95th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry (1862 - 1865)

Also Known As: Ninety-fifth Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry

Updated: October 02, 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.

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. On August 19, 1862, the 95th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry mustered into service at Camp Chase, at Columbus, Ohio. The men in the regiment were to serve three years.

On August 20, 1862, officials dispatched the 95th to Lexington, Kentucky. The regiment then advanced to Richmond, Kentucky with nine thousand other Union soldiers, driving Confederate soldiers from this community. On August 30, 1862, a Confederate army under the command of General Kirby Smith attacked the greatly outnumbered Union soldiers at Richmond. At the Battle of Richmond, the Southerners drove the Northerners from their position, resulting in the capture of 120 members of the 95th. The Union soldiers eventually reformed, but the Confederates again forced the Northerners from the battlefield. At the Battle of Richmond, the 95th had eight men killed, forty-seven wounded, and six hundred soldiers captured.

On November 20, 1862, Confederate officials exchanged the captured soldiers of the 95th. The regiment drilled and reorganized until May 25, 1863, when the organization moved to Memphis, Tennessee. The unit then embarked upon General Ulysses S. Grant’s Vicksburg Campaign. The regiment participated in the Battle of Big Black River Bridge on May 17, 1863 and also stormed the Confederate works at Vicksburg, Mississippi on May 22, 1863. The Northerners then laid siege to this city, which finally ended with a Confederate surrender on July 4, 1863. The 95th’s commanding officer issued the following reports during the Vicksburg Campaign:

JACKSON, MISS., May 15, 1863.

SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the Ninety-fifth Ohio Volunteers in the engagement at this place yesterday:

We reached the field of action with the balance of the brigade, and deployed, by order of Col. Buckland, on the left of the road leading into Jackson. We advanced in line for some distance, and then by the flank to within a mile of the city, at which point my regiment was ordered to make a reconnaissance, under the direction of one of Gen. Sherman's staff. Deploying one company as skirmishers, we advanced to the right of our line until we struck the New Orleans Railroad, and then along that road toward the city, taking possession of a rebel camp and a long line of rifle-pits, both of which we found deserted. Here I formed in line, and planted my colors in full view of the city. Learning from a negro who came to me that the place had been evacuated, with the exception of a small number left to work a battery which was playing at the time on our main column, and ascertaining from him also its position, I moved my regiment rapidly through a street in the suburbs and gained its rear. Deploying once wing as skirmishers, and forming the other in line, I advanced, capturing the battery (nine pieces), 52 prisoners, consisting of 1 captain, 3 first lieutenants, 2 second lieutenants, and 46 non-commissioned officers and privates, and about 40 stand of arms.

A list of the prisoners is herewith forwarded. I am happy to state that I met with no casualties, and cannot speak in too high terms of the bravery, gallantry, and endurance displayed by every officer and man of my regiment.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. L. McMILLEN,

Col., Cmdg.

Lieut. E. A. RAWSON,

A. A. A. G., 1st Brigade, 3d Division, 15th Army Corps.

CAMP NEAR VICKSBURG, MISS., June 20, 1863.

GEN.: I have the honor to submit the following report of operations last night on the picket line in front of your brigade:

I had under my command four companies, two from the Seventy-second Ohio, one from the Ninety-fifth Ohio, and one from the Ninety-third Indiana, in all, about 100 men. I attach hereto a very rough pencil sketch of so much of the ground as was the theater of the principal operations, which may facilitate the understanding of this report, and aid in conveying distinct ideas of what I was ordered to do and what was actually done. Just before night, I was ordered to take possession of the right hill, on the left of the road. And advance the picket line to, or far enough beyond, the brick-pile and loose board shed to cover and protect the fatigue party that was to commence throwing up some works in the vicinity of the brick and boards about 10 or 11 o'clock at night.

