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. Soldiers of Ohio infantry regiments served the Union for varying lengths of time, ranging from one hundred days to three years. One of the three-year regiments was the 49th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Organization began at Camp Noble, at Tiffin, Ohio and was completed at Camp Dennison, near Cincinnati, Ohio. The 49th mustered into service on August 20, 1861.
On September 21, 1861, the 49th marched to Cincinnati, boarded two steamers, and sailed down the Ohio River towards Louisville, Kentucky, arriving on the next day. The 49th was the first organized Ohio regiment to enter Kentucky. On the evening of September 22, the organization took a railroad to Lebanon Junction, Kentucky, joining General William T. Sherman's command. On the following day, the regiment next advanced to Elizabethtown, Kentucky, establishing camp on Muldraugh's Hill. The 49th remained at this location until October 10, 1861, when the organization moved to Nolin Creek, Kentucky and encamped at Camp Nevin. While at Nolin Creek, officials assigned the regiment to the Sixth Brigade, Twelfth Division of the Army of the Ohio.
On December 10, 1861, the 49th advanced to Munfordsville, Kentucky on the Green River and skirmished with Confederate soldiers, driving the Southerners across the river. After this engagement, the Union command established Camp Wood. One week later, an enemy force attacked Union pickets on the south side of the Green River. The 49th immediately crossed the river, driving the Rebels from the field. The regiment remained at Camp Wood for the next two months, perfecting drill.
On February 14, 1862, the 49th departed Camp Wood for Bowling Green, Kentucky. The regiment next advanced to Nashville, Tennessee, arriving at this location on March 3, 1862 and entering camp at Camp Andrew Johnson. On March 16, 1862, the organization joined the Army of the Ohio's advance to Pittsburg Landing, Tennessee, reaching this location on April 6, the first day of the Battle of Shiloh. On the Battle of Shiloh's second day, the 49th engaged enemy forces, helping the Union forces to drive the Confederates from the battlefield. After this engagement, the 49th’s commanding officer issued the following report:
HDQRS. FORTY-NINTH REGT. OHIO VOL. MILITIA, Camped on the Battle-field, April 10, 1862.
SIR: I have the honor to report to you the following particulars of the participation of this regiment in the engagement of the 7th instant: We were brought into action about 2 o'clock p. m., occupying the left of the brigade and the extreme left of the division. Our position was taken under a severe fire from infantry and artillery, but my men came up firmly, and fired with the calmness and precision that soon caused a wavering in the ranks of the enemy. Shell and grape shot from one battery was very annoying to my left, without doing much damage, their range being too high.
We advanced to our second position, continuing our fire by file. The enemy now attempted to take advantage of the exposed condition of our left. He advanced up a ravine and opened his fire, quartering on my left and rear. I at once changed front to the rear on first company. This change was made in perfect order, the men behaving in the very best manner. Our fire soon drew the flanking force from their position, when, by order of Col. Gibson, I changed front forward on first company, resuming my former place in line, and directing my fire on the main force.
We now advanced to our third position, when the enemy again made a demonstration on our left. I again changed front to the rear, but about the time I completed the maneuver a brigade arrived and took up the fight on our left, driving the foe from my new front. By order I again changed front forward, and advanced in brigade line, driving the foe from their position, and closing the engagement in this part of the field. On receiving orders to return to the Landing the regiment moved off in as fine style and order as they ever did from parade. All behaved with steadiness and bravery worthy of veteran troops. Every officer on duty with the regiment was at his post and acquitted himself like a man and a soldier. Maj. Drake was especially brave and active at his post, rendering me great assistance. Adjutant Norton was also very active and efficient.
My command to-day is in very good spirits and condition as regards health and discipline. It is in good fighting order.
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
A. M. BLACKMAN, Lieut.-Col., Cmdg.
Capt. HENRY CLAY, Assistant Adjutant-Gen., Sixth Brigade.
In late April 1862, the 49th joined the Union advance upon Corinth, Mississippi, and after a one-month siege of the city's Confederate garrison, the Northerners occupied this important railroad junction on May 30, 1862. The 49th participated in the Northern pursuit of the retreating Confederates, marching through the Mississippi communities of Jericho and Iuka and the Alabama towns of Tuscumbia and Florence. The regiment then entered camp at Battle Creek Tennessee.
In early September 1862, the 49th, with the rest of the Army of the Ohio, marched towards Kentucky in pursuit of Confederate General Braxton Bragg's Army of Tennessee, which had launched an invasion of the Bluegrass State and was threatening Ohio's southern border. The regiment arrived at Louisville on September 29. On October 1, 1862, the Army of the Ohio departed Louisville in pursuit of Bragg's army. The 49th arrived at Frankfort, Kentucky on October 5, driving Confederate forces from the Kentucky capital. The Army of the Ohio and the Army of Tennessee met each other at the Battle of Perryville, Kentucky on October 8, 1862. The 49th did not participate in this engagement, as the organization did not arrive on the field until after the battle had ended. The regiment joined the Union pursuit of the retreating Rebels as far as Crab Orchard, Kentucky. The Army of the Ohio then returned to Nashville, Tennessee, with the 49th entering camp at Mill Creek.
