104th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry (1862 - 1865)

Also Known As: One Hundred Fourth Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry

Updated: September 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.

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 104th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry mustered into service at Camp Massillon, at Massillon, Ohio. The men in the regiment were to serve three years and consisted primarily of enlistees from Stark, Summit, Portage, and Columbiana Counties, Ohio.

Upon mustering the regiment, officials ordered the 104th to Covington, Kentucky on September 1, 1862. The regiment was to aid in Cincinnati, Ohio's defense against Confederate General Kirby Smith's army that Northern authorities believed was advancing on the city. The 104th took up a position three miles south of Covington and, a few days later, returned to Covington, where the organization garrisoned Fort Mitchel. At Fort Mitchel, the 104th skirmished with Confederate soldiers, repulsing the Southern advance but having one man killed and five wounded. On September 12, 1862, the regiment advanced towards Lexington, Kentucky, arriving three days later. The organization performed garrison duty at Lexington until December 6, 1862, when the 104th advanced to Richmond, Kentucky, arriving on December 8, 1862. At this location, the regiment's members constructed earthwork fortifications. On December 27, 1862, the 104th advanced to Danville, Kentucky, arriving the next day. The regiment was to patrol the surrounding vicinity for Confederate General John Hunt Morgan's cavalrymen. The organization engaged in only some minor skirmishes before moving to Frankfort, Kentucky in January 1863.

On February 21, 1863, the 104th began a march to Danville, where the organization expected to engage Morgan's cavalrymen, but the unit found no Southerners. The regiment stayed in the vicinity of Danville until August 1863, when the 104th embarked for eastern Tennessee, arriving at Knoxville on September 5, 1863. Two days later, the organization reached Cumberland Gap, where the regiment assisted Union forces in capturing the entire Confederate garrison without a military engagement. The 104th was the first Union regiment to enter the city and received the Confederate force's surrender. By mid September, the regiment returned to Knoxville and then participated in a brief expedition to Carter's Station on the East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad. The organization next performed provost duty at Knoxville, until late November 1863, when Confederate General James Longstreet's command laid siege to the city. The 104th initially served as a portion of the reserve force but still repulsed a Confederate assault along the Holston River. The regiment then took up various positions within Knoxville's confines until the siege's termination. The 104th joined the Union's pursuit of Longstreet's force to Blain's Cross Roads, participating in several skirmishes. The regiment encamped in the vicinity of Blain's Cross Roads for the duration of the winter of 1863-1864.

In April 1864, the 104th advanced to Cleveland, Tennessee, where the regiment prepared for General William T. Sherman's Atlanta Campaign. The organization fought in every major engagement of the campaign, including the Battle of Utoy Creek, where the organization had twenty-six men killed or wounded. The 104th also participated in Sherman's flanking maneuver around Atlanta, Georgia that culminated in the Battle of Jonesborough, but the 104th was not engaged in this encounter. After the Atlanta Campaign, the 104th's commanding officer issued the following report:

HDQRS. 104TH REGT. OHIO VOLUNTEER INFANTRY, Camp near Decatur, Ga., September 11, 1864.

LIEUT.: In compliance with your circular, September 9, I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the One hundred and fourth Regt. Ohio Infantry Volunteers in the recent campaign, since the crossing of the Chattahoochee River, July 8, 1864:

The regiment crossed the river at dusk, and went into position on the river bluffs, occupying the right center of the brigade. Remained in said position until the 10th, when we advanced one mile and a half and erected works, remaining here until the 12th, when we were placed in reserve, which position we occupied until the 17th. On the 17th we moved out in advance of the brigade, with Companies B and F deployed as skirmishers, under command of Capt. J. F. Riddle, came in contact with the enemy's outpost at Sandy Springs, driving their skirmishers back to Nancy's Creek, where the regiment halted in support of the skirmish line for the night. On the 18th advanced to the Roswell railroad at Cross Keys. 19th, resumed the march at daylight and advanced to within one mile of Decatur. 20th, again advanced within three miles of Atlanta, coming upon the enemy -in a position strongly intrenched. We here fortified and remained until the morning of the 22d, when we moved to the front about one mile, the enemy having evacuated their works the night previous. At 1 p. m. was ordered, with the brigade, to the rear, near Decatur, to protect the wagon trains, which were threatened by the enemy s cavalry during the engagement on the left of Gen. McPherson's forces, in which position we remained until the evening of the 26th, when we joined the division, then in position in the enemy's second line of works, faced to the rear protecting the left flank of the army. On the 29th the regiment accompanied the brigade on a reconnaissance to the Augusta railroad, near Decatur, returning to camp the same evening. We here remained until the 1st day of August, when the Twenty-third Army Corps was relieved by the Second Division of the Fourth, and commenced the movement to the right of the army.

