91st Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry (1862 -1865)

Also Known As: Ninety-first Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry

Updated: January 09, 2014

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 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.

Soldiers of Ohio infantry regiments served the Union for varying lengths of time, ranging from one hundred days to three years. One of the three-year regiments was the 91st Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Men from Adams, Gallia, Jackson, Lawrence, Pike, and Scioto Counties formed the 91st Infantry Regiment in July 1862. The regiment was placed under the command of Colonel John A. Turley.

The 91st’s members received their arms on August 26, 1862. On the same day, five of the regiments companies moved to Ironton, Ohio, to help defend Ohio’s southern border from an anticipated Confederate attack. On September 3, the remainder of the regiment joined the troops already in Ironton. On the following day, a portion of the organization transferred to Guyandotte, Virginia, to keep an eye on Confederate forces under the command of Albert Jenkins. On September 5 and 7, the 91st Regiment’s members officially mustered into service for three years.

On September 13, 1862, the 91st advanced to Maysville, Kentucky. Ohio Governor David Tod countermanded this order, sending the regiment to Point Pleasant, Virginia instead to assist Union forces under attack.

The 91st arrived in Point Pleasant on September 14, encamping there for twelve days before proceeding upon a raid up the Kanawha River. The regiment captured a Southern camp at Buffalo, Virginia. No fighting occurred in the camp’s seizure, as Southern forces had evacuated the location a short time earlier. The 91st Regiment proceeded to Fayetteville, Virginia, where its members entered winter encampment.

In the spring of 1863, the 91st Regiment advanced towards Summerville, Virginia but quickly returned to Fayetteville on May 19, 1863 when Confederate forces launched a surprise attack. The Union emerged victorious from this engagement.

The 91st remained in western Virginia until July 1863, when officials dispatched the organization in pursuit of Confederate General John Hunt Morgan, whose command was raiding southern Indiana and southern Ohio. The Ohioans pursued Morgan throughout eastern Ohio, capturing thirty of the Southern raiders at Rankin’s Point.

During the remainder of 1863, the 91st Regiment operated in the new state of West Virginia. For most of this time, the organization remained in the vicinity of Fayetteville, but the regiment also advanced to Proctorsville and Louisa in pursuit of a Confederate force under the command of Humphrey Marshall. The 91st spent the winter of 1863-1864 at Fayetteville.

On May 3, 1864, the 91st left winter encampment and participated on a 150-mile raid of Dublin Depot and New River Bridge, West Virginia. The Northern troops destroyed miles of railroad track, as well as bridges and depots. Often, the men marched twenty-five miles per day in treacherous rain, occasionally fighting Confederates along the way. At the raid’s conclusion, the 91st had captured twelve artillery pieces and three hundred Confederates and had fought in two significant engagements.

On the last day of May 1865, the 91st embarked upon Major General David Hunter’s campaign through the Shenandoah Valley in western Virginia. As the men traveled with Hunter, they formed the advance and engaged in battle with the Confederates numerous times as the Northern soldiers moved their way through the Alleghany Mountains and into the plains of Warm Springs. After driving the Confederates out of Panther Gap, the regiment took camp at Goshen, alongside the Central Virginia Railroad. On June 6, 1864, the 91st took part in tearing up eight miles of railroad track and in burning a bridge that led over Calf Pasture River.

The regiment next advanced with Hunter towards Lynchburg, Virginia. The 91st participated in the Battle of Lexington, Virginia on June 12, 1864. Utilizing a flanking movement, Hunter’s command succeeded in driving the Southerners from the battlefield. The Northerners proceeded to destroy several buildings of the Virginia Military Institute and continued their destruction of railroad track in the Shenandoah Valley.

By June 17, 1864, the 91st Regiment and the rest of this Union army had reached the outskirts of Lynchburg. The Battle of Lynchburg erupted this day, with the Northern force capturing two Confederate batteries. The 91st’s commanding officer, Colonel John Turley, was severely injured in the fighting. The arrival of additional Confederate soldiers on June 18, 1864 prompted the Union force to withdraw to Liberty, Virginia the following day. The Confederates pursued the Northerners for the next ten days, with several skirmishes erupting between the two sides.

