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 52nd Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Governor David Tod authorized the creation of this regiment and recruited Daniel McCook to form this organization. McCook also served as the command's first colonel. Organization began at Camp Chase, at Columbus, Ohio, and was completed at Camp Dennison, near Cincinnati, Ohio. The 52nd mustered into service on August 23, 1862.
On August 25, 1862, the 52nd marched to Cincinnati and crossed the Ohio River to Covington, Kentucky, where the command boarded railroad cars for Lexington, Kentucky. Five days later, the regiment advanced to Big Hill, near Richmond, Kentucky, to assist a routed Union force. On the morning of August 31, enemy soldiers appeared across the Kentucky River from the regiment. The two sides exchanged a few shots across the river, before the Northerners withdrew to Lexington. On the following day, the Union forces at Lexington evacuated the city and withdrew to Louisville, Kentucky, with the 52nd Ohio serving as the rearguard. The Northerners arrived at Louisville on September 6, 1862, and officials assigned the 52nd to a brigade of the Army of the Ohio with the 85th, 86th, and 125th Regiment Illinois Infantry.
On October 1, 1862, the Army of the Ohio departed Louisville in pursuit of Confederate General Braxton Bragg's Army of Tennessee. The two forces met each other at the Battle of Perryville, Kentucky on October 8, 1862. In this engagement, the 52nd's brigade attacked Confederate units on Peter's Hill at 4:00 AM, driving the Southerners from this position. During the remainder of the battle, Confederate forces repeatedly tried to reclaim the position, but the Northerners held the ground. On the following day, the 52nd joined the Army of the Ohio's pursuit of the retreating Confederates. After the battle, the 52nd’s commanding officer issued the following report:
HDQRS. 52D REGT. OHIO VOLS., 36TH BRIG, 11TH DIV., ARMY OF THE OHIO, Battle-field near Perryville, Ky., October 9, 1862.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the Fifty-second Regiment in the battle of yesterday:
In pursuance of the order of Col. Daniel McCook, commanding the brigade, the Fifty-second, Regiment on the left of the brigade, moved forward at 3.30 o'clock yesterday morning from its position 3 miles west of Perryville toward that village. After advancing about 11/2 miles and crossing a bridge spanning a small stream the regiment was formed in line of battle, and being ordered to advance to and hold the crest of the hill some 500 yards in front, Company A, in command of Lieutenant Bucke, and Company H, under command of Lieutenant Summers, both companies under command of Captain Clark, acting major, were deployed as skirmishers and our line advanced to the position named.
Some 300 yards from the run, at five minutes past 4 o'clock a.m., the skirmishers were fired upon by the rebel pickets. They promptly returned the fire and drove the pickets over the crest of the hill into and through the field and wood beyond and took their position some 400 yards in front of the regiment.
I am thus particular in detailing these items because to the Thirty-sixth Brigade and to the Fifty-second Regiment thus attaches the honor of opening the great and decisive battle of Perryville.
Our skirmishers were almost constantly exchanging shots with the rebel skirmishers, and the regiment retained its position on the crest of the hill till 10.30 o'clock, when, in pursuance of Colonel McCook's order, it moved forward about one-half of a mile, where we remained without material change of position until 4 o'clock p.m., when the regiment moved forward a short distance with Company D, under command of Captain Morrow, and Company I, under command of Captain Schneider, deployed as skirmishers. While thus advancing the regiment was ordered by Colonel McCook to move to the right some 500 yards to assist in supporting Captain Barnett's Second Illinois Battery, which was being threatened by a heavy force.
The regiment moved rapidly to its position immediately on the left of the battery and in the rear of the Thirty-sixth Illinois, and remained in line behind the crest of the hill until the ammunition of the regiment in our front was exhausted, when the Fifty-second, at 5 p.m., moved forward over the crest of the hill in fine order and became immediately engaged with the enemy. The regiment continued to fire steadily and effectively about thirty minutes, when at sundown the rebel line with which we were engaged broke and fled in confusion.
I cannot speak in too high terms of praise of the conduct of the officers and men under my command during the whole of this memorable day. When all did their whole duty it would seem unjust to make any apparent discrimination by specially naming any. Yet circumstances and the varied incidents of the day brought under my special observation the conduct of some whom I therefore name. Capt. I.D. Clark, of Company A, acting major, from the time the first shot was fired on the skirmishers under his command in the early morning until the battle was over and the victory won, discharged his varied and arduous duties with skill, courage, and promptness. Adjutant Blackburn and the officers of the skirmishing companies also attracted my special notice while the regiment was in its position behind the crest of the hill on the left of Barnett's battery, and before it relieved the Thirty-sixth Illinois and became actually engaged with the enemy at that point.
Sergeant Rudolph, of Company H, was conspicuous among others of the regiment in assisting at the battery. At 10 a.m. the Second Missouri Regiment charged past the right of our line of skirmishers upon a force of rebel infantry, and Private Samuel J. Marsh, of Company A, joined them in the pursuit. Charley Common, a little drummer-boy, having lost his drum, took a musket and fought manfully in the line.
The following is a list of our losses, and it seems impossible to credit our apparent miraculous escape. I take the liberty to say that I ascribe it to a very great extent to the consummate skill with which the regiment was handled by our brigade and division commanders.
Wounded: Private James Moneysmith, Company I, shoulder, dangerously; Private Edward Grimes, Company H, arm, severely; Private George Wilson, Company E, shoulder, slightly. Total wounded, 3 missing, none.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant.
D. D. T. COWEN, Lieut. Col., Comdg. Fifty-second Regiment Ohio Vol. Infantry.
Lieut. J. A. MALLORY, A. A. A. G., Thirty-sixth Brigade.
Following Bragg's withdrawal from Kentucky, the Northern army advanced to Nashville, Tennessee, marching via Bowling Green, Kentucky. At Nashville, officials assigned the 52nd's brigade to serve as garrison troops. The regiment remained on this duty until the spring of 1863. The 52nd did not participate directly in the Battle of Stones River (December 31, 1862-January 2, 1863), but a portion of the command escorted an ammunition train to the battlefield. On the trip, Confederate General Joseph Wheeler's cavalry attacked the train, but the Northerners repulsed the enemy soldiers.
On March 7, 1863, the 52nd departed Nashville for Franklin, Tennessee. After staying in this town for a few days, the organization returned to Nashville. On April 7, 1863, the regiment advanced to Brentwood Station, Tennessee, eleven miles from the Tennessee capital. On June 5, 1863, the 52nd returned to Nashville and, on June 28, 1863, marched to Murfreesboro, where the command performed garrison duty. On July 16, 1863, the Ohioans returned to their old camp at Nashville.