From the base of the hill the road going toward the works of the enemy ascends rapidly to the turn to the left, from which point the ascent is more gradual to the level of the brick and boards. The gully on the right-hand side of the road at the turn to the left is quite deep. The distance from the crest of the hill, across to the road and toward the enemy, at the narrowest point near the brick and boards, does not exceed 3 or 4 rods. The face of the hill toward your brigade is abrupt and steep, and very difficult of ascent by men. From the highest points of the hill, beginning just beyond the large green tree and stretching off to our left, the ground descends gradually toward the road. There is growing corn on the top of the hill, in the bottom, and on the sides where it is possible to cultivate the soil. For several nights back our pickets have 'been stationed on the highest points of the hills just back of the brick and boards, and to the right and left. There has also been a strong picket on the road at the turn to the left, with two or more single sentries farther in advance up the road. Until last night no effort was made to prevent the posting of our pickets at these points.

I was ordered to post the pickets at an early hour, and as soon as it became dark enough to be safe, I moved the four companies by the flank to the foot of the hill on the left of the road. I sent Capt. Nuhfer's company (Seventy-second Ohio) to the right, to picket the line in the valley from the old stump to the left of the line of pickets of Gen. Thayer. The company of the Ninety-third Indiana I formed in line between the road and old dead tree, directing the captain to send 10 men, under charge of a lieutenant, to form a picket post at or near the turn in the road, advancing a sentry or two up the road, if practicable, the residue of the company to be held in reserve under charge of the captain. Capt. Stansbury's company (Ninety-fifth Ohio) and Capt. Snyder's company (Seventy-second Ohio) I then moved by the left flank (Stansbury in advance) from the road to the left along the base of the hill, distributing the men in squads of 5 or 6, so as to be properly divided for picket posts when we reached the top of the hill. My left squad was advanced far enough to pass in, advancing near the right of Gen. Lightburn's picket line when posted.

These dispositions being made simultaneously, Stansbury and Snyder and the Ninety-third Indiana pickets commenced advancing, the two former directly up the steep hillside, the latter up the road. As my men began to appear cautiously on hands and knees, and lying down, on or near the crest, the enemy rose up a short distance in front and in considerable force, and suddenly and unexpectedly fired a volley. As few only of my men had gained the top, they discharged their pieces and then slid a short distance down the hill, the whole of the two companies resting secure just under the brow of the hill, to which the enemy   did not advance. At the same time the advancing picket of the Ninety-third Indiana was fired on, near the turn of the road from their left and front, and compelled to fall back on the road to the reserve.

After this firing, I passed along my line to assure myself of the then position of my command. The Ninety-third Indiana advanced its picket up the road, but not so far as the turn in the road. It was surmised that the enemy had fallen back to or beyond the road and brick and boards after delivering their first fire. Capt. Snyder, with 5 or 6 men, was then directed to advance cautiously up the spur to, and if practicable beyond, the large green tree, to reconnoiter and ascertain whether the enemy still occupied the ground just beyond the crest. The captain and two or three of his men reached the tree and crawled a few feet beyond, very nearly to a point from which a view of the ground sloping beyond could be commanded, when a number of the enemy rose up to their left and front, and, advancing rapidly, delivered, as they came, a volley. The captain could only reply with three or four muskets, and, being largely outnumbered, removed his men a few feet down below the brow of the hill, under cover, where they remained. From the nature of the ground near the large green tree, and to the left in the road, it was impracticable for me to bring enough of my small command into action at these points to dislodge the enemy, and I determined to make a demonstration on the next spur on my left, where the ground was more favorable for advancing a number of men, so that they could co-operate in attack or defense.

Up to this point none of the men under my command had been harmed, though I regret to state that Maj. McClure, of Gen. Tuttle's staff, while seconding and aiding the various operations, was wounded. I then collected Capt. Stansbury's company and a portion of Capt. Snyder's on the spur on my left, just under the brow of the hill, in line. The whole line, in loose order, with bayonets fixed, was then advanced, the men moving forward on their hands and knees. My object was to turn the position of the enemy, if possible, and, after receiving their fire, if they confronted us in line, to return it and charge if there was any prospect of success. My men, without opposition, got to, and some on, the crest; but at this point the enemy rose up in line a few feet in front, the slight rise before us and the corn having concealed them before that from view, and in numbers apparently exceeding my force. Each side fired a volley very nearly at the same instant. The fire of the enemy, delivered at such short range--the muzzles of opposing guns in some instances nearly or quite crossing each other--told with terrible effect on my small force. My men were ordered to and did fall back to secure places just under the brow of the hill, after which my attention was turned to the wounded, who were all removed from the field, as it is thought. It was now evident that I did not have sufficient force to take the top of the hill and advance my line to the front as far as ordered. I held Capts. Stansbury's and Snyder's men under the brow of the hill, and at no time did they descend to the foot of the same until ordered so to do.