On December 26, 1862, the 49th embarked upon the Army of the Cumberland’s advance on Murfreesboro, Tennessee. At the Battle of Stones River (December 31, 1862-January 2, 1863), the Northern force engaged the Confederacy’s Army of Tennessee at Murfreesboro. On the battle’s first day, the 49th was located on the Union right. A Confederate attack drove the Northern right back, with only additional Union reinforcements saving the day. The regiment remained on the Union right on the next day. On the engagement’s final day, the 49th remained in the reserve behind the Union center, until advancing against the Confederate right late in the afternoon, prompting the Southern army to withdraw.
Following the Battle of Stones River, the 49th remained in the vicinity of Murfreesboro, conducting a periodic foraging expedition, until late June 1863. On June 24, the regiment advanced with the Army of the Cumberland against the Army of Tennessee in southern Tennessee and northern Alabama. During this Tullahoma Campaign, the 49th and its brigade drove Confederate forces from Liberty Gap. Having forced the Army of Tennessee into Georgia, the Army of the Cumberland, including the 49th, entered camp in northern Alabama and southern Tennessee. The Ohio regiment encamped at Tullahoma, Tennessee.
In late August 1863, the Army of the Cumberland, including the 49th, advanced into northern Georgia after the Army of Tennessee. At the Battle of Chickamauga, Georgia (September 19-20, 1863), the two armies clashed. The 49th began the engagement on the Union right but moved to the left on the afternoon of the first day. The regiment attacked the Confederate right at approximately 3:00 PM, driving back the Southerners and capturing two cannons. The Rebels counterattacked, forcing the Northerners to give back a small piece of ground, before the battle concluded for the evening. On the engagement’s second day, the 49th was located with General George Thomas’s command. The regiment helped save this portion of the Union line, after Confederate forces flanked this position. On the night of September 20, the Army of the Cumberland withdrew from the field and retreated towards Chattanooga, Tennessee. The 49th and its brigade were among the last Northern units to withdraw. After this engagement, the 49th’s commanding officer issued the following report:
HDQRS. FORTY-NINTH OHIO VOLUNTEERS, Chattanooga, Tenn., September 26, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following official report of the part taken by this command in the battle of the 19th and 20th instant:
The facilities for making a report at this time are such that it must necessarily be imperfect in some respects, but I shall endeavor to make it a history of facts as far as I go.
We marched with the brigade from our bivouac at 5 o'clock on the morning of the 19th. After marching about 9 miles toward the left, and parallel with the general line of battle, we arrived at 12 o'clock near the left of the line, where a heavy fight was progressing. The brigade was immediately thrown into position and marched to the front, the Forty-ninth Ohio on the left in the first line, with the Thirty-second Indiana on my right; my left connecting with the First Ohio, Third Brigade, and supported by the Fifteenth Ohio in column on the center. In this order we advanced across a corn -field and entered an open wood. My flanking companies commanded by Capt. Hartsough, Company A, and Capt. McCormack, Company B, were at once deployed as skirmishers to cover our front, with Company F, Lieut. Wolf, and Company G, Lieut. Pool, as supports, They immediately went bravely forward and advancing abut 300 yards over level ground, found the enemy, when light skirmishing at once commenced, growing hotter until it became necessary to throw froward the support companies. They also moved up in fine style. The fight now became general along the whole lien, and by order of the general commanding brigade the first line advanced to the work under a heavy fire of musketry. Arriving at a place where the ground gradually descended from our front, the enemy opened on us with a battery planted directly in front of my right wing, and at close range, throwing much grape and canister. Here my command was ordered to lie down, while a portion of Capt. Goodspeed's battery moved up on my left and opened on the enemy's guns. After a brief artillery duel the general commanding brigade ordered a charge. We responded, going forward at double-quick, capturing two Parrott field pieces, and driving the enemy before us. Having thus gained nearly a mile, and being much in advance of the troops on the right of our brigade, we halted, and held this position until nearly dark, when the enemy, having pressed back the troops on either flank of our brigade and division, massed in our front, and compelled us to relinquish a portion of the ground gained during the afternoon. It was now dark, and having been relieved by other troops, we returned to bivouac inn the corn-field through which we first advanced. Our entire loss during the first day's engagements was as follows: Killed and wounded, 51; missing, 10, including 2 commissioned officers.
