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Warren County Local History by Dallas Bogan

A Short History Of The First And Second Ohio Volunteer Infantry

Contributor:
Dallas Bogan on 27 August 2004
Source:
original article by Dallas Bogan
Return to Index to see a list of other articles by Dallas Bogan
  See Warren County Soldiers Serving in the 1st OVI & Warren County Soldiers Serving in the 2nd OVI

THE FIRST OHIO VOLUNTEER INFANTRY

The First Ohio (three months service) was called upon to serve the country in April 1861. The First was made up of old militia companies from the Southwestern portion of the State. This organization was, through its previous militia status, able to gather and within sixty hours be on its way to Washington.
The first action was at Vienna in which the First was attached to General Robert C. Schenck's Brigade. The Regiment, moving by rail, found the enemy much sooner than had been anticipated. The Rebels set fire to the train and without any hesitation the Brigade quickly jumped to the side of the track and completely resisted the enemy in such a fashion that the Union Brigade suffered little loss.
In the battle of First Bull Run, fought on July 21, 1861, the First was not actively engaged in the fighting, but was instrumental in the excellent order of the retreat of the Union troops. From August through October 1861, the organization of the three years, service was completed. Camp Corwin in Dayton was the rendezvous point. On October 31st it left Dayton and arrived in Cincinnati. Receiving its arms on November 4th, it left Cincinnati on the 5th, bound for Louisville.
After many skirmishes and battles, perhaps the description of Reid's (Ohio in the War), Battle of Mission Ridge in Tennessee, depicts the true bravery of the First:
"On November 23, 1863, the battle of Orchard Knob was fought, really the opening of the battle of Mission Ridge. About noon of that day the First Ohio, consolidated with the Twenty-Third Kentucky, the whole under command of Lieutenant- Colonel Bassett Langdon was formed in column doubled on the center, to the right of Hazen's brigade. It immediately advanced on the enemy, driving in his pickets and attacking his rifle-pits on the knob. The pits and one hundred fifty prisoners were captured, and the rebels driven into their entrenchments at the foot of Mission Ridge.
That night was spent in reversing the captured rifle pits and constructing other defensive works. This position was held until the afternoon of the 25th.
At half past three on the 25th of November the First Ohio was placed in the front line on the right of the brigade and division. At the signal of three guns the forces moved off and were saluted by the enemy's batteries on the crest of the ridge, some thirty of forty in number. The space to be traversed was about one mile, mostly open ground. The movement was performed in quick time to within three hundred yards, when the troops charged on the double-quick, and the Rebels were fairly lifted out of their works almost without firing a shot.
The National forces, in obedience to orders, took possession of the abandoned works and sought to protect themselves within them. While occupying this position the First Ohio suffered severely, and it became apparent that the only safe course left was to make a dash at the top of the ridge. Lieutenant-Colonel Langdon was the first to see the necessity. Getting his regiment in line, and rising to the height of the occasion, he pointed with his sword to the summit of the ridge and moved on. The whole command caught the inspiration and mounted the almost perpendicular sides of the hill with an angry superhuman. The enemy was amazed at the audacity of the movement, but contested the fight with stubbornness.
The intensity of the Rebel fire was such that five color- bearers of the First Ohio were either killed or wounded. The last one, Captain Trapp, of Company G, was wounded twice within twenty paces of the crest of the hill, while gallantly heading the regiment. At this time the regiment had assumed the shape of the letter A. The nature of the ground being such as to protect the head of the regiment from the Rebel fire in its front, it was halted to gather strength for the final charge. A few minutes sufficed to effect this, and the first and second lines moved up in mass, breaking over and carrying the enemy's works and the crest of the hill. While directing the movement, at the head of the column and within about twenty paces of the crest, Lieutenant Colonel Langdon was shot in the face, the ball coming out at the back of the neck. The shock of the ball disabled him for a few minutes, but he recovered his feet and charged with his men to within ten paces of the works, when loss of blood compelled him to retire, not however, without witnessing the capture of the rebel works. Major Stafford, of the First, was wounded at the foot of the hill, but accompanied his regiment to the top, and carried the flag into the works on the crest. Lieutenant Christopher Wollenhaupt and Sergeant-Major Wheeler were killed near the crest of the ridge. The entire loss of the regiment was five officers and seventy-eight men killed and wounded."
The Battle of Mission Ridge (now called Missionary Ridge) was a battle of the Union foot soldier against a Rebel enemy that had just defeated him in the Battle of Chicamaugua, Georgia. With a mood of revenge in their hearts and a cry of "Remember Chicamaugua" in their soul the Union Army swarmed Mission Ridge completely without orders from their Generals. The Generals and their staff stood in complete amazement as they watched the many regiments defy the cannon shot and the rifle barrages.
This battle only verifies that Warren County had among its troops some of the bravest men in the Union Army.
The original strength of the First Ohio (3 years enlistment) was 1001 men at enlistment and a total of 474 at muster out. During its term of enlistment the First Ohio was engaged in twenty-four battles and skirmishes and had five hundred and twenty-seven officers and men killed and wounded. It marched about two thousand five hundred miles, and was transported by car and steamboat nine hundred and fifty miles.

