51st Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry (1861 - 1865)

Also Known As: Fifty-first Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry

Updated: July 06, 2011

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 October 3, 1861, the 51st Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry organized at Camp Meigs, near Canal Dover, Ohio. Men in the regiment were to serve three years.

On November 2, 1861, the 51st departed Camp Meigs, traveling via railroad to Wellsville, Ohio. The regiment then boarded transports and sailed to Louisville, Kentucky, although a ten-day stop at Camp Dennison, near Cincinnati, Ohio, slowed the trip. The 51st arrived at Louisville on November 17, 1861 and encamped at Camp Jenkins, a few miles from the city. On December 10, the regiment advanced to Camp Wickliffe near New Haven, Kentucky. The 51st remained at this location until February 6, 1862, when the regiment moved to West Point, Kentucky and boarded transports for Nashville, Tennessee. Serving as provost guards, the 51st remained at Nashville until July 9, 1862, when the regiment joined the Army of the Ohio at Tullahoma, Alabama. The regiment soon returned with the Army of the Ohio to Nashville and entered into a pursuit of the Braxton Bragg's Confederate army, which was currently invading Kentucky. The Union army raced to Louisville and, in early October, began a pursuit of Bragg's force. The Army of the Ohio confronted the Southern army at Perrysville, Kentucky, where the Battle of Perryville occurred on October 8, 1862. Held in reserve, the 51st did not actively participate in this Union victory. The Army of the Ohio pursued the retreating Confederates as far as Crab Orchard, Kentucky, before returning to Nashville.

While stationed at Nashville, the 51st in conjunction with the 35th Regiment Indiana Infantry conducted a foraging expedition to Dubose Ferry on Stones River. General Joseph Wheeler's Confederate cavalry attacked the Union regiments, but the Northerners emerged from the battle victorious, with the 51st having three men killed and an additional ten soldiers wounded. On December 26, 1862, the 51st advanced towards Murfreesboro, Tennessee.. On December 31, the Battle of Stones River erupted, with the 51st locating the Southerners during a reconnaissance across Stones River. On January 1, 1863, the 51st again crossed Stones River and skirmished with Confederate forces the remainder of the day. On January 2, Southerners under John C. Breckinridge drove the 51st across the river, with the regiment having thirty-two men killed, 105 wounded, and forty-six captured. Union artillery and infantry reinforcements forced Breckinridge's Confederates back across the river. The Southerners began to withdraw that evening, and the Battle of Stones River concluded. Following this battle, the commanding officer of the 51st filed the following report:

HDQRS. FIFTY-FIRST REGT. OHIO VOLUNTEER INFANTRY, Camp near Murfreesborough, Tenn., January --, 1863.

COL.: I have the honor to make the following report of the operations of the Fifty-first Regt. Ohio Volunteer Infantry in front of Murfreesborough during the late engagement:

On our arrival at Stone's River, on Monday evening, December 29, 1862, my regiment was ordered on picket duty, to take post to the left of the pickets of Gen. Wood's division, where we remained until Wednesday morning, December 31, when we received orders to rejoin our brigade, which was then en route for the purpose of crossing Stone's River. After we had crossed over, the Fifty-first was assigned its position in the center of the first line of battle; the Eighth Kentucky on our right, and the Thirty-fifth Indiana Infantry on our left. We had not been in line of battle over half an hour, when I received orders to recross the river and take position opposite the ford, where we remained until 1 p. m., when the enemy's cavalry, with two pieces of artillery, made a dash at our hospital wagons, which had not yet recrossed. Thereupon the Fifty-first was ordered to change position some 40 paces to the rear, in order to open the way for one of our batteries to open fire upon the enemy. We remained in that position until 3 p. m. The enemy's shot commenced falling among us, and we were again ordered to change our position about 100 yards to the rear, and out of range of the enemy's battery, where we remained during the night.

