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73rd 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 73rd Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry. On October 6, 1861, Governor William Dennison, Jr., authorized Chillicothe, Ohio resident Orlando Smith to raise an infantry regiment. Smith recruited many of the volunteers for the 73rd Ohio from Chillicothe residents, with the remainder coming from Ross, Pike, Highland, Pickaway, Athens, and Hocking Counties. The recruits rendezvoused at Camp Logan, near Chillicothe, before mustering into service on December 31, 1861.

The 73rd Ohio remained at Camp Logan until January 24, 1862, when the organization marched, via the western Virginia (modern-day West Virginia) communities of Parkersburg, Grafton, and Fetterman, to New Creek. On February 6, 1862, the regiment participated in an expedition to Romney, Virginia (modern-day West Virginia). As the Union force approached the town, the Confederate defenders fled. The 73rd returned to New Creek and, a few days later, advanced to Moorefield, Virginia (modern-day West Virginia), where the regiment engaged in its first engagement, driving the Confederates from the town. After this victory, the 73rd returned to New Creek, where measles and camp fever killed several men.

On February 19, 1862, the 73rd moved to Clarksburg, Virginia (modern-day West Virginia), where illness continued to rampage through the command. For the next month, one or two men perished from illness most days, and three hundred soldiers were in the hospital at a time. On March 25, 1861, the regiment moved to Weston, Virginia (modern-day West Virginia). Two weeks later, the 73rd advanced to Monterey, Virginia (modern-day West Virginia), where the organization joined General Robert H. Milroy's command. Milroy's force soon marched to McDowell, Virginia (modern-day West Virginia). At this community, officials dispatched a small contingent of men from the 73rd on a foraging mission. Confederate guerrillas captured nearly the entire force and burned the wagons. A second detachment from the 73rd tracked down the Confederates and reclaimed the captured supplies.

On May 8, 1862, Milroy's command, including the 73rd, engaged a Confederate force under the command of General Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson in the Battle of McDowell. Despite greatly outnumbering the Northerners, the Southerners did not attack. The 73rd saw limited action in this engagement. Fighting raged until nightfall, when the Union retreated.

The Northerners retreated to Franklin, Virginia (modern-day West Virginia), where the soldiers joined General John C. Fremont's command. Jackson's Confederates engaged the Union soldiers for ten days, as the Southerners attempted to breach the Northerners' line. Failing in their objective, the Rebels returned to the Shenandoah Valley. While at Franklin, officials placed the 73rd Ohio in a brigade with the 55th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry, the 25th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and the 82nd Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry.

Fremont's command, including the 73rd Regiment, followed the Southerners into Virginia's Shenandoah Valley. Fremont's command chased Jackson's Confederates through Strasburg, Woodstock, Edinburg, Mount Jackson, New Market, and Harrisonburg, before engaging the Rebels at the Battle of Cross Keys on June 10, 1862. In the ensuing battle, the 73rd had eight men killed or wounded. Although the Union lost a significantly larger number of men killed, wounded, or captured, the Southerners withdrew the night of June 10.

Following the Battle of Cross Keys, the 73rd pursued the retreating Confederates to the Shenandoah River before marching down the valley through New Market, Mount Jackson, Strasburg, and Middletown. The regiment remained at Middletown until July 7, 1862, when the organization advanced to Sperryville in eastern Virginia and joined a new Union army, the Army of Virginia, under the command of Major General John Pope. Officials organized this force to protect Washington, D.C., while the main Union command in the Eastern Theater–the Army of the Potomac–advanced on Richmond, Virginia in the Peninsula Campaign. Following the Army of the Potomac's defeat in this campaign, the Confederacy's Army of Northern Virginia embarked on a northward advance. On August 8, 1862, the forefront of the Confederate army engaged the Army of Virginia at the Battle of Cedar Mountain, Virginia. Arriving late to the battlefield, the 73rd saw limited action in this Union victory.

The Southerners soon continued their northern advance, with the Army of Virginia struggling to locate the enemy force. The 73rd camped briefly along the Rapidan River, before searching for the Confederates at Culpepper and White Sulphur Springs. At Rappahannock Station, the Army of Virginia located portions of the Army of Northern Virginia. For ten days, the two sides participated in skirmishing across the Rappahannock River. The 73rd played an active role in these engagements.

