101st Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry (1862 - 1865)

Also Known As: One Hundred First Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry

Updated: July 08, 2011

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.

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.  On August 30, 1862, the 101st Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry mustered into service at Monroeville, Ohio. The men in the 101st were to serve for three years, and the recruits came from Crawford, Erie, Huron, Seneca, and Wyandot Counties, Ohio.

On September 4, 1862, the 101st moved to Covington, Kentucky to help defend Cincinnati, Ohio from an expected attack by General Kirby Smith's Confederate force. The attack did not occur, and on September 24, the regiment traveled by rail to Louisville, Kentucky, where the organization joined the Army of the Ohio. On October 1, the Army of the Ohio, including the 101st, departed Louisville in search of General Braxton Bragg's Confederate army, which was operating in Kentucky. On October 8, the two armies fought the Battle of Perryville, Kentucky, with the 101st performing well in its first combat experience. The Army of the Ohio, including the 101st, pursued the retreating Confederates, with the regiment fighting a skirmish with Bragg's rearguard at Lancaster, Kentucky. The 101st then marched to Nashville, Tennessee, via the Kentucky communities of Crab Orchard, Danville, Lebanon, and Bowling Green. At Nashville, the regiment joined the Army of the Cumberland.

The 101st remained at Nashville until December 26, 1862, when it marched towards Murfreesboro, Tennessee, skirmishing with Confederate forces all of the way to Stones River, where the regiment arrived on December 30. On December 31, the Battle of Stones River erupted. On the battle's first day, the 101st formed a portion of the Union's right. Throughout the day, the organization repeatedly retreated after successive Confederate assaults. The 101st remained on the right side of the Union line the second day of the battle, but on the third day, officials ordered the regiment to the left to help defeat a Confederate assault. During the course of the three-day battle, the 101st had 219 men, including seven officers, killed or wounded.  After this battle, the commanding officer of the 101st filed the following report:

NEAR MURFREESBOROUGH, January 5, 1863.

CAPT.: On the morning of December 26, 1862, in our proper position in the brigade, the regiment (Col. Stem commanding) marched from our camp, near Nashville, out on the Edmondson pike. Commissioned officers reported for duty, Col. Leander Stem, Lieut. Col. M. F. Wooster, M. F. Wooster, Maj. I. M. Kirby, Adjt. Leonard D. Smith, First Surg. T. M. Cook, Asst. Surg. Walter Caswell, Second Lieut. D. H. Fox, Company A; First Lieut. S. B. Beckwith, Company B; Capt. B. B. McDonald and Second Lieut. John B. Biddle, Company C; Second Lieut. John M. Latimer, jr., Company D; First Lieut. Lyman Lieut. Lyman Parcher and Second Lieut. R. D. Lord, Company E; First Lieut. A. R. Hilyer, Company F; Capt. John Messer and First Lieut. John P. Fleming, Company G; Second Lieut. J. I. Neff, Company H; Capt. N. M. Barnes and Second Lieut. H. A. Taggart, Company I; Second Lieut. P. F. Cline, Company K, and 441 enlisted men. 

Early in the afternoon of the same day the regiment formed in line of battle to attack the enemy near Nolensville. Deploying a line of skirmishers, we moved to the front about a half a mile, with some little firing on the part of our skirmishers, who succeeded in capturing 2 prisoners. While halting at this point, the enemy was discovered attempting to plant a battery on a hill one-half or three-quarters of a mile distant. By order of Col., the regiment was wheeled into line, bayonets fixed, and moved forward to take that battery at all hazards. The enemy retired on our approach. We were again moved forward, by the right of companies to the front, on the enemy in their new position, a mile distant from this point. Forward we marched, under a heavy fire of shell. Arriving within a quarter of a mile of the enemy's battery, we formed into line, and, led by Col. Stem, charged at double-quick, succeeding, together with the rest of the brigade, in taking one gun and 4 prisoners. We were again ordered forward a short distance, but soon called off to rest for the night. Our loss was 3 men wounded. Second Lieut. Cline fell from the ranks of the last charge; afterward reported himself stunned by concussion of shell.

The next day, December 27, we marched out near Knob Gap, where we rested till Monday morning, December 29, when we again took up our line of march on the Murfreesborough road, going into camp, near this place, soon after dark.

