Copyright
Whitelaw Reid.

Ohio in the war : her statesmen, her generals, and soldiers (Volume 2) online

. (page 116 of 165)
Online LibraryWhitelaw ReidOhio in the war : her statesmen, her generals, and soldiers (Volume 2) → online text (page 116 of 165)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


Smithfield, Virginia, in August, 1864.

On September 19, 1864, at three o'clock in the morning, the One Hundred and Twenty-Sixth
moved from Berryville with the army under General Sheridan, and took the direction of Win-
chester, Virginia, crossing Opequan Creek near the Berryville Turnpike. It took a position in
the front line, near the right of the Sixth Corps, and participated in the battle fought on that
day, losing several efficient officers. Lieutenant-Colonel A. W. Ebright, commanding the regi-
ment, was killed early in the action; Captain Thomas J. Hyatt and Lieutenant Eufus Eicksecker
were also killed ; Captain Williams and Lieutenants Patterson and Wells were wounded, and
a large number of men were killed and wounded.

The enemy was driven through Winchester to Fisher's Hill, where he made another stand,
but was again defeated and compelled to evacuate the position. In this last action the One Hun-
dred and Twenty-Sixth performed a conspicuous part, losing four men killed and seventeen
wounded.

From this time up to October 19th the regiment was engaged in a number of marches and
counter-marches, and arrived at Cedar Creek just in time to take part in the memorable battle of
that date.

It occupied a position on the left of the Sixth Corps (to which it belonged), and held it until
our forces were surprised by the Eebels under General Early, and driven back. In the advance,
when General Sheridan arrived on the ground, the regiment came up with its brigade, and per-
formed its share in the glorious victory which followed. At dark the regiment, under orders,
went into the camp from which it had been driven in the morning.

On the 7th of November the Army of the Shenandoah encamped near Kernstown, Virginia,
just outside of Winchester. The brigade occupied a position on the extreme right of the
infantry. It remained at Kernstown until December 3d, throwing up several forts and earth-
works, when it marched with its corps to Stevenson's Depot and took cars for Washington.

Oo December 4th the One Hundred and Twenty-Sixth embarked for City Point. On the 7th
it moved to the front, rejoining the Army of the Potomac, and went into camp near the Weldon
Kailroad, relieving a portion of the Fifth Corps. On the night of the 9th of December the regi-
ment, with a portion of the brigade and other troops, went upon an expedition to Hatcher's Eun,
but returned the next night to its old camp, where it remained until February 9, 1S65, building
winter-quarters, drilling, and performing guard and picket-duty.






One Hundred and Twenty-Sixth Ohio Infantry. 651

On February 9, 1865, the regiment and brigade again moved and relieved a portion of the
Fifth Corps, near the Squirrel Level Road. Here it again constructed winter-quarters and per-
formed much garrison, picket, guard, and fatigue-duty. From this time forward one-tenth of
the command was kept in the trenches of the forts day and night. The camps and quarters were
in easy musketry range of the enemy's outer line of works and in full view of his camp.

In front of Fort Welch, where the regiment did picket-duty, the pickets were within a hun-
dred yards of each other; but picket firing was seldom indulged in, until the 25th of March.
The men often mingled together, between the lines, in procuring fuel.

In a charge on the enemy's picket-lines, March 25th, the regiment behaved with great gal-
lantry, being the first to enter the intrenchments.

At three o'clock of the morning of the 2d of April the One Hundred and Twenty -Sixth
went into position in the front line of battle, to participate in the charge made by the Sixth Corps
on the enemy's intrenched lines. The bellowing of nearly four hundred pieces of artillery, the
scream of the bomb-shells, and the yells of the contending parties, combined to make up one of
war's most horrid pictures. The Rebels were at last driven, and with this defeat went the last
hope of the Confederate States.

The One Hundred and Twenty-Sixth Ohio performed an important part in this assault, and
was highly complimented for its gallantry and efficiency. Captains J. W. Moffatt and C. E. Pat-
terson especially distinguished themselves, and received therefor brevet appointments of Major
United States Volunteers, their commissions to date from the day of battle. Private Milton
Blickensderfer, of company E, captured a battle-flag during the engagement.