At daylight on the morning of the 20th the division went into position on the field of our operations on the preceding day, or brigade in reserve, the Forty-ninth on the right in the second line. About 8 a. m. the enemy made a furious attack on some temporary breastworks thrown up in front during the night, and were handsomely repulsed. The other brigades of the division then advanced, and we were thrown forward to occupy them. In this movement my command was changed to the left flank of the brigade. We had occupied this position but a short time when the enemy drove back the brigade on my left, commanded by Gen. Beatty, and came pouring int the open field directly in our rear. I immediately faced by the rear rank, and, wheeling half to the right, opened on them a galling crossfire. This, in connection with the fire from Capt. Goodspeed's battery, in position directly fronting the advancing rebels, soon caused them to waver. At this moment I ordered a charge. This was executed under the eyes of the generals commanding brigade and division, who can testify to the prompt and enthusiastic manner in which it was done. the Sixth Regt. Ohio Volunteers having rallied, now joined us in the charge, and the enemy was completely routed. In this charge the regiment captured 50 prisoners and sent them to the rear. After driving the enemy about one-half mile and exhausting our ammunition, we were relieved by the Thirty-second Indiana Volunteers, under Col. Erdelmeyer, charging through our lines and again driving the enemy, who had partially rallied. I take pleasure in testifying to the gallant charge made by this noble old regiment. Early in our charge I was struck on the head by a glancing ball and compelled to leave the field for half an hour in the hottest part of the engagement. During this time the command evolved upon Capt. L. M. Strong, acting field officer, who distinguished himself for gallantry and capacity to command. During the remainder of the day and until the close of the fight we acted with the brigade and were constantly under fire, but did not again become closely engage. A full report of our operations during Sunday afternoon will no doubt be made by the general commanding brigade.
To the officers and men of the Forty-ninth Regt. my thanks are due for their heroism and unflinching bravery exhibited throughout the protracted struggle. My thanks are especially due Capt. Strong for valuable assistance rendered on the field. Sergt. Maj. D. R. Cook, acting adjutant, was conspicuous for gallantry, always at his post of duty and in the thickest of the fight.
In closing this grief report allow me to congratulate the general commanding brigade upon the successful operations of his entire command, its perfect organization from the beginning to the end of the fight, and to tender him, on the part of every officer and man in my command, his heartfelt thanks, feeling that we owe to his superior courage and skill our preservation and any honor we may have won.
I am, very respectfully,
S. F. GRAY. Maj., Comdg. Forty-ninth Ohio Volunteer Infantry.
Capt. CARL SCHMITT, Asst. Adjt. Gen. First Brigade.
The Confederacy's Army of Tennessee pursued the Northerners, besieging the Union force in Chattanooga for the next two months. On November 24, 1863, the 49th participated in the Battle of Orchard Knob, driving a portion of the Confederate force to higher ground overlooking Chattanooga. On November 25, 1863, the Union army stormed the Rebel position on Missionary Ridge, driving the Southerners from this ridge and bringing the Siege of Chattanooga to a victorious conclusion for the North. At the Battle of Missionary Ridge, the 49th Ohio was among the first Union regiments to reach the crest. After this engagement, the 49th’s commanding officer issued the following report:
HDQRS. FORTY-NINTH OHIO INFANTRY, In Camp near Knoxville, Tennessee, December 20, 1863.
CAPT.: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by this command in the battles of the 23d, 24th, and 25th of November at Chattanooga:
The regiment was organized as follows: Company A, commanded by Capt. D. Hartsough; Company B, commanded by Lieut. Jacob W. Ilea; Company C, commanded by Capt. John Greer; Company D, commanded by Lieut. Jacob C. Miller; Company E, commanded by Capt. Jonas Foster; Company F, commanded by Lieut. Jacob Wolf; Company G, commanded by Lieut. Isaac H. White; Company H, commanded by Lieut. M. Miles; Company I, commanded by Capt. M. E. Tyler; Company K, commanded by Lieut. S. W. Simons; Capt. Luther M. Strong, acting field officer; Sergt. Maj. D. R. Cook, acting adjutant.
By command of Brig.-Gen. Willich, commanding brigade, the regiment formed on the open ground in front of Fort Wood at 2 p.m. on the 23d, in the first line, with the Fifteenth Ohio in our right, the Twenty-fifth Illinois on the left, and supported by the Eighty-ninth Illinois in the second line. At the signal given the line advanced on the enemy, our front being covered by the Eighth Kansas as skirmishers, and meeting with but little resistance by the pickets of the enemy, who fell back to a line of rifle-pits at the foot of Orchard Knob. The advance of the line, preceded by the skirmishers, was splendidly executed, and the enemy was driven from his pits, quite a number of prisoners falling into our hands.
By order, we halted on the knob and strengthened our position by throwing up stones and earth; this was done under a sharp artillery fire from the enemy's guns at the foot and top of Mission Ridge. This closed the first day's rations. Our casualties were 3 men slightly wounded.
The morning of the 24th found us strongly intrenched and supported by Capt. Bridges' battery of artillery. At 10 a.m. we were relieved by the Eighty-ninth Illinois, and returned to the second line, and remained in reserve until 1 p.m. on the 25th, when we again took position in the first line.