On August 20, 1863, the 52nd departed Nashville for the Nashville and Decatur Railroad near Columbia, Tennessee. Officials desired for the regiment to repair the track and bridges. Before the organization could begin this duty, authorities ordered the 52nd to Chattanooga, Tennessee. The 52nd marched through the Tennessee communities of Columbia and Lynnville, before entering Alabama and visiting Athens, Huntsville, and Stevenson.. At Lynnville, Confederate guerrillas attacked the regiment's pickets, wounding two of the Ohioans. In retaliation for this incident, the 52nd burned five buildings in Lynnville. On September 11, 1863, the regiment crossed the Tennessee River, arriving at Rossville, Georgia, near Chattanooga, three days later.
On September 18, 1863, the 52nd advanced with the rest of the Army of the Cumberland to Chickamauga, Georgia. On the following day, the Battle of Chickamauga erupted. The regiment saw no action on September 19, 1863 but, on the battle's second day, the organization initially engaged the enemy on the Union left, before officials ordered the 52nd to a position closer to the center of the Union line. On the evening of September 20, the Union army withdrew to Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Confederacy's Army of Tennessee pursued the Northerners, besieging the Union force in Chattanooga. After the Battle of Chickamauga, the 52nd’s commanding officer issued the following report:
HDQRS. FIFTY-SECOND OHIO VOLUNTEER INFANTRY, Chickamauga Creek, Tenn., October 10, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by this command in the battle of Chickamauga:
At Rossville, Ga., between 2 and 3 p. m. of Friday, September 18, I was ordered to see that every man of the command has 60 rounds of ammunition and be ready to march at a moment's notice. Following Battery I, Second Illinois, Capt. Barnett commanding, as ordered, about 3 o'clock the regiment moved out. Our march lay along the La Fayette road a distance of 5 miles, at which point we struck a road to the left leading to Reed's Bridge. After following this road a mile I was ordered to take position at right angles with the road, the left of the regiment resting near it. The position was not reached until nightfall.
The men were ordered to lie down by their guns and preserve strict silence. I was ordered to send a picket force 300 or 400 yards in front, extending the line beyond the right of the regiment to protect the left of the Eighty-sixth Illinois.
It was sent forward and took the position ordered as nearly as the denseness of the woods and undergrowth would permit in the darkness.
At daylight on the morning of the 19th, I was directed by a staff officer from Col. McCook to change front to rear on the first company, afterward to move by the right flank 100 paces.
Very soon slight skirmishing commenced with the pickets in front of our original position, and also at the spring some distance to the left of the position then occupied.
About 8 a. m. I was ordered to march my command by the right flank on the left of the battery, as it was then moving toward the La Fayette road. Striking this road I was directed to follow, with the regiment, that portion of the battery moving toward Rossville. At this point the pickets sent out the night before rejoined the regiment. We reached Rossville at noon. In the afternoon the regiment, as directed, took up position on the Ringgold road at the top of Mission Ridge, where it remained through the night.
After passing McAfee's Church early on the morning of the 20th, Company D, Capt. Neighbor commanding, and Company B, Lieut. Duff commanding, were thrown forward as skirmishers, and Company I, Lieut. Marsh commanding, was deployed to cover the right flank of the regiment. Thus disposed, the regiment moved over a mile toward the Chickamauga, when I was ordered to halt, face it about, and follow the column. The skirmishers and flankers were at the same time ordered to march in retreat.
Upon the hill seized by the brigade immediately afterward, I was ordered to form line of battle 100 paces in rear of the Eighty-sixth Illinois, upon the left flank of the position, 1,000 yards distant. Later in the day, 10 a. m., the skirmish companies having been ordered in, I was ordered to march the regiment in rear of the Eighty-fifth Illinois, and when the position near McAfee's Church was taken up I was directed with the regiment to take position on the left of the battery in rear of the One hundred and twenty-fifth Illinois. From here, as ordered, I sent two companies to join the skirmishers of the One hundred and twenty-fifth Illinois. They were Company C, Capt. Thomas commanding, and Company H, Lieut. Summers commanding.
At noon, being ordered to have the skirmish companies of the regiment recalled quickly, I directed Adjutant Masury to apprise them of the order to move and conduct them to the regiment. In the march from the church to Cloud's house, according to order, I followed the battery with the regiment.
When suddenly fired upon in the low grounds near that house the command was marching by the right flank. It was halted instantly, the rear carriages of the battery having halted a moment before. Without delay the colonel commanding in person directed me to move the regiment behind the crest of the hill on our right.
Facing the regiment from flank to front, and as quickly facing it to the rear, I ordered it forward. The distance over which the regiment must march with the backs of the men unavoidably exposed to the fire of the enemy's battery could not have been short of 300 yards. Shots were flying and shells were bursting in front and rear of the regiment, upon its right and left flanks, and over it, and yet, strange as it might appear to those who witnessed it, not a man was injured. The movement was steadily executed, save the slight interruption of a fence that lay obliquely in our way.
The crest of the hill gained, a new enemy confronted the position we were ordered to take on the left of the battery. The tall grass and the weeds down the slope in front of us had been fired through the day, and a line of flame driven by the breeze directly in the faces of the men compelled a withdrawal of a few paces, until a detail should brush away the new foe. The task was speedily completed; we moved to our position.
After lying under fire of the enemy's guns almost or quite an hour, I received an order to have the men rise, as the enemy were thought to be on the point of charging. The order "Rise up" was no sooner given than as one man and instantly the regiment sprang to its feet. The enemy's skirmishers appeared on our left and fired, but were quickly driven back to the woods for shelter. Such was the excellence of our position at this time, that while shot and shell, with occasional grape that crest, the open field in front was completely commanded by our arms.
With the advent of night the sounds of battle died away. I received an order immediately after dark to move quietly out by the left flank, as soon as I could recall the pickets that had been first posted 300 yards in front of the command. It was done, and after a brisk march of about 5 miles the regiment bivouacked at Rossville.
On the following morning Company F, Capt. Hutchinson commanding, rejoined the regiment, having been left on picket when the command was ordered out on the 18th. Every company was now present; besides those already mentioned were Company G, Capt. Rothacker commanding; Company E, Capt. Mansfield commanding; Company A, Lieut. Lane commanding; Company K, Lieut. James commanding.
At noon, 21st, I was ordered to move the regiment up Missionary Mountain, and by the personal directions of the colonel commanding occupied the side of the mountain, the right of the regiment resting near the crest, and the left slightly refused near the road; the Eighteenth Ohio upon our left; the One hundred and fourth Ohio* upon the right. In one-half hour a line of breastworks was formed of logs and bushes from the mountain side. It covered the entire regiment.
