In the American Civil War, Ohio provided the federal government with 260 regiments of men, including infantry, artillery, and cavalry units. Ohioans also served in several other regiments from other states, most notably from Kentucky, West Virginia, and Massachusetts, as well as in federal units.
In the American Civil War, Ohio provided the federal government with 260 regiments of men, including infantry, artillery, and cavalry units. Ohioans also served in several other regiments from other states, most notably from Kentucky, West Virginia, and Massachusetts, as well as in federal units. Almost 330,000 Ohio men, including 5,092 African Americans, served in the Union military during the conflict.
Infantry regiments formed in Ohio became known as regiments of Ohio Volunteer Infantry. They served for varying lengths of time, averaging one hundred days to three years. On August 27, 1861, the 33rd Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry organized at Camp Morrow, at Portsmouth, Ohio. The men in the regiment were to serve three years.
Upon organizing, the 33rd moved to Maysville, Kentucky, where the regiment spent the next two months pursuing Confederate Colonel John S. Williams's command. Union forces eventually drove these Rebels out of Kentucky and into Virginia. The 33rd then boarded transports at Louisa, Kentucky on the Big Sandy River and traveled to Louisville, Kentucky, arriving here on December 1, 1861. At Louisville, the regiment was brigaded with the 10th Regiment Wisconsin Infantry, 2nd Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and the 21st Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry in Don Carlos Buell's Army of the Ohio. The Army of the Ohio then advanced to Bacon Creek, Kentucky, where the 33rd remained until February 1862.
On February 13, 1862, the 33rd's brigade began an advance to Bowling Green, Kentucky, driving Confederate forces from the region. On February 21, the brigade then departed for Nashville, Tennessee, arriving there on February 26. On March 18, the regiment began a march to Huntsville, Alabama, traveling via the Tennessee communities of Murfreesboro and Shelbyville. In the late summer, the regiment moved to Bridgeport, Alabama, where the 33rd garrisoned Fort McCook at the mouth of Battle Creek. On August 27, Confederate cavalry and artillery attacked the fort, prompting the Union soldiers to retreat under the cover of darkness. The Northern soldiers withdrew to Decherd, Tennessee and then marched to Nashville and Bowling Green, where it rejoined the rest of the Army of the Ohio, which was in pursuit of General Braxton Bragg's Confederate army. The Northern army then moved to Louisville, Kentucky, where it arrived on September 26. On October 1, 1862, the Army of the Ohio departed Louisville in search of the Confederates, finding them at Perryville, Kentucky. At the Battle of Perryville (October 8, 1862), the 33rd entered the engagement with approximately four hundred men. The regiment had 129 men killed or wounded in the battle, nearly one-third of its total active strength. An officer of the 33rd issued the following report after the engagement:
HDQRS. THIRTY-THIRD REGT. OHIO VOL. INFANTRY, Camp near Harrodsburg, Ky., October 13, 1862.
SIR: I have the honor to submit herewith my official report of the loss sustained by this regiment in the action at Chaplin Hill on the 8th instant:
It is deemed unnecessary to enter into a minute detail of the action of my command on that day. The brigade commander, by his presence at the different parts of the field, is no doubt familiar with the conduct of this regiment.
At an early period of the action Lieut. Col. O. F. Moore, commanding, was wounded while gallantly encouraging his men, and, refusing assistance to leave the field, fell into the hands of the enemy. His wound, I am happy to state, was not dangerous, and he has since been paroled.
With the conduct of my officers and men I am perfectly content. My officers were at all times obeyed with alacrity, and their conduct throughout the whole engagement merits my approbation.
The loss sustained was 21 killed, 74 wounded, and 10 missing; total, 105.* Of the number reported to be missing 6 are known now to have been captured and paroled.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
F. J. LOCK,
Lieut. G. A. VANDEGRIFT, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
Following the battle, the Confederates withdrew, and the 33rd participated in the Union's pursuit of the Confederates as far as Crab Orchard, Kentucky before moving to Nashville, where the regiment became part of the 1st Brigade, 1st Division of the Army of the Cumberland. On December 26, 1862, the 33rd marched from Nashville to Murfreesboro, where the Battle of Stones River occurred from December 31, 1862 to January 2, 1863. During the first day of the battle, the regiment reinforced the crumbling Union right. Over the engagement's span, the 33rd had eight men killed.
The 33rd remained at Murfreesboro until June 24, 1863, when the Army of the Cumberland embarked upon the Tullahoma Campaign. On the first day of the campaign, the regiment engaged Confederate forces at Hoover's Gap, driving the Southerners from the battlefield while having four men wounded. On June 29, Union forces reached Tullahoma, Alabama, forcing the Confederates from the city. On September 1, 1863, the Army of the Cumberland, including the 33rd, embarked upon the Chattanooga Campaign. The regiment played an active role in the Battle of Chickamauga (September 19 and 20, 1863). The 33rd entered the battle with 343 men and had 168 men killed, wounded, or captured. The 33rd's commanding officer issued the following report after the battle:
HDQRS. THIRTY-THIRD REGT. OHIO VOL., INFTY., Chattanooga, Tenn., September 24, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following statement of the part taken by the Thirty-third Ohio Volunteer Infantry in the engagement near Crawfish Spring, on the 19th and 20th instant:
Having moved during the night of the 18th from Bird's Mill to a point about 3 miles east of the spring, at daylight on the morning of the 19th the brigade was formed in line of battle, with the right of the Thirty-third Ohio Volunteer Infantry resting on the east side of the State road, and the line extending east parallel with a fence in front, and connecting with the Second Ohio on the left. Immediately across the road on our right, on more elevated ground, was posted a section of the First Michigan Battery. On the right of that again was the Second Brigade in line, and on the left of the Second Ohio was the Third Brigade. Our line was nearly at right angles with the State road.