August 2, reached the extreme right, having marched nine miles: took position on Utoy Creek, where we fortified and encamped until the 4th, when we moved with the brigade, crossing Utoy Creek; massed in rear of the Third Division, Fourteenth Army Corps. Morning of the 5th marched about one mile and a half to the right. The brigade here was in reserve. On the 6th the regiment was ordered forward to support the skirmish line of the brigade, which pressed close to and developed the enemy's lines, when the brigade was ordered to charge. The right wing, under command of Maj. Riddle, was moved to the right of the brigade to protect the flank, while the left wing was similarly posted on the left. The latter was exposed to a heavy artillery fire from the enemy, while the right wing was subjected to severe musket fire. The regiment, in the action, lost 10 men 2 commissioned officers and 18 men wounded. 7th, moved out through the work evacuated by the enemy and fortified during the night, which position we held until the 10th, when, with the division, we moved to the right on a reconnaissance, returning in the evening, when we were ordered to bivouac on the Sandtown road, where we remained until the 16th. August 16, advanced two miles and built flank works, occupying them until the 18th, when the division moved to the right about two miles and fortified, in which place we staid until the 28th, during which time we participated in two reconnaissances. On the 28th took up the line of march for the Macon railroad. crossing the Montgomery road on the 30th. 31st, the command moved to the Macon road, the regiment occupying the right center of the brigade on the east side of the road, where we built works.

September 1, commenced destroying the road; in the afternoon marched on the left and on a road parallel to the one the brigade was moving on, and joined the army near Jonesborough. Morning of the 2d followed the retreating enemy toward Lovejoy's Station, the regiment, with the brigade, bringing up the rear, guarding the wagon trains. Remained with the trains until the 5th, when, with the corps, marched toward Decatur, where we arrived at 11 a. m. September 8, when we were ordered into camp east of the town.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

O. W. STERL,

Col., Cmdg.

Lieut. J. W. McCLYMONDS,

A. A. A. G., 1st Brig., 3d Div., 23d Army Corps.

Following the Union's capture of Atlanta in early September 1864, authorities ordered the 104th to Decatur, Georgia. On October 4, 1864, the regiment joined the Northern pursuit of Confederate General John Bell Hood’s army, which was launching an invasion of northern Alabama, northern Georgia, and central Tennessee. The 104th arrived at Nashville, Tennessee on November 6, 1864 and, two days later, advanced to Spring Hill, Tennessee. On November 13, 1864, the organization moved to Columbia, Tennessee and then to Pulaski, Tennessee, before returning to Columbia. From November 24 to 29, 1864, the 104th fought in the Battle of Columbia, withdrawing to Franklin, Tennessee. The Battle of Franklin occurred on November 30, 1864, with Hood's Confederates forcing the Northerners to retreat to Nashville. The regiment had sixty men killed or wounded in this encounter. At the Battle of Nashville (December 15 and 16, 1864), the Union army, including the 104th, defeated Hood's command, essentially ending the Confederate invasion. The regiment participated in the Union pursuit of the retreating Confederates as far as Clifton, Tennessee, reaching this location on January 6, 1865. After the Battle of Nashville, the 104th's commanding officer issued the following reports:

HDQRS. 104TH REGT. OHIO VOLUNTEER INFANTRY, Nashville, Tenn., December 6, 1864.

