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. In early February 1862, the 69th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry began to organize near Hamilton, Ohio. Seven companies formed, with the recruits coming from Butler, Darke, Fairfield, Montgomery, and Preble, Counties, Ohio. On February 19, these companies traveled via rail to Camp Chase at Columbus, Ohio. At Camp Chase, three more companies from Harrison County, Ohio joined the regiment.
On April 19, 1862, the 69th left Camp Chase for Nashville, Tennessee, arriving here on April 22. The regiment remained at this city until May 1, when the 69th advanced to Franklin, Tennessee, where it guarded forty miles of the Tennessee and Alabama Railroad. While at Franklin, Colonel Lewis Campbell of the 69th issued an order threatening local women if they continued to dance on the graves of deceased Union soldiers. On June 8, the regiment returned to Nashville and then traveled via rail to Murfreesboro, Tennessee. The 69th then traveled to Pikeville, Tennessee via McMinnville.
On June 20, 1862, the 69th returned to Nashville, where it remained until late December 1862, performing garrison and provost-marshal duty. While the regiment was at this location, Confederate General John Hunt Morgan conducted a raid on Gallatin, Tennessee. The 69th and the 11th Regiment Michigan Infantry drove the Southerners from the city, with the 69th having its first man killed on the battlefield. During Braxton Bragg's raid into Georgia during the autumn of 1862, the 69th remained at Nashville, routinely skirmishing with Confederate forces.
On December 26, 1862, the 69th advanced to Murfreesboro, Tennessee and was brigaded with the 14th Corps. On December 31, the Battle of Stones River erupted, with the 69th positioned on the Union right. On this first day of this engagement, the Union right collapsed, but with much effort, Northern forces managed to reestablish its position. On January 1, 1863, the battle continued to rage, but the 69th did not take part. On January 2, the battle's final day, the 69th participated in a charge against John C. Breckinridge's Confederates, eventually driving the Southerners from their position. In the charge, the regiment had four men killed. Following this battle, the commanding officers of the 69th filed the following reports:
HDQRS. SIXTY-NINTH OHIO VOLUNTEER INFANTRY, Camp near Murfreesborough, Tenn., January 10, 1863.
Agreeably to orders, I submit the following report of the part the Sixty-ninth Regt. Ohio Volunteers took in the battle of Stone's River, omitting all the incidents up to the morning of December 41, 1862:
The Sixty-ninth Regt. occupied the left of the Twenty-ninth Brigade, Negley's division, and was ordered to advance about 6 a.m. across the Nolensville pike. Did so, and sent out three companies to the front. Remained in that position one and a half hours. Received an order to fall back to the right of Schultz's battery, which was executed in good order, the regiment sustaining a heavy fire from front and flank during that time. Remained in that position, fighting, until the division was ordered to retire back as far as the pike. There the regiment was reformed.
During all these moves and fighting we had many killed and wounded. During this time Col. Cassilly was wounded through the arm, severely. Maj. Hickcox had his horse shot under him, falling on him, and so severely bruising him as to compel him to leave the field. The command was then turned over to Capt. Putnam, he being the senior officer present. Was ordered up to the front, and sustained a heavy fire. Was then ordered to retire by Gen. Negley, in person.
During this days' fighting I was back at Stewart's Creek; left there with a detachment of 200 men. Arrived on the battle-field at 5 p.m. and took command.
Thursday was occupied in skirmishing with the enemy on our right. Nothing of special interest occurred during the day.
Friday, January 2, was ordered to the left, where we took up a position and kept it until 3 p.m. At this time the division on the left of Stone's River was attacked by the enemy, and, after a short fight, fell back.
At this time we were ordered out into a corn-field, and lay down until the enemy came within 300 yards. We then arose, fired, and charged up to the bank of Stone's River, and halted a few minutes and fired across the river. Then crossed the river and reformed, and charged them for half a mile, and assisted to take a battery. The enemy having fallen back, we slowly retired to the woods and took care of our wounded and dead, which, I am sorry to say, was heavy. (A full list has already been forwarded to brigade headquarters.) It was now dark, and we were ordered out on picket in front.