After a brief rest at Camp Platt along the Shenandoah River, the 91st joined the command of General George Crook, on July 18, 1864. Crook’s force launched an immediate pursuit of Confederate General Jubal Early, whose command was advancing up the Shenandoah Valley towards Maryland.

As the Northern army neared Winchester, Virginia, the Battle of Stephenson's Depot occurred. While the Union lost this battle and lost control of Winchester, Early’s Southerners continued their advance towards Maryland, evacuating the city on July 25. The 91st occupied Winchester shortly thereafter and spent the next several weeks conducting expeditions out the city into the surrounding environs seeking Confederates.

Following one advance towards Charlestown, Virginia on August 26, 1864, an officer of the 91st filed the following report:

HDQRS. NINETY-FIRST REGIMENT OHIO VOL. INFANTRY, Halltown, Va., August 27, 1864.

SIR: I have the honor to respectfully report the part taken by the Ninety-first Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry in the reconnaissance resulting in an engagement near Charlestown, Va., on the 24th instant.

The regiment was deployed in line of battle on the left of the Thirty-fourth Ohio and in front of the Fourteenth Virginia. After advancing one man from each company as skirmishers the regiment moved forward in line of battle parallel with the skirmish line of the enemy, and at a distance of 200 yards encountered it and drove it back to a supporting line, which also was driven for a distance of 200 yards, when by order the regiment changed front to the right and again moved forward until the enemy was encountered in force. At this point the regiment received a severe fire from the front as well as an enfilading fire from the right, and by order fell back in good order over the ground on which it advanced to the camp.

The loss of the regiment in this affair was 12 wounded.

Every officer and man of the regiment deported himself in this engagement to my entire satisfaction. To Maj. Cadot especial commendation is due for his efficient service on the field.

I am, sir, most respectfully, your obedient servant,

B. G. COATES, Lieut.-Col., Cmdg. Regt.

Lieut. J. H. LAWHEAD, Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., 2d Brig., 2d Div., Dept. of W. Va.

During this time, the 91st Regiment also participated in several engagements with Confederate Colonel John Singleton Mosby’s partisan rangers, who principally operated in Loudoun and Fauquier Counties, Virginia during the Civil War’s last three years. An officer in the 91st filed the two following reports regarding the 91st’s actions against Mosby’s command:

MYERS' FORD, VAL, September 4, 1864.

SIR: I came upon Mosby's guerrillas, 200 strong, at this place, and after a sharp fight of thirty minutes we succeeded in routing him, driving them three miles, over fences and thought corn-fields. They fought with a will, but the seven-shooters proved too much fort hem. My loss is 1 killed and 4 wounded, 1 severely; his is, 1 commissioned officer and 6 private killed, and 1 commissioned officer and 4 private wounded. I have 6 prisoners; the circumstances are such that I am compelled to send them in. I have my wounded and entire command over the river. I will move to Charlestown to night.

I am, sir, very respectfully, you obedient servant,

R. BLAZER, Capt., Cmdg. Scouts.

Capt. BIER, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.

HDQRS. INDEPENDENT SCOUTS, Middletown, Va., October 24, 1864. SIR: I have the honor of submitting the following report of the operations of my command since the 18th of August:

