9th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Cavalry (Three Years Service) (1862-1865)

Also Known As: Ninth Regiment Ohio Volunteer Cavalry (Three Years Service)

Updated: March 08, 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.

Cavalry regiments formed in Ohio became known as regiments of Ohio Volunteer Cavalry. Soldiers of Ohio cavalry 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 9th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Ohio Governor David Tod ordered Captain W.D. Hamilton of the 32nd Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry to utilize fifty men that he had recruited for the infantry regiment as the basis for the 9th Cavalry, after Confederate General Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson’s army captured the rest of the 32nd at Winchester, Virginia on September 15, 1862. Additional recruits joined the 9th at Zanesville, Ohio, eventually forming seven companies. Officials dispatched three of these companies to Cleveland, Ohio, where they joined the 10th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Cavalry. The remaining four companies became the 1st Battalion of the 9th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Cavalry. The regiment did not reach full strength (ten companies) until December 16, 1863.

During the autumn of 1862, the 1st Battalion departed Zanesville for Camp Dennison, near Cincinnati, Ohio. At this location, the organization engaged in drill. On April 23, 1863, the battalion advanced to Lexington, Kentucky. A short time later, the 9th moved into Clay County, Kentucky, driving enemy soldiers from the region, before establishing camp at Manchester, Kentucky. The battalion conducted numerous expeditions against enemy forces in the surrounding countryside, skirmishing regularly.

On June 15, 1863, the 9th joined an advance towards Knoxville, Tennessee, with the ultimate goal of the mission being the destruction of numerous factories in this city’s vicinity. Two thousand Union cavalrymen rode through Williamsburg, capturing an entire Confederate force, without firing a shot, at Pine Mountain Gap on June 16. On the following morning, the Northerners drove enemy soldiers into their defenses at Big Creek Gap. The Southerners evacuated their position, allowing the Union force to move unopposed to Knoxville.

Following the expedition to Knoxville, the 9th entered camp at London, Kentucky. On July 5, 1863, the regiment advanced to Stanford, Kentucky, arriving the next afternoon. ┬áThe organization spent the remainder of the month seeking Confederate General John Hunt Morgan’s cavalry, which had advanced into Kentucky, as well as enemy infantry forces operating in the vicinity of the Cumberland Gap, Kentucky. The 9th first moved in pursuit of Morgan’s command to Danville, Kentucky but failed to intercept the Southern force. The regiment then moved against the Confederate infantry, arriving at Wild Cat, Kentucky. The Northerners again missed the enemy and retired to Camp Dick Robinson in Kentucky. A hastily-assembled Union force, including the 9th proceeded to chase the Confederate infantry, skirmishing with the Southerners for ten straight days. After this expedition, the Ohio regiment returned to camp at Stanford.

On August 1, 1863, the 9th moved to Glasgow, Kentucky, where the organization joined a cavalry brigade that was to advance into eastern Tennessee. The brigade departed Glasgow on August 17, 1863, crossing the Cumberland River that day. The advance culminated in the Union’s occupation of Knoxville, with officials assigning the 9th to guard duty in the city’s outskirts.

During this same time period, officials in Ohio completed the recruitment of the final six companies necessary to fill the ranks of the 9th Regiment. These companies formed at Camp Dennison and, on February 6, 1864, boarded steamers for Nashville, Tennessee. The companies disembarked at Louisville, Kentucky and proceeded overland to Nashville. Upon reaching Tennessee’s capital, the Ohioans rode to Athens, Alabama, where the men performed guard duty along the Tennessee River. The battalion at Knoxville joined the rest of the regiment at Athens in March 1864.

During early April 1864, officials ordered the 9th’s Company G to advance to Florence, Alabama, to search for Confederate soldiers and supplies. On the night of April 13, 1864, a regiment of Alabama infantry surrounded the company, capturing two officers and thirty-nine enlisted men. Three additional companies from the 9th rushed to the scene, arriving the next day and failing to rescue the captured soldiers. The Confederates took the prisoners to Andersonville Prison. Within eight months, twenty-five of the prisoners had perished at Andersonville.

