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92nd Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry

1862 -1865

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 92nd Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Principally volunteers from Marietta, Ohio formed the 92nd Infantry in the summer of 1862 at Camp Marietta. The regiment was originally under the command of Colonel W.R. Putnam, but by October 1, 1862, Colonel N.H. Van Vorhes had assumed command.

Soon, the 92nd moved to Gallipolis, Ohio, where it protected the state’s southern border from a Confederate advance up the Kanawha River Valley. While here, the men made two expeditions into Virginia. Upon arrival back to Gallipolis after the second expedition, the 92nd formally mustered into the Union military.

On October 7, 1862, the men of the 92nd advanced towards Point Pleasant, Virginia. Joining a Union force under the command of General J.D. Cox, the 92nd helped drive Confederates out of the Kanawha River Valley. As the regiment pursued the retreating Southerners, the 92nd joined General High Ewing's brigade. The 92nd next spent several months guarding Loupe and Alexander Creeks, while being stationed at Camp Vinton in western Virginia.

The 92nd remained at Camp Vinton until January 1, 1863, when the organization transferred to General George Crook’s command and traveled to Tompkins Farm, which was located on the New River in western Virginia (now West Virginia). The men soon marched to Colesworth, West Virginia and then to Nashville, Tennessee, where they stayed camped until February 17, 1863. The 92nd next advanced to Carthage, Tennessee. During these winter marches, the regiment lost ninety six men principally due to the cold and to the exposure. To honor the dead, on May 9, 1863, Colonel D.B. Fearing ordered, “That the commandants of companies make proper details to secure the cemetery from invasion and beautify the grounds by sod and flower and evergreen and bush making it a fit resting place for the noble fellows that there are laid."

In May 1863, the 92nd Regiment marched to Murfreesboro, Tennessee, where the organization joined the 14th Corps of the Army of the Cumberland. On June 24, the 92nd departed Murfreesboro for Hoover Gap. With the 18th Kentucky and 21st Indiana, the 92nd was to hold the gap against a Confederate assault. On June 25, the Confederate attack came. Under the direction of General George Thomas, the Union force held the gap and drove the Confederates into the valley below. In the attack, the 92nd suffered one man killed and a few others wounded.

Following the engagement at Hoover Gap, the 92nd entered encampment at Big Springs. During July and August 1863, the regiment primarily operated in the mountains of southern Tennessee and northern Georgia, harassing Confederate forces in the vicinity of Chattanooga Tennessee. On September 19 and 20, 1863, the 92nd participated in the Battle of Chickamauga in northern Georgia. Following this Northern defeat, the regiment served as the rearguard for the Union force as it retreated to Chattanooga. Lieutenant Colonel Douglas Putnam described the 92nd’s performance at Chickamauga, thusly:

HDQRS. NINETY-SECOND REGT. OHIO VOL. INFTY., Chattanooga, Tenn., September 26, 1863.

CAPT.: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the Ninety-second Regt. Ohio Volunteer Infantry in the battles of Saturday and Sunday, September 19 and 20, 1863:

At daylight on the 19th of September the Ninety-second Regt. Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Col. B. D. Fearing commanding, moved with the brigade from bivouac on the Chattanooga road, about 7 miles west of Ringgold, passed Crawfish Spring about 7 a. m., and halted for breakfast about 2 miles from the spring. About 10 a. m. the regiment moved with the Eleventh and Thirty-sixth Regt.'s Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Eighteenth Kentucky Volunteer Infantry, and Twenty-first Indiana Battery up the road about one-half mile, and formed in double column in the second column of the brigade for battle. About 11 a. m. the brigade was moved forward and up the Chattanooga road, the Ninety-second being ordered to follow the battery. As the regiment was moving along the road south of Kelly's house, it was ordered by Maj.-Gen. Reynolds, commanding division, to form line of battle and advance into the woods east of the road, supported by the Eighteenth Kentucky Regt., the remainder of the brigade passing along the road. The regiment, numbering in effective strength about 400 men, engaged a line of the enemy, relieving a regiment of Gen. Palmer's division, and meeting a very severe fire of musketry and shell, under which they remained until 3 p. m., holding the enemy in check and pushing his line back some distance. A brigade of Gen. Johnson's division charged the woods on our right about 3 o'clock, causing the enemy's cross-fire to cease. About this time Col. Fearing was wounded and carried from the field, and the command, so skillfully commanded by him, fell to me. At 4 o'clock, the regiment being nearly out of ammunition, and the Thirty-sixth and Eleventh Ohio Volunteer Infantry having returned, the Ninety-second Ohio Volunteer Infantry was relieved by the Thirty-sixth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and I took a position in support of the brigade. Soon after this the brigade, being now all together, changed front to the right, and charged through the woods, the Ninety-second Ohio Volunteer Infantry being the second line. The brigade of the enemy (Law's brigade of Hood's division, Longstreet's corps) were routed and driven back. The regiment then went into position with the brigade, on the right of the woods, where we fought in the morning, and about dark went into bivouac on the Chattanooga road, south of Kelly's house. The regiment lost in the battle of Saturday 5 men killed, 3 officers and 50 men wounded, and 5 men missing. The smallness of the loss was due to the very skillful management of Col. Fearing, and his coolness and bravery while under fire and in command.