On Thursday morning, January 1, at 5.30 o'clock, I received orders from Col. Samuel Beatty, then commanding the Third Division, "to take the Fifty-first Ohio and throw it across Stone's River immediately; then to deploy four companies as skirmishers, holding the remaining six companies as a 'reserve;'" adding at the same time, "move your regiment forward," and he would throw additional forces to support me, and, if possible, to accomplish this before it was clearly light, which was done. Our line of skirmishers had not advanced far before a spirited fire was opened between them and the enemy's line of skirmishers. In a few minutes I received orders to "halt the line of skirmishers and not bring on an engagement," which I did.

The six companies of reserve were then ordered to take position on the eminence on the right of the first line of battle, my right resting near Stone's River, while the Eighth Kentucky and Thirty-fifth Indiana formed on our left. We immediately discovered a battery of the enemy about 1,200 yards in our front, which I reported to Col. Beatty, who sent a battery to the front, posting two pieces to my right and four pieces to the left of the first line. Our battery then opened fire on the enemy, consisting of artillery, cavalry, and infantry, who were posted in the edge of the woods in front of us, the enemy feebly replying with their artillery, their sharpshooters at the same time keeping up a brisk fire on our line of skirmishers all day. Thus passed Thursday. In the evening the four companies that were skirmishing were relieved and formed with the regiment, where we lay that night on our arms.

On Friday morning, at daybreak, the enemy's sharpshooters opened on us with increased vigor. Two companies of the Fifty-first were then sent to relieve the front line of skirmishers. At about 12 m. the enemy changed the position of their battery to the left of our front, and opened a heavy fire on us at this elevated point, and, having got range of the two pieces of artillery posted where we were stationed, our pieces had to be withdrawn a short distance to the rear. The enemy's line of skirmishers was then strengthened, and drove our skirmishers back a short distance, and gained possession of some buildings which our skirmishers were unable to hold. Our line then rallied, drove the enemy from the buildings, who set them on fire before leaving them. Between the hours of 1 and 2 p. m. we could distinctly see in the distance large bodies of infantry forming in our front and moving to our left, accompanied by artillery and cavalry. I immediately notified the proper officers of the movements of the enemy. Soon thereafter we saw large bodies of infantry forming in our front in line of battle, and moving toward us. They advanced to within between 600 and 800 yards of our front and halted, and commenced throwing down a line of fence running parallel to our line. I immediately directed Adjutant Nicholas to report the fact, and he informed Maj. Starling of the enemy's movements, as well as the brigade and division commanders that the enemy were in the act of attacking us. The enemy's artillery was playing on us up to this time, when it ceased, and their line of battle immediately advanced, their center moving steadily, while their left was thrown around to Stone's River. After advancing in this manner to within 200 yards of our front, they set up a most hideous yell, and charged upon us in two lines of battle, closed in mass, while their skirmishers rallied to their left.

At this period the eight companies of the Fifty-first were lying down, with bayonets fixed, being partially protected by a depression of the ground, the two companies of skirmishers still disputing the advance of the enemy's left, which was in advance of their center, and moving more rapidly, in order to get between us and the river, to outflank us. When their line arrived within 60 yards of our front, so that we could plainly see their breasts, I gave the command to rise and fire, which was done, the enemy at the same time opening a terrific fire upon us; their front line, using revolving rifles, kept up a continuous fire, and advancing. Being pressed heavily, and our right forced back and outflanked, the artillery having been withdrawn previous to the charge, we were compelled to fall back and cross the river, where I rallied portions of the regiment under cover of our artillery, then recrossed the river, and advanced with our colors and assisted in driving the enemy beyond our first position, capturing one piece of artillery belonging to the Washington Battery, our colors being the first to wave over the gun. It being dark, and the enemy driven from the field, we were ordered to seek quarters for the night.

The following is a list of the killed, wounded, and missing in the regiment during the engagement: Killed, 24; wounded, 122; missing, 44. Total, 190.

The following is a list of those especially noted for gallantry and ungallantry:

For gallant conduct: Sergts. Thomas Rodgers (color-bearer) and William Barnes, Company H; Privates Jesse T. Beachler, Company A; M. Morgan, John G. Fox, and John Hilliker, Company F; N. Jones and Theophilus Phillips, Company H, and Nathan A. Carpenter, Company I.

