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. On December 1, 1861, the 58th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry organized at Camp Chase, at Columbus, Ohio. The men in the regiment were to serve three years.
Upon organizing, the 58th remained at Camp Chase until February 10, 1862, when the regiment departed for Cincinnati, Ohio, arriving here on February 11. Upon reaching Cincinnati, the 58th immediately boarded the steamers Tigress and Dictator and sailed to Fort Donelson, Tennessee. The regiment arrived at Fort Donelson on February 13. On February 15, the regiment helped repel a Confederate attack. On February 16, the 58th assumed a position in the center of the Union line, expecting to launch an assault on the Confederates in Fort Donelson, but the Southerners surrendered before the Northerners could launch their assault. Lieutenant-Colonel Ferdinand Rempel of teh 58th Regiment lowered the Confederate flag flying over Fort Donelson. The regiment remained at the fort until March 7, when it advanced to Fort Henry, arriving at this location on the same day. On March 15, the 58th traveled up the Tennessee River to Crump's Landing, Tennessee, where the regiment went into camp. During the Battle of Shiloh (April 6 and 7, 1862), the 58th did not participate in the first day's fighting. On the second day, the regiment along with the rest of its division, which was under the command of General Lew Wallace, took a position on the Union right. Finally, at 4:00 PM, the Union soldiers managed to drive the Confederates on the Union right from the battlefield. The 58th had nine men killed and forty-three wounded. The regiment's commanding officer issued the following report after the Battle of Shiloh:
HDQRS. FIFTY-EIGHTH REGT. OHIO VOLUNTEERS, camp near Pittsburg, Tenn., April 10, 1862.
CAPT.: I have the honor to present herewith a report of the part which the Fifty-eighth Regt. took in the battle of the 7th instant, near Pittsburg, Tenn. The Fifty-eighth Regt., belonging to the Third Division, Maj. Gen. Lewis Wallace, Second Brigade, Col. J. M. Thayer, First Nebraska, commanding was stationed on the left shore of the Tennessee River. Sunday, the 6th of April, in the morning, we received orders to be ready for marching at a moment's notice. At 12 o'clock m. the whole brigade moved forward. We marched all the afternoon in quick-time through ravines and swamps until we arrived, about an hour after dusk, at a point a mile south of Pittsburg Landing. The enemy being only about three-quarters of a mile distant, no fires were made, and the regiment laid on their arms all night. With daylight the firing commenced, and our regiment received orders to fall into line of battle. The Fifty-eighth was first posted in the rear of the First Nebraska, but after leaving the woods and reaching open ground we fell in the line of the First Nebraska, and in that position we advanced all day, the enemy contesting with great valor every inch of ground. Having passed into a large open field we became engaged with the enemy, which lasted some twenty minutes, where I received orders from Col. Thayer to press forward into the timber. Having passed into the woods and ascending a steep hill we found ourselves opposed to two regiments of the enemy, drawn up in line of battle. We attacked them forthwith. The action continued for nearly two hours. Our men stood their ground bravely. Their ammunition being nearly exhausted, we fell back a few rods to a ravine, for the purpose of procuring a new supply. After procuring it we moved forward into again, when the enemy field. The officers and men of my regiment did their duty throughout the whole day. Especially do I desire to make mention of Lieut.-Col. Rempel, Maj. Dister, and Lieut. Scheid, acting adjutant (Adjutant Christie being absent on special duty ), who during the whole engagement behaved with great coolness, and were always with me in the advance, under the heaviest fire of the enemy.
Our loss is, officers wounded, 2; non-commissioned officers and privates, 39;killed, 10.*
I am, very respectfully, yours,
S. A. STRICKLAND, A. A. A. G., Second Brigade.
Following Shiloh, the 58th participated in the Siege of Corinth, Mississippi. The regiment entered this city after Confederate forces evacuated on May 8, 1862. The 58th remained at Corinth until June 1, 1862, when officials ordered portions of the regiment to various locations surrounding Corinth. On June 17, authorities sent the 58th to Memphis, Tennessee and then down the Mississippi River to Helena, Arkansas, where the regiment arrived on July 27, 1862. At Helena, the 58th performed various reconnaissances, including traveling on transports and gunboats, to disperse Confederate forces along the Mississippi River. On one expedition, the regiment helped to capture the Confederate steamer Fair Play, along with five thousand small arms and two artillery pieces, near Milliken's Bend, Louisiana. The 58th also had an engagement with the 31st Louisiana Infantry Regiment, capturing forty of the Confederates and their entire camp equipage. While stationed at Helena, the 58th also participated in an expedition on the Yazoo River. During this campaign, the regiment primarily served as sharpshooters on the Monarch, Lioness, and Sampson, Union steamers. The 58th also participated in the Union victory at the Battle of Haines's Bluff on August 20, 1862. When the Union forces returned to the Mississippi River in late August, the 58th fought in minor engagements at Greenville and at Bolivar Landing, forcing the Confederates to withdraw on both occasions. The regiment returned to Helena on August 27, 1862 and remained at this location until October 5, 1862, when the 58th boarded the steamers Lacrosse and Conway and sailed to St. Genevieve, Missouri, arriving at this new location on October 6. On October 22, the regiment marched to Pilot Knob, returning to St. Genevieve on November 18, where the 58th boarded the steamers War Eagle and White Cloud for Camp Steele, Mississippi.
The 58th remained at Camp Steele until December 22, 1862, when the regiment boarded the steamers Polar Star and Adriatic and sailed to Johnston's Landing on the Yazoo River. On December 27, the Battle of Chickasaw Bayou began with minor skirmishing involving the 58th. On December 29, the 58th participated in an unsuccessful assault on the Confederate position, ending the battle. The Union forces remained in the vicinity of battlefield until January 2, 1863, when they sailed to the mouth of the Yazoo River and then up the Mississippi and White Rivers to Arkansas Post. The 58th reached Arkansas Post on January 9, in time to participate in the Battle of Arkansas Post (January 9 to 11, 1863). The Union forces captured this location and then moved to Young's Point, Louisiana, where they went into camp.
The 58th remained at Young's Point until February 8, 1863, when officials ordered the regiment to serve on Union ironclads as guards. Serving in this capacity, on March 15, 1863, the 58th participated in a three-day engagement on the Yazoo River at Deer Creek. The Union ironclads then returned to the mouth of the Yazoo River, remaining here until April 16, when the Union ironclads sailed past the Confederate batteries at Vicksburg, Mississippi. In this daring movement, the 58th had one man killed.
During Ulysses S. Grant's Vicksburg Campaign, the 58th continued to serve on Union ironclads. On April 29, the regiment fought in the Battle of Grand Gulf and then participated in various excursions on the Mississippi and Red Rivers.
On September 1, 1863, authorities ordered the 58th to Vicksburg, where the regiment performed provost duty for the remainder of its term of service. At Vicksburg, the 58th joined the 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 17th Army Corps. On December 24, 1864, officials ordered the 58th Regiment to Camp Chase, where the regiment formally mustered out of service on January 14, 1865.
During the 58th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry's term of service, eighty-eight men, including three officers, died on the battlefield. An additional 217 men, including two officers, succumbed to disease or accidents.