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where the regiment at once reported to Major-General McClellan. In the absence of tents, the
men were assigned quarters in deserted houses at Fetterman, a little village two miles north of
Grafton. Two days only were spent here, when the regiment proceeded by rail to Clarksburg,
where camp equipage was supplied, and every preparation made for an active campaign.

At this date (25th June, 1861) the Third Ohio was brigaded with the Fourth and Ninth Ohio
and Loomis' Michigan Battery, Brigadier-General Schleich, of Fairfield county, commanding.

From Clarksburg the Third Ohio advanced with the army, nothing of interest occurring
until the 5th of July, when the regiment lay at Buckhannon, Virginia. A scouting party of fifty
men, under Captain O. A. Lawson, of company A, was sent out by General Schleich to reconnoi-
tcr the road leading to the Rebel position at Rich Mountain. Proceeding cautiously, the little
band, upon approaching Middle Fork bridge, discovered that it was occupied by the enemy. A

Thikd Ohio Infantry. 29

gallant, but unsuccessful, effort was made to dislodge the Rebels. In this, its first drawing of
blood, the detachment lost one man killed and five wounded. Gathering up the wounded, the
party returned to camp. In the hurry of the search, the dead soldier was not found ; but a few
days later, upon the general advance of the army, the body of private Johns was found and
decently interred by his comrades. He was the first man of the Third Ohio to die in battle.

At the battle of Rich Mountain the Third was in the division which was to advance directly
on the enemy's works, but as the fight occurred in the rear of the fortifications, the regiment
was not engaged. The pursuit of the flying enemy carried the Third Ohio and its division to
Beverly on the 12th of July; thence to Huttonsville and Cheat Mountain Summit, where the
pursuit was abandoned, and the troops commenced fortifying the passes of the Alleghanies.

The Third Ohio returned to the foot of Cheat Mountain, where the greater part of it was
engaged in erecting a line of telegraph from Huttonsville to the post of Cheat Mountain Summit.

On the 4th of August the regiment marched to Elkwater Creek, and, in company with the
Fifteenth Indiana Infantry and Loomis' Battery, commenced a series of fortifications extending
entirely across the valley. The common routine of camp life, varied by labor on the works,
and an occasional scout, occupied the time of the regiment until the 11th of September, when
the Rebels, under General Robert E. Lee, attacked the position, making their appearance on the
Huntersville road, driving in the National pickets as they advanced. The Third Ohio, with
the Fifteenth and Seventh Indiana, and a section of Loomis' Battery, were in position at Elk-
water Junction, and contested the Rebel advance in several sharp skirmishes ; in one of which,
Colonel John A. Washington, of Mount Vernon, Va., was killed. He was at the time one of
General Lee's staff officers. In all the subsequent movements of that period, resulting in the
repulse of the Rebel army and its retirement to Mingo Flats, the Third Ohio took an active part.

On the 3d of October two companies of the Third Ohio, under Captain McDougall, scouted
the country as far as Marshall, and on the 6th the regiment made a reconnoissance to Big Springs,
but found only deserted camps, the Rebels having given up the campaign. With this recon-
noissance ended the first campaign of the Third Ohio Volunteer Infantry. It was a campaign
of peculiar hardship to the then new soldier, filled as it was with hard marches through the
almost impenetrable mud, amid driving rain-storms, severe drilling, and some fighting.

Proceeding to Clarksburg, the regiment enjoyed the first visit of the ever-welcome paymas-
ter. From there it went to Parkersburg by rail, and took steamers at the wharf of that place
for Cincinnati, November 28. The regiment was cordially received at the Queen City, was
reviewed on the main landing, and thereafter re-embarked for Louisville, Kentucky. Arriving
at the last named city, it marched at once to Camp Jenkins, four miles distant from the city.
At this place the Army of the Ohio was organized, and the Third Ohio assigned to the Third
Division, General O. M. Mitchel commanding.

On the 7th of December the regiment, with its division, marched for Elizabethtown, Ken-
tucky, and on the 17th of the same month went into winter-quarters at Bacon Creek, or Camp
Jefferson, as it was styled. During its stay here it was subjected to the severest discipline, under
the eye of General Mitchel. Some important changes occurred among the staff officers. Colo-
nel Isaac H. Marrow found it necessary to resign, which, of course, caused a regular promotion
among the officers.

