Showing posts from November, 2019

10 Days to Franklin: The 183rd Ohio Goes To War

The 183rd Ohio Infantry, a new regiment raised primarily in Cincinnati of Germans or men of German descent, made one of the most rapid transitions from peace to war of any regiment from Ohio. Mustered into service November 18, 1864 at Camp Dennison, Ohio, in ten days the men found themselves at the front, staring across the Duck River in southern Tennessee about to square off with the invading legions of John Bell Hood's Army of Tennessee.  An unnerving experience for a new unit, the 183rd Ohio performed remarkably well in the hectic three days that followed in large part due to the breadth of experience of its officers and enlisted men. Its colonel, George Hoge, had a distinguished career with the 126th Ohio while Lieutenant Colonel Mervin Clark had served with the Rooster Regiment, the notable 7th Ohio Infantry. Chaplain John Geer had served with the 48th Ohio in the early part of the war and the story of his capture at Shiloh was recounted on this blog some time ago. (See &qu

A Glorious Conclusion: the Surrender of Vicksburg

To mark my 100 th blog post regarding the Civil War, I wanted to put something together regarding one of the most poignant events of the war, the surrender of Vicksburg, Mississippi on July 4, 1863. Widely regarded (with Gettysburg) as the turning point of the conflict, many of the veterans of both Grant’s and Pemberton’s armies penned memoirs and reminiscences of the events leading up to the surrender. For this post, I’d like to share the memories of a few soldiers of the 32 nd Ohio who were eyewitnesses to the negotiations and eventual surrender of the city, interspersed with accounts from Generals Grant and Pemberton.   Sgt. Henry G. Lehmann, Co. H, 32nd O.V.I.           Sergeant Henry G. Lehmann Co. H, 32 nd Ohio had just finished some clerical work for Colonel Benjamin Potts and was about to commence sharpshooting on the Rebels when he spied two Rebel horsemen approaching with a white flag. “Turning to the colonel, I shouted, ‘There comes a white flag!’ He replied, ‘O

The Magnolia Mission: Dr. John D. O'Connor Visits Shiloh

Dr. John Deming O'Connor was born September 24, 1822 in Woodsfield, Monroe Co., Ohio to an Irish father Daniel O'Connor who had deserted the British army in Canada shortly after the War of 1812. As remembered by lifelong friend William Okey, Daniel felt that “he had served His Majesty long enough and imbued with a love of our free institutions, he and two comrades crossed in a small boat from Queenstown to the American shore, and, after remaining in New York a short time, he came on foot to Wheeling, Virginia, then to Woodsfield.” His father settled in Woodsfield in 1818 where he married and became a successful politician, serving 30 years as the county recorder.   John D. O'Connor, Jr. The youngest son was said to have borne a striking resemblance to his father Dr. John D. O'Connor. John O'Connor attended the local public schools but also received some private instruction before becoming an apprentice in the office of Dr. Josiah M. Dillon where he learned

Brigham's War: Letters from the 27th Ohio Infantry Pt. III

In July 1861, a company was raised by Captain Milton Wells in southeastern Ohio and went to Camp Chase at Columbus to join a new regiment. The company called itself the  Monroe and Noble Rangers , named for the two counties from which the men enlisted, and became Co. D of the 27 th  Ohio Volunteer Infantry. In its ranks, an unknown soldier who went by the pen name 'Brigham' wrote a series of letters to the Woodsfield  Spirit of Democracy  giving a detailed account of life in the first year of the Civil War, the last of which was published in February 1863. Billed as “A Soldier's Jottings,” Brigham's letters come to us as rather chatty descriptions of life in Uncle Sam's service in the western theater in the early years of the war. This blog post includes some of the highlights of this correspondence. The 27 th  Ohio Infantry served in the western theater, initially going to Missouri and taking part in several successful operations along the Mississippi River. I