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 9, 1862, Captain Charles Woods of the 9th Regiment U.S. Infantry mustered into service the 76th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry at Camp Sherman, at Newark, Ohio. The men in the regiment were to serve three years and consisted primarily of enlistees from Licking County, Ohio.
Upon organizing the regiment, officials ordered the 76th to join Ulysses S. Grant’s force at Fort Donelson. The regiment traveled to Fort Donelson via Paducah, Kentucky and took part in the Battle of Fort Donelson (February 12-16, 1862). On March 6, 1862, the regiment moved to the Tennessee River, soon arriving at Crump’s Landing, where it remained until March 31. On that day, the regiment moved to Adamsville, Tennessee, where it became part of General Lew Wallace’s division. On April 6, the 76th made a quick march to support General Grant’s force at the Battle of Shiloh (April 6-7, 1862). The regiment arrived at Shiloh on the evening of April 6, The regiment also was under fire during the second day of the battle. In late April, the 76th participated in an excursion towards Corinth, Mississippi, driving Confederate forces from their camps. Following the Siege of Corinth, the 76th reported to Memphis, Tennessee, arriving on June 17, 1862. In July, the regiment traveled down the Mississippi River, arriving at Helena, Arkansas on July 24.
On August 16, 1862, the 76th sailed down the Mississippi River, arriving at Milliken’s Bend on August 18, where the regiment captured the camp and equipment of the 31st Regiment Louisiana Infantry along with forty soldiers. The 76th then re-boarded ships and sailed to Haines’s Bluff on the Yazoo River, where portions of the regiment captured four siege guns and two field artillery pieces. On August 27, the 76th returned to Helena, Arkansas, where it remained until early October. In October, officials ordered the regiment to St. Genevieve, Missouri, where the 76th remained one week before moving to Pilot Knob, Missouri. At Pilot Knob, the regiment rested until November 12, 1862, when it traveled to Camp Steele, Mississippi, via St. Genevieve.
On December 21, 1862, the 76th joined General William T. Sherman’s advance on Vicksburg, Mississippi. The regiment traveled by boat to Johnson’s Landing on the Yazoo River, arriving on December 26. The regiment made a brief movement toward Haines’s Bluff, which had been re-occupied by the Confederates. On December 29, the 76th moved to Chickasaw Bayou, where it made up a portion of the Union’s reserve force during the Battle of Chickasaw Bayou (December 28-29, 1862). Following this engagement, the 76th re-boarded ships and sailed to Arkansas Post, where the Battle of Arkansas Post occurred from January 9 to 11, 1863. The regiment did not arrive at the battlefield until the final day of the engagement, but it did play an active part in the battle’s final day, taking and destroying a Confederate position.
On January 14, 1863, the regiment returned to the Mississippi River, where it departed for Young’s Point, Louisiana, on January 23. On February 14, 1863, a lightning strike killed two and wounded four non-commissioned officers in Company B. The 76th spent most of February and March helping to dig a canal so that Union gunboats and transports could safely sail around the Confederate-stronghold of Vicksburg, Mississippi. On April 2, the regiment traveled to Greenville, Mississippi with other Northern forces. On April 7, the Northerners attacked a Confederate force along Deer Creek in Mississippi, routing the Rebels. Reportedly, the Union force destroyed or carried off one million dollars of cotton and corn and also seized numerous cattle, horses, and mules. Three hundred slaves, many of whom enlisted in Northern colored regiments, accompanied the Union forces.
On April 24, 1863, the 76th returned to Young’s Point, before moving to Milliken’s Bend on April 26. On May 2, the 15th Corps, to which the 76th belonged, advanced towards Hard Times Landing, where it arrived on May 6, crossing to Grand Gulf. In early May, the 76th participated in the Battle of Fourteen Mile Creek, Mississippi and in the Battle of Jackson, Mississippi. On May 16, the 76th advanced towards Vicksburg, Mississippi, reaching the outskirts of the city on May 18, where the regiment took up a position in the Union lines, laying siege to the city. Following Vicksburg’s capitulation on July 4, 1863, the 76th participated in the Union pursuit of Confederate General Joseph Johnston’s force. The regiment reached Jackson, Mississippi on July 10, where it performed reconnaissance duties. On July 23, the 76th reported to Big Black Bridge, where the regiment rested for approximately two months.
