Infantry Units: 123rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry

The biographical sketches here show only those members of the unit who wrote letters to their local newspapers. Information may be drawn from the unit roster, newspaper obituaries, or other biographical sources.

Field and Staff

Colonel William T. Wilson

(see 15th Ohio Volunteer Infantry for biographical and service information)
Norwalk Reflector: December 22, 1863
Wyandot Pioneer- February 27, 1863 pg. 3, October 23, 1863 pg. 2, November 13, 1863 pg. 3, November 20, 1863 pg. 2, December 4, 1863 pg. 2, December 18, 1863 pg. 2, January 29, 1864 pg. 2, June 24, 1864 pg. 2

Lieutenant Colonel Horace Kellogg, Company D

Horace Kellogg enlisted as a 34 year old Captain in Company D, 123rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry on September 16, 1862, mustering into service September 24, 1862. He was promoted to Major to date March 6, 1863 and was wounded in action June 15, 1863 at the Second Battle of Winchester. He was later promoted to Lieutenant Colonel to date December 14, 1864 and was mustered out June 12, 1865 at Camp Chase, Ohio.
Letter: Norwalk Reflector: November 3, 1863

Surgeon Orrin Ferris

Dr. Orrin Ferris was born February 2, 1817 in Shalersville, Portage Co., Ohio to Charles and Mary (Card) Ferris. Dr. Ferris married Oliver Flower on June 2, 1843 in Upper Sandusky, Ohio and had one son with her. Following her death, he married Mary Hirschill December 20, 1858 and had one daughter.

He served as the regimental surgeon for the 15th Ohio Volunteer Infantry for about the first year of the war. He enlisted and was commissioned April 27, 1861 and mustered out August 30, 1861 at Columbus, Ohio. He reenlisted in the 15th Ohio on September 20, 1861 and served with the regiment until failing health forced him to resign effective March 15, 1862. He enlisted once again as surgeon in the 123rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry on September 4, 1862, and was mustered into service September 4, 1862. He resigned his commission November 10, 1864. He died May 8, 1876 and is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery in Upper Sandusky, Wyandot Co., Ohio.
Wyandot Pioneer- March 6, 1863 pg. 3, August 7, 1863 (with casualty list for Second Winchester) pg. 2, May 27, 1864 (with casualty list for New Market) pg. 2
Wyandot Democratic Union- May 26, 1864 (with casualty list for New Market) pg. 3

Assistant Surgeon James H. Williams

Dr. James H. Williams enlisted as an assistant surgeon on September 4, 1862 and was given his commission on September 16, 1862. He remained with the regiment through its capture at Winchester in June 1863 and resigned his commission January 25, 1864.
Wyandot Democratic Union- December 18, 1862, pg. 1, January 29, 1863 pg. 2, September 10, 1863 pg. 1

Roster - Company A, 123rd OVI

Major John W. Chamberlain

John W. Chamberlain enlisted as the Captain of Co. A, 123rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry on August 12, 1862 and was mustered into service September 24, 1862. He was captured June 15, 1863 at the Second Battle of Winchester along with most of the regiment. He endured many months of captivity at Libby Prison in Richmond before being released in March 1864. He spent several months at home in Wyandot County before returning to the field and leading Company A through the rest of the war. He was given a brevet promotion to Major to date December 30, 1864 but never mustered at that rank. He mustered out with the regiment June 12, 1865 at Camp Chase, Columbus, Ohio.
Wyandot Pioneer- November 28, 1862 pg. 3, December 12, 1862 pg. 3, January 2, 1863 pg. 2, January 30, 1863 pg. 1, March 6, 1863 pg. 2, April 3, 1863 pg. 2, July 15, 1864 (2) pgs.1 and 2, July 29, 1864 pg. 2, September 2, 1864 pg. 1, October 7, 1864 pg. 3
"A History of Prison Life in Libby"- Pt. 1 April 22, 1864 pg. 1, Pt. 2 May 13, 1864 pg. 1, Pt. 3 June 3, 1864 pg. 1, Pt. 4 June 10, 1864 pg. 1, Pt. 5 July 1, 1864 pg. 1, Pt. 6 July 8, 1864 pg. 1