On the 18th, learning that a party of Mosby's guerrillas were in the vicinity of Myerstown, I proceeded to that place and overtook them near the Shenandoah River, and after a chase of three miles I drove them across the river, capturing one prisoner. The army having fallen back to Halltown, on the 25th, according to your orders, I went into Loudoun County, and after operating for several days I killed five of Mosby's gang and captured three prisoners. The army having again advanced to Berryville, on the night of the 3d of september I learned that Mosby with a considerable force was at Snickersville. Early on the morning of the 4th I crossed the river at Backus' Ford and moved up the river to where I could get up the mountain through the woods. I struck the pike east of the top of the mountain and moved on their camp. Finding that he had left during the night in the direction of Charlestown, I determined to follow. I recrossed the mountain through Lewis' Gap, and by a forced march I overtook them about 2 pl m. at Myers' Ford, and after a spirited fight of several minutes I completely routed them, with a loss on his part of 13 killed, 6 wounded, 5 prisoners, and 17 horses; my loss was 1 killed and 6 wounded. Since that I have had several small affairs with them, in which I have always defeated them, except twice. On the 20th Lieut. Ewing with five men was attacked on the Berryville pike near the Opequon by a superior force and was all captured except himself. On the 23d Sergeant Fuller, of the Fifth Virginia Infantry, with ten men was attacked near Summit Point by fifty or sixty guerrillas; he fought them until he was overpowered and four of his men were killed, one wounded, and the rest all captured but three, who made their escape.

Having learned that a man by the name of Marshall was recruiting a company in the vicinity of Ashby's Gap, and that they were to organize on the 25th, I proceeded o their reported rendezvous near White Post, and completely surprised them, getting Marshall and four of his men, and capturing all his papers. In another affair below Front Royal I left eight of his murderers to keep company with some that [were] left by Gen. Custer; these, with a number of others that I have picked up through the country, make an aggregate in killed, 44; wounded, 12; and prisoners, including 2 captured in the advance to Cedar Creek the first time, 12.

My entire loss is 5 men killed, 7 wounded, and 8 prisoners.

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

R. BLAZER, Capt., Cmdg. Independent Scouts.

ASSISTANT ADJUTANT-GEN., ARMY OF WEST VIRGINIA.

The regiment’s next major engagement was the Battle of Winchester, which occurred on September 19, 1864. This fight occurred between Winchester and Berryville, Virginia. The 91st assumed a position in the front of the Union army, suffering many casualties but helping the North attain a victory.

Following the Battle of Winchester, an officer of the 91st filed the following report:

HDQRS. NINETY-FIRST REGT. OHIO VOL. INFANTRY, Harrisonburg, Va., September 26, 1864. SIR: I have the honor to report the part taken by the Ninety-first Regt. Ohio Volunteer Infantry in the battle of Winchester, Va., September 19, 1864.

The regiment was under command of Lieut. Col. B. F. Coates, being which formed the second line. Was ordered to move forward, three companies being deployed as skirmishers, to protect the right flank. After advancing about 1,000 yards the regiment came under the fire of the enemy, but continuing to press forward, passing through a cornfield, took cover behind the fence beyond. In consequence of Col. Johnson, commanding brigade, being wounded, the command of the brigade about this time developed upon Lieut.-Col. Coates and that of the regiment upon me. I was now ordered to charge the enemy and take possession of a ravine in front, which was accomplished under a severe fire, the enemy retiring to a second position. By order the regiment again moved forward and gained the crest of a little hill in front, driving the enemy from his second to his third line of defense. This I was ordered to take, and, after a desperate struggle, succeeded in totally routing the enemy. We then rested a short time, and by order pursued the enemy through the two of Winchester, after which we encamped for the night.

The conduct of the officers and men of the regiment during the engagement was highly satisfactory.

The loss of the regiment in this engagement was 11 enlisted men killed and 5 commissioned officers and 90 enlisted men wounded.

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

L. Z. CADOT, Maj., Cmdg. Regt.

Lieut. J. H. LAWHEAD, Acting Assistant Adjutant-Gen.