About 2 p. m. our skirmishers, Company A, were attacked by those of the enemy. This firing was continuous for four hours. Our skirmish line was 50 yards in front of the temporary breastworks, in which many of the enemy's balls lodged. Shells from the enemy's guns were constantly bursting and flying over the regiment, until darkness came on, when the order was received to withdraw from the mountain without noise or confusion at 8 p. m. precisely, and march into Chattanooga, which place the regiment reached at 11 p. m.
On the morning of the 23d, the regiment was ordered from its position in the outskirts of the city to form line behind the fort and rifle-pits to the east.
After noon of the 25th, ordered to move across the pontoon and 4 miles up the river.
Evening of the 27th, ordered to the present camp.
Our loss was 3 men on the 19th and 2 on the 20th. I could not make special mention of any officer or officers of this command that would not be injustice to the others in it whose names could not appear in a report of this length.
It will suffice to say that through all, both officers and men bore their parts with a steady firmness and brave endurance that must ever reflect upon them with honor. In the midst of rumors of terrible disaster to our arms, they never were disheartened, but believed that, although temporary reverses might befall us, in God and right is our strength, and we cannot fail of ultimate and permanent success.
I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. T. HOLMES, Maj., Comdg. Regt.
Capt. E. L. ANDERSON, Acting Assistant Adjutant-Gen., Second Brigade.
At Chattanooga, the 52nd first entered camp in the Lookout Valley. The regiment faced constant artillery fire from Rebel batteries located on Lookout Mountain. On November 6, 1863, the organization entered camp along Chickamauga Creek, where authorities assigned the command to the Third Brigade, Second Division, Fourteenth Army Corps. On November 25, 1863, the 52nd participated in the Union assault of Missionary Ridge. In this battle, the regiment attacked the Confederate right and helped to drive the Southerners from this strategic position, bringing the Siege of Chattanooga to an end.
On September 26, 1863, the 52nd joined the Union's pursuit of the retreating Confederates. On that evening, the regiment and other Northern units intercepted the Southerners' rearguard near Greysville, Georgia. The 52nd rushed to the scene of the engagement and took up a position on the Union left. The Southerners quickly withdrew from the engagement. On the next day, pickets from the regiment captured 150 enemy stragglers. Upon reaching Ringgold, Georgia, Northern officials ended the pursuit and dispatched several regiments, including the 52nd, to Knoxville, Tennessee, where a Confederate force had besieged the city's Union garrison. The regiment marched through Cleveland, Charleston, and London, before arriving at Morgantown on December 6, 1863. At this location, the 52nd discovered that the Siege of Knoxville had concluded in a Union victory, and the organization commenced the march back to Chattanooga, reaching its old campgrounds on December 19. After the expedition towards Knoxville, the 52nd’s commanding officer issued the following report regarding the regiment’s movements in the autumn and early winter of 1863:
HDQRS. FIFTY-SECOND OHIO VOLUNTEERS, Chickamauga Creek, Tennessee, December 19, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by this command in the operations in front of Chattanooga, and on the march toward Knoxville and back to Chickamauga Creek:
November 24, under orders, moved with the brigade at daylight to Caldwell's Ford. At 1 p. m. crossed the pontoon bridge and formed line of battle in front of the first range of rifle-pits. At dusk moved about one-half the distance toward Mission Ridge, then occupied by the forces of Gen. Sherman. Here we lay in line until daylight.
November 25, early in the morning, moved to the foot of Mission Ridge, marching by the right of companies. This position we occupied while the battle raged at Tunnel Hill, immediately in front of our right and along the greater portion of the ridge. Now and then a shell would pass in the vicinity of the regiment, but no one was touched by the missiles.
November 26, at 1 a. m., moved down and crossed at the mouth of Chickamauga River and camped until daylight some distance above the last position, upon the opposite bank of the stream. After daylight moved up the valley in pursuit of the routed and fleeing enemy, who occasionally, by a few shots, attempted to resist the troops in advance, we having formed line of battle four distinct times during the progress of the day, and with the other regiments of the brigade been held well in hand. About an hour before nightfall, at Shepherd's Run, the vanguard being attacked by the rebel rear guard, a brisk firing commenced a short distance in front. This command was, at the time, marching by the right flank and in rear of the Eighty-sixth Illinois. It was also the rear of the brigade. Soon after the fighting commenced, a staff officer, whom I have not since been able to recognize, galloping up, said, "Deploy your men in there," pointing to the right among the brush. I replied, "Mine is the rear regiment of this brigade, and there is my place," pointing to the left of the Eighty-sixth, then marching forward into line. "Well," said he, "you'd better," and off he dashed. Bayonets were fixed and I ordered the regiment forward into line. While moving on double-quick through thick brush, and over logs, fences, and the scarcely fordable stream, it passed with a shout to its place on the left of the Eighty-sixth Illinois. Fighting soon ceased on our right, and we encamped for the night just where we stood in line.
On 27th, early in the morning, I was ordered to send Capt. Bucke and two skirmish companies to report to the colonel commanding. I detailed Companies A and B, and sent them in command of the officer mentioned. They returned to the regiment at dusk, having skirmished with the enemy from Shepherd's Run to Ringgold, near which place the regiment encamped for the night.
On 28th, moved past Parker's Gap, about a mile and remained until 29th; moved through McDaniel's Gap, camped near cleared land.
On 30th, encamped in the evening near Charleston.
December 1, crossed the Hiwassee, and moving day after day, excepting one day during which we rested on the left bank of the Little Tennessee, and, having crossed it and 5 miles above the crossing countermarched, we reached Gouldy's Mills, 5 miles from Columbus, on the 8th, where this regiment remained, grinding corn and wheat for the brigade and gathering in bushwhackers, until 15th.
On the 11th, a rebel lieutenant named Kimbrough, with 6 men, captured 1 officer and 1 private of this regiment, together with 4 horses. D. W. Kimbrough, father of the rebel lieutenant, was arrested and held as a hostage for the safety of the officer and private captured.
December 15, the regiment left Gouldy's Mills, and, after steady marching, reached Chickamauga Creek in the night, December 18.
By permission of the colonel commanding Company A was left behind at the mills on the morning of the 15th, with Capt. Bucke, to complete negotiations for the exchange of D. W. Kimbrough for the men his son had captured. The exchange was completed, and Company A joined the regiment this side of McDaniel's Gap.
We have had no men killed or wounded, but have lost, since November 24, 4; were last seen near Charleston, 1 at Gouldy's Mills, 1 at McDaniel's Gap, 1 near Cleveland.
No words of mine could fully express the merits of the officers and men of this command since the 20th of November. If there were an adjective in the language grander in its force of qualification that "heroic," then that adjective ought to qualify the word "endurance as applied to these officers and soldiers. As great a trial as the campaign has been to the bodies and souls of these men, each one esteems his experience in it as invaluable.