Shortly after our line was formed the Third Division of the Fourteenth Corps began to arrive, and upon being informed by Col. Dan. McCook that a brigade of rebels had been cut of and was only a short distance in front, one of the brigades of that division was sent by Gen. Brannan to engage them. In a short time heavy firing was heard on the left and front of us and immediately our entire division was ordered to advance. The Second Ohio marched by the left flank, filing left until the right reached where the left had rested, when it moved by the right flank in line of battle, bearing of in an easterly course; the Thirty-third also marching by the left flank until its right reached where its left had rested, when by order of the brigade commander it marched by the right flank in line of battle, wheeling to the left so as to form quite an obtuse angle with the Second Ohio, and thus continued its march, obliquing, however, to the left and occasionally marching by the left flank so as to keep up close connection with the right of the Second. The enemy was soon encountered, but was driven before us steadily, and with considerable loss to them in killed, wounded, and prisoners.
While thus advancing, information, which at the time was deemed reliable, reached us that Palmer's division was in our front, and in order that we might be unmasked and hold a position on their left, the brigade obliqued rapidly to the left, and in the meantime the Second Brigade fell to the rear, thus leaving our right entirely unprotected, unless, as was reported, Palmer was really there. The enemy having disappeared from our front, the brigade was halted near a corn-field and the lines readjusted. The Thirty-third was wheeled to the left and advanced so as to form a continuous line with the Second, while the Thirty-eighth Indiana and Tenth Wisconsin, then forming the second line, were wheeled to the right and advanced so as to form a line at right angles with us and connect with and cover the right. The First Michigan Battery in the meantime was brought into position on the right, between the Thirty-eighth Indiana and Tenth Wisconsin. Immediately after this the enemy made a most furious attack in front and simultaneously threw an overwhelming column on our flank. The assault on the flank was so irresistible and the column so heavy as to force, in a few moments, the Thirty-eighth Indiana and Tenth Wisconsin from their position and endanger the battery. Our right flank being thus exposed, and the regiment subjected to a most murderous enfilading fire, without being able to confer with the brigade commander, in order to avoid annihilation or capture, the regiment was ordered to fall back, which it did; but on account of the heavy fire of artillery and musketry upon its flank and rear, its retreat was confused and disorderly, amounting almost to a rout, so that it was impossible to rally it until it had reached the State road. Our loss in this engagement was heavy.
About 3 p. m. the brigade was brought together, reformed, and marched to the front to support Johnson's division, where we remained, without being actively engaged, until after dark, when we were withdrawn to an adjoining field to bivouac during the night.
About 4 o'clock on the morning of the 20th the regiment moved from its bivouac with the brigade to the east, about 400 yards, and formed in line of battle, our right resting on the left of the Ninety-fourth Ohio, and our line forming with its line an obtuse angle. Temporary works of stones and logs were thrown up in the edge of the woods, on a gentle slope, in front of that again the ground descended, covered with a light growth of timber. Behind these works the regiment was posted and fought during the day. About 8 a. m. our entire line, formed by Johnson's division on the right, our division in the center, and a portion of Negley's division on the right, our division in the center, and a portion of Negley's division on the left, was fiercely assaulted by a large force, said by prisoners to be under the command of Breckinridge. The fighting was very severe with both artillery and musketry, and for awhile the result was doubtful, but finally the enemy was repulsed and driven back with great slaughter.
With the exception of occasional skirmishing and the annoyance of sharpshooters, resulting in a few casualties, among which I regret to note the death of our gallant Maj. E. J. Ellis and the severe wounding of Capt. George P. Singer, no more serious fighting occurred on our front until near 4 p. m., although for several hours evident preparation had been going on for a heavy attack. About 4 p. m., while the battle was raging on the right, the assault was renewed with the utmost vehemence and ferocity and with apparently and overwhelming force, but, availing themselves of the temporary works thrown up in our front, the men with great coolness and bravery held the enemy at bay and repulsed with great gallantry every assault until near sundown, when the order was given to fall back. Owing, however, to the roar of artillery and musketry, the order to retire was not understood by me or those commanding battalions on our left. Perceiving, however, that the artillery on the right of our line had been withdrawn and that the infantry also was retiring somewhat in haste and disorder, a partial stampede was caused on our left, the effect of which was to expose our center to an attack on either flank. In order, therefore, to save my command I directed it to fall back. This order, however, in the din of battle was not heard by a portion of the regiment, nor was any such communicated to a portion of the Second Ohio and Tenth Wisconsin. The result was that these obstinately held their ground and continued to fight until completely surrounded and either killed, wounded, or captured. The fate of these, embracing from my command 3 officers and about 75 enlisted men, is shrouded in uncertainty. With the exception of some six or eight loss of the regiment on that day thus occurred from an unwillingness to fall back without receiving an order to do so.
