Sherman's Body-Guard (1862 - 1865)

Updated: July 19, 2011

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.

Sharpshooter units formed in Ohio became known as regiments of Ohio Volunteer Sharpshooters. During the summer and autumn of 1862, the 7th Independent Company Ohio Volunteer Sharpshooters organized at Cleveland, Ohio. The men in the company were to serve for three years. The 7th formally mustered into service on January 27, 1863. The 7th eventually also became known as Sherman's Body-Guard, as the company was assigned to protect Union General William T. Sherman.

In 1863, the 7th was assigned to General William Rosecrans's command. The company participated in the Battles of Chickamauga, Georgia (September 19 and 20, 1863), Lookout Mountain (November 24, 1863), and Missionary Ridge (November 25, 1863).

During Sherman's Atlanta Campaign, which occurred during the late spring and summer of 1864, officials assigned the 7th to be the personal bodyguard of General Sherman. The 7th began this duty on May 20, 1864 and continued to serve in this capacity until the company mustered out of service in July 1865. During the Atlanta Campaign, the company had eight men captured during a foraging expedition to Marietta, Georgia. The 7th also participated in Sherman's March to the Sea of late 1864 and in the Carolinas Campaign during the first four months of 1865. At the war's conclusion, the company marched in the Grand Review at Washington, DC and accompanied Sherman to St. Louis, Missouri.

Upon the 7th's expiration of its term of service, General Sherman issued the following statement:

HEAD-QUARTERS MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, St. Louis, Missouri

July 17, 1865.

The General commanding tenders to the officers and men of the 7th Independent Company of Ohio Sharpshooters his personal thanks for their long and valuable services near his person in the eventful campaigns beginning at Chattanooga, on the 1st of May, 1864, and ending with the war.

He commends them as a fine body of intelligent young volunteers, to whom he attributes his safety in battles, marches, and bivouacks in Georgia and the Carolinas.

He wishes them long life and a proud consciousness of having done their duty with a cheerfulness, precision, and intelligence worthy the great cause in which they were engaged, and he bespeaks for them a kind and generous welcome back to their old homes in Ohio.

W.T. Sherman

Major General

On July 28, 1865, the 7th Independent Company Ohio Volunteer Sharpshooters mustered out of service at Camp Chase, at Columbus, Ohio. During the company's term of service, the 7th had seventeen men die from disease and one man killed on the battlefield.

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"Sherman's Body-Guard," Ohio Civil War Central, 2019, Ohio Civil War Central. 17 Oct 2019 <http://www.ohiocivilwarcentral.com/entry.php?rec=716>

APA Style

"Sherman's Body-Guard." (2019) In Ohio Civil War Central, Retrieved October 17, 2019, from Ohio Civil War Central: http://www.ohiocivilwarcentral.com/entry.php?rec=716

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