The Army of Northern Virginia eventually flanked the Union force, prompting Pope's Army of Virginia to withdraw towards Manassas, Virginia. On August 28, 1862, the two armies confronted each other at Manassas in the Battle of Bull Run II (August 28-30, 1862). Positioned on Bald Hill, the 73rd and the rest of its brigade saved the Union army on the battle's third day, holding off the advancing Confederates, while most of the Union right fled. The 73rd's brigade stood firm, allowing officials time to reform the fleeing Northerners into a new battle line. After darkness fell on August 30, the Army of Virginia withdrew to Centerville, Virginia, before retreating the following day to Washington, D.C.'s defenses. At the Battle of Bull Run II, the 73rd Ohio had 144 men killed or wounded and an additional twenty soldiers captured out of 310 men available for duty at the engagement's beginning.

The 73rd did not participate in the Union victory at the Battle of Antietam (September 17, 1862), remaining at the nation's capitol to defend the city from a feared Confederate attack. The regiment stayed at Washington or nearby Centerville and Fairfax Court House until November 1862. During this time, the organization received 120 new recruits and joined a new brigade with the 134th Regiment New York Infantry, the 136th Regiment New York Infantry, and the 33rd Regiment Massachusetts Infantry.

In November 1862, the new brigade advanced to Thoroughfare Gap and New Baltimore, locations in Virginia, before advancing to Fredericksburg, Virginia, where Union General Ambrose Burnside's Army of the Potomac engaged the Confederacy's Army of Northern Virginia in the Battle of Fredericksburg (December 11-15, 1862). The 73rd saw no combat in this battle, as the organization arrived late on the engagement's final day. After a second attempt to seize Fredericksburg by flanking the Confederate lines, the 73rd entered winter encampment along Aquia Creek in Virginia.

On April 27, 1863, the 73rd, marching with most of the rest of the Army of the Potomac, departed Aquia Creek for Chancellorsville, Virginia, crossing the Rappahannock River at Kelly's Ford and the Rapidan River at Germania. On April 30, 1863, the regiment arrived two miles from Chancellorsville and took up a position near the center of the Union line. On May 1, officials ordered the regiment and the rest of the brigade forward, where the Northerners took up an advanced position between the Union and Confederate lines. This movement prevented the brigade from seeing any major combat that day, while the Rebels flanked the main Union line and destroyed the Northern right. The 73rd remained engaged for the battle's duration and joined the Army of the Potomac's retreat on May 7, 1863. Following this Northern defeat, the 73rd returned to its old campgrounds along Aquia Creek.

The 73rd remained at Aquia Creek until June 12, 1863, when the organization joined the Army of the Potomac's pursuit of the Army of Northern Virginia, which was advancing through western Virginia to Maryland and eventually to Pennsylvania. During the Gettysburg Campaign, the regiment marched through the Virginia communities of Catlett's Station and Manassas, before crossing the Potomac River into Maryland at Edwards's Ferry. The 73rd continued the search for the Confederate army, moving through the Maryland towns of Middletown, South Mountain, and Emmettsburg. On July 1, 1863, the Army of the Potomac located the Army of Northern Virginia at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The 73rd arrived on the battlefield during the afternoon, as other Union forces fled through Gettysburg to escape the advancing Southerners. The regiment and its brigade took up a position on Cemetery Hill, preventing the Southerners from seizing this important geographic feature. The 73rd remained on Cemetery Hill for the battle's final two days, remaining under nearly constant fire. The regiment entered the battle's first day with approximately three hundred enlisted men and officers available for duty. In the engagement, the 73rd had 143 men killed, wounded, or captured.

On July 5, 1863, the 73rd Ohio joined the Union's pursuit of the retreating Confederates. The regiment marched through the Maryland communities of Emmettsburg, Middletown, South Mountain, Hagerstown, Falling Waters, and Berlin, before crossing the Potomac River and entering Virginia. The organization continued its pursuit of the Army of Northern Virginia, traveling through White Plains, New Baltimore, Catlett's Station, before entering camp at Bristow's Station. The 73rd remained at this location until September 25, 1863, when authorities ordered the regiment to Chattanooga, Tennessee to join the Army of the Cumberland.