Roster - Company B, 123rd OVI

Captain Henry S. Clapp, Company B

Henry S. Clapp enlisted as a 20 year old Private in Company B, 123rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry on August 18, 1862, mustering into service September 24, 1862. Promoted to Corporal on August 18, 1863, he was discharged for promotion to Second Lieutenant in the 19th U.S. Colored Troops to date August 11, 1864. He was promoted to First Lieutenant March 1, 1866 and was awarded a brevet promotion to Captain to date March 13, 1866. He mustered out at an unknown date.
Letters: Norwalk Reflector: June 30, 1863, July 6, 1863

Captain John F. Randolph

John F. Randolph recruited Co. B, 123rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry and enlisted August 16, 1862, receiving his commission as First Lieutenant to date September 24, 1862 when he mustered into service. He was promoted to Captain to date March 6, 1863 and was captured at the Second Battle of Winchester on June 15, 1863, being imprisoned at Libby Prison for several months. Following more than a year of confinement at Macon and Columbia prisons, he escaped November 28, 1864 from Columbia, South Carolina. Following his return to the 123rd Ohio in 1864, he took part in the battles of new Market, Cool Springs, Third Winchester, Fisher's Hill, and Cedar Creek before being wounded at the battle of High Bridge on April 6, 1865. He was mustered out with the regiment June 12, 1865 at Camp Chase, Columbus, Ohio.
Norwalk Reflector: August 11, 1863
Wyandot Pioneer- October 23, 1863 pg. 2

Adjutant Elmer E. Husted, Company B

Elmer E. Husted enlisted as a 25 year old Private in Company B, 123rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry on August 16, 1862, mustering into service September 24, 1862 at which time he was appointed Quartermaster Sergeant. He was commissioned Second Lieutenant to date January 31, 1863 and transferred to Company B. Husted was captured June 15, 1863 at the Second Battle of Winchester and exchanged September 1, 1863. He was promoted to First Lieutenant and designated regimental Adjutant to date December 9, 1864, and was mustered out June 12, 1865 at Camp Chase, Ohio.
Letter: Norwalk Reflector: July 21, 1863, November 3, 1863, July 19, 1864, August 9, 1864, October 18, 1864, May 2, 1865

First Lieutenant Frederick Christian Wickham, Company B

Frederick C. Wickham enlisted as a 20 year old Private in Company B, 123rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry on August 18, 1862, mustering into service September 24, 1862 when he was appointed regimental commissary sergeant. Wickham was captured twice during his service- the first occurring June 15, 1863 at the Second Battle of Winchester and the second time September 4, 1864 near Berryville, Virginia. Commissioned but not mustered to First Lieutenant to date May 3, 1865, he was mustered out June 12, 1865 at Camp Chase, Ohio.
Letters: Norwalk Reflector: November 11, 1862, March 17, 1863, March 31, 1863, April 7, 1863, May 5, 1863, May 17, 1864, May 31, 1864

First Lieutenant Caleb D. Williams, Company B

Caleb D. Williams enlisted as a 30 year old Second Lieutenant in Company B, 123rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry on August 16, 1862, mustering into service September 24, 1863. Promoted to First Lieutenant to date March 6, 1863, he was killed in action July 18, 1864 at Snicker's Ferry, Virginia.
Letter: Norwalk Reflector: July 6, 1863

First Sergeant George J. Frith, Company B

George J. Frith enlisted as a 30 year old First Sergeant of Company B, 123rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry on August 16, 1862, mustering into service September 24, 1862. Wounded in action June 15, 1863 at the Second Battle of Winchester, he died of his wounds June 20, 1863.
Letter: Norwalk Reflector: February 17, 1863