Officials soon dispatched another battalion from the 9th Ohio to Florence, where the organization guarded the Tennessee River, skirmishing frequently with enemy troops. On May 5, 1864, the entire regiment reunited at Decatur, Alabama. The regiment spent the next three weeks skirmishing with enemy forces advancing on the town. On June 1, 1864, the 9th rode to Pulaski, Tennessee, where the organization assisted the 17th Regiment Illinois Infantry, which Confederate forces had driven from Florence. The two Northern regiments regained Florence for the Union, and the 9th then returned to Decatur.

On July 10, 1864, the 9th‘s seven hundred members joined 1,800 other Union cavalrymen on a raid against the Atlanta and West Point Railroad. On July 13, the Northern force crossed the Coosa River, driving enemy soldiers from the south bank. Four days later, the Union cavalrymen arrived at Sochapolka, Alabma, on the Atlanta and West Point Railroad, thirty miles east of Montgomery, Alabama. The Northerners spent the next several days destroying miles of track and also skirmishing with enemy forces that hoped to prevent the destruction.

On July 22, 1864, the 9th returned to Union lines near Marietta, Georgia, where the organization joined a raid on the right and also the rear of Atlanta, Georgia, which Union General William T. Sherman had been attempting to capture since early March 1864. The 9th advanced as far as the Chattahoochie River but, did not proceed any farther on the raid due to exhausted horses. The Ohioans spent the remainder of the expedition guarding pontoon bridges across the river. Following this advance, the regiment returned to Union lines, with the 9th serving on the Northern right for the rest of the advance on Atlanta. Union forces occupied Atlanta on September 2, 1864, bringing the campaign to a victorious conclusion for the North.

After the Atlanta Campaign, officials ordered one of the 9th‘s battalions to Nashville to secure horses. This battalion had ended the campaign fighting dismounted, including engaging the enemy at the Battle of Jonesborough. On the trip to Nashville, enemy soldiers attacked the train carrying the Ohioans, destroying six cars. The Union soldiers succeeded, however, in driving off the enemy. The battalion had three men killed and eight more wounded in this engagement. Upon reaching Nashville, the Ohioans found no horses available for service. The men continued on their journey to Louisville, where they secured horses, and then returned to Nashville. At Tennessee’s capital, the battalion joined a ten-day advance against Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest’s cavalry, operating in the vicinity of Nashville. The Northerners drove the enemy cavalrymen out of Tennessee, past Florence, Alabama. The Ohioans then rejoined the rest of the 9th at McDowell, Georgia, except for approximately150 men who remained at Nashville.

In mid-November 1864, the 9th embarked upon General William T. Sherman’s “March to the Sea.” The ultimate goal of this campaign was the Union’s capture of Savannah, Georgia. The regiment principally protected the flanks of the advancing infantry columns during this campaign, skirmishing with enemy forces from November 20 to December 4, 1864, when the organization participated in the Battle of Waynesboro, Georgia. In this engagement, the 9th participated in the second assault against the Confederate position, driving the Southerners from the field. The regiment continued towards Savannah, driving the enemy into the city’s defenses, before riding to the southeast and destroying a portion of the Savannah and Gulf Railroad as far as the Alatamaha River. On December 21, 1864, Union forces occupied Savannah, and the 9th entered camp within the city’s confines. The 9th’s commanding officer issued the following report regarding this campaign:

KING'S BRIDGE, GA., December 23, 1864.

