46th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry (1861-1865)

Also Known As: Forty-sixth Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry

Updated: January 29, 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.

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 46th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Recruitment occurred at Worthington, Ohio, and the organization mustered into service on October 16, 1861 at Camp Chase, at Columbus, Ohio.

On February 18, 1862, the 46th departed Camp Chase for Paducah, Kentucky, where the organization joined a brigade with the 6th Regiment Iowa Infantry and the 40th Regiment Illinois Infantry in General William T. Sherman's division. In early March 1862, the 46th sailed to Savannah, Tennessee and, once the remainder of the Union's Army of the Tennessee arrived, moved to Pittsburg Landing, Tennessee on March 14. At this location, the regiment entered camp to the right of Shiloh Church. On April 6, 1862, Confederate forces attacked the Northerners at Pittsburg Landing. At the Battle of Shiloh (April 6 and 7, 1862), the 46th engaged the enemy both days in this Union victory and had 280 men killed or wounded and fifteen captured. The regiment buried its dead in a mass grave on a ridge overlooking Owl Creek.

The 46th remained encamped at Pittsburg Landing until April 27, 1862, when the entire Army of the Tennessee advanced against Corinth, Mississippi, where the Northern force besieged the Confederate garrison. Upon the Union's occupation of Corinth on May 30, 1862, the 46th spent most of the summer and the early autumn of 1862 protecting the Memphis and Charleston Railroad. The organization also performed provost duty in Memphis, Tennessee. In November 1862, the regiment joined a Union assault upon Vicksburg, Mississippi, but officials quickly ended this advance. The 46th spent the winter of 1862-1863 and the spring of 1863 again guarding the Memphis and Charleston Railroad. During this time, officials mounted the regiment, and the organization made routine raids into northern Mississippi.

In June 1863, authorities ordered the 46th to Vicksburg, where Union forces had besieged this city's Confederate garrison.  The regiment served in the siege lines until the Union's occupation of Vicksburg on July 4, 1863. With Vicksburg's capitulation, officials ordered the 46th to Jackson, Mississippi with a Northern force under the command of General Sherman. Two companies of the 46th engaged enemy forces at the crossing of the Big Black River at Birdsong's Ferry. After several days of fighting along the river, Sherman's force drove the Confederates to Jackson, which Union troops occupied after a short siege. Following the capture of Mississippi's capital, the 46th entered camp along the Big Black River for the remainder of the summer and the early autumn of 1863. After the engagement at Jackson, the 46th's commanding officer issued the following report:

NEAR JACKSON, MISS., July 20, 1863.

CAPT.: In obedience to instructions from your headquarters, I have the honor of submitting the following report of casualties in my regiment since the 4th day of July, and mention of the conduct of my men before Jackson:

The following are the casualties in the skirmish at Big Black on the morning of the 5th of July and before Jackson:

The skirmishing at Big Black was done by all the companies of the regiment, operating at different times. The casualties there occurred early in the morning, while the men were badly exposed to a hidden and well-directed fire from the enemy. Rifle-pits were made soon after, and we were punished no more.

July 12.--The regiment reported to Col. Corse, Sixth Iowa Infantry, then in charge of skirmishers for duty in the front. Here the remainder of the casualties occurred, with the exception of Sergeant John M.] Case and Private [William] Sherman, wounded on the 16th instant. On this day the regiment proved its real worth, the men exhibiting excellent judgment, coolness, and true bravery. The regiment took part in the charge on the 16th instant, evincing their determination in the cause, with the loss of 2 of our comrades.

I can mention no names; the conduct of each and every officer and man, without one single exception, could not have been better. I can say now that I have none but brave, good, and true men, and I feel proud of my command.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

CHAS. C. WALCUTT, Col. Forty-sixth Ohio Volunteer Infantry.

Capt. T. J. LOUDON, Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., First Division, Sixteenth Army Corps.

