Ohio Civil War » Civil War A-Z » 0-9 » 65th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry

65th 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.

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 October 3, 1861, the 65th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry organized at Camp Buckingham, at Mansfield, Ohio. The regiment mustered into the regular service on December 1, 1861. Men in the regiment were to serve three years, and most members came from Mansfield or the immediate vicinity.

On December 18, 1861, the 65th traveled to Louisville, Kentucky via Cincinnati, Ohio. After remaining in Louisville for approximately one week, the regiment marched to Camp Morton, four miles east of Bardstown, Kentucky, arriving on December 30. At Camp Morton, officials brigaded the 65th with the 64th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry, the 51st Regiment Indiana Infantry, and the 9th Regiment Kentucky Infantry. On January 13, 1862, the regiment departed Camp Morton for Hall's Gap, Kentucky, passing through the Kentucky communities of Bardstown, Springfield, Lebanon, Haysville, Danville, and Stanford, reaching Hall's Gap on January 24. At Hall's Gap, the 65th constructed new and repaired old roads. On February 7, the regiment returned to Lebanon, before traveling by train to Green River, Kentucky on February 12. The organization moved to Camp Wood, near Munfordsville, Kentucky, on February 13, remaining at this location until February 23. In late February, the 65th departed for Nashville, Tennessee, passing through the communities of Bowling Green, Franklin, Tyree Springs, and Goodlettsville. The regiment arrived at Nashville on March 13, 1862.

On March 29, the 65th began a march from Nashville, through Columbia, Tennessee, to Savannah, Tennessee. Upon reaching Savannah, the regiment boarded troop transports and sailed to Pittsburg Landing, arriving on April 7, 1862, the second day of the Battle of Shiloh. The 65th arrived late in the afternoon and was not actively engaged in the battle, although two regiment members were wounded. Following Shiloh, the 65th next participated in the Union's Siege of Corinth, Mississippi. After the Confederate evacuation of Corinth, the regiment marched to Eastpoint andIuka, Mississippi and to Tuscumbia, Decatur, Huntsville, and Bridgeport, Alabama, where the organization guarded crossings on the Tennessee River.

On August 29, 1862, the 65th moved towards Nashville, Tennessee. The regiment then proceeded to Louisville, hoping to intercept General Braxton Bragg's Confederate army, which had launched an invasion into Kentucky. The organization arrived at Louisville on September 24, 1862. Upon reaching Louisville, the 65th remained in the city ten days. before launching its search for Bragg's army in early October. The Army of the Ohio, including the 65th, confronted the Southern army at Perrysville, Kentucky, where the Battle of Perryville occurred on October 8, 1862. Held in reserve, the 65th did not actively participate in this Union victory. The 65th pursued the retreating Confederates briefly, before returning to Nashville, Tennessee.

The 65th remained at Nashville until December 26, 1862, when it marched towards Murfreesboro, Tennessee, skirmishing with Confederate forces all of the way to Stones River. On December 29, the regiment crossed Stones River with the rest of its brigade, but the Union forces had to withdraw when reinforcements did not arrive.On December 31, the Battle of Stones River erupted. During the course of the three-day battle, the 65th helped the Union army attain victory.Following this battle, the commanding officer of the 65th filed the following report:


SIR: The Sixty-fifth Ohio Volunteers, under command of Lieut.-Col. Cassil, left is bivouac, near Duck Creek, on Monday morning, December 29, 1862. In the advance its position was on the left wing of the front line of the brigade. Two companies were deployed as skirmishers, who very soon encountered a strong cavalry picket of the enemy. This force contested our advance at times sharply, but disappeared near Stone's River. When within a couple of miles of the same river, several shells were thrown at us from cannon, which soon retired. In this skirmishing we sustained no loss, but several of the enemy's saddles were seen to have been emptied and the horses straggling.

We reached the heights on the north side of the river about 3 p.m. where we lay in line till after sundown. Orders were received to advance upon Murfreesborough that night. I was in command of the companies of skirmishers, and immediately threw them across the river, and commenced the ascent of the opposite heights.

Passing the skirt of woods, we encountered the enemy's skirmishers strongly posted to the front on the crest of the hill, and on my left behind a rail fence. A galling fire brought our line to a halt, but we soon cleared the hill, and, advancing over the crest, we found ourselves within 30 paces of a regiment of rebels, who, in their confusion, were rallying with great difficulty. I at once retired the line to the woods, where we remained till the whole brigade had recrossed, when we were quietly withdrawn.

