74th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry (1861-1865)

Also Known As: Seventy-fourth Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry

Updated: January 08, 2014

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 74th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Beginning in October 1861, volunteers from the vicinity of Xenia, Ohio comprised seven of the regiment's ten companies. On February 24, 1862, these seven companies traveled to Camp Chase at Columbus, Ohio, where officials assigned three new companies to the organization. Upon mustering into service, the 74th consisted of 978 men.

The 74th departed Camp Chase on April 20, 1862 and advanced to Nashville, Tennessee, arriving at this location on April 24. Portions of the command served on provost-guard duty within Nashville, while the remainder of the regiment engaged in drill. In June, the organization joined an expedition over the Cumberland Mountains in eastern Tennessee. The 74th next guarded the railroad that connected Nashville and Columbia, South Carolina. The organization returned to Nashville in September 1862 and spent the next several months periodically skirmishing with nearby Confederates.

In December 1862, officials assigned the 74th to the Seventh Brigade, Eighth Division, Fourteenth Army Corps of the Army of the Cumberland. The regiment advanced with the Army of the Cumberland against Confederate General Braxton Bragg's Army of Tennessee located at Murfreesboro, Tennessee. At the Battle of Stones River (December 31, 1862-January 2, 1863), the 74th engaged the enemy every day of the battle. On January 2, 1863, the regiment joined a Union charge across Stones River against Confederate general John C. Breckinridge's corps. In this battle--a Union victory--the 74th had 109 men killed and wounded and an additional forty-six soldiers captured. The organization entered the battle with 388 men available for active duty. After this engagement, the 74th's commanding officer issued the following report:

HDQRS. SEVENTY-FOURTH REGT. OHIO VOL. INFANTRY, Camp near Murfreesborough, Tenn., January 5, 1863.

SIR: I have the honor to report the results of the engagements of December 31, 1862, and January 2, 1863, as affecting the Seventy-fourth Regt. Ohio Volunteer Infantry, under my command.

Col. Miller, commanding the Seventh Brigade, Eighth Division, of the Fourteenth Army Corps, was pleased to assign to my command the position of the left center of the brigade. In the action of December 31 we were posted on the slope of an eminence facing and commanding the position held by the Rock City Guards and other regiments composing one of the most efficient brigades of the rebel forces under Gen. Withers. I am justly proud, sir, of my regiment. The brave and persistent men of my command promptly obeyed every order on that field of blood and deadly strife, and contributed largely to the glorious victory which has driven the entire rebel force from their chosen field, and has placed us in undisputed possession of Murfreesborough, Tenn.

Allow me, in this connection, to note the gallant action of the Twenty-first Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Col. Neibling, on our left; the Thirty-seventh Indiana on our right, under command of Col. Hull, and the Seventy-eighth Pennsylvania, Col. Sirwell. These regiments displayed the utmost bravery, inspiring all around with the high resolve to emulate their devotion to the cause in which we have mutually invested our all.

I take the greatest pleasure in reporting the gallant conduct of all the officers of the Seventy-fourth Regt. Maj. Thomas C. Bell, the only field officer with me, did his whole duty in the several engagements in the nine days' battle. Cool, fearless, and prompt, he proved himself to be the right man in the right place.

I desire to record the superior qualities evinced by the adjutant of the regiment, Lieut. William F. Armstrong, of Company C. In addition to his marked business habits, to which the regiment is greatly indebted, his bravery and efficiency on the battle-field entitle him to distinguished consideration. Our line officers, too, without exception, have won the highest regards by their eminently good conduct before the enemy and in the fiery ordeal through which they have passed. Lieut.'s William McGinnis, commanding Company H; Richard King, commanding Company B; Robert Stevenson, commanding Company C; Robert Hunter, commanding Company D; Capt. Joseph Fisher and Lieut. H. H. Hering, of Company E; Capt. Walter Crook, and Lieut.'s M. Peters and Joseph Hamill, of Company F; Lieut. T. C. McElravy, commanding Company G, with Lieut. George Bricker, of the same company; Capt. Joseph Ballard and First Lieut. Snodgrass, of Company H; Lieut. Robert Cullen, of Company I, and William H. Reed, second lieutenant of Company K-these officers, sir, all did their duty bravely; there was no flinching in any one of them; each faced the iron hail unmoved; each was in place superintending the movements and cheering his men in the terrible work they were called on to perform.