For ungallantry: First Sergt. William A. Himes, Company A; Privates Jacob Lenhart and Martin Hart, Company F.

Great praise is due both officers and soldiers for the manner in which they sustained the first charge of the enemy, and, although compelled to fall back, being pressed by superior numbers, still greater praise is due them for rallying with the advance, and assisting to drive the enemy from the field.

I am, colonel, your obedient servant,

R. W. McCLAIN,

Lieut.-Col., Comdg. Fifty-first Regt. Ohio Vol. Infantry.

Col. STANLEY MATTHEWS,

Cmdg. Third Brigade, Third Division, Left Wing.

The 51st remained in the vicinity of Murfreesboro until June 24, 1863, when the regiment embarked upon the Tullahoma Campaign. The 51st marched to Ringgold, Georgia, moving through McMinnville, Tennessee and Point Lookout, Tennessee. At Ringgold, on September 11, 1863, the regiment engaged Confederate General Joseph Wheeler's cavalry, driving the Southerners to Tunnel Hill, Georgia. The 51st marched to Lee & Gordon Mills on September 12, 1863 and, on September 13, conducted a reconnaissance to Shield's Gap. On September 14, the 51st encamped at Crawfish Springs, Georgia. On the evening of September 18, the regiment returned to Lee & Gordon Mills, where the 51st laid in wait for the start of the Battle of Chickamauga. On September 19, the battle erupted. The 51st initially repulsed a Confederate attack and advanced one-quarter mile in front of the regiment's original line. Southern reinforcements drove the Union troops back to their original line later that afternoon. The 51st had eight men killed, twenty-five wounded, and another twenty-five men captured during the first day of the battle. On the engagement's second day, the regiment formed part of General George Thomas's left flank. On this day, the 51st had thirteen men wounded and thirty captured, before retreating to Chattanooga, Tennessee. Following this battle, the commanding officer of the 51st filed the following report:

HDQRS. 51ST REGT. OHIO VOLUNTEER INFANTRY, September 26, 1863.

CAPT.: I have the honor to report the operations of the Fifty-first Regt. Ohio Volunteers, from the time it crossed the Tennessee River up to the present date:

The Fifty-first Regt. Ohio Volunteers, commanded by Col. Richard W. McClain, crossed the Tennessee River with the balance of the Third Brigade, Third Division, Twenty-first Army Corps, on Friday, the 4th day of September, 1863, at Shellmound, and proceeded by the way of Whiteside's, Murphy's Valley, Lookout Mountain, to a point 10 miles south of Chattanooga without encountering the enemy.

On the morning of September 11, the Fifty-first Regt. Ohio Volunteers marched in the advance, and had not proceeded over 1 mile before it encountered the rear guard of the enemy, composed of cavalry. Col. McClain immediately formed the regiment on the right of the road, the Eighth Kentucky forming on the left. We drove the enemy with but very little resistance to Ringgold, a distance of 6 miles, at which place they attempted to make a stand, but we immediately charged upon them, driving them about 3 miles beyond the town, killing 1 and wounding several. We sustained no loss.

On the 12th instant, we marched, with the balance of the brigade, to Lee and Gordon's Mills.

On the 13th instant, the Third Division made a reconnaissance in force. We took no part, remaining in reserve.

September 14, we marched with the division to Chattanooga Valley, and from thence 2 miles south of Crawfish Spring, where the Third Brigade went into camp.

Friday, at 10 a. m., the enemy fired into our camp with artillery, and the Eighth Kentucky and Fifty-first Ohio skirmished with them till 4 p. m., at which time we received orders to march to Lee's Mills and camp.

Saturday morning, September 19, Col. McClain received orders to form line and prepare for battle.

The Fifty-first Ohio formed on and parallel to the Chattanooga road one-half mile north of Lee's Mills, the Eighth Kentucky forming on our left, thus completing the first line. We remained in this position until 2 p. m., at which time Col. McClain received orders to advance.

Crossing the Chattanooga road, the first line advanced by the right of companies north and parallel to said road, and after proceeding nearly a mile encountered the enemy in a thick wood. Line of battle was immediately formed, and we drove the enemy rapidly 500 yards.