Sergeant Harris E. Smith, Company B

Harris E. Smith enlisted as a 23 year old Sergeant in Company B, 123rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry on August 18, 1862, mustering into service September 24, 1862. Wounded and captured June 15, 1863 at the Second Battle of Winchester, he was discharged January 6, 1865 at accept a promotion to First Lieutenant in the 13th U.S. Colored Troops. He was mustered out November 18, 1865.
Letters: Norwalk Reflector: October 28, 1862, December 2, 1862, January 27, 1863, February 3, 1863, March 24, 1863, March 31, 1863, December 22, 1863

Corporal Enoch L. Birdseye, Company B

Enoch L. Birdseye enlisted as a 20 year old Private in Company B, 123rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry on August 21, 1862, mustering into service September 24, 1862. Promoted to Corporal March 1, 1864, he was mustered out June 12, 1865 at Camp Chase, Ohio.
Letter: Norwalk Experiment: June 25, 1863

Corporal Andros J. Gilbert, Company B

Andros J. Gilbert enlisted as a 19 year old Private in Company B, 123rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry on August 19, 1862, mustering into service September 24, 1862. Wounded and captured June 15, 1863 at the Second Battle of Winchester, he was promoted to Corporal January 1, 1865 and mustered out June 12, 1865 at Camp Chase, Ohio.
Letter: Norwalk Reflector: April 25, 1865

Private Ebenezer B. Harrison, Company B

Ebenezer B. Harrison enlisted as a 29 year old Private on August 18, 1862, mustering into service September 24, 1862. Captured June 15, 1863 at the Second Battle of Winchester, he was mustered out June 12, 1865 at Camp Chase, Ohio.
Letter: Norwalk Reflector: January 13, 1863, May 16, 1865.

Private Warner R. Smith, Company B

Warner R. Smith enlisted as a 22 year old Private in Company B, 123rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry on August 18, 1862, mustering into service September 24, 1862. Captured June 15, 1863 at the Second Battle of Winchester, he was mustered out June 12, 1865 at Camp Chase, Ohio.
Letter: Norwalk Experiment: February 12, 1863

Roster - Company D, 123rd OVI

Captain Hugh Lee McKee

Hugh Lee McKee enlisted as a 33 year old First Lieutenant in Company D, 123rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry on August 11, 1862, mustering into service September 24, 1862. He was commissioned Captain and commissary of subsistence on May 4, 1863, entering service in the U.S. Army commissary department. He resigned his commission June 29, 1865 and died the following day.
Letters: Tiffin Weekly Tribune: October 3, 1862, October 24, 1862

Sergeant Francis M. Hart

Francis M. Hart enlisted as a 20 year old Private in Company D, 123rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry on August 20, 1862, mustering into service September 24, 1862. Promoted to Corporal April 27, 1863, he was wounded in action July 18, 1864 at the Battle of Snicker's Ferry. Promoted again to Sergeant on May 25, 1865, he was mustered out June 28, 1865.
Letters: Tiffin Weekly Tribune: December 5, 1862, December 26, 1862

Private James G. Keenan

James G. Keenan enlisted as a 20 year old Private in Company D, 123rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry on August 19, 1862, mustering into service September 24, 1862. Wounded and captured at the Battle of New Market on May 15, 1864, he was mustered out June 12, 1865 at Camp Chase, Ohio.
Poem: Tiffin Weekly Tribune: December 5, 1862

Private David C. Mower

David C. Mower enlisted as a 23 year old Private in Company D, 123rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry on August 22, 1862, mustering into service September 24, 1862. Severely wounded in the right arm May 15, 1864 at the Battle of New Market, the wound being so severe as to require amputation, he was discharged for his wounds February 11, 1865 at Camp Holly, Virginia.
Letter: Tiffin Weekly Tribune: December 1, 1864