Lieut. Peters was severely wounded in the wrist, and was compelled to retire about the middle of the action on the 31st. Lieut. Snodgrass was last seen just before the closing struggle, cheering his men, clapping his hands, saying, "Work away, my lads; we are gaining ground!" Noble fellow! He was wounded shortly afterward, and is reported among the missing. We fear he was mortally wounded. Capt. Crook and Lieut. Cullen were also wounded in the action of the 31st, the latter dangerously. Capt. Ballard was wounded in the shoulder slightly.

In the action of January 2 the Seventy-fourth Regt. occupied its position in the brigade, and aided in the decisive repulse of the rebel forces under Gen.'s Cheatham and Hanson, in which they were driven over Stone's River, and over the hill and through the fields beyond, where our soldiers made the successful charge on the rebel batteries as they belched their fiery fury on the Federal forces. At the close of that eventful onward movement, the flag of the Seventy-fourth was waving on the outer lines amid the rejoicing of its stern supporters, and there remained until recalled by the order of Gen. Negley to reform his division in the rear of the artillery in the center.

The review which I have made of the battle-fields over which we have together made our way during this nine days' struggle shows the awful effectiveness of our arms, the desperate obstinacy which characterizes our troops, and warrants the belief that, though our pathway may be over bloody fields and thickly planted grave-yards, yet the flag of Washington, Jefferson, Jackson, and the heroes of our glorious Union, endeared by a thousand precious memories, and the symbol of greater, grander destiny, shall be up hell and be borne along aloft till it shall float in unquestioned supremacy over all its ancient domain.

The following reports I have just received from our company commanders, and forwarded by Sergt. James Worden to headquarters.

Allow me to say, in behalf of the Seventy-fourth Regiment, officers and men, that with such commanders as Maj.-Gen. Rosecrans, Gen. Negley, and Col. John F. Miller, we are prepared to go forward and follow the fortunes of the flag with increasing confidence in the cause of our country against its rebel foes.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

GRANVILLE MOODY, Col., Comdg. Seventy-fourth Regt. Ohio Vol. Infantry.

H. M. CIST, Acting Assistant Adjutant-Gen.

The 74th spent the first six months of 1863 at Murfreesboro, where the organization primarily manned fortifications and performed guard duty. In February 1863, officials assigned the regiment to the Third Brigade, Second Division, Fourteenth Army Corps of the Army of the Cumberland. In June 1863, the 74th joined the Army of the Cumberland's advance on the Tullahoma Campaign into southern Tennessee, northern Alabama, and northern Georgia. On this expedition, the regiment participated in the Battles of Hoover's Gap and Dog Gap, before advancing to Chickamauga, Georgia. On September 19 and 20, 1863, the 74th participated in the Battle of Chickamauga, with the Confederacy's Army of Tennessee driving the Union's Army of the Cumberland from the field. The 74th's commanding officer issued the following report after the battle:

HDQRS. SEVENTY-FOURTH REGT. OHIO VOL. INFANTRY, Chattanooga, Tenn., September 27, 1863.

SIR: In compliance with order received, I have the honor to make the following report of the proceedings of this command since leaving Cave Spring, Ala.:

September 1, 1863, left Cave Spring, Ala., at 6 p. m. Marched until 2 a. m., September 2, and halted for the night. September 2 was ordered to march as train guards.

September 3 marched in the right center of brigade and assisted the artillery up Raccoon Mountain. September 4 were advance guard; one company (Company C) thrown out as skirmishers, and Companies F and D, as pioneers, were ordered to encamp about 1 mile in advance of brigade.

September 5 and 6 remained in camp.

September 7, 1863, took up the line of march in left center of brigade. Tuesday, 8th, assisted wagon train up Lookout Mountain; marched about 2 miles and encamped.