Sergeant Snider, acting orderly, was wounded in the face, which was the only injury our regiment suffered. The regiment itself crossed the stream in good order, under fire of the rebel skirmishers, and remained in line behind the skirt of woods till it recrossed with these brigade.

Tuesday we lay in bivouac near the river, and went on picket at night. In accordance with Col. Harker's order, we were ready to move at daybreak, with 60 rounds of cartridges to a man.

We received marching orders about 8 a.m. and moved at once forward. The enemy's sharpshooters and a battery on the opposite hill began a fierce fire of ball and shell upon us as we returned up the heights. When on the summit, a shell exploded in the ranks of Company B, killing 1 and wounding 2. We double-quicked, under a storm of shell, after the brigade, which was some distance ahead, moving to the support of the right wing. When the brigade was formed to advance through the open field to the right of Gen. Van Cleve's division, our regiment was placed on the left of the front line, with the Fifty-first Regt. Indiana Volunteers on our right and the Seventy-third Regt. Indiana Volunteers to our rear. Company I, Capt. Christophel, was deployed to the front as skirmishers, but, having suffered severely, was, in a short time, relieved by Company H, Lieut. Brown. When near the skirt of timber protruding from the main forest, we marched by the right flank to support the Sixth Ohio Battery. We were again moved toward the enemy and placed behind a rise of ground. We suddenly found them in line at a short distance, and immediately commenced firing. The enemy, though in brigade front, three columns deep, staggered, concealed himself as far as possible, and did not venture to advance under our fire.

Meanwhile, Gen. Van Cleve's division giving way, the line of the enemy on our left advancing completely outflanked us, and we were suffering under a raking cross-fire. We held the position for about thirty minutes, and fell back, in accordance with orders; formed behind the Seventy-third Regt. Indiana Volunteers, and moved by the flank to oppose the advancing right of the enemy. We took our position behind a rail fence, and again held the enemy in check for about twenty minutes. At length, being nearly cut off by the on the right, we retired behind the line of battle, resting in the wood near the pike.

We had suffered severely; out of 16 officers with the regiment, 2 had been killed and 8 wounded. Second Lieut. Van Kirk, commanding Company A, fell in the advance; Capt. Christophel, of Company I some time in the retreat. Both were doing their duty unflinchingly and manfully. Lieut.-Col. Cassil having been disabled by the fall of his horse at the second stand of the regiment, I then took command. We rejoined our division at night near the position we left.

On Thursday, January 1, we lay in front, in support and to the right of the Sixth Ohio Battery, during the furious cannonading, and were annoyed by sharpshooters during the whole day. We picketed at night.

Our skirmishers covered the front on Friday. The regiment lay in a little clump of wood, in support of the battery, and exposed to the most terrific shelling during the morning. In the afternoon our skirmishers, in conjunction with those of the brigade cleared the wood in front of rebel skirmishers and sharpshooters; were in turn shelled out, and again took possession and held it.

Near night, and the close of the engagement on the left we moved over the river, threw up a defense of rails to the front, and remained there through the rain till morning. We were retired till Saturday night, when we again picketed the left front. About 2 a.m. Sunday we were marched back to our present bivouac.

The following is the list of the casualties of the regiment: Lieut.-Col. Cassil, severe sprain by the fall of his horse; Maj. Whitbeck, slightly wounded in the neck; Adjutant Massey, severely in leg and slightly in face and hip; Capt.'s Jacob Christophel, killed, and Voorhees, through the side; First Lieut. Gardner, through side; Second Lieut.'s Van Kirk, killed; Markel through hip; Brown, in the shoulder, and Pealer, through thigh, and Acting Second Lieut. Rook, in thigh.

Of 382 enlisted men in the engagements during the week, 34 were killed, 100 wounded, and 38 missing; total 172. Of the missing, some are known to be prisoners, others are serving in hospitals, and a few stragglers are still coming up.

I will not particularize when all, officers and men, conducted themselves so coolly and fought so determinedly against such desperate odds; nor need I mention their patience under such privations and exposures in midwinter.


Maj., Cmdg. Sixty-fifth Regt. Ohio Volunteers.


Acting Assistant Adjutant-Gen., Third Brigade.

