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June 21,
May 21,
April 16,
March 27,
Aug. 30,
Sept. 25,



April

July



Sept.
Nov.



1862
1863



Jan. 21,

Dec. 24

Feb. 28

Dec. 23

Feb. 1,

June 22

Nov. 1

April 16



Fob. 10, 1863



Aug.

March

April



Promoted to Captain.

Resigned March 6, 1864.

Promoted to Captain.

Honorably discharged October 23, 1863.

Resigned January 22, 1S63.

Resigned July 5, 1864.

Resigned June IS, 1864.

Honorably discharged July 25, 1864.

Promoted to Captain.

Promoted to Captain.

Mustered out May 15, 1865.

Promoted to Captain.

Promoted to Captain.

Promoted to Captain.

Promoted to Captain.

Promoted to Captain C. S., U. S. Vols.

Promoted to Captain.

Promoted to Captain.

Promoted to Captain.

Promoted to Captain.

Promoted to Captain.

Promoted to Captain.

Mustered out with regiment.

Mustered out with regiment.
Mustered out with regiment.
Mustered out with regiment.

Mustered out with regiment.

On detached duty.
Mustered out with regiment.
Promoted to 1st Lieutenant.
Promoted to 1st Lieutenant.
Promoted to 1st Lieutenant.
Promoted to 1st Lieuteriant.
Promoted to 1st Lieutenant.
Resigned December 23, 1863.
Promoted to 1st Lieutenant.
Promoted to 1st Lieutenant.
Promoted to 1st Lieutenant.
Killed at Bull Run, August 30, 1862.
Promoted to 1st Lieutenant.
Promoted to 1st Lieutenant.
Resigned February 1, 1863.
Resigned September 25, 1862.
Promoted to 1st Lieutenant.
Promoted to 1st Lieutenant.
Revoked.

Honorably discharged.
Promoted to 1st Lieutenant.
Promoted to 1st Lieutenant.
Appointed Captain A. A. G.
Promoted to 1st Lieutenant.
Resigned August 12, 1863.
Promoted to 1st Lieutenant.
Honorably discharged October 23, 1863.
Promoted to 1st Lieutenant.
Promoted to 1st Lieutenant.
Promoted to 1st Lieutenant.
Promoted to 1st Lieutenant.
Promoted to 1st Lieutenant.
Promoted to 1st Lieutenant.
Promoted to 1st Lieutenant.



Seventy-Third Ohio Infantry. 419



SEVENTY-THIRD OHIO VOLUNTEER INFANTRY.



ON the 6th of October, 1861, Governor Dennison authorized Orlando Smith, of Chiliicothe,
to raise a regiment which, when completed, he should command. Camp Logan, near
Chiliicothe, was selected as the place of rendezvous. Recruiting commissions were
secured for the prospective commanders of companies — mostly young men of Chiliicothe and
vicinity.

The work of recruiting progressed with energy ; and on the 30th of December, 1861, the
regiment having attained the maximum, was regularly mustered into the service. The majority
of the men composing it were recruited in Ross County, though parts of several companies came
from the counties of Pike, Highland, Pickaway, Athens, and Hocking.

The Seventy-Third remained in camp, perfecting its drill, until the 24th of January, 1862,
when it moved, via. Parkersburg, to Grafton and Fetterman, West Virginia, and thence, a few
days later, to New Creek. On the 6th of February it formed part of an expedition against Rom-
ney, the Rebels evacuating the place on the approach of the National troops. The expedition
returned to New Creek. A few days later the regiment marched on a similar expedition against
Moorefield, and at that place had its first experience of fighting. After a few hours' skirmishing
they crossed the river under fire and captured the town. These two expeditions were arduous in
the extreme, being forced marches of eighty miles over wretched mountain-roads in stormy win-
ter weather. The hardships and fatigue of this brief campaign exceeded in severity any which
the regiment ever encountered, all unused as the men were to campaigning, and ignorant of the
many appliances by which the veterans of after years knew how to shield themselves from the
most inclement seasons, and to alleviate the hardships of the most extended and severe marches.
It is not surprising, then, that the seeds of disease were thickly sown among them, and that
numbers went to their graves early in the campaign.

