Morton's Independent Rifle Regiment (1861)

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.

Among the infantry regiments formed in Ohio  for service in other states was "Morton's Independent Rifle Regiment." During the summer of 1861, with the approval of the United States War Department, Colonel Thomas Morton, formerly an officer in the 20th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry, organized and armed the regiment. Morton intended to send the regiment to General John C. Fremont in Missouri. As Morton recruited the organization's various companies, he dispatched them to Benton Barracks, Missouri to join Fremont's command. Before Morton could complete the regiment, authorities in Missouri assigned one of his companies to a different regiment and dispatched one or two other companies to different locations. Officials soon feared that Morton would not be able to recruit fully his regiment and assumed command of the organization, mustering the men into service as the 81st Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Morton's regiment served the duration of the war as the 81st Ohio, and he served as the organization's commanding officer from its founding until July 30, 1864.

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"Morton's Independent Rifle Regiment," Ohio Civil War Central, 2019, Ohio Civil War Central. 13 Oct 2019 <http://www.ohiocivilwarcentral.com/entry.php?rec=1158>

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"Morton's Independent Rifle Regiment." (2019) In Ohio Civil War Central, Retrieved October 13, 2019, from Ohio Civil War Central: http://www.ohiocivilwarcentral.com/entry.php?rec=1158

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