At this juncture they were re-enforced, and we, having no troops on our right, were soon flanked by an overwhelming force and compelled to retire, which we did, contesting the ground inch by inch till we reached a high piece of ground, and, taking position with the assistance of the Third Wisconsin Battery, checked the enemy. We remained in this position till dark, when we changed front to the right and bivouacked for the night. At 2 a. m. Col. McClain received orders to march with the balance of the brigade to Missionary Ridge, which place we reached at 5 a. m.

We here drew rations and breakfasted.

At 8 a. m. we again formed line of battle in the same order as the day previous. Moving eastward, we were ordered to connect on the right with Harker's brigade, Wood's division, and on the left with Brannan's division, Fourteenth Army Corps.

Throwing Companies B and G forward as skirmishers, the line advanced, and after proceeding about three-fourths of a mile encountered the enemy's skirmishers. Quite a brisk fire was kept up for one hour, assisted on both sides by artillery. Orders were then received to move by the left flank to the support of Gen. Reynolds' division, which was reported being hard pressed by the enemy.

After moving double-quick nearly 1 mile, we took position in the edge of a woods and awaited twenty minutes, but no enemy made their appearance. We then received orders to move to the support of Gen. Baird, commanding First Division, Fourteenth Army Corps. Moving forward double-quick by the right flank we came to an open corn-field, where we found our forces on the left closely pursued by the enemy.

Forming line immediately we awaited the retreating forces to pass by, then raising the cheer we charged on the enemy, repulsing him and driving him back. Several attempts were made by the enemy to rally, but all in vain. A few well-directed volleys from our ranks and they broke in great confusion, throwing away their arms and accouterments. We charged them three-fourths of a mile, killing, wounding, and capturing many. We also captured the colors of the Twenty-sixth South Carolina Regt. After completely routing the enemy on the left, we took position on the left of Gen. Starkweather's brigade, and no firing occurred in our front except occasional skirmishing until 5 p. m., at which time the engagement became general. The right of the line falling back, the enemy opened a terrific fire of musketry and artillery on the left, completely enfilading the Fifty-first Ohio and Eighth Kentucky. Having no support, we were compelled to fall back in some disorder. Several attempts were made to rally the men immediately, but it proved impossible to do so under such a murderous fire with no support. Falling back about one-half mile, we rallied and reformed with the balance of the Third Brigade.

On reforming we were sorry to learn that Col. R. W. McClain and 4 line officers were missing, supposed to be badly wounded or killed.

From Missionary Ridge we were ordered with the balance of the brigade to Rossville, where we bivouacked for the night, and at 2 a. m. received orders to proceed to Chattanooga and go into camp, at which place we are now, on the bluffs east of town near the river.

Before closing this report, I take pleasure with great coolness and bravery. As regards the general conduct and bearing of the regiment during the action I will not speak, but leave it for criticism of the commanding officers, under whose eyes it fought.

The regiment entered the fight with 21 commissioned officers and 297 enlisted men. The loss sustained during the entire action was 5 commissioned officers and 93 enlisted men.

Attached to this report I forward you a full and complete list of the casualties, with rank, &c.

I have the honor to be, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

C. H. WOOD,

Lieut. Col. Comdg. Fifty-first Ohio Volunteers.

Capt. WILLIAM H. CATCHING,

Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., Third Brigade, Third Division.

With the Union's defeat at Chickamauga, the entire Northern army, including the 51st, retreated to Chattanooga, where Confederate forces besieged the Federals. On November 24, 1863, the regiment took part in the Battle of Lookout Mountain. The following day, the 51st participated in the Union assault of Rossville Gap during the Battle of Missionary Ridge. This Northern victory resulted in the end of the Confederate siege of Chattanooga. The 51st had one man killed and ten wounded in these two engagements. Following the Chattanooga Campaign, the commanding officer of the 51st filed the following report:

HDQRS. FIFTY-FIRST OHIO VOLUNTEERS, Ringgold, Ga., November 30, 1863.