SIR: In obedience to your command, I have the honor to transmit a report of the part taken by the One hundred and fourth Regt. Ohio Volunteer Infantry in the battle at Franklin, Tenn.

The regiment (in connection with the brigade) reached Franklin, Tenn., from Columbia, about 5 o'clock on the morning of the 30th ultimo, and bivouacked in line until about 8 a.m., when the brigade went into position in two lines, on the right of the division-the One hundredth and One hundred and fourth Ohio formed the first line, the One hundredth on the right, its right resting on the Columbia pike, and the One hundred and fourth joining it on the left. The regiment immediately erected in its front a good breast-work, most of the companies putting head-logs upon their works. These were scarcely completed until the rebels advanced in two lines against the Second Brigade of the division, on our left. A curve in the works of the left wing of the regiment enabled the left companies to enfilade the lines of the rebels as they advanced, and the three left companies fired several rounds, doing good execution, when the rebel lines fell back in disorder and confusion. Immediately afterward a brigade of the Fourth Corps, which had been posted on a ridge about 500 yards in front of our works, began falling back, first in good line and order, and afterward in great haste and confusion, when it became apparent that the real charge was being directed against that part of the line occupied by this regiment, the One hundredth Ohio, and the brigade of the Second Division on the right of the pike. As the line of the Fourth Corps fell back from the ridge it was followed at a distance of not over 100 paces by the first line of the rebel infantry, which gained rapidly upon it, so that the men of the Fourth Corps had scarcely crossed our works until the ditches in front were filled with rebels, scrambling to get over the works, and in some instances, upon the right of the regiment and in front of the One hundredth Ohio, many of the rebels passed over the works in company with the rear of the Fourth Corps men. The confusion and hurry of the crossing of this advance line, their officers crying to them, to "get to the rear and reform," came near throwing our lines in confusion, and the three right companies borne back by them, and in doubt as to the commands, fell back a few paces, but in almost a moment afterward rushed back, with fixed bayonets, and regained their works. The Sixteenth and Twelfth Kentucky rushed from the second line simultaneously with them, and joined them and the One hundredth Ohio, on the first line, from which (having overcome all the rebels who had crossed the works) they kept up a constant and destructive stream of fire, cutting down by hundreds the rebels who had accumulated and massed in the ditches and immediately in front. The other seven companies to the left, so soon as the Fourth Corps men had crossed, began to pour forth such a severe fire that through the rebels in greater number than their line had gained the ditches, were unable to attempt getting over the works, but were cut to pieces by the destructive fire of the men. The rebels in this charge were seen in three lines at least, but if no more, the smoke of the firing prevented us from seeing their approach. So soon as it became apparent that this charge was repulsed, the firing was stilled, and those of the rebels in the ditches who were not killed or wounded were ordered to ground arms and surrender, when about 300 climbed over the works and were sent to the rear. Then almost immediately second charge of the rebels followed, equaled only in fierce determination and bravery by that of the first charge; this was again met by a fire equally as true in aim and destruction as before, resulting in the complete repulse of the enemy, when about 200 more prisoners were taken in over the works. By the time the second charge was repulsed night had come, and, though firing was afterward directed at our line from the front, and replied to by our men, yet no subsequent charge was successful in reaching near to our works. The regiment remained in the works until after 11 p.m., when, with their command, retired across the Harpeth River, and took up the line of march toward Nashville.

Eleven rebel battle-flags were taken in front of our lines (two by Color-Corpl. Newton H. Hall,* Company I, who shot their bearers, and crossed over and captured them during the heaviest of the firing); 9 of them were turned over to brigade headquarters; the others are reported as having been sent to friends at home by mail before it was known by the captors that they should be turned over, or orders received requiring it. The slaughter of the rebels way very great, the ditches were filled with them, and the ground for many rods in front was literally covered with their dead and wounded.

The officers and men all did nobly, and when the battle was ended and the rolls called scarcely any were missing.

Our casualties in this engagement were: Killed, 1 commissioned officer, 16 enlisted men; wounded, 2 commissioned officers, 32 enlisted men; missing, 6 enlisted men; total, 3 commissioned officers and 54 enlisted men.