The 65th remained at Murfreesboro until June 7, 1863, when the organization embarked upon the Tullahoma Campaign. By early September, the regiment had advanced to Chattanooga, Tennessee and then moved into northern Georgia. The 65th marched to Lee & Gordon Mills by the start of the first day of the Battle of Chickamauga on September 19, 1863. The regiment was held in reserve until late in the afternoon of the first day, before becoming engaged in the fight. On September 20, the organization fought the entire day, withdrawing with the rest of the Union army to Chattanooga that night. The 65th had sixteen men killed, sixty-five wounded, and twenty-four missing in this Union defeat. After this battle, the commanding officer of the 65th filed the following report:

HDQRS. SIXTY-FIFTH REGT. OHIO VOLUNTEERS, Chattanooga, Tenn., September 26, 1863.

SIR: I have the honor to submit the following as a report of the movements and actions in which the Sixty-fifth Regt. Ohio Volunteers has been engaged since leaving Shellmound, Tenn.:

At noon, September 5, 1863, the regiment received orders to march. Moved out on the Chattanooga road, and about 12 m., September 6, bivouacked within 7 miles of Chattanooga, in the Lookout Valley. At 10 p. m., on that date, the regiment fell back 2 miles and took position on a ridge to the west of the Trenton and Chattanooga Railroad, where it remained till 8 o'clock next morning, when it was moved off the ridge, and was stationed on the right of the road in the rear of the Third Kentucky Volunteers, with its left resting near the road.

At 10 a. m. on the 7th the regiment was ordered down the valley on a reconnaissance, taking nothing along but guns, accouterments, and canteens. After advancing 1 1/2 miles, three companies (B, F, and G), under Maj. Brown, were sent forward as skirmishers, and the regiment moved forward on the center. The skirmish companies from this regiment had the right of the line, and drove the enemy till they crossed the creek at the foot of Lookout Mountain, when the enemy opened on them with one or two pieces of artillery. The regiment was formed into line about three-quarters of a mile from the creek, advancing on the right of the One hundred and twenty-fifth Ohio, with its right resting on Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad. When within about one-half mile of the creek, the regiment crossed the railroad and formed in the woods on the right and to the rear of the One hundred and twenty-fifth Ohio, when the enemy commenced shelling.

After lying under their fire for about fifteen minutes, in which 1 man from Company F of this regiment was killed by the explosion of a shell, we were ordered to retire.

The regiment fell back until out of range of the enemy's shells, where it was formed across the road, and when the skirmishers came up marched back to camp, which was reached about 7 p. m.

The next day, September 8, lay in bivouac, and on the 9th, marched into Chattanooga, going into camp about 3 o'clock, a mile to the southwest of town. Moved out the next morning at 9 o'clock, and camped about 3 p. m. within 8 miles of Ringgold, Ga., near the Chickamauga.

On the 11th, marched back to Rossville, and moved out on the La Fayette road about 1 1/2 miles, where the regiment formed on the left of the Third Kentucky Volunteers and opposite side of the road. The left and three companies (G, C,; and D), under Maj. Brown, were sent to the front as skirmishers, their right resting on the road.

Afterward Companies A and E were sent forward to strengthen the right of the skirmish line under Lieut.-Col. Bullitt, Third Kentucky Volunteers. The regiment arrived at Lee and Gordon's Mills at 4 p. m., skirmishing all the way, and camping on the left bank of the Chickamauga Creek.

From the 12th to the 18th, we remained at Lee and Gordon's Mills, strengthening our position by breastworks, and awaiting an attack by the enemy, our pickets skirmishing with them as they would make their appearance.

On the afternoon of the 19th, about 2 o'clock, we were ordered to move to the left, which we did, following the Third Kentucky Volunteers and marching on the double-quick till meeting and engaging the enemy. The regiment was engaged most of the time till sundown.