J. T. HOLMES, Maj., Cmdg. Regt.
Capt. E. L. ANDERSON, Acting Assistant Adjutant-Gen.
During the end of 1863 and the early months of 1864, the 52nd was constantly on the move, participating in several expeditions. On December 26, 1863, the regiment encamped at McAfee’s Church, Georgia. On January 28, 1864, the organization conducted a reconnaissance to Ringgold, Georgia, returning to camp the next day. On February 14, 1864, the 52nd entered camp at Chickamauga Station, Georgia and, on February 23, advanced again to Ringgold, before marching to Buzzard’s Roost, near Dalton, Georgia, that same day. At this location, the regiment skirmished with Confederate forces on both February 25 and 26, retiring from the field on the evening of the second day. On February 27, the 52nd returned to McAfee’s Church. On March 6, 1864, the regiment relocated to Lee & Gordon’s Mills, Georgia, where the organization remained for the next seven weeks.
In early May 1864, the 52nd Ohio embarked upon Union General William T. Sherman's Atlanta Campaign. The goal of this expedition was for Northern forces to capture the important manufacturing center of Atlanta, Georgia. The regiment fought in many of the largest engagements of the campaign, including the Battles of Dalton, Resaca, Kennesaw Mountain, and Atlanta. After the Atlanta Campaign, the 52nd’s commanding officer issued the following report:
HDQRS. FIFTY-SECOND OHIO VOLUNTEER INFANTRY, Atlanta, Ga., September 7, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by this command in the campaign now closing:
On the morning of May 3 this regiment, moving with the brigade, left Lee and Gordon's Mills, Ga., and in the evening encamped at Ringgold, Ga. It remained near this point until the morning of the 7th, when, at daylight, with Companies A, B, and F as skirmishers, it headed the column moving by the direct road upon Tunnel Hill, then held by the enemy. The skirmishers struck the enemy's vedettes at the distance of two miles from Ringgold, and a desultory firing was kept up until within a mile of Tunnel Hill, when a brisk skirmish took place, the enemy's force consisting of 50 to 100 cavalry or mounted infantry. Companies G and H were sent to effect a junction with the skirmish line moving in advance of a column that was following a road on our left. The junction was effected. I was directed by Gen. Davis in person to move my skirmish line by the right flank one half mile and skirmish the woods toward the point where the rebel battery had opened. The battery had been planted on the road leading through the gap to the right toward Buzzard Roost and near the gap. When the line reached the point I received an order from Col. McCook to recall the skirmishers, and immediately received one from Gen. Davis to skirmish over the ridge. Before reaching the crest a staff officer from Gen. Palmer directed the line recalled. The result proved dangerous to Gen. Davis and staff, as, riding a short distance beyond where the skirmish line had halted, they were fired upon by a squad of the enemy concealed near by. The regiment remained quartered near the church in Tunnel Hill until the evening of the 9th, when it joined the brigade in front of Buzzard Roost. At dark on the 10th seven companies, under command of Lieut. Col. C. W. Clancy, relieved the skirmishers of our First Brigade on Rocky Face; the three remaining lay with the brigade in reserve. From daylight until dark of the 11th the fire of the enemy was galling upon the skirmishers. At night of the 11th the line was relieved and encamped two miles in rear. Taking up the line of march with the brigade on the morning of the 12th, about daylight of the 13th the regiment reached the mouth of Snake Creek Gap. In the evening, after marching in a zigzag direction for a distance of four or five miles, a position about a mile from the defenses of Resaca was taken up. Early on the morning of the 14th the movement upon the works of the enemy began; during the day the regiment, with the brigade, was supporting the forces engaged in an assault upon the works; at night moved to a ridge a short distance to the right and fortified. The regiment occupied this position until the morning of the 16th, when it moved to the mouth of Snake Creek Gap, at which point knapsacks had been left, and from thence to Rome, at which place it moved in support of the Eighty-sixth Illinois and Twenty-second Indiana during the brief engagement on the evening of the 17th. P. m. of the 18th crossed the Oostenaula and fortified in the suburbs of the city against an anticipated cavalry attack. Encamping in the suburbs the regiment rested until the morning of the 24th at 6 o'clock, when it marched with the brigade toward Dallas, at which place position in line was taken the morning of the 27th. On the night of the 29th the regiment was ordered some distance to the rear and left of the line held by the brigade, to cover an opening between two brigades. Temporary fortifications were thrown up and at daylight the following morning the regiment returned to the line of the brigade. P. m. of the 30th dropped back a mile toward Dallas behind temporary works.
June 1, early in the forenoon, the regiment with the brigade marched to the left and reached its position between Dallas and Acworth in the night, relieving a regiment of the Twenty-third Corps upon the line. From this position constant skirmishing with the enemy from the main works was kept up until the morning of the 4th, when the command was moved two or three miles to the left into works of the Twentieth Corps. Morning of the 6th moved to the left and encamped near Acworth. At 8 a. m. of June 10 moved toward Kenesaw Mountain. During the gradual approaches to the mountain of the succeeding ten days the regiment threw up intrenchments three times, and Companies I, C, H, and E advanced the skirmish line on the 13th. Companies A, B, F, and G supported the skirmish line of the Eighty-sixth Illinois on the 16th, and advanced the skirmish line on the 18th. On the 21st the regiment threw up works under the mountain. On the 23d the regiment was ordered to support the skirmish line in a contemplated advance to the top of Kenesaw. The advance was not made, and the regiment returned on the 24th. Companies D, I, and C on the skirmish line at the foot of the mountain. Relieved at dusk by the Seventieth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, when the regiment marched two miles to the right and encamped in rear of the right of the Fourth Corps. June 27, at 7 a. m. the regiment formed the rear line of the brigade, then thrown in column of regiments for an assault upon the enemy's works. The assault was made at 8 a. m., and notwithstanding the withering fire from the enemy's guns and the failure to carry the works, together with the efforts of frightened and wounded men to break through the ranks, the regiment preserved its unity and alignment within thirty yards of the works, when ordered to occupy and intrench a second line about thirty yards in rear of the position it held when the assault ended. The position was intrenched immediately, although the troops were constantly harassed by sharpshooters from the enemy's works.