I am, sir, very respectfully,

O. W. STERL,

Col., 104th Ohio Volunteer Infantry.

ACTG. ASST. ADJT. Gen., 1ST Brig., 3d DIV., 23d A. C.

HDQRS. 104TH OHIO VOLUNTEER INFANTRY, Near Spring Hill, Tenn., December 22, 1864.

CAPT.: In accordance with instructions, I would respectfully submit the following report of the part taken by the One hundred and fourth Ohio Infantry Volunteers in the operations of the 15th and 16th of December, in front of Nashville, Tenn.:

Having been relieved from our position in the works to the right of the Franklin pike, in connection with the rest of the brigade, the One hundred and fourth moved to the right of the Granny White pike, in rear of the Fourth Corps; remained there until 1 p.m., when this regiment, in connection with the rest of the brigade, was moved off to the right, through the works, marching in the rear and parallel to the Fourth Corps and Smith's corps until we had gained the extreme right, when, changing direction, we were moved to the front, crossing the Hillsborough pike over the ridge on which the Fifteenth Indiana battery was in position and into a corn-field, where the brigade was halted in column of regiments, the One hundred and fourth in front. Here we lost three men wounded from gunshots from the enemy posted on the ridge in front of us. The troops in our immediate front being at this time pressed very hard by the enemy, the First Brigade was ordered up for support, the One hundred and fourth taking the advance. Moving up under protection of the ridge we obtained position without loss. Remaining quiet until after dark, the brigade was placed in position in line of battle, the One hundred and fourth on the right and flank. The night was passed in throwing up works. December 16, remained in position in our works until between 3 and 4 p.m., when the order came for the First Brigade to charge the works in front of us. The One hundred and fourth having been placed on the flank in the works at an angle with our main line we were detained some little time in changing front. On reaching their works the enemy were found flying in confusion, having abandoned them without much resistance. The brigade again going into position in line of battle, the One hundred and fourth on the left, temporary works were thrown up during the night.

Very respectfully,

O. W. STERL,

Col. 104th Ohio Volunteer Infantry.

On January 16, 1865, officials ordered the 104th to North Carolina. The regiment sailed to Cincinnati, Ohio on the Swallow and then traveled by train to Washington, DC. The organization then sailed to Federal Point, North Carolina via the steamer Star of the South, arriving on February 9, 1865. The 104th then joined Sherman’s Carolinas Campaign. On February 18, 1865, the regiment advanced to Fort Anderson, North Carolina, where the Northerners skirmished with Confederates. Two days later, the 104th engaged Southern forces at Old Town Creek, capturing a few prisoners, four artillery pieces, and a sizable number of small arms, while having two men killed and twenty wounded. On February 22, 1865, the regiment entered Wilmington, North Carolina, where the organization performed provost-guard duty until March 4, 1865, when the unit moved to Kingston, North Carolina. On March 20, 1865, the 104th advanced towards Goldsboro, North Carolina, arriving at this new location the following day. In mid April 1865, the regiment began a march to Raleigh, North Carolina, reaching this city four days later. On May 2, 1865, the organization moved to Greensboro, North Carolina, where it processed the supplies and arms of General Joseph Johnston's surrendered Confederate army. The regiment next performed provost-guard duty at Greensboro until June 17, 1865, when the 104th mustered out of service. Authorities ordered the unit to Camp Taylor at Cleveland, Ohio, where the 104th's members mustered out of service on June 27, 1865.

During its term of service, the 104th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry lost forty-nine men, including three officers, to wounds. An additional 134 soldiers, including four officers, died from disease or accidents.

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"104th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry," Ohio Civil War Central, 2017, Ohio Civil War Central. 16 Dec 2017 <http://www.ohiocivilwarcentral.com/entry.php?rec=867>

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"104th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry." (2017) In Ohio Civil War Central, Retrieved December 16, 2017, from Ohio Civil War Central: http://www.ohiocivilwarcentral.com/entry.php?rec=867

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