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 142nd Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry mustered into service at Camp Chase, at Columbus, Ohio. The men in the regiment were to serve one hundred days and primarily came from Knox County, Ohio.
On May 14, 1864, authorities dispatched the 142nd to Martinsburg, West Virginia, where the regiment drilled until May 19. Officials then ordered the regiment to Washington, DC, via Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia. Due to a destroyed railroad bridge, the 142nd did not reach Washington until May 21, where the regiment performed garrison duty at and helped to strengthen Fort Lyon. On June 5, 1864, the 142nd marched to Alexandria, Virginia, where it boarded ships on June 7, for White House, Virginia, arriving on June 9. That same day, the 142nd escorted a supply train through the Wilderness to the Army of the Potomac’s frontlines. General George Meade then ordered the regiment to Bermuda Hundred. Traveling by ship, the regiment arrived here on June 13, but it did not disembark, sailing instead to Point of Rocks, Virginia, where the 142nd participated in the siege of Petersburg, Virginia. Officials placed the regiment on the extreme right of the Union line, where the 142nd manned rifle pits for the next week. The regiment then, while under fire from Confederate forces, dismantled Rebel earthworks and drove the Southerners from the immediate vicinity. The 142nd proceeded to construct a fort at Turkey Bend, Virginia on the James River. On August 19, the regiment marched to Bermuda Hundred, where it boarded ships for Washington, arriving on August 21. The regiment then traveled by train to Camp Chase, where it mustered out of service on September 2, 1864.
During the 142nd Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry’s term of service, forty-three men, including one officer, perished from disease or accidents, while no men died from wounds received on the battlefield.