Saturday, January 3, nothing of interest occurred. January 4, was on picket. Relieved in the evening. January 5, came on through Murfreesborough, since which time we have been encamped in our present camp.
I am, colonel, your obedient servant,
G. F. ELLIOTT,
Lieut.-Col., Comdg. Sixty-ninth Ohio Volunteer Infantry.
Col. T. R. STANLEY,
Cmdg. Second Brigade, Second Division, Center.
On June 24, 1863, the 69th embarked upon the Tullahoma Campaign, advancing as part of the 14th Corps. The regiment entered into a skirmish with Confederate forces at Hoover's Gap and fought another engagement at Elk River, with Union soldiers driving the Southerners from the field in both encounters. Upon reaching Cowan's Station on the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad, the Union army halted. When it again advanced, the 69th remained at Cowan's Station, helping to protect the General Hospital at this location. The 69th performed this duty until September 8, when it escorted an ammunition train to Bridgeport, Alabama. The regiment then marched to Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Upon the regiment arriving at Chattanooga, officials assigned the 69th to the Reserve Corps. The Reserve Corps traveled to Chickamauga, Georgia via Rossville. The 69th burned Reed's Bridge over Chickamauga Creek and then returned to Rossville, where the regiment guarded supply trains during the Battle of Chickamauga (September 19 and 20, 1863). With the Union's defeat at Chickamauga, the entire Northern army, including the 69th, retreated to Chattanooga, where Confederate forces besieged the Federals. The regiment participated in the Union assault on Missionary Ridge at Chattanooga on November 26, 1863. The 69th had ten men killed in this battle and was one of the first regiments to scale the ridge. This Northern victory resulted in the end of the Confederate siege of Chattanooga. Following this battle, the commanding officer of the 69th filed the following report:
HDQRS. SIXTY-NINTH OHIO VOLUNTEER INFANTRY, Chattanooga, December 2, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following of the part taken by the Sixty-ninth Ohio Volunteer Infantry in the operations in front of Chattanooga November 25, and the subsequent march in pursuit of the enemy:
On the morning of November 25, the Sixty-ninth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, being then on outpost duty, was withdrawn and ordered to report to Station No. 5. There the brigade was formed and eventually took up position to the right of Sheridan's division, the Sixty-ninth forming part of the left center of the first line of battle, as formed in the woods to the west of Missionary Ridge. Here Company I was thrown out as skirmishers, and the command being given, the regiment charged through the woods and across the open field which separates them from the ridge, gaining the first line of rifle-pits without casualties. After a few moments' rest in the pit, the command "charge" was again given, the regiment rose, the colors a few paces in advance, charged up the hill and gained the height, and the colors of the Sixty-ninth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, being the first of the division, planted on the ridge, notwithstanding a few seconds' delay caused by the death of Color Sergeant Wetzel, Company F, who fell 25 yards from the summit mortally wounded. The regiment sustained a loss of 7 killed and 36 wounded, 4 of the latter mortally.
The following morning, four days' short rations and 100 rounds of ammunition having been issued to the command, the Sixty-ninth Ohio Volunteers took up the line of march in pursuit of the enemy, their position being immediately in the rear of the regular battalions of the brigade. About 9 p.m., being then about 2 miles from Graysville, marching by the right flank, the command was given to form rapidly and quietly into line with a view to attacking a portion of the enemy's train, which was reported a short distance ahead; this was done, and the regiment moved on in line of battle as well as the accidents of the country permitted.
Suddenly, on debouching from the woods, the Sixty-ninth Ohio Volunteer Infantry came upon a rebel camp immediately in front. The command to halt and dress was quietly given, and a well-directed volley poured into the camp. This was rapidly followed by a charge, and the regiment succeeded in capturing several prisoners (part of Gen. Stewart's division, the rest escaping under cover of the night), 1 stand of colors, 3 pieces of artillery, and 1 caisson (part of Ferguson's battery), which was mired and abandoned by the rebels in their flight. These facts being reported to Col. Stoughton, commanding brigade, he immediately detailed two companies each from the Sixty-ninth Ohio and Eleventh Michigan Volunteers to bring out the pieces, the working party being supported and covered by the right wing of the Sixty-ninth.