At 3.30 o'clock I was ordered, by the general commanding brigade, at the signal of six guns, fired in quick succession from the battery on Orchard Knob, to advance and occupy the rifle-pits of the enemy at the foot of Missionary Ridge.
The signal was given at 4 o'clock, the line of battle being forward as on the first day. I ordered the regiment forward, with my front covered by Company C, Capt. Greer; Company I, Capt. Tyler, and Company H, Lieut. Miles. An advance of a few rods brought these companies under fire from the intrenched position of the enemy, and without stopping to fire they charged gallantly forward, and with their bayonets captured the works. So daring and rapid was the movement that the enemy threw down their guns and suffered themselves to be captured by a force numerically greatly inferior. Our line of battle advanced in quick time through the woods in our front for about 300 yards, when, emerging from the woods into an open field, the enemy opened on us with all his batteries on the ridge, filling the air all around with exploding shells. At this juncture the order "double-quick" was given, in order to gain the protection of the works almost captured by our skirmishers. The order was promptly and cheerfully obeyed, but on reaching them they were found insufficient and altogether untenable; to have stopped here would have been annihilation. We were now receiving a murderous fire from infantry and artillery posted on the hill above. We therefore pushed forward and gained a position under the hill, the enemy being unable to depress his artillery sufficiently to reach us. Having advanced over a distance of half a mile at double-quick my men were completely exhausted, and we halted to rest, taking such shelter as we could find, behind small stumps, logs, and inequalities of the ground.
The fire to which we were now exposed was terrific beyond conception, and from the position we occupied we were unable to check it by firing; our only hope was to charge the hill.
The order to advance was again given, and the men went bravely forward, toiling up the hill, going step by step, until the crest was reached, and the enemy in our front completely routed.
My color sergeant, David Armstrong, was among the first on the ridge, and proudly planted the colors on the deserted works of the enemy.
When we gained the ridge the enemy opened on us from a battery posted on our left, giving us an enfilading fire and raking their own rifle-pits. From this battery we suffered severely, but our presence over the ridge and on their left flank, compelled them to desert their guns and join their flying comrades. Pursuit was made for a quarter of a mile, taking many prisoners and contributing to the capturing of several pieces of artillery.
The regiment being considerably scattered, I thought it prudent to halt and reorganize, which was done, and we joined the brigade on the ridge.
Our loss in this day's engagement was 55 killed and wounded. Among the killed, we mourn the loss of Lieut. Miller, White, and Arndt. I feel altogether incompetent to pay a suitable tribute to the memory of these gallant officers. They entered the service as enlisted men, and earned their promotions by heroic deeds on many sanguinary fields.
Lieut. Miller was the favorite of the regiment and beloved by all who knew him, a Christian here, whose example is eminently worthy of imitation. He fell on the parapet of the enemy's works, and lived to see victory perched upon our glorious banner.
Lieut. White was a fitful officer and a true gentleman, whose loss is keenly felt by the entire regiment.
Lieut. Arndt distinguished himself at the battle of Stone's River; his gallant conduct being witnessed by his colonel, he was promoted therefor. He died while bravely urging forward his men to that fearful charge.
I cannot commend too highly the conduct of every officer in this command. To their courage and skill I owe the success of the regiment. I take pleasure in asserting the fact that they are all-day men, ever at their post of duty. They have participated, without an exception, in all the battles in which the command has been engaged. The country owes them a debt of gratitude for their distinguished service and patriotic sacrifices.
My thanks are due Capt. L. M. Strong, acting field officer, and Sergt. Maj. D. R. Cook, acting adjutant, for valuable assistance on the field. I might mention many case of individual courage among enlisted men worthy of special mention, but too numerous to embody in this report; due notice will be made of them hereafter.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. F. GRAY, Maj., Cmdg. Forty-ninth Ohio Infantry.
Capt. CARL SCHMITT, Assistant Adjutant-Gen.
Upon the Siege of Chattanooga’s conclusion, the 49th advanced towards Knoxville, Tennessee, where a Confederate force had besieged this city’s Union garrison. The regiment marched as far as Strawberry Plains, Tennessee, before returning to Chattanooga due to the withdraw of Confederate units at Knoxville. In early 1864, members of the 49th who had reenlisted in the Union military received a thirty-day furlough to their homes in Ohio.
Upon returning to the front, the 49th entered camp at Cleveland, Tennessee. In early May 1864, the regiment embarked upon General Sherman's Atlanta Campaign. The goal of this expedition was for Northern forces to capture the important manufacturing center of Atlanta, Georgia. The 49th fought in many of the largest engagements of the campaign, including the Battles of Dalton, Resaca, Dallas, Kennesaw Mountain, Chattahoochie River, Atlanta, Lovejoy’s Station, and Jonesborough. With the Union’s occupation of Atlanta on September 2, 1864, the regiment entered camp within the city’s confines. After this campaign, the 49th’s commanding officer issued the following report:
HDQRS. FORTY-NINTH OHIO VETERAN VOL. INFANTRY, Near Atlanta, Ga... September 15, 1864.