Having gathered together nearly all of my command that had escaped, we fell in with the retreating column and joined the brigade that night near Rossville. Our loss has been heavy, a detailed statement of which accompanies this; but nearly one-half of it occurred on account of not understanding the order to retire and in the obstinacy with which accompanies this; but nearly one-half of it occurred on account of not understanding the order to retire and in the obstinacy with which a portion maintained their ground and continued to fight, even after nearly everybody else had retired from the field. The regiment was thrown somewhat in confusion in retiring under orders when so fiercely attacked on the flank in the first day's fight, but aside from that it maintained its position and fought in perfect order throughout the entire engagement. If at any time the regiment failed to do its duty, ceased to hold its position, or fight when it ought to have fought, the fault is with its commander, and not with its valiant officers and men. All my officers, all my men, with the exception of a very few cowards, who ingloriously fled early in the fight, and upon whom the severest penalty should be inflicted, acted with marked bravery and coolness, and obeyed promptly every order communicated during have fallen, and a monument should be erected to their memory. Of those who have survived, when all have behaved so well, it may be invidious to discriminate, but, without disparagement or offense to others, I may be permitted to note with hearty commendation and praise the gallant bearing and heroism of Corpl. Sylvester Keller, of Company A.
O. F. MOORE,
Col. Thirty-third Ohio Volunteer Infantry.
Lieut. GEORGE H. DEVOL,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-Gen., First Brigade.
After this Union defeat, the entire Army of the Cumberland retreated to Chattanooga, Tennessee. During the siege of Chattanooga, the 33rd took up a position in front of Lookout Mountain. The regiment participated in the Battle of Lookout Mountain (November 24, 1863) and the Battle of Missionary Ridge (November 25, 1863), driving the Confederates from both locations and effectively ending the siege of Chattanooga. The 33rd's commanding officer issued the following report after the battle:
CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee, November 30, 1863.
CAPT.: I have the honor of making the following report of the operations of my command (Thirty-third Ohio Volunteer Infantry) from the morning of the 24th to the evening of the 29th of November, 1863:
We were lying in front of Fort Rousseau, occupying trenches on the morning of the 24th, and about 4 a.m. I received orders to move my regiment to the left and in front of Fort Negley, where I formed in line of battle on the right of Ninety-fourth Ohio and left of Thirty-eighth Indiana, the last-mentioned regiment being on the right of our brigade. We remained in this position until near 3 p.m., when I was ordered to follow Thirty-eighth Indiana, and moved by right flank toward mouth of Chattanooga Creek. We were halted near the old rolling mill, formerly occupied by the reserve of pickets on the right. We remained here near one hour, when I was ordered by Lieut. Devol to move my regiment forward to where we had a battery planted that was firing upon the enemy, and then report in person to Gen. Carlin, as ordered. I moved forward, halted my regiment near battery, and reported to Gen. Carlin in person. He directed me to move my regiment near the mouth of Chattanooga Creek, and prepare some means of crossing over the brigade. I moved the regiment to within 30 paces of the creek, stacked arms, and had a sergeant and 12 privates detailed to make a floating bridge on which to cross. While engaged tearing up railroad track to procure ties to build said bridge, a captain from Eighteenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry arrived at mouth of creek with a boat capable of carrying 80 men at one load. I left the sergeant and 12 privates that I had detailed to build bridge with boat to man it, and went over with Companies A, F, D, and I, of my regiment, first load, and moved up the Lookout Mountain far enough to give room for the other companies of my regiment, which were crossed over immediately. I was then ordered by Col. B. F. Scribner to follow him with my regiment up the mountain. I followed him about 300 yards up the mountain to a road leading round toward Lookout Valley, where I was ordered to halt, and remained here about five minutes, when Gen. Carlin came up and ordered me to follow him with my regiment. We moved direct up the mountain in the direction of the battle that was raging near white house, and was part of the time under fire from the enemy, and before reaching said house I had 1 man killed and 2 wounded. I was ordered to and formed my regiment on right of our brigade, and immediately above and to the rear of white house, in the rear of rebel rifle-pits. I remained here under fire for one hour and a half, when I was ordered by Gen. Carlin to move farther up the mountain in company with Thirty-eighth Indiana, and relieve two regiments of Gen. Geary's division. I moved off in front and reached the foot of cliffs in single file along east side of mountain, about one-fourth of a mile, and relieved an Iowa regiment. We remained here the remainder of the night, and did not fire a gun, for we were above the enemy and our forces that were fighting, and the One hundred and forty-seventh Pennsylvania Regt. was in our front as skirmishers.