On the 22d of February, 1S62, in that inclement season, the Third Ohio broke camp and,
marching by roads tramped into mire by the passage of artillery trains, entered Bowling Green
just as the flying Rebels left it, and reached the bank of the Tennessee River, opposite Nash-
ville, some twelve hours in advance of troops under General Nelson, who, approaching by
water, were really the first to enter the city.

From Nashville the Third Ohio marched southward with General Mitchel's column — the
distinguished Third Division. It took an active part in all the events of that stirring and brill-
iant campaign, including the capture of Murfreesboro', and the occupation of Shelbyville and
Fayetteville, Tennessee. It was also a participant in the sudden descent of the Nationals on
Huntsville, the pursuit down the railroad to Decatur, in which was saved the splendid bridge

30 Ohio in the War.

across the Tennessee, and the enemy was so closely pressed through Tuscumbia to Iuka that the
National morning gun could be heard by their comrades on the battle-field before Corinth. In
the battle of Bridgeport the Third Ohio acted well its part. Led in person by the impetuous
Mitchel, it charged and drove the enemy across the bridge.

Then followed a long and monotonous season of " masterly inactivity," by which the greater
part of the summer of 1862 was consumed — during which the Rebels were allowed to perfect
their preparations for a struggle compared with which all their former attempts were but child's-
play. Huntsville continued to be the rendezvous of the regiment, and the base from which
detachments were sent out or? scouting, foraging, and other duty.

During the month of August the Army of the Ohio was concentrating opposite and in the
vicinity of the then Rebel stronghold of Chattanooga, and for that purpose the posts in Western
Alabama were abandoned, and the National troops moved nearer the point where the Rebels
were preparing to cross the river.

In the latter part of August, 1862, it will be recollected that General Bragg, with the Rebel
army, made a bold push toward Louisville, Kentucky, hoping thereby to compel the evacuation
by the National armies of all their posts south of the Tennessee River, including Nashville
itself. On the 23d of that montb, the Third Ohio, with other troops, evacuated Huntsville and
marched to Decherd Station. The race between Buell and Bragg had fairly opened. On the
27th of August it became necessary that a detachment from the Third Ohio should go to Steven-
eon by rail to bring off some sick men and hospital stores. In returning, the train was fired into
by a force of Rebels, and several seriously wounded.

The march from Decherd to Louisville was severe in the extreme. The weather was
intensely warm, and the roads dry and covered inches thick with stifling dust. The water-
courses were dried up, and what water there was to be had was often very filthy and loathsome
All these disabilities, combined with scant rations, and the necessity, of thus apparently aban
doning Tennessee and Alabama, made the march one of peculiar hardship and toil to the soldier
Almost every day the Rebels were within striking distance, and the army eager for battle, but
Shelbyville, Murfreesboro', and Nashville were reached and no stand made. Bowling Green
was occupied and evacuated ; at Green River the army waited almost within sound of the battle
in which Wilder and his gallant little band were allowed to be overpowered. Thus the north-
ward march continued until, on the morning of September 25, the Third Ohio again entered the
city of Louisville.

While lying at Louisville, Lieutenant Colonel J. Warren Keifer left the regiment to accept
the position of Colonel of the One Hundred and Tenth Ohio.

After a few days of rest the National forces again resumed their movements. The first
encounter of any importance was at Perryville, Kentucky. In this ill-starred affair the Third
Ohio bore an honorable part. It was in Colonel* Ly tie's brigade, and in the beginning of the
action took its position in an open field on the right of the Perryville road, protected only by a
rail fence. The Rebel attack was fierce and deadly, but notwithstanding their exposure, the
Third stood its ground, and returned volley for volley, until more than one-third of its number
had fallen, dead or wounded.