Wednesday, 9th, detailed 30 men to dig potatoes. By order of Col. Sirwell, marched as rear guard to the foot of the mountain.

September 10 started at 7 a. m., went on reconnaissance on the left. Skirmished, and drove the enemy 1 mile. Encamped in a neck of woods to support Battery G, First Ohio Artillery.

September 11 changed position silently at 2 a. m., 40 men and 2 commissioned officers being detailed as skirmishers. Skirmished all day, in which privates Patrick McCain, Company F, was killed, and William H. Griffith, Company A, severely wounded; Daniel Kimmel, Company G, slightly. The regiment, supporting Battery G, fell back to the foot of the mountain.

September 12 formed line of battle. Remained in camp the 13th, 14th, 15th, and 16th.

September 17, 1863, marched all day.

Friday, September 18, marched, at 3 p. m., about 5 miles, and encamped.

September 19 detailed as train guard; moved on still farther to the front, and at night took up our position.

Sunday, September 20, supported Battery G, First Ohio Artillery, in various parts of the field. Fell back within the gap, and encamped for the night.

September 21 threw up breastworks of logs, and lay in line of battle, with two companies detailed as skirmishers. Retreated in silence to Chattanooga at 11 p. m. John F. Boals, corporal, Company G, wounded in leg. September 22 regiment detailed on picket duty at 6 a. m.; threw up breastworks of rails; in afternoon had brisk skirmishing with the enemy.

Wednesday, September 23, regiment remained on picket until 11 a. m., being relieved by the Nineteenth Regt., Illinois Volunteers.

September 24 lay in camp all day; worked on fortifications at night.

September 25 still in camp; worked on fortifications at night.

September 26 and 27 still in camp.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOSEPH FISHER, Capt. Co. E, Comdg. 74th Ohio Volunteer Infantry.

Capt. CHAS. B. GILLESPIE, Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., Third Brigade.

After Chickamauga, the Union command, including the 74th, retreated to Chattanooga, Tennessee, where the Confederates besieged the Northerners from late September 1863 to the end of November 1863. Union assaults against Confederate positions on Lookout Mountain (November 24, 1863) and Missionary Ridge (November 25, 1863) drove the Southerners from the high ground overlooking Chattanooga and ended the siege of the city. The 74th participated in both of these engagements.

Following the Siege of Chattanooga, the 74th remained at this city until January 1864, when many of the regiment's members reenlisted. The re-enlistees received a thirty-day furlough to their homes in Ohio, with the men departing Chattanooga on January 25, 1864. The organization returned to the front, at Graysville, Georgia, on April 12, 1864.

On May 7, 1864, the 74th 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 74th fought in the Battles of Buzzard's Roost, Resaca, Dallas, Kennesaw Mountain, Chattahoochie River, Peachtree Creek, Atlanta, and Jonesborough. At Dallas, the regiment and its brigade received high commendations from their commanding officer:

Head-quarters First Division, Fourteenth Army Corps, Near Dallas, Georgia, May 28, 1864.

Colonel: General Johnson desires to express to you his high appreciation of the gallantry exhibited by the noble troops of your brigade in the night-engagement of the 27th instant. The admirable spirit displayed by them on that occasion is, above all things, desirable and commendable. Soldiers animated by such courage and fortitude are capable of the very highest achievements.

E.F. Wells, AA.G.

The brigade, including the 74th Regiment, received a similar commendation following the Battle of Jonesborough:

Head-quarters First Division, Fourteenth Army Corps, Jonesboro, September 2, 1864.

Circular.

The General commanding the division congratulates the officers and enlisted men of the Second and Third Brigades on the success of their splendid assault on the enemy, September 1, 1864. They charged a strongly intrenched double line, passing over swamps and through thickets under a murderous fire of musketry, dragged the enemy out of his works at some points, and drove him from them at others. The troops opposed to them were the most celebrated for obstinate fighting of any division of the Rebel army.

The conduct of all was gratifying to our commanding General, and the day should be remembered and celebrated by every soldier engaged in the battle.