On October 10, 1863, the 46th departed the Big Black River for Memphis with General Sherman's Fifteenth Corps. From Memphis, Sherman's command advanced to Chattanooga, Tennessee, where the Confederacy's Army of Tennessee had besieged the Union's Army of the Cumberland. The 46th reached the outskirts of Chattanooga on November 20, 1863 and entered the city on November 24, 1863. On that day, the regiment participated in the Battle of Missionary Ridge, helping Union forces to drive the Confederates from the ridge and to bring the Siege of Chattanooga to a victorious conclusion for the North.

After the Battle of Missionary Ridge, the 46th marched towards Knoxville, Tennessee, where a Confederate force had besieged the city's Union garrison.. Before the regiment arrived at Knoxville, other Union forces lifted the siege, prompting the regiment to march for Scottsboro, Alabama, arriving on December 31, 1863. In March 1864, many of the 46th's members reenlisted. The re-enlistees received a thirty-day furlough to their homes in Ohio. Upon returning to the front in April 1864, the 46th returned to its old camp at Scottsboro.

On May 1, 1864, the 46th Ohio 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 regiment fought in many of the largest engagements of the campaign, including the Battles of Snake Creek Gap, Resaca, Dallas, New Hope Church, Kennesaw Mountain, Marietta, Chattahoochie River, Atlanta, Ezra Church, Jonesborough, and Lovejoy's Station.  During the Atlanta Campaign, officers of the 46th issued the following reports:

HDQRS. FORTY-SIXTH OHIO VETERAN VOL. INFTY., Camp in the Field, near Acworth, Ga., June 7, 1864.

CAPT.: In compliance with orders received from brigade headquarters, I make the following report:

On the 30th of April we received General Orders, No. 27, from division headquarters, to have the command ready to move on the morning of May 1, 1864, on the road toward Chattanooga. In pursuance of the above orders the regiment took up their line of march, with the rest of the division, at 7 a. m. Upon starting a detachment of eighty men of the Sixth Iowa Infantry, in charge of a commissioned officer, were directed to report to major commanding the regiment, by order of Col. C. C. Walcutt, commanding Second Brigade.

The regiment reached Chattanooga on the afternoon of May 5, camping three miles south on the Rossville road. There, in compliance with General Orders, No. 7, brigade headquarters, dated May 5, 1864, the regiment placed in store, at Chattanooga, all camp and garrison equipage, surplus quartermaster stores, and baggage, retaining three teams to the regiment. The Sixth Iowa Infantry having rejoined the brigade, the detachment of eighty men in our charge were ordered to report to their regiment. At 11 a. m. again took up our line of march, camping at 7 o'clock the following morning. Owing to regiment being guard for division train, we did not encamp until 2 o'clock the following morning, near Taylor's Gap, Ga. Resumed our march at 9 a. m., and encamped at 4 p. m. at Villanow, Ga. The succeeding day, May 9, marched out eight [miles], through Snake Creek Gap, where the division encamped. The regiment was placed on picket on the Calhoun road, where it remained until the morning of May 11, where we rejoined our brigade and were formed in line of battle on its left. About 1 p. m. the regiment was ordered forward to another hill to erect breast-works. May 12, completed the works, when the rest of the brigade moved up, and we were formed in line of battle behind the works on the right of the brigade. May 13, at 7 o'clock the regiment, with the rest of the division, marched out of the works on the Resaca road, and met the enemy about three miles from Resaca, formed in line of battle on the left of our brigade, and advanced, with the brigade, in line in the rear of the First Brigade, about 1,000 [yards], through the thick woods, into an open field. Here, while the regiment was crossing a creek, the Ninety-seventh Indiana Infantry Volunteers, of the Second Brigade, was brought on the left of the regiment to prevent being flanked by the enemy, and the regiment took their place in line, thus making the Forty-sixth Regt. the next to the left and the Ninety-seventh Indiana the left regiment of the brigade. We then advanced across the field and into the woods; the First Brigade being out of ammunition were relieved by the Second Brigade, the Forty-sixth relieving the Twelfth Indiana Volunteer Infantry. Two companies were placed on the skirmish line in the edge of the woods opposite an open field, the regiment being in line forty yards in the rear of the skirmishers. In this position the regiment remained all night. Casualties during the day were 4 men wounded. The succeeding day, May 14, the regiment remained in the same position, with a heavy skirmish line in its front. Casualties, 1 man killed, 1 lieutenant and 5 men wounded. At 3 o'clock the morning of the 15th the regiment was removed, and, with the brigade, moved about half a mile to the right to support a position of the First Division, Fifteenth Army Corps. About 9 o'clock we were moved back again to nearly our former position in the line. At 11 a. m. the regiment was relieved by the Tenth Kentucky Volunteer Infantry, and joined the brigade half a mile in the rear on the right of the First Division, Fifteenth Army Corps. Loss this day, 2 men wounded.