This engagement led to the evacuation of Richmond. During the 3d, 4th, and 5th of April
the regiment participated in the pursuit of General Lee's army, and on the evening of the 5th
occupied a position facing Amelia C. H, where slight earthworks were thrown up. On
that night the regiment was detached from the brigade to guard prisoners, and did not rejoin it
until April 15, 1865, at Burkesville Junction.

From Burkesville Junction the regiment, with the Sixth Corps, commenced a forced march
toward Danville, Virginia, under orders from General Halleck's head-quarters to " push through
as rapidly as possible, to assist in the capture of General J. E. Johnston's Rebel army." It
arrived at Danville on the 27th, where it halted, General Johnston's army having surrendered
to General Sherman on the 26th at Greensboro', North Carolina.

The regiment remained at Danville until May 16th, at which time it moved by railroad to
Richmond, Virginia, and on the 24th of May was reviewed with the corps in Richmond, and at
once commenced the march for Washington, arriving at Ball's Cross-Roads, four miles from that
place, on the Virginia side of the Potomac, on the afternoon of the 3d of June. It remained
here until the 25th, when it was mustered out of the service. It was finally paid off and dis-
charged at Columbus.

In General Grant's campaign through the Wilderness, Spottsylvania, Cold Harbor, etc., Cap-
tains Lyons, France, and Lampton, and Lieutenants Hixon and Hiller were killed.

Lieutenant-Colonel McKinnie, Captain J. S. McCready, and Lieutenants Moore and McPeck
were wounded. Captain McCready died of his wounds before reaching home. Captain J. Wey-
and was wounded at Monocacy Junction. Lieutenant A. J. Harrison, A. A. G. on brigade
staff, lost an arm and was captured at the battle of the Wilderness. Lieutenant Charles Craw-
ford, Acting Adjutant of the regiment, was wounded during the charge on the enemy's works,
April 2, 1S65.

The regiment lost during its term of service nine officers and one hundred and eleven men
killed; ten officers and three hundred and seventy-nine men wounded. Total, officers nineteen,
men four hundred and ninety; aggregate, five hundred and nine.



652



Ohio in the Wak.



127th REGIMENT OHIO VOLUNTEER INFANTRY.

The sketch of this regiment will be found elsewhere with those of the other Colored Troops
from Ohio.



128th REGIMENT OHIO VOLUNTEER INFANTRY.



EOSTEB, THREE YEARS' SERVICE.



Colonel

Lt. Colonel....

Do

Do

Major

Do

Do

Surgeon

Ass't Surgeon

Do.

Captain

Do

Do

Do

Do

Do

Do

Do

Do

Do

Do

Do

Do

Do

Do

Do

Do

1st Lieutenant

Do.

Do.

Do.

Do.

Do.

Do.

Do.

Do.

Do.

Do.

Do.

Do.

Do.

Do.

Do.

Do.

Do.
2d Lieutenant

Do.

Do.

Do.

Do.

Do.

Do.

Do.

Do.

Do.

Do.

Do.

Do.

Do.

Do.

Do.

Do.

Do.

Do.

Do.

Do.



CHARLES \V\ HILL

W'm. S. Pierson

Edward A. Scovill

Thomas H. Linnell

Edward A. Scovill

Thomas H. Linnell

Junius R. Sanford

Timothy Woodbridge....

Wm. Tripp

1'orter Yates

Thomas H. Linnell

Henry C. Reason

A. C. Bradley

Benj. W. Wells

Junius R. Sanford

John .1. Manor

Allied N. Mead

Samuel Starr

Austin McDowell

John Lewis

Leroy W. Bailey

George Carver

Adam S. McDonald

Henry A. Smith

Orlin S. Hays

Charles C. Starr

Henry C. Reno

Orlin S. Havs

Samuel D. McElroy

Lowell M. Brooks

Leroy W\ Bailey

George Carver

Adam S. McDonald

Henry A. Smith

John N. Harrington

Charles C. Starr

Henry C. Reno

James H. Fluhart

Anson C. Bartholomew..,

Henry C. Strong

George W. Hollenbeck....