At or near 10 o'clock, Tuesday morning, December 30, the regiment was moved forward in "double column at half distance," supporting the Twenty-first Regt. Illinois Volunteers. About 3 o'clock in the afternoon the Twenty-first became engaged with the enemy, the One hundred and first lying a short distance to the rear, supporting the Second Minnesota Battery, which was engaging a battery of the enemy. Just at dark the Twenty-first fell back through our lines, leaving us in front. This day our loss was 2 men wounded. Before moving forward, Second Lieut. Cline reported himself unfit for duty, and permission was granted him to go to the rear. Immediately upon taking the front for the night, we advanced a picket line. The regiment was ordered to sleep on their arms. Ten men were kept on guard immediately in front of the regimental lines, and one field officer constantly on the watch during the night.

At early daylight, Wednesday morning, December 31, the enemy was discovered moving in heavy force to our right; soon after their skirmishers opened fire on us from the front. By order of Col. Carlin, Col. Stem moved his line forward about a hundred yards, when the firing became quite brisk. Soon after, Col. Stem was ordered to fall back to his former position, sling knapsacks, and form a new line a short distance to the rear, which he performed in good order. Here the firing was very severe. Our forces falling back on our right, without our knowledge, the enemy turned our right flank, and poured a terrific cross-fire upon our lines, which we were unable to stand; consequently the regiment fell back in some disorder. It was at this time Col. Stem and Lieut. Col. Moses F. Wooster fell, mortally wounded, while gallantly and nobly attempting to hold the regiment in line. Col. Stem fell just as he had called out, "Stand by your colors, boys, for the honor of the good old State of Ohio." We again succeeded in rallying the regiment at the fence, just at the edge of the woods, where we stood under a terrific fire until we had permission from Col. Carlin to retreat. The march became quite disorderly, through the corn-field and cotton-field, to the edge of the timber, where we rallied; were in turn driven from there; rallied again in the woods; marched in good order to a new line of battle; were finally ordered from that position, and formed in front of a dense thicket, from which position we were soon driven in some confusion; but we rallied about 30 men on the colors, and led them back into the cedars, but were driven from that, and rallied for the last time on the railroad, from which position we were marched with the brigade a short distance to the rear, and rested till near 3 o'clock in the afternoon. At this time there were present Capt. McDonald, Capt. Messer, Capt. Barnes, Adjutant Smith, Lieut. Fox, Lieut. Latimer, Lieut. Neff, Lieut. Parcher, and Lieut. Beckwith, all of whom performed their whole duty nobly during the entire day.

We were moved from here to a position in front, west of the railroad, which we occupied till Friday afternoon, January 2, about 4 o'clock, when we were taken on double-quick to the left of the lines, and lay in line of battle during the night and till the afternoon of Saturday, January 3, at which time, being quite sick, Col. Carlin granted me permission to go to the fires in the rear. Capt. McDonald, assuming command, reports to me that the regiment was not actively engaged from that time till 3 o'clock a.m. Sunday, January 4, when they were relieved and marched to this place, where I joined the regiment early Sunday morning, though not able for duty.

The loss in the regiment, so far as I have yet ascertained, is, Col. Leander Stem, mortally wounded, died at 6 o'clock January 5, 1863; Lieut. Col. Moses F. Wooster, mortally wounded, died January 1, 1863; First Lieut. Asa R. Hillyer, mortally wounded, died January 4, 1863; Second Lieut. John B. Biddle, killed on the field; First Lieut. John P. Fleming, wounded in the arm, supposed to be prisoner; Second Lieut. R. D. Lord, slightly wounded; killed, 15 enlisted men; wounded, 122; missing, 92.

Second Lieut. Henry A. Taggart I have not seen since early in the morning, December 25, 1862, but think he has gone to Nashville. He was quite unwell, and executed by the surgeon, and may have been taken no Nashville on account of sickness. It is difficult to make selections of commanding officers for gallant conduct, when all who are now present performed their duty so gallantly, but cannot lose this opportunity to thank Capt. John Messer and First Lieut. Lyman Parcher for their determined efforts during the battle to serve their country and sustain the reputation of the regiment. To Adjt. Leonard D. Smith I am particularly indebted for valuable assistance and the heroic examples he gave others. Color Sergt. James M. Roberts deserves mention here for gallant conduct. He never faltered, always planted the colors promptly where directed, and never moved them till ordered. My thanks are due to Orderly Sergt. Samuel Strayer, commanding Company K, for managing his company well till he fell, wounded, on the field, and to Orderly Sergt. Isaac P. Rule, for taking command of Company I from January 1 to January 5, Capt. Barnes being sick and unfit for field duty.