COL.: In compliance with your order, I have the honor to submit the following report of the participation of the Ninth Ohio Volunteer Cavalry in the events which transpired during the recent advance of the army, under Maj.-Gen. Sherman, through Georgia, ending in the fall of Savannah:

On the 9th day of November, while stationed at Tunnel Hill, Ga., with part of my regiment, I received a telegram from Brig.-Gen. Kilpatrick that my command had been assigned to his cavalry division, which was being organized at Marietta, Ga.; that a portion of my regiment, consisting of 300 men, under command of Maj. Bowlus, was already with him, and ordering me to report at that point at once with all the effective men of my command. I was at the time illy prepared to comply with the order, as I had been informed by Maj.-Gen. Wilson, chief of cavalry, that my regiment had been ordered to report to him at Nashville, and to make my arrangements accordingly. Part of my men were, consequently, lying at Chattanooga, partly dismounted and imperfectly, clothed. After clothing them, I shipped the dismounted men, by Gen. Kilpatrick's order, to Marietta; brought up the mounted men to Tunnel Hill, and on the 12th of November started from there with 350 mounted men for Marietta, leaving sixty dismounted men under Lieut. Cochran, for whom no transportation could be procured. Upon reaching Calhoun I found the railroad destroyed and communication with the front cut off. We pushed forward, however, and when five miles south of that place were fired into by a party of the enemy, seriously wounding one man. Upon arriving at the Etowah River I found the bridge had been destroyed by the rear of our troops who had crossed twenty-four hours previously. I, however, cleared out an old ford which had been blockaded, and effect a crossing with my men and wagons and pressed forward until I overtook the rear of the army on the banks of the Chattahoochee, having traveled the last eighty miles in thirty-six hours. I overtook and reported to Gen. Kilpatrick a few miles beyond Lovejoy's Station, November 17, and joined that portion of the regiment under Maj. Bowlus, in the Second Brigade, Col. Atkins commanding. We proceeded south without opposition until arriving before Macon. In the demonstration upon that place I sent one battalion, under command of Maj. Bowlus, to burn the railroad bridge across the Ocmulgee River, and to tear up the road. The bridge was found, however, to be strongly defended by the enemy's artillery, which opened a heavy fire, thus preventing the destruction of the bridge. Maj. Bowlus, however, destroyed the road until within about 100 yards of the bridge. I, with the balance of the regiment, occupied our left flank, destroying the railroad, until ordered to withdraw and go into camp. In this affair the regiment met with no loss.

From Macon our march was harassed by the enemy's cavalry, under Gen. Wheeler, with whom we had occasional skirmishing, and on November 28 Gen. Kilpatrick made a stand, building a strong line of breast-works at a place known as the White House, and awaited the approach of the enemy. Here my command was posted, one battalion (mounted) as a reserve under Maj. Bowlus, and two battalions (dismounted) in the center, supporting the artillery. The enemy charged in column along the road on our front and left, and in line in our front and right, but were repulsed twice by our line of skirmishers, thrown out 400 yards in our advance, commanded by Sergeant (now Lieut.) Briner. I beg leave to say that this line behaved admirably, standing firmly in an open held and holding the enemy in check after the line on the right and left had been withdrawn, firmly falling back as the enemy advanced, who, when within 150 yards of our works, were met by a heavy fire from our main force, which drove them in disorder from the field, leaving a number of killed and wounded in front of my command. Our loss was three wounded. My command next encountered the enemy on the morning of December 4, before Waynesborough. Our brigade being in the advance, I was ordered to deploy my regiment on three lines on the left flank. We move forward in this form for more than a mile, driving the enemy before, when, by order of Gen. Kilpatrick, I sent forward the First Battalion, under Maj. Bowlus, to charge the enemy drawn up in line of battle in a field upon our extreme left. This Maj. Bowlus did in a most gallant manner, driving them from their position through a swamp into the woods toward Waynesborough. In the meanwhile the enemy had formed his line across the railroad upon a stream near the town, and prepared to make a vigorous resistance to our advance. Here I was directed by you to charge his right. I at once formed the two battalions into one line, giving Lieut.-Col. Stough command of the left, with directions to prevent a counter movement on their part on their extreme right, which the presence of a thicket could enable them to do under cover, and with the right I charged upon their front, driving them through a swamp and across the stream, killing and wounding quite a number, most of whom they were compelled to leave upon the field. They also lost quite a number of horses in their flight. Lieut.-Col. Stough brought up the left and gallantly assisted in driving the enemy. We crossed the stream and were forming for a second charge when I received orders to return and give place to the First Brigade, which had come up to relieve us. In this engagement I lost four wounded.