During these operations officers and men under my command acted with great coolness, courage, and bravery, and they have my thanks for the hearty manner in which they carried out my orders. A very few panic-stricken stragglers, perhaps, passed to the rear, where they put' in circulation, it may be, such exaggerated reports as only this class can during an encounter between hostile forces.

During these operations I kept upon the road a guard taken from the Indiana, company a short distance from the base of the hill, and the commanding officer of the reserve was always advised of my whereabouts and contemplated movements.

About 3 o'clock the bulk of my command was called back, only a very few men remaining under the brow of the hill, because they did not--by reason of being misled by the messenger--receive the order to fall back, when the artillery threw a few shells at the enemy.

The list of casualties is, as far as I can now ascertain or state, as follows: Eight wounded, 2 badly, and 1 missing (it is feared killed) in Capt. Stansbury's company; 2 wounded, 1 severely, in Capt. Syndic's company. From cries as of wounded men on the side of the enemy, it is supposed that they also suffered, but how much it is impossible to guess.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. BRUMBACK,

Lieut.-Col. and Officer of the Day, June 19.

Brig. Gen. R. P. BUCKLAND.

The 95th then advanced to Jackson, Mississippi, participating in a brief siege of this city before returning to Memphis, destroying railroad track along the march. During the autumn of 1863, the regiment marched with General William T. Sherman to the relief of Union forces at Chattanooga, Tennessee. Confederate soldiers had been besieging Chattanooga since late September 1863. On November 25, 1863, the 95th participated in the Battle of Missionary Ridge. This Northern victory effectually ended the Confederate siege.

Following the Siege of Chattanooga, the 95th returned to Memphis and entered winter encampment. In early June 1864, the regiment departed Memphis to conduct a raid on Tupelo, Mississippi. The primary goal of the expedition was to destroy portions of the Mobile and Ohio Railroad. Confederate soldiers harassed the Northerners along the entire march. On June 10, 1864, the Union soldiers reached Guntown. A Confederate force attacked the Northerners at this location, resulting in the Battle of Guntown. The Southerners routed the Union soldiers. The 95th had approximately fifty percent of the unit’s available three hundred men killed, wounded, or captured. The survivors retreated to Memphis. After this engagement, the 95th’s commanding officer issued the following report:

HDQRS. NINETY-FIFTH REGT. OHIO INFTY. VOLS., Camp near Memphis, Tenn., June 18, 1864.

SIR: I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by this regiment in the action at Brice's Cross-Roads, near Guntown, Miss, June 10, 1864, and in the retreat thence to Memphis, Tenn.: On that day the brigade to which the regiment was attached was led by my regiment, the brigade being the second in the column of infantry on the march. The day was very hot, and my men were moved to the field part of t time on double-quick, so that they went into action very much fatigued. The regiment was posted on the left of our advance line, with a dense growth of small trees and underbrush in front and rear and on my left, my right resting on the Baldwyn road, so called. I covered my front and left, after getting into position, with two companies deployed s skirmishers. After the enemy had attacked and forced back the right and center of our lines they advanced in heavy force against my position. My skirmish line was engaged and driven in with loss, Capts. Wells Allis and R. M. Hanson, who commanded it, being very severely wounded (perhaps mortally), and the former left on the field. The regiment on my right having given way the enemy flanked me on that side and also on my left. I, therefore, retired my line in as good order as possible forty or fifty yards and made another stand, holding the position until again flanked and compelled to retire. This time my men fell back perhaps seventy-five yards, still in the timber and brush, when they again withstood the enemy until my right was again turned. I then drew off my men to and across the Guntown road, on which we had advanced, to the cross-roads, and rallied them behind a rail fence fifty or seventy-five yards distant from the road. This position I was ordered to hold as long as possible, and did so, until our forces, including artillery, which had been on my right and not previously left the field, drew off in my rear, and until the enemy again turned my right flank, when my men had to retreat across the bottom through bayous and a creek in order to regain the main road. The retreat having by this time become general, it was very difficult to assemble my men. A number were, however, collected on the roadside some distance from the field, and, pursuant to orders from Col. McMillen, halted until Col. McMillen, commanding the brigade, came up with the remaining organized force of the Ninth Minnesota and One hundred and fourteenth Illinois, with which regiments I kept the rear until we reached Ripley next morning, having been delayed between two and three hours at a swamp across which it was found impossible to pass the artillery and few wagons and ambulances that had preceded us on the retreat. At the time I arrived in Ripley the enemy attacked that place vigorously and successfully, so that I could not effect a junction with the portion of my regiment which had preceded me to that point, and which I understand since had been assembled under command of Capt. Stansbury. The captain moved our with his command on one road, and in the confusion I took, with the few officers and men left with me under command of Col. Wilkin, another. From Ripley the retreat was continued, passing on the road from Salem to Saulsbury, crossing Wolf River at Davis' Mills, and through La Fayette and Collierville. The men under my immediate command arrived in Memphis on the evening of the 13th.