First Lieut. Asa R. Hillyer and Second Lieut. John B. Biddle fell while heroically attempting to rally their men. The regiment has lost in them officers whose places cannot be filled, and the country patriots who served faithfully to the last.

The regiment is particularly indebted to Asst. Surg. Walter Caswell for gallantly staying by them under the heaviest fire.

We have now present for duty 10 commissioned officers and 178 enlisted men. Present, on detached service, 15 enlisted men, and report 19 enlisted me known to have gone to Nashville.

Respectfully,

I. M. KIRBY,

Maj., Comdg. One hundred and first Regt. Ohio Vol. Infty.

Capt. SAMUEL P. VORIS,

Acting Assistant Adjutant-Gen.

From January to April 1863, the 101st remained in the vicinity of Murfreesboro, conducting various expeditions. In April, officials finally allowed the regiment to go into camp at Murfreesboro and to engage in drill practice.

The 101st remained at Murfreesboro until June 24, 1863, when the organization embarked upon the Tullahoma Campaign. During this campaign, the regiment fought in the Battle of Liberty Gap. By mid August, 1863, the regiment had arrived at Winchester, Tennessee, where it soon embarked upon the Chattanooga Campaign, taking part in the Battle of Chickamauga, Georgia on September 19 and 20, 1863. On the evening of September 20, the 101st retreated with the rest of the Union army to Chattanooga, Tennessee. After this battle, the commanding officer of the 101st filed the following report:

HDQRS. 101ST REGT. OHIO VOLUNTEER INFANTRY, Chattanooga, Tenn., September 25, 1863.

SIR: On the morning of the 19th the One hundred and first Regt. Ohio Volunteer Infantry, under command of Lieut.-Col. Messer, moved with the balance of the brigade toward Crawfish Spring, near which the battle was already progressing. Between 1 and 2 p. m. the regiment left the pike, and after moving about a mile at double-quick obeyed the order of "On left by file into line, ' and were in line of battle in a corn-field and woods, while the movements of the enemy were concealed by heavy timber in our front. A few moments after 2 o'clock the regiment was ordered forward to  the fence dividing the corn-field and woods. By this time the Thirty-eighth Illinois on our left had become engaged; also, a Kentucky regiment of Gen. Wood's division to our right, a portion of which covered the front of our right wing. The regiment had but reached the fence and taken position before  the Kentucky regiment on our right gave way, a portion of it running through the right wing of the One hundred and first, thus temporarily breaking its organization, and compelling the regiment to fall back over the ridge to our rear, and from here to fall back in some confusion. The regiment was rallied and again moved forward, driving the enemy back through the corn-field, and in turn were again driven back to the ridge. Col. Messer took the colors (the color-bearer having been killed), and leading the men forward drove the enemy before them. Here the fighting ceased, it being after 5 o'clock. Skirmishers were thrown forward, and the regiment moved back behind the ridge.

About dark the regiment was ordered to the rear of Gen. Sheridan's division. There were found  present Maj. McDanald, in command; Capt.'s Fleming and Smith, Adjutant Neff, Lieut.'s Hosmer, Bryant, Taggart, Read, Roberts, McGraw, Myers, Cline, Petticord, and Jay C. Butler, with 119 enlisted men.

Early on Sunday morning, September 20, we were moved to a position to the rear of the Chattanooga pike and opposite Gen. Rosecrans' headquarters, on a high range of hills. At 8 o'clock we moved to the left, and then forward, recrossing the Chattanooga pike, and took a position on a ridge near a peach orchard. We were soon moved  forward in close column by division about 1 mile and then deployed, taking a position behind some logs which had been used as a breastwork. Skirmishers were thrown out, relieving those we found there, and the men ordered to lie down. While in this position, a regiment not belonging to this brigade moved up and lay down among our men, thus rendering the management of the regiment almost impossible. At 11 o'clock the skirmishers were driven in, our immediate front, but before the men had delivered half a dozen rounds the enemy were found coming over the logs within a short distance of our left, while the right was being turned from the effect of a severe flank fire. The regiment was compelled to retreat, and, being mingled with another regiment (I think of Sheridan's  division.), lost its organization for the time. During the retreat Maj. McDonald was severely wounded, and the command devolved upon me I collected as many of the men as possible together and reported to you, and with the balance of the brigade moved back to Rossville, where a new position was chose and occupied till the night of September 21, when we were moved to Chattanooga.

