4th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry (1861-1864)

Also Known As: Fourth Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry

Updated: January 14, 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. They served for varying lengths of time, averaging one hundred days to three years. The 4th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry mustered into service as a three-year organization at Camp Dennison, near Cincinnati, Ohio on June 5, 1861. The 4th Regiment had previously organized for three months service, but officials requested that the regiment's members reenlist for three years service. The soldiers that did reenlist became the nucleus of the new 4th Regiment.

On June 20, 1861, the 4th departed Camp Dennison for Grafton, Virginia (modern-day West Virginia), arriving three days later. At Grafton the regiment joined General George McClellan's command. In early July, McClellan's force advanced  through Clarksburg and Buckhannon, reaching Rich Mountain, Virginia (modern-day West Virginia) on July 9, 1861. The 4th did not participate in the Battle of Rich Mountain, because officials held the organization in the reserve. The regiment did pursue the retreating Confederates, reaching Beverly, Virginia (modern-day West Virginia) on July 12. On the next day, three companies of the 4th Ohio continued with the rest of McClellan's command, marching to Huttonsville that day and then to Cheat Mountain the next, before returning to Beverly on July 16, 1861. The remaining four companies stayed at Beverly guarding six hundred Rebel prisoners. On July 23, 1861, the reunited regiment left Beverly for New Creek, Virginia (modern-day West Virginia), arriving at this location on July 28. On August 7, 1861, the 4th moved to Pendleton, Maryland.

On September 7, 1861, the 4th's Companies A, F, and K skirmished with Confederates at Petersburg, Virginia (modern-day West Virginia) and captured s sizable quantity of provisions and animals, before returning to Pendleton. One week later, six companies advanced from Pendleton to Romney in modern-day West Virginia, driving a Southern force from this community. The regiment had thirty-two men wounded in this engagement.

On October 25, 1861, the 4th advanced to New Creek, Virginia (modern-day West Virginia). On the following day, a Union force, including the Ohio regiment, advanced on Romney. The Northerners drove Southern soldiers from the town and captured two artillery pieces. The 4th remained at Romney until January 7, 1862, when the regiment advanced to Blue Gap, Virginia (modern-day West Virginia). At this location, the Ohioans drove a Confederate force from a fortified position and captured the Southerners' camp equipage and two artillery pieces.

Following the engagement at Blue Gap, the 4th returned to Romney. On January 10, 1862, the regiment evacuated the city and crossed the Potomac River, establishing camp at Patterson's Creek. One month later, the 4th moved to Pawpaw Tunnel on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, where the organization went into camp. On March 7, 1862, the 4th began a march to Winchester, Virginia but quickly returned to Pawpaw Tunnel without reaching their intended destination. Six days later, the regiment took the railroad to Martinsburg, Virginia (modern-day West Virginia). On March 11, 1862, the 4th advanced towards Winchester to confront a Confederate force. Upon reaching Winchester, the Ohioans occupied the city unopposed, as the Southerners had evacuated the location the previous day.

For nearly the next two weeks, the 4th remained at Winchester, with portions of the regiment carrying out periodic forays into the surrounding area. On March 24, 1862, the entire regiment joined the pursuit of Confederate General Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson's army, which had withdrawn from Kernstown, Virginia the previous day. The 4th advanced as far as Strasburg, Virginia before entering camp. On March 30, 1862, the regiment marched to Edenburg, Virginia. On April 17, 1862, the command moved to New Market, Virginia, where a small skirmish with Confederate forces erupted. Ten days later, the organization marched to within five miles of Harrisonburg, Virginia, where the 4th remained until May 5, 1862, when the command returned to New Market.