By order of Brigadier-General W.P. Carlin.

G.W. Smith, A.A.G.

On September 2, 1864, the Union military occupied Atlanta. In the campaign the 74th had eighteen men killed and eighty-eight wounded. The 74th's commanding officers issued the following reports regarding the Atlanta Campaign:

HDQRS. SEVENTY-FOURTH REGT. OHIO VET. INFANTRY, Jonesborough, Ga., September 5, 1864.

SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the Seventy-fourth Regt. Ohio Veteran Volunteer Infantry while under my command in the recent campaign in Northern Georgia:

The regiment marched with the army from Ringgold on the 7th day of May, numbering 25 commissioned officers and 290 enlisted men for duty. The regiment was first brought into action on the evening of the 9th of May, when the brigade was advanced against the enemy, strongly posted on the mountain on the right of the railroad at Buzzard Roost. The regiment being on the extreme left of the brigade line advanced directly into the range of the enemy's artillery on the mountain, and from which we suffered severely. Adjt. Mathew H. Peters was severely wounded while assisting me in holding the ranks in order. (For other casualties at this and other points see accompanying list.) The line was at once withdrawn from this hazardous position to one of more safety. The regiment remained with the brigade on that line until the evening of the 11th, when the brigade was relieved. We next became engaged on the line near Resaca on the evening of the 14th of May, the regiment having been placed in position on the front line, which position we fortified during the night of the 14th. We remained in that position all the day and night of the 15th, exchanging shots with the enemy posted behind the works within easy rifle range. During the night of the 15th the enemy made a spirited charge on our lines. The skirmishers, under command of Lieut. Thomas Kirby, posted in front of the Seventy-fourth, deserve special praise for the handsome manner in which they met the charge and drove the enemy to his works again. The regiment was next engaged on the 27th of May on Pumpkin Vine Creek, where it was advanced with the brigade to a position on the extreme left of the army and in the second line of the brigade. The regiment did not become engaged until in the night, though subjected to a severe fire of artillery and musketry during several hours. About 10 o'clock at night the enemy renewed his attack with great violence, causing the brigade on our right to fall back. I received orders from Col. Scribner, commanding the brigade, to deploy a company as skirmishers over the ground vacated by the other brigade, so as to prevent the enemy from surprising our right. This I did by deploying Company A, Capt. John W. McMillen, they taking and holding their position, despite the spirited fire of the enemy, until the brigade was safely withdrawn within the works that had been constructed in the rear during the evening. On the morning of the 28th I was ordered to report with my regiment to Brig.-Gen. Carlin, commanding First Brigade, which I did, and was assigned to a position in reserve, where we remained until the 2d of June without being engaged, but all the time subject to scattering shots and shell from the enemy. On the evening of the 2d of June I received orders from Col. Scribner to relieve the Seventy-eighth Pennsylvania Volunteers, posted on the front line, which we did, and held that position under constant fire until the morning of the 5th of June, when the enemy evacuated. The regiment participated in the continual skirmishing that attended the advance of the brigade to its position at Kenesaw Mountain.

On the 18th of June we were subject to a severe artillery fire during the attack on the enemy's first line of works.

On the night of the 20th of June we were placed into position behind partially constructed works immediately to the right of Kenesaw Mountain. These works the men completed under the direction of line officers during the night, though harassed by a continual fire of musketry from the enemy's lines. During the afternoon of the 21st our position was subjected to the most terrific cannonading I have ever witnessed, and which lasted without interruption for over an hour, and yet, strange to say, not a man was struck. I attribute this fact to the skillful manner in which the works were built, and the prudence of the men in keeping within the works. On the night of the 22d we moved with the brigade to a position in the line farther to the right, where my regiment was posted in the second line and remained there until after the evacuation by the enemy on the 3d day of July. In this position we were again subject to an artillery fire that at times was furious.

On the 4th of July we were posted in reserve to the Second Brigade during its engagement with the enemy on that day on the Marietta and Atlanta road.