About sunrise on the morning of the 25th, I was ordered by Lieut. Carlin to move forward and form line of battle, facing south, about 200 yards in front of us. I did so, and threw companies A and F, in charge of Lieut. Fitzwilliams, to the front as skirmishers. We remained here in this position until near 11 a.m., when I was ordered to move by left flank, and follow Thirty-eighth Indiana. I followed said regiment along mountain, and recrossed Chattanooga Creek where we had crossed on previous evening. After all our brigade had recrossed, we marched by the right flank up in front of our center works, and formed line of battle, facing Missionary Ridge. My regiment was the left of second line, and covered Ninety-fourth Ohio (right of first line), 200 yards in rear of said regiment. The Thirty-eighth Indiana was on my right. We stacked arms and rested here about ten minutes, when we were called to attention, and moved forward in line of battle toward Missionary Ridge.
The ground we moved over was covered with underbrush and fallen timber for several hundred yards, and in places so uneven that I could not see the Thirty-eighth Indiana on my right, and I found it difficult to keep in line with that regiment. At one time I overtook the Ninety-fourth Ohio, of front line, and I halted, thinking I had got in advance of my proper line, but was shortly informed, by Capt. De Bruin, provost-marshal of our brigade, that the Thirty-eighth Indiana was far in advance. I immediately moved my regiment by the right flank until I uncovered the Ninety-fourth Ohio, then moved it by left flank to the front in haste until I came up, and again formed in line on the left of Thirty-eighth Indiana, which was then at a halt. I then moved forward with our entire brigade across open field, under fire, to foot of Missionary Ridge, to the enemy's rifle-pits, where we were halted for a moment to rest. We then were ordered forward. My regiment crossed the rifle-pits and moved forward nobly under a deadly destructive fire from the enemy of both musketry and artillery. We pushed forward up the ridge until the Ninety-fourth Ohio on our left halted, and Thirty-eighth Indiana on our right also, when I ordered my men to lie down to rest. At this time some one on my left shouted "fall back." Then part of my regiment fell back to rifle-pits at foot of ridge. I then went back to rifle-pits and remained there a few minutes and again received orders to move forward. We then moved forward to the main top of Missionary Ridge in good order, having lost 6 men killed and 27 wounded in the charge up the ridge. We fired a volley into the retreating rebels in our front, who were crossing another ridge in great confusion. We were ordered by Lieut. Carlin to build temporary breastworks, which, being completed, we built fires and rested during the night. About 11 a.m. on the 26th, I was ordered to follow Thirty-eighth Indiana, which moved off by right flank toward Chickamauga Creek. We marched by flank about 4 miles, when we were halted and stacked arms. In a few minutes I was ordered by Lieut. Carlin to take a sergeant and 15 or 20 men of my regiment and proceed to creek and construct a bridge to cross our infantry over, as soon as possible. I reported as ordered with a sergeant and 15 men, but finding this force too small I ordered up my entire regiment, and, assisted by others, constructed a bridge in less than two hours, when I fell in with my regiment and followed the Eighty-eighth Indiana over Chickamauga, and continued to follow said regiment, or march in line of battle on left of said regiment, until after dark, when I was ordered to form in rear of Eighty-eighth Indiana (which was halted), the Second Ohio Regiment forming on my left. We remained here one hour or more, when we moved forward in line of battle until we came to road leading to Graysville, Ga. Here we were halted and remained about thirty minutes, when I was ordered to follow Second Ohio. Marching by left flank, we moved about 1 mile in the direction of Graysville, when we formed line of battle, my right resting on Graysville road and Second Ohio on my left. We moved forward in line of battle about 1 mile, when we encountered obstructions. We then moved by right flank, filed left, and marched in rear of Ninety-fourth Ohio. Obstructions being passed, I brought my regiment by battalion into line of battle to the town of Graysville, where we were halted. I was then ordered by Lieut. Vance to move in rear of Ninety-fourth Ohio, stack arms, and rest, which I did, the remainder of the night.
On the morning of the 27th, I was ordered to and followed Eighty-eighth Indiana, marching by flank to within 1 mile of Ringgold; then in line of battle on left of Eighty-eighth Indiana to railroad near the town, where we halted and lay under fire until the enemy were driven from the heights in front of us. We remained here that afternoon, night, and the following day and night, and on the 29th returned to our camp at Chattanooga, Tennessee, following Eighty-eighth Indiana.
The officers and the non-commissioned officers and privates under my command behaved gallantly, nobly braving danger and enduring sufferings without a murmur.
Inclosed I send list of killed, wounded, and missing,* with name, rank, and company.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. H. M. MONTGOMERY,
Capt., Comdg. Thirty-third Ohio Volunteer Infantry.
Capt. R. J. WAGGENER,
The 33rd participated in the Union's pursuit of the retreating Confederates, engaging the Southerners at the Battle of Graysville (November 26, 1863) and at the Battle of Taylor's Ridge (November 27, 1863), before returning to Chattanooga.
Following the Chattanooga Campaign, the soldiers of the 33rd reenlisted and received a thirty-days furlough to Ohio. Upon completion of the furlough, the regiment returned to Chattanooga, where the 33rd went into encampment.
In May 1864, the 33rd left Chattanooga and embarked upon General William T. Sherman's Atlanta Campaign. The regiment fought in the Battles of Utoy Creek, Rocky Face Ridge, Resaca, Pumpkin Vine Creek, Chattahoochie River, Kennesaw Mountain, Peachtree Creek, Jonesborough, and the various engagements around Atlanta, Georgia. During the campaign, the 33rd had approximately 170 men killed, wounded, or captured. At the campaign's conclusion, the commanding officer of the 33rd issued the following report:
HDQRS. THIRTY-THIRD OHIO VOLUNTEERS, Atlanta, Ga., September --, 1864.
