Captain Charles R. Woods, of the 9th United States Infantry, having been authorized to raise a regiment for the three years' service, recruited and organized the 76th Ohio Volunteer Infantry at Newark, Ohio, on the 9th of February, 1862. The regiment left Newark, and, proceeding via Paducah, Ky., to Fort Donelson, took an active part in the engagement at that place. On the 6th of March it moved to the Tennessee river, and then up the river to Crump's Landing, where it remained until the 31st, when it marched to Adamsville, and took position in General Lew Wallace's Division, in the right wing of General Grant's army. The division made a forced march to Pittsburg Landing (Shiloh) on the 6th of April, and was in line of battle by dark, and during the entire engagement was constantly exposed to the enemy's fire. In the latter part of April the regiment formed a part of a reconnoitering party toward Corinth, charging the Rebels, driving them from their position, and destroying their camp equipage. It formed a part of the grand reserve during the advance on Corinth, and, after the evacuation, moved to Memphis, arriving on the 17th of June, having marched 130 miles with wagon supplies. The 76th moved down the river on the 24th of July, and encamped near Helena, Ark.
In the reorganization of the Army of the Southwest, the 76th was placed in the 2d Brigade, commanded by Colonel C.R. Woods, and in the 3d Division, commanded by General P.J. Osterhaus. On the 16th of August the regiment, forming a part of an expedition of observation, moved down the Mississippi, landed at Milliken's Bend on the 18th, surprised the 31st Louisiana Regiment, and captured all its camp and garrison equipage. The enemy was followed 9 miles, and 40 prisoners were captured. The fleet dropped down to the mouth of the Yazoo, and a detachment, comprising a portion of the 76th, proceeded up the mouth of the Yazoo, surprised Haines' Bluff, and captured 4 siege guns, 2 field pieces, and a large quantity of fixed ammunition. The expedition returned to Helena on the 27th. The regiment embarked for St. Genevieve, Mo., early in October, and, remaining a week, moved with the division to Pilot Knob, where it encamped for rest and reorganization. It became very healthy and efficient during its stay here, and on the 12th of November returned to St. Genevieve and embarked for Camp Steele, Miss. On the 21st of December it formed a part of General Sherman's expedition for Vicksburg. The fleet arrived at Johnson's Landing, on the Yazoo, on the 26th, and the division, then commanded by General Steele, disembarked; and Hovey's Brigade, of which the 76th was part, made a feint on Haines' Bluff, and then took position on the extreme left of the army. On the 29th the division moved to the main army at Chickasaw Bayou; and, during the battle, the regiment was held in reserve.
General Sherman having abandoned the assault on Vicksburg, the troops reembarked and proceeded up the Mississippi, landing at Arkansas Post on the evening of the 10th of January,1863. That night the regiment marched 6 miles through mud and water, and by 2 o'clock next morning the troops occupied the cantonments of the enemy. Shortly after daylight they moved upon the enemy's works, and about 1 o'clock the 76th charged within 100 yards of the rifle- pits, halted, opened fire, and held the position for 3 hours, when the enemy surrendered. On the 14th, after burning the cantonments of the enemy, it returned to the river, and, embarking on the 23d, the troops landed at Young's Point, La. On the night of 14th of February two noncommissioned officers of Company B were killed and four disabled by lightning. During the entire month heavy details were made from the regiment to work upon the canal then in progress across the neck of land opposite Vicksburg. On the 2d of April the regiment, with Steele's Division, proceeded on transports up the river to Greenville, Miss. The command marched down Deer Creek after the Rebel force under Colonel Ferguson, and on the 7th made an attack and routed them. The command returned to Greenville after destroying a million dollars' worth of corn and mules. About 300 negroes followed the troops on their return, and were enlisted in colored regiments.
