In the American Civil War, Ohio provided the federal government with 260 regiments of men, including infantry, artillery, and cavalry units. Ohioans also served in several other regiments from other states, most notably from Kentucky, West Virginia, and Massachusetts, as well as in federal units.
In the American Civil War, Ohio provided the federal government with 260 regiments of men, including infantry, artillery, and cavalry units. Ohioans also served in several other regiments from other states, most notably from Kentucky, West Virginia, and Massachusetts, as well as in federal units. Almost 330,000 Ohio men, including 5,092 African Americans, served in the Union military during the conflict.
Infantry regiments formed in Ohio became known as regiments of Ohio Volunteer Infantry. They served for varying lengths of time, averaging one hundred days to three years. In 1864, the governors of several Northern states convinced federal authorities to call up state militia forces for regular military duty. The governors believed that these militiamen would free regular soldiers currently serving in forts or guarding other important sites in Northern states for duty with the Union's invading armies in the Confederacy. Hopefully this surge of men, known as Hundred Days' Men, would allow the North to defeat the South in one hundred days or less while keeping Northern states safe from Confederate attack and anti-war unrest.
On May 19, 1864, the 168th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry mustered into service at Camp Dennison, near Cincinnati, Ohio. Most enlistees came from the following militia units: the 66th Battalion Ohio National Guard from Highland County, the 67th Battalion Ohio National Guard from Fayette County, and one company of militiamen from Clark County. The men in the regiment were to serve one hundred days.
On June 9, 1864, authorities dispatched the 168th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry to Covington, Kentucky. Upon arriving in Covington, officials placed the regiment on guard duty along the Covington and Lexington Railroad. Three hundred men occupied Cynthiana, Kentucky on June 10, 1864. On June 11, 1864, a force of Confederate cavalry attacked these men. The Northern soldiers fought bravely, but Southern forces overwhelmed them, forcing the Union troopers to surrender. In the fighting, Confederate soldiers killed eight Northerners, wounded seventeen more, including Colonel Conrad Garis, and captured approximately 280 men. The Confederates quickly paroled the Northerners. Some of these former prisoners returned home, returned to Cincinnati, Ohio, reporting for duty at Camp Dennison, or rejoined the rest of the 168th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry along the Covington and Lexington Railroad.
The portion of the 168th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry not engaged and captured on June 11, 1864 remained in Kentucky until July 10, 1864. In various skirmishes with Confederate forces, the 168th captured twenty-six Southerners, seventy-five guns, and one hundred horses. On July 11, 1864, these members of the 168th Regiment returned to Camp Dennison, where officials reorganized the regiment, reincorporating the parolees from the June 11, 1864 engagement. Authorities then assigned the 168th to garrison duty in Cincinnati. On September 6, 1864, the regiment returned to Camp Dennison, where officials mustered it out of service on September 8, 1864.
During its time of service, the 168th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry had eleven soldiers killed on the battlefield, and an additional eleven soldiers die from disease or accidents.
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"168th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry," Ohio Civil War Central, 2022, Ohio Civil War Central. 19 Aug 2022 <http://www.ohiocivilwarcentral.com/entry.php?rec=291>
"168th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry." (2022) In Ohio Civil War Central, Retrieved August 19, 2022, from Ohio Civil War Central: http://www.ohiocivilwarcentral.com/entry.php?rec=291