The 73rd arrived at Bridgeport, Alabama on October 1, 1863, where the regiment performed garrison duty here and at nearby Stevenson, Alabama. On October 24, 1863, the organization advanced towards Chattanooga, reaching the outskirts of the city four days later. As the 73rd and the rest of the Eleventh Corps approached Chattanooga, a Confederate artillery battery on Lookout Mountain opened fire. The Northerners drove in Confederate pickets near the base of Lookout Mountain and entered camp. Later that evening, Confederate General James Longstreet arrived on the field and took up a position on Wauhatchie Heights in the rear of the Eleventh Corps. Officials ordered the corps to reclaim the heights. With the 73rd and a portion of the 83rd Massachusetts leading the attack, the Northerners drove the Confederates from the area. On the next day, General Ulysses S. Grant described the assault as, "one of the most daring feats of arms of the war." In the attack, the 73rd had sixty-five men killed or wounded out of two hundred available for duty. The 73rd's commanding officer issued the following report regarding this engagement:

HDQRS. SEVENTY-THIRD REGT. OHIO VOLUNTEERS, Near Chattanooga, November 2, 1863.

CAPT.: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by this regiment in the actions of October 28 and 29 near Lookout Creek:

In the afternoon of October 28, shortly after leaving Wauhatchie, in our line of march toward Chattanooga, I was ordered to cross the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad and move the regiment forward in line of battle, with its left touching the road, and ascertain whether the enemy were in force in the dense woods in that direction. Having made the dispositions indicated, and massed our front and right flank with skirmishers, we moved forward until our line had passed that of the First Brigade, Col. Buschbeck, with whom I was ordered to connect. Here I halted the battalion while the skirmishers went forward to the banks of Lookout Creek, where they communicated with the skirmishers of the First Brigade, and assured themselves that the enemy was not in force in that immediate vicinity, yet a running fire of skirmishers and an attempt to burn the railroad bridge across the creek evidenced the intention of the enemy to dispute our advance in that direction.

In the meantime, the enemy's batteries on the mountain were vigorously engaged in shelling our position, which, however, resulted to us in no casualties, save the slight wounding of 1 man. After remaining in this position about half an hour, I was ordered to withdraw the regiment and rejoin the brigade, which order I at once obeyed. On the morning of the 29th, while the Second Brigade, with the Seventy-third Ohio in the advance, was moving to the support of Gen. Geary, at about 2 o'clock in the morning, I was ordered to form line of battle on the left of the road and sweep through the woods on the west side of a range of hills that ran parallel with the road on which we had been advancing. I immediately sent forward Capt. Buchwalter, with instructions to deploy his company (A) as skirmishers and move in the direction indicated for the battalion. We then moved forward in line as rapidly as possible, considering the irregularities of the ground, the dense growth of underbrush, and the fallen timber. We had advanced, however, only a few hundred yards when the enemy's skirmishers opened fire upon us from the hill-tops on our left and from our front. I was ordered to wheel the battalion to the left and charge the hill, and was informed that the Thirty-third Massachusetts would connect with me on the left and move up the hill in the same line of battle. I instructed Capt. Buchwalter to move his skirmishers by the left into our new front and advanced in that direction, in executing which order his line received a heavy volley from an unseen force of the enemy on our right, and the gallant captain fell mortally wounded.

We moved up the hill (steep and difficult though it was) for a hundred paces, receiving an irregular fire from the enemy in our front. Then we lay down and rested fora minute. The enemy's fire now indicated their position and the direction of their line of battle. We had yet another hundred paces to climb before we could use our bayonets, and we rose up and moved forward again to the charge, cheering as we went, and driving in the enemy's skirmishers. The heavily increasing fire of the enemy provoked an occasional shot from our own lines in answer. Our skirmishers had been constantly engaged and now their line opened right and left, and we were confronted by the enemy's whole line of battle, sheltered behind formidable breastworks on the crest of the hill. As we came in sight of them in the clear moonlight they lowered their guns and poured into our ranks a most deadly fire. Our boys began to fall rapidly, but the ranks were instantly closed, and steadily, in the face of death, our little battalion kept shouting and charging forward. The firing in our front became so rapid and effective that I commanded the regiment to answer it, which they did handsomely, still, however, continuing to advance.