July 3, the enemy having evacuated their works the night previous, the regiment moved through Marietta and encamped about four miles south-southeast. At dusk on the 4th we occupied works thrown up in front of the enemy by the First Brigade. On the 5th followed the enemy to their last position northwest of the Chattahoochee River and threw up earth-works. On the 8th the regiment was detailed as skirmishers. On the 9th relieved from the skirmish line. On the 10th the regiment encamped near the Chattahoochee, where it remained until the morning of the 18th; crossed the Chattahoochee above Nancy's Creek; crossed Nancy's Creek at noon without opposition, and night intrenched on the northern bank of Peach Tree Creek. In the afternoon of the 19th the regiment, under the personal direction of Col. Dilworth, commanding brigade, effected the crossing of Peach Tree, and only sheltered from the fire of the enemy by a light strip of undergrowth on each side of the stream. As soon as the entire regiment was on the south side of the creek, Companies A, F, H, B, and K were deployed as skirmishers, as much as possible under cover of the bushes, with instructions to halt when the ridge and houses, from 300 to 500 yards in front, should be carried. At the command the five companies leaped from cover, and, as quickly as men could pass over the distance, regardless of the fire from twice their number of guns, carried the crest with a shout at the success. Lieut.-Col. Clancy immediately double-quicked the reserve to the right and rear of the skirmish line on the crest, and began a light work of rails for the purpose of sheltering the reserve. Company A, by his order, was withdrawn from the skirmish line, and Companies F, E, and G sent forward on the right. Both our flanks were without support at this moment. Orders to move the skirmish line forward were sent by the colonel commanding brigade, and as the movement began it was met by the enemy in force, charging back upon the line. The weight of their first assault struck the center and left of the line, but did not succeed in dislodging us from the houses and the crest, although our loss, in proportion to the number engaged, was severe in killed, wounded and missing. The second assault, made by at least six rebel regiments, struck and almost completely enveloped the right of the skirmish line and the reserve. The line was driven to the reserve, and the reserve, by the flank fire and the weight of numbers, was forced back to the main line, then formed about fifteen paces in the rear of the reserve. At this moment Lieut. Col. C. W. Clancy, the commanding officer of this regiment from the 1st of May to the 19th of July, was taken prisoner, and with him the records from which this report for the period mentioned would otherwise have been made were lost. The ridge was held and the enemy repulsed. On the 20th the regiment intrenched in rear of the Eighty-sixth and One hundred and twenty-fifth Illinois. On the 22d encamped within two miles of Atlanta, on the right of the Marietta road. On the 28th the regiment formed the rear guard of a reconnaissance by the division, in rear of the right flank of the Army of the Tennessee. 29th, formed part of the second line, advancing the right flank of the army. At dusk the regiment was ordered on the skirmish line. On the 30th relieved from skirmish line by Thirtieth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and moved with the brigade division distance to the right. On the 31st moved on a reconnaissance with the brigade to the right and returned. Moving with the brigade toward the right on the afternoon of the 4th and the morning of the 5th, the regiment threw up intrenchments, under a heavy fire of shells, about 10 a. m. At dusk Companies E, K, G, and B were detailed for skirmish line, and were relieved on the following evening. On the 7th the main line was advanced in full view of the enemy's works and batteries, the latter playing on the troops freely. The position assigned the regiment at this point exposed it to a direct and enfilading fire from both musketry and artillery. Heavy traverses were thrown up and just completed by the night of the 12th, when a change of position was ordered. It had been impossible to work in daylight, hence the length of time required to build such works by men fatigued and harassed, fighting from dawn till eve each day. On the morning of the 13th the regiment was assigned a fortified position on the southern branch of Utoy Creek, and remained in it until 2.30 a. m. of the 19th, Companies A, F, D, and I picketing twenty-four hours mean time. On the 19th moved some two miles toward Sandtown; countermarched, and crossing the branch of Utoy, lay in rear of a portion of the Twenty-third Corps until night, when we returned to camp. On the 20th marched at daylight with the brigade; reached the Montgomory railroad, six miles below East Point, about midday. The regiment was ordered to support the Twenty-second Indiana Volunteers while engaged in destroying the track. At dark reached the camp on Utoy without the loss of a man. On the 23d Companies I, C, H, and E ordered on picket, and relieved on the 24th. On the 27th, at daylight, moved out of our works, crossed Utoy, and at noon took up position facing north-northeast. On the 28th, moving with the brigade crossed the Montgomery railroad, and encamped. On the 30th moved to the right front, near Rough and Ready, and fortified. On the 31st, in the afternoon, moved to the front a short distance; faced about and moved to the right, in the direction of heavy firing; encamped near the left of the Army of the Tennessee.
September 1, moved with the brigade toward Jonesborough, passing through the works of the Seventeenth Corps, and halting. The regiment was ordered to skirmish over a hill in front. The position was occupied by the skirmish Companies A, F, and D, with but little resistance. The remaining seven companies occupied the front line upon the left of the brigade, when formed for the movement upon the enemy's works, and continued to occupy that position in the movement until both the works and guns of the enemy were captured, although men from many regiments of the division became mingled while engaged near the captured works and guns. By one of the casualties of battle the command of the regiment devolved upon Capt. Samuel Rothacker soon after the final charge began, and remained with him until the morning of the 2d. On the 2d the regiment encamped at Jonesborough. 3d, at 6 p. m. moved to division hospital and encamped for the night. On the 4th the regiment was ordered in advance of the train by way of Rough and Ready to Atlanta, Ga., which place was reached in the evening. The regiment was detailed as a part of the guard over a brigade of prisoners from the suburbs to the military prison, and on the following morning it was directed to its present camp.
I respectfully submit and herewith transmit a list of casualties in the command since May 3. In the body of my report I have omitted any regular allusion to the casualties in the different actions. The accompanying list I hope will be sufficiently explicit.
Of the officers whom we shall see no more, I can only say they flinched from no known duty, dying like they were, true men and true soldiers. Capt. S. M. Neighbor was mortally wounded at Kenesaw; also Lieuts. Ira H. Pool and D. F. Miser. Capt. P. C. Schneider and Lieut. J. H. Donaldson were killed on the field at Peach Tree. Were I to begin making special mention of the worthy it would be difficult to avoid injustice to some. Alike to officers and men, I can say they did their duty in action.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. T. HOLMES, Maj., Cmdg. Regt.
Capt. CHARLES SWIFT, Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., 3d Brig., 2d Dir., 14th Army Corps.