The regiment bivouacked that night near Graysville, and marched the following day to Ringgold, Ga., where, forming line of battle, they lay in reserve during the fight between Osterhaus' division and the enemy; lay at Ringgold that night and following day.
At 8 p.m., November 28, the Sixty-ninth was ordered on grand guard duty on White Oak Ridge, and were drawn in about 11 a.m. of the 29th. Their division having already marched, the Sixty-ninth returned to camp in rear of Baird's division, making Chattanooga at 6 p.m., November 29.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAMES J. HANNA,
Maj., Cmdg. Sixty-ninth Ohio Volunteer Infantry.
Col. M. F. MOORE,
The number of men engaged in action on the 25th instant, and in subsequent pursuit of the enemy, was as follows: Commissioned officers, 20; enlisted men, 267. Casualties, 11 killed and mortally wounded, 32 wounded, and 1 missing in action.*
On March 16, 1864, many of the regiment's members reenlisted and received a furlough to return briefly to their homes in Ohio. In April 1864, the 69th returned from furlough, rendezvousing at Camp Dennison, near Cincinnati, Ohio, on April 22, 1864. The regiment immediately moved to Nashville, Tennessee and then marched to Cowan's Station and Buzzard's Roost, arriving here on May 11. At Buzzard's Roost, the 69th joined William T. Sherman's army and, on May 14, 1864, embarked upon Sherman's Atlanta Campaign. On this day, the Battle of Resaca occurred, with the 69th having five men killed and twenty-six wounded. At the Battles of Pumpkin Vine Creek and Dallas, the regiment lost a combined five men killed and nineteen wounded. The 69th arrived at Kennesaw Mountain on June 14, 1864 and, at the ensuing battle, had two men killed. On July 4, at the Battle of Marietta, the regiment had one man killed and seven wounded. Reaching Atlanta, Georgia on July 22, the 69th had two men killed and seven wounded in the siege of the city. In the final engagement of the Atlanta Campaign--the Battle of Jonesborough--the regiment had eight men killed and thirty-six wounded, some of whom subsequently died. During the Atlanta Campaign, the commanding officer of the 69th filed the following reports:
HDQRS. SIXTY-NINTH OHIO VET. VOL. INFANTRY, Atlanta, Ga., September 10, 1864.
The Sixty-ninth Regt. Ohio Veteran Volunteer Infantry, Col. M. F. Moore in command, reached Chattanooga, Tenn., on the 8th day of May, 1864, on return from veteran furlough.
May 9, started for the front to join brigade; camped in Rossville. Ga., same night. Next day marched two miles beyond Ringgold Ga., and went into camp.
May 11, broke camp and marched to Buzzard Roost Gap, and there the command reported to Gen. King, commanding Second Brigade, First Division Fourteenth Army Corps. On the next evening the regiment continued their line of march, passing through Snake Creek Gap, and reaching the battle-ground of Resaca at sunset on the 13th day of May, and was placed in position on the front line and was relieved late in the evening by the Seventy-ninth Ohio Volunteer Infantry. The command going to the left, taking a new position on the front line, remained there until morning, and at 9 a. m. skirmishers were thrown out and the line advanced, the enemy's skirmishers obstinately contesting the ground, the enemy's line of skirmishers having been heavily re-enforced. Our line having steadily advanced, came upon them at 12 m., and the order to charge being given, the regiment advanced, under a heavy fire and through heavy underbrush, in advance of the line upon the enemy, driving them into their works and developing their line. The regiment remained in front of the enemy's works until the morning of the 17th day of May, capturing 8 prisoners. The enemy evacuated their works on the night previous. The command then left for Pumpkin Vine Creek, and reached there on the 27th, and commenced throwing up earth-works and continued skirmishing with the enemy until the 5th day of June, at which time the enemy evacuated their works.