SIR: In obedience to orders, I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by this regiment in the campaign just closed, resulting in the capture of the city of Atlanta:
From the time we broke camp on the 3d day of May, at McDonald's Station, East Tenn., until the 15th day of the same month, the regiment was commanded by Col. William H. Gibson, therefore it will.not be expected of me to give more than a general account of its operations during that time. From McDonald's Station we marched with the brigade, commanded by Gen. Which, and with it went into position in front of Rocky Face Ridge on the 7th of May, and participated in the operations there without any occurrence worthy of mention until the 9th, when the brigade was formed column en masse, our position being the right of second line and in rear of Thirty-second Indiana Volunteers. In this formation we moved with the brigade by the right Bank half a mile to the right of our first position. This movement brought the regiment into an open field in musket-range of the enemy on top of the ridge. Seeing us thus massed he gave us a galling fire that killed 1 and wounded 4 enlisted men. The command was immediately deployed into line on first company and ordered to lie down, taking shelter, as far as possible, behind the slight irregularities of the ground; remained in this position half an hour, when we moved again with the brigade by the left flank about one-quarter of a mile to the left and bivouacked. This movement seemed to me to be objectless, and resulted in what appeared an unnecessary loss of life. On the morning of the 10th we relieved the Fifteenth Ohio Volunteers on the picket-line in front of the brigade, occupying a line close up under an almost perpendicular ledge of rocks, from the top of which the enemy rolled stones down on our men, injuring some severely. Our left rested on the top of the ridge, connecting with the pickets of Gen. Harker's brigade. W e remained on picket until night, being relieved by the Thirty-second Indiana Volunteers, and returned to our position in the brigade. Our casualties this day were lieut. Edwin Haff and 5 men wounded, all in Companies F and I, the former commanded by Capt. John F. Kessler, the latter by Capt. M. E. Tyler. On the morning of the 11th, when the division took up position on the hill across the valley in rear of the position held on the 10th, we moved with the brigade. On the evening of the 12th we again relieved the Fifteenth Ohio Volunteers on the line. During this night the enemy evacuated the ridge and retreated from Dalton. On finding them gone a skirmish line was thrown forward and 5 stragglers taken in. On the morning of the 18th the regiment with the brigade marched with the pursuing column and took position in front of Resaca on the 14th, where the brigade relieved troops of the Twenty-third Army Corps. During this day the regiment alternated with the other regiments of the brigade on the picket-line. The opposing lines were close together, and firing continual and rapid. Our casualties in this day's operations were 10 enlisted men wounded. On the 15th the situation was unchanged, and the position and operations of the regiment the same as on the 14th. In the afternoon of this day Brig.-Gen. Which was severely wounded; the command of brigade devolving on Col. Gibson, he turned the command of the regiment over to me. Casualties this day, 2 enlisted men.
On the morning of the 16th it was found the enemy had evacuated. On the 16th, 17th, 18th, and 19th we were engaged in marching with pursuing column; nothing transpired worthy of mention, and having no casualties. On the evening of the 19th, the enemy being found in line of battle at Cassville, about twenty-six miles south of Resaca, the army formed line of battle and advanced upon them. Our position was on the left of the brigade in the east line, the brigade being in reserve to the Second and Third Brigades of the division, did not become closely engaged. During the night the enemy again left our front. Casualties this day, 1 enlisted man wounded. Our position remained unchanged at, Cassville until the 23d, when we took up our line of march with the brigade. Marched ten miles south, crossing Etowah River, and encamped on Euharlee Creek at Milner's Mills. On 24th resumed marching; halted for the night after traveling twelve miles. On 25th continued our march, crossing Pumpkin Vine Creek, moving to the support of the Twentieth Corps, which was severely engaged with the enemy near Dallas. On the morning of the 26th the brigade went into position on the left of the troops of the Twentieth Corps, already in line. The day was consumed in maneuvering for positions and fortifying them; we were not at any time during the day brought into close action. On the 27th, when the division marched to the extreme left of the general line of battle, the position of this regiment in the brigade was on the left of the second line, joined on my right by the Thirty-fifth Illinois Volunteers, with the Thirty-second Indiana Volunteers in my front. In this formation we marched through almost impenetrable woods and over swampy ground a distance of several miles, arriving at a position near Pickett's Mills about 3 p. m. Here our lines were now formed, facing those of the enemy. About 4 p. m. our brigade, following the Second Brigade, advanced to the attack. The woods and undergrowth were so dense that nothing could be seen at a distance of 150 yards. I was ordered to maintain that distance from the first line. At the signal I advanced, preceding my command, to observe the movements of the first line. We were soon brought under a desolating fire of musketry and artillery at close range. In a few movements I lost sight of the first line, it having drifted to the left. I could see no organized force in my front, but the woods full of men seeking shelter from the terrible storm of shot and shell. At this juncture I met the adjutant-general of Gen. Hazen's brigade, who, in answer to my inquiries, told me the enemy had a strong position on a hill across a ravine a few yards in advance, and said it could only be taken by storm. The regiment, over 400 effective men, soon arrived at the ravine named, and which I found was inflated by artillery and musketry. I could now see the position of the enemy on the other side and a line of our troops lying below the crest of the hill. I then gave the order to charge, and the line advanced on double-quick, maintaining a perfect line; passing over the line on the side hill, advanced to with ten paces of the works of the enemy, and at one or two points got within bayonet reach of the rebels behind [sic] hors de combat, and it was found impossible for us to take a position before which line after line had melted away, yet we remained without cover in the position we had gained, stubbornly contesting with our foe behind intrenchments until night enabled us to withdraw in safety, bringing off our wounded and losing but 4 in prisoners. I will be pardoned for claiming for my men and officers the highest encomiums for their intrepidity and persistent courage displayed on this field. Our casualty list in this day's fighting attests its severity, being as follows: Commissioned officers -- killed, 3; wounded, 3.