CAPT.: Pursuant to orders from Brig. Gen. W. C. Whitaker, I have the honor to report the operations of the Fifty-first Regt. Ohio Volunteers since it left Shellmound, and the part taken by it in the recent battles near Chattanooga:

On Monday morning, November 23, at 8 o'clock, I marched my command with the balance of the Second Brigade in the direction of Chattanooga, and after a very fatiguing march of 20 miles over rough roads bivouacked for the night in Lookout Valley, opposite the point of Lookout Mountain.

At 6 o'clock, Tuesday morning, November 24, I marched to Wauhatchie Station, on the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, where, pursuant to orders, the regiment divested itself of all baggage preparatory to the storming of Lookout Mountain. Moving across Lookout Creek I ascended the mountain as high as the bluffs, and formed my regiment in the second line on the left of the Ninety-sixth Regiment, Illinois Volunteers. At the command "forward" I moved with the balance of the brigade along the side of the mountain, encountering the enemy. The first line drove him rapidly before it, the second line, following immediately in rear of the first of musketry and artillery that was poured into the ranks both from the front and from the top of Lookout Mountain, which swarmed with sharpshooters. On arriving at the point of Lookout Mountain, I passed through the Eighth Kentucky Volunteers on the right of the first line and, moving around the crest of the hill about 200 yards, halted. By this time the left of the first line, which had driven the enemy out of the works, was being repulsed, and I was ordered by the general commanding the brigade to move quickly to their support. Changing front forward on the ninth company, I moved my regiment double-quick down the hill; striking the enemy on his left flank, I poured in a few well-directed volleys, driving them back to the woods in great disorder. Changing front immediately to the right, I moved forward around the mountain and took position on the right of the Ninety-sixth Regt. Illinois Volunteers, which had been engaging the enemy on my right.

Before the formation with the Ninety-sixth Illinois was completed the enemy was observed to be moving to the right, evidently intending to turn our right flank. Posting the regiment among the rocks [which formed admirable breastworks] I advanced a line of skirmishers, which, however, were soon driven back and the enemy formed to charge us from our position. Massing their force they moved forward with a yell. My regiment reserved its fire until the rebels came within thirty paces, then, pouring in a deadly fire, they sent them back howling. A second charge was made with like results, and the enemy, finding it impossible to dislodge us from our position, retired about 50 paces, keeping up a continuous fire till half past 3 o'clock, at which time, my ammunition being exhausted, I was relieved by the Fifty-ninth Illinois and moved my command to the rear, where I bivouacked for the night.

On the morning of the 25th, at 4 o'clock, I was again ordered forward to the front line, but no firing passed between my command and the enemy, daylight revealing the fact that he had retreated from the mountain. About 11 a.m. I received orders to march my command to Rossville, which point I reached about 4 p.m. Having found the enemy in force on Missionary Ridge, I was ordered to form line on the left of the Thirty-fifth Regt. Indiana Volunteers, and move up the ridge on the north side of the gap. On reaching the summit I received orders to report to Col. Grose, whose brigade was warmly engaged with the enemy. Reporting to Col. Grose, he immediately moved me to the left of his front line, which was the exposed. Throwing forward one company as skirmishers they soon encountered the enemy. At this juncture an order was received for the entire line to charge, which it did, completely routing the enemy and capturing several hundred prisoners. By an order from Gen. Whitaker I rejoined my brigade and bivouacked for the night on Missionary Ridge.

Thursday morning, November 26, I marched my command in the direction of Ringgold, and camped for the night on the ridge west of Pea Vine Creek.

Friday morning, November 27, I moved with the column on Ringgold, where the enemy was found strongly intrenched, on Taylor's Ridge. Quite a severe engagement took place, my command taking no part except supporting the attacking party.

I am pleased to report that the part taken by the Fifty-first Ohio, both at the storming of Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge, was attended with very small loss. I entered the action on the 24th with but nine companies, Company G being detailed as guard for baggage, and 1 officer and 13 men as guard for ammunition train, leaving me a command of 13 officers and 160 men. Company G was relieved on the 25th, and came up in time to participate in the fight at Missionary Ridge. My loss amounted to 1 man killed and 6 wounded.