June 6, the regiment started for Kenesaw Mountain and came in sight of it on the 11th, and on the night of the 22d day of June the regiment was placed in the front line of works, relieving the Eighty-fourth Indiana, belonging to the Fourth Army Corps, where it remained until the night of the 27th, when the brigade was relieved; the command going to the rear and remaining in reserve until the night of July 2, at which time the enemy evacuated their works. On the morning of the 3d the command marched in pursuit of the enemy, passing through the town of Marietta, our skirmishers engaging those of the enemy in the evening. The regiment then threw up earth-works, and remained in them during the night. The next day the enemy was driven from his line of works and retreated from our front, leaving us in possession of his main line of works. On the 5th day of July the regiment joined in pursuit of the enemy, taking 3 prisoners. The regiment was then engaged in doing picket duty until the 17th, when it crossed the Chattahoochee River, and on the night of the 19th of July crossed Peach Tree Creek, and on the 20th was placed in position and commenced throwing up a line of works. On the 21st the regiment was ordered in front of the works for the purpose of charging the enemy's skirmishers then lying in their rifle-pits, 400 yards in advance of our line. The regiment was supported on the right by the Seventy-ninth Regt. Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. The order to charge was given at 4 p. m., when the line advanced on a double-quick under a severe fire from the enemy. The enemy's line was gained, and they were driven from their works, the regiment taking 35 prisoners, and drove the enemy a quarter of a mile. The regiment halted and threw up earth-works. On the morning of July 22 the command moved forward to within two and a half miles of Atlanta, Ga., and remained in front of the city until the 25th day of August, 1864. Lieut.-Col. Brigham was in command of the regiment from the 13th day of May to the 25th day of August, 1864, Col. M. F. Moore having assumed command of the brigade.
J. H. BRIGHAM,
HDQRS. SIXTY-NINTH REGT. OHIO VET. VOLS., Jonesborough, Ga., September 2, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the regiment under my command from the 25th day of August to the 2d day of September, 1864:
On the evening of the 25th of August marched to rejoin the division. On the 28th marched to a point on the Montgomery railroad, near Red Oak. Next day were engaged tearing up the road, burning ties, and bending and twisting the rails.
August 30, marched toward the Macon railroad, and encamped within three miles of it. On the 1st day of September, 1864, marched to meet the enemy, the Sixty-ninth Regt. having the advance of the Third Brigade. Three out six companies as skirmishers, the remaining four in reserve, and advanced on the Jonesborough road until a junction was formed with the left of the skirmish line of the Seventeenth Corps. The brigade being then ordered to reconnoiter and develop the force in our front, we advanced in line of battle through a strip of woods and into an open field, when we received the fire of the enemy's outposts, consisting of a light line of cavalry, dismounted and protected by rail piles, with two pieces of artillery. We charged across a swamp, intersected by two wide and deep ditches, whose banks were lined with briars, and up the opposite slope, and routed the enemy, without loss to ourselves, and captured a caisson from them. We then advanced to the Macon railroad, and forming in line of battle at right angles to it (the Sixty-ninth Regt. being on the right of the front), threw out skirmishers, and moved forward through a dense thicket. On emerging from the woods into an open field the enemy's skirmishers were encountered, and soon driven in, and we held their line of pits in the edge of the woods. After some delay in readjusting the lines (the Sixty-ninth being now placed in the center), we advanced to charge the rebel works. We reached a point within fifty yards of the works, and held it for fifteen minutes, under a murderous fire, which speedily decimated our ranks. The regiment on the right and left having already withdrawn, the Sixty-ninth fell back a short distance and reformed. The color-bearer having been killed, the colors were left between the hostile lines. In order to cover them by our fire and prevent their capture by the enemy, the regiment was held in the woods in advance of the rest of the line, which had retired to the works in the edge of the woods. The colors were thus saved from capture and were recovered in the second charge. After a brief interval the regiment again charged with the rest of the line and the Thirty-eighth Indiana of the second line. The enemy was dislodged, after a desperate struggle, from the portion of his works on the right of the railroad, and did not regain them. Seven prisoners were captured and taken to the rear by men belonging to my command. We held the ground fought over by our picket-line, and next morning occupied Jonesborough.