On the return of the regiment to New Creek the measles and camp-fever began to appear.
In a few days the regiment was ordered to Clarksburg, arriving there on the 19th of February.
Amid sleet and 6now it laid out its camp and entered upon a month's campaign of disease. Wm.
Pearce, of company A, died on the 24th of February ; and for nearly a month thereafter one,
two, or more died each day, and near three hundred men were placed in hospital. On the 20th
of March, the sickness having considerably abated, the regiment was moved to the town of Wes-
ton. At this place the health of the men was measurably restored, and after a fortnight's rest it
marched to join General Milroy's command at Cheat Mountain. To reach General Milroy the
mountain was to be crossed. The regiment, unaccustomed as yet to move without baggage, after
reducing its equipage and turning over the surplus as far as was thought possible, marched with
a train of forty wagons, a number that would have excited the amusement of an old campaigner.
Halting on the way for a day or two at Buckhannon, Rich Mountain, and Beverly ; passing
through Huttonsville and over the Cheat and Alleghany Ridges, the regiment reached General
Milroy at Monterey. The whole command, including the Seventy-Third, soon moved forward
to McDowell. Meanwhile a small foraging party of the regiment had been 6ent out toward
Williamsville. On its return-trip it was attacked by guerrillas, the train burned, and the guard
nearly all wounded or captured. A force of picked men, under Major Long, was immediately
Bent out, and coming up with the scoundrels, ample vengeance was taken, and the expedition
returned to camp laden with supplies.



420 Ohio in the Wab.

On the 7th of May the enemy, under Stonewall Jackson, attacked General Milroy's advanced
forces at Shenandoah Mountain, driving them back to McDowell. On the next day a spirited
engagement occurred at McDowell, in which the Seventy-Third was engaged, and met with
slight loss. On the night succeeding, the National army began its retreat toward Franklin,
reaching that place on the 10th of May. General Fremont now took command in person, and
reorganized the force preparatory to an offensive campaign.

An Ohio brigade was formed, consisting of the Seventy-Third, Fifty-Fifth, Seventy-Fifth,
Twenty-Fifth, and Eighty-Second, General Schenck commanding. Here, owing to the wretched
transportation, supplies became scarce, and for some days the regiment really suffered from
hunger.

On the 25th of May the command moved to encounter Jackson again. Passing through
Petersburg, where the sick, baggage, and transportation were left, they reached Moorefield, the
scene of the regiment's first essay at fighting, and overtook the enemy at Strasburg. Then fol-
lowed the pursuit up the Shenandoah Valley, through Woodstock, Edinburg, Mount Jackson,
New Market, and Harrisonburg, pressing upon the rear of Jackson. Beyond hard marching
and some skirmishing, nothing was effected.

On June 8, 1862, the regiment was engaged in the battle of Cross Keys, and lost eight men
killed and wounded.

After the escape of Jackson the troops retired slowly down the valley and encamped near
Middleton. At this place General Schenck took command of the division, and Colonel McLean
of the Seventy-Third Ohio, of the brigade. Nothing of note occurred until July 7th, when the
regiment, with the rest of the army, now under command of General Sigel, started for Eastern
Virginia. Moving through Front Royal and Luray, it crossed the Blue Ridge at Luray Gap,
and encamped at Sperryville. While lying at this place a number of changes and promotions
occurred.

The Seventy-Third passed a delightful month at Sperryville. The long-needed rest, after
the severe campaign it had passed through, was most grateful ; the fruits and vegetables in
which the valley abounded made army life, for once, seem like home; and the men, recruited
and refreshed, were soon ready for another campaign.

On August 8th the command took up its line of march for Culpepper, where it arrived next
evening in time to relieve General Banks's corps on the battle-field of Cedar Mountain. The fol-
lowing day was occupied in skirmishing, and the next in pursuit of Stonewall Jackson to the Rap-
idan. Here the regiment encamped until August 18th, when, the entire army of General Lee
having come up and passed the flank of General Pope, the latter began his retreat toward Wash-
ington City. Thenceforward until the 1st of September the regiment, with occasional brief inter-
vals, had no rest. Night and day it fought, marched, skirmished, picketed, and maneuvered in
the face of the enemy, scarce ever out of the range of hostile cannon and musketry.

Passing through Culpepper, the Seventy-Third crossed the Rappahannock at "White Sulphur
Springs, moved down the river to Rappahannock Station, and thence up to Freeman's Ford,
where it engaged the enemy ; thence back to White Sulphur and Waterloo, to prevent the enemy
from crossing.