July 5, I took command of the brigade, Col. Scribner being excused from duty on account of a severe illness. The command of the regiment devolved upon Maj. Joseph Fisher from that day until the 16th of August, when I resumed command. The regiment was then posted in the works with the brigade before Atlanta, and remained there until the evening of the 25th of August, participating in the continual skirmishing carried on with the enemy. The regiment was next engaged on the 1st day of September near Jonesborough. I received orders from Col. Moore, commanding brigade, to advance with my regiment, in connection with the Sixty-ninth Ohio Volunteers and Sixteenth U. S. Infantry, against the enemy, seen to be posted behind temporary works of rails in the edge of the woods on the opposite hill-side across Chambers' Mill creek. The advance was made across open fields and under the enemy's fire of musketry and artillery, by passing the line rapidly from our position to the next that might offer advantage. After making the second halt the enemy's reserves were seen to be retreating, when I ordered the line forward to the works. Had it not been for the marshy character of the ground over which the lines had to pass, and the delay caused by crossing Mill Creek, we would have captured some of the enemy and possibly his artillery. A caisson and its contents, which they upset in the flight, was the only capture of the charge. The enemy having retreated to the woods on our right, and our right being exposed, I deployed Company G, Lieut. George W. Bricker, and Company B, Lieut. P. A. Weaver. These officers deployed their companies and made a dashing advance to the crest of the hill under a severe fire. The right being still exposed, Maj. Locher, Seventy-ninth Pennsylvania Volunteers, at my request sent out a company, by the assistance of which the enemy were driven. Lieut.'s Bricker and Weaver deserve special mention for their conduct on this occasion. The enemy having rapidly retreated before our skirmishers, the line was halted and rejoined the brigade. The brigade having advanced to the Macon railroad, near McPeak's house, the lines were reformed, the Seventy-fourth taking position in the center of the first line. The lines were then advanced through the woods to the north boundary of Johnston's farm, where they were halted in position, the skirmishers being closely engaged in our front. I received an order from Col. Moore to advance to the first line, but before I could communicate the order to my own or the other regiments of the line, the First Wisconsin Volunteers, from the second line, passed through the line of my regiment to the front, and was joined on the right and left by the other two regiments of the first line, thus forming a complete line with the place of my regiment in the line filled up. The first line being halted at the crest of the hill in front, I discovered that the First Wisconsin continued to move forward, leaving the position of the Seventy-fourth vacant, and thereupon I moved the regiment forward to its place and joined flanks with the Sixty-ninth Ohio, on my right, but found that the Twenty-first Ohio had continued to move forward with the First Wisconsin and halted in the face of the woods next in front. Hearing through a staff officer that the First Wisconsin, which had been heavily engaged, was getting short of ammunition and desired relief, I asked Capt. Hicks, commanding Sixty-ninth Ohio, to relieve them, they being posted directly in his front. Capt. Hicks promptly moved his regiment forward for that purpose. I then moved the Seventy-fourth forward to the face of the woods and received orders from Col. Moore to form the first line and move forward as far as we could. I reformed the line with the Seventy-fourth Ohio on the right, the Twenty first Ohio on the left, and Sixty-ninth Ohio in the center. When about to advance with the line I discovered that there were no skirmishers in front, which fact I reported to Col. Moore, and received his order to move forward at once, which I did. An advance of a few rods in the dense brush disclosed the enemy posted in intrenchments, with their front covered by fallen timber, while the position furnished no protection or advantage to our men but what the thick growth of small bushes afforded. Soon after our occupation of this position the line to the right of the Seventy-fourth fell back, leaving our flank exposed to a severe flank fire, which ultimately caused the Seventy-fourth to fan back to the face of the woods, and to which position the other regiments also retired. I reported these facts to Col. Moore and received his order to again advance the line and drive the enemy out of his works. The line again advanced, the Sixty-ninth Ohio on the right, Twenty-first Ohio on the left, and Seventy-fourth Ohio in the center. The enemy's works were manfully charged and taken after a most obstinate struggle, the works being divided by traverses at every twenty or thirty feet. Each section had to be fought for separately, and by thus following the line of works toward the left, our lines were brought under the range of the enemy's artillery in the opening at the railroad, where a most destructive fire of shot and shell was brought to bear upon our ranks and caused them to again fan back to the face of the woods. When the artillery first opened on us I reported the situation to Gen. Carlin, commanding division, having met with him when looking for Col. Moore. Receiving no orders, I allowed my command to remain until it was driven back by the force of the enemy's fire. A number of prisoners were taken at the time our line took the enemy's works, and they were started to the rear, expecting the second line to take charge of them, but owing to the severe fire in our front and the comparative quietness on our right, they passed out to the right and fell into the hands of other brigades. I have no means of arriving at the number of prisoners taken. Night having set in I was ordered to strengthen the works in our front and hold our position until morning.