On May 12, 1862, the 4th advanced via Luray, Front Royal, Chester Gap, Warrenton, and Catlett's Station towards Fredericksburg, Virginia. Officials countermanded this order as the regiment entered Fredericksburg, requiring the organization to return to the vicinity of Front Royal. The 4th arrived at Front Royal on May 30, 1862, driving a Confederate force from the town and capturing a sizable quantity of ammunition and supplies and a number of prisoners. On June 3, 1862, the regiment marched for Luray, before moving to Port Republic, where the Ohioans and the rest of their brigade covered a Union retreat. The 4th remained in the vicinity of Front Royal and Luray until June 29, 1862, when the regiment boarded railroad cars and traveled to Alexandria, Virginia on the outskirts of Washington, DC. Upon reaching Alexandria, the 4th set sail for Harrison's Landing on the James River Peninsula in Virginia. From July 1, 1862 to August 15, 1862, the regiment remained encamped at Harrison's Landing, before retiring down the peninsula to Newport News, Virginia. On August 24, the organization boarded ships for Alexandria, reaching this location three days later.

The 4th departed Alexandria in late August, marching via Centerville to Fairfax Court House, Virginia. The regiment moved to Washington, DC on September 2, 1862, before proceeding to Harper's Ferry, Virginia (modern-day West Virginia) along the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad on October 2, 1862. The 4th spent the remainder of October at Harper's Ferry, conducting various expeditions. On October 30, the regiment departed Harper's Ferry for Falmouth, Virginia, arriving at this location in early November.

The 4th remained encamped at Falmouth until December 12, 1862, when the organization crossed the Rapidan River to Fredericksburg, Virginia, where the Battle of Fredericksburg occurred from December 11 to December 15, 1862. The regiment served as skirmishers on the Union right on December 12. On the next day, the 4th joined the Union attack against the Confederate left. In multiple disastrous assaults for the North, the regiment had five officers and forty-three enlisted men either killed or wounded out of 115 soldiers engaged in the battle.

Following the Confederate victory at Fredericksburg, the 4th returned to its previous camp at Falmouth. On April 28, 1863, the regiment joined General Joseph Hooker's assault on Chancellorsville, Virginia. At the Battle of Chancellorsville (April 30-May 6, 1863), the 4th joined a Union assault against the Confederate line on May 3. In this attack, the regiment captured one stand of colors and over one hundred prisoners. In the wider battle, the Southerners eventually forced the Union Army of the Potomac to retreat. In the seven-day engagement, the 4th lost seventy-eight men killed or wounded out of 352 engaged in the battle. After the fight, the 4th’s commanding officer issued the following report:

CAMP NEAR FALMOUTH, VA., May 10, 1863.

SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the Fourth Regt. Ohio Volunteer Infantry, under my command, in the action of the 1st, 2d, 3d, 4th, and 5th instant, near Chancellorsville, Va.:

On the afternoon of the 1st, I had orders to mass my regiment in a wood between a mud pike and the Gordonsville Plank road, where we remained for a short time, when I received orders to move to the front, and, after advancing 400 or 500 yards, the order was countermanded, and we resumed our old position in a cleared field, on the skirt of the wood, where we formed line of battle and remained during the night.

On the morning of the 2d, at about 5.30, we changed our position to the left of the road, and formed line of battle, facing the wood in the direction of the river. At about 9 a.m., in obedience to orders, we commenced digging rifle-pits and cutting the timber in our front for the purpose of constructing an abatis. We remained in this position, picketing well our front, until about 7 a.m. on the 3d, when we again of the Plank road, with the Fourteenth Indiana on our right and the Seventh Virginia (Union) on our left, and then awaited orders to move upon the enemy.

About 7.30 a.m. the order to advance was given. We moved forward in line of battle across an open field about 250 yards and entered a thick wood. After penetrating the wood about 30 yards, we came upon the enemy, drawn up in line of battle, supported by a column massed in their rear, the number or depth of which, owing to the thickness of the wood, it was impossible to estimate. The enemy opened upon our line, to which we immediately replied, and charged them, driving them before us through the wood about 800 yards, across the Plank road, and through their works on the opposite side. At this point, the enemy opened upon us with artillery from the right, enfilading our entire line. At the same time a heavy column of infantry, at least a division strong, moved upon us on our right and front. Being thus overwhelmed in numbers, and unsupported, except by our own brigade, we were unable to hold our position, and fell back about 200 yards, across the Plank road. Reformed, and again advanced to within 100 yards of their line. Finding our position untenable, we were obliged to retire, which we did in good order, and took our position to the left of the rifle-pits before mentioned, and formed in line of battle at right angles thereto, immediately on the right of the Seventh Virginia (Union), and at once threw out heavy pickets, and strengthened our position by digging rifle-pits.