Following the Atlanta Campaign, the 52nd remained at Atlanta until embarking upon General Sherman's "March to the Sea" in mid-November 1864. The ultimate goal of this campaign was for the Union military to seize Savannah, Georgia. The regiment saw limited action in this advance. The Union military occupied Savannah on December 21, 1864, with the 52nd entering camp in the city. After this campaign, the 52nd’s commanding officer issued the following report:
HDQRS. FIFTY-SECOND OHIO VOLUNTEERS INFANTRY, Near Savannah, Ga., December 31, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by this command in the late campaign which has resulted in the capture of Savannah:
On the 16th day of November last I took command of the regiment at Atlanta, Ga., and at 9 a. m. received orders to march. In compliance with said order moved at 11 a. m. as guards for division train; marched on a road running parallel with the Augusta and Atlanta Railroad through the town of Decatur; marched near fourteen miles and encamped with the train at 9 p. m. 17th, moved with the brigade at 7 a. m., following the One hundred and tenth Illinois; assisted in destroying a portion of the Augusta railroad; encamped at Conyers Station with the brigade at 7 p. m. 18th, marched with the brigade at 5 a. m. in the direction of Covington, reaching the same at 12 m.; spent three hours in the destruction of railroad southeast of the town, then concluded a march of fifteen miles and encamped with the brigade. 19th, marked at 6 a. m. with the brigade in the direction of Eatonton, and at 6 p. m. encamped with the same near said place, having marched near eighteen miles. 20th, moved at 7 a. m. in the direction of Milledgeville and west of Eatonton; encamped with the brigade at 3 p. m. 21st, marched with the brigade at 6 a. m. and encamped at 4 p. m. on the west bank of Cedar Creek, where we remained until 6 a. m. of the 23d when, with the Eighty-sixth Illinois, the command marched as rear guard for the division and encamped with the brigade near Milledgeville at 11 p. m. 24th, moved at 10 a. m., passing through Milledgeville; encamped with the brigade six miles southeast. 25th, marched at 6 a. m. and encamped with the brigade east of Buffalo Creek. 26th, marched with the brigade at 6 a. m., passing through the town of Sandersonville; encamped near and east of it at 12 m. 27th, marched with the brigade at 7 a. m., crossing the Ogeechee River at Fenn's Bridge; encamped near Rocky Comfort Creek, having marched fifteen miles. Companies A, F, D, I, and B were detailed for picket. 28th, picket companies were brought in at 6 a. m., and the command moved with the brigade and encamped two miles east of Louisville at 5 p. m. In this camp the command remained until the 30th, when, at 2 p. m., I was ordered to move to a road one mile to the right and support the pickets while their line advanced; light skirmishing ensued, but no loss was sustained. At this point, by order of brigade commander, Maj. Holmes, with a detail of men, burned one cotton gin, including-bales of cotton. Moving a short distance to the right the entire regiment was placed on picket, relieving the Eighty-sixth Illinois.
December 1, at 7 a. m. I was ordered to return to the camp occupied the previous day, and at 10 a. m. marched with the brigade and encamped at 11 p. m. 2d, moved at 9 a. m. as train guards; marched twelve miles and encamped with the brigade at 10 p. m. 3d, marched with the brigade at 8 a. m., following the Twenty-second Indiana; encamped at 7 p. m., having marched twelve miles. 4th, moved with the brigade at 10 a. m., crossing the railroad at Lumpkin's Station, and encamped at 7 p. m. 5th, marched at 7 a. m. as train guard; encamped with the brigade at 9 p. m. near Buck Head Creek Post-Office. 6th, marched at 6.20 a. m., leading the division; encamped with the brigade at 5 p. m., having marched seventeenth miles; Companies C, E, and K were detailed for picket. 7th, moved with the brigade at 7 a. m., and encamped near Ebenezer Creek. 8th, moved with the brigade and encamped after a march of six miles. 9th, marched with the brigade on a road leading to Savannah at 2 p. m. The enemy opened fire on the head of the column from a battery in position on the road. I was ordered to take position on the right of the road and in rear of the Twenty-second Indiana. About 5 p. m. the command was moved near one mile to the right and encamped for the night. 10th, marched as rear guard for the division, encamping with the brigade at 2 p. m. 11th, marched with the brigade in the direction of Savannah, and when within five miles of the city encamped. 12th and 13th, destroyed a portion of the Macon railroad, returning to the same camp, with we occupied until the morning of the 22d, when the command moved, with the brigade, to its present camp.
During the entire campaign only three days' rations were issued to this regiment. A detail of thirty men, in charge of a commissioned officer, was made each day to forage for the command, supplying it bountifully with meat and potatoes, and occasionally with flour and meal. This was done without molestation by the enemy until the 26th of November, when, on entering the town of Sandersonville, a lively skirmish was kept up for near an hour between the enemy's cavalry and the foraging parties of the division, the detail from this command, in charge of Lieut. Summers, participating. No casualties occurred in his command.
Again, on the 30th, the detail in charge of Lieut. McIntire was attacked by the enemy in considerable force near Louisville, resulting in a loss of 5 men-1 wounded and 4 missing. Added to this 1 man missing at Fenn's Bridge (on the 29th), and the list of casualties is complete.
I have no correct means of ascertaining the number of horses and mules captured, from the fact that foraging parties report to the brigade commander. I can only state, that there are at present for horses and twelve mules in this command, the properly of the Government, all of which, I believe, have been accounted for.
Inclosed will be found accurate notes of the part taken by the command in rear of Atlanta from the 28th of September to the 15th day of November, while in command of Maj. Holmes.
In conclusion, it is my duty to say, in commendation of both officers and men, that all did their promptly, under all circumstances, adhering strictly to that good order and soldierly bearing that had hitherto characterized them.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
CHAS. W. CLANCY, Lieut.-Col., Cmdg. Regt.
Lieut. M. W. TANNER, Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., 3d Brig., 2d Div., 14th Army Corps.
In early 1865, the 52nd Ohio embarked upon General Sherman’s Carolinas Campaign. In South Carolina, the regiment participated in several minor skirmishes with Confederate forces. In early March 1865, the regiment entered North Carolina, arriving at Fayetteville in the middle of the month. The 52nd also participated in the Battle of Bentonville, North Carolina from March 19 to 21, 1865. Following this Union victory, the regiment moved to Goldsboro, North Carolina, before advancing to and entering camp at Raleigh, North Carolina. During the Carolinas Campaign, the 52nd’s commanding officer issued the following report:
HDQRS. FIFTY-SECOND OHIO VOLUNTEER INFANTRY, Goldsborough, N. C., March 25, 1865.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by this command in the late campaign from Savannah, which concluded with our arrival at Goldsborough, N. C.:
On the 19th of January, 1865, I received orders to march at 7 a. m. the 20th, and in compliance moved with the brigade on the Louisville road, marching eight miles; encamped and remained in the same position, perhaps in consequence of very bad roads that then existed, until the 25th, when I moved with the brigade on the same road some ten miles, then, taking a road to the right, moved some six miles and encamped for the night. 26th, marched at 7 a. m. in rear of the division in the direction of Springfield, and encamped near the same to the right of the Middle Ground road. 27th, marched at 11 a. m. as rear guard for division supply train, moving only about one mile. Reached Ebenezer Creek and there remained until 5 p. m., when I received an order to report with my command to the brigade, then encamped four miles beyond; crossing the creek I reached the brigade at 7 p. m. 28th, marched at 8 a. m. in the direction of the Savannah River, and at 12 m. encamped with the brigade at or near Sister's Ferry. 29th, in the same camp. Ordered to detail 100 men 3 commissioned officers to report at the ferry to go on an expedition aboard a gun-boat then anchored at that point. This detail returned in due time and the command remained in the same camp seven days, during which time frequent details were made for fatigued duty, repairing roads to and beyond the ferry.