During the engagement on Saturday we took about 70 prisoners, among them a major. Lieut.-Col. Whitbeck having been wounded, Maj. Brown succeeded him in command. The regiment remained in front during the night until 3 a. m. of the 20th, when we moved to the left and rear to breakfast and draw rations, again moving to the front at 8 a. m., and taking part in the engagement up to 10 o'clock, when, being flanked by the enemy, we moved by the right flank and took position on the right of the Third Kentucky Volunteers, our right resting on the hill. We held our position the regiment on our right (who occupied the extreme summit of the hill) broke in confusion, thus enabling the enemy to take possession of the hill. Our right being thus flanked, we suffered a severe fire from the enemy, and were forced to fall back. While occupying the position on the hill, Maj. Brown was wounded, the command falling on me, the senior captain having been reported to me as being wounded. The regiment fell back to the rear of the log-house, where it rallied, and I was ordered by Col. Harker, our brigade commander, to take position on the summit of the hill to the right of the log-house. Capt. Tannehill took command of a number of men who had become separated from their companies, and took position at the left of the house. The regiment, though having lost many of its best officers, and its ranks having been thinned by the loss of over one-third of its men, still held its position and did so far an hour and a half, when were joined by Lieut.-Col. Bullitt with two companies of the Third Kentucky, who, at my request, took command and held the enemy in check till ordered by Col. Harker to fall back to the rear of the log-house. Here the regiment was formed, having been joined by Capt. Tannehill and the men under his command. We were at this time supplied with cartridges to make up 40 rounds to the man. After a rest of about thirty minutes, I was ordered to take position on the left of the Sixty-fourth Ohio. The engagement then being renewed we fired by volley, alternately, with the One hundred and twenty-fifth Ohio, until the enemy were repulsed, when I was ordered to take position on the right of the log-house, still occupying position in the line on the left of the Sixty-fourth Ohio. This position was occupied till after dark, or about 7 p. m., when, with the rest of the brigade, we fell back to Rossville, and camped for the night.

The next morning, the 21st, the regiment moved out and took position on the Missionary Ridge, to the left of the road, the Sixty-fifth forming the second line, in rear of the Sixty-fourth, until ordered to report to Col. Buell, commanding First Brigade, where the Sixty-fifth was formed in the rear as reserve. After lying in this position for two hours, we were ordered to report to our brigade, and were formed on the right of the One hundred and twenty-fifth Ohio. At 7.30 p. m. we moved to the front, relieving the Sixty-fourth Ohio, which was occupying breastworks of rails, our left resting in the woods and connecting with the One hundred Illinois. We left the works at 11 p. m., and arrived near Chattanooga at 2 a. m. on the 22d, where we bivouacked till about 7 o'clock, when we were moved to this position and have been engaged since in throwing up fortifications and strengthening the fort. Lieut.-Col. Bullit, of the Third Kentucky Volunteers, took command of the regiment, by order of Col. Harker, on the 23d instant.

During the engagements on the 19th and 20th, the following-named officers of the regiment were killed and wounded: Maj. Samuel C. Brown, wounded on the 20th, from the effects of which he died on the 21st; First Lieut. Nelson Smith, killed instantly; Second Lieut. S. C. Henwood, killed.

Wounded: Lieut. Col. H. N., Whitebeck, First Lieut. Asa A. Gardner, First Lieut. Wilbur F. Hinman, First Lieut. Joel P. Brown, and Second Lieut. Otho M. Shipley.

Casualties among the enlisted men were as follows: Killed, 12; wounded, 65; missing, 18. Total killed, wounded and missing, officers and men, 103.

The foregoing report can be but very incomplete from the fact that the position in which I was placed was of such a character that many things transpired that escaped my notice.

Where all did so well (inasmuch as the Sixty-fifth never gave back before the enemy until ordered by its commanding officer, neither was it ordered to take any position that it failed to plant its colors there) it may seem out of place to mention individual cases, yet there are those who acted with that coolness and bravery under the most trying circumstances, that to especially mention them cannot; detract from the merit due others. First among this number is our lamented Maj. Brown, who, with so much coolness and bravery, demonstrated every characteristic of the true hero, realizing the magnitude of the cause in which he was engaged. From the commencement of the engagement up to the time he fell, he was ever found where the danger was greatest, and by his noble daring imbued every heart in the regiment with a determination to conquer. Among the non-commissioned officers, Sergt. Maj. S. G. Pope deserves special credit for the manner in which he labored to keep the men together, and the promptness with which he conveyed orders to the line officers, during the entire engagement. First Sergt. Samuel P. Snider commanded Company D on the 20th and bravely led his men, whom he was encouraging by precept and example to stand by the flag at the time he fell. Sergeant Harlam, the color bearer, bravely faced the storm of bullets that greeted him on every side, and, even after being severely wounded, stood at his post till ordered to the rear.

I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, &c.,


Capt. Sixty-fifth Regt. Ohio Volunteer infantry.


Acting Assistant Adjutant-Gen., Third Brigade.