In conclusion of this hasty and imperfect report, it affords me great pleasure to bear witness to the commendable patience with which both officers and men have borne the hardships and privations of the campaign, and the true soldierly bravery with which they have faced every danger. We mourn the loss of many good and brave men during the campaign and particularly in the last action. Among the latter number is Lieut. John Scott, Company B, who fell dead at the head of his company and close on the enemy's works. In his death the regiment has lost a most fitting example as a true Christian and brave soldier. The 18 killed and 88 wounded in the regiment during the entire campaign tells more plainly than I can the spirit with which the regiment has met and faced the dangers of the past four months.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOSIAH GIVEN, Col. Seventy-fourth Regt. Ohio Infantry.

Lieut. H. O. MONTAGUE, Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., 3d Brig., 1st Div., 14th Army Corps.

HDQRS. SEVENTY-FOURTH OHIO VET. VOL. INFTY., Jonesborough, Ga., September 4, 1864.

SIR: I have the honor to make the following report of the Seventy-fourth Regt. Ohio Veteran Infantry, from the 5th day of July to the 15th day of August, 1864, during which time I was in command:

On the 5th day of July I was ordered by Col. Given, commanding brigade, to deploy my regiment as skirmishers and advance the line, which I did in connection with a part of the First Brigade; drove the enemy back to his line of works, situated on the north side of the Chattahoochee River. Crossing the Atlanta and Western Railroad on the 9th of July, the brigade had a sharp fight. The regiment took position in the second line under fire, but did not get into the action. On the 10th day of July was again ordered on the skirmish line, but finding the enemy had evacuated the night previous, I was ordered to advance my regiment as skirmishers to the river-bank, a distance of about two miles, which I did. Finding no enemy on the north side, I returned to camp, where I remained until July 17, when we marched and crossed the Chattahoochee at Pace's Ferry, and formed in line of battle. Had slight skirmishing with the enemy, driving him before us to the bank of Nancy's Creek, where we halted for the night and built a line of works. The next morning, July 18, marched by the right flank until we crossed Nancy's Creek, when we formed line of battle on the right of the First Brigade; had slight skirmishing with the enemy in the afternoon; halted in the evening on the high ground near the north bank of Peach Tree Creek, where we were ordered to build a strong line of works, which we did that night. Halted there until the next night, July 19, when we marched out and took position to support the Second Division. Before daybreak on the morning of July 20 crossed Peach Tree Creek at Turner's Mill, formed line of battle, took a position with the brigade on the left of the First Brigade, but was soon relieved by the troops of the Twentieth Corps, when we moved to the right, and took a position in the second line, and was exposed to a severe shelling and fire of grape and canister, during which time my men built pretty substantial works. Remained there until the afternoon of July 21, when we took part in the advance of the lines, which resulted in driving the enemy from his first line of works in front of Atlanta. The next morning, July 22, marched toward Atlanta. When within about three miles of the city it was found that the enemy was confronting us. I was ordered by Col. Moore, commanding brigade, to deploy my regiment as skirmishers on the right of the line of the First Brigade, and advance the line, which I did, but soon ran against the enemy in force, and a portion of my line suffered considerably, as will be shown by accompanying list. My regiment was relieved on the 23d, when we built a line of works, occupied them for some days, when we were relieved by a regiment of the First Brigade. On July 28 marched with the brigade to the extreme right as support to the Fifteenth Corps; built a line of works that night; was relieved on the morning of the 29th, and marched back to the position we left in front of Atlanta. Staid in front of the city, building works and advancing the lines until August 15, when I was relieved by Col. Josiah Given taking command.

