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 20, 1864, the 162nd Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry mustered into service at Camp Chase in Columbus, Ohio. Most enlistees came from the 45th Regiment Ohio National Guard from Stark County and one company from the 40th Battalion Ohio National Guard from Brown County. The men in the regiment were to serve one hundred days.
Authorities assigned Companies A, C, F, and K of the 162nd Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry to perform garrison duty at Tod Barracks in Columbus, while Companies B, D, E, G, H, and I performed guard duty at Camp Chase. The regiment remained in Columbus until officials dispatched the 162nd to Kentucky to assist Union forces in repelling John Hunt Morgan's Confederate cavalry in June 1864. While in Kentucky, the regiment principally performed garrison duty at Covington, while a few companies spent a few days in Carrolton. Two companies also spent several days unsuccessfully trying to intercept a Confederate force under Moses Webster's command. While performing garrison duty at Covington, officials routinely sent the 162nd to arrest prominent secessionists in the region. The 162nd also recruited African Americans for military duty. The regiment's efforts resulted in the creation of the 117th Regiment United States Colored Infantry. In late August or early September, the 162nd returned to Camp Chase, where authorities mustered the regiment out of service on September 4, 1864.
During its time of service, the 162nd Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry lost twenty men to disease or accidents.
The following report details one interaction that the 162nd Regiment had with Confederate forces while in Kentucky.
JUNE 27, 1864.–Affair at Crittenden, Ky.
Report of Col. Ephraim Ball, One Hundred and sixty-second Ohio Infantry.
COVINGTON, June 27, 1864.
GEN.: The town of Crittenden has been attacked by twenty rebels,
who are said to be gathering a force to capture a wagon train,
which is now on the pike, a short distance this side of that place. I am
called upon for 150 mounted men. Have none. Got infantry. What shall
I do in the case?
Col. 162d Ohio National Guard, Cmdg. Post.