At Chattanooga besieged the Federals. On November 25, 1863, the 65th took part in the Battle of Missionary Ridge. This Northern victory resulted in the end of the Confederate siege of Chattanooga. The 65th had one man killed and fourteen wounded in this engagement. Following the Chattanooga Campaign, the commanding officer of the 65th filed the following report:

HDQRS. SIXTY-FIFTH OHIO VOLUNTEERS INFANTRY, Chattanooga, Tennessee, November 27, 1863.

SIR: In accordance with orders received from the colonel commanding the brigade, I hereby respectfully submit a report of the part taken by the Sixty-fifth Regt. Ohio Volunteers in the series of engagements which commenced on the 23d instant:

About 1 p.m. on Monday, the 23d instant, I received orders to form my regiment and move toward the front, which I did, following the One hundred and twenty-fifth Ohio Volunteers, and being followed by the Sixty-fourth Ohio Volunteers, when the brigade was formed on a ridge a short distance north and to the rear of the picket line. I was ordered by Col. Harker, commanding brigade, to move forward and deploy my regiment as skirmishers upon the picket line, which I was to support in case they were attacked. While occupying this position a regiment, belonging to Gen. Wagner's brigade, moved ahead of me and deployed, covering about 200 paces I was ordered by Col. Harker to advance. I meet with no resistance until I had gone about 400 paces, when the line connecting with my right failing to advance my right became exposed. Of this the enemy took advantage and poured several volleys into my line in rapid succession, severely wounding 2 men and ridding the clothes of Capt. Smith, commanding the right company. This caused momentary confusion, which was increased by the cowardly behavior of Capt. Peatman, Twenty-sixth Ohio, who was brigade officer of the day for Gen. Wagner's brigade. He deserted his line while it was under fire, ran through my command, and threw himself upon the ground behind a hill some distance in my rear. I ordered him to rejoin his command, which he did reluctantly, but in a few minutes he again ran to the rear and screened himself behind a tree.

As I have stated, the confusion here was but momentary; a vigorous fire from my line soon caused the enemy to give way. I now received orders from Col. Harker, through Col. McIlvain, division officer of the day, to refuse my right so that it would connect with the line on my right. This done, and having thrown my left forward so that it would cover a gap between the skirmishers of our brigade and those of Gen. Wagner's, I halted and remained undisturbed in this position until about 10 p.m., when, being relieved by the Fifty-seventh Indiana, I retired to the breastworks, which had been constructed about 50 yards in my rear. Here my regiment remained until about 1 p.m. on Wednesday, the 25th instant, when Col. Harker ordered me to proceed with my regiment to the picket line, and there pointed out a slightly elevated ridge, about 400 paces to the front, upon which the enemy had some heavy earth-works, and which he was supposed to occupy. Col. Harker directed me to take it with a dash.

Having deployed my right wing as skirmishers, disposed of my left at intervals in their rear, and ordered that not a gun should be fired until the work was entered, I moved forward to find the work deserted. From this point, by order of Gen. Sheridan, I sent two companies forward to reconnoiter the ground between our lines and the mountain. They went as far as the timber extended and reported no enemy this side of the works at the base of the mountain. About 3 p.m. I was ordered by Col. Harker to report to Col. Opdycke, commanding demi-brigade, who assigned me to a position in the second line, on the left of the One hundred and twenty-fifth Ohio and in rear of the Third Kentucky. Col. Opdycke advised me that we were going to charge the enemy's works, and that he expected me, when ordered forward, to effect a lodgment without reference to the balance of the command; that I must follow the regiment in front of me only when it advanced.

About 3.30 p.m. the order to advance was given. After marching several hundred yards through the woods, we entered upon a plain which was about half a mile wide, and which extended to the enemy's works. Across this we charged through a storm of exploding shells, which the enemy within easy range poured upon us from the summit of the ridge, but the men, undaunted and confident of success, move forward with a shout. The regiment which was in front of me having obliqued to the left upon approaching the works, I found my regiment unmasked and in the front line, and here Col. Harker ordered me to ascend the ridge. My men, already exhausted by the long and rapid charge across the plain, pressed on and were shortly half way up the hill, when the troops on our left giving way, we were ordered to fall back. I assembled my regiment in the works at the base of the hill, where they remained for about fifteenth minutes, when we were again ordered forward. The position in which my regiment found itself was immediately in front of a battery, which belched forth a stream of canister upon us with terrible rapidity. In addition to this the enemy, when driven from other points, rallied around this battery and defended it with desperation. It cost a struggle to take it but we finally succeeded, and the colors of the Sixty-fifth Ohio were the first planted upon the yet smoking guns. Capt. Smith, of my regiment, was placed in charge of the captured battery, which consisted of five guns, three caissons, and 17 horses. I was then ordered by Col. Harker to join Col. Opdycke, who, with a part of his command, had pushed on in pursuit of a wagon train. When I reported to Col. Opdycke I was placed on the right of the Sixty-fourth Ohio. We moved forward a short distance and halted for half an hour, when we were again put upon the march. We finally halted upon a ridge a short distance south of and parallel with Mission Ridge, where we built fires and prepared to rest for the night.

