108th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry (1862 - 1865)

Also Known As: One Hundred Eighth Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry

Updated: August 26, 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.

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. During July and August 1862, officials recruited eight companies of the 108th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry in Franklin, Butler, and Hamilton Counties, Ohio. The companies eventually reported for duty at Camp Dennison, near Cincinnati, Ohio. In early September 1862, officials ordered the regiment to Covington, Kentucky to help defend Cincinnati from Confederate General Kirby Smith's army that Northern authorities believed was advancing on the city.

In late September 1862, the 108th moved to Louisville, Kentucky and, in early October 1862, departed Louisville for Frankfort, Kentucky. At Frankfort, the regiment conducted several expeditions against Confederate General John Hunt Morgan's cavalry. The 108th departed Frankfort in late October 1862, arriving at Bowling Green, Kentucky in early November 1862. The organization soon left for Glasgow, Kentucky and, after a few days rest, advanced to Tomkinsville, Kentucky, where Confederate forces nearly surrounded and captured the entire regiment, but the unit escaped to Hartsville, Tennessee without the loss of a single man. Unfortunately, on December 7, 1862,  at the Battle of Hartsville, Confederate forces captured the entire 108th. The Southerners took the captured Northerners to Murfreesboro, Tennessee, where the Confederates paroled the Union soldiers after five days of captivity. The Northerners then returned to Union lines at Nashville, Tennessee and were sent to Columbus, Ohio. The battalion became exchanged and eligible for duty in mid January 1863.

In January 1863, the 108th departed Columbus for Camp Dennison. The organization eventually advanced to Frankfort, where the 108th attempted to drive Confederate guerrillas from the region. The regiment received orders to march to Louisville and then to Nashville, arriving at this city in May 1863. The 108th spent the next four months guarding the railroad line between Nashville and Chattanooga, Tennessee. On September 6, 1863, the regiment moved to Stevenson, Alabama, remaining a short period before advancing to Battle Creek, Anderson's Cross Roads, Waldron's Ridge, Dallas, and finally to Chattanooga, arriving at this last location in November 1863.

At Chattanooga, officials placed the 108th in front of the Confederate position on Lookout Mountain. On November 22, 1863, the organization advanced towards Chickamauga, Georgia, arriving two days later. Confederate soldiers fled from Chickamauga without a fight, and the 108th pursued them, engaging the Southerners at Graysville, Georgia. After a stiff skirmish, the Confederates renewed their withdrawal. The regiment next marched towards Knoxville, Tennessee, but officials soon ordered the unit back to Chattanooga.

On December 27, 1863, the 108th entered winter quarters at Rossville, Georgia. In February 1864, the regiment moved to Lyne's Station and participated in an expedition to Ringgold, Tunnel Hill, and Dalton. At this excursion's conclusion, the organization returned to its encampment at Rossville.

In May 1864, the 108th embarked upon General William T. Sherman's Atlanta Campaign. The regiment fought in many of the major engagements of the campaign, including the Battles of Rome, Resaca, Acworth, Kennesaw Mountain, Dalton, and Big Shanty. Portions of the organization also guarded Sherman's supply and communication lines against Confederate attack. Following the Union's capture of Atlanta, Georgia in early September 1864, the 108th encamped at Dalton, Georgia. In mid November 1864, the 108th took part in Sherman's March to the Sea.

In early 1865, the 108th joined Sherman's Carolinas Campaign. At the  Battle of Bentonville, North Carolina from March 19 to 21, 1865, the regiment helped repulse six different Confederate assaults. On April 10, 1865, the organization led an advance from Goldsboro, North Carolina to Smithfield, North Carolina. In this movement, the 108th drove Confederate cavalry forces for fourteen miles. Members of the regiment claimed that this was the last battle of the Civil War, suggesting that the regiment's members fired the war's last shot. Captain Frantz Fleischman of the 108th's Company H was killed in this engagement, presumably making him the last Union officer killed in the war. During this campaign, the 108th's commanding officer issued the following report:

HDQRS. 108TH OHIO VOLUNTEERS INFANTRY, Near Goldsborough, N. C., March 26, 1864.

CAPT.: I have the honor to forward the following report of the operations in the One hundred and eighth Regt. Ohio Volunteer Infantry, in the late campaign from Savannah, Ga., to Goldsborough, N. C.:

January 20, 1865, marched with the Second Brigade, Second Division, Fourteenth Army Corps, until 4 p. m.; went into camp for the night. January 21, remained in camp. January 22, remained in camp and furnished three companies for picket duty. January 23, remained in camp. January 24, remained in camp. January 25, marched entire day and went camp for the night. January 26, guarded the division ordnance and supply train; marched the entire day; arrived at Springfield, Ga.; went into camp for the night. January 27, marched entire day. January 28, marched entire day and arrived at Sister's Ferry, Ga. January 29, remained in camp and furnished four companies for pickets duty. January 30, remained in camp until February 4, 1865.

