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 159th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry mustered into service at Zanesville, Ohio. Most enlistees came from the 11th Regiment Ohio National Guard from Muskingum County and one company of the 73rd Battalion Ohio National Guard from Fairfield County. The men in the regiment were to serve one hundred days.
On May 11, 1864, authorities dispatched the 159th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry to Harper's Ferry, West Virginia. The regiment remained encamped on Maryland Heights until May 17, 1864, when officials transferred the 159th to Camp Bradford at Baltimore, Maryland. Four companies performed guard duty at the camp, while one company served as provost guards in Baltimore, one worked in the Patterson Park Hospital, and the remaining four companies guarded locations along the Philadelphia, Wilmington, and Baltimore Railroad. During Confederate General Jubal Early's advance on Washington, DC, one hundred men of the 159th Regiment became mounted infantry soldiers and participated in the Battle of Monocacy on July 9, 1864. On July 12, Companies B, E, G, and I participated in an advance on Pikesville, Maryland, where a Confederate force was supposedly located. The Southerners retreated before the Union soldiers arrived. On July 28, 1864, another four companies advanced to Harve de Grace, Maryland, where they guarded the railroad. On August 13, 1864 officials reunited the 159th Regiment, sending it to Zanesville, Ohio. The regiment arrived at Zanesville on August 17, 1864 and mustered out of service on August 22 and August 24, 1864.
During its time of service, the 159th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry lost ten men, including one officer, to disease or accidents.