On the 4th and 5th repeated attempts were made upon our picket line by the enemy's skirmishers, but without success.

About 2 a.m. on the 6th, the order to recross the river was received, and about 5 a.m. we recrossed the pontoon bridge at the United States Ford, and at 2 p.m. were in our old camp occupied previously to crossing the river.

My regiment was not actively engaged except on the 3d. It went into action with 19 commissioned officers and 353 enlisted men. Our losses were 2 commissioned officers, slightly wounded; killed, 1 sergeant, 1 corporal, and 12 privates; wounded, 5 sergeants, 5 corporals, and 43 privates; missing, 4 privates. Total killed, wounded, and missing, 73. We captured 1 stand of colors and 68 prisoners, among whom were 1 major, 2 captains, and 4 lieutenants. On driving the enemy from his position, several hundred prisoners, previously captured by him, were enabled to make their escape.

Both officers and men of my command behaved in the most admirable manner. Where all did so well, to particularize instances of individual gallantry would, perhaps, not seem proper; but justice compels me to make favorable mention of Capt. Jones, who was acting major; of Capt. Grubb, who, after he was wounded, refused to leave the field; of Capt.'s Laird and Dolbear; also Adjutant Wallace and Lieut. Brophy; and I would respectfully them to your favorable consideration.

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

L. W. CARPENTER, Lieut. Col. Fourth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Cmdg. Regt.

Lieut. J. G. REID, A. A. A. G., 1st Brig., 3d Div.

The 4th spent the next five weeks at its old camp at Falmouth. On June 14, 1863, the regiment joined the Army of the Potomac's pursuit of General Robert E. Lee's Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, which was marching through western Virginia for Pennsylvania. The 4th marched to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania via the Virginia communities of Gainesville and Edward's Ferry and the Maryland towns of Frederick and Uniontown. At the Battle of Gettysburg (July 1-3, 1863), the regiment helped drive Confederate forces from Cemetery Hill after a portion of the Union's Eleventh Corps had fled from their positions under the Southerners' onslaught. The Union emerged from the wider battle victorious, with the 4th having three officers and thirty-four enlisted men killed or wounded. After the engagement, the 4th’s commanding officer issued the following report:

Camp near Two Taverns, Pa., July 6, 1863.

Sir: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the Fourth Regt. Ohio Infantry, under my command, in the battle near Gettysburg, on the 2d and 3d instant:

On the 2d, early in the morning, I moved, with the balance of the brigade, from a point about 1 1/2 miles in rear of the cemetery, where we had bivouacked during the night of the 1st, a little in rear of Cemetery Hill, with my right resting on the road leading from Taneytown to Gettysburg, facing toward the latter place.

At 9.30 a. m. I received orders to advance four companies of my regiment to support the line of pickets, which I did, under command of Maj. Stewart, and at 3 p. m. I relieved them with two companies under Capt. Grubb.

At 4 p. m. the enemy opened with his artillery, and for two hours we were exposed to a heavy fire of shot and shell, which, however, did but little damage.

At 6 p. m. I received orders to change my position farther to the left, and formed between two batteries, at right angles to my former line of battle. I remained here for one and a half hours, the whole time exposed to the enemy's artillery and sharpshooters, but being somewhat protected by a fence, the regiment did not suffer greatly.

