Warren County Local History by Dallas Bogan
|Dallas Bogan on 3 August 2004|
|original article by Dallas Bogan|
|Return to Index to see a list of other articles by Dallas Bogan|
Companies A and F were recruited in August and September 1861, as part of the Thirty-Fifth Ohio Volunteer Infantry from Warren County. Joseph L. Budd was Captain of Company A and Oliver H. Parshall was Captain of Company F.
This writer believes that a letter from Lieutenant Colonel H.V.N. Boynton, commanding officer of the Thirty-Fifth, depicts the bravery of the regiment. The letter describes the Regiments action during the Battle of Chickamauga, Georgia, which occurred on the 19th and 20th of September, 1863.
Headquarters Thirty-Fifth O.V.I. Chattanooga, Tenn.,
September 24, 1863.
Captain: I have the honor to report the following as the part taken by the
Thirty-Fifth Ohio in the action of September 19th and 20th in this vicinity.
We were brought into action at 8 a.m. of the 19th, after which a most fatiguing march begun at 5 p.m. of the previous evening and only ended in time to allow of fifteen minutes rest before the fight. The Thirty-Fifth occupied the right of the first line, and the skirmishers of the command met the enemy after a very short advance in line. The engagement soon became very fierce, but the accurate fire of the line soon
Broke the rebel line. In this short fight our loss in thirty minutes was 60 killed and wounded. In a short time the rebels rallied and made another desperate assault on the line, but were again repulsed.
The next move of the enemy was an attempt to flank our position on the left. The regular brigade which had been engaged on our right and to the front, were driven across our line, which was placed as a support to the Fourth Regular Battery, Lieutenant Smith commanding. Seeing this rapid approach of the enemy in four lines, the front of my regiment was immediately changed to the left, though without orders from the Colonel commanding the brigade, it being perfectly apparent that this alone could save the battery.
The assault of the rebel lines proved terrific, but so soon as the confusion attending the passage of the regular brigade had in part subsided, the Thirty-Fifth faced, advanced, and by a few moments of close fighting, in connection with the well directed fire of Lieutenant Smith's double-shotted guns, repulsed that portion of the rebel line opposed to our immediate front. This closed the fighting of the day, it having continued for four hours with great fury. The rebel forces opposed to us were a portion of Longstreet's forces, as prisoners reported. Together with the other regiments of the brigade, we bivouacked upon the battlefield without blankets or tents, and although a white frost covered the ground, and being in an open field, we passed the night without fires as best we could under the circumstances.
The rapid and fatiguing march of the night before had caused 21 men to fall behind; 25 were back sick. Seventeen cooks had been ordered to follow the teams to Chattanooga, and 10 men were left to guard the knapsacks when the fight opened, so that the regiment went into the fight with a total of 391 officers and men. Of this number 9 were killed, 97 wounded and 4 reported missing. Three of the wounded were officers, Captain A.J. Lewis, Company E, severely in the bowels; Captain Joel K. Deardoff, Company K, severely in the leg; and Lieutenant L.P. Thompson, Company E, who received a flesh wound in the leg.
Captain Oliver H. Parshall, of Company F was shot dead immediately on the right of our line. He had only the day before returned from home and was detailed upon the staff of the Colonel commanding the brigade. Not withstanding the fact that he was detached. I cannot refrain from mentioning his great coolness and gallantry, which were constantly displayed along my own part of the line. His course as an officer has always been such as to secure the confidence and esteem of all.
On the morning or the 20th, at 9 a.m., the brigade having taken its position in two lines, as the reserve of the division, the Thirty-Fifth was assigned its position on the rear line in column of divisions closed en masse. At 11 a.m. the enemy attacked, in overwhelming numbers, the divisions in front and the one on the left. The brigade being ordered to support General Baird, our columns were deployed under a sharp fire of shot and canister. On reaching the rear of General Baird's position we met General Breckenridge's division advancing to attack General Baird's flank. Having no notice of the approach whatever, the flank of my regiment without a moment's notice, was subjected to a galling fire from the main rebel lines at a very short range. Notwithstanding the difficulties of the position, the men of the Thirty-Fifth immediately changed front, faced the enemy by orders, lay down until the first line should finish its fire; the second line followed in rear of the first; the Thirty-Fifth in advance on the left supported by the Ninth Ohio on the right charged across an open field for a third of a mile and advanced a hundred yards into the woods beyond, the left of the regiment covering the road over which the rebels advanced, and in which they had planted a battery. The Thirty- Fifth held its position until the brigade was ordered to retire to allow the advance of a relief brigade from our right. The withdrawal was accomplished in regular order by the successive passage of the lines to the rear, but not without heavy loss to the regiment. We then returned with our brigade to the position occupied at the commencement of the charge. In this position we remained for about an hour, subjected for about half of the time to the fire of the rebel battery, which had occupied the position held at the beginning of the action by the left of our division. From this point the brigade passed toward the right of our general line of battle.
Here we joined General Thomas, who had rallied, with the assistance of General Brannan, a portion of several brigades. Our own brigade came upon the hill unbroken and immediately took position in one line on the crest, the Thirty-Fifth on the right. In a short time the Thirty-Fifth advanced to a line of logs, hastily thrown together and just sufficient to cover the heads of the men when lying on the ground. The hill was twice attacked in over whelming force, the first attack hardly ceasing, before the second began with almost inconceivable fury and persistence. The fighting continued for nearly two hours, when our ammunition became exhausted. Nothing daunted, the regiment fixed bayonets and awaited the shock. Fortunately a load of ammunition arrived, and the firing was renewed with vigor, still the rebels pressed us hard and maintained their position at close quarters.