George M. Phillips

Charles N. Stevens

Foster V. Follett

Eugene 0. Mitchell

George W. Hollenbeck...,

Isaac N. Rogers

George M. Phillips

Eugene O. Mitchell

Charles N. Stevens

Charles Stowe

Foster V. Follett

Addison M. Bloom

George Hutchinson

Marshal Drewry

Samuel H. Young

Charles D. Mallory

Azariah E. Billington

James L. Camp

Edward E. Young

John F.Wallace

Joseph A. McCroskie

Lewis R. Ranney

Joseph L.Conklin

Robert Corning

Ozias \V. Foote



DATE OF RANK,



Dec.
Aug.

March
Aug.

March

Sept.

Jan.

Sept.
Oct.
Jan.
Aug.

Nov.

Dec.



Sept.
March



April
June



Dec.
Jan.

Sept.
Jan.
Aug.
Dec.



COM. ISSUED.



1S63 Dec.
" Jan.

18)14 Aug.
1665 Match 25
l-i.". Jan. 5
1864 Aug. 29
March 25



ItfiS

1864



25,



1864

1865



1863

1864



lSf.2

186:;



Jan.
May

Sept.
March



April
Jan.
Aug.
Nov.
Dec.
Nov.
Jan.
Dec.
Jan.



1864

1S65

1863



1864
1863
1864



July
Sept.
Oct.
Nov.
March



April
July



Jan.



Sept.
March 29



April
June



Deo.
Jan.



May 9

Sept. 8

March 29

29,



April
Jan.



July
Sept.
Oct.
Nov.
March 29,

29;

29



April
July



REMARKS.



Mustered out with regiment.

Resigned July 15, 1864.

Mustered out March 25, 1S65.

Mustered out with regiment.

Promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel.

Promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel.

.Mustered out with regiment.

Mustered out with regiment.

Mustered out with regiment.

Muster -d out with regiment.

Promoted to Major.

Mustered out.

Mustered out.

Mustered out.

Promoted to Major.

On detached duty.

Mustered out with regiment.

Mustered out with regiment.

Mustered out with regiment.

Mustered out with regiment.

Mustered out.

Mustered out June 9, 1865.

Mustered out with regiment.

Metered out with regiment.

Mustered out with regiment.

Mustered out with regt. as 1st Lieut, and Q. M.

Mustered out with regiment as 1st Lieut.

Promoted to Captain.

Mustered out with regiment.

Appointed Capt. and A. Q. M., U. S. Vols.

Promoted to Captain.

Promoted to Captain.

Promoted to Captain.

Promoted to Captain.

Mustered out with regiment.

Mustered out with regiment.

Promoted to Captain.

Mustered out with regiment.

Mustered out with regiment.

Mustered out with regimeut.

Mustered out.

Mustered out with regiment.

Mustered out with regiment.

Mustered otit with regiment.

.Mustered out with regiment.

Promoted to 1st Lieutenant.

Mustered out for promotion.

Promoted to 1st Lieutenant.

Promoted to 1st Lieutenant.

Promoted to 1st Lieutenant.

Resigned April 27, 1865.

Promoted to 1st Lieutenant.

Discharged April 16, 1864.

Honorably discharged December 15, 1864.

Mustered out with regiment.

Mustered out.

Revoked.

Mustered out with regiment.

Mustered out with regiment.

Mustered out with regiment.

Mustered out with regiment.
Mustered out with regiment.
Mustered out with regiment.
Mustered out with regiment as Serg't. Major.