In the battle and on the disastrous retreat my officers and men behaved well. I know of no one who failed in performing his duty, and it would be invidious to name those who acquitted themselves with credit.

I append a list of casualties, in which only those known certainly to be killed and wounded are so marked. I fear that quite a number of others were also killed and wounded in the woods and bushes, where much of our fighting was done, and from which they did not emerge. Of the officers lost 7 were in command of companies. My men suffered very much on the retreat. All the severely wounded were left behind on the field or on the road, because it was impossible to bring them through.

J. BRUMBACK,

Lieut.-Col., Cmdg.

Lieut. O. H. ABEL, Acting Assistant Adjutant-Gen.

In early July 1864, Union authorities ordered another expedition against Tupelo. At this time, the 95th only had approximately one hundred men available for duty. As the Union force neared Tupelo on July 13, 1864, Confederate forces under the command of General Nathan Bedford Forrest attacked, but the Northerners repulsed them. The following day, the Southerners again attacked, but Union forces inflicted heavy casualties, prompting the Confederates to withdrawal. The Northerners destroyed portions of the Mobile and Ohio Railroad and returned to Memphis.

The 95th next joined a Union expedition to intercept Confederate General Sterling Price’s force operating in Arkansas and Missouri. Northern forces under General William Rosecrans drove the Southerners back into Arkansas. Officials then dispatched the 95th to Nashville, Tennessee to aid in the defense of the city. In the autumn of 1864, Confederate John Bell Hood launched an invasion of northern Georgia, northern Alabama, and central Tennessee. By late November 1864, Hood’s Confederates were approaching Nashville. The 95th arrived at Nashville the day after the Battle of Franklin (November 30, 1864).The regiment formed a portion of the Union right at the Battle of Nashville (December 15 and 16, 1864). The Union victory at this engagement effectually terminated Hood’s invasion.

Following the Battle of Nashville, the 95th joined the Union pursuit of the retreating Confederates. Upon termination of the pursuit, officials dispatched the regiment to New Orleans, Louisiana, where the organization joined the Northern expedition against Mobile, Alabama, capturing the city in April 1865. Following the North’s seizure of this city, the 95th began a march towards Montgomery, Alabama. The Civil War concluded in late April 1865. The 95th performed guard duty at various locations in the South until officials ordered the regiment to Camp Chase at Columbus. At Camp Chase, the 95th mustered out of service on August 19, 1865.

During its term of service, the 95th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry lost fifty-nine men, including one officer, to wounds. An additional 217 soldiers, including two officers, died from disease or accidents.

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"95th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry," Ohio Civil War Central, 2019, Ohio Civil War Central. 16 Oct 2019 <http://www.ohiocivilwarcentral.com/entry.php?rec=890>

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"95th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry." (2019) In Ohio Civil War Central, Retrieved October 16, 2019, from Ohio Civil War Central: http://www.ohiocivilwarcentral.com/entry.php?rec=890

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