The Rebels, baffled thus far, having at length flanked General Pope's right, the whole army
drew back toward Manassas. Passing through Warrenton, New Baltimore, and Gainesville, the
Seventy-Third reached the battle-ground the evening of August 27th. The next day was occu-
pied in skirmishing and maneuvering, without any severe fighting. The next morning the regi-
ment was held in reserve until afternoon, when the brigade was ordered to occupy Bald Hill, a
prominent eminence on the left of the main road, where it formed the extreme left of the line of
battle. The enemy having pressed back General Pope's right and center, came sweeping down
upon the front and flank of the left wing. Everything was falling back except Milroy's division,
posted immediately on the right of the brigade of Schenck's division in which the Seventy-
Third was acting. The retreat was rapidly becoming a rout. Milroy's right began to give way.
At this juncture the conduct of the Seventy-Third and its brigade undoubtedly saved the army



Seventy-Third Ohio Infantry. 421

from destruction. Its conspicuous position on the hill enabled the whole line to witness its gal-
lant behavior.

Flushed with success and yelling like demons, the enemy rushed to the very muzzles of the
National muskets, but the brigade stood firm and repulsed them with great slaughter. With
loud cheers the National brigade announced its success. Milroy was thus enabled to rally his
broken line. The enemy made another dash, only to meet the fate of the former. They fell
back in confusion, leaving a winrow of dead and wounded behind them. The victorious shouts
of the Nationals resounded to the extreme right of the line. The retreating columns were
halted. Milroy stood firm. Meade, next on the right, rallied his division to a strong position,
which he held for hours thereafter, punishing Longstreet, who assailed him, with fearful
slaughter. This enabled the commanders still further to the right to rally their troops. The
entire line was restored and held until nightfall, though too late to win a victory.

Meanwhile the enemy had returned to the charge on the left; and, having largely the
advantage in numbers, his column pressed, not only upon the National front, but upon its
exposed and unprotected flank. Changing front, the Ohio Brigade, now greatly exhausted, vainly
endeavored to stay the last onset. Slowly, in good order, it fell back to the woods in the rear,
fighting as it retreated. Flanked again and again, it retreated, fighting as before, across the run.
It was now nightfall, and the enemy having suffered severely, did not follow. During the night
the Ohio Brigade fell back across Bull Run and went into camp at Centerville. After a day's
rest it moved through Fairfax C. H. to the defense of Washington.

The service rendered by the Seventy-Third and its brigade on this occasion can hardly be
overestimated. Its firm stand and desperate fighting at a critical juncture, in the sight of the
entire army, enabled General Pope to rally his broken lines, re-form, and hold the enemy in
check until nightfall. But for this, the defeat would have been an utter rout. General Pope, in
his official report, gave it due credit.

The loss of the regiment was very severe. Out of three hundred and ten men present for
- duty, one hundred and forty-four were killed or wounded, and twenty captured. Lieutenant
Trimble was killed, Captain Burkett mortally wounded, Lieutenant McKell wounded, and Lieu-
tenant Martin captured.

The regiment remained in the defenses of Washington, at Fairfax, and Centerville, until
November, engaged in picketing and reconnoissances. About the last of October it received one
hundred and twenty new recruits. While near Washington a new brigade was formed, consist-
ing of the Seventy-Third Ohio, One Hundred and Thirty-Sixth and One Hundred and Thirty-
Fourth New York, and the Thirty-Third Massachusetts Regiments, Colonel Smith, of the
Seventy-Third, in command.

The new brigade participated in a reconnoissance to Thoroughfare Gap and New Baltimore
early in November. Aside from this nothing of note occurred till December 12th, when the
corps (now numbered as the Eleventh) moved to join General Burnside at Fredericksburg,
which place it reached just as the battle ended. The regiment did its share of marching and
exposure in the second attempt for the capture of Fredericksburg. Thereafter it went into camp
at Aquia Creek until April 27, 1863, when the Chancellorsville campaign began. While lying
here a number of changes and promotions occurred.

In the Chancellorsville campaign the regiment formed part of the column which turned the
left of Lee's Army, crossing the Rappahannock at Kelly's Ford and the Rapidan at Germania;
and, passing through the Wilderness, encamped on the plankroad, two miles from Chancellors-
ville, on the night of May 1st. The next day the brigade was ordered to join General Birney
in a reconnoissance to the front, which occupied it until midnight. This saved it from partici-
pation in the terrible fight and rout of the Eleventh Corps which occurred that day. With the
rest of the army, after the battle, it returned to its old camping-ground.