When we had approached within 2 or 3 rods of the enemy's breastworks there opened upon us a most murderous fire from a force on our right flank, completely enfilading our line. The appearance of this force on our flank seemed to forbid our farther advance. I knew we had no support on our right, and we had not held communication with the Thirty-third Massachusetts at any time during the engagement. Regarding the Seventy-third as the directing battalion, I had paid no attention to our support on the left, and it was impossible for me to learn whether Col. Underwood was advancing or not, while heavy and irregular firing, with cries of "Don't fire upon your own men," coming from the left of our front, only increased the confusion. Under the circumstances I deemed it rash to advance farther until I knew that one, at least, of my flanks was protected. I ordered the regiment to retire a few rods, which they did in perfect order, and lay down again, while I sent Capt. Higgins to ascertain the position and movements of the Thirty-third Massachusetts. Learning that, though they had fallen back, they were again advancing, I was preparing to go forward also, when information came that the Thirty-third had turned the enemy's flank, was gallantly charging him in his breastworks, and driving him from the left crest of the hill.

I immediately charged forward again, took and occupied the works and hill in our own front, from which the enemy rapidly fled. The taking of this hill had not been accomplished, however, without fearful cost. One-half of my line officers and one-third of my men were either killed our wounded in this brief but desperate struggle, and never had men shown higher courage than characterized the work of that morning. A full report of the casualties has already been forwarded. I cannot, however, neglect to mention specially the lamented Capt. Buchwalter (wounded and since dead), whose chivalrous spirit and high, manly, and soldierly qualities won all hearts, and gave promise of a brilliant and useful career.

Capt. Barnes, Lieut.'s McCommon, Hawkins, Talbott, and Martin were among the wounded, and deserve honorable mention. They behaved most gallantly in the fight, and their scars will be remembrances of duty bravely done. But where all acted so nobly it were invidious not to award them a just meed of praise. Those who survived unscathed were no less courageous than their fallen comrades. Capt. Higgins, acting major, behaved with his accustomed intrepidity, being always in the thickest of the fight cheering the men forward. Lieut.'s Hinson, Kinney, Downing, Stone, Peters and Davis, all commanding companies, were connstantly with their men, inspiring them with a sublime courage, and leading them with soldiery determination against that wall of fire. Lieut. Hosler, acting adjutant, assisted me efficiently, and the non-commissioned officers and the men in the ranks did all that I could ask. With daring, dauntless spirits, they attacked an enemy vastly superior in numbers and holding a fortified and almost impregnable position, and drove them from that position by the most heroic and desperate effort. It was an achievement worthy the best men of a veteran army, and must add new luster to our already honorable names, and make it a consideration of just and honest pride to belong to the brave old Seventy-third.

I have the honor, captain, to subscribe myself, your obedient servant,

SAM'L H. HURST, Maj., Cmdg. Regt.

Capt. B. F. STONE, Acting Assistant Adjutant-Gen.

The 73rd remained on the Wauhatchie Heights until November 22, 1863, when the organization advanced forward. On the following day, Union forces attacked the Confederate line on Orchard Knob, but the 73rd remained in the reserve, seeing no combat. On November 25, 1863, officials ordered the regiment to the Union left to aid General William T. Sherman's assault on Missionary Ridge. The organization helped secure the heights for the North and constructed entrenchments well into the night. The 73rd joined the Union pursuit of the retreating Confederates, following the Southerners as far as Ringgold, Georgia.

On November 28, 1863, the Eleventh Corps, including the 73rd, departed Chattanooga for Knoxville, Tennessee, where General Longstreet's army had besieged the city's Union garrison. Upon reaching Louisville, Tennessee, eighteen miles from Knoxville, the corps discovered that the Confederates had withdrawn, and the Northerners returned to Chattanooga, arriving on December 17, 1863. After the expedition towards Knoxville, the 73rd's commanding officer issued the following report:

HDQRS. SEVENTY-THIRD OHIO VOLUNTEER INFANTRY. Lookout Valley, Tennessee, December 22, 1863.