On September 23, 1863, the 76th embarked from Vicksburg for Memphis, Tennessee, where, on September 30, the regiment traveled by railroad to Corinth, Mississippi. For most of October and November, the 76th patrolled northern Alabama and portions of Tennessee, engaging in several small skirmishes with Confederate forces. By late October, the 76th had arrived at Chattanooga, Tennessee, where the regiment participated in the Battle of Lookout Mountain (November 24, 1863), the Battle of Missionary Ridge (November 25, 1863), and the Battle of Ringgold Gap (November 27, 1863).
Officers of the 76th submitted the following report after the Battle of Ringgold Gap:
Report of Maj. Willard Warner, Seventy-sixth Ohio Infantry.
HDQRS. SEVENTY-SIXTH OHIO VOLUNTEER INFANTRY,
Ringgold, Ga., November 28, 1863.
CAPT.: I have the honor to report the part taken by this regiment in the action of yesterday at this place, as follows:
On reaching the town I was ordered by Gen. Osterhaus to go to the left of the gap of the mountain and move up on the crest of a ridge running at right angles with the main ridge to the crest and then wheel to the right. I moved steadily up the mountain, which was high and steep, with a strong line of skirmishers well to the front, meeting little opposition until near the summit, when a heavy fire was opened on us. We pressed steadily forward, driving the enemy before us, and gained the summit of the ridge, so as to see the enemy going down the opposite slope. At this time the fire on our flanks from the crest of the ridge, which had been annoying us for some minutes before, became very severe. With both flanks of the regiment bent back to oppose this flank fire we held the crest of the hill for twenty minutes. During this time the Fourth Iowa, which had been following us, marching by the flank, came into line on our rear, at my request, and came to our support. There being none of our troops on our right or left near us or in sight, the enemy advanced in heavy force on both flanks, and I was obliged to give the order to retire slowly and fighting, which my regiment did in good order, leaving on the crest Actg. Adjt. Lieut. John R. Miller and 15 enlisted men killed, and bringing off Capt. Ira P. French and Lieut. S. B. Wall, mortally wounded. We retired a few yards to a position where we could protect our flanks and halted. Here Col. Williamson received orders from Gen. Osterhaus to hold the position which we then held, which was done by the three regiments forming a crescent-shaped line, and continually skirmishing with the enemy in front and on both flanks. The ground retired from was covered by our fire, so that our dead and mortally wounded left were not plundered by the enemy. The enemy soon retired, and we moved forward and again occupied the ridge. Here we could see the enemy's train and troops retreating on the road beyond the ridge.
The conduct of officers and men was gallant beyond praise. Capt. French was killed planting the colors. Lieut. Metzgar was wounded, and Capt. Blackburn struck, and 4 of the color guard and Sergeant Preston, of Company C, were wounded; and Private Joseph W. Jennings, Company C, killed while carrying the colors. Lieut. And Actg. Adjt. John R. Miller fell in the front rank with his feet to the foe. Lieut.'s Wall and Lemert were both dangerously wounded while bravery cheering on the men. Our loss was 18 killed and 44 wounded. Our dead all lay on or near the crest of the mountain.
I beg to refer to Col. Williamson, commanding Second Brigade, to whom, on his arrival, I reported for orders, for testimony as to the conduct of my regiment. Our loss was 40 per cent. of men engaged.
After carrying off our wounded, and collecting our dead, I marched down the mountain and reported for orders, the enemy having disappeared.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Maj., Comdg. Seventy-sixth Regt. Ohio Vol. Infantry.
Capt. C. H. KIBLER,
HDQRS. SECOND BRIG., FIRST DIV., 15TH ARMY CORPS,
Ringgold, Ga., November 28, 1863.
Brig. Gen. C. R. WOODS,
Comdg. First Brig., First Div., 15th Army Corps:
GEN.: I feel it to be but an act of justice to the Seventy-sixth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, which was detached from your brigade and fought with mine, to state freely the part it took in the battle of Ringgold.