Nothing noteworthy occurred until June 12th, when the army entered upon the Gettysburg
campaign. Passing through Catlett's and Manassas, it crossed the Potomac at Edward's Ferry,
and pushing through Middletown, occupied South Mountain. Thence the brigade made a forced



422 Ohio in the War.

march of thirty-eight miles in twenty-four hours, through rain and mud, to Emmettsburg. De-
laying there but a short time, it hurried on toward Gettysburg, the sound of cannon giving
assurance that fighting had already begun. It reached the battle-field late in the afternoon, just
as the broken remnants of the First Corps and the remaining brigades of the Eleventh came
streaming back in disorder. Immediately the command was deployed upon Cemetery Hill to
check the enemy and cover the retreat of its defeated comrades. At that moment, and until mid-
night, it was the only organized force in good condition for fight on the battle-field, and in the
face of nearly the whole of Lee's army, flushed with victory. The bold front which the brigade
assumed, and its promptness in checking the Rebel pursuit, aided by the now approaching dark-
ness, which concealed its numbers, deceived the enemy, who supposed a fresh corps had arrived,
and induced him to defer further operations until daybreak. This saved the Cemetery Hill, and
insured the subsequent victory at Gettysburg.

Displayed into one great picket-line, this little band of four regiments stood around the hill
until midnight, when the advance of the other corps brought relief from the terrible suspense. By
morning the National army was in position. Thenceforward until the end of the battle the regi-
ment, willi its brigade, held the line in front of Cemetery Hill, to the left of the town, and was
almost incessantly engaged on the ground in its front. Its losses during the fight amounted to
one hundred and forty- three officers and men out of about three hundred.

After the battle the regiment was engaged in the pursuit of Lee, moving via Emmettsburg,
Middletown, and South Mountain, to Hagerstown, and thence to Falling Water. No fighting of
any note occurred. After Lee's retreat over the Potomac the regiment, retracing its steps,
crossed the river with the rest of the army at Berlin, and marching via White Plains, New Bal-
timore, and Catlett's, finally went into camp at Bristow's Station, where it remained until Sep-
tember 24th, and was then transferred, as part of General Hooker's command, to the Army of
the Cumberland.

The regiment reached Bridgeport, Alabama, in five days from starting. It remained here
and at Stevenson until October 24th, when, as the advance of General Hooker's army, it moved
to the relief of Chattanooga. Crossing the Tennessee River, it marched to Lookout Valley via
Shellmound and Wauhatchie. At the latter place the enemy made a stand, but was speedily
driven over Lookout Creek, and the National army, under the fire of Rebel batteries on the
mountain, pushed down the valley and formed a junction with the Army of the Cumberland at
Brown's Ferry, General Geary's division only being left at Wauhatchie, five miles in the rear.

During the night following the enemy recrossed Lookout Creek, occupied the hills between
Wauhatchie and the main body of the army, and made a furious attack upon General Geary.
The Eleventh Corps, aroused at midnight by the firing, moved at once to re-establish communi-
cation and succor him. Colonel Smith's brigade was ordered to charge the most important of the
hills on which the enemy was posted. Supposing the enemy's force to be small, Colonel Smith
placed the Seventy-Third Ohio and a part of the Eighty-Third Massachusetts (in all less than
five hundred muskets) in line, and directed them to move up the slope. Nothing was known of
the ground, and the night Avas very dark. Scrambling up the steep acclivity through under-
brush, the men sometimes pulling themselves up by hand, as the little column approached the
summit it was saluted by a terrible fire of musketry from what afterward proved to be an entire
brigade of Longstreet's corps, over two thousand strong, and covered by breastworks. Nothing
dismayed, the column fixed bayonets, and, climbing to the top, drove the Rebels out of their
trenches and down the opposite slope in great confusion. This decided the battle. The entire
Rebel line gave way and fled precipitately across Lookout Creek.

The conduct of the Seventy -Third on this occasion called forth high praise and especial
notice from Generals Hooker, Thomas, and Grant, who visited the scene, on the following day.
The latter, in his official dispatches, named it "one of the most daring feats of arms of the
war." In this action the regiment lost sixty-five men and officers out of two hundred.

Encamping near the scene of its late victory, the Seventy-Third Ohio was occupied by
picket-duty and building earthworks until November 22d, when, with the rest of the corps, it



Seventy-Thikd Ohio Infantry. 423

crossed the river and was engaged in the battle of Mission Ridge. Its position was in the left
center, and subsequently on the extreme left, with General Sherman. After the fight it formed
part of the pursuing column, and immediately thereafter marched with General Sherman to the
relief of Knoxville. Returning, it reached Chattanooga December 17th, and shortly thereafter
re-enlisted as veterans.

On January 4, 1864, the regiment joyfully set out for home on veteran furlough. It reached
Chillicothe on the 15th of January, and was welcomed with music, banners, and feasting.