Respectfully,

JOSEPH FISHER, Maj. Seventy-fourth Ohio Veteran Infantry.

Capt. HICKS, A. A. A. G., Third Brig., First Div., 14th Army Corps.

The 74th Ohio initially entered camp at Atlanta but soon joined the Union pursuit of Confederate General John Bell Hood's army, which was advancing through northern Georgia, northern Alabama, and southern Tennessee, in the direction of Nashville. The regiment remained with the expedition as far as Kingston, Georgia.

On November 12, 1864, the 74th departed Kingston and embarked upon General William T. Sherman's "March to the Sea." The command engaged in no noteworthy battles or skirmishes on this march to Savannah, Georgia. Upon reaching Savannah, the 74th served on the siege lines but experienced no casualties. With the Union's seizure of Savannah on December 21, 1864, the 74th entered encampment within the city's confines. The 74th's commanding officer issued the following report regarding the "March to the Sea:"

CAMP SEVENTY-FOURTH OHIO, Near Savannah, Ga., December 30, 1864.

SIR: I have the honor, in absence of Maj. Fisher, who commanded the Seventy-fourth Ohio from Kingston to Savannah, Ga., to make the following report:

Left Kingston at noon of the 12th [November], marching in rear of wagon train; camped at Cartersville at night. The 13th, marched to Big Shanty, tearing up railroad. On the 15th arrived at Atlanta, halted for the night, and drew rations and clothing. Marched on the 16th to Lithonia, twenty-four miles distant from Atlanta. Our course lay northeast, and nothing of importance transpired until the 23d of November, when we camped near Milledgeville. On the 24th we marched, crossing Oconee River, and making but ten miles, when we camped at 12 m. on account of large swamp in our way. Here the Seventy-fourth was placed on picket, and so remained until the morning of the 26th, when we took up our march in rear of wagon train. Marched that day but about six miles. Thus we marched various distances per day, according to swamp and bad roads, nothing of importance transpiring, and our regiment being engaged in nothing worthy of note, until the --, when we settled down in fort of Savannah, along the Ogeeche River. Lay in line until the morning of the 16th of December, when the regiment received orders to report to Capt. Clark, to guard wagon train to King's Bridge on the Ogeechee River. Lay at this post until the 22d, when we returned with train and reported to our brigade. Maj. Fisher was mustered out on the 18th, and I assumed command on that day.

We drew rations but for two days during the march. Owing to our being in rear we twice had no forage, but when we marched any considerable distance we had more than enough of pork and potatoes. I think it would have been no hardship, so far as the Seventy-fourth was concerned, to have made the march without drawing a cracker or any pork. Certain I am that enough was left in camp almost every day to have subsisted the regiment during the day had it been carried along, but the men argued that "sufficient unto the meal was the evil," and wouldn't carry anything from camp. We destroyed about four miles of railroad since leaving Kingston. Am not sure that the Seventy-fourth set fire to any cotton or gins. Ten negroes came into the regiment and followed along with the column. Captured no cattle, nor horses, and but two mules. All the forage fore the Government mules, private horses, and the pack-mules of different companies, was taken from the country, and much more was destroyed than was used.

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

R. P. FINDLEY, Maj. Seventy-fourth Ohio.

Lieut. L. G. BODIE, Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., 3d Brig., 1st Div., 14th Army Corps.

