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27th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry


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.

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. Soldiers of Ohio infantry regiments served the Union for varying lengths of time, ranging from one hundred days to three years. One of the three-year regiments was the 27th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Organization occurred at Camp Chase, at Columbus, Ohio, and the regiment mustered into service on August 18, 1861.

On August 20, 1861, the 27th departed Camp Chase for St. Louis, Missouri, where the regiment joined General John C. Fremont's command and encamped in the city. In early September 1861, the organization boarded steamers and sailed to St. Charles, Missouri. The 27th next marched to Mexico, Missouri, before advancing towards Lexington, Missouri, where enemy forces had seized the town. The Northerners were unable to reach Lexington and marched to Kansas City, Missouri instead. In early October 1861, officials ordered the regiment to join General Fremont's advance on Springfield, Missouri but eventually countermanded the order, sending the 27th to Sedalia, Missouri instead. In December 1861, the regiment helped Union forces capture 1,300 enemy recruits attempting to join Confederate General Sterling Price's army. In February 1862, the 27th returned to St. Louis, before boarding steamers and sailing down the Mississippi River to Commerce, Missouri. At this town, officials assigned the regiment to the First Brigade, First Division of the Army of the Mississippi.

The 27th next joined General John Pope's advance upon New Madrid, Missouri and the assault upon Island No. 10. Pope's command reached New Madrid on March 3, 1862. Upon capturing the town and seizing the island from Confederate forces, the Northerners boarded steamers on April 13, 1862 and sailed down the Mississippi to the vicinity of Fort Pillow, Tennessee. On April 17, 1863, Pope's command sailed to Hamburg Landing on the Tennessee River and joined the Union advance upon Corinth, Mississippi. The 27th participated in the Siege of Corinth from April 29 to May 30, 1862, serving on the extreme left of the Union army.

Following the Union's occupation of Corinth on May 30, 1862, the 27th pursued the retreating Southerners to Booneville, Mississippi, before returning to and entering camp at Corinth. On August 29, 1862, the regiment moved to Iuka, Mississippi, where the organization performed garrison duty. In early September, the organization returned to Corinth. On September 11, 1862, the 27th joined a larger Union movement against Confederate General Sterling Price's command, which had seized Iuka. The Northerners drove Price's soldiers from the city in the Battle of Iuka (September 19, 1862) and pursued the retreating Southerners for two days, before returning to Corinth. On October 3 and 4, 1862, at the Battle of Corinth II, the 27th helped to defend successfully the town from a Confederate attack. During this engagement, the regiment defended Battery Robinett. The 27th pursued the retreating Confederates as far as Ripley, Mississippi, before returning to Corinth.

In late 1862, the 27th advanced with General Ulysses S. Grant's command to Oxford, Mississippi, before moving to Jackson, Tennessee on December 18, where the regiment sought to locate Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest's cavalry. At the Battle of Parker's Cross Roads (December 31, 1862), a Union force, including the 27th, defeated Forrest's command. In this engagement, the regiment's brigade captured seven artillery pieces, 360 prisoners, and four hundred horses. The brigade pursued Forrest's cavalry to the Tennessee River, before returning to Corinth in early January 1863 and entering winter encampment.

On April 19, 1863, the 27th joined a Union expedition into the Tuscumbia Valley in Tennessee. The goal of this mission was to cut supply lines to Confederate Braxton Bragg's army at Chattanooga, Tennessee. The regiment soon returned to Corinth and, on May 12, 1863, traveled to Memphis, Tennessee. In October 1863, the 27th began a march to Prospect, Tennessee, traveling through Corinth, Eastport, Lauderdale, and Pulaski. At Prospect, the regiment helped to build fortifications and a number of bridges. Many of the organization's men also reenlisted. The re-enlistees received a thirty-day furlough to their homes in Ohio. Upon returning to the front, the 27th entered camp at Athens, Alabama. On April 11, 1864, the organization advanced to and captured from enemy forces Decatur, Alabama..

On May 5, 1864, the 27th Ohio embarked upon Union General William T. Sherman's Atlanta Campaign. The goal of this expedition was for Northern forces to capture the important manufacturing center of Atlanta, Georgia. The regiment fought in many of the largest engagements of the campaign, including the Battles of Resaca, Dallas, Kennesaw Mountain, Nicojack Creek, Chattahoochie River, and Atlanta. The Union military occupied Atlanta on September 2, 1864, bringing the campaign to a victorious conclusion for the North. During the campaign, the 27th had sixteen officers and 201 enlisted men killed, wounded, or captured. The 27th's commanding officer issued the following report regarding the campaign:

HDQRS. TWENTY-SEVENTH REGT. OHIO VOL. INFANTRY, Before Atlanta, Ga., July 30, 1864.