Early on the morning of the 22d Col. Kirby arrived and took command. Maj. McDanald, Lieut.'s McGraw, Read, and Petticord, were wounded on the 20th. There are with the regiment who were actually engaged 87 enlisted men and 10 commissioned officers. Praise is due officers and men for the prompt manner of doing their duty. For those who have lost their lives we mourn; they died while nobly doing their duty. Bright on memory's pages will remain the many virtues of our comrades, who have laid down their lives for free government and the restoration of the Union.

Respectfully,

LEN. D. SMITH,

Capt., Comdg. Regt.

Capt. S. P. VORIS,

Acting Assistant Adjutant-Gen., Second Brigade.

At Chattanooga, officials assigned the 101st to the 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 4th Corps. On October 28, the regiment left Chattanooga for Bridgeport, Alabama, where the organization performed garrison duty. On January 16, 1864, the 101st moved into winter quarters at Oldtawah, Tennessee.

On May 3, 1864, the 101st embarked upon  General William T. Sherman's Atlanta Campaign. The 101st fought in most of the major engagements of this campaign, including the Battles of Catoosa Springs, Rocky Face Ridge, Resaca, Dallas, Atlanta, Jonesborough, and Lovejoy's Station. After the capture of Atlanta, Georgia in early September 1864, the 101st remained at Atlanta for several weeks, before officials dispatched the regiment to assist Union forces in intercepting Confederate John Bell Hood's army, which was launching an invasion of Tennessee. The 101st fought in the Battle of Franklin (November 30, 1864), with the Northern soldiers retreating to Nashville, Tennessee. The 101st also participated in the Battle of Nashville (December 15 to 16, 1864). After this battle, the commanding officer of the 101st filed the following reports:

HDQRS. 101ST OHIO VOLUNTEERS, Huntsville, Ala., January 5, 1865.

SIR: I have the honor to make the following report of the operations of my command during the present campaign, commencing December 15, 1864:

During the night of December 14 orders were received to provide the necessary amount of ammunition and make other preparations for  an active campaign. At the same time orders were also received to move at 6 o'clock the following morning. I had previously taken the precaution

to make all needful preparations, and was ready to move promptly at the time designated. The colonel commanding in person assigned to my regiment the right of the front line of his brigade, and at the same time gave general directions to be observed during the day, to be varied only as he should direct. I moved with the brigade across the Granny White pike, beyond the Acklen place, then west on the Hillsborough pike, and formed in line of battle in front of the works constructed by the Second Division, Fourth Army Corps, and to the right of the Hillsborough pike. In this position we remained during most of the forenoon, waiting for the formations on our extreme right to be completed. I think it was near 12 m. when the first general advance was ordered. As we moved forward I noticed that the Ninth Regt. Indiana Volunteers, Gen. Grose's brigade, joined on my right, and the general guide was right. Our skirmishers succeed in driving those of the enemy beyond the point at which our first line was to be established, and my regiment sustained no loss in reaching it. While in this position the enemy shelled us vigorously, but succeeded in doing but little damage. At 2 o'clock in the afternoon another advance was made to a road running parallel and within about 300 yards of the rebel works. The banks of this road formed an excellent protection to our men from the enemy's musketry, which at times was very severe. In the last advance we had crossed the Hillsborough pike and formed about 200 or 300 yards to its left. While in this position, and at about 4 p. m., an assault of the works was ordered, and executed in splendid style. My regiment moved forward promptly at the command, although encountered by a heavy fire of musketry. As far as my observation went no one fathered until the enemy's works were in our hands, and I claim for my regiment the honor of having planted the first colors on the rebel works at that point of the line. In the advance the right wing of my regiment struck an angle in the works in which was posted three pieces of artillery. Officers and men forced their way through the embrasures, capturing these guns. The artillery (three pieces) was turned over to the ordnance department and a memorandum receipt given by Lieut. Croxton, ordnance officer First Division, Fourth Army Corps. Two officer's sabers were captured, and have been forwarded with statement, though the adjutant-general's department. We also captured and sent to the rear about 100 prisoners, including several commissioned officers. The ground in and about the trenches was strewn with abandoned clothing, small-arms, entrenching tools, &c. At this time the utmost enthusiasm prevailed, and the command became somewhat scattered, and it was near night-fall before it could be reformed. The direction of march was here changed toward the Granny White pike. The ground was very uneven, and moving in line quite difficult as well as tiresome on the men. By direction of the colonel commanding I threw forward a company as skirmishers, and the advance was continued to a short distance beyond the Granny White pike, where a halt was ordered and position taken for the night.