Early on the morning of Sunday, the 20th, the regiment moved forward into the woods in front of their bivouac, and were placed behind a breastwork of logs and wood facing south, and kept up a brisk fire upon the enemy's line until noon, when firing almost ceased, and the regiment was drawn back and lay in double column unengaged till about 4 p. m. About this time the regiment moved with the brigade up the Chattanooga road, a short distance above Kelly's house, when line of battle was formed facing southwest. The line was then faced by the rear rank to the northeast and ordered to charge a line of the enemy drawn up in solid column across the road. The Ninety-second Regt. led the charge on the right, now become the left, and with the other regiments drove the rebels across the field and over the hill and came out at a battery stationed on the hill north of the woods, belonging to Granger's corps. After receiving a volley from the enemy, with bayonets fixed and a shout, [we] rushed forward and in utter confusion forced them to abandon a part of a battery and throw away their arms. A colonel and several officers were taken prisoners by my men. After resting in line of battle for an hour and a half the regiment moved with the brigade down the road to a point about 2 miles from Rossville, where we bivouacked for the night. We lost in the charge 3 commissioned officers wounded, 12 men wounded, 15 men missing. We sent back a number of prisoners, who were taken to Chattanooga. The entire loss of the two days' fight was as follows:

Killed, 6; wounded, 62; officers, 6; missing, 20.* Maj. Golden assisted me in every possible manner and did himself credit. Capt.'s Grosvenor and Whittlesey are especially deserving of notice for bravery and coolness and for the manner in which their companies were managed. After Col. Fearing was wounded, Capt. Grosvenor took command of the left wing. Maj. Golden going to the right. I fell under obligations to Adjt. George B. Turner, whose assistance was invaluable to me, and whose coolness and forethought were manifested on every occasion. He is deserving of especial notice and commendation. Surgeon Colton was with us whenever it was possible for him to reach us, and left nothing undone for the comfort of the wounded. Quartermaster Priestley showed himself to be a brave man, and was on the field attending to the wants of the men.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

DOUGLAS PUTNAM, JR., Lieut.-Col., Comdg.

Capt. W. B. CURTIS, Assistant Adjutant-Gen., Third Brigade.

Confederate forces laid siege to the Northern soldiers at Chattanooga from late September 1863 to late November 1863. Facing starvation, the Northern command sought to break a hole in the Confederate siege lines on October 26, 1863 to open up a Union supply line. The 92nd led the assault, helping to secure a tenuous route for supplies.

On November 25, 1863, the 92nd participated in the Union assault upon the Confederate lines on Missionary Ridge. The regiment suffered horrendous casualties in this Union victory, including thirty-three percent of the organization’s officers and ten percent of the enlisted men in a span of just twenty minutes. Still, the Northern military succeeded in driving the Southerners from the ridge, essentially ending the Siege of Chattanooga.

Following the Siege of Chattanooga, the commanding officer of the 92nd issued the following report:

HDQRS. NINETY-SECOND REGT. OHIO VOL. INFANTRY, Chattanooga, Tennessee, December 3, 1863. CAPT.: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the Ninety-second Regt. Ohio Volunteer Infantry in the battles before Chattanooga, November 23, 24, and 25:

On Monday, November 23, 1863, at 2 p. m., the Ninety-second Regt. Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Lieut.-Col. Putnam commanding, with the Thirty-sixth and Eleventh Ohio Volunteer Infantry and Eighty-second Indiana Volunteer Infantry, moved to the front, on the left of the Rossville road, driving back the enemy's pickets, and advancing our own line some distance. In this movement the Thirty-sixth Ohio Volunteer Infantry occupied the left and the Eleventh Ohio Volunteer Infantry the right of the front line, the Ninety-second Ohio Volunteer Infantry the left and the Eighty-second Indiana Volunteer Infantry the right of the second line.