SIR: In accordance with orders received from headquarters First Brigade, First Division Fourteenth Corps, I have the honor to make the following report of the operations of this command during the campaign of Northern Georgia up to the fall of Atlanta and the occupation of Jonesborough by our forces on the 1st instant:
In the first place, it is proper to state that the regiment was commanded by Lieut. Col. J. H. M. Montgomery up to the 13th of August, on which day he was severely wounded, and I, being the ranking officer present, took command. On the 7th May, in obedience to orders, the regiment struck tents, and with the army marched out in the direction of Tunnel Hill. Nothing worthy of notice occurred during the day, and in the evening, with the brigade, the regiment stopped in line of battle and bivouacked for the night. Next day, with the division, the line was swung to the left and advanced within a mile or so of Rocky Face Ridge. On this day Company D was deployed as skirmishers, but did not get engaged. On the 9th May, with the Twenty-first Wisconsin, the regiment was ordered to make a reconnaissance up the western slope of Rocky Face Ridge. Moved diagonally toward the crest of the ridge, and, after going about a mile, were met by the sharpshooters of the enemy posted on the cliffs. The regiment was halted for a while and then ordered to return. Nothing worthy of notice occurred on the 10th and 11th May. On the 12th May, in obedience to orders, regiment moved at early daylight and marched to Snake Creek Gap and camped about 12 at night at the southern entrance. On 13th May the regiment was formed on the right of the rear line of the brigade and moved forward toward the enemy. Nothing of importance occurred with the regiment. Were relieved at night by a regiment belonging to a brigade of the Twentieth Corps. Early on the morning of the 14th May the regiment was formed on the left of the front line of the brigade, with the Twenty-first Wisconsin immediately upon the right, and with orders to conform to the movements of the latter regiment. Companies A, B, and I were deployed as skirmishers to cover the front of the battalion. The character of the country was very rough, uneven, and heavily wooded. Hardly had the line commenced to move when it became engaged with the skirmishers of the enemy, but they were steadily driven back by those of our line, and finally compelled to retreat within their works. The regiment was then halted in a small ravine and ordered to lie down. After remaining about half an hour in this position orders were received to move steadily forward until we got sufficiently close to the works of the enemy, to then fix bayonets and carry them by a charge, if possible. The works of the enemy were on the opposite side of a small valley, through which ran a medium-sized creek, its banks being overgrown with willow and cottonwood. In former times efforts had been made to straighten its course by ditching. The banks of these had also overgrown with willow and cottonwood, but had been cut down and tangled for the purpose of impeding an assault. The valley on the side we approached could only be reached by crossing a high wooded ridge and descending a steep bluff, close to the base of which, at the point this regiment entered, ran the creek. About 1 p. m. the forward was ordered. On reaching the crest of the bluff bayonets were fixed and the regiment again ordered forward. When near the base the order to charge was given. The men dashed forward in splendid style, but were soon greeted with a terrible fire. The column now encountered the creek and tangled underbrush before referred to, which, with the fire to which it was exposed, caused the line to be thrown into considerable disorder. A great part of the regiment succeeded in passing these obstacles and some got within 100 yards of the enemy's works before they were checked. It soon became evident that all efforts to storm the works would be futile, and the men were ordered to shelter themselves behind everything the ground afforded, which they did, and then kept up the fight in splendid order until dark. In a short time, so steady and effectual was their fire, the enemy hardly dare to show himself in his works, and the gunners of a battery immediately upon our left were quite driven away from their pieces. About dark orders were received to throw out a strong line of pickets and then to withdraw from, the ground, which was done, to the foot of the bluff. About 9 o'clock at night the regiment was relieved by a battalion of the Sixteenth U. S. Infantry and moved back a short distance to the rear and permitted to rest for the night. The loss of the regiment was 15 killed and 42 wounded. Among the killed were Capt. McKain and Lieut. Higby. Capt. McKain was a brave and efficient officer and had been through all the hard-fought battles that have given its world-wide celebrity to the Army of the Cumberland. He fell while gallantly leading his men in the charge. Lieut. Higby was a brave and gallant youth; had just returned to the regiment from confinement as a prisoner of war at Richmond before the commencement of the campaign, having effected his escape with Col. Streight through the famous tunnel. He was killed in the act of firing a gun. Lieut. Col. Montgomery was slightly wounded in the onset of the charge, but did not quit the field. The conduct of the men and officers was all their commander could have asked, and I have frequently heard him express himself in terms of the highest admiration of their conduct on that day.
