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. From September 29, 1864 and October 15, 1864, the 181st Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry organized at Camp Dennison near Cincinnati, Ohio. Most enlistees were veterans from other Ohio Volunteer Infantry regiments, most notably the 5th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry, the 6th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry, the 9th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry , and the 10th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry. The men in the regiment were to serve a one-year term of enlistment.
On October 24, 1864, authorities dispatched the 181st Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry to Huntsville, Alabama, with the soldiers arriving on October 29. Upon reaching Huntsville, an engagement between a portion of Confederate General John Bell Hood's Army of Tennessee and a Union force under the command of General R.S. Granger was taking place. Officials immediately sent the 181st to the scene of the battle, but the regiment saw no combat. The 181st remained at Huntsville until early November, where it became part of the Military Division of Mississippi in the Department of the Ohio. Following its deployment at Huntsville, the regiment then moved to the vicinity of Decatur, Alabama, where it primarily served on garrison duty. The regiment engaged in several minor skirmishes with Confederates. In December, the 181st evacuated Decatur, moving to Murfreesboro, Tennessee. The men traveled via rail, and a train accident killed one of the soldiers and wounded three. On December 5, 1864, a two-hundred-man detachment of the 181st, which was repairing the Chattanooga Railroad, engaged a significantly larger Confederate force but managed to escape capture. Two days later, at the Battle of Murfreesboro, Union forces successfully defended the city from an attack by Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest's command. The 181st Regiment suffered three or four men wounded in this engagement. The Union soldiers pursued the retreating Confederates and attacked them along Wilkinson's Turnpike. The 181st's men attacked the center of the Confederate line, driving the Southerners from the battlefield and capturing 150 men and two artillery pieces. The 181st lost seven men killed and twenty-eight wounded. During the remainder of December 1864, the 181st Regiment remained in the vicinity of Murfreesboro, engaging in numerous small skirmishes with Confederate forces. On December 24, 1864, authorities dispatched the 181st to Columbia, Tennessee, where the regiment arrived on December 29, 1864.
On January 2, 1865, officials dispatched the regiment to Goldsboro, North Carolina, where it joined William T. Sherman's army in the Department of North Carolina. Upon reaching North Carolina, the 181st Regiment was to participate in the assault on Wilmington, but it saw no real action, as Union ironclads secured the city before the 181st arrived. In April 1865, the 181st Regiment participated in Sherman's advance on Raleigh, North Carolina. Sherman's adversary, General Joseph Johnston, surrendered on April 26, 1865, essentially bringing the Civil War to an end.
Upon Johnston's surrender, authorities dispatched the 181st Regiment to Baltimore, Maryland. At Baltimore, officials mustered the 181st out of service. The regiment then traveled to Camp Dennison in Ohio, where authorities discharged the 181st's members on July 29, 1865.
The 181st Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry served less than ten months in the Union military. During this time, it marched or traveled a total of 4,160 miles. The 181st lost five men killed on the battlefield. Many more men were wounded, and an additional twenty-eight soldiers, including one officer, succumbed to disease or accidents.