During the night the enemy evacuated their works, and the afternoon of May 16 the regiment took up its line of march, with the division, in pursuit.

The loss in the regiment during the three days' engagement at Resaca, Ga., 1 man killed, 1 lieutenant and 11 men wounded, so as to unfit them for duty; some others were so slightly wounded that they did not leave the field.

Very respectfully,

J. W. HEATH, Capt., Cmdg. Regt.

HDQRS. FORTY-SIXTH REGT. OHIO VET. VOL. INFTY., East Point, Ga., September 12, 1864.

CAPT.: In compliance with circular received from brigade headquarters, requiring a detailed report of the operations of my command in the late campaign, I would respectfully submit the following:

As I was not in command of the regiment during the first part of the campaign, I would beg leave to submit the late Capt. J. W. Heath's report of the earlier operations, as follows:

On the morning of the 17th May, 1864, the regiment, with the remainder of the brigade, took its line of march for Atlanta, and in four days reached Kingston, Ga., passing through Adairsville. There we lay encamped three days. On the morning of May 23 again started on the march, and the evening of the 25th encamped about two miles and a half from Dallas, Ga. Just upon getting into camp heavy firing was heard on our front, and the regiment was moved forward about a quarter of a mile, and formed in line of battle on the extreme left of the brigade, in which position it remained all night. The next day (May 26) the regiment moved forward about five miles, and lay all night in line of battle in a corn-field, in rear of the Ninety-seventh Indiana Volunteer Infantry. In the morning (May 27) the regiment was ordered to report to Colonel Oliver, commanding Third Brigade, Fourth Division, Fifteenth Army Corps, and was placed in line of battle with the Third Brigade; being the next to the extreme right regiment. Two companies of the regiment were placed on the skirmish line in its front, and two companies were detailed from the regiment and sent to the right. At 3 p. m. the enemy advanced in line of battle to drive in the skirmishers, but were repulsed. At 7 p. m. the regiment was ordered to rejoin the Second Brigade, taking position in line on the extreme left of the brigade, relieving the Ninety-ninth Indiana Volunteer Infantry; completed the breast-works commenced by the Ninety-ninth, and lay in line all night. Casualties in the regiment on that day were 1 man killed and 11 wounded. At 4 p. m. the next day (May 28) the enemy assaulted our position in heavy force, but were repulsed after a sharp engagement of about one hour. The regiment suffered a loss in the engagement of Maj. Henry H. Giesy, commanding, killed, 1 lieutenant and 9 men wounded. Upon the death of Maj. Giesy, Capt. J W. Heath succeeded him to the command of the regiment.

