Chronicles of the 100th Ohio Volunteer Infantry

The 100th Ohio Volunteer Infantry was raised throughout northwestern Ohio, with companies from Defiance, Fulton, Lucas, Henry, Ottawa, Paulding, Sandusky, Williams, and Wood Counties making up its ranks. Shortly after mustering in, the regiment was sent (sans any training) to Cincinnati to help defend the city against the Confederate invasion of Kentucky. They spent the fall of 1862 and winter of 1863 moving from post to post in eastern Kentucky and while busily engaged in "bushwhacking," never had an opportunity to take part in a major engagement. That changed in the late summer of 1863.

Quoting Whitelaw Reid, "On the 13th of August, the regiment went into camp at Danville preparatory for the march to East Tennessee. Upon arriving at Knoxville, a portion of the regiment was sent up to the Virginia State Line to guard the railroad. The detachment, 240 strong, was captured by the enemy and sent to Richmond, Virginia." The engagement mentioned occurred at Limestone Station, Tennessee, and while it was not mentioned in the following piece, the comment about stretching his hands to deliver his fellow soldiers from Danville is in reference to the men captured at Limestone. 

This whimsical piece, written by a soldier of Co. F of the 100th Ohio under the pen name Maumee, was published in Parson Brownlow's organ of East Tennessee Unionism the Knoxville Whig and Rebel Ventilator on page 2 of the April 2, 1864 issue. 
Image of unknown soldier from the 100th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, likely from Co. A as it was raised partially in Wood County. Note the "100" on his kepi; this image likely dates from the enlistment of the regiment in the summer of 1862. Photo courtesy of Wood County Historical Museum

"Chronicles of the 100th Ohio Volunteer Infantry"
1.     Man that is born of woman and enlisteth as a soldier in the 100th Ohio is of few days and short rations.

2.     He cometh forth at reveille, is present also at retreat, yea even at tattoo, and retireth apparently at taps.

3.     He draweth his rations from the commissary and devoureth the same. He striketh his teeth against much hardtack and is satisfied. He filleth his canteen with applejack and clappeth the mouth thereof upon the bung of a whiskey barrel and after a while goeth away rejoicing in his strategy.

4.     Much soldiering has made him sharp, yea even the seat of his breeches is in danger of being cut through.

5.     He coventeth with the credulous farmer for many turkeys, chickens, and pigs; also, at the same time, for muck milk and honey, to be paid for at the end of ten days and lo, his regiment moveth on the ninth day to another post!

6.     His tent is filled with many delicate morsels of delicious taste which abound not in the Commissary Department; and many other things not in the returns and which never will return; yet, of a truth, it must be said of the soldier of the 100th Ohio, that he taketh nothing that he cannot reach.

7.     He fireth his Enfield rifle at midnight and the whole camp is aroused and formed in line of battle, when lo his mess comes bearing in a nice porker, which he solemnly declareth so resembled a Secesh that he was compelled to pull the trigger.

8.     He giveth the Provost Marshal much trouble, often capturing the guard, and possesseth himself of the city. At such times lager and pretzels flow like milk and honey. He giveth without stint to his own comrade, yea and witholdeth not from his neighbor soldier.

9.     He stretcheth forth his hand to deliver his fellow soldiers from Danville from the power of the enemy; yea he starteth at early dawn from Richmond, even a forced march doth he go, and toileth through much suffering, privation, and much vexation of spirit until they are delivered. Verily I say unto you, after he suffereth for want of tents and camp kettles. Yea, in Camp Ella Bishop his voice was heard proclaiming loudly for hardtack and coffee, yet he murmureth not and consenteth to share the hospitalities of his neighbors.

10. But the grunt of a pig or the crowing of a cock awaketh him from the soundest sleep, and he goeth forth until halted by the guard, when he instantly clappeth his hands upon his bread basket and the guard in commiseration alloweth him to pass to the rear. No sooner hath he passed the sentry’s beat, he striketh a bee line for the nearest hen roost and seizing a pair of plump pullets, returneth soliloquizing: ‘The noise of a goose saved Rome, how much more the flesh of the chickens preserveth the soldier!’

11. The many acts which were performed by the soldier of the 100th Ohio Infantry on the march across the Cumberland Mountains and the trip up the East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad and many things which transpired at the siege of Knoxville if they were all to be chronicled would require much paper to contain them. And many things doeth he, and lo they are not recorded in the morning reports of Company F? Yea, verily.


To read more about the 100th Ohio, check Tony Valentine's site here


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