One Hundred and Twenty-Eighth Ohio Infantky. 653



128th OHIO VOLUNTEER INFANTRY,

WITH ACCOUNT OF PRISONERS' DEPOT AT JOHNSON'S ISLAND.



riTlHE ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY- EIGHTH OHIO, although chiefly
occupied in guard-duty within the borders of the State, was an organization of three-
years' troops, enlisted and mustered into the United States' service, the same as other
volunteer troops, and was liable to service wherever required. It attained minimum strength on
the 25th of December, 1863, and consisted of four companies, before known as "The Hoffman
Battalion," raised at different times in 1862.* At and before the time of forming the regiment,
the Hoffman Battalion was under the command of a Lieutenant-Colonel and Major. Six new
companies were mustered in at Camp Taylor, near Cleveland, between the 8th and loth of Janu-
ary, 1864. The four old companies had been on duty at Johnson's Island nearly all the time
since their muster-in, but had frequently furnished detachments for service elsewhere, including
a short and very active campaign in pursuit of Rebel troops in West Virginia, in 1862.

The One Hundred and Twenty-Eighth having been chiefly occupied at the frontier posts of
Johnson's Island and Sandusky, its service necessarily involves much of the military history of
these posts, and can be better understood by giving a brief synopsis of that history.

Early in 1862 Johnson's Island became a depot exclusively for Rebel officers who were held
as prisoners of war.

The records of the post show the strength of prisoners in 1862 as follows :

Average for April 444 Exchanged, September 1 1,123

Average for May 1,074 Average for September 595

Average for June 1,105 Aggregate, October 31st. 893

July 31st 1,149 Aggregate, November 30th 295

August 31st 1,452 Aggregate, December 31st 209

It should be remembered that a cartel for a general exchange of prisoners of war had long
been expected, and was finally agreed upon July 22, 1862. Under that cartel and special arrange-
ment, exchanges went on until July, 1863, and a continuance was expected. This expectation,
with the belief of general loyalty in the North, and the want of help in Canada, had their legiti-
mate influence on the prisoners, and undoubtedly prevented efforts at outbreak and resistance
until late in the fall of 1863.

The number of prisoners of war at the depot during 1863 will be sufficiently understood
from the following :

January 31st 308 July 31st 1,668

February 28th 347 August 31st 1,817

March 31st 105 September 30th 2,155

April 30th 59 October 31st 2,156

May 31st 40 November 30th 2,381

June 30th 806 December 31st 2,623

In the spring and summer of 1862 the garrison on the island was strengthened by one com-
pany of the Sixty-First Ohio, relieved by oue company of the Eighty-Eighth.



654 Ohio in the War.

The stoppage of exchanges, followed by the assembling of considerable forces from the Rebel
army and navy in Canada, and the machinations of disloyal organizations in Ohio, Indiana, and
elsewhere, known to intend the rescue of these prisoners, with attendant devastations on the
lake towns and commerce, showed these posts to be unsafe without considerable re-enforcements.
Six companies of the Twelfth Ohio Cavalry (dismounted), with the Twenty-Fourth Battery (six
guns), and two detachments of the First Ohio Heavy Artillery (witli seven heavy guns), were
sent to the island early in November, 1863, followed promptly by the Forty-Ninth and Fiftieth
Regiments of the National Guard and a Pennsylvania battery. The Forty-Ninth and Fiftieth
remained only eight or ten days, and the Pennsylvania battery was soon relieved. The other
troops remained all winter.

The First Brigade, Third Division, Sixth Corps, including five regiments, attended by two
Brigadier-Generals, from the Army of the Potomac, reached Sandusky on the 13th of January,
1864. Four of the regiments, with General Shaler, were stationed on the island. The other
regiment, with General H. D. Terry, commanding the whole, was at Sandusky. They all
remained until April 14, 1864, when three regiments under General Shaler left to rejoin the
Sixth Corps. The Twenty-Fourth Battery was stationed in Sandusky, and the six cavalry com-
panies left for Camp Dennison in March. Soon after, the six new companies of the One Hun-
dred and Twenty-Eighth, pursuant to orders from Washington, were moved to Sandusky, and
on the 14th of April, 1864, with the Colonel, were stationed on the island. The whole regiment
was thus, for the first time, assembled as one command.