We remained behind the works until the morning of June 1, 1864, when the regiment, with the brigade, vacated the works and moved some eight or nine miles to the left of the line, and relieved a regiment of the Twentieth Corps, near New Hope Church. There it remained under a heavy skirmish fire, occupying the works constructed by the Twentieth Corps until the morning of June 5, when, the enemy having evacuated during the night, the regiment moved, with the brigade, about six miles in the direction of Acworth, Ga. The next day (June 6) marched to Acworth and encamped one mile south of the town, where it remained two days. June 9, the regiment accompanied the brigade on a reconnaissance to the front; started at 8 a. m., found the enemy in force near Big Shanty, Ga., and returned to camp at Acworth in the evening. The next morning (June 10) the regiment moved to Big Shanty and lay in reserve, with the brigade, in the rear of the First Division of the Fifteenth Corps. There it remained in reserve until the 15th. At 10 a. m. of that day the regiment moved, with the brigade, to the extreme left of our line, and was formed in line of battle on the left center of the brigade. At 1 p. m. charged, with the brigade, upon the enemy's rifle-pits, taking them and capturing 207 prisoners, including 1 colonel, 1 lieutenant-colonel, 9 line officers, and 156 stand of arms. Casualties, 2 men killed, 1 lieutenant and 5 men wounded. Remained in possession of the enemy's pits until after dark, when the regiment, with the brigade, fell back and lay in the rear of the Seventeenth Army Corps. June 19, moved to the right and lay in support of Second Division, Fifteenth Army Corps. On the evening of June 25 the regiment moved to the right about three miles, and relieved a regiment of the Fourteenth Army Corps at the base of Kenesaw Mountain. At 3 o'clock in the morning of June 27 moved, with the brigade, outside of the works. At 8 a. m. the regiment was deployed as skirmishers in front of the brigade, and at 9 a. m. charged the enemy upon Kenesaw Mountain. The regiment drove in the enemy's skirmishers, capturing 120 of them, and ascended the mountain to within fifteen yards of the enemy's works, where farther ascent was rendered impossible by the perpendicularity of the rocks. There it remained until about 12 m., when it was ordered by the brigade commander to fall back to the works and reorganize. The regiment then fell back, reorganized, rejoined the brigade, and was placed in line on the left of the brigade at the base of the mountain. About 11 o'clock in the night the regiment was relieved by the Fifteenth Michigan Volunteer Infantry, and fell back, with the brigade, to the works. The loss in this engagement was 8 men killed and 31 wounded.

The night of July 2 the enemy evacuated his position upon Kenesaw, and at 9 o'clock the following morning the regiment, with the brigade, started in pursuit. July 4, passed through Marietta, Ga., and July 6 lay in support of the Seventeenth Army Corps. In the evening of July 7 the regiment was moved forward on the line on the left of the brigade, and fortified. At 4 p. m., July 12, the regiment again took up its line of march, with the brigade, passed through Marietta on the 13th, and crossed the Chattahoochee River the afternoon of the 14th, and encamped upon the southern bank. At 6 o'clock on the morning of July 17 the regiment, with the brigade, moved out on the Decatur road. The 18th made a detour toward the railroad at Stone Mountain, came again upon the Decatur road, passed through Decatur the 20th, and was placed in line upon the right of the brigade, which lay in reserve. July 21, the regiment was moved on the line to the left, with the brigade, and relieved a part of the Seventeenth Army Corps. In the morning of July 22, the enemy having evacuated their first line of works, the regiment moved forward, with the brigade, and occupied them. About 12 m. the enemy attempted to turn our left flank, and the regiment was formed in line on the left center of the brigade in an open corn-field, at right angles to the works it had just been occupying. The enemy advanced, but were repulsed after an engagement of about half an hour. Constructed a slight work, and remained in that position all night. Casualties of this day were Capt. J. W. Heath, commanding regiment, and 8 men killed, and 15 wounded. Upon the death of Capt. Heath I succeeded to the command of the regiment. At 1 a. m. (July 27) the regiment, with the brigade, vacated the works, moved to the extreme right of the line, and lay in the rear of the Sixteenth Army Corps all night. At daylight the following morning (July 28) moved out on the right of the Seventeenth Army Corps to take position. The regiment being in column, with its brigade, when the action commenced, in pursuance of orders, I changed its direction, and took position in rear of the right wing of Seventieth Ohio Infantry, and left wing of Ninety-ninth Indiana, along the edge of the woods, and covered by barricades of rails and such material as we could hastily throw together. By the time we had taken this position the whole line of our division had become hotly engaged, when I received an order to move the regiment forward in support of the line. The regiment was immediately advanced in line of battle through the woods when I was notified that the left was hotly pressed. The advance was then changed to left oblique, and we advanced, covering the right wing of the One hundred and third Illinois Infantry and Seventieth Ohio Veteran Volunteer Infantry, where they were engaged. The regiment then opened upon the enemy in front, and remained in the action until its close. Soon as the enemy ceased firing I advanced a light skirmish line, which showed the enemy in force in our front. One other attempt was made by the enemy to advance, but, being feeble, was promptly repulsed. The skirmish line sent out brought in the colors of the Thirtieth Louisiana, which I have heretofore forwarded to your headquarters. The loss sustained by the regiment was 6 enlisted men wounded. July 30, the position of the line was changed, and the regiment was placed on the skirmish line. The next morning (July 31), pursuant to orders from brigade commander, the skirmish line advanced about 200 yards, and held its position for two hours, when it was ordered back to its old position. Loss, 1 man killed. At 10 a. m. the regiment was relieved, and formed behind the works in the rear of the One hundred and third Illinois.