CAPT.: I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by the Seventy-third Ohio Regt. in the late campaign beginning with the battle of Chattanooga and ending in the relief of Knoxville, and the return of the corps to the old camping ground:

On the afternoon of November 23 when the army moved forward and engaged the enemy in front of Chattanooga, the Eleventh Corps holding the left of our line, this regiment was massed in column and I was ordered to support the Fifty-fifth Ohio, which engaged the enemy at the point where our line of battle crossed the Memphis and Charleston Railroad. We were held thus in reserve until about 12 o'clock, November 24. The enemy's sharpshooters kept up a very annoying fire along the front of the Second Division, and could not be dislodged by our skirmishers. A small creak ran between the two skirmish lines, and the enemy appeared to hold a strong position on its opposite bank. I was ordered to cross this creek near its mouth and charge the enemy in the woods, driving them from the front off our division lines, or, at least, developing their position and strength. Throwing the regiment across the creek, I sent forward Companies A and B as skirmishers, and charged on the double-quick. We drove in their skirmishers on the left and gained the rear of their rifle-pits, cutting off about 30 men from their supports. These men at once gave themselves up as prisoners. We gained a position behind the embankment of the East Tennessee railroad almost 300 yards from its crossing the Memphis road. Here we engaged the enemy's sharpshooters in a clump of houses, and being ordered not to go farther forward, we remained in this advanced position during the night.

Early next morning, in conjunction with the skirmishers of the Second Brigade, we charged the enemy's skirmishers again, and drove them a fourth of a mile, the left of our division moving forward and holding the ground thus gained. In these charges the offices and men of the regiment behaved with veteran coolness and courage, sustaining their high character for gallantry in action.

This regiment took no further part in the battle at Chattanooga, but with the brigade moved up the river to the Chickamauga from which place on the following day we took up the line of march in pursuit of the retreating foe. From Graysville we advanced with the brigade to Parker's Gap, and thence to Red Clay, where we assisted in the destruction of the railroad. Subsequently the regiment filled its place in the brigade in the march through East Tennessee to the relief of Knoxville, advancing as far as Louisville. The men bore with a heroic spirit the rigors of this trying campaign. May of them were without blankets and some without shoes, but cheered by the welcome of loyal citizens and prompted by their own high soldierly spirit, they did their duty well.

The casualties during the campaign were 1 wounded, 1 died during the march, and 1 missing.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

SAML. H. HURST, Maj., Comdg. Seventy-third Ohio Volunteer Infantry.

Capt. B. F. STONE. Acting Assistant Adjutant-Gen.

In early January 1864, many of the 73rd's members reenlisted. The re-enlistees departed for a thirty-day furlough to Ohio on January 10, 1864 and arrived at Chillicothe, Ohio five days later. The regiment returned for active duty in late February 1864 and entered camp in the vicinity of Chattanooga, Tennessee.

After the 73rd returned from its furlough, officials assigned the organization to the Third Brigade, Third Division of the Twentieth Corps. On May 2, 1864, the Twentieth Corps embarked upon General William T. Sherman's Atlanta Campaign. The ultimate goal of this mission was the Union occupation of Atlanta, Georgia. In the campaign, the 73rd Ohio fought in the Battles of Buzzard's Roost, Resaca, Dallas, New Hope Church, Pine Mountain, Kennesaw Mountain, Peachtree Creek, and Atlanta. On September 2, 1864, the Union military occupied Atlanta, with two companies of the 73rd Ohio being the first Northern units to enter the city. In the Atlanta Campaign, which essentially lasted 120 days, the 73rd remained under fire for 103 of those days. Of the nearly 350 members of the regiment who embarked upon the campaign, 218 of them were either killed, wounded, or captured. The 73rd's commanding officer issued the following report at the end of the Atlanta Campaign:

HDQRS. 73D REGT. OHIO VETERAN VOL. INFANTRY, Atlanta, Ga., September 23, 1864.