Enlisted men -- killed, 49; wounded, 144; missing, 4. Aggregate loss, 208.
During the night of the 27th we went into position with the brigade and fortified; remained in the position during the days of the 28th and 20th, and on the evening of the 30th advanced our line nearer the enemy and fortified. Remained in this position until June 4, alternating with the Eighty-ninth Illinois Volunteers on the erst line, meeting with no loss. On the morning of the 5th it was discovered that the enemy had evacuated their position in our front. On the 6th marched with the column to camp near Acworth, a distance of eight miles, where we remained to recuperate our wasted energies until the 10th, when the army resumed offensive operations, and on the 12th went into position in front of Pine Top Mountain. The work ['sic] nothing was done until the morning of the 14th, when the brigade and division advanced about one mile, finding the enemy in strong works; the position of the regiment in brigade on this day being the right of the first line, with our front covered by the Fifteenth Ohio as skirmishers. Having driven the enemy to their main works, we took position and constructed fortifications. Our casualties this day were 1 officer (Capt. Patterson) and 1 man slightly wounded. During the night the enemy again evacuated our immediate front. Passing over the interval between the 14th and 20th, during which time the regiment was engaged in picket duty and building fortifications in front of the enemy (our loss from the 14th to the 20th being 1 man killed and 4 wounded), on the morning of the 20th the brigade marched to the right one and a half miles and relieved a brigade of the Twentieth Corps in front of Kenesaw Mountain. My regiment was sent out to occupy a wooded knoll taken by the Twentieth Corps the day previous. It stood out from the main line of battle, and almost detached from the ridge held by our troops. Upon this knoll we completed some works made in the form of a crescent, and protected our flanks from the cross-fire the enemy were enabled to give us. Remained in this position until evening, being relieved by the Thirty-fifth Illinois and Fifteenth Wisconsin Volunteers, when we returned to our place in the brigade. Our casualties this day were 1 enlisted man killed and 4 wounded. On the 21st I was ordered by Col. Nodine, commanding brigade, to take my regiment and place it behind a bald knob just captured by the Fifteenth Ohio, as support. In obeying this order, and while advancing over an open Geld, I received a cross-fire from a wooded eminence to the right of the bald knob, and directly in front of the wooded knob alluded to above. Deeming it necessary to drive the enemy from this position to enable us to hold the one just gained by the four companies of the Fifteenth Ohio, and seeing the skirmishers of that regiment closely pressed, I exceeded my orders and changed the direction of my [line] and charged the position, driving, with the assistance of the Fifteenth Ohio, the enemy from it. We at once constructed temporary works of rails and logs, keeping up the fire until they were of sufficient strength to enable us to hold them against any force the enemy might bring against us. Our loss in this affair was 1 officer killed and 1: 3 enlisted men wounded. This movement being made under the eye of the generals commanding division and corps, they were pleased to tender us their thanks. From the list to the 27th nothing of special interest occurred. The lines in front of the brigade having been made secure by formidable earth-works, with abatis in front, we remained in them, a continual firing being kept up from both sides, causing frequent casualties. On the 27th the lines of the brigade were reduced to a single line, the brigade extending to the right, covering the space of the whole division for the purpose of aiding the assaults made on other portions of the line. After the failure of the assaults made that day the troops reoccupied their former positions, and the situation remained unchanged until the night of July 2. A change being ordered in the lines, we were relieved in our position by other troops, and marched with the brigade to the left, and occupied the works made by the Fifteenth Army Corps. While this change was going on the enemy was engaged in evacuating their works, and the morning of the 3d revealed their absence from our entire front. Our casualties in front of Kenesaw Mountain from the 21st of June to July 8, 4 enlisted men and 1 officer wounded.
