberland, Maryland, traveling via the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. Soon after arriving at Cumberland, officials ordered the 135th to Martinsburg, West Virginia. There, authorities stationed the regiment's companies along the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, including at North Mountain, Kearneysville, Vanclevesville, Martinsburg, and Opequan Station. On July 3, 1864, in response to Confederate General Jubal Early's advance up the Shenandoah Valley, Union officials ordered the evacuation of Martinsburg and surrounding communities. All companies of the 135th withdrew except for the men at North Mountain, who never received the retreat order. Confederate forces besieged these men, and after a five-hour fight, the Northerners surrendered. Confederates sent the enlisted men prisoners to Andersonville, Georgia and the officers to Macon, Georgia. The remainder of the regiment covered the Northern retreat by assuming battle formation along the Winchester Pike. The 135th held this position from 7:00 AM until 11:00 AM on July 3, 1864 and then withdrew with the rest of the Northern units via the Shepherdstown Road to Maryland Heights. The regiment remained at Maryland Heights until July 6, when officials ordered the 135th to John Brown's Schoolhouse, where a fierce skirmish erupted. The regiment repulsed the Confederate assault but had six men killed, nine wounded, and twenty-seven soldiers missing or captured. Following this skirmish, the 135th returned to Maryland Heights, where it completed its term of service by guarding Union artillery. In late August 1864, authorities ordered the 135th to Camp Chase. The regiment arrived at Camp Chase on August 8, 1864 and mustered out of service on September 1, 1864.
During the 135th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry’s term of service, sixty-six enlisted men perished from disease or accidents, while seven soldiers died from wounds received on the battlefield.