We then retired some distance, halted, and remained in double column until 5 p. m., when we were re-enforced by the other regiments of the brigade, the Thirty-first and Seventeenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and the order of the brigade was changed, the Thirty-first Ohio Volunteer Infantry being placed on the left, in front of us, and the Thirty-sixth moving to the rear as a reserve.

In this position we remained until 10 a. m. on Wednesday, November 25, when the Ninety-second Ohio Volunteer Infantry, with the other regiments of the brigade, moved in double column in eight ranks, passing to the left of the line of battle of the Fourth Army Corps; then moved front to the ground occupied by the enemy on Monday. Here the Ninety-second Ohio Volunteer Infantry were placed in the left of the front line, the Thirty-sixth Ohio Volunteer Infantry being on our immediate right.

After deploying two companies (A and B) as skirmishers in front of the battalion, we remained at rest, in double column, until 3 p. m. We now moved forward to the edge of a wood, where we deployed and advanced in line of battle. Emerging from the woods near a white house we met the enemy's fire of shot and shell from his batteries on Missionary Ridge. The regiment then charge upon a run over an open plain of half a mile, preserving their line intact until they reached the foot of Missionary Ridge. In crossing the plain our colors were shot down and 3 men wounded by shell. We passed beyond the plunging fire from the enemy's cannon only to meet a more deadly fire from their musketry, which had us at short range. The Second Brigade, Col. Van Derveer, had unexpectedly halted in the enemy's earth-works back on the plain, thus leaving our left without a support. The regiment moved up a ravine, the top of which was crowned on either side by the enemy's rifle-pits, which, owing to the peculiarity of the ground, enfiladed our position from right and left.

Nothing could exceed the determined courage of the men, who, at this juncture, exhausted by a three-quarter mile race, still pushed up the steep ascent in the face of this deadly storm. As we neared the summit, within close pistol shot of the still contending foe, Col. Putnam, while leading and cheering forward his men, fell severely wounded. The command of the regiment now devolved upon me. The enemy now abandoned their guns in our front and gave way in all directions, the heavier force fleeing along the summit of the ridge to the fort on the left of Van Derveer's brigade. Here they rallied and made a most stubborn effort to regain the ridge. Our colors again fell at this point, but were again recovered. The firing continued until dark, when it ceased and the enemy withdrew from our front.

I assembled the regiment at dark and formed on the ridge for supper, after which we returned with the brigade to the north side of Missionary Ridge and bivouacked for the night.

The entire loss in this engagement was: Killed, 10 men and 2 officers; wounded, 51 men and 3 officers.

The officers killed were Capt. Whittlesey and Lieut. Townsend. The regiment has suffered an irreparable loss in these brave officers. They fell while ascending the hill near to where Col. Putnam was wounded.

Capt. Whittlesey, who had won applause for his gallantry at Chickamauga, exposing his life and cheering on his men with the same heroic bearing which had ever distinguished him.

Adjutant Turner, who was wounded in the struggle on the left, and has since died, exhibited on every occasion a coolness and presence of mind which I have never seen surpassed.

We drove the enemy from two pieces of artillery in our immediate front, which we fully possessed, but left without a guard to engage the enemy, who had rallied at our left and was trying to regain the heights. A knowledge of the capture of these pieces I gained from my own observation. Several prisoners were also captured.

During this fight, if any officer behaved badly, it did not come to my knowledge.

On the following morning, November 26, there being now no field officer with us, Capt. Wheeler, just arrived from Nashville, came to us at 7 a. m., and assumed command of the regiment.

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

EDWARD GROSVENOR, Capt., Ninety-second Regt. Ohio Volunteer Infantry.

Capt. CURTIS, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.

After a brief pursuit of the retreating Confederates, the 92nd returned to Chattanooga, where the regiment entered winter encampment. On February 22, 1864, while still stationed at Chattanooga, the 92nd joined the 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, 14th Army Corps.

Beginning in early May 1864, the 92nd Ohio embarked upon General William T. Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign. The regiment fought in most major engagements of the campaign, including the Battles of Rocky Face Ridge, Resaca, Dallas, Pine Mountain, Atlanta, Utoy Creek, and Jonesborough. The Atlanta Campaign concluded on September 2, 1864, with the Union’s capture of Atlanta.