February 5, marched at 6 p. m., and crossed the Savannah River; went into camp for the night. February 6, remained in camp. February 7, remained in camp. February 8, marched until 3,30 p. m.; arrived at Brighton, S. C.; the regiment repaired roads until dark. February 9, marched entire day. February 10, guarded the division ordnance and supply train, and marched entire day, and went into camp for the night. February 11, marched entire day; encamped for the night. February 12, marched entire day and furnished three companies for picket duty. February 13, guarded the ordnance and supply train of the Second Division, Fourteenth Army Corps, and marched every day until February 21, 1865. February 21, were relieved as train guards and joined Second Brigade, Second Division, Fourteenth Army Corps; marched entire day. February 22, marched entire day and went into camp near Camden, S. C. February 23, were rear guard of then division train, and marched the entire day until the next morning at 5 a. m. February 24, marched until 3 p. m., and crossed the Catawba River and went into camp for the night. February 25, remained in camp until February 28, 1865, and repaired the road. February 28, marched entire day.

March 1, marched entire day. March 2, marched entire day. March 3, marched entire day. March 4, marched entire day; arrived at Great Pedee River and went into camp. March 5, remained in camp. March 6, remained in camp. March 7, crossed Great Pedee River and marched entire day. March 8, were rear guard, and marched entire day. March 9, marched entire day. March 10, marched entire day; re-enforced Gen. Kilpatrick's cavalry command, which had been routed; met no enemy and returned to camp. March 11, marched entire day and arrived at Fayetteville, N. C., and went into camp. March 12, crossed the Cape Fear River at Fayetteville and went into camp. March 13, marched about four miles and went into camp. March 14, remained in camp. March 15, marched entire day. March 16, marched until 11 a. m.; met the enemy; formed line of battle and encamped for the night. March 17, guarded the trains of the First, Second and Third Brigades, Second Division, Fourteenth Army Corps, headquarters train and the medical trains of the Second Division, Fourteenth Army Corps. Marched 18, marched entire day; heard heavy cannonading toward evening, formed line of battle, and encamped for the night. March 19, marched until 10 a. m., when we were ordered to halt and form a line of battle on the right of the Ninety-eighth Ohio Volunteer Infantry and on the left of the One hundred and thirteenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and advanced one mile, finding the enemy in full force. We were ordered to throw up breast-works, which we did in a short time, and when we had them finished the enemy came on in full force and charged our works. A terrible battle ensued, which lasted for some two hours, when the enemy retired, leaving many dead and wounded on the field in our front. The loss in this regiment was comparatively small: 1 captain killed, 1 lieutenant severely wounded, 1 corporal and 3 privates slightly wounded. The regiment captured 11 prisoners, 13 stand of small-arms, and 3 sets of accouterments. Remained for the night. March 20, remained behind the works until 3 p. m.; advance the line 800 yards into breast-works which the rebels had evacuated an hour previous and remained for the night. March 21, remained quiet behind the works and furnished six companies as skirmishers. March 22, the rebels had retreated; we marched about six miles and encamped for the night. March 23, marched entire day; crossed the Neuse River and went into camp for the night near Goldsborough, N. C.

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

FREDERICK BECK,

Maj., Cmdg. 108th Regt. Ohio Volunteer Infantry.

Capt. JAMES S. WILSON,

Asst. Adjt. Gen., Second Brig., Second Div., 14th Army Corps.

Following the surrender of Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston's army in late April 1865, the 108th marched to Washington, DC via Richmond, Virginia. The regiment participated in the Grand Review and then mustered out of service on June 9, 1865 at the nation's capital. The organization's members next returned to Ohio and were discharged.

During its term of service, the 108th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry lost twenty-five men, including three officers, to wounds. An additional forty-two soldiers died from disease or accidents.

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"108th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry," Ohio Civil War Central, 2017, Ohio Civil War Central. 25 May 2017 <http://www.ohiocivilwarcentral.com/entry.php?rec=856>

APA Style

"108th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry." (2017) In Ohio Civil War Central, Retrieved May 25, 2017, from Ohio Civil War Central: http://www.ohiocivilwarcentral.com/entry.php?rec=856

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