On the 8th of May, 1864, Colonel Hill, of the One Hundred and Twenty-Eighth, succeeded
General Terry in the command, and the two remaining regiments from the Sixth Corps moved
off to rejoin that corps. On the 12th of July, 1864, the detachments from the First Heavy
Artillery returned to their regiment, and on the 7th of August following the Twenty-Fourth
Battery left for Chicago.

Other troops came to the island and departed as follows: May 11th, the One Hundred and
Seventy-First Ohio National Guard; it left, June 9th, for Cleveland and Kentucky; returned
June 20th, much reduced, eight of the companies being then paroled prisoners, not subject to
duty; they were mustered out August 20th. The One Hundred and Thirtieth Ohio National
Guard reported for duty May 21st, and left June 6th. The One Hundred and Sixty-Fifth
Ohio National Guard (five hundred and forty-nine men) reported for duty May 21st, and left
July 16th. The Eighth Battery, Ohio National Guard, reported September 22d, and left Octo-
ber 19th, and was succeeded by the Second Battery, Ohio National Guard, which left November
26th. These National Guard troops were sent to the island chiefly as a place of rendezvous,
equipment, and instruction preparatory to service elsewhere. On the 24th of September the
Sixtli Veteran Reserve Corps (five hundred and sixty-three men), from Washington, reported
for duty.

The One Hundred and Twenty-Eighth, from the time of its being first assembled on the
island was kept under strict drill and discipline.

The condition of the island, and of the docks, roads, and barracks upon it, required heavy
details of working parties, to open ways of communications for defense, complete and improve
the quarters, enlarge the prison-grounds and accommodations, and improve the sanitary condi-
tion of the island, which had been much neglected for many months.

The strength of the One Hundred and Twenty-Eighth present for duty, from early in May
until late in the fall, was much reduced by detachments sent off by order of the Commandants
of the Department, and kept away for long periods, so that, on account of absent detachments
and heavy details for special duty and necessary working parties, the guard-duty became very
severe; often, and for considerable periods, requiring the majority of the men remaining for that
Bervice to go on guard every other day.

The number of prisoners of war confined on the island during the year 1864 ranged as fol-
lows, varied chiefly by new acquisitions and special exchanges :



One Hundred and Twenty-Eighth Ohio Infantry. 655

January 31st 2,603 July 31st 2,441

February 29th 2,206 August 31st 2,556

March 31st 2,192 September 30th 2,663

April 30th 2,088 October 31st 2,621

May 31st 2,134 November 30th 2,747

June 30th 2,309 December 31st 3,209

From the foregoing tables it appears that the average strength of prisoners for the different
years was as follows: '

Average for 1862 788

Average for 1863 1,205

Average for 1864 2,480

In 1865, until discharges on oath of allegiance or parole became more numerous, following
the surrender of Lee's army, the number of prisoners ranged considerably higher, and excepting
about one hundred, they were all officers of the Rebel army and navy, of all grades, from Second-
Lieutenant to Major-General.

Here were officers enough for an army and navy of eighty thousand men. They were
within a short distance of the Canada main, and still nearer to a Canada island. The prevailing
sympathy in Canada was largely in favor of the Rebels; and there every facility and encourage-
ment, short of direct participation in our war, was extended to the large force from the Rebel
army and navy maintained in Canada to effect a rescue of these Rebel officers. If by such
efforts war should be brought on between the United States and England a great point would be
gained by the Rebels. No other depot of prisoners of war was on a frontier or exposed like
this. During the season of navigation it could be reached from Canada in a few hours' night
run, and during the winter-season men and teams could conveniently cross the lake, from island
to island, not over five miles of ice intervening in any place. During the season of ice the
location of the depot of prisoners practically ceased to be an island. The capture of that depot,
or the rescue of the prisoners confined there, would not only be of immense advantage to the
Rebel cause and give them great eclat, but would be a deep humiliation to our Government and
people, and would almost certainly be attended by attacks upon our lake commerce and devas-
tation upon our lake towns. The Rebel officers confined at the island had a large range of
acquaintances and friends in the "loyal States." For them the Rebel emissaries traveling in
those States, and the secret orders known as the "Knights of the Golden Circle" and "Sons
of Liberty," had an especial sympathy, and were anxious to aid them by means of rescue,
or with places of refuge and concealment. They had the means of knowing each other.
These facts, with the difficulty about exchanges, stimulated machinations for rescue, front and
rear, and kept the prisoners constantly on the qui vive, ready for any desperate adventure until
after the fall of Petersburg.