On January 20, 1865, the 74th joined General Sherman's Carolinas Campaign. The regiment spent most of the expedition through South Carolina foraging, corduroying roads, and guarding supply trains. As guards of the army's supply trains, the 74th engaged in numerous small skirmishes with enemy soldiers, as the Confederates tried to supplement their meager stores from the Union's holdings. In mid-March 1865, the organization entered North Carolina, being one the lead regiments as the Union army advanced on Fayetteville. At this city, the 74th helped force the defenders to retreat on March 11, 1865. The regiment also participated in the destruction of Rebel factories and arsenals at Fayetteville. Five days later, the Union, including the 74th, engaged enemy forces  in a skirmish at Averysboro, North Carolina, with the Northerners slowly forcing the Confederates from the battlefield. The 82nd also participated in the Battle of Bentonville, North Carolina (March 19-21, 1865), the final full-scale battle between General Sherman's army and Confederate General Joseph Johnston's command. In this Union victory, the regiment was among the first ones on the field and helped to repulse several Confederate attacks. 

On March 23, 1865, Sherman's command advanced to Goldsboro, North Carolina, where the 74th spent ten days resting. On April 13, 1865, the regiment helped secure Raleigh, North Carolina for the Union, occupying the city without a struggle. During the Carolinas Campaign, the 74th's commanding officer issued the following report:

HDQRS. SEVENTY-FOURTH OHIO VETERAN INFANTRY, Goldsborough, N. C., March 27, 1865.

SIR: On the 20th day of January, 1865, the Seventy-fourth Ohio Regt. marched with the Third Brigade, First Division, from near Savannah, Ga., halting six miles distant, where we lay on account of impassable road until the morning of the 25th, when we marched rapidly. Thus we kept on until, on the 27th, the regiment was detached from brigade as guard for the First Division supply train. On the 29th we arrived at Sister's Ferry, Ga., where we lay until the 5th of February; crossed the Savannah River -. Our duty was the same from day to day. Men were captured while foraging, but we were not called upon to any fighting. Arrived at Fayetteville. Nothing worthy of note transpired until, on the 11th of March, we halted at Fayetteville; marched from that place on the 16th. On the 10th eight forage wagons were captured and burned by rebels. Two companies had been sent our with them as guard, but they were detained back loading the wagons, while they, as soon as loaded, went on unguarded and fell into the hands of the enemy. Four men of the Seventy-fourth were killed or captured; others saw no rebels when they came upon the burning wagons. On the 21st of March the right wing of the regiment was sent with supplies for the troops, at front, and on the 23d the left wing accompanied the train to Kinston, returning on the 26th.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. P. FINDLEY, Maj., Cmdg. Seventy-fourth Ohio Veteran Infantry

Lieut. BODIE, Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., 3d Brig. 1st Div., 14th Army Corps.

On May 11, 1865, following Johnston's surrender in late April, the 74th departed Raleigh for Washington, DC. Traveling via Richmond, Virginia, the regiment arrived at the nation's capitol on May 23, 1865. On the next day, the 74th participated in the Grand Review. The regiment entered camp at Washington and, in mid-June 1865, departed for Louisville, Kentucky. The organization traveled by train to Parkersburg, West Virginia, before boarding boats and sailing down the Ohio River to Louisville. The 74th entered camp at Louisville on June 20, 1865. The regiment mustered out of service at Louisville on July 10, 1865. The soldiers proceeded to Xenia, Ohio, arriving on July 16, 1865, where residents thanked the soldiers for their service. On the following day, the 74th traveled to Camp Dennison, near Cincinnati, Ohio, where officials discharged the 74th's members on July 18, 1865.

During the Civil War's course, fifty-three men, including two officers, from the 74th Ohio died from wounds received on the battlefield. An additional 107 soldiers, including two officers, succumbed to illness or accidents.

Cite this Entry

MLA Style

"74th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry," Ohio Civil War Central, 2019, Ohio Civil War Central. 13 Nov 2019 <http://www.www.ohiocivilwarcentral.com/entry.php?rec=1140>

APA Style

"74th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry." (2019) In Ohio Civil War Central, Retrieved November 13, 2019, from Ohio Civil War Central: http://www.www.ohiocivilwarcentral.com/entry.php?rec=1140

Comments powered by Disqus

Help support the ongoing development of Ohio Civil War Central by clicking the banner and then purchasing products from Amazon.com.

Ohio Civil War Central: An Encyclopedia of the American Civil War