Roster - Company E, 123rd OVI

First Lieutenant Charles H. Sowers, Company E

Charles H. Sowers enlisted as a 26 year old Sergeant in Company E, 123rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry on August 9, 1862, mustering into service September 29, 1862. He was promoted to First Sergeant December 10, 1862, and was commissioned Second Lieutenant to date February 15, 1863. Captured June 15, 1863 at the Second Battle of Winchester, he was confined at Macon and Columbia prisons. Following his exchange, he was promoted to First Lieutenant to date December 9, 1864 and mustered out June 12, 1865 at Camp Chase, Ohio.
Letter: Norwalk Reflector: July 5, 1864

Roster - Company F, 123rd OVI

First Lieutenant Martin W. Willoughby

Martin W. Willoughby enlisted as 22 year old Corporal in Co. G, 15th Ohio Volunteer Infantry on April 20, 1861 and was mustered into service April 27, 1861. He served throughout the summer campaign in western Virginia before mustering out at the expiration of the regiment's term of service on August 28, 1861. The following summer, he was instrumental in recruiting Co. F, 123rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry, enlisting August 17, 1862 and was named First Sergeant when the regiment mustered into service September 24, 1862. He was promoted to Second Lieutenant to date December 12, 1862 and was captured along with most of the regiment at the Second Battle of Winchester, Virginia June 15, 1863. He was paroled July 19, 1863 and returned to the regiment December 2, 1863, later participating in the battles of New Market, Cool Springs, Third Winchester, Fisher's Hill, and Cedar Creek before taking part in the Appomattox campaign in April 1865. He was promoted to First Lieutenant to date December 9, 1864 and mustered out with the regiment June 12, 1865 at camp Chase, Columbus, Ohio.
Wyandot Pioneer- April 23, 1863 pg. 2

Sergeant Samuel Hayman

Samuel Hayman was born in 1832 and enlisted in Co. F, 123dr Ohio Volunteer Infantry on August 17, 1862 and was mustered into service September 24, 1862, being named Sergeant that same day. He was captured along with most of the regiment at the Second Battle of Winchester, Virginia June 15, 1863 and was paroled July 19, 1863. He returned to the regiment November 2, 1863 and participated in the battles of New Market, Cool Springs, Third Winchester, Fisher's Hill, and Cedar Creek before taking part in the Appomattox campaign in April 1865. He mustered out with the regiment June 12, 1865 at Camp Chase, Columbus, Ohio and died July 3, 1869. He was buried at Pleasant Ridge Cemetery, Wyandot Co., Ohio.
Wyandot Pioneer- May 1, 1863 pg. 1

Sergeant Benjamin Franklin Willoughby

Benjamin Franklin Willoughby was born May 16, 1841 to Tarlington B. and Diana (Caldwell) Willoughby in Harrison Co., Ohio. He served as a Private in Co. G, 15th Ohio Volunteer Infantry at the war's beginning, enlisting April 20, 1861, mustering into service on April 27, 1861 and serving through the summer's campaign in western Virginia. He was mustered out with the regiment August 28, 1861. The next summer, he enlisted on August 21, 1862 in Co. F, 123rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry as a Corporal and was mustered into service September 24, 1862. He was promoted to Sergeant to date April 5, 1863 and was captured with most of the regiment June 15, 1863 at the Second Battle of Winchester, Virginia. He was paroled July 19, 1863 and returned to the regiment on October 2, 1863; afterwards he participated in the battles of New Market, Cool Springs, Third Winchester, Fisher's Hill, and Cedar Creek before taking part in the Appomattox campaign in April 1865. He was mustered out with the regiment June 12, 1865 at Camp Chase, Columbus, Ohio. He married Miranda Debolt in 1866, but died August 1, 1873 and is buried in Old Mission Cemetery, Wyandot Co., Ohio.
Wyandot Pioneer- April 3, 1863 pg. 2
Wyandot Democratic Union: February 12, 1863 pg. 2