In the movements of the division and brigade from Kenesaw Mountain to the Chattahoochee River we bore our part of the picketing and skirmishing of the brigade without casualties or incident deserving mention. After a refreshing rest of four days at Vining's Station we broke camp on the 10th day of July and marched up the Chattahoochee River to a point about eight miles above the station and crossed to the east side, taking up position about one mile from the crossing at the river and fortified it. The command was engaged on one or two important movements from the time we crossed the river until we broke up camp on the 18th and marched for Atlanta. The movements of the regiment from the 18th to the 22d, from which time the siege of the city dates, I may not record in detail, as it would only be a repetition of much that has been given before. During the night of the 21st the enemy again left our front. We moved forward with the brigade at an early hour of the 22d. When within two miles of Atlanta any regiment was deployed as skirmishers and moved forward, driving the enemy into their main works around Atlanta. After skirmishing about two hours we were relieved by Gen. Newton's troops and moved half mile to the left and fortified the position held by us during the entire siege. On the 28th I received orders to advance my pickets in front of the regiment. Accordingly, I gave the order, and the men dashed forward and captured the entire line of riflepits of the enemy, forking out with their bayonets many prisoners. This affair gave us much relief on our main line by removing the enemy's line of pickets from an eminence to lower ground. On the 3d day of August we were ordered to make a demonstration in our front and ascertain the strength of the enemy, and, if found practicable, carry his works. I pushed out my skirmishers about 100 yards. Finding the enemy numerous and strongly posted and well protected by artillery I drew back the line to the original position.
In this affair we lost 3 men killed. From this date until the army withdrew from the position around the city, on the evening of the 25th, the situation remained unchanged, nothing occurring worthy of mention in this report. The brigade and division commanders know the character of the operations.
Our casualties in the siege, from July 82 to August 25, were as follows: 2 commissioned officers wounded, 6 enlisted men killed, 15 enlisted men wounded. The regiment marched with the brigade and division on the night of the 25th of August from Atlanta, and returned with them, to the city on the 8th day of September, with a loss of 4 men wounded in the works before Lovejoy's Station. Leaving McDonald's Station with an aggregate strength of 592, I went into camp at the close of the campaign with 225, having lost in killed and wounded alone 295.
To the officers and men of the command, who so promptly executed all orders given them, whether on the march, or while confronting the enemy, all praise is given. In the hour of battle they evinced the highest qualities of the patriot soldier.
To Maj. L. M. Strong and Adjt. D. R. Cook my thanks are especially due for their gallantry and very valuable assistance rendered me throughout the campaign. Maj. Strong was severely wounded in the battle of the 27th of May, but declined to leave the field and remained on duty and witnessed the crowning success of the campaign.
I feel entirely incompetent to pronounce eulogy upon the heroic dead. The memory of Lieut.'s Simons, Ramsey, Gibbs, Wallace, and the many brave men who with them have so nobly died, should ever be cherished in the hearts of our people and inspire there, as in the minds of their remaining comrades, the determination to defend and forever establish the great cause in defense of which their blood was shed --the hope of humanity, our free institutions --a fitting monument to the glorious sacrifice.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
SAML. F. GRAY, Lieut. Col., Comdg. Forty-ninth Ohio Vet. Vols.
Lieut. W. McGRATH' A. A. A. G., First Brig., Third Div., 4th Army Corps.
After several weeks of rest, the 49th embarked upon the Army of the Cumberland’s pursuit of Confederate General John Bell Hood’s army, which was advancing through northern Georgia, northern Alabama, and southern Tennessee in the direction of Nashville. The regiment fought in the Battle of Franklin on November 30, 1864 and at the Battle of Nashville on December 15 and 16, 1864. At Nashville, the regiment participated in several charges against the enemy, helping the North to achieve a victory and to drive Hood’s command from Tennessee. After this battle, the 49th’s commanding officer issued the following report:
HDQRS. FORTY-NINTH REGT. OHIO VOLUNTEERS, Camp Green, January 7, 1865.