In the opening of the battle, color-sergeant Wm. V. McCoubrie stood a little in advance of
the color-guard, bearing the regimental standard proudly aloft. His exposed and marked posi-
tion instantly brought upon him a fierce fire from the enemy, and the gallant fellow was
killed. Five others shared the same fate, until a sixth rushed forward and caught the colors ere
they touched the ground. This last gallant hero was a beardless boy of seventeen, named D.ivid
C. Walker, of company C, who successfully carried the flag through the remainder of the action,
and was rewarded for his bravery by being made color-sergeant on the battle-field by Colonel

Before the close of the battle the regiment was ordered to withdraw to the second line,
which command it executed in good order, though sorely pressed by the enemy. It remained
in its last position until night put an end to the unequal conflict. While in line, General Rous-

Thied Ohio Infantry. 31

seau rode up to the regiment and thanked it in the name of the army for its gallant conduct. He
said : " You stood in that withering fire like men of iron." The valor of the Third Ohio is
fully attested when it is stated that its loss in this battle was two hundred and fifteen officers and
men killed and wounded. Among the killed were Captain McDougall, of Company A ; Captain
E. Cunard, of Company I ; Lieutenant J. St. John, of Company I, Aide-de-Camp to Colonel
Lytle ; and Lieutenant Starr, of Company K.

In the further and fruitless pursuit of Bragg's army to and beyond Crab Orchard, Ken-
tucky, the Third Ohio joined. Then, ill-clad and dispirited, the regiment and army turned
their weary steps westward, and once more marched along the same beaten roads to Nashville,
Tennessee. At least, the army had not lost territory, but its retention had been secured at a most
bitter cost of valuable lives and time.

The Third Ohio lay at New Market, Kentucky, for a time, waiting for a supply of cloth-
ing, and the camp equipage of the regiment, which had been left at Louisville. Receiving both,
it resumed the march with buoyancy, greatly encouraged by the removal of General Buell from
the command of the army, and the accession of General Wm. S. Rosecrans.

On the 30th of November, 1862, the Third Ohio again entered Nashville, and went into camp
on the south side of the city. In the meantime General Rosecrans had completely re-organized
his army, and had placed the regiment in the Reserve Division, General Rousseau commanding.
With the rest of the army, it remained quietly in camp until the advance upon Murfreesboro'
was made. The battle of Stone River ensued. In this bloody affair the brigade to which the
Third Ohio belonged was commanded by its Colonel, John Beatty, the command of the regiment
devolving upon Lieutenant-Colonel Lawson.

The Third occupied a position upon the right center and became engaged early in the day.
As the right wing of the army was forced back, the center, which was partially engaged, changed
front, to accommodate itself to the changes made on the right. Maneuvering among the thick
cedars in the face of a vigilant enemy, was difficult, but the Third Ohio preserved its line until,
upon reaching the edge of an open cotton field, the whole tide of battle seemed to roll down
from the right and launch itself upon the center. It then began to give ground, stubbornly,
delivering its fire steadily and effectively, though receiving two volleys for one. At last, orders
came to fall back upon the new line which had been formed under cover of the artillery. In
its new position the regiment was exposed to a galling fire, and lost heavily. During this day it
was not again actively engaged, but during the afternoon was exposed to a heavy artillery fire.

Early in the second day of the battle, the Third Ohio was posted on the extreme left of the
National line, and employed in guarding a crossing of Stone River. The first day and night of
the new year (1863) were spent at this ford. On Friday morning the regiment was relieved,
and returned to the center just in time to receive a share of the fierce cannonade opened by the
Rebels on that day. On Saturday morning (the.Sd of January) the regiment took a position in
the front, and its skirmish line was briskly engaged for the most part of the forenoon. In the
afternoon the regiment was withdrawn, with others, to make preparations to charge the woods
in front of the National center, from which the Rebel sharpshooters kept up a galling fire. The
charge was made at dark, the Third Ohio moving down between the railroad and 'pike on the
double-quick. It captured the Rebel pickets and first line of breastworks, and held the position
under a heavy fire until it was ordered to retire. This proved to be the last of the battle of
Stone River, as during the night the Rebel army retreated hastily on Shelbyville and Tullahoma.

Another long interval of rest now occurred, and for three months the Third Ohio lay in camp
at Murfreesboro', relieving the monotony of camp life in building fortifications, going on an
occasional scout, etc. While lying here a series of promotions occurred among the officers, in
consequence of the appointment of Colonel Beatty, (for gallant conduct at the battle of Stone
River and other actions), to Brigadier-General of Volunteers.