THE SECOND OHIO VOLUNTEER INFANTRY

With the bombardment of Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861, The Second Ohio was quickly organized and was ushered off to the defense of Washington City. The three month organization was, in September, 1861, organized into a three year regiment. The Second consisted of 913 men.
This regiment was, under the direction of General O.M. Mitchel, moved from Cincinnati to sections of Eastern Kentucky, via Paris, Mt. Sterling to Olympian Springs. A good name was made by the Second through this countryside. A good look by the Kentuckians at the Yankees instilled much trust in the Southerner's that were not sure of its destiny in the war.
Reid's "Ohio in the War" gives this account of the battle of
Stone River: "On the 31st of December, 1862, in the Battle of Stone River, the Second Ohio was closely engaged, and suffered serious loss. It's Colonel, John Kell, was killed at the head of the regiment; Major Maxwell was slightly wounded; Captain Hazlett, Lieutenants Chambers and Van Horn, and seven enlisted men, were also killed, and a large number of men wounded. In this action the regiment, with the assistance of Guenther's Battery H, Fourth artillery, captured the colors of the Thirty- Second regiment Arkansas volunteers."
"Murfreesboro' was occupied until the spring of 1863, when a forward movement was made by the Army of the Cumberland. The month of June found General Rosecrans on the `war-path' toward Tullahoma and Shelbyville, where the Rebel General Bragg had strongly fortified his lines. The advance of the National forces was not very vigorously contested; but several quite spirited affairs occurred, in one of which, at Hoover's Gap, the Second suffered the loss of one man killed and two wounded."
"Chicamaugua was the next battleground. In this hotly- contested engagement the regiment lost Lieutenant George Landrum (detached on General Thomas' staff) killed, Lieutenant Colonel Maxwell (then in command) wounded, Major Beatty, Adjutant John Thomas, Captains Randall and Gallagher, and Lieutenants Tetor and Purlier captured. Aggregate loss in this engagement, one hundred and eighty-three officers and men, killed, wounded and missing."
After many battles and skirmishes the Ohio Second was mustered out October 10, 1864 with an enrollment of 383 men.
(Company B was from Warren County - See Beers History of Warren County page 617.)

The list of battles and dates are:
WEST LIBERTY, KY...October 23, 1861.
PIKETOWN, KY..November 9, 1861.
BRIDGEPORT, ALA..April 29, 1862.
PERRYVILLE, KY...October 8, 1862.
STONE RIVER, TENN..december 31, 1862.
ROSECRANS, CAMPAIGN (From Murfreesboro to Tullohama, Tenn.)...June 23-30, 1863.
CHICAMAUGUA, GA...September 19-20, 1863. MISSION RIDGE, TENN..November 25, 1863.
RINGGOLD, GA...November 27, 1863.
BUZZARD ROOST AND TUNNEL HILL,
ROCKY FACE RIDGE, GA..February 25-27, 1864.
RESACA, GA..May 13-16, 1864.
PEACH TREE CREEK, GA..July 20, 1864.

Regiment lost during service, 9 officers and 96 enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 138 enlisted men by disease. Total 243.


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