LIEUT.: In obedience to instructions received, I have the honor to make the following report of the operations of this regiment from the 14th of December last until its arrival at this camp:
On the morning of December 15, 1864, the regiment, then under the command of Maj. L. M. Strong, broke camp and took position behind the intrenchments at Nashville assigned thereto, and remained until 11 a.m., at which time it was drawn off to the right for brigade formation, and was placed on the left of the second line. At 12 m. moved across the intrenchments and formed in double column, not changing position in the brigade. At 12.30 p.m., under orders received, the regiment charged and carried that portion of the enemy's first line of works in its immediate front. Upon reaching the enemy's works the regiment deployed to the left to cover the flank. Companies B and G were thrown forward to intercept the enemy's skirmishers falling back on our left, and captured thirty-five prisoners. Companies A and F were then deployed as skirmishers to cover regimental front, and immediately moved forward, pursuing the enemy, who was rapidly falling back, till reaching the enemy's second line of works, which they occupied, engaging the enemy farther to the left, who still occupied a portion of the line. In this movement they captured prisoners. The Fifteenth Regt. Ohio Volunteers was then moved to the left of the Forty-ninth, and Companies A, F, B, and G then rejoined the regiment, which in the meantime had moved a short distance by the right flank, connecting with the Fifty-first Regt. Indiana Volunteers. Here hastily constructed breast-works were erected, and the Eighth Regt. Kansas Volunteers formed on the left of the Forty-ninth Ohio. By orders received from Col. Straight, Companies D, I, C, and H were deployed as skirmishers to cover the front of the brigade, and at 2.30 p.m. were relieved by Companies E, K, G, and B. At 3.30 p.m. the regiment, in connection with the other regiments of the brigade, charged and carried the enemy's third line, meeting with but feeble resistance; the enemy at the time moving under the effect of a charging column on our right. The brigade was then reformed, the Forty-ninth Ohio occupying the left of the second line, Companies E, K, G, and B rejoining the regiment. At 4.30 p.m. the regiment was moved by the left flank along the enemy's works to the Granny White pike, joined on the right by the Fifteenth Ohio and on the left by the Eighty-ninth Illinois, in which position it remained until dark, at which time it was moved to the left and rear along the said pike and then to the front, some distance across the pike, where it went into bivouac for the night, having previously covered its front with skirmishers. In the operations of this day the casualties of the regiment amounted to 2 commissioned officers and 3 enlisted men wounded.
December 16, at sunrise, the regiment moved across and to the left of the Franklin pike. Companies E and K were deployed as skirmishers to cover our left flank, on which duty they remained until the close of this day's operations. The regiment, in connection with the brigade, moved forward on the left of the Franklin pike to within three miles of Brentwood, the skirmishers driving those of the enemy before them. At this point the enemy was encountered in force and found strongly entrenched on what is known as the Overton Hill. At 11.30 a.m. the First Brigade was formed in rear of the Second Brigade, the Forty-ninth occupying a position in the front line, between the Eighth Kansas on the right and the Fifteenth Ohio on the left. At 12 m., in accordance with orders previously received, the Second Brigade moved upon the enemy's works, supported by the First Brigade. The resistance was such upon the part of the enemy as to cause the lines of the Second Brigade to become broken and disorganized upon reaching a point within a short distance of the enemy's works, many officers and men having been killed and wounded and many having sought shelter from the heavy fire poured upon them by the enemy from behind his works. At this time the regiment, in conjunction with the First Brigade, was pushed forward to within about fifteen yards of the enemy's works; some of the men of the regiment succeeded in gaining them under a very heavy fire. It was soon found impossible to push any considerable portion of the line further forward, and suffering severely from the enemy's fire at this close range, the regiment, having lost its commanding officer, Maj. L. M. Strong, who fell severely wounded while gallantly leading his men, besides many other officers and men killed and wounded, and the enemy stubbornly defending their works against any prospect of their being carried by us, retired with the remainder of the brigade to its original position occupied previous to moving upon the enemy's works and reformed under cover of the Third Brigade. In this charge the regiment lost 3 commissioned officers wounded and 10 enlisted men killed and 36 wounded out of about 150 engaged. Upon reforming, Capt. Hartsough, the senior officer present, assumed command of the regiment, and shortly after the enemy, having been routed on our right, fell back rapidly from their works in our front, and we advanced, pursuing them until dark, when the regiment went into bivouac for the night.
December 17 I assumed command of the regiment, having previous to this time been serving as inspector of the Third Division, Fourth Corps. Since I assumed command the regiment has not been engaged in any action.
The total number of prisoners captured is 45. For a more complete statement of the casualties reference is here made to the accompanying report thereof.
J. R. BARTLETT, Capt., Cmdg.
Lieut. McGRATH, Acting Assistant Adjutant-Gen.
The 49th joined the Union’s pursuit of Hood as far as Huntsville, Alabama, where the command entered camp. In mid-March 1865, the regiment traveled by train to Greenville, Tennessee. The organization next moved to Nashville, where the 49th boarded steamers for New Orleans, Louisiana on June 15, 1865. In July, the regiment sailed to Victoria, Texas and advanced to San Antonio, Texas via Green Lake and Gonzales. The Ohioans eventually returned to Victoria and mustered out of service on November 30, 1865. The 49th’s members then returned to their homes in Ohio.
During the 49th Ohio's term of service, 202 men, including fourteen officers, died from wounds received on the battlefield. An additional 161 men, including one officer, died from disease or accidents.
Cite this Entry
"49th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry," Ohio Civil War Central, 2020, Ohio Civil War Central. 8 Aug 2020 <http://www.ohiocivilwarcentral.com/entry.php?rec=1230>
"49th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry." (2020) In Ohio Civil War Central, Retrieved August 8, 2020, from Ohio Civil War Central: http://www.ohiocivilwarcentral.com/entry.php?rec=1230