During the Atlanta Campaign, Colonel Benjamin D. Fearing, the 92nd Ohio’s commanding officer, filed the following reports:

HDQRS. NINETY-SECOND REGT. OHIO VOL. INFANTRY, Camp in the Field, August 16, 1864. SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the Ninety-second Regt. Ohio Volunteer Infantry during the campaign of the past three months now ending:

Breaking up our camps at Ringgold, Ga., on the 7th of May, stripped of all incumbrance of material and men, we marched with the brigade to and through Tunnel Hill and sat down in front of the enemy's stronghold at Dalton. Moving with the brigade on the 12th day of May to the right, along the base of John's Mountain through Snake Creek Gap, we first met the enemy on the morning of the 14th of May. In line of battle, in the first line, on the left of the brigade, we followed the enemy, steadily pushing him back with our heavy lines of skirmishers, until he was forced to take refuge in his works in front of Resaca. Gaining the ridge in plain view of the rebel works, I had portions of my command engaged during the afternoon advantageously posted as sharpshooters. In the day's operations we had 2 men killed and 2 wounded. Taken from the line in the evening, on the morning of the 15th we moved to the right, and on the morning of the 16th we entered Resaca with the brigade. We followed the retreating enemy over the Oostenaula River and to the banks of the Etowah, where with the army we rested. Again we moved forward on the 23d of May, fording the Etowah, crossing the Euharlee, and marched to Raccoon Creek, returning with the brigade to escort a supply train from Kingston to the army in the field. Returning we joined our division near Dallas, Ga., and with the brigade acted as train guard for the corps train until the 11th of June at Acworth, Ga., when we were relieved and went into the front line, taking part in the movement that forced the enemy to evacuate his works on Pine Knob. Swinging forward through the blinding rain and dense thickets on the morning of the 18th of June, in reserve to the brigade, we saw the enemy driven from their last line of works north of Kenesaw Mountain. Skirmishers from my command took an active part on the 19th of June in forcing the enemy from the valley to take shelter among the rocks on the side of Kenesaw. During the sharp and protracted skirmish of the 19th and 20th I had 1 officer wounded, 1 man killed and 1 man wounded.

It may not be out of place to mention here the operations of the skirmish line from my command on the 21st of June, as the amount of ammunition expended during that tour of duty may serve to exhibit the pertinacity of some of the many skirmishers, they being the most important feature in this remarkable campaign. The detail from the command was 200 men, under the command of Lieut.-Col. Morrow, Ninety-second Ohio. It was while the brigade was operating around the base of Kenesaw Mountain explicit orders were given the officers in charge of the lines that they were to permit no firing unless it was absolutely necessary. Yet during the tour of twenty-four hours, the firing being as incessant through the night as in the day, they expended 24,000 rounds of cartridges. So extraordinary did this seem to me, that I was careful to learn if some of this was not consumed extravagantly, but all the officers united in saying that it was not. On the Kenesaw line we moved with the brigade, occupying with it various important positions on that line. On the morning of the 3d of July we moved over the abandoned works of the enemy through Marietta, Ga., and followed the enemy until we found him some four miles southwest of Marietta in works. We took no part as a regiment in forcing the enemy from this line; but on his falling back to the new line on the north bank of the Chattahoochee, we followed in close pursuit, and again found the enemy confronting us behind strong works. Here we operated with the brigade in the movements that compelled the enemy to abandon his position, burn the bridges, and give us all the territory north of the river. After a few days of rest we again took up the line of march, crossing the Chattahoochee at Pace's Ferry on the 17th of July, 1864. Acting with the brigade, we wrested one of the fords over Peach Tree Creek from the enemy and secured a lodgment on the south bank with no loss of life. Moving forward on the 22d of July, we went into line in front of Atlanta, in the movement losing but 1 man, wounded by shell. Remaining on that line until the 3d of August, when the brigade commenced the movement to the right, crossing Utoy Creek at Herring's Mill, and to this date have taken part with the brigade in the important moves made on the lines of the Fourteenth Corps. We are in an intrenched camp, healthily located, with the enemy in our immediate front, our line running nearly parallel with, and not very far removed from, the Macon railroad. Though we have taken part in all the movements of the First Brigade, it has been our good fortune in all the campaigns to retain each company organization intact. During the incessant skirmishing, running back to the very inception of the campaign, the battle in miniature of 100 days' duration, we have had the honor to take part in some of the most brilliant.