LEW. E. HICKS,
Capt., Comdg. Sixty-ninth Regt. Ohio Vet. Vols.
Lieut. H. O. MONTAGUE.
Acting Assistant Adjutant-Gen., Third Brigade.
Following the Union's capture of Atlanta in early September 1864, the 69th rested several weeks, before pursuing Confederate General John Bell Hood's army that was currently invading Tennessee. The regiment marched from Georgia into northern Alabama before returning to Atlanta. The 69th next participated in Sherman's March to the Sea. The regiment assisted Union forces in capturing Fort McAllister near Savannah, Georgia. After resting for several weeks at Savannah, the 69th embarked upon the Carolinas Campaign. The regiment participated in most major engagements of this campaign, with its last battle being the Battle of Goldsboro, North Carolina on March 19, 1865, where the 69th had two men killed and eight wounded. During the Carolinas Campaign, the commanding officer of the 69th filed the following report:
HDQRS. SIXTY-NINTH OHIO VETERAN VOL. INFANTRY, Near Goldsborough, N. C., March 25, 1865.
GEN.: I have the honor report that on the 20th of January, 1865, the Sixty-ninth Regt. Ohio Veteran Volunteer Infantry, in connection with the rest of the Second Brigade, First Division, Fourteenth Army Corps, &c., left camp at Savannah, Ga., on special campaign through the interior of the Confederacy, arriving at Sister's Ferry, Ga., on the 29th.
We crossed the Savannah River into South Carolina, on the 5th of February, 1865, marching in the direction of Columbia, S. C., crossing the Augusta and Charleston Railroad at White Pond Station on the 12th, arriving to within about four miles of Columbia on the 16th, when we were ordered to march in the direction of Charlotte, N. C. After going within about ten miles of Chesterville, we moved in the direction of Goldsborough, crossing the Catawba River at Rocky Mount Post-Office. On the 28th the Sixty-ninth crossed in pontoon-boats about midnight, after guarding the crossing until the pontoon bridge was taken up.
On the 7th of March we crossed the Great Pedee River about ten miles above Cheraw, and also the Cape Fear River on the 13th at Fayetteville. On the 19th we came up with and engaged a force of the enemy, as we thought cavalry; but it proved to be a large force of infantry, which the First Division, Fourteenth Army Corps, charged and were handsomely repulsed with a heavy loss on the Sixty-ninth. The rebels then charged and drove us about half a mile, when they were checked and driven back by the Second Division, Fourteenth Army Corps, and troops from the Twentieth Army Corps. In the night the rebels left, and we marched to Goldsborough on the 23d, thus ending the most glorious campaign of the war.
The loss of the regiment during the campaign was as follows.*
During the entire campaign from Sister's Ferry only about ten days' rations were issued to the men, depending almost entirely for subsistence on the resources of the country.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. J. RARICK,
Capt., Cmdg. Sixty-ninth Ohio Veteran Vol. Infantry.
Bvt. Brig. GEORGE P. BUELL,
Second Brigade, First Division, Fourteenth Army Corps.
Following Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston's surrender, the 69th marched from North Carolina to Washington, DC via Richmond, Virginia. At Washington, the regiment participated in the Grand Review. In early June, the regiment departed the nation's capital for Louisville, Kentucky. The 69th Regiment mustered out of service at Louisville on July 17, 1865.
During the 69th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry's term of service, eighty-nine men, including five officers, died on the battlefield. An additional ninety-eight enlisted men succumbed to disease or accidents.
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"69th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry," Ohio Civil War Central, 2019, Ohio Civil War Central. 12 Nov 2019 <http://www.www.ohiocivilwarcentral.com/entry.php?rec=621>
"69th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry." (2019) In Ohio Civil War Central, Retrieved November 12, 2019, from Ohio Civil War Central: http://www.www.ohiocivilwarcentral.com/entry.php?rec=621