CAPT.: I have the honor, in obedience to orders, to report the operations of this command from the 2d day of May, 1864, to the 20th of September, 1864:

On the 2d of May the regiment, with 318 guns left its camp in Lookout Valley and, joining the march of the brigade, moved to Gordon's Mills, on a branch of the Chickamauga, where we halted for a day; again moving forward, we halted near Ringgold and sent to the rear our surplus baggage; then we moved to Leet's farm, and from there across Taylor's Ridge, via Gordon's Springs, and, with the Army of the Cumberland, confronted the enemy at Buzzard Roost. Here we skirmished for two days, losing 1 man. Withdrawing, we moved with the brigade, via Snake Creek Gap, upon Resaca; assisted in driving the enemy into his works at this place, and having developed his position and engaged him with slight loss, on the 15th of May we moved with brigade to the extreme left of our army and joined in the attack and assault of that day, which engagement resulted to us in killed and wounded in the loss of 56 men. A full report of the part taken in that engagement by this command has been duly forwarded.* On the following day the regiment joined in the pursuit of the enemy, crossing Connesauga and Coosawattee Rivers, and moving in a southerly direction. On the 18th We again encountered the enemy on a wooded hill, across which our route lay. On the following day we engaged the enemy's skirmishers, who fell back toward Cassville. This regiment skirmished in the direction of Kingston, and discovered the enemy in strong force in our immediate front. We then fell back with the brigade and threw up temporary defenses. Subsequently we made a movement to the left and advanced to the seminary at Cassville; drove the enemy's skirmishers into the village, and opened fire on a column of troops passing through the place. Later we supported a section of artillery on Seminary Hill, and kept up a brisk skirmish until relieved by Col. Coburn, commanding Second Brigade. We rested in this vicinity until the 23d of May, when we again joined the column on the march; moved down and across the Etowah River, leaving Allatoona Mountains on our left, and crossing Burnt Hickory Ridge, met the enemy near Dallas and participated in the battle fought by the Twentieth Corps on the 25th of May. In this engagement this command lost 72 officers and men in killed and wounded. After this the regiment joined in the successive movements to the left, and on the 15th of June in support of the First Brigade in a charge on the enemy's position near Pine Mountain. On the 19th and 22d, successively, we were joined with the brigade in charging the enemy and driving him within his main works near Kenesaw, in which charges and skirmishes the regiment lost 36 men killed and wounded. On the evening of the 22d of June we were moved to the right of the corps, on the Powder Springs road, where we remained several days, and until the enemy fell back from Marietta, when we were advanced to the vicinity of the Chattahoochee River. Here we had ten days of much needed rest. On the 17th of July we were thrown across the Chattahoochee and moved toward Buck Head. On the 20th of July we moved early and crossed Peach Tree Creek in the rear of Gen. Newton's position, occupying a place in the second line. My regiment supported and relieved the Twenty-sixth Wisconsin during the engagement of this day, with a loss to the command of 18 officers and men. On the 22d we were again advanced as the enemy fell back to the defenses of Atlanta. My command occupied temporarily a number of positions during the investment of this placed with a loss of 15 men killed and wounded. Falling back with the brigade to Turner's Ferry, when the main army moved upon Jonesborough, we came forward again and on the 4th of September took a position within the defenses of Atlanta, where we have been encamped to the present time. The campaign has been a severe one, the loss to this command in killed and wounded alone being 210 men and 8 officers, but the courage, the gallantry, the endurance, and determination of officers and men alike have proven their high soldierly capabilities, while the confident spirit of our troops gives full assurance that to our noble army Atlanta is but the "Gate City."

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

SAML. H. HURST, Lieut.-Col., Comdg. 73d Ohio Volunteer Infantry.

Capt. C. H. YOUNG, Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., 3d Brig., 3d Div., 20th Corps.