At this point our cartridges again gave out, when by the exertions of several of the officers among whom were: Major Budd, Captain L'Hommedieu, Captain Daugherty and Lieutenant Bone, the line was supplied with cartridges from the boxes of the dead and wounded. The attack progressing this supply was soon exhausted, when the officers and men of the Second Minnesota kindly supplied us with several rounds, for which I take this opportunity to thank them. These were ordered to be so distributed as to give each man three rounds, and the order given to cease firing, fix bayonets, and approach off the enemy. It was near dark. The troops having been removed on the right of our line, the Thirty-Fifth was ordered to protect the right flank and was wheeled accordingly. The hill was immediately occupied by a rebel regiment, whose right flank rested only fifty yards from the front of the Thirty-Fifth.
A rebel General, believed to be General Gregg, here rode up and asked whose troops we were, at the reply, "Thirty-Fifth Ohio," he wheeled, but received a volley from the Thirty-Fifth which riddled he and his horse and raked the line of the rebels, striking them at an angle of 30 degrees, breaking their line, and sending all but three companies down the hill in confusion. The three remaining companies poured a volley into our front and left. With this fire the engagement ceased, it being 7 p.m. The order for retiring arrived, just at this juncture, and together with the troops on the hill we fell back to Rossville.
The regiment went into the fight on the second day with a total of 280 officers and men. Of these one officer was killed, Lieutenant Harlan, Company F; two were severely wounded, Lieutenant Adams, Company G and Lieutenant Sabin, Company A; Lieutenant Rothenbush, Company I, slightly; Lieutenant Cottingham, Company E, was captured. Eight enlisted men were killed, fifty-one wounded and twenty-one missing, part of whom were captured in the charge. The loss of the regiment thus shows fifty percent, as near as may be ascertained of the number engaged. This taken in connection with the fact that the regiment never broke and constantly maintained its ground shows its merits in a strong light and needs no comment. The present available force of the regiment for line of battle is two hundred and forty guns, ten companies and two field officers. Charles O. Wright and Dr. A.H. Landis were left to take care of our wounded in the hands of the enemy.
Where all fought so nobly and so well it is impossible to make distinctions. Still I must be allowed to speak particularly of the skirmishes, first by Captain Daugherty, Company A, and subsequently by Lieutenant Miller, Company C, and the heroic conduct of our color bearer, Sergeant Mark B. Price--to his coolness much of the good order that prevailed from first to last owes; and commend especially to your notice Orderly Sergeant, William B. Mikesell, Company E, and Richard H. Ford, Orderly Sergeant, Company K, and Sergeant William K. Van Horn, Company I, who commanded their respective companies with marked ability on the second day of the fight. Lieutenant Harlan's last words as he fell were a cheer to his company to press forward. Lieutenant Adams, though the youngest officer of the line, displayed great courage, and when he thought himself dying, said with a smile, "I shall die, but that is nothing if we whip the rebels." Captain Lewis and Deardoff fell in the thickest of the first day's fight, and Lieutenant Rothenbush and Sabin on the second. For them all it is enough to say that they fell at their posts facing the foe.
Lieutenant Mather, commanding Company H, was ever conspicuous in the discharge of every duty. For Captain Henninger, Lieutenant Steele, Taylor, Cottingham, Houser and Davidson, I desire to say that they were ever at their post and performed their duty to my entire satisfaction. Half of the Thirty-Fifth is dead or wounded, and to those who remain I can only say that their commanding officers look upon them with feeling to which no language can give expression. To have belonged to the Third Brigade will hereafter be the crowning glory of your old age.
Returning our heartfelt thanks to our Heavenly Father, the God of battles, that we were all able thus to discharge our whole duty, and sorrowing as soldiers only can over the deaths and wounds of our noble comrades fallen, we pray that the future may find us ever ready to combat treasons both on Southern battle-fields and, when the war is over, among the vile traitors of the north.
Yours respectfully, H.V.N. Boynton, Lieutenant Col. COM'd'g Thirty-Fifth O.V.I.
Capt. J.R. Beatty, Asst. Adjt. Gen. 3rd Brig., 3rd Div., 14th A.C.
This regiment was organized at Hamilton, Ohio, in August and September, 1861, to serve three years. The original members (except veterans) were mustered out by companies at different dates, from August 26, to September 28, 1864, by reason of expiration of term of service, and the veterans and recruits transferred to the Eighteenth Regiment Ohio Infantry. (The original strength of the Thirty-Fifth was 812 and at the time of muster out, July 27, 1865, its strength was 510.)
The list of battles and dates are:
CORINTH MISS. (Seige of).............April 30, 1862.
PERRYVILLE, KY.......................October 8, 1862.
TULLAHOMA CAMPAIGN, TENN.............June 23-30, 1863.
CHICAMAUGUA, GA......................September 19-20, 1863.
MISSION RIDGE, TENN.................November 25, 1863
BUZZARD ROOST, GA....................February 25-27, 1864.
ATLANTACAMPAIGN, GA.............May 5,to September8, 1864.
DALTON, GA...........................May 9, 1864.
RESACA, GA...........................May 13-16, 1864.
KENESAW MOUNTAIN, GA.................June 9-30, 1864.
PINE MOUNTAIN, GA....................June 14, 1864.
PINE KNOB, GA........................June 19, 1864.
KENESAW MOUNTAIN, GA.
(General Assault)..................June 27,1864.
PEACHTREE CREEK, GA..................July 20, 1864.
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