Now comes a sad epoch in the history of this regiment. Early in April, 1863, the Third was
detached from the army proper, and in company with the Fifty-First and Seventy-Third Indiana,
Eightieth Illinois Infantry regiments, and two companies of the First Alabama Cavalry, was

32 Ohio in the War.

dispatched under the command of the Colonel of the Fifty-First Indiana, on a raid into North-
ern Georgia, with the intention of destroying the iron works near Rome, in that State, as well as
its extensive foundries and arsenals.

On the 8th of April the Third left Murfreesboro' and proceeded to Nashville ; thence by
water down the Cumberland to Palmyra, Tennessee, where part of the expedition landed and
scoured the country between there and Fort Henry, gathering horses and mules, while the
remainder went around by water. At Fort Henry the command was re-united, and proceeded
to Eastport, Mississippi. From thence it went by land to Tuscumbia, Alabama. At this point
a great embarrassment was felt in the scarcity of horses. About two hundred men were com-
pelled to remain at Tuscumbia for that reason. Every effort was made to remedy this defect,
but to little avail. It was the forerunner and cause of the subsequent failure of the expedition.

On the 27th of April, 1863, the regiment left Tuscumbia for Russelville, Alabama. Being
poorly mounted on unbroken and unshod mules, its progress was necessarily slow. No resist-
ance was met with until after having passed Russelville ; in the afternoon the advance was fired
into by a party of Rebels who, being well mounted, made good their escape. On the 28th and
29th the command moved through Moulton, and eastward, keeping detachments of the best
mounted men scouring the country for horses and mules, and destroying large trains loaded with
bacon for the Rebel army.

On the 30th of April, while crossing Sand Mountain, the command was overtaken and
attacked by General Roddy, in command of a large cavalry force. After a running fight of ten
miles, the raiding party turned and gave battle. The Third Ohio was placed on the left, as a
support to the Howitzer Battery. The Rebels dismounted, formed their lines, and opened fire,
running their artillery within three hundred yards of the National front. A desperate fight

After the Rebel force had been tested, the Colonel commanding ordered a charge, which
was executed in fine style. The Third Ohio alone captured the Rebel battery of twelve pounders,
with its caisson and ammunition, and the enemy was completely routed. The march was resumed,
and no further trouble from Roddy's command was anticipated. The Rebel General Forrest,
however, happened to be near at hand, and came up shortly after the fight. He at ortce saw his
advantage, possessing, as he did, fresh men and animals, and commenced a vigorous pursuit with
his combined force. Toward night, the Third Ohio being in the rear of the column, was over-
taken and attacked. A severe fight ensued, which the regiment was compelled to maintain
against large odds for a time, but the whole National force soon came to the rescue, and again
the enemy was badly beaten. The fight lasted until after dark, and under cover of the darkness
the raiders again took the road, and making an ambush at the crossing of Black River, succeeded
in checking their pursuers. Instantly taking the road again, they marched all night, reaching
Gadsden unmolested. At this place the raiders found large stores of flour and five thousand
stand of rifles, all of which they destroyed.

The raiders then marched up the right bank of the Coosa River, in the direction of Rome.
The long and harrassing marches began to tell upon their broken-down animals, and at a point
eleven miles above Gadsden the enemy, strongly reinforced, and bent upon crushing the expe-
dition a^ain overtook the raiders. A third battle ensued, in which Colonel Hathaway, of the
Seventv-Third Indiana, and his Adjutant, were killed, and the Third Ohio lost a large number
of men. The fight was, as usual, continued until after dark, and again the National troops drew
off and took the road. The prospect, however, was beginning to look very dark. Two hundred
and fifty of the best mounted men were selected from the command, and sent forward with orders
to enter and destroy Rome if possible, while the remainder of the command would make its way
to the same point in the shortest possible time.