The month of furlough expired only too soon, and, with one hundred and twenty recruits,
the Seventy-Third returned to its old camping-ground in Lookout Valley. While at home
Colonel Orlando Smith resigned, which led to several changes and promotions.

' In the army as now reorganized the regiment was assigned to the Third Brigade (Wood's),
Third Division (Butterfi eld's), Twentieth Corps (Hooker's), Army of the Cumberland.

On the morning of May 2d the Seventy -Third, now numbering three hundred and eighteen
muskets, marched out of its camp in Lookout Valley to take its part in the coming great cam-
paign. Passing over the Chickamauga battle-ground, moving by the way of Gordon's Mills and
Ringgold, it took its place in the line in front of Rocky Face Ridge, near Buzzard's Roost.
After a few days of skirmishing and reconnoitering here, it moved with the corps through Snake
Creek Gap and confronted the enemy at Resaca. At the opening of the battle the regiment, with
its brigade, charged the hill in its front, driving the enemy back to their works. After holding
the position for some time the regiment was ordered to the left of the brigade. It moved thither
across an open field, in good order, under fire ; then advanced its line over a recreant regiment
lying in its way, to the exposed crest of the hill in front, which position it maintained firmly,
under constant fire, until nightfall. By morning the enemy had retreated, and the regiment
joined in the pursuit. It was highly complimented by its brigade and division commanders for
brilliant conduct in this action.

Pressing hard upon the enemy in his retreat, the brigade narrowly escaped capture near
Ringgold by its daring advance. With the exception of severe skirmishing near Casswell, it had
no fighting of consequence to do. The enemy having retreated across the Etowah River, the
command rested on its northern bank for three days. It then marched toward Dallas. Within
five miles of Dallas, near Pumpkin- Vine Creek, it met the Rebel foe once more. Pressing for-
ward and driving back the hostile skirmishers, the regiment brought up at length in front of the
main body of Johnston's army, securely positioned near New Hope Church, behind breastworks,
with tangled woods and marshes in front. A severe battle followed. The Seventy-Third was
posted on the extreme left, on an open slope, which descended toward the- enemy, who were con-
cealed behind thick underbrush and breastworks.

Though badly exposed and suffering severely every moment, the regiment stood firm and
fought till nightfall, when it was relieved. In this engagement three officers and seventy-two
men were killed and wounded. This battle was followed by some days of inaction, varied only
by skirmishing and fatigue-duty. The latter occupation had become a daily and hourly one ;
the spade was as familiar as the musket. At this place Colonel Long, whose health had been
failing for some months, tendered his resignation, which was accepted, and Lieutenant-Colonel
Hurst, Major Kiggins, and Captain Lucas were each commissioned to the next higher rank, but,
owing to the reduced number of the regiment, could not be mustered.

For the next few weeks the regiment participated in the common work of the army, viz. :
successive movements by the flank, each one being followed by the retreat of the enemy to a new
position, each one bringing us nearer to the objective of the campaign — Atlanta. At every step,
skirmishing, picketing, and fortifying formed the daily and nightly duty of the soldier. Scarce
ever was the regiment out of range of the enemy's guns, and almost each day some one wae
killed or wounded.

Pine Mountain, then the railroad, with Acworth and Allatoona, then Lost Mountain were
gained ; and the army confronted the enemy strongly intrenched upon Kenesaw and around
Marietta. In front of the latter position the Seventy-Third and its division made a gallant



424 Ohio in the War.

fight. Pushing to the front without support or connections, it charged the enemy and drove
them from their advanced line. The regiment lost sixteen men killed and wounded.

On the 24th of May the brigade was similarly engaged. The enemy's advanced works
were taken and re-taken several times, and finally held ; and the Seventy-Third again lost nine-
teen men in the action. On the 6th of June the Chattahoochie was reached, and the spires of
Atlanta loomed in sight. After a few days of rest the river was crossed, and, in line with the
rest of the army, the regiment moved on the devoted city.

On June 20th the regiment reached Peachtree Creek. Crossing this creek, impeded only by
some scattering skirmishers, the troops halted for dinner. Suddenly sharp firing by the pickets
gave evidence that the enemy were coming. Springing to arms and moving up the slope, they
found that the Rebels, in heavy columns, at double-quick, were driving in our pickets with all
possible speed, hoping to take the National army by surprise. For once in this long campaign



Online LibraryWhitelaw ReidOhio in the war : her statesmen, her generals, and soldiers (Volume 2) → online text (page 75 of 165)