Our next encounter with the enemy was on the 7th of December, while the column was crossing through a swamp near Ebenezer Creek. The enemy, who had not made his appearance since the engagement at Waynesborough, came upon our rear, consisting of the Ninth Michigan Cavalry. While the rear of the column was waiting for the advance to cross, I, being next in advance of the Ninth Michigan Cavalry, took two companies, A and B of my regiment, and went back to assist Col. Acker, Ninth Michigan Cavalry, taking a position and deploying upon his extreme left in front of a road running off from the main road in that direction. The ground was covered with thick underbrush, which prevented us from seeing the movements of the enemy. After remaining here a few minutes we discovered a strong force moving immediately in our front, who from their uniform I supposed to be Col. Acker's men. The enemy, however, evidently aware of the road above mentioned, had made a flank movement under cover of the thicket, and were approaching with a view of cutting off the rear guard. Discovering their true character I opened a heavy fire upon them, checking them for an instant, but, gathering, they rushed forward, part of their extended line gaining the road in our rear a point touched by the extreme of a swamp, and would thus have cut us off had they not been held back by the fire of another company which I had fortunately left to guard that point, thereby enabling us to get round and form in the open ground between the swamps and main road upon which our column was moving. The enemy seemed determined to produce confusion in our column, pressed forward vigorously in heavy force, to check which I found it necessary to send for company after company until two battalions were deployed in different lines, holding him back until Col. Acker brought up his regiment and passed all but the rear guard across the swamp. I, in the meantime, had by Third Battalion and part of his command formed on foot in front of the swamp, thus holding back the enemy until the entire mounted force had effected a crossing. In this affair our timely assistance and support, I am assured, saved the rear guard of our column on that occasion. Our loss was, wounded, 2; missing, 2.

Next day, December 8, my regiment being rear guard, was attacked by the enemy about noon, but held him in check until our column was massed in rear of the Fourteenth Corps, at Ebenezer Bridge, at which point he was held in check by our cavalry and infantry combined until the road was cleared and our whole force passed safely over and the bridge destroyed. My loss on this day one missing.

Company G during the march was on detached service with the Tenth Wisconsin Battery.

No casualties at Alabama bridge.

Casualties during the campaign, wounded, 10; missing, 3.

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

W. D. HAMILTON, Col. Ninth Ohio Volunteer Cavalry.

[Col. SMITH D. ATKINS.]

ADDENDA.

HEADQUARTERS NINTH OHIO CAVALRY VOLUNTEERS, Near Savannah, Ga., December 28, 1864.

SIR: I have the honor to furnish the following report of casualties and deaths in this regiment, occurring between the time of leaving Tunnel Hill, Ga., and reaching Savannah, Ga.

W. McMILLAN, Assistant Surgeon, Ninth Ohio Cavalry.

Col. W. D. HAMILTON, Ninth Ohio Volunteer Cavalry.

While the bulk of the 9th advanced on Savannah, the 150 men remaining at Nashville engaged General John Bell Hood’s Confederate forces at the Battle of Franklin (November 30, 1864) and at the Battle of Nashville (December 15-16, 1864). Following the Union’s successful Atlanta Campaign, Hood launched an invasion of northern Georgia, northern Alabama, and central Tennessee in the direction of Nashville. After the Union victory at the Battle of Nashville, the Southerners withdrew from Tennessee and the men of the 9th rejoined the rest of their regiment at Savannah.