The Rome Mountain Iron Works, one of the most extensive and valuable establishments
of the kind in the so-called Confederacy, was reached and burned. Arrived on the banks of the
Catoosa River, the ferry-boats could not be found, which compelled the command to go up the
river four miles to a ford, which proved so deep that most of the ammunition became damaged,

Third Ohio Infantry. 33

thus placing the Nationals in a bad condition for battle. At daylight Cedar Bluff was reached.
The morning of May 3d dawned upon a brigade of extempore troopers badly situated. Their
horses were ridden down, their ammunition was almost completely destroyed, and the enemy,
strongly reinforced, was dashing after them. Rome was still twenty-two miles away. Would it
•ever be reached ?

General Forrest and his Rebel cavalry came up and immediately sent in a demand for sur-
render. The Colonel commanding refused to entertain it, but upon learning the condition of
the ammunition, a council of war was held, the pet scheme of the commander was abandoned,
and terms of surrender agreed upon. Thus, after a brief but gallant career, the " Provisional
Brigade " laid down its arms, and the Third Ohio became prisoners of war.

It was immediately marched to Rome, where the terms of the surrender were shamelessly
violated by the Rebels, the men being searched and stripped of everything valuable, leaving
numbers of them half naked. From Rome the regiment proceeded to Atlanta, where it
remained a few days ; thence, via Knoxville, to Richmond, Virginia, where it was quartered in
the open air on Belle Isle, and remained there until the 15th of May, at which time the men
were paroled, but the officers of the regiment, including the Chaplain and Surgeons, were incar-
cerated in Libby prison.

An exchange being ordered, the Third Ohio was included in its provisions. The men
marched to City Point, where boats had been provided, and they were taken to Annapolis, Mary-
land. After a brief stay at Annapolis, the regiment was transferred to Camp Chase, Ohio, there
to await exchange. It remained in Ohio until August 1, 1863, engaged in quelling local trouble,
such as the Holmes county rebellion, and other outcrops of the Rebel sympathizing element.
The regiment also took an active part in the pursuit and capture of John Morgan and his
Rebel raiders, being among the number that finally captured him.

A detachment of fifty men of the Third Ohio accompanied the Twenty-Second Ohio Battery
into Maryland during Lee's second invasion, and performed valuable service on that occasion.

On the 1st of August, 1863, the Third Ohio received orders to report to General Gordon
Granger, at Nashville, for duty. Reaching that place, it was again armed and equipped, and
ordered to rejoin its old brigade, under General John Beatty, then on duty at Stevenson, Ala-
bama. Elated with the prospect of once more meeting their old companions, the regiment
marched at once, but arrived at Stevenson too late to rejoin their command, as it had already
crossed the Tennessee, and had marched to a point beyond Chattanooga.

Reporting at Stevenson, the regiment was temporarily attached to the Reserve Corps, and
with it proceeded to Bridgeport, where it guarded pontoons and escorted trains to Chattanooga
until after the battle of Chickamauga, when the pontoons were raised and the south side road to
Chattanooga abandoned.

The Third Ohio then went to Battle Creek. Thence against Wheeler's cavalry raid, to
Anderson's Gap, Tennessee. Thence down Sequatchie Valley to Looney Creek, where it
remained some time, repairing the roads and facilitating the passage of trains to Chattanooga.

On the 18th of November, 1863, the Third Ohio marched for Kelly's Ferry on the Tennes-
see River, where, being still without its officers, it remained until after the battle of Mission
Ridge. The river being clear at Kelly's Ford, the post was abandoned, and the regiment pro-
ceeded to Chattanooga, where it performed garrison duty until the 9th of June, 1864, when it
received orders to report at Camp Dennison, Ohio, its term of service having expired.

The officers of the Third Ohio being retained in prison for such a length of time, no effort
was made at the proper time to re-enlist the regiment as Veterans, and, therefore, at the end of
their first three years' term, 23d of June, 1864, the men were mustered out of service.

After a brief visit to their homes, the great majority of the men and officers re-enlisted in
other regiments " for the war," and performed gallant service up to the end of the strife. Many
of them laid down their lives a willing sacrifice to their country's need.
Vol. II— 3.


Ohio in the War.









April 26, 1861
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April 26, 1861

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May 2o| "

Lt. Colonel....

H. H. McAbee

Ass't Surgeon








E. B. Olmstead


E. Powell






Online LibraryWhitelaw ReidOhio in the war : her statesmen, her generals, and soldiers (Volume 2) → online text (page 5 of 165)