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.
In October 1861, United States Secretary of War Simon Cameron requested that Major William McLaughlin, a resident of Mansfield, Ohio and a veteran of the U.S.-Mexican War, recruit a squadron of cavalry that would serve as an independent command. The squadron was completed in late November 1861, with McLaughlin in command. The men in the squadron were to serve for three years. McLaughlin did not fulfill the term of service, dying in July 1862 of natural causes at the Big Sandy River in Kentucky.
In late November 1861, the squadron departed Mansfield for eastern Kentucky, where it primarily engaged Confederate forces under the command of Humphrey Marshall near Paintsville. Over the next two years, the squadron fought in the Battles of Middle Creek, Pikeville, and Pound Gap, before officials ordered the unit to Gladesville, Virginia (modern-day West Virginia). At Gladesville, the squadron captured an entire Southern regiment and burned the community, before returning to eastern Kentucky.
In August 1863, McLaughlin's Squadron joined the 23rd Army Corps and departed eastern Kentucky for Knoxville, Tennessee. At Knoxville, the unit performed garrison duty and fought in several skirmishes with Confederate forces. On January 10, 1864, many of the squadron's members reenlisted and received a furlough back to their homes in Ohio.
At the end of its furlough, on May 1, 1864, McLaughlin's Squadron departed Camp Dennison, near Cincinnati, Ohio. The unit joined a cavalry brigade at Nicholasville, Kentucky and traveled through Kentucky and Tennessee, eventually reaching Big Shanty, Georgia. At Big Shanty, the squadron attached to William T. Sherman's command and participated in General George Stoneman's raid to Macon, Georgia. After this event, the unit moved to Marietta, Georgia, where it joined Sherman's Atlanta Campaign in late July 1864. Upon Atlanta, Georgia's capture by Union forces in September 1864, McLaughlin's Squadron returned to Marietta until embarking on Sherman's March to the Sea in November 1864. After the Northern force's capture of Savannah, Georgia, the squadron participated in the Carolinas Campaign of early 1865, including engaging the enemy at the Battle of Bentonville.
In July 1865, officials consolidated McLaughlin's Squadron with the 5th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Cavalry at Raleigh, North Carolina. The squadron remained at Raleigh until late October 1865, when the unit moved to Salisbury, North Carolina. At Salisbury, on November 1, 1865, officials mustered the squadron out of service. The unit returned to Ohio, where officials discharged its members from military service on November 17, 1865 at Camp Chase, at Columbus, Ohio.