About 10 p.m. we were again ordered under arms. The brigade was formed and I was ordered to deploy my regiment in front as skirmishers, with the center upon the road leading to Chickamauga Station. In a few moments we moved forward and proceeded as far as Bird's Mill, on the Chickamauga River, taking a number of prisoners on the way, but meeting with no opposition. We remained here until about 3 p.m. of the 26th instant, when we took up our march for camp. My regiment to a man, did its duty. To mention those who acted gallantly would be but to furnish you with a muster-roll of my regiment. I desire to mention but one who distinguished himself by his cool bravery. During the charge up the mountain, when the color bearer, from excessive fatigue, was unable to proceed, Corpl. Thomas H. Johnson, Company K, grasped the color, and, calling upon the men to follow him, dashed up the hill.

He was the first man from my regiment to reach the summit, and he ascended immediately in front of the battery over which his flag was the first to wave.

My regiment captured 50 prisoners for which I can account, but many were captured and sent to the rear of which no note was taken.

Officers killed; officers wounded,1; enlisted men killed,1; enlisted men wounded,13.

Very respectfully,


Lieut. Col. Third Kentucky, Comdg. Sixty-fifth Ohio Volunteers


Acting Assistant Adjutant-Gen.

In early 1864, most of the 65th's members reenlisted and received a furlough to return briefly to their homes in Ohio. Officials discharged from service those soldiers who did not reenlist on October 3, 1864. At the furlough's end, the regiment returned to Tennessee and embarked upon Union General William T. Sherman's Atlanta Campaign. The 65th fought in most of the major engagements of this campaign, including the Battles of Lost Mountain, Resaca, Dallas, Marietta, Peachtree Creek, Atlanta, Jonesborough, and Lovejoy's Station.

The 65th remained at Atlanta for approximately three weeks, before officials dispatched the regiment to Alpine, Georgia and then to Chattanooga in pursuit of John Bell Hood's Confederate army, which was invading Tennessee. At Chattanooga, the regiment guarded a railroad along the Tennessee River for several weeks. On November 29, 1864, the 65th participated in the Battle of Spring Hill, Tennessee, having five men killed, twenty-two wounded, and fourteen missing. On November 30, 1864, the Battle of Franklin, Tennessee occurred. At this Union defeat, the regiment had one man killed, twenty-two wounded, and twenty-one missing. The Northern soldiers retreated to Nashville, where the 65th participated in the Battle of Nashville (December 15-16, 1864). Following this battle, the commanding officer of the 65th filed the following report:

HDQRS. SIXTY-FIFTH REGT. OHIO VET. VOL. INFTY., In Camp near Nashville, Tenn., December 5, 1864.

SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the Sixty-fifth Regt. Ohio Veteran Volunteer Infantry during the campaign from the 22d of November, 1864, to the 2d day of December, 1864:

On the morning of the 22d of November, 1864, we took up to the march from Pulaski, Tenn. (where we had been in camp nearly two weeks). The Sixty-fifth Regt. had present 356 men. We marched with the Third Brigade, Second Division, Fourth Army Corps, of which the Sixty-fifth is a part; that day we marched about thirteen miles nearly, to a little place on the pike called Lynnville, where we encamped for the night with the rest of the brigade. Next day, 3 p. m., we changed camp., moved out a little east of the town. The Sixty-fifth Regt. was ordered out on the Campbellstown road to reconnoiter, as the enemy were reported to be out in this direction. We went out some three miles; found no enemy; came back to camp about 8 o'clock in the evening. At 2.30 o'clock next morning reveille was sounded and the troops were on the move for Columbia, Tenn., by 4 o'clock. The Sixty-fifth was the rear regiment of the Third Brigade. We marched rapidly and arrived at Columbia 11 a. m. on the 24th; distance, eighteen miles. Here we took our position in line of battle on the right of the brigade and immediately commenced throwing up a good line of works. Company D, of the Sixty-fifth, was soon ordered on picket, where they remained until next day. The regiment encamped near the works. The regiment encamped near the works. On the 25th most of the regiment was ordered on picket, where they remained until the afternoon of the 26th. Our pickets kept up brisk firing with the enemy's nearly the whole time they were on the line, but no serious casualties happened. On the night of the 26th our regiment, with the rest of the brigade, changed camp, took position back near the river. The Sixty-fifth occupied the second line. Remained here until the night of the 28th, when, with the rest of the brigade, we fell back across the river and went into camp until next morning, when, with the rest of the brigade, we changed positions and occupied the front line of the brigade on the left of the Seventy-ninth Illinois, on the north bank of Duck River, where we built very formidable works. Camped near our works for the night.

On the morning of the 29th we took up the march as advance guard with the brigade and division for Spring Hill; distance twelve miles. We marched rapidly; arrived there about 2 o'clock p. m. The enemy had already got there in advance of us. Skirmishers were immediately thrown out and the enemy driven back. Our brigade was immediately formed in one of battle, the Sixty-fifth Regt. occupying the extreme right of the line. I had the regiment thrown up a strong rail barricade, which was of great consequence. Soon after getting into position, the enemy greatly outnumbering our skirmishers compelled them to fall back, which they did in good order. Soon a very heavy column of the enemy's infantry was discovered coming down rapidly on my right, and after a very severe fight with him, my officers and men doing their duty most nobly, we were compelled to fall back, as the enemy had such great odds against us that their left swung far beyond and around my right, forcing me to give back, which could not be helped. The Sixty-fifth, with the rest of the brigade, formed a second line, and with the assistance of the artillery compelled the enemy's left to fall back, and we were able to keep our position and hold the enemy in check until the rest of the army came up to our assistance. The regiment lost in this action as follows: Three commissioned officers wounded, and 4 enlisted men killed, 25 wounded, and 15 missing.

Just when the enemy were pressing the regiment the hardest I was severely hit by a musket-ball and was taken off the field. Capt. Andrew Howenstine then took command of the regiment and had only had it a few minutes until he was severely, if not mortally, wounded, and left in the hands of the rebels. Maj. Coulter, of the Sixty-fourth regiment Ohio Veteran Volunteer Infantry, then took command of the Sixty-fifth. Early on the morning of the 30th the army was drawn off and made a rapid march to Franklin, where the Sixty-fifth with the rest of our brigade, arrived about 11 a. m., the enemy closely pressing them the whole way. Immediately on arriving at Franklin our brigade was thrown out in advance of the rest of the army, the Sixty-fifth on the left of the brigade. Very soon the enemy moved on in heavy columns and very rapidly, determined to crush all before them. Our brigade was out something over a quarter of a mile in advance of the works, and only the bravely, energy, and determination of both officers and men saved the brigade from capture or destruction, but after severe fighting with the enemy the Sixty-fifth, with the rest of the brigade, fell back to the works, where they rallied and fought the with the bravery of American soldiers. The enemy's loss was heavy. The loss of the Sixty-fifth in this engagement foots up as follows: One enlisted killed, 16 enlisted men wounded, and 17 enlisted men missing.

The Sixty-fifth remained with the brigade at the works until near 1 o'clock at night, when they were drawn off and took up the march to Nashville, where they arrived the next day about 10 p. m., where we went into camp, and were we are up to date.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Maj. Sixty-fifth Ohio Veteran Volunteers Infantry, Cmdg.

Col. JOSEPH CONRAD, Cmdg. Third brigade.

P. S.–The Sixty-fifth captured 1 rebel stand of colors and about 20 prisoners at Franklin.



HDQRS. SIXTY-FIFTH REGT. OHIO VOL. INFANTRY, Decatur, Ala., January 6, 1865.