When the head of my column arrived at the depot I was ordered by Gen. Osterhaus to send a regiment to assist the Seventy-sixth in carrying the heights on the left of the gap, through which the railroad passes. I immediately sent the Fourth Iowa Infantry, which advanced up the hill with the Seventy-sixth Regiment, under a most galling and well-directed fire from the enemy's sharpshooters, to within a short distance of the top, when they fixed bayonets and charged to the summit, where a terrific and almost hand-to-hand engagement ensued. No better fighting was ever done, nor was fighting ever done under more hopeless circumstances. Finally, after losing a large per cent of both regiments (especially of the Seventy-sixth Ohio), they were compelled to retire a few rods on account of a fire on both flanks and having no support, where they held their position until I brought up two other regiments (the Ninth and Twenty-sixth Iowa), when they all charged, and carried the crest of the hill.
Too much cannot be said in praise of the regiment. Many instances of individual bravery might be mentioned if I were acquainted with the parties; as it is, I can only state that Maj. Warner did all that a brave and efficient officer could do (at one time seizing the colors from the fallen color bearer, going to the front and cheering the men forward), and the regiment gallantly supported him.
J. A. WILLIAMSON,
Col., Comdg. 2d Brig., 1st Div., 15th Army Corps.
The 76th continued to patrol eastern Tennessee, northern Georgia, and northern Alabama, until entering winter quarters at Paint Rock, Alabama on January 1, 1864.
On January 4, 1864, approximately two-thirds of the 76th’s members re-enlisted as veteran troops. Officials granted the regiment a leave to return to Ohio. On January 30, the 76th departed Paint Rock for Newark, Ohio, traveling via Nashville, Tennessee, Louisville, Kentucky, and Columbus, Ohio. The regiment reached Newark on February 8, where residents warmly greeted the soldiers. Of the original 962 men who enlisted in February 1862, less than three hundred returned to Newark in February 1864. On March 15, 1864, the 76th reported for duty at Cincinnati, Ohio and then traveled via train through Louisville, Kentucky, Nashville, Tennessee, and Huntsville, Alabama, eventually arriving at the regiment’s former camp at Paint Rock.
Beginning on May 1, 1864, the regiment and its division marched to Chattanooga, Tennessee, arriving on May 6. On May 9, the regiment passed through Snake Creek Gap. As part of General William T. Sherman’s assault on Atlanta, Georgia, the 76th continued to advance, skirmishing with Confederate forces. From May 13 to May 15, Union forces, including the 76th, participated in the Battle of Resaca, Georgia. After driving Confederate soldiers from the battlefield, the Northerners continued to advance and took up a new position near Dallas, Georgia. From May 26 to June 4, 1864, the Battle of Dallas occurred, with the 76th taking an active role in the encounter.
Following the Battle of Dallas, the 76th continued to advance towards Atlanta, advancing through New Hope Church and Acworth. On June 22, 1864, the regiment along with the rest of the 15th Corps, to which the 76th still belonged, reached Kennesaw Mountain, Georgia. The 76th’s members dug rifle pits at the base of the mountain, a position that they held for the remainder of the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain. While the Southerners repulsed all Northern assaults, the Confederates eventually withdrew to protect Atlanta. Following the battle, the 76th advanced with the 15th Corps through Rossville and Decatur, nearing Atlanta on July 20. On July 22, during the Battle of Atlanta, the 76th, along with the 30th Regiment Iowa Infantry recaptured a Union battery that Confederate forces had taken earlier in the day.
Following the Battle of Atlanta (July 22, 1864), the 76th continued to participate in the siege of Atlanta. On July 28, Confederates attacked the 15th Corps, including the 76th, but the Union forces repulsed all three Southern assaults. On August 26, the 76th and the remainder of its division advanced to the West Point and Montgomery Railroad, which the Northern force proceeded to destroy. The division then marched to Jonesboro, Georgia and, on August 30, took up a position along the Flint River. Confederates attacked on August 31, but the Union forces firmly held their position. Known as the Battle of Jonesborough, Captain William Woods issued the following report after the engagement:
Report of Cot. William B. Woods, Seventy-sixth Ohio Infantry, of operations August 31-September 2.
HDQRS. SEVENTY-SIXTH OHIO INFANTRY,
Near Jonesborough, Ga., September 2, 1864.