On 15th May nothing of importance occurred with the regiment; were in rear line of works. May 16, marched to Resaca and camped. May 17, crossed Oostenaula, passed through Calhoun, and camped late at night near hospital Second Division, Fourth Army Corps. May 18, marched to within five miles of Kingston. May 19, moved early in the morning, passed through Kingston, and camped three miles beyond. May 26, marched in the direction of Cassville and camped on the railroad near a saw-mill. On the 21st and 22d nothing of importance occurred. At this point orders were received to dispose of all baggage but that which could be carried upon the person and to go stripped for battle. In accordance with this order the baggage that could not be carried was sent back to Chattanooga for storage, and the regimental teams turned over to the quartermaster's department. On the 23d May moved early in the morning, crossed the Etowah by wading, and camped some five miles beyond in line of battle along a skirt of timber facing an open field on the south. May 24, marched to Burnt Hickory. May 25, remained in same situation. May 26, marched to Pumpkin Vine Creek. May 27, moved to left several miles, threw up works, and bivouacked. May 28, early in morning cavalry became engaged in our front; were ordered to be ready to move immediately; crossed the open field by the flank and formed a line of battle in timber, with Ninety-fourth Ohio immediately upon right; Companies G and I were deployed as skirmishers. They drove back the rebel line then advancing and the regiment moved forward about 100 yards, and, in conjunction with Ninety-fourth Ohio and Twenty-first Wisconsin formed a flank line and threw up works.
Remained in this position to 2d June, nothing further of importance occurring than some light skirmishing. June 2, advanced line by swinging to the right; center of regiment rested at an old house on the prolongation of general line; constructed works and was then relieved by Thirty-eighth Ohio, Col. Este's brigade, Third Division. With the brigade the regiment retired into a woods, a small distance to the rear, and rested. Nothing further of interest occurred until the 6th of June; on this day marched in the direction of Kenesaw Mountain about five miles and bivouacked; nothing worthy of notice occurring in the interim. On the --June marched about three miles toward Kenesaw Mountain and camped. From this time to the 17th June, the regiment with the brigade being in reserve, nothing worthy of mention occurred, some changes in situation only being made. On the evening of the 17th June relieved a regiment of Second Brigade. June 18, advanced our line half a mile and constructed works loss on skirmish line, 1 killed. June 19, the enemy having evacuated his works on our front, in obedience to orders from the general commanding brigade, a party of fifty men, under command of Capt. Hinson, were sent out to make a reconnaissance. It was pushed close to the mountain. The party captured an ambulance and driver loss, 1 wounded and 1 missing. In night moved toward the mountain and bivouacked. June 20, were moved toward the right, and relieved in the night Ninth Indiana, Fourth Corps, in works confronting Little Kenesaw. June 21, were heavily shelled by the enemy; loss, 1 wounded; was relieved on the --June by Sixty-ninth Ohio, Second Brigade, nothing of interest occurring in the interval more than what is usual in works closely confronting the enemy. Remained in reserve until the --June, when we relieved a battalion of the regular brigade in works just to the right of those we occupied when last on the line. Were relieved in this position on the night of 2d July. The works closely confronted the enemy and the men were much annoyed by his fire. They could only protect themselves by remaining close to their works during the day; lost in this position on the 2d July 1 wounded; commenced in the night to construct a line of works running southwest from Kenesaw Mountain. July 3, the enemy having evacuated his position at the mountain on the preceding night, further work on the line was abandoned, and the regiment ordered to be ready to march immediately; passed through Marietta and bivouacked some three miles beyond in a piece of timber on the right of the railroad. July 4, moved, in obedience to orders, early in the morning and took a position to the front and right of the ground occupied previous night and along the skirt of a piece of timber facing an open field to the south; constructed works; were annoyed considerably by one of the enemy's batteries; nothing further of interest occurred. July 5, the enemy having evacuated his works on the previous night, were ordered to march early in the morning. After moving some three miles the regiment was ordered to move forward and explore a road leading toward the railroad bridge on the Chattahoochee River. Two companies, A and F, were deployed as skirmishers. They soon encountered the enemy, and, being unable to drive him, the remainder of the regiment was deployed likewise. The whole line now moved forward, got possession of a portion of the railroad, and pressed the enemy back along it toward the river, meeting with considerable resistance. He finally made a stand in works he had previously constructed, the line of which crossed the road on our front, and had an open field before them. It was determined imprudent to undertake to carry the works without further support, and a halt was ordered. We soon after received orders from the colonel commanding brigade to wait the movements of the skirmishers of the Second Division on our right, to, as soon as we heard their firing, charge across the field and drive out the enemy, if possible. The Second Division did not come up, and the movement was therefore not made. Loss, 1 killed, 9 wounded. July 6, was relieved early in morning by Forty-second Indiana. On 7th, 8th, and 9th the regiment was in reserve and nothing of importance occurred that I have to report. July 10, the regiment was ordered to make a reconnaissance toward the railroad bridge over the river, which revealed the fact that the enemy had evacuated his works and retreated across the river, destroying the bridges. After exchanging a few shots with his pickets across the waters of the Chattahoochee, were ordered to return; camped near railroad and about two miles from the river. On 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, and 16th there was no change in the situation of this regiment, and nothing of importance occurred that I have to report. July 17, marched in obedience to orders; crossed the river at Pace's Ferry, and bivouacked in line of battle some two miles east of it. July 18, advanced; regiment was in front line of brigade; Company G was deployed as skirmishers; crossed Nancy's Creek and drove the enemy beyond Peach Tree Creek; the enemy resisted the advance of our skirmishers with considerable obstinacy; constructed works along a road near Donelson's shanty; loss, 2 wounded. July 19, moved in night toward the right and bivouacked in an open field. July 20, moved at 3 o'clock in the morning; crossed Peach Tree Creek about daylight; advanced in line of battle; the regiment was formed in the rear line of the brigade and on the right; moved forward about half a mile, halted, and commenced the construction of works; but were soon ordered to quit work. About 3 p. m. a furious assault was made on front lines by the enemy, which lasted until night; regiment completed works under fire; loss, 6 wounded.