It would occupy too much space to give the details of efforts at rescue, or the attempts at
escape and outbreak. Suffice it to say that after 1863 picket, as well as police and prison-guard,
were all of the time required ; and, after the very large reduction of the command, nothing short
of the strictest rules of the service and the most constant and untiring vigilance would meet the
necessities ol the case or answer the expectations of the Government.

Soon after the arrival of the Sixth Veteran Reserve Corps considerable detachments were sent
from it for provost and other duties elsewhere ; for of those who remained, infirm as many of
them were by wounds and disease, the climate and exposure proved too severe; so that all who
remained for guard-duty did not make good the places of the absent detachments of the One
Hundred and Twenty-Eighth. The Sixth Veteran Reserve Corps left the command early in 1S65.

In view of the contingencies on the frontier, and in order to hold these posts with a less
force, the United States Engineer Corps, under the direction of the War Department, began the
construction of three forts in the fall of 1864 вАФ one on Cedar Point, at the mouth of Sandusky Bay,
opposite to the island, and two on the island. The expectation was to do this work with hired



656 Ohio in the War.

labor, but laborers were so scarce that men could not be obtained at the wages offered. At this
juncture the Colonel of the One Hundred and Twenty-Eighth detailed parties from his regi-
ment, who did at least two-thirds of the whole work, including the mechanical part, and com-
pleted all three of the forts, with their magazines, and mounted the guns. This work was done
in the most inclement seasons of the year, without extra pay, and at a time when the other details
were very heavy. But in this instance, as in all others, officers and men applied themselves to
the duties before them with an intelligence and zeal which promptly overcame difficulties, and
attained the desired result in a very creditable manner.

Although the One Hundred and Twenty-Eighth was often scattered by detachments and
much burdened with fatigue-duty, its drill, including infantry and a considerable range of heavy
artillery, was accurate and thorough, and its equipment, discipline, and constant readiness for
emergencies and service, wherever ordered, gave assurance that it would meet the just expecta-
tions of the Government in any line of duty. Many of its officers and men had served the Gov-
ernment during the war with credit in other organizations, from which they had been discharged
on account of disability by wounds or sickness.

In hastening the completion of the defenses at Sandusky Bay, it was anticipated that the
regiment would soon be relieved by troops of the Veteran Reserve Corps, and that then the One
Hundred and Twenty-Eighth would be sent to join some army in the field. Measures were
taken to have it ready for such an event. Fortune did not give the regiment the opportunity,
as a body, to earn laurels in battle, but it performed its duties always with faithfulness and
efficiency.

Soon after the surrender of the Rebel armies, in the spring of 1865, the prisoners on the
island were reduced by discharges on parole to about one hundred and fifty. The One Hundred
and Twenty-Eighth left the island on the 10th of July, 1865, and was mustered out on the 17th
at Camp Chase.



One Hundred and Twenty-Ninth Ohio Infantry. 657



129th REGIMES OHIO VOLUNTEER INFANTRY.



ROSTER, SIX MONTHS' SERVICE,



RANK.


NAME.


MATE OF SANK.


COM. ISSUED.


REMARKS.




HOWARD D. JOHN


Aug.
July
Aug.
June
Oct.
Aug.
Nov.
July

Aug.

July
Aug.

Nov.
July

Aug.

Nov.


10, 1863
28, "

10, "

23, "
31, "

11, "
2, "
1, "

16, "
18, "
2"-', "



Online LibraryWhitelaw ReidOhio in the war : her statesmen, her generals, and soldiers (Volume 2) → online text (page 116 of 165)