COL.: I have the honor to report that on the morning of the 31st of August I was ordered by Maj.-Gen. Osterhaus, commanding the First Division, Fifteenth Army Corps, to take the Seventy-sixth Ohio and Twenty-sixth Iowa Infantry, of the First Brigade, under your command, and report with them to Brig.Gen. Hazen, commanding the Second Division, Fifteenth Army Corps. I immediately moved with the regiments designated to the left and reported to Gen. Hazen. These regiments, the Seventy-sixth Ohio, commanded by Maj. E. Briggs, and the Twenty-sixth Iowa, commanded by Capt. J. G. Crozer, rendered valuable assistance in repulsing the attack of the enemy on the 31st ultimo, and on the 1st instant pressed the Ranks of the enemy with a strong line of skirmishers, while attacked in front by the Fourteenth Corps. On the morning of the 2d instant, by command of Maj.Gen. Logan, I reported to you with my command.
During the Operations of these two days both officers and men acted with alacrity, zeal, and courage, and deserve commendation.
I append a list of casualties.
I have the honor to be, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. B. WOODS,
Col. Seventy-sixth Ohio Infantry.
Col. MILO SMITH,
Comdg. First Brig., First Div., 15th Army Corps.
Following Atlanta’s capitulation in early September 1864, the 76th advanced to East Point, Georgia on September 8, 1864, where it spent nearly one month recuperating and reorganizing. On October 4, the regiment left East Point and crossed the Chattahoochie River. Over the next two weeks, the 76th marched through Marietta, Resaca, and Snake Creek Gap, and also had a brief skirmish with Confederate forces at Ship’s Gap on October 16. The next day, the regiment marched to Lafayette and, on October 18, to Summerville, where the regiment mustered out any troops whose term of service had ended. In late October, the regiment marched to Little River, then Cave Springs, and finally encamped at Atlanta.
The 76th Regiment, still part of the 15th Corps, accompanied General Sherman on his March to the Sea. Leaving Atlanta on November 15, 1864, the 15th Corps averaged marching fifteen miles per day, foraging from the countryside as the Northern men advanced. The 15th traveled through McDonough, Indian Springs, Clinton, and Irwintown, then crossed the Oconee River, and marched along the west bank of the Ogeechee River to the mouth of the Cannouchee River, and then moved eastward to Savannah, Georgia, arriving here on December 18, 1864.
The 76th remained at Savannah, performing garrison duty, until January 9, 1865, when it embarked on the gunboat Winona, for Beaufort, South Carolina. From Beaufort, the regiment marched to Gardner’s Corners, South Carolina, where it remained until the start of the Carolinas Campaign in late January 1865. During the campaign, the 76th reached Columbia, South Carolina on February 16, helping to capture the city. The regiment then accompanied the Union forces into North Carolina, reaching Fayetteville, North Carolina on March 12. The 76th next engaged Confederate forces at the Battle of Bentonville, before arriving at Raleigh, North Carolina via Goldsboro, North Carolina. The regiment performed garrison duty at Raleigh until the surrender of Confederate General Joseph Johnston’s army in late April 1865.
On April 30, 1865, the 76th departed Raleigh for Washington, DC, traveling through Richmond, Virginia and Hanover Court House, Virginia. The regiment arrived at Washington on May 23, where it participated in the Grand Review, before departing for Louisville, Kentucky. The regiment mustered out of service at Louisville on July 15, 1865, then traveled to Columbus, Ohio, where the 76th’s members discharged from duty on July 24, 1865.
During its term of service, the 76th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry participated in forty-four battles. While 270 men, including five officers, died from disease or accidents, an additional ninety-one men, including nine officers, received mortal wounds. Beyond these deaths, another 241 men suffered battlefield wounds but survived.
- Battle of Lookout Mountain
- Battle of Missionary Ridge
- Battle of Ringgold Gap
- Camp Sherman
- Battle of Arkansas Post
- Battle of Atlanta
- Battle of Dallas
- Battle of Resaca
- Ulysses S. Grant
- William Tecumseh Sherman
- Ohio Volunteer Infantry
- Battle of Fort Donelson
- Battle of Jonesborough
- Battle of Jonesboro
- Battle of Kennesaw Mountain
- Battle of Shiloh
- Siege of Corinth
- Carolinas Campaign
- Battle of Bentonville
- Lew Wallace
- Joseph Eggleston Johnston
- Battle of Jackson