The 73rd spent the next ten weeks constructing fortifications at Atlanta and carrying out an occasional foraging expedition. On November 15, 1864, the regiment embarked upon General Sherman's "March to the Sea." The command engaged in no noteworthy battles or skirmishes, and its members did not fire a single shot at an enemy foe until reaching Savannah, Georgia, where the 73rdserved on the siege lines. Upon the Union's seizure of Savannah on December 21, 1864, the regiment entered encampment within the city's confines. At the conclusion of the "March to the Sea," the 73rd's commanding officer issued the following report:

HDQRS. SEVENTY-THIRD Regt. OHIO VET. VOL. INFTY., Savannah, Ga., December 24, 1864.

CAPT.: In obedience to orders I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of my command from the time of the occupation of Atlanta to the present date:

This command marched into and occupied a position in the defenses of Atlanta on the 2d day of September, 1864. From that time to the 21st of October the regiment performed picket-duty and worked upon the new line of fortification projected for the defense of the city. On the 21st of October the regiment joined in an expedition commanded by Col. Daniel Dustin. The expedition went about twenty miles due east, collected over 800 wagons loads of forage, and returned to camp at Atlanta in four days without loss to this command. On the 15th day of November, 1864, this regiment moved from its camp in the defenses of Atlanta and began the march across the State of Georgia, occupying its position in the brigade in the line of march until it reached the defenses of Savannah without a single casualty in the command. The regiment assisted in destroying the railroad at Social Circle and at Madison.

My command subsisted for thirty days almost wholly upon the products of the country through which we passed.

I have to submit the following estimate of animals captured by my command: 10 horses, 20 mules, 6 head beef-cattle.

I have also to submit and estimate of commissaries and forage captured and used by the men and animals of my command; 200 hogs and pigs, 40 sheep, 2,000 chickens and turkeys, 100 bushels meal, 100 gallons molasses, 1,000 pounds honey, 300 bushels sweet potatoes, 2,000 pounds flour, 1,000 pounds sugar, 300 bushels corn, and 1 ton of rough forage.

The expedition was in nowise severe on this command. The health of the men was excellent throughout the campaign.

I have the honor, captain, to subscribe myself your obedient servant,

SAML. H. HURST, Lieut. Col., Cmdg. Seventy-third Ohio Vet. Vol. Infantry.

Capt. C. H. YOUNG, Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., 3d Brig., 3d Div., 20th Army Corps.

On January 2, 1865, the 73rd joined General Sherman's Carolinas Campaign. The regiment spent most of the expedition foraging, corduroying roads, and marching, although the Ohioans did engage Confederate cavalry at the Cape Fear River on January 12, 1865 and a portion of General William J. Hardee's command on January 16, 1865. After these small engagements, the 73rd experienced a period of relative calm as the organization continued its advance through South Carolina and into North Carolina. The regiment's next notable engagement occurred at Averysboro, North Carolina, with the Northerners slowly forcing the Confederates from the battlefield. The 73rd also participated in the Battle of Bentonville, North Carolina (March 19-21, 1865). In this Union victory, the regiment helped repulse several Confederate attacks, while having five enlisted men killed and four officers and twenty-one enlisted men wounded.

On March 24, 1865, Sherman's command advanced to Goldsboro, North Carolina. On April 10, 1865, the 73rd advanced to Raleigh, North Carolina, where the organization remained until April 25, when Sherman's army advanced to Holly Springs, North Carolina. At this location, Sherman negotiated the surrender of Confederate General Joseph Johnston's army, bringing the Carolinas Campaign to a conclusion. During the campaign, the commanding officer of the 73rd issued the following report:

HDQRS. SEVENTY-THIRD OHIO VETERAN VOL. INFANTRY, Near Goldsborough, N. C., March 28, 1865.

CAPT.: In obedience to orders, I have the honor to submit a report of the part taken by this command in the operations of the late campaign, including the engagements of the 16th and 19th instant:

On the 16th day of January, 1865, this regiment was encamped at Fort Hardee, Beaufort District, S. C. On the following day it was moved to Hardeeville, on the Charleston and Savannah Railroad. Here it remained in camp until the 29th day of January, when, with the brigade, it was moved to Robertsville.