In late January 1865, the entire 9th embarked upon Sherman’s Carolinas Campaign. The regiment skirmished repeatedly with enemy forces throughout the campaign, including near Barnwell, South Carolina (February 6, 1865), Aiken, South Carolina (February 9, 1865), along the South Carolina-North Carolina border (March 10, 1865), and at Averysboro, North Carolina (March 15, 1865). From March 19 to 21, 1865, the 9th participated in the Battle of Bentonville, North Carolina, with the cavalrymen principally serving on the Union left in this engagement. After this Northern victory, the regiment proceeded to Goldsboro, North Carolina, remaining at this location until April 10, 1865, when the organization joined an advance upon Raleigh, North Carolina. The Northerners captured this location on April 14, 1865, after a relatively small engagement. Four days later, the 9th and other Union cavalry units engaged a portion of Confederate General Joseph Wheeler’s cavalry at Chapel Hill, North Carolina, driving the Southerners from the community. The Carolinas Campaign culminated in the surrender of Confederate General Joseph Johnston’s army in late April 1865, essentially bringing the Civil War to a victorious end for the North. The 9th’s commanding officer issued the following report regarding this campaign:

HDQRS. NINTH OHIO VOLUNTEER CAVALRY, Near Mount Olive, N. C., March 30, 1865.

SIR: In compliance with your order I have the honor to submit the following report of my regiment during the recent campaign of the army from Savannah, Ga., to this place:

January 28, we left camp near Savannah and proceeded to Sister's Ferry, a point on the Savannah River, ----miles above the city, where we remained a short time, waiting until the pontoon was laid and the swamp on the other side was made passable.

February 3, we crossed the river; the swamps on the other side were almost impassable, and we were compelled to encamp on the side of the road about midnight and wait until morning before we could get through. After leaving the vicinity of the river we found the roads better and proceeded for some days without obstruction from any cause. February [6], this morning, the Ninth Ohio Volunteer Cavalry being in the advance, we encountered a detachment of the enemy strongly posted upon an elevated and fortified position at the extremity of a swamp near the town of Barnwell, S. C. Companies A and B, being in the advance guard, dismounted and advanced on foot as skirmishers, wading waist-deep in water, and after skirmishing for about two hours, gained the high ground on the enemy's left. In the meantime our artillery had opened upon the works, and the Ninety-second Illinois Mounted Infantry, armed with Spencer rifles, had been ordered up by Gen. Kilpatrick, and the enemy fled, leaving our way unobstructed, except by the partial destruction of the bridges, which we soon repaired, and proceeded into Barnwell, where we encamped for the night. During the night quite a number of buildings were consumed by fire. Next day we struck the Charleston and South Carolina Railroad at Blackville, where we remained for the night, destroying the railroad. From this point we proceeded up the road toward Augusta, destroying it, driving the enemy's cavalry, under Gen. Wheeler, before us until we came to Johnson's Station, five miles east of Aiken. Finding the enemy to have gathered in strong force in our front we threw up strong rail barricades, and next morning Gen. Kilpatrick ordered the Second Brigade to move forward to Aiken, leaving the First and Third Brigades at the barricades. The order of march that morning of the Second Brigade placed the Ninety-second Illinois Mounted Infantry in advance, followed by the section of artillery, Ninth Michigan, Tenth Ohio, and Ninth Ohio Cavalry. We encountered the enemy shortly after starting, who, however, fell back before the skirmishers of the Ninety-second Illinois until they arrived at the edge of the village of Aiken, where they had built barricades and prepared to make a stand. The Ninety-second Illinois was then deployed in line upon the right of the road and engaged the enemy at once, while the Ninth Michigan was formed upon the left. Lieut. Clark's section of artillery was posted in the road some distance in the rear, which I was ordered to support, by forming my regiment on the right along the edge of a wood fronting a corn-field about 300 yards wide, beyond which was another wood, behind which were the enemy's works, and in which the Ninety-second Illinois Mounted Infantry were fighting.