The 91st Regiment also participated in the Battle of Fisher’s Hill on September 22, 1864, driving the Confederates from the field. Following this engagement, an officer in the 91st Ohio filed the following report:

HDQRS. NINETY-FIRST REGT. OHIO VOL. INFANTRY, Harrisonburg, Va., September 26, 1864. SIR: I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by the Ninety-first Regt. Ohio Volunteer Infantry in the battle of Fisher's Hill, Va., September 22, 1864:

The line of battle was formed on a steep hill-side confronting the enemy's left flank, this regiment forming the right center of the Second Brigade, which was in the front line. Before we were entirely formed, the enemy discovering the movement, commenced shelling us from their batteries, but I was soon ordered by Lieut.-Col. Coates, commanding brigade, to move the regiment forward. This order I had scarcely passed along the line till the whole column commenced moving furiously upon the enemy's works. The men advanced with a will, but few orders were necessary. The enemy were soon dispersed and our men pressed him continually for a distance of three miles, when night overtook us and we were ordered to halt. This regiment participated gallantly in capturing a large number of prisoners and seven pieces of artillery.

Great praise is due the officers and men for the determined spirit with which they assaulted every position of the enemy.

The loss of the regiment is 15 men wounded and 1 missing.

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

L. Z. CADOT, Maj., Cmdg. Regt.

Lieut. J. H. LAWHEAD, Acting Assistant Adjutant-Gen.

A Southern advance in early October resulted in a Union retreat. At the Battle of Cedar Creek, on October 19, 1864, Southern forces initially drove the Union troops from the field, but the Northerners regrouped and attained a stellar victory. Following the battle, an officer in the 91st issued the following report:

HDQRS. NINETY-FIRST REGT. OHIO VOL. INFANTRY, Cedar Creek, Va., October 22, 1864. SIR: I have the honor to report the part performed by the Ninety-first Regt. Ohio Volunteer Infantry in the battle of Cedar Creek, Va., October 19, 1864.

The regiment was on duty as cattle guard near Middletown when the battle commended, it having been detailed for that purpose some days previous. Soon after the firing commenced at the front the enemy's cavalry attacked a train passing to the rear, near Middletown. Fearing that the enemy had got between us and our army, I deemed it necessary to move the herd to place of safety in the rear. Accordingly started, sending some men at the same time to assist in driving the enemy from the train. Col. Forsyth, of Gen. Sheridan's staff, to stop stragglers and bring them to the front. I left two companies (A and F) in charge of the the herd, with orders, as directed by Col. Forsyth, to move it to Winchester, deploying the regiment on each side of the road. I then moved toward the front, gathering up all armed men I could find who were able for duty, and arrived on the battle-ground about 8 p. m. The regiment was not under fire except a few shots from the enemy's cavalry in the morning, and no casualties occurred.

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

L. Z. CADOT, Maj., Cmdg. Regt.

Lieut. A. F. KENDALL, Aide-de-Camp, Second Brigade.

Following Cedar Creek, the Union army moved to Kernstown, Virginia. The 91st remained at Kernstown until December 19, 1864, when the organization transferred to Opequon, Virginia. At this location, the regiment guarded a railroad bridge. On December 30, 1864, the 91st moved to Martinsburg, West Virginia, arriving at this location the following day. The Ohioans entered winter encampment at this city. 

On March 17, 1865, the 91st traveled to Cumberland, Maryland, arriving the following day. The men stayed here until April 5, when they started by rail to Winchester. Upon reaching Winchester on April 7, the 91st joined the Army of the Shenandoah and served in First Brigade, Fourth Provisional Division. The regiment stayed in the vicinity of Winchester for approximately two months, principally performing garrison duty.

The 91st remained in Winchester until June 2, 1865, when the organization traveled to Cumberland, Maryland. On June 24, 1865, the regiment’s members mustered out of service. The men began their trip home, arriving at Camp Dennison, near Cincinnati, Ohio, on June 27. Officials discharged the men on June 30, 1865.

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"91st Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry," Ohio Civil War Central, 2017, Ohio Civil War Central. 24 Jun 2017 <http://www.ohiocivilwarcentral.com/entry.php?rec=1122>

APA Style

"91st Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry." (2017) In Ohio Civil War Central, Retrieved June 24, 2017, from Ohio Civil War Central: http://www.ohiocivilwarcentral.com/entry.php?rec=1122

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