Corporal Josiah Paul Dry

Josiah P. Dry was born May 4, 1840 and enlisted as a Corporal in Co. F, 123rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry and was mustered into service on September 24, 1862. He was captured along with most of the regiment at the Second Battle of Winchester June 15, 1863 and was paroled August 2, 1863. He reenlisted in the regiment November 6, 1863 and served with it through the remainder of the war, taking part in the battles of New Market, Cool Springs, Third Winchester, Fisher's Hill, and Cedar Creek. He was mustered out with the regiment June 12, 1865 at Camp Chase, Columbus, Ohio. He died September 17, 1895 and is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery in Upper Sandusky, Wyandot Co., Ohio.
Wyandot Pioneer- January 16, 1863 pg. 2, February 20, 1863 pg. 2, May 15, 1863 pg. 1, September 11, 1863 pg. 2, November 25, 1864 pg. 2

Private Robert N. McConnell

Robert N. McConnell was born April 29, 1843 and enlisted as a Private in Co. F, 123rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry on August 22, 1862, mustering into service September 24, 1863. While serving as a hospital attendant, he was captured at the Second Battle of Winchester June 15, 1863 and paroled July 5, 1863; later, he was discharged for disability October 24, 1863 at Camp Chase, Columbus, Ohio. The next summer he served as assistant surgeon of the 133rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry, mustering in May 2, 1864 and mustering out August 20, 1864, having spent the majority of his service in the Bermuda Hundred area. He died June 6, 1917 and is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, Upper Sandusky, Wyandot Co., Ohio.
Wyandot Pioneer- July 17, 1863 pg. 3

Private Morris P.H. Oberlin

Morris P.H. Oberlin was born in 1818 and enlisted August 19, 1862 as a Private in Co. F, 123rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He was captured along with most of the regiment on June 15, 1863 at the Second Battle of Winchester, Virginia but was paroled on July 19, 1863. He returned to the regiment on October 2, 1863 and served with it for the duration of the war, taking part in the battles of New Market, Cool Springs, Third Winchester, Fisher's Hill and Cedar Creek. He was mustered out with the regiment June 12, 1865 at Camp Chase, Columbus, Ohio and died in 1890, being buried at St. Peters Catholic Cemetery in Wyandot Co., Ohio.
Wyandot Pioneer- March 6, 1863 pg. 3, April 3, 1863 pg. 2

Private Levi Parson Willoughby

Levi Parson Willoughby was born January 20, 1832 to Tarlington B. and Diana (Caldwell) Willoughby in Dohrman Twp., Harrison Co., Ohio. Moving to Wyandot Co. with his family around 1847He joined the first company from Wyandot County to go to war when he joined Co. C, 15th Ohio Volunteer Infantry April 23, 1861, and was mustered in April 27, 1861. He served with the regiment through the summer campaign and was mustered out August 28, 1861. He joined the army again when he enlisted as a Private in Co. F, 123rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry on March 30, 1864. He took part in the several battles of the Shenandoah Valley campaign and was captured at the battle of High Bridge, Virginia April 6, 1865. He was mustered out June 14, 1865 at Annapolis, Maryland. Levi was noted for his poems and songs.

He first married Sarah Jane Gibson on January 9, 1853, but was married a second time to Lavina Elizabeth Smith with whom he had 10 children. He died April 28, 1898 and is buried in Old Mission Cemetery, Wyandot Co., Ohio.
Poem "The Battle of Cedar Creek". Wyandot Democratic Union- January 5, 1865 pg. 1

Roster - Company H, 123rd OVI

Captain David S. Caldwell

David S. Caldwell enlisted as a 1st Lieutenant at age 41 on August 16 1862, and was promoted to Captain on February 3, 1863. He was captured at the Second Battle of Winchester, [West] Virginia, June 15, 1863. He escaped from Libby Prison through a tunnel, February 9, 1864 and rejoined the regiment on March 30, 1864. He mustered out July 24, 1864 by order of the War Department.
Letters: Bucyrus Journal: March 13, 1863, June 19, 1863

