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 February 25, 1862, the 60th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry was mustered into service at Gallipolis, Ohio. The men in the regiment were to serve one year and were to primarily guard Ohio counties that boarded the Ohio River. The regiment's members principally came from Highland, Fayette, Ross, Clark, Brown, Clermont Gallia, Noble, and Adams Counties, Ohio.
Before the 60th joined the regular service, officials had ordered the regiment to Gallipolis, Ohio, where it guarded military stores for approximately three months and practiced military drill. On April 27, 1862, the 60th departed Gallipolis for New Creek, Virginia (modern-day West Virginia), where the regiment joined General John C. Fremont's command. Fremont quickly dispatched his soldiers to McDowell, Virginia to provide aid to other Union forces engaging Confederates under the command of General Thomas J. Jackson. At Strasburg, Virginia, the 60th engaged Confederate forces and acted as battle-tested veterans. The regiment continued in pursuit of Jackson's Confederates, encountering them at Port Republic, Virginia. In the Battle of Port Republic, the 60th primarily engaged Jackson's cavalry under the command of Turner Ashby. Ashby was killed in this engagement, and the Confederate horsemen quickly withdrew. Fremont's army again met Jackson's Confederates at the Battle of Cross Keys (June 8, 1862), with both armies eventually withdrawing from the battlefield. On June 12, the 60th and the rest of Fremont's army had moved to Mount Jackson, primarily to guard the Union forces' supply and communication lines from Jackson's Southerners.
On June 19, Fremont's men left Mount Jackson and arrived at Strasburg on June 22. On June 24, most of the Union army, including the 60th, advanced to Middletown, Virginia, where it remained encamped until July 8. On this date, the army, now under the command of General Franz Sigel, moved via Front Royal, Virginia to join General John Pope's command near Manassas Junction, Virginia. A 250-man detachment from the 60th returned to Middletown in August 1862 to remove supplies. A Confederate force under the command of General Thomas Jackson was approaching this Northern supply depot, but the detachment from the 60th successfully removed the supplies to Winchester, Virginia. Union forces, including the 60th, withdrew from Winchester on September 2, reaching Harper's Ferry, Virginia on September 3. On September 14, Confederate forces, under General A.P. Hill's command, besieged the Union troops at Harper's Ferry, eventually forcing the Northerners, including the 60th Regiment, to surrender on September 15. The Confederates paroled the Union forces, which then marched to Annapolis, Maryland before being sent to Camp Douglas at Chicago, Illinois. At Camp Douglas, officials mustered the 60th Regiment out of service on October 10, 1862.
During the 60th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry's term of service, ten men, including one officer, died on the battlefield. An additional 32 men, including two officers, succumbed to disease or accidents.