In honor to the dead I wish to mention the name of Adam Iselie, who was killed in resisting the charge of the enemy on Lookout Mountain. Though a foreigner by birth, in very indigent circumstances, with a large family, and in poor health, ill able to bear the privations of a soldier, yet, when his country called upon her sons to defend her rights, his patriotism sacrificed all, and he was one among the first to respond. No braver spirit or more gallant a soldier ever fell in defense of his country's flag.

I cannot close my report without expressing my thanks to both officers and men of my command for the gallantry and intrepidity displayed by them throughout the entire action. To my staff I am specially indebted for assistance rendered me during the battle. In fact I am proud to state that the conduct of all my officers and men was such as will do honor to the State from which they came; but for fear further comment might be construed as boasting, I will refer them to the general commanding the brigade, under whose immediate eye they fought.

Accompanying this report I annex a list of the casualties.

Hoping the conduct of the Fifty-first Regt. Ohio Volunteers has met with the approval of the general commanding, I have the honor to remain, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

C. H. WOOD,

Lieut.-Col., Comdg. Fifty-first Ohio Volunteers.

Lieut. J. ROWAN BOONE,

Acting Assistant Adjutant-Gen.

On January 1, 1864, many of the 51st's members reenlisted and received a furlough to return briefly to their homes in Ohio. The regiment arrived at Columbus, Ohio on February 10, 1864, when the soldiers were permitted to return to their homes for thirty days. When the 51st's members returned to duty, the regiment returned to the front at Blue Springs, Tennessee. On May 4, the organization marched to Catoosa Springs, Georgia and embarked upon Union General William T. Sherman's Atlanta Campaign. On May 14, 1864, the 51st participated in the Battle of Resaca, having one man killed and eleven wounded. On June 20, 1864, the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain occurred, with the 51st having twelve men killed and thirty more wounded. The regiment continued to engage the enemy in the other major battles of the Atlanta Campaign, including the Battle of Jonesborough (September 1, 1864)--the final major engagement of the campaign. The 51st pursued the retreating Confederates as far as Lovejoy's Station, Georgia, where the Battle of Lovejoy's Station occurred on September 2, 1864. In this engagement, the regiment had ten men wounded.

Following the Union's capture of Atlanta in early September 1864, the 51st rested several weeks at this city, before departing for Chattanooga, Tennessee on October 3, 1864. In response to Confederate John Bell Hood's invasion of Tennessee, the regiment soon moved to Pulaski, Tennessee, where it remained in camp until November 22, 1863. The 51st and the rest of the Union force engaged the Confederates at the Battle of Columbia, Tennessee (November 24 to 29, 1864), The 51st next participated in the Battle of Spring Hill (November 29, 1864) but did not fight in the ensuing Battle of Franklin, Tennessee (November 30, 1864). The Union army retreated to Nashville, where the Battle of Nashville occurred on December 15 and 16, 1864. The 51st had one man killed and fifteen wounded in this engagement. Following the battle, the commanding officer of the 51st filed the following report:

HDQRS. FIFTY-FIRST Regt. OHIO VET. VOL. INFANTRY, December 19, 1864.

CAPT.: In compliance with circular from brigade headquarters I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the Fifty-first Ohio in the recent battle in front of Nashville, and its operations from the morning of the 15th of December up to the present time:

At daylight December 15 the Fifty-first Ohio moved with the balance of the Second Brigade outside of the defenses of Nashville, and to the right of the Hillsborough pike, where the brigade was massed and haled in reserve, not taking part in the action, but keeping in supporting distance of the advance line during the entire day, and camping at night on the right of the Granny White pike, one mile from the defenses of the city. On the morning of the 16th instant at 6 o'clock I moved my command, with the balance of the brigade, half a mile south on the Granny White pike, and formed line of battle, the Fifty-first Ohio taking position on the right of the second line. The brigade then moved about three-quarters of a mile toward the Franklin pike, when it changed direction and moved south parallel with the pike. At this juncture the Fifty-first Ohio was ordered to the front line, which consisted of the Fifty-first Ohio on the right, the Forty-fifth Ohio and Twenty-first Kentucky in the center, and Ninety-sixth Illinois on the left. With this formation the Second Brigade moved forward and obliqued to the right, unmasking the Third Brigade, First Division, Fourth Corps, and filling a gap that existed between the Third Brigade and the left of the Sixteenth Corps. Moving forward with he line about 600 yards we came in sight of the enemy's works, which were located at the foot of a high range of hail. The enemy observing our advance opened heavily with artillery from several batteries. The Sixteenth Corps coming to a halt, and having received orders from Gen. Whitaker to govern my movements by the troops on my right, I was compelled to haled my regiment in an open field, exposed to the fire of both musketry and artillery. I was here ordered to build works, which I immediately proceeded to do. The enemy attempted to dislodge us from our position with artillery, but were soon silenced by the Third Indiana Battery on our right and the Second Pennsylvania on our left.