SIR: I would respectfully submit the following report of the operations and losses of the Sixty-fifth Regt. Ohio Veteran Volunteer Infantry during the battles before Nashville, Tenn., December 15 and 16, 1864:

Early on the morning of the 15th, pursuant to orders, the regiment broke camp and moved out in front of the works, taking its assigned place in the second line of the brigade to which it belongs. During this day the regiment was not engaged with the enemy, but changed its position several times, advancing and moving to the left, comforting its movements to those of the brigade, and bivouacked at night on the Granny White pike. Shortly after daylight on the morning of the 16th the brigade again advanced, moving toward the Franklin pike, the Sixty-fifth occupying the same position in the lines as on the previous day. Near the Franklin pike, about 11 a. m., the enemy's pickets were driven, and the brigade charged up to with a short distance of the main line of rebel works, under a heavy fire of musketry and artillery, and engaged the enemy briskly. The entire loss sustained by the Sixty-fifth was during this portion of the engagements. In about twenty minutes the brigade was ordered to retire, and it fell back to the rebel skirmish pits, where the Sixty-fifth assisted in the construction of a line of earth-works. Remaining there until about 3.30 p. m. the entire line charged the rebel works (the enemy's left having been turned), and the rebel fell back in utter confusion and rout. A large number of prisoners were captured, but it is impossible to ascertain the number taken by any one regiment in such a charge, in which all the regiments participated equally. The flying enemy was pursued until dark, when the brigade went into camp, the Sixty-fifth resting of the Franklin pike, about seven miles from Nashville.

The following is the number of casualties in the regiment, all December 16: Enlisted men–killed, sergeants, 1 corporals, 2; privates, 1; total, 4. Enlisted men–wounded, sergeants, 1; privates, 5; total, 6. Aggregate, 10.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Maj. Sixty-fifth Ohio Veteran Volunteer Infantry, Cmdg.

[Col. JOSEPH CONRAD, Cmdg. Brigade.]


The following is a list of trophies captured from the enemy by the Sixty-fifth Regt. Ohio Veteran Volunteer Infantry during the present campaign:

Name and company.;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;; Trophy.

First Lieut. Ezekiel Moores, commanding Company A.;; One C. S. sword, belt, and scabbard.

;;;;; Franklin, Tenn., November 30, 1864.

First Sergt. V. H. Gregory, Company E………….;; One C. S. sword and scabbard.

;;;;; Nashville, Tenn., December 16, 1864.

Private Jacob Allion, Company D……………….;; One C. S. sword and scabbard.

;;;;; Franklin, Tenn., November 30, 1864.

First Sergt. A. C. Copeland, Company H…………;; One C. S. sword.

;;;;; Franklin, Tenn., November 30, 1864.

First Sergt. A. C. Copeland, Company H…………;; One battle-flag.

;;;;; Franklin, Tenn., November 30, 1864.

Corpl. Joseph Boley, Company I………………..;; One sword and belt.

;;;;; Franklin, Tenn., November 30, 1864.

Private Joseph Walters, Company I……………..;; Two battle-flags.

;;;;; Franklin, Tenn., November 30, 1864.

First Sergt. John Kanel, Company K…………….;; One C. S. sword, belt, and scabbard.

;;;;; Franklin, Tenn., November 30, 1864.

Private Alexander Heggatt, Company K…………..;; One C. S. sword, belt, and scabbard.

;;;;; Nashville, Tenn., December 16, 1864.

The above swords, belts, and scabbards have been lost or abandoned during the recent pursuit of the enemy on account of lack of transportation or means of carrying them along. The two battle-flags captured by Private Joseph Walters, Company I, were both claimed and taken possession of by officers of the Twenty-third Corps the same evening. The one captured by Sergt A. C. Copeland, as also the sword taken by him, were sent to his home in Guernsey County, Ohio.


Maj. Sixty-fifth Ohio Veteran Volunteer Infantry, Cmdg.

The Union victory at the Battle of Nashville ended Hood's campaign. The 65th pursued the retreating Confederates across the Tennessee River, before going into camp at Nashville.

In June 1865, the 65th advanced from Nashville to Johnsonville, Tennessee. At Johnsonville, the regiment boarded transports and sailed to New Orleans, Louisiana. The organization remained at New Orleans for several weeks before moving to San Antonio, Texas, where the regiment performed garrison duty. The 65th mustered out of service at San Antonio on November 31, 1865. Officials then transported the organization to Camp Chase at Columbus, Ohio, where authorities discharged the 65th's members from the military on January 2, 1866.

During the 65th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry's term of service, 122 men, including eight officers, died on the battlefield. An additional 135 men, including six officers, succumbed to disease or accidents.

Related Entries