Biography from the History of Wyandot County (1884)
Rev. David S. Caldwell was born in Washington County, Md., December 22, 1820. He is a son of William and Susanna (Curfman) Calwell, the former a native of Cumberland County, Penn., the latter of Frederick County, Md. He was reared to manhood in Hagerstown, Md., and was there educated. In 1848, he removed to Seneca County, Ohio, and entered the ministry of the United Brethren Church, with which he was connected from 1857 to 1883. Since the latter date, he has been connected with the Tiffin classes of the Ohio Synod of the Reformed church and is at present date [1884] pastor of the congregation at Berwick, Seneca County and Zion’s Bloom, Hancock County. He labored in Upper Sandusky during the years 1865, 1866 and 1867, and was four years Presiding Elder of the United Brethren Church, taking up his abode in Nevada in April, 1882. Mr. Caldwell was mustered into the service at Monroeville, September 24, 1862, and recruited Company H, One Hundred and Twenty-third Ohio Volunteer Infantry, being commissioned First Lieutenant September 24, 1862, and promoted to Captain in the following February 1863. As one of the casualties of war, he became a prisoner June 15, 1863, in a three days’ engagement with rebel forces of Gen. Ewell’s corps at Winchester, W. Va.; was taken to Richmond, and after eight months’ confinement in Libby Prison he, with others to the number of over 100, escaped by means of a tunnel from said prison February 9, 1864, and with fifty-seven of the 100 succeeded in reaching the Union lines, the balance being re-captured and re-imprisoned. Mr. C., as a result of the fortunes of war, is very much broken in constitution, but is still engaged in the ministry upon the before-mentioned charge to the extent of his ability. He was married, August 8, 1843, to Sarah Creager, four children blessing this union, viz. Susan J., Henry C., Sarah J., and Laura B. Mrs. Caldwell passed away June 1, 1859, and Mr. C. was re-married, September 20, 1860, to Sarah J. Doyle, four children being born to this union, namely, James E., Angie M., Blanch D., and Alpha O. Rev. Caldwell is held in high esteem by the people of his community, both as a citizen and a public minister.

Captain Charles H. Riggs

Charles H. Riggs enlisted as a 26 year old Captain of Company G, 123rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry on August 9, 1862, mustering into service August 22, 1862. He was captured June 15, 1863 during the Second Battle of Winchester and died of disease while a prisoner of war September 15, 1864 at Charleston, South Carolina.
Resolution: Tiffin Weekly Tribune: October 20, 1864

Private Edwin H. Forester

Edwin H. Forester enlisted as an 18 year old Private in Company G, 123rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry on August 9, 1862, mustering into service September 24, 1862. He was mustered out June 22, 1865 at Baltimore, Maryland.
Letter: Tiffin Weekly Tribune: June 26, 1863

Roster - Company I, 123rd OVI

Captain William H. Bender

William H. Bender enlisted as a 28 year old First Lieutenant in Company I, 123rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry on August 18, 1862, mustering into service August 24, 1862. He was promoted to Captain to date February 12, 1863, but was wounded and captured June 15, 1863 at the Second Battle of Winchester. He died of disease while a prisoner of war October 8, 1864 at Columbia, South Carolina.
Resolution: Tiffin Weekly Tribune: April 6, 1865

Corporal Martin Adams

Martin Adams enlisted as a 33 year old Corporal in Company I, 123rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry on August 22, 1862, mustering into service August 24, 1862. Wounded and captured June 15, 1863 at the Second Battle of Winchester, he was paroled and officially exchanged October 15, 1863. Promoted to Sergeant to date July 1, 1864, he was mustered out June 12, 1865 at Camp Chase, Columbus, Ohio.
Letter: Seneca Advertiser: July 31, 1863

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