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.
Units formed in Ohio served for varying lengths of time, averaging one hundred days to three years. On July 9, 1861, the 4th Ohio Independent Cavalry Company organized at Georgetown, Ohio. The soldiers in the company were to serve three years.
The 4th left Georgetown for Camp Chase at Columbus, Ohio on July 10, 1861. On August 19, 1861, officials ordered the company to St. Louis, Missouri, where the 4th arrived on August 21, 1861 and encamped at Camp Benton. After remaining at Camp Benton for a few days, the company moved to St. Louis, where it performed provost-guard duty. In September, officials ordered the 4th to Syracuse, Missouri, where the company impressed civilian-owned mules, horses, and wagons. The 4th then moved to Springfield, Missouri, before returning to Syracuse.
During December 1861 and January and February 1862, the 4th conducted scouting expeditions in western and northern Missouri. The company participated in several skirmishes with Confederate forces and, at the Battle of Silver Creek, had one man killed and seven soldiers wounded. In late February 1862, the 4th moved to Benton Barracks, Missouri and, on March 1, 1862, returned to St. Louis, where officials assigned the company to General Henry Halleck's headquarters. On April 9, 1862, the 4th escorted Halleck to Pittsburg Landing, Tennessee, the site of the Battle of Shiloh on April 6 and 7, 1862. The company continued to serve as Halleck's guard during the Siege of Corinth, Mississippi and following Confederate General Braxton Bragg's withdrawal from this city. When President Abraham Lincoln ordered Halleck to Washington, DC, the 4th performed garrison duty and scouting missions in western Tennessee and, on September 1, 1862, fought in the Battle of Britton's Lane, losing one man killed and two wounded.
In November 1862, officials assigned the 4th as General James McPherson's personal escort. The company participated in General Ulysses S. Grant's movement along the Mississippi Central Railroad before traveling to Grand Junction, Mississippi. The 4th next moved to Memphis, Tennessee and then down the Mississippi River to Lake Providence and Milliken's Bend, Mississippi. In late April 1863, Union forces, including the 4th, embarked upon the Vicksburg Campaign. In this campaign, the 4th fought in the Battles of Port Gibson, Raymond, Jackson, Champion Hills, and Big Black River Bridge and participated in the Siege of Vicksburg.
Following the Vicksburg Campaign, the 4th continued as McPherson's escort, occasionally participating in some expeditions. On February 1, 1864, the company joined General William T. Sherman's Meridian Raid, having five men captured. After this excursion, the 4th returned to Vicksburg and, in the spring of 1864, marched with McPherson to Chattanooga, Tennessee, where the company embarked upon Sherman's Atlanta Campaign, advancing with McPherson as far as the Chattahoochie River. Upon reaching this location, the 4th's term of service expired, and officials ordered portions the company to Cincinnati, Ohio. The company mustered out of service at Cincinnati on July 16, 1864, but ninety men had joined the 4th in August 1862. These men's term of service had not expired and, in September 1864, the 4th Ohio Independent Cavalry Company re-formed with these soldiers and some new recruits.
The new 4th participated in the remainder of the Atlanta Campaign and joined Sherman in his March to the Sea in the autumn of 1864 and his Carolinas Campaign in the first four months of 1865. The company participated in the Grand Review at Washington, DC, where the 4th mustered out of service on May 28, 1865, before being discharged at Camp Dennison, near Cincinnati.