Seemingly not worthy of official mention, recurring so often, yet I find by the official reports of the commanding officers of the companies that each company has, at different points in the campaign when detached from my command, taken active part in the advances of the lines, by which important positions have been gained, many prisoners and arms taken; and the officers in charge have handled their men with so much care, precision, and skill, and they themselves have acted their part so gallantly as to gain our admiration and esteem. I cannot commend too highly the men of my command for the part taken in the arduous labors of the campaign. Ever willing to do and dare everything, working with the ax, pick, and spade through the day, and, without a murmur, continuing the labor through the long watches of the night, they have thrown up two temporary works and constructed twelve lines of field-works complete, and in addition remodeled many works that in the shifting of the lines we have occupied and found incomplete. Your inspector will report the condition and effectiveness of my command at the present time. My reports will give you our effective strength as compared with it at the opening of the campaign. Appended please find report of casualties,* men sent to hospital and retured to duty.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

BENJ. D. FEARING, Col. Ninety-second Ohio Volunteer Infantry.

Capt. W. B. CURTIS, Asst. Adjt. Gen., 1st Brig., 3d Dir., 14th Army Corps.

HDQRS. NINETY-SECOND REGT. OHIO VOL. INFANTRY, Atlanta, Ga., September 8, 1864. SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the Ninety-second Regt. Ohio Volunteers in the late movements of the army that resulted in our occupation of the city of Atlanta:

Field report made on the 16th of August gave you our operations to that date. Passing over the days of incessant skirmishing, and the minor moves made in them, we come to the retiring of our lines from the enemy's front on the morn of the 27th of August. It was a difficult feat to perform, so close were the lines of the enemy, and doubly so that early. In the evening they discovered that we were making changes in the lines, and all night we were subjected to a heavy fire from the enemy's batteries, but we left the line before daylight and drew off without the loss of a man. Equally fortunate were the skirmishers in our front. We moved down the Sandtown road less than a mile, when we acted with the brigade in covering the trains of the Army of the Cumberland, going into line of battle and making arrangements for a vigorous defense of these important trains so much imperiled. After the trains were in safety we moved forward with the brigade; acted as escort to the trains of the army. On the 28th of August, relieved of this duty, we moved with the brigade during the day's march, crossing the Montgomery railroad near Red Oak, Ga., and going into camp one-half mile south of the road, where we remained until August 30, when we moved toward the Macon railroad. On the evening of the 30th ordered on picket with my regiment; advanced the lines as ordered by you. On the morning of the 31st of August, with my regiment, I was ordered to move forward and build bridges over Flint River and the canal near the river (creek), secure a lodgment on the south bank of Flint, and command the approaches to the bridges. In this move I was ably supported by Col. Ward, of the Seventeenth Ohio. We passed the canal and the Flint, meeting with no opposition from the enemy; moved forward and secured a fine position commanding the Atlanta and Jonesborough road. Striking this road at two points, we discovered a column of the enemy east of the road moving south on a by-road between the Jonesborough road and the railroad. Here we secured 12 prisoners. We here awaited the brigade, and with them went into camp at this point. Moving with the brigade, September 1, south on the Jonesborough pike, we went into the second line, the brigade forming line of battle one mile from Jonesborough. With the brigade we took part in the action of the 1st of September at Jonesborough. After the evacuation of this point by the enemy, with the brigade we guarded the approaches to the town from the east, and on the 6th of September, the campaign being at an end, we withdrew, covering the withdrawal of our corps to this point. Appended please find report of casualties* from the 6th day of August to the 8th day of September, 1864.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

BENJ. D. FEARING, Col. Ninety-second Ohio Volunteer Infantry.

Capt. W. B. CURTIS, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.

Upon the Atlanta Campaign’s conclusion, the 92nd remained encamped near Atlanta until November 16, 1864, when the regiment joined Sherman’s “March to the Sea.” The Ohioans and the rest of the Union troopers proceeded overland to Savannah, Georgia, capturing this important harbor on the Atlantic seaboard by December 21, 1864.

On February 5, 1865, the 92nd Regiment, still under Sherman’s ultimate command, embarked upon the Carolinas Campaign. Sherman intended to subdue Confederate forces operating in North Carolina and South Carolina during this expedition, which culminated in the surrender of Joseph Johnston’s Southern army in late April 1865, bringing the American Civil War to a conclusion.

On May 19, 1865, the 92nd Regiment arrived in Washington, DC and, on May 24, participated in the Grand Review. Afterward, the regiment traveled to Columbus, Ohio, arriving on June 19, 1865. Its members mustered out of service the next day.

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