On the 2d day of February with my command relieved the Seventeenth New York Veteran Volunteers, then doing picket duty on the Augusta road, one mile from camp, and on the 3d, at 9 a. m., I was relieved by the one hundred and thirteenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and returned to camp. February 5, 9 a. m., I received orders to be ready to move at a moment's notice, and at 4 p. m. moved with the brigade to the ferry, and there remained until 8 p. m., when we crossed the river and marched some three miles from the same and encamped. In this camp the command remained until the morning of the 8th, during which time clothing was issued. The men being comfortably clad for the march, the command moved at 9 a. m. flanking guards for the division supply train, in the direction of Brighton's marching eight miles, encamped near that point at 3 p. m. 9th, moved with the brigade on the Augusta road at 7 a. m.; marched over twenty miles and encamped to the right of the road at 5 p. m. 10th, moved at 6 a. m. in the direction of Barnwell and encamped within seven miles of the above-named placed having marched near twenty miles. 11th, moved at 6.30 a. m. on the Barnwell road, passing through the town of Barnwell; encamped some three miles north of it with the brigade. 12th, marched at 6.30 a. m., following the One hundred and twenty-fifth Illinois, crossing the Charleston and Augusta Railroad at Williston; encamped with the brigade on the west bank of the Edisto River, near Davis' Bridge. 13th, marched at 8 a. m. with the brigade on the Columbia road. Crossing the South Edisto, went into camp two miles beyond at 10 a. m., and at 11 a. m. received orders to march, moving at once on the same road; encamped with the brigade near and northeast of Sallie's Mill, having marched during the day only seven miles. 14th, moved at 6.30 a. m., leading the brigade, crossing the North Edisto at Horsey's Bridge; marched nine miles from the bridge; encamped, having marched during the day twenty miles. 15th, marched at 8 a. m. on a road leading in the direction of Lexington; at 2 p. m. moved off on a road leading in the direction of Calk's Ferry and encamped to the right of it with the brigade at 6 p. m. During the day our left flank and rear was threatened by the enemy's cavalry, and the following disposition of a part of the command was made: Companies G and K, in charge of Lieut. Grimes, were placed in rear of the brigade train, while Companies H and B, in charge of Lieut. Armstrong and McIntire, were deployed on the left flank of the regiment, covering also the left of the train. 16th, marched at 6 a. m. in the direction of Columbia and on the road leading through the town of Lexington; reached the west bank of the Saluda River, near Columbia, at 12 m.; here remained until 2 p. m., when we moved four miles to the rear and encamped with the brigade, having marched twenty miles in all. 17th, marched at 6 a. m., crossing the Saluda River on the pontoon bridge which was laid at Wise's Ferry; took a road leading to the right and encamped with the brigade on the west bank of Broad River at 6 p. m. 18th, crossed Broad River at Freshly's Ferry, early in the day, and moved one miles from the east bank, and took up position to the left of a road leading into the main Columbia road, and threw up a temporary work to cover the crossing of other troops. The enemy reported to be in our immediate front made it necessary. 19th, marched at 6.30 a. m. on the Winnsborough road four miles and encamped with the brigade. At 1 p. m. moved one mule and a half from camp, without arms or accouterments, to the Spartanburg railroad and assisted in destroying near one mile of it. Returned to camp at 4 p. m. At this camp I received orders to destroy all surplus baggage, wall-tents, &c., which was promptly obeyed. 20th, marched at 6.30 a. m., leading the division; moved three miles and encamped near Kincaid's Brigade, on Little River (or Creek). 21st, ordered to march at 6.30, but being assigned to the rear of the division supply train, in order of march, did not move until 3 p. m., marching in the direction of Winnsborough, and when within five miles of the town moved off on a road leading to the left; encamped six miles northwest of it with the brigade at 10 p. m. 22d, marched at 6.30 with the brigade, reaching the Charlotte railroad at White Oak Station. Took the Camden road and encamped near Wateree crossing at 2 p. m. 23d, marched at 8 a. m., crossing the Wateree at Foster's Bridge. Our march was very much retarded by coming in contact with other troops of the corps. At 5 p. m. I encamped with the brigade at Rocky Mount, having marched eight miles. 24th, ordered to move as train guard; at 1 p. m. moved to a hill a short distance in front of camp, stacked arms, and assisted the train in ascending the hill until 5 p. m., when I was ordered to join the brigade, then on the opposite side of the Catawba River. I at once moved, crossing on the pontoon bridge laid at Kingsbury's Ferry, and encamped one mile and a half from the same.
The 25th, 26th, and 27th were spent at this point, the entire command constantly at work on the road leading from the crossing. It became necessary at many points on the road in the immediate neighborhood of the crossing to corduroy it the third time in order that the train could at all pass over. 28th, received order to march at 11.30 a. m.; moved at once with the brigade in the direction of the river a short distance when I was ordered to return, and, with my command, to move at once to the head of the supply train, then moving out from the ferry; I did so, overtaking the head of the train some four miles from the river; encamped with the brigade near Liberty Hill at 6 p. m.
March 1, moved at 6.30 a. m. in rear of the brigade column; marched twenty-two miles and encamped with the brigade on the right of the Chesterfield road; seven companies were derailed for picket. 2d, moved at 6.30 in the direction of Chesterfield, crossing Lynch's Creek at -- Bridge, and encamped near it, having near it, having marched ten miles over heavy roads and through a drenching rain. 3d, moved at 6.30 as train guards; marched twenty-four miles and encamped with the brigade at 9 p. m. on the west bank of Thompson's Creek. 4th, marched at 6 a. m. in the direction of Sneedsborough and encamped with the brigade at 4 p. m. on the west bank of the Great Pedee River, at Pegues' Crossing, and two miles below the above-named place. Soon after arriving in camp the command was ordered to the road without arms, for the purpose of making corduroy road, that the pontoon train might at once reach the point at which the crossing as to be effected. The command returned to camp in a short time, having completed the work. In this camp the command remained until 2 p. m. the 7th, when it moved with the brigade, crossing the Pedee River at Pegues' Crossing and encamped two miles from the same and on the right of the Rockingham road. 8th, moved at 6.30 a. m., leading the division, and encamped with the brigade on the left of the Rockingham and Fayetteville road. 9th, moved from camp 7 a. m. in rear of the division; marched on the road leading to Fayetteville; crossed the Lumber River at Graham's Bridge and assisted the One hundred and twenty-fifth Illinois in destroying it. While engaged in this work the enemy appeared in our rear in small force, but did not attempt to stop the work. As soon as the bridge was effectually destroyed every man was put to work assisting the train over the road, which was almost impassable. A faithful and continued effort was made until 4 a. m. on the morning of the 10th to keep it moving; then it was found impossible to go farther without rest, and for this purpose we halted in the road until 6 a. m., then moved to the camping ground intended for us the night previous. On arriving there the command halted for one hour, then marched on in the direction of Fayetteville. Leaving the town with other troops marched near twelve miles and encamped with the brigade. 11th, moved at 9 a. m. on the Fayetteville road and encamped one mile west of the town at 3 p. m. 12th, marched at 5 p. m. crossing the Cape Fear on the pontoon bridge laid just below the old bridge, which had but recently been destroyed. The command encamped with the brigade about one miles from the crossing. 13th, moved at 6 a. m. on the Raleigh road two miles and encamped on the west bank of Lock's Creek, near Beasley's Mill.