In this position I remained, skirmishing with the enemy until 4 o'clock, at which time the Sixteenth Corps charged the enemy's works, and in compliance with previous orders I immediately moved out of my works (then nearly completed), and charging across an open field a distance of 600 yards under a fire of musketry and artillery, drove the enemy from his works in great confusion, throwing his small-arms in every direction, and abandoning a battery of four guns. The regiments on the left conforming to the same movement, we continued the pursuit (capturing many prisoners) until night-fall, when I went into camp with the balance of the brigade on the Franklin pike, seven miles from Nashville. From the morning of the 17th instant up to the present time I have conformed to the movement of the brigade in the pursuit of the enemy, and not having been engaged will refrain from going into the details of the march. The strength of my command upon entering the firth was 10 officers and 550 men. My loss was slight, but 1 man killed and 10 wounded.

I cannot close this report without mention of the officers and men of my regiment for the coolness and gallantry exhibited when under fire and in the assault made upon the enemy's works; not a man faltered, but each and every one seemed to vie with the other in being foremost in the charge. To my staff-Adjt. John E. Smith and Sergt. Maj. Samuel G. J. Worthington-I tender my thanks for assistance rendered me and commend them for their gallantry. I also take pleasure in mentioning the names of Capt. William Nicholas, Lieut.'s Knous, Fisher, Ayres, Croxton, Pocock, and Purvis for the masterly manner in which they handled their men and their gallant bearing during the action. Having but seven line officers, Companies B, E, and C were commanded by Sergeants Shaw, English, and Carruthers, who did honor to themselves and commands, and are deserving promotion. I wish to make special mention of my assistant surgeon, Dr. Robert P. Jennings, who remained at all times with the line of ballet, rendering immediate relief to the wounded, and to whom I am under obligations for assistance in carrying orders. In addition to the tabular statement required with this report, as the casualties are light, I hereto annex a list of the names.

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

C. H. WOOD,

Lieut.-Col., Cmdg.

Capt. H. F. TEMPLE,

Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., 2d Brig., 1st Div., 4th Army Corps.

The victorious Union army next pursued the retreating Confederates to Lexington, Alabama. On January 5, 1865, the 51st went into camp at Huntsville, Alabama.

On March 20, 1865, the 51st departed Huntsville, via train, for Strawberry Plains, Tennessee. Upon reaching Strawberry Plains, the regiment encamped at Bull's Gap, Tennessee. On April 5, the 51st moved to Nashville, remaining at this new location until June 16, 1865, when officials ordered the regiment to Texas. Traveling via New Orleans, Louisiana, the 51st reached Indianola, Texas on July 25, 1865 and eventually moved to Blue Lake, Tennessee and then to Victoria, Tennessee. The 51st Regiment mustered out of service at Victoria on October 3, 1865. The regiment then traveled to Ohio, where it arrived at Camp Chase, at Columbus, on November 1, 1865. Officials proceeded to discharge the 51st's members from duty.

During the 51st Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry's term of service, 112 men, including four officers, died on the battlefield. An additional 234 men, including one officer, succumbed to disease or accidents.

 

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"51st Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry." (2019) In Ohio Civil War Central, Retrieved October 23, 2019, from Ohio Civil War Central: http://www.www.ohiocivilwarcentral.com/entry.php?rec=654

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