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United States. Army. Ohio Infantry Regiment, 21st - MS 562: Transcripts

Transcripts - Box 12: Correspondence Copybook: January - April 1865

January 27, 1865

Head Quarters 21st Ohio Infy Vols
In the Field Georgia
January 27th 1865

Hon James M. Ashley
Washington D.C.

Dear Sir,

I beg your pardon for troubling you with my personal affairs at a time when you must be necessarily well engaged. I will state my business as briefly as possible.

I entered the army as 1st Lieutenant in this Regiment on the 27th day of April 1861 and have served in it ever since that time. I have commanded the Regiment in every general battle in which it has been engaged since the battle of "Stone River" Dec. 31st 1862.

I may mention "Chickamauga", "Kenesaw Mountain", "Chattahoochee Bridge", the battles about "Atlanta" "Jonesboro" and the campaign against "Savannah".

I am now senior officer of my Regiment; the Colonel (James M. Neibling) having resigned December 6th 1864. But in consequence of the depleted condition of my Regiment I can not be mustered as Colonel.

I see no prospect of my regiment being filled even to the minimum number.

I [k]now my effect in writing to you is that one might if consistent with all things considered present me to the President for promotion.

To be a Brevet Brigadier General would please me but would not flatter me.

For my military history I do not hesitate to refer to my reports and the returns from this Regiment bearing my signature as commanding officer on file at the Adjutant General's office, ordnance office and Q.M. General's office at Washington . These returns are the best evidence of my official capacity.

To interest you in my behalf I beg to refer to your election last October. Not one opposition ballot was polled by my Regiment at that election.

The balloting was conducted on a severe march and the election return of the regiment will show a straight vote. You will appreciate this as compared with the home vote.

But I do not claim any special military favor for myself as Regimental commander at the time on this account.

But I must be brief, and this brevity may render my letter unsatisfactory. I have sought only to present facts[?] and the main points.

I regret that I have not the pleasure of your personal acquaintance.

I have the confidence to refer you to Mr. N.H. Collard of Perrysburg Wood County Ohio without his knowledge.

I reside at Perrysburg Wood County Ohio.

Will I have the honor to hear from you
I am with great respect
Your Obedient servant,
(signed) A. McMahan
Lieut. Col. Comdg. 21st Regt. O.V.

February 4, 1865

Head Qrtrs. 21st Regiment Ohio Inf. Vet Vols
Sister's Ferry Georgia
February 4th 1865

Hon John Brough
Governor of Ohio

Having been informed that under the recent call for troops it is proposed to raise new Regiments to fill the quota of the State of Ohio, and it being understood that veteran officers ought to command these Regiments and that such officers would prove most efficient for these positions.

I have the honor to recommend Captain George F. Walker of 31st Regiment Ohio Infantry Vols as well qualified for a Regimental commander.

I have served with him in camp and field and can testify to his gallantry at the battle of "Stone River" Tennessee. Under all circumstances I have ever known him to be a gentleman and a true soldier.

I have the honor to be very respectfully your obedient servant

(signed) A. McMahan
Lieutenant Colonel Commanding
21st Regiment Ohio Infy Vet Vols

March 20, 1865

Head Quarters 21st Regt Ohio Infy Vols
Goldsboro No. Ca.
March 20th 1865


I have the honor to serve in a brigade with the 35th Regiment of Veteran Infantry from your State. The officers of the Regiment are recommending their senior Captain David H. Patton for promotion, and being long associated with this Regiment in our brigade feel an interest in its success and in the promotion of an officer who has long since deserved the honor sought for him.

During the campaign against Atlanta, Savannah, Columbia and Goldsboro, I had opportunities to form high opinions of Captain Pattons merit as an officer and true soldier as justifies my recommending him to his Governor as well qualified for a regimental commander.

I being in command of this brigade in which he served during the afternoon of March 19th at the battle before Bentonville North Carolina and Captain Patton being in command of his