At 3 p. m., August 2, the entire line again was advanced about 600 yards, and the regiment placed in reserve in the rear of the brigade; casualties, from stray bullets, 1 man killed and 1 wounded. August 3, in compliance with orders, the regiment charged the enemy's riflepits, taking them, and capturing 31 prisoners. After holding them about one hour, the enemy advanced in line of battle, and retook them. At 5 p. m. the regiment, in conjunction with details from the division, took them again, capturing 25 prisoners, and held them until after dark, when it was relieved, and took its position in rear of the brigade; loss during the day, 1 man killed, 1 lieutenant mortally wounded, 11 enlisted men wounded, and 1 taken prisoner. From this date until the 26th we were engaged in skirmishing with the enemy and building works, during which time we lost 5 men, 1 of whom was killed. On the evening of the 26th we, in common with the brigade, started on the march for the front of Jonesborough, at which place we arrived on the evening of the 30th, and bivouacked for the night. Next morning were put in reserve, with five companies on skirmish line, under command of Capt. Bowers. At 2 p. m. the enemy advanced in assaulting column, and broke our skirmish line to the left, and commenced filing up a ravine, which lay to the rear of our skirmish line, and the skirmishers were compelled to fall back upon the remaining part of the regiment still in reserve. Soon as it had become known to the general commanding brigade that the enemy were checked, he sent me orders that I should advance my skirmishers again as soon as I deemed it practicable. I immediately ordered the detail to advance, when a sharp conflict ensued, resulting in the capture of 1 colonel, 1 major, 3 lieutenants, and 25 enlisted men, besides a number of wounded, all, I believe, members of a Kentucky rebel regiment.

On the next morning at 3 o'clock I received orders to advance my regiment as skirmishers, and, if possible, capture the enemy's works. At 4.20 a. m., my command having been previously deployed, I had the "Forward" sounded. The regiment advanced upon the enemy's outposts, and drove him in upon his main works. We continued the advance, the left of the line being in a dense wilderness, when the enemy opened three guns, which were intrenched and masked by the density of the forest, throwing grape. It also here was discovered that the enemy's line lay diagonally, and my line made a full left half-wheel, and advanced up to within ten paces of his intrenchments; but here we were checked, and so far outnumbered that we were forced to retire to our former line, with a loss of 2 men killed and 8 wounded. We again retired to our former position in reserve. The next morning (the enemy having evacuated our front) I was ordered to follow the One hundred and third Illinois Infantry. At about 12 m. I was ordered to deploy the regiment as skirmishers and advance upon the enemy's outposts, something over a mile distant, where he was strongly fortified behind branches of timber, with hastily constructed earth-works. The line was put in motion and advanced, at first slowly, until it came under a heavy fire, when I pushed it forward on double-quick time, but from the nature of the ground, being in part a dense forest, and cut by ravines very difficult to cross, the advance was necessarily slow until we had crossed the last ravine and branch. When our line was perfected I again ordered a charge, and our men advanced upon the enemy's works, delivering to them a very severe fire and capturing about 20 prisoners. Then, finding that our line did not fully conform to the enemy's main lines, I swung around our right and advanced to within 150 yards of their main lines, but did not deem it prudent to remain there, as we were without protection from the main lines of the enemy, with a large space open upon our left. I then ordered the command to fall back to the position afterward occupied by the division, and moved part of the regiment by the left flank to protect the left of the line. The gallant One hundred and third Illinois Infantry, having been deployed in rear of our center, advanced in this position until we came under the fire of the enemy in the immediate front of their works, when they advanced with us very gallantly. The odds against us were two to one. At about dark we were relieved from the line by the Twenty-sixth Illinois Infantry. Loss sustained during this engagement was 1 lieutenant killed, 1 lieutenant and 2 men wounded. On the 3d we lay in reserve, and on the 4th we were ordered upon the front line. This day Capt. Ramsey was killed, and the campaign virtually closed.