On the 24th the 76th returned to Young's Point, and on the 26th moved to Milliken's Bend, and prepared to march with the grand army southward. On the 2d of May the 15th Corps started for Hard Times Landing, where it arrived on the 6th, and crossed to Grand Gulf. The 76th moved eastward, and, at Fourteen Mile Creek, the division was attacked by a mounted force of the enemy. Colonel Wood's Brigade pushed across the creek in the face of a sharp fire and drove the enemy back. At Jackson the regiment charged the works on the enemy's left. The works were evacuated and the city surrendered. On the 16th the corps marched for Vicksburg, and on the 18th took position in the line of investment. The next day the regiment pushed along the foot of the bluffs near the river, and established itself in position 600 yards from the main lines of the enemy. The batteries of the enemy in front of the 76th were silenced, and none of his guns could be manned except those of the water batteries. Heavy details were constantly made for strengthening the works. In the course of several nights 8 guns were taken off the sunken gunboat Cincinnati and placed in position with telling effect. After the surrender of Vicksburg the regiment marched in pursuit of Johnston, and arrived at Jackson on the 10th of July. While here it was chiefly employed in foraging and making reconnoissances. On the 23d the regiment marched for Big Black bridge, where the corps went into camp for rest and reorganization.
On the 23d of September the division (General Osterhaus in command) embarked at Vicksburg for Memphis; and on the 30th moved from the latter place by railroad to Corinth. During the months of October and November the regiment marched and skirmished in northern Alabama and Tennessee, arriving at Chattanooga in time to join General Hooker in the assault on Lookout Mountain; was engaged at Mission Ridge; and on the 27th of November charged up Taylor's Ridge (Ringgold Gap, GA.) under a heavy fire, suffering a fearful loss. In one company of 20 men, 8 were killed and 8 wounded, and 7 men were shot down while carrying the regimental colors. After marching and bivouacking in various places, on the 1st of January, 1864, the regiment went into camp for the winter at Paint Rock, Ala.
About two-thirds of the regiment on January 4th reenlisted as veterans, and leave was granted to proceed to Ohio. On the 30th it moved, via Nashville, Louisville and Cincinnati, to Columbus, Ohio, and on the 8th of February took the train for Newark. The regiment disembarked one mile from the city, and moved into town in column by company. It was enthusiastically welcomed by a large concourse of the citizens; speeches were made and a sumptuous repast was partaken of at the City Hall. The members were furloughed to their homes. The 76th went away 962 strong, and returned in two years with less than 300. The regiment returned to Cincinnati on the 15th of March, and proceeded, via Louisville, Nashville, and Huntsville, to the old camp at Paint Rock. On the 1st of May it broke camp and marched with the division for Chattanooga. At Bridgeport it was presented with a new stand of colors from the citizens of Newark. The troops arrived at Chattanooga on the 6th, and pushed forward 12 miles. On the 9th the regiment moved through Snake Creek Gap, and continued moving forward, skirmishing and fortifying, until the 14th, at 6 o'clock in the evening, when the regiment, with the brigade, charged across the fields under a hot fire, and gained a footing on the first line of hills west of Resaca. On the 16th, the enemy having evacuated, the 76th moved through Resaca and Adairsville to Dallas. Hardee's Corps assaulted the lines of the 15th Corps on the 28th, and was repulsed, leaving many dead on the field, some of them within 50 yards of the works in front of the 76th Ohio.
On the 1st of June the corps moved to the left, near New Hope Church, then to Acworth, then south, and so on, each day advancing and fortifying, until, on the 22d, it occupied a position near the railroad at the foot of Kenesaw Mountain. The regiment remained in the rifle-pits until after the Rebels evacuated it; then moved to Rossville; thence across the Chattahoochie, through Decatur, to within four miles of Atlanta, on the 20th of July. On the 22d the Rebels captured four 20-pound Parrot guns, and the 76th Ohio and the 13th Iowa, of the 1st Brigade, were the first to drive the enemy from the works and to recapture the guns. About noon on the 28th the enemy attacked the whole line of the 15th Corps at Ezra Church; and three successive charges being made, each one proved unavailing. 1,000 of the Rebel dead were found in front of the 15th Corps. On the 13th of August the skirmish line in front of the division was advanced, and the 76th captured 50 prisoners. On the 26th the regiment moved out of the works, with the division, to the West Point and Montgomery Railroad, which they destroyed, marched southward toward Jonesboro; and on the night of the 30th formed in line across Flint river. The next day the Rebels charged the line and were repulsed, the 76th taking an active share in the engagement, without the protection of rifle-pits.