At 7.30 o'clock I received orders to again change my position, and, under the guidance of Capt. Gregg, acting assistant inspector-general, First Brigade, I moved across the Taneytown road, and formed in line of battle to the right of the cemetery, and moved forward, and, finding the enemy in possession of a part of our line, we drove them before us, and captured a number of prisoners. We remained in position during the night, throwing out pickets well to the front.

On the 3d, we retained our position, and awaited patiently, under a terrific fire of artillery, the approach of the enemy, but they did not again attempt that portion of our line that day or subsequently. We captured 34 prisoners and 200 stand of arms.

We were armed on going into the fight with the smooth-bore muskets, but these were exchanged for good Springfield rifles that we captured from the enemy.

The regiment numbered on going into the fight 22 commissioned officers and 277 enlisted men.

The officers and men behaved most handsomely, and the regiment maneuvered on the field as if on drill. I beg leave to make special mention of Capt. Grubb, who was in command of the two companies that were on picket when the battle commenced, and was wounded; also of Capt. Camp. Lieuts. S. J. Shoub and A. H. Edgar, both young and promising officers, were killed early in the engagement.

The following is a list of the casualties:

Officers and men.                        K. W. M. T.

Commissioned officers .............. 2   1    ...   3

Enlisted men .......................        5  17    5  27

Total ........................                    7  18    5  30

K=Killed. W=Wounded. M=Missing. T=Total.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. CARPENTER, Lieut. Col., Comdg. Fourth Regt. Ohio Vol. Infantry.

Lieut. J. G. Reid, A. A. A. G., First Brig., Third Div., Second Corps.

Following the Battle of Gettysburg, the 4th joined the Union's pursuit of the retreating Confederate army. The regiment advanced through Frederick and South Mountain, Maryland, before crossing the Potomac River at Harper's Ferry, West Virginia. The organization proceeded through the Virginia communities of Smucker’s Gap, Woodbury, Bloomfield, Upperville, Markham, Manassas Gap, Salem, White Plains, Warrenton Junction, Elk Run, Kelly’s Ford, before returning to and encamping at Elk Run on August 1, 1863. On August 16, 1863, the 4th proceeded to Bealton Station, Virginia, where the regiment boarded railroad cars and traveled to Alexandria, Virginia. From Alexandria, on August 20, the organization boarded ships and sailed to New York, New York, to assist the Union military in putting down draft riots. The regiment arrived at New York three days later and went into camp at Jamaica, New York on August 26. Other federal units had ended the protests prior to the 4th’s arrival, but officials still ordered the regiment to be ready in case the riots erupted again.

On September 6, 1863, the 4th departed New York by ship for Alexandria, Virginia. Upon reaching Virginia five days later, the regiment advanced into the state’s interior, passing through the communities of Fairfax Court House, Bristoe Station, Bealton Station, Brandy Station, Cedar Mountain, and Robinson’s Run, where the organization encamped from September 17, 1863 to October 6, 1863. The 4th then advanced, via Culpepper Court House, Bealton Station, and Auburn, to Bristoe Station, where the regiment participated in a skirmish with enemy troops, before entering camp at this community.

On October 26, 1863, the 4th crossed the Rapidan River at Germania Ford. On the next day, at Robinson’s Cross Roads, Virginia, the regiment had a brief skirmish with Confederate forces. The Ohioans drove the Southerners from the field but lost twenty-eight men killed or wounded. After the engagement, the 4th’s commanding officer issued the following report:

HEADQUARTERS FOURTH OHIO VOLUNTEER INFANTRY, January 19, 1864.

LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part the Fourth Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry took in the action at Bristoe Station, on the 14th of October, 1863:

On the march from Catlett's to Bristoe, the regiment had the left of the brigade. After arriving on the field, I was ordered to take a position to cover the left of our line along the railroad. I threw out three companies as skirmishers, changed the front of the regiment perpendicular to the railroad, the right resting on the road, and remained in this position until about 9 p. m., when I received orders to withdraw and join the brigade. The regiment covered the rear of the column.