At this time the firing in front became heavy and general, and I received an order from Gen. Atkins to extend my right, as the enemy was making a movement upon our right flank. I accordingly moved my Third Battalion, Capt. Irvine commanding, some distance to the right, moving forward its left flank ready to meet any demonstration from that direction. I also sent forward Company F, to watch the movement of the enemy. In the meantime the enemy, having concentrated a heavy fire upon the center near the road, was driving back Gen. Kilpatrick and part of the forces which had been with him in the front. Some confusion was manifested; some of the boldest of the enemy had followed the general and his escort nearly to the place where our artillery was posted, and when I arrived at the two battalions I left in line they had just turned to the right about and were slowly moving to the rear. I asked of the officer the cause, and he said an order had been given from the left by a staff officer to fall back. Feeling sure, as I did, that there must have been some mistake about the order, as such a movement at that time would endanger our artillery, and also expose a large number of our men of the Ninety-second Illinois and Ninth Michigan Regiments to capture, I ordered the battalion about and charged back upon the enemy, driving them back across the field into the edge of the town, the charge being led against the heaviest force of the enemy by my adjutant, Lieut. A. T. Hamilton, who, at the head of the left flank of the regiment, most gallantly dashed into the town, driving the enemy before him in confusion. The artillery by this time having been withdrawn, I received orders to move back, as the enemy was round our left flank. I accordingly moved back in column of squadron and reformed in an orchard and held the enemy in check on the right of the road, while the Ninth Michigan (I believe it was) did the same upon the left or south of the road. In this way we fell back alternately with the Tenth Ohio Volunteer Cavalry, and protecting the rear until we reached our barricades, where the enemy, after feeling our position, retired.

When within 200 yards, while forming our last line, my adjutant received a shot near the right knee, killing his horse and so injuring him that after lingering until the 6th of March he died, making the third son of the family who has fallen in their country's service. He was regarded by all as one of the most valuable officers in the regiment, noble generous, and brave; he died the highest and truest type of an American soldier, and I would respectfully ask that he receive from the commanding general an honorable mention among the dead who have fallen during tour memorable campaign.

In this engagement the regiment lost 7 men wounded, whose names are given in the surgeon's report herewith attached also 4 captured.

After remaining a day at our works tearing up the railroad the division left the railroad and moved north across the Edisto, covering the left flank of our infantry for several days. Although detachments of the enemy were seen almost daily, yet nothing of importance occurred during our march through South Carolina.

March 6, we crossed the Great Pedee River and entered North Carolina. On the morning of March 9 we found a large force of the enemy, principally cavalry, under Gen. Hampton upon our left. Gen. Kilpatrick with the Third Brigade had gone forward some miles in advance. Our (the Second) brigade while moving forward after dark came upon the enemy going into camp upon a road which crossed the one upon which Gen. Atkins was marching; whereupon Gen. Atkins halted the column and sent out reconnoitering parties to learn their position, strength, &c., which upon ascertaining he countermarched his command some three miles, sending a courier to inform Col. Jordan, commanding First Brigade, which had been left five miles in the rear. In the night march our flankers and those of the enemy came in contact with each other frequently; some skirmishing ensued, but nothing more. After marching about three miles we turned to our left, striking a swamp which, on account of the recent heavy rains we found almost impassable for a man on horseback. Our artillery struck the horses floundering in the mud and water until it was with great difficulty they could be saved from drowning. They were at length disengaged from the carriages, and I dismounted a battalion of regiment who, with some men from the other regiments, dragged the guns and caissons, through by hand, wading waist-deep. This occupied us until morning, after which we felled timber and built a bridge upon which the remainder of the command crossed easily. March 10, about 10 o'clock some stragglers came in from the Third Brigade who, stated that Gen. Kilpatrick with their brigade had been attacked early in the morning, "routed and badly used up." We afterward found that although surprised at first, they had rallied, retaken their camp and baggage, and routed the enemy in return. We met Gen. Kilpatrick about noon, and remained in the vicinity most of the day.