On the 8th of September the division moved to East Point and encamped for rest and reorganization. On the 4th of October the regiment crossed the Chattahoochie, marched through Marietta, north of Kenesaw Mountain, near Adairsville; through Resaca; through Snake Creek Gap; and on the 16th skirmished with the enemy at Ship's Gap. On the next day the regiment marched through Lafayette, and on the 18th moved south through Summerville and bivouacked. Here the nonveterans were mustered out. The regiment moved with the army to Little river, Cave Springs, and near to Atlanta. On the 15th of November the 15th Corps cut loose from Atlanta and moved southward with the right wing of the army, averaging 15 miles per day, and foraging off the country.
The route of the 15th Corps was via McDonough, Indian Springs, Clinton, and Irwintown, crossing the Macon; thence eastward across the Oconee river to the Ogeechee, and down the west bank of that stream to the mouth of the Cannouchee; thence across the Ogeechee eastward to Savannah, where it formed on the 18th of December, being 26 days out from Atlanta.
After the evacuation the regiment performed provost guard duty in the city until the 9th of January, 1865, when it embarked on the gunboat Winona for Beaufort, S.C. From Beaufort it marched to Gardner's Corners, where preparations were made for the march northward; and on the 31st the command broke camp and started on the "Campaign of the Carolinas." On the 16th of February the troops formed on the outskirts of Columbia, and the 76th was engaged in skirmishing until the evacuation of the city, when it again performed provost guard duty for 4 days. The troops arrived at Fayetteville on the 12th of March; crossed Cape Fear and Black rivers; moved to Bentonville, where they engaged the enemy; and thence via Goldsboro' to Raleigh, where the 76th remained until Johnston's surrender.
On the 30th of April the army broke camp and marched, via Richmond and Hanover C.H., to Washington, reaching the capitol on the 23d of May, 1865. The 76th shared in the Grand Review, and shortly after moved to Louisville, Ky., where it was mustered out. It then proceeded to Columbus, Ohio, and was discharged on the 24th of July, 1865.
This regiment participated in 44 battles; moved 9,625 miles on foot, by rail, and by water; passed through the rebellious states of Kentucky, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia. 241 men were wounded in battle; 351 died on the field or in hospitals; 222 carry scars as evidence of their struggle with the enemy, and 282 have the seeds of disease contracted in the line of duty. It is a sad, but noble record, and the survivors may well be proud of the part they have taken in establishing the greatness and permanence of the American Union.
During its term of service this regiment bore an honorable part in the following battles:
Fort Donelson, Tenn.............February 14-16, 1862
Shiloh, Tenn....................April 6-7, 1862
Corinth, Miss. (siege of).......April 30 to May 30, 1862
Milliken's Bend, La.............August 18, 1862
Chickasaw Bayou, Miss...........December 28,29, 1862
Arkansas Post, Ark. (Ft. Hindman)..........January 11, 1863
Vicksburg, Miss. (siege of).....May 18 to July 4, 1863
Canton, Miss....................July 18, 1863
Jackson, Miss...................July 9-16, 1863
Lookout Mountain, Tenn..........November 24, 1863
Mission Ridge, Tenn.............November 25, 1863
Ringgold, Ga....................November 27, 1863
Resaca, Ga......................May 13-16, 1864
Dallas, Ga......................May 25 to June 4, 1864
Kenesaw Mountain, Ga............June 9-30, 1864
Atlanta, Ga. (Hood's second sortie).....July 22, 1864
Atlanta, Ga. (siege of).........July 28 to Sept. 1, 1864
Jonesboro, Ga...................August 31, Sept. 1, 1864
Lovejoy Station, Ga.............September 2-6, 1864
Ship's Gap, Ga..................October 16, 1864
Gadsen, Ala.....................October 26, 1864
Columbia, S.C...................February 16, 17, 1865
Bentonville, N.C................March 19-21, 1865
Grand Review, Washington D.C....May 24, 1865
From: Ohio At Vicksburg
Report Of The Ohio Vicksburg Battlefield Commission
By W.P.Gault Sergt. Co.F, 78th O.V.I.
Images courtesy of
Richard F. Carlile
Brad L. Pruden
And Blue Acorn Press
For more info see the 76th Ohio Infantry page at Ohio in the Civil War
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