The regiment was under but slight fire, and did not suffer any casualties.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

G. A. STEWART, Lieut. Col. Fourth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Comdg. Regt.

Lieut. J. G. REID, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

On December 1, 1863, the 4th entered winter encampment at Stevensburg, Virginia. Upon reaching this location, the regiment’s commander issued the following report regarding the march:

HDQRS. FOURTH OHIO VOLUNTEER INFANTRY, Near Mountain Run, Va., December 4, 1863.

SIR: I have the honor to make the following report of the part the Fourth Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry took in the late movement of the army:

On the morning of November 26, 1863, the regiment broke camp near Mountain Run and moved with the brigade to the Rapidan, crossing at Germanna Ford, going into camp for the night about 3 miles beyond. On the morning of the 27th, we moved to Robertson's Tavern on the pike leading from Fredericksburg to Orange Court-House, where we met the enemy's skirmishers. Captain Jones was ordered forward with Company B and a detail of 40 men, 10 from each of the four regiments of the brigade, to assist in driving the enemy's skirmishers from their position, which was handsomely done. The regiment was then ordered up as a support to our skirmishers. It being desirous to change the line of skirmishers on the right of the road to check the enemy's fire on the flank of the Seventh [West] Virginia, who were on the left of the road, Companies D and E, under Major Grubb, were thrown forward, when the line again advanced and drove the enemy from his position on the right of the pike. The regiment relieved the Eighth Ohio and remained on the skirmish line all night. On the morning of the 28th, the whole skirmish line was ordered forward. We advanced about a mile, skirmishing with the enemy, till we found him strongly posted on a ridge on the opposite side of Mine Creek [Run]. The regiment remained on the line till night.

The casualties of the regiment on this two days' skirmish were 4 officers wounded, and 1 enlisted man killed and 17 wounded; total 22. A nominal list has heretofore been furnished.

On the 29th, the regiment moved with the brigade to our left, crossing the plank road and unfinished railroad that leads from Fredericksburg to Orange Court-House, to a position on the road that runs from the plank road to Spotsylvania Court-House. About daylight of the 30th, the regiment was ordered into line and moved out in front of the enemy's works, where it remained with the brigade all day. On the 1st of December, the regiment was sent to the left of our division on picket duty, where we remained till about 9 p.m., when we were ordered to rejoin the brigade, which we did, continuing to march all night. We recrossed the Rapidan at Culpeper Mine Ford at sunrise on the 2d. We then moved to this place, which we reached at dark, taking up our quarters in our old camp after an absence of seven days.

It gives me great pleasure to state that the officers and men of the regiment behaved finely during the whole movement.

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

G. A. STEWART. Lieut.-Col. Fourth Ohio Vols., Comdg. Regt.

Lieut. J. G. REID, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

On February 6, 1864, the 4th Regiment crossed the Rapidan River at Morton's Ford  and engaged a detachment of Rebels. The Ohioans drove the enemy from the ford, having seventeen men wounded. On the next day, the regiment re-crossed the river and entered encampment at Stevensburg, Virginia. The organization remained at Stevensburg until mustering out of service on June 21, 1864 and returning to Ohio. Some of the 4th's members reenlisted and remained in the military for the war's duration. Officials designated these men as the 4th Battalion Ohio Volunteer Infantry.  

During the 4th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry's term of service, 103 soldiers, including eight officers, died on the battlefield. An additional 158 men, including three officers, succumbed to disease or accidents. Among the men who perished from illness was the regiment's original commanding officer Colonel Lorin Andrews, who died of camp-fever on October 4, 1861.

Cite this Entry

MLA Style

"4th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry," Ohio Civil War Central, 2017, Ohio Civil War Central. 24 Jun 2017 <http://www.ohiocivilwarcentral.com/entry.php?rec=1169>

APA Style

"4th 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=1169

Comments powered by Disqus

Help support the ongoing development of Ohio Civil War Central by clicking the banner and then purchasing products from Amazon.com.

Ohio Civil War Central: An Encyclopedia of the American Civil War