July 21, the regiment was ordered forward to support the skirmish line. Two companies, A and F, were deployed as skirmishers. The enemy made an obstinate resistance, but were finally driven in upon their works along the crest of a hill, and the regiment after dark constructed works along a road running in around its base. Loss, 1 killed and 8 wounded. Among the wounded was Lieut. Campbell; he has since died of his wound. He was a brave and efficient young officer. July 22, in obedience to orders, the regiment advanced at early daylight; passed through an almost impenetrable thicket of underbrush, and came upon the rebel works, which were found to have been evacuated in the night. Men were then permitted to get their breakfasts, after which orders were received to march into Atlanta. Marched by the flank about three miles, when we were met by the enemy around the city. He advanced to attack us. The regiment was placed in position on a ridge running nearly at right angles with the railroad, some two miles from Atlanta, and constructed works under a heavy fire. The day was exceedingly hot, and 5 men fell from the effects of sunstroke. Were relieved in the evening and placed in reserve; loss, 1 killed. Remained in reserve until 26th July, when we relieved the Sixty-ninth Ohio, of Third Brigade, in works west of the railroad. 27th July, nothing of importance occurred with the regiment that I have to report. July 28, Company E was sent out to support the skirmish line.
July 29, Company H was sent out to support the skirmish [line] in making a demonstration upon the works of the enemy. July 30, Company C was sent out to support the skirmish line in a demonstration on the enemy. 31st, nothing of importance occurred worth reporting.
August 1, the regiment was ordered out to support Prescott's battery in position on the skirmish line. Constructed works in the evening on a new line, at the point where the picket reserves were last held; loss, 1 wounded. August 2, were relieved by Sixty-ninth Ohio, and placed in reserve; loss, 2 wounded. August 3, moved to the right about four miles and bivouacked in a line of works partially constructed, and just beyond Gen. Schofield's headquarters. August 4, moved after night some three miles and bivouacked in an open field. August 5, moved early in morning by the flank toward the left. About 3 p. m. orders were received to pass through the works of the Twenty-third Corps, move quietly around an open field just beyond, deploy as skirmishers, and drive in those of the enemy. We succeeded in passing the field without attracting the attention of the enemy. Eight companies were deployed as skirmishers, with two in reserve, and moved forward. The enemy was driven about three-quarters of a mile through a thick wood of timber and underbrush, where we came upon him in his works, quietly waiting our attack. The line was halted. After some time, orders were received to retire, which was done in good order. Went back and camped in open field, by Gen. Baird's headquarters; loss, 1 wounded. August 6, crossed creek at mill and moved up toward works. Was not in line. In evening moved out and constructed works. August 7, remained in works. Maj. Barger was severely wounded by a stray shot. August 8, moved in the evening and constructed works in the interval between the left of the Forty-second Indiana and the right of the Fifteenth Corps. August 9, drove the enemy at daylight from his skirmish works on our front; lost 1 killed and 5 wounded. August 10, the regiment was sorely annoyed by the enemy's sharpshooters and a battery of artillery posted on a hill to the right of our front; loss, 1 killed, 2 wounded. August 11, nothing further occurred three some skirmishes.
August 12, the skirmishing continued as usual until in the evening, when an armistice was proposed by one of our men and readily acceded to by the enemy; loss, 1 wounded.
August 13, charged the next line of works held by the skirmishers of the enemy and took them, capturing 28 prisoners; among whom were 2 lieutenants, and 24 stand of small-arms; loss, 2 killed and 5 wounded. Among the killed was Lieut. Pomeroy, a brave and efficient officer. Lieut.-Col. Montgomery was severely wounded; I, being the ranking officer present, now took command. August 14, the enemy continued to annoy us with his sharpshooters and batteries from the hill before referred to. The firing on the picket-line was quite active; loss, 5 wounded. August 15, in the previous night I caused positions to be selected by ten of the best shots in the regiments for the purpose of keeping down the sharpshooters of the enemy, in consequence of which their fire was not so annoying on this day.
August 16, the usual skirmishing occurred, and the enemy made an assault upon the picket-line in the night, but accomplished nothing; loss, 2 wounded. August 17, nothing further occurred than the usual amount of skirmish firing. August 18, enemy made a spirited attack upon the picket-line in the night, but were repulsed; loss, 1 wounded. August 19, usual amount of skirmishing; no casualties. August 20, considerable skirmish firing; casualties, 2 killed. Also constructed a line of works on the right.