March 11, we moved into Fayetteville, where we remained three days, after which we crossed the Cape Fear River and moved up upon the north side, some fifteen miles, passing part of the Twentieth Army Corps, who had driven the enemy from a slightly fortified position in their front the preceding day. Shortly after passing this point our advance struck the enemy's outposts, driving them back under a brisk and increasing fire until night, when amidst a heavy rain we went into camp, throwing up an extensive line of barricades on our front and flanks. A brigade of infantry came up during the night, and next morning the cavalry moved out and engaged the enemy, who we found in force waiting for our advance. The action between the enemy and our cavalry soon became general and continued until about 10 o'clock when our infantry came up and relieved us. At this time I was ordered by Gen. Kilpatrick to move up the right flank of the infantry to support it and watch the movements of the enemy, both forces enveloped in dense pine woods. We accordingly moved forward under the immediate direction of Gen. Kilpatrick keeping pace with the infantry, although the ground was so soft as to make it impossible for us to move with any degree of celerity. Our scouts reported to Gen. Kilpatrick that there was a road running upon our right flank round to the rear of the enemy's position; at the same time some prisoners just taken reported the enemy falling back. Gen. Kilpatrick accordingly ordered me to move out upon and down that road toward the enemy, but as I was almost destitute of ammunition not to fire upon them. Upon nearing the road I found a rebel force moving in column, evidently with a view of coming in upon our right flank under cover of the underbrush, which was so dense that we did not notice them until within a few yards of their column. As the ground was too soft to charge them, I ordered my men to fire, which was promptly done, and returned by the enemy. My men then fell back some 200 yards to higher ground and reformed, driving back the enemy who had followed us up. Here we remained holding Harrison's brigade of rebel infantry (as we learned from prisoners taken) in check until a brigade of our infantry was sent round to relieve us, about which time the enemy withdrew. In this affair I lost two men killed by the enemy's first fire, besides a number of horses wounded.

During the day the enemy retired, having suffered severely, and we continued our march without much interruption until March 19, when we heard heavy cannonading some distance in our front, and in the evening came up to part of the Fourteenth Army Corps, which we found had been heavily engaged with the enemy, whose forces had combined in their front, near the village of Bentonville, under the rebel Gen. Johnston. There our cavalry were ordered to form in line of battle protecting the rear. As my regiment was destitute of ammunition we were placed in reserve. That part of the Fourteenth Army Corps which had been engaged having been re-enforced by a division of the Twentieth Army Corps, repulsed the different charges made by the enemy that evening and night. Next morning our lines were advanced the enemy falling back about a mile within their works, and the next night they evacuated, leaving us masters of the field. The next day we received a circular from Gen. Kilpatrick informing us that the campaign had closed and that we would go into camp at Mount Olive on the Wilmington and Goldsborough Railroad, where we should receive clothing and rest.

During the campaign on account of the fact that we had to depend almost exclusively upon the country for our supplies, quite a number of men were captured by the enemy who constantly hung around our flanks watching for foraging parties sent out for that purpose, a list of whom is herewith attached.

During the latter part of the campaign my command was rendered to a considerable extent ineffective on account of the lack of ammunition for our carbines (Smith), a large portion of it having been rendered worthless by the rains which fell during the march. I regard the weapon for that reason, and for its liability to get out of repair, as one which should not be used in the service.

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

W. D. HAMILTON. Col. Ninth Ohio Volunteer Cavalry.

Bvt. Brig. Gen. S. D. ATKINS. Cmdg. Second Brig., Cavalry Div., Mil., Div. of the Miss.

The 9th remained in North Carolina, encamped and performing garrison duty at Concord, until late July 1865. At this time, officials ordered the regiment to Camp Chase at Columbus, Ohio, where authorities mustered the organization out of service on August 2, 1865. During the 9th Ohio's term of service, seventeen men, including one officer, died from wounds received on the battlefield. An additional 188 men, including two officers, died from disease or accidents.

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