On the 1st day of February the regiment was engaged in work upon the road from Sister's Ferry to Robertsville, and on the 2d marched to Lawtonville. Pursuing the line of march northward, we crossed the Big and Little Salkehatchie Rivers and reached the Charleston and Augusta Railroad near Graham's Turnout on the 7th of February. On the 8th, 9th, and 10th we were engaged in destroying the railroad from Graham's Turnout west to White Pond. On the 11th we marched back to Williston and northward to the Edisto River. On the 13th we crossed the North Edisto, and on the 16th arrived in front of Columbia. Moving up the Saluda River we crossed that stream and the Broad River, and on the 20th [21st] marched through Winnsborough. Another day brought us to the Catawba River, after crossing which our advance was greatly impeded by heavy rains. March 3, we reached Chesterfield, and on the 7th passed through Cheraw and crossed the Great Pedee. We reached Fayetteville, N. C., March 11, and rested till the 13th, when we crossed the Cape Fear. On the 14th we joined the brigade on a reconnaissance to Black River and engaged the enemy in a sharp skirmish. On the 15th the line of march northward was resumed, and the following day we met the enemy near Averasborough. In the engagement of the 16th this regiment held the right center of the brigade line and skirmished heavily. Two to four companies were constantly on the skirmish line. Ten prisoners were brought in. The casualties in the regiment were 9 enlisted men wounded. On the 19th, when this command reached the battlefield, it was massed in reserve for an hour, and then with the brigade was moved to the right and forward against the enemy in an extensive pine wood. This regiment was the right center of the first line of the brigade, and for one to two hours received and delivered a most murderous fire. The command was saved from annihilation by the men lying down. The darkness of night put an end to the conflict, when we retired 200 paces, built temporary works and rested for the night. Meanwhile the enemy withdrew, leaving his dead upon the field. The loss of my command in this engagement was 5 enlisted men killed, 4 officers and 20 enlisted men wounded. On the following day we were moved to the extreme left of our army lines, but were not again engaged. On the 22d we were drawn off and moved toward Goldsborough, which place we reached on the 24th.

In the engagements of the 16th and 19th instant, as in all the duties of the campaign, the officers and men of this command evinced the highest qualities of soldiers-promptness, courage, and endurance.

My command subsisted almost wholly upon the country. An approximate estimate of forage, commissaries, and animals obtained in the country is herewith forwarded.

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

SAML. H. HURST, Lieut. Col. Cmdg. Seventy-third Ohio Veteran Vol. Infty.

Capt. H. G. H. TARR, Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., 3d Brig., 3d Div., 20th Army Corps.


Estimate of commissaries, forage, and animals obtained by the Seventy-third Regt. during the campaign of Sherman's army in the Carolinas, from the 16th of January to the 25th of March, 1865, in obedience to an order to live upon the country.


Meal……………………………… bushels….. 200

Flour………………………………pounds…… 4,000

Bacon………………………………..do…….. 10,000

Sugar………………………………..do…….. 1,000

Salt…………………………………do…….. 1,000

Sweet potatoes………………………bushels….. 100

Chickens and turkeys…………………………… 1,000

Forage: Corn……………………………….bushels….. 200

Corn blades………………………….tons……. 5

Hay………………………………….ton……. 1

Animals: Mules………………………………………… 20

Horses……………………………………….. 10

Respectfully submitted.

SAML. H. HURST, Lieut. Col., Cmdg. Seventy-third Ohio Veteran Vol. Infty.

P. S. I also estimate 100 bales cotton burned by men of my command. Casualties.

SAML. H. HURST, Lieut. Col., Cmdg. Seventy-third Ohio Veteran Vol. Infty.

In late April or early May 1865, the 73rd departed North Carolina for Washington, D.C., where the regiment participated in the Grand Review on May 24, 1865. Officials soon dispatched the 73rd to Louisville, Kentucky. The organization traveled by train to Parkersburg, West Virginia, before boarding boats and sailing down the Ohio River to Louisville. At Louisville, the regiment mustered out of service on July 20, 1865. The soldiers proceeded to Camp Dennison, near Cincinnati, Ohio, where officials discharged the 73rd's members on July 24, 1865.

During the 73rd Ohio's service, at least 171 men, including four officers, died from wounds. An additional 150 men, including one officer, died from disease or other causes.

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