In this camp the command remained until the morning of the 15th, when it moved in the direction of Raleigh, leading the brigade; marched twelve miles and encamped. 16th, moved 8.30 a. m. and when near Silver Run heavy skirmishing was heard in front. The command was at once moved in quick time to the front. On arriving near the scene of action I moved with the brigade to the left of the road and was assigned a position in the second line on the left of the One hundred and twenty-fifth Illinois. We soon engaged the enemy's skirmishers. I was then ordered to take position on the left of the Twenty-second Indiana, in the from line. Company A was at once put on the skirmish line, Capt. Bucke in command. During this time we were steadily advancing and driving the enemy into the main line of works. We then halted within 150 yards of the same and fortified our position. A lively skirmish was kept up until 11 p. m., when the enemy retired from our front. During this short but spirited engagement the command sustained a loss of 2 killed and 6 wounded. Among the wounded were two commissioned officers. March 17, moved at 9.30 a. m. on the Goldsborough road, crossing the headquarters of South River, and encamped with the brigade, at 6 p. m. 18th, marched at 5.30 a. m. and encamped at 8.30 a. m., leading the brigade. Soon after leaving camp cannonading was heard in our front, and increased as we approached. When near the point where the firing was going on the command was moved to the right of the Goldsborough road and was assigned a position a short distance from it in the front line and on the left of the brigade. The position was at once fortified by throwing up a temporary work from fallen timber, that was found in the immediate neighborhood of the line., This work was scarcely completed when I was ordered to move by the left, forming a line almost at right angles with the position from which I had moved. The line was soon well formed in this new position, and the command forward given, which at once made apparent to all the object of the sudden change of our position. Moving a short distance the enemy was met in heavy force and a very few shots from their skirmish line brought on a general engagement. The firing from my line was well directed by the men, at once breaking the enemy's line, and he retreated a short distance in disorder and confusion. At this time I occupied the extreme right of the line, and consequently my flank somewhat exposed. To guard this I refused the right of my line to some extent, and immediately notified the general commanding of my situation. The Eighty-sixth Illinois was soon moving to my right under a lively skirmish fire, and the enemy taking advantage of this necessary change of position at once, with renewed vigor, attacked his left and my right, and succeeded in breaking the right of my line, at the same time assaulting in front. Some confusion was occasioned by this, but the enemy having suffered severely, did not, or could not, follow up with his broken and straggling ranks the seeming advantage gained. The command falling back but a very short distance, rallied and threw up works, and with night coming on the conflict for the day was ended, and the men rested on their arms until morning. The command during the engagement suffered a loss of 2 killed and 16 wounded and 2 missing.
On the morning of the 20th moved with the brigade to the position taken and fortified on the morning of the 19th. A detail was then made to bury the dead of the enemy hat might be found on the field, and while engaged in this act of humanity one of the party was seriously wounded by the enemy's pickets. A report of the number buried has already been made. At 2 p. m. the command moved forward to the front line, occupied the previous day by a portion of the Second Brigade, and remained there until the morning of the 21st, when at 6 a. m. moved with the brigade near one mile to the front and bearing to the left took position in the front line. One company in charge of Lieut. Armstrong was put upon the skirmish line. At 3 p. m. the enemy made a feeble assault upon our lines, but accomplished nothing. Maj. J. T. Holmes at this time took command of the left wing of the regiment and moved it to the left in easy supporting distance of the skirmish line, and remained so until the morning of the 22d. The right wing was withdrawn from the front line and assigned a position a position in the rear a short distance from the front line, where they threw up a heavy work sufficient for the entire regiment, the left wing assisting by detail. The enemy retreated during the night, leaving us in full possession of the direct road to Goldsborough. At 10 a. m. the regiment moved with the brigade on that road and encamped near the Neuse River. 23d, moved at 8.30 a. m., crossing the river above named; arrived at Goldsborough in the evening and encamped near and northwest of the town, where the command at present remains.
For a campaign so extensive and attended with so much danger, our list of casualties is light, as the following will show: When near Lexington, S. C., on the 15th day of February, 2 enlisted men were missing; March 16, near Silver Run, N. C., 2 enlisted men killed and 4 wounded; also, 2 commissioned officers wounded; March 19, near Bentonville, 2 enlisted men killed, 16 wounded, and 2 missing. Total, 4 killed, 22 wounded, and 4 missing.
During the entire campaign, notwithstanding it was attended with many hardships and privations, all did their duty well and without complaint; and, in conclusion, it is proper to say of those who are forever lost to us, that they died in the discharge of their duty as good soldiers, and well deserve the highest gratitude of the country they served so faithfully.
CHARLES W. CLANCY, Lieut.-Col., Cmdg.
Capt. CHARLES SWIFT, Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., 3d Brig., 2d Div., 14th Army Corp
Following the surrender of General Joseph Johnston's Confederate army in late April 1865, the 52nd marched to Washington, DC, where the organization participated in the Grand Review on May 24, 1865. The regiment remained at Washington, until mustering out of service on June 3, 1865. The 52nd's members traveled to Ohio, returning to their homes.
During the 52nd Ohio's term of service, 101 men, including seven officers, died from wounds received on the battlefield. An additional 169 men, including one officer, died from disease or accidents.
Cite this Entry
"52nd Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry," Ohio Civil War Central, 2020, Ohio Civil War Central. 18 Sep 2020 <http://www.www.ohiocivilwarcentral.com/entry.php?rec=1224>
"52nd Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry." (2020) In Ohio Civil War Central, Retrieved September 18, 2020, from Ohio Civil War Central: http://www.www.ohiocivilwarcentral.com/entry.php?rec=1224