SIR: In compliance with Special Field Orders, No. 45, from headquarters Left Wing, Sixteenth Army Corps, I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by this command in the engagement of the 22d instant:

The brigade of which this regiment forms a part on that day was in position in reserve in rear of the Fourth Division of the Seventeenth Corps. At about 12.30 p. m. the order was sent me by the commanding officer to move into the road and follow the Thirty-ninth Ohio at double-quick to the rear and left, where firing was then heard. This order was executed instantly so far as to set the regiment in march. After passing out of the woods we came into open fields, on the south side of which the enemy were advancing. After moving across the fields about 400 yards we formed line on the right of the Thirty-ninth Ohio, having double-quicked about a mile. One company was immediately thrown forward as skirmishers, when the general commanding division ordered the line forward to the top of the crest in our front. The skirmishers sent out were driven back almost immediately by the columns of the enemy which then advanced in our front. Gen. Fuller gave the order to fix bayonets and charge the enemy. The line moved forward in good style at doublequick, causing the enemy to halt, waver, and finally give way in disorder. We drove them across the field into the timber and over a ridge. In advancing this regiment had to pass through a thicket of briars and willows in the edge of the timber, which somewhat disordered the line. I gave the order to reform before resuming the charge, as I expected to meet the enemy in force after passing the ridge. While doing this a column of the enemy advanced into the field on our right flank and rear, which point was unprotected. Under the circumstances I did not deem it prudent to advance farther. Gen. Fuller directed me to refuse my right, which was promptly done. The enemy still advanced on our right and rear; we were not in a situation to offer serious resistance. It was almost impossible to execute a change of front under such a flank fire as we were sustaining. I ordered the regiment to about face, make a right wheel, and fall back behind the ridge to face this new danger. This movement was made in good order considering the difficulty of executing such a movement under a galling fire. I am greatly indebted to Gen. Fuller for his assistance in reforming the line. After this was done the regiment again charged to the top of the hill, and by a few well-directed volleys sent the enemy hurling back to the timber, from which they continued to fire on us, though not inflicting serious loss, as the men were lying down. We remained in this position until about 4.30 p. m., when a new line was formed farther to the rear, and we were ordered to withdraw to the new alignment, which we did in good order. It is proper to add that all the movements above enumerated (after forming line) were executed under a constant fire from the front and right flank.

The losses sustained in the action by the regiment were as follows: Killed, 19 enlisted men; wounded, 6 commissioned officers and 102 enlisted men missing, 3 enlisted men; aggregate, 130.

A detailed list has already been forwarded.

I have the honor to be, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. CHURCHILL, Lieut.-Col., Cmdg.

Capt. J. W. BARNES.

Following the Atlanta Campaign, the 27th encamped at East Point, Georgia for a few weeks, before joining the Union’s pursuit of Confederate General John Bell Hood’s army, which was advancing through northern Georgia, northern Alabama, and southern Tennessee in the direction of Nashville. The regiment marched through northern Georgia and briefly entered Alabama, before returning to the vicinity of Atlanta.

In mid-November 1864, the 27th Ohio joined General Sherman's "March to the Sea." The ultimate goal of this campaign was for the Union military to seize Savannah, Georgia. The regiment saw no real combat on this campaign until reaching Savannah, where the organization participated in the Union's siege lines of the city's Confederate garrison. The Union military occupied Savannah on December 21, 1864, with the 27th entering camp in the city.

In late January 1865, the 27th Ohio embarked upon General Sherman’s Carolinas Campaign. In South Carolina, the regiment participated in several skirmishes with Confederate forces, including a stiff engagement at Cheraw. In early March 1865, the 27th entered North Carolina, arriving at Fayetteville in the middle of the month. The regiment participated in the Battle of Bentonville, North Carolina from March 19 to 21, 1865. Following this Union victory, the organization moved to Goldsboro, North Carolina, before advancing to Raleigh, North Carolina.

Following the surrender of General Joseph Johnston's Confederate army in late April 1865, the 27th marched to Washington, DC, where the organization participated in the Grand Review on May 24, 1865. In early June 1865, the regiment proceeded to Louisville, Kentucky, taking the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad to Parkersburg, West Virginia and then boarding a steamer and sailing down the Ohio River the remainder of the way. On July 11, 1865, the 27th mustered out of service at Louisville. The regiment then proceeded to Camp Dennison, near Cincinnati, Ohio, where officials discharged the unit's members, allowing the men to return to their homes.

During the 27th Ohio's term of service, eighty-six men, including six officers, died from wounds received on the battlefield. An additional 123 men, including one officer, died from disease or accidents.

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