I am unable to report the number of the enemy the command has placed hors de combat from killed and wounded. We have captured prisoners from the enemy, unwounded, 433. Am unable to give the number of wounded captured: however, it was not inconsiderable.

I, in conclusion, make the following summary of our casualties during the campaign: Commissioned officers-killed, 7; wounded, 4. Enlisted men-killed outright, 30; since died of wounds, 7; wounded, yet alive, 121. Total killed and wounded, 169. Prisoners captured from us, 1; total, 170.

I have the honor, captain, to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

ISAAC N. ALEXANDER, Lieut.-Col., Cmdg. Regt.

Following the Atlanta Campaign, the 46th entered camp for a few weeks at East Point, Georgia, before joining the Union’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 marched through northern Georgia and briefly entered Alabama, before returning to the vicinity of Atlanta.

On November 15, 1864, the 46th Ohio joined General Sherman's "March to the Sea." The ultimate goal of this campaign was for the Union military to seize Savannah, Georgia. The regiment and its brigade engaged Confederate cavalry near Griswoldsville. The Northerners withstood several Southern assaults, before the Confederates withdrew. After the engagement at Grsiwoldsville, the 46th's commanding officer issued the following report:

HDQRS. FORTY-SIXTH OHIO VETERAN VOL. INFANTRY, Near Gordon, Ga., November 25, 1864.

CAPT.: I have the honor to report the following as the operations of this regiment in the engagement near Griswoldville on the 22d instant:

The regiment marched from its encampment, being in column next in front of the rear regiment. Proceeded without any occurrence worthy of note until the brigade arrived at a point near where the general engagement occurred, when I was ordered to move the regiment down a road leading to the left. Having advanced a short distance skirmishers were thrown to the front, which had not proceeded more than forty paces in advance of the regiment in column, when they encountered a strong line of rebel cavalry. The skirmishers engaged them, when the cavalry charged them fiercely. In the meantime the regiment was put in line, and to the end that our skirmishers might rejoin the regiment in safety they were allowed to come within thirty yards before orders were given to fire; they were easily repulsed. They left upon the field a number of horses which had been killed and disabled and one prisoner. We then received orders from the general commanding brigade to retire to a position to the rear and one the extreme left of a new line, with the left wing deployed, extending to a swamp, in charge of Maj. Upton. Shortly after the engagement had commenced, the enemy not appearing in our front, I was ordered to move the regiment to the extreme right, where the enemy was then pressing very closely, and to extend well to the right, which I did under heavy fire, deploying out so as to cover a space equal to about three times my own proper front. In this position, which was hastily fortified, we repulsed the enemy in three or four assaults which he attempted, and remained in it until withdrawn by the brigade commander. There lay in this front about 40 of the enemy's dead and a large number of wounded.

We had engaged 186 men and 13 officers. Our casualties were 5 men wounded.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

I. N. ALEXANDER, Lieut. Col. Forty-sixth Ohio Vet. Vol. Infantry, Cmdg. Regt.

Capt. O. J. FAST, Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., Second Brigade.

Upon reaching Savannah, the 46th joined the Union siege of the city's Confederate garrison. The Northern military occupied Savannah on December 21, 1864, with the regiment entering camp in the city. After the "March to the Sea," the 46th's commanding officer issued the following report:

HDQRS. FORTY-SIXTH OHIO VETERAN VOL. INFANTRY, Savannah, Ga., December 24, 1864.