Where all did so well it is difficult to discriminate in favor of any one, but I feel that my own thanks and those of the command are due to Sergt. Jesse H. Hall, Company I, who was temporarily carrying the regimental colors. I never witnessed more gallant conduct than he displayed during the entire day, always carrying the colors at the head of the command.

On the 16th my regiment was changed from the right to the center of the brigade. Being in reserve we did not become engaged and suffered no loss. We moved to the Franklin pike and out too Brentwood Hills, and there bivouacked until daylight the following morning. I have participated with other portions of the army in pursuit of the enemy as far as Lexington, Ala.

A report of the casualties of m command has already been forwarded through the proper channels.

I have to thank both officers and men for gallant bearing during the two days of battle and victory at Nashville, and for the uncomplaining and patient manner in which they have endured the severities of the campaign.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

B. B. McDanald,

Lieut.-Col., Cmdg. 101st Ohio Volunteers.

Lieut. WILLIAM FELTON,

Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., 1st Brig., 1st Div., 4th Army Corps.

HDQRS. 101ST OHIO VOLUNTEER INFANTRY, Huntsville, Ala., January 22, 1865.

SIR: I have the honor to report:

In compliance with orders received from headquarters on the evening of the 17th instant I furnished my regiment with three days' rations of hard bread and moved at 7 p. m. same day out the Big Cove road in pursuit of a parity of bushwhackers that had captured on e first lieutenant, four men, and one team of a forage party that had been sent out from my regiment on that day. On the morning of the 18th Lieut. White, Fifteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry, reported to me with one company of cavalry, twenty-five men, as also Capt. Harris, Union scout and guide, with written instructions for me. I crossed Flint River by means of a raft constructed of logs and a small canoe, and scoured the country lying between Flint River and Paint Rock River from the Tennessee River as far north as Cedar Mountain, capturing four bushwhackers, with their horses, arms, and accouterments; also two citizens charged with harboring and feeding bushwhackers, named John Cobb and William P. Hornbuckle. The names of the prisoners captured with arms are Adams Cobb, Theophilus Cobb, George W. Hunt, and Harrison D. Herring. I am informed that all the above-named prisoners have taken the oath of allegiance to the United States Government, since which time they have engaged in bushwhacking. I burned some fifty tenements on my line of allegiance to the United States Government, since which time they have engaged in bushwhacking. I burned some fifty tenements on my line of march that were occupied by bushwhackers and their supporters, leaving their families in a houseless, helpless condition, with orders to leave that country by going north or moving south of the Tennessee River. The community at large through the country be guerrillas, by feeding them and communicating with them, informing them of any Federal force that is in the vicinity, in order that if they are closely pursued, they hide their arms, disband, and become good, loyal citizens at once, armed with an oath of allegiance, properly attested and approved by U. S. officers. Such being the cease, with the addition of the mountains to flee to in order to conceal themselves in the rocks and caves, it is impossible to capture them without they are taken wholly by surprise. I returned to camp on the afternoon of the 21st, being absent four days.

Respectfully submitted.

B. B. McDanald,

Lieut. Col. 101st Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Cmdg. Expedition.

Lieut. WILLIAM FELTON,

Acting Assistant Adjutant-Gen.

Following the Battle of Nashville, the 101st pursued Hood's retreating Confederates as far as Lexington, Alabama. The regiment then moved to Huntsville, Alabama, where it performed garrison duty until June 12, 1865, when officials mustered the 101st out of service. The regiment traveled to Camp Taylor at Cleveland, Ohio, where authorities discharged its members.

During the 101st Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry's term of service, ninety-five men, including nine officers, died on the battlefield. An additional 141 men, including one officer, succumbed to disease or accidents.

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