August 21, were relieved at daylight and placed in reserve. Remained in same position till 26th August, nothing worthy of notice occurring that I have to report. On the 26th, in the night, moved to the right some three miles and took position in a new line of works. August 27, nothing further than a little skirmishing occurred. Aug 28, moved early in the morning and marched to the Atlanta and West Point Railroad, and formed a line and constructed some rude works near Red Oak. August 29, early in the morning, in obedience to orders, the regiment moved north along the railroad. After passing the picket-line I was ordered to throw out three companies as skirmishers, and with the rest of the battalion in reserve, move off to the right until I came to a house that lay in the direction and to protect that flank. Companies C, E, and K, were deployed; reached the position without meeting any opposition; remained here some three hours, when I received orders to retire the skirmish line and bring it back to the works left in the morning, and which was accordingly done and without any difficulty. August 30, moved at an early hour marched about ten miles and went into camp in the edge of a piece of timber. August 31, marched at daylight. On reaching the picket-line on the road to Jonesborough, I received orders to deploy regiment as skirmishers on either side of the road. I immediately caused this to be done and moved forward. On moving about a mile I reached a road over which the Fifteenth Corps had passed that morning and the head of the column of the Seventeenth Corps were just coming up. Here, in obedience to orders, I halted the regiment and caused it to be assembled, then constructed slight works, and remained quiet until evening. In the evening marched two miles toward Jonesborough, then countermarched and returned to the camp of last night.
September 1, marched early in the morning about three miles on the Fayetteville road; was placed in position with the left of the regiment resting on the road, and there constructed works. September 2, marched to Jonesborough and camped. This concluded the participation of this command in the operations of the campaign of Northern Georgia up to the fall of Atlanta, on the 1st instant. It is probably proper to state that on the morning of the 6th instant I received orders to construct works immediately; shortly after to send out two companies, and G and H were accordingly detailed; within an hour they were outflanked by the enemy and driven in, with loss of 1 killed and 2 wounded. The killed was Lieut. Sykes, a brave and valuable officer. In about another hour I received orders to withdraw my regiment, which was done in good order. Bivouacked at night a mile or so north of Jonesborough. The next day withdrew from here early in the morning and marched to Rough and Ready. September 8, marched at an early hour and went into camp at this place, in the afternoon.
The total loss of the regiment in the way of casualties during the campaign has been 4 commissioned officers killed and 5 wounded; 22 enlisted men killed, 95 wounded; aggregate, 127 killed and wounded.
T. A. MINSHALL,
Capt., Cmdg. Thirty-third Ohio Volunteers.
Capt J. W. FORD, Acting Assistant in Adjutant-Gen.
On November 16, 1864, the 33rd began Sherman's March to the Sea, reaching Savannah, Georgia in December. The 33rd remained at Savannah until early 1865, when it embarked upon Sherman's Carolinas Campaign. The regiment participated in every major engagement of this campaign, suffering numerous casualties especially at the Battle of Bentonville, North Carolina. In March 1865, an officer of the regiment issued the following report:
HDQRS. THIRTY-THIRD OHIO VETERAN VOL. INFANTRY, Goldsborough, N. C., March 24, 1865.
SIR: I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by this regiment in the late campaign:
In reference to prisoners and stock captured and turned over, I have kept no account; neither of the distance traveled, as I had no accurate means at my disposal of discovering it.
In regard to losses, I have to report: On the 16th instant, 1 man killed and 3 wounded; on the 19th instant, 4 killed, 28 wounded, and 1 commissioned officer and 20 men missing; from forage parties, 8 men missing, making a total loss of 5 killed, 31 wounded, and 1 commissioned officer and 28 enlisted men missing; total, 65.
Of the officers and men under my command I must say that in action, at least, they did their duty manfully, and if any disgrace is attached to the confusion in which they retired on the 19th from the line of works from which they were driven it rests altogether with me in not assuming the responsibility and taking them from a position which I saw they could not hold but would be driven from in a very short time.
I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Capt. J. W. FORD.
Following Confederate General Joseph Johnston's surrender, the 33rd moved to Washington, DC, via Richmond, Virginia. At Washington, the regiment marched in the Grand Review. Officials soon ordered the 33rd to Louisville, Kentucky, where the regiment mustered out of service on July 12, 1865. The regiment's members then traveled to Camp Dennison, near Cincinnati, Ohio, where the men were formally discharged from the service.
During the 33rd Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry's term of service, 137 men, including seven officers, died on the battlefield. An additional 195 men, including three officers, succumbed to disease or accidents.
Cite this Entry
"33rd Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry," Ohio Civil War Central, 2020, Ohio Civil War Central. 5 Apr 2020 <http://www.www.ohiocivilwarcentral.com/entry.php?rec=599>
"33rd Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry." (2020) In Ohio Civil War Central, Retrieved April 5, 2020, from Ohio Civil War Central: http://www.www.ohiocivilwarcentral.com/entry.php?rec=599
- Army of the Cumberland
- Army of the Ohio 1861 - 1862
- Atlanta Campaign
- Battle of Bentonville
- Battle of Chickamauga
- Battle of Missionary Ridge
- Battle of Stones River
- Braxton Bragg
- Camp Dennison
- Camp Morrow
- Carolinas Campaign
- Chattanooga Campaign
- Don Carlos Buell
- George Sykes
- Joseph E. Johnston
- Ohio Volunteer Infantry
- Sherman's March to the Sea
- Tullahoma Campaign