CAPT.: In compliance with orders just received from your office, I beg leave to submit the following report of the operations of this regiment on the late campaign through Georgia:

We started with the brigade from our camp, two miles east of Atlanta, November 15, 1864, on the road toward McDonough; passed through McDonough the 17th, and Indian Springs November 18; crossed the Ocmulgee River November 19; passed through Hillsborough the 20th, and Clinton the 21st, and encamped the night of the 21st on the Central Georgia Railroad, about twelve miles from Macon, without any occurrence worthy of note. The next day (November 22) the regiment was sent with the brigade on a reconnaissance toward Mason; met the enemy's cavalry in the forenoon, and were attacked in the afternoon by a heavy force of infantry at Duncan's farm, near Griswoldville, at which time and place occurred the battle of that name, in which the regiment participated. For details of the part which the regiment took in the battle, I would beg leave to refer your to a report forwarded immediately after by the late Lieut. Col. I. N. Alexander, then commanding the regiment.* The casualties of the regiment during the day were six men wounded. The day succeeding the fight we resumed our march toward Savannah, and passed unmolested through Irwinton November 24, Riddleville November 27, and Summerville November 30. At Wright's Bridge, on the Ogeechee River, December 7, the regiment was ordered at 2 p.m. to cross the river with the One hundredth Indiana Infantry, and relieve part of the Third Brigade, which was sent on a reconnaissance. At 12 in the night we were ordered to withdraw, destroy the bridge, and rejoin the brigade. Nothing of importance occurred until we again encountered the enemy eight miles from Savannah, at Anderson's farm, December 11, 1864. Here we remained until the 21st performing our regular tours of duty in the front of works, where, while lying in support of the Twelfth Wisconsin Battery, December 14, we had one man wounded, the only one with the exception of those at Griswoldville, wounded in the campaign. December 21, we proceeded with the brigade to within one mile and a half of the city (our present encampment), where we have remained ever since.

Before closing this report I would respectfully call your attention to the good conduct of both officers and men, each and all trying to surpass his comrade in soldierly bearing and cheerfulness.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

EDWARD N. UPTON, Maj. Forty-sixth Ohio Veteran Vol. Infantry, Cmdg. Regt.

[Capt. O. J. FAST.]

In late January 1865, the 46th Ohio embarked upon General Sherman’s Carolinas Campaign. The regiment engaged in only light skirmishing on this campaign, until reaching Bentonville, North Carolina. At the Battle of Bentonville (March 19 to 21, 1865), the 46th attacked a portion of the Confederate line and seized the enemy entrenchments. Following this Union victory, the regiment moved to Goldsboro, North Carolina, before advancing to and entering camp at Raleigh, North Carolina. During the Carolinas Campaign, the 46th’s commanding officer issued the following report:

HDQRS. FORTY-SIXTH OHIO VET. VOL. INFANTRY, Goldsborough, N. C., March 25, 1865.

CAPT.: In accordance with instructions received from your headquarters, I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by my command in the past campaign:

Friday, January 27, we broke camp at Beaufort, S. C., and took our position in the brigade line and marched to Garden's Corners, where the brigade halted until the morning of the 30th. From that date until February 14 we marched each day with the brigade, not anything worthy of note occurring.

Wednesday, February 15, after the brigade had marched two miles from where it camped the night before, skirmishing commenced, and the enemy was pushed back to his works on Congaree Creek. Here a line of battle was formed and the colonel commanding the brigade ordered me to take my command and move out to the right of the skirmish line and protect that flank. I immediately faced the regiment to the right and moved over to the left bank of the creek, then filed left, and moved up to the line, using the bank of the creek so as not to be observed by the enemy. On reaching the point designated by Col. Catterson I halted and went into line, throwing three companies, commanded by Capt. John B. Foster, forward as skirmishers. I awaited orders until about 2 o'clock, when, I discovered that the enemy was trying to fall back across the creek, when I ordered three more companies forward, under command of Capt. John B. Neil, with orders to push rapidly forward and save the road bridge that was already partially on fire. He started immediately on the double-quick for the bridge, his men firing as they went, which confused the enemy's movements so much that he did not fire his artillery until after the men had reached the brigade and a few had run on to it. He then opened his artillery, firing canister at the bridge. I now ordered the three companies under Capt. Foster to move farther up the creek. After some slight firing I saw that the enemy was retiring from his line of works and immediately pushed these there companies across the creek on a foot log, and entered the enemy's works, he still being in gunshot range but retiring slowly. Only a few shots were exchanged after crossing the creek. I was now ordered to assemble the regiment on the road and take my proper place in the brigade. Soon after we formed a line of battle and moved forward (the enemy still retiring) and bivouacked for the night. After dark 100 men were sent out on picket, under command of Lieut.'s Wright and Schock. At an early hour the next morning they pushed their line forward and found that the enemy had left another line of intrenchments, crossed Congaree River, and burned the bridge after him. When the regiment moved forward they joined it with their men.

From February 16 until the morning of March 20 was the usual marching with the brigade. On that morning a short time after leaving camp the advance commenced skirmishing. About 10 a. m. the colonel commanding ordered me to deploy the regiment as skirmishers with the center on the road, to move forward and relieve the Sixth Iowa Infantry, who were then on the skirmish line and out of ammunition. On arriving on their lines I found that the enemy was posted across the road behind high and heavy rail-works. This position was where the Smithfield road enters the Goldsborough and Fayetteville road, about three miles southeast of Bentonville. Believing that it could be carried by a rapid and spirited assault, I gave the command, "double-quick," and the men took the step bravely and with cheers, reserving their fire until they reached the works from which the enemy were flying in disorder and confusion. From the amount of shots numbered between 400 and 500 infantry and cavalry, outnumbering my command two to one. I found two of his dead, left on the field. If he had any wounded they succeeded in getting away. There were seven or eight dead horses and mules just behind the works. My loss was 4 killed and 7 wounded. The enemy having retired on the Smithfield road, I charged direction to the right and followed him until I found he had a position on hill, with a small creek and swamp between us. Here I halted and skirmished with him until dark, when we were relieved by the One hundred and third Illinois Infantry.

While in this position Lieut. John Ackerman succeeded in crawling out to the front about 100 yards, where he found a man belonging to the Thirty-third Ohio Infantry, Fourteenth Army Corps, who had been shot the day before through both legs, and carried him into our lines on his back. I mention this because it was a brave and humane act on the part of Lieut. Ackerman.

About noon on the following day the brigade was moved forward and we threw up a line of strong earth-works. The next morning, the enemy having evacuated, we moved forward to Bentonville with the brigade, returning to our line of works the following morning at 4 o'clock. On the evening of the 24th we reached our present position.

Before concluding this report I cannot refrain from mentioning the exemplary conduct of both officers and men while on the campaign under trying circumstances, viz: night marching, bad roads and rainy weather. Each and all performed the duties assigned them with cheerfulness and alacrity. There is no need of making particular mention of any individual act; all have done bravely and nobly.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

EDWARD N. UPTON, Lieut. Col. Forty-sixth Ohio Vet. Infty., Cmdg. Regt.

Following the surrender of General Joseph Johnston's Confederate army in late April 1865, the 46th marched to Washington, DC, where the organization participated in the Grand Review on May 24, 1865. The regiment proceeded to Louisville, Kentucky, taking the Baltimore and Ohio railroad to Parkersburg, West Virginia and then boarding a steamer and sailing down the Ohio River the remainder of the way. Officials mustered the command out of service at Louisville on July 22, 1865. The regiment's members next traveled to Ohio, where officials discharged the men from service and allowed the now ex-soldiers to return to their homes.

During the 46th Ohio's term of service, 134 men, including ten officers, died from wounds received on the battlefield. An additional 156 men, including seven officers, died from disease or accidents.

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"46th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry," Ohio Civil War Central, 2019, Ohio Civil War Central. 18 Sep 2019 <http://www.ohiocivilwarcentral.com/entry.php?rec=1236>

APA Style

"46th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry." (2019) In Ohio Civil War Central, Retrieved September 18, 2019, from Ohio Civil War Central: http://www.ohiocivilwarcentral.com/entry.php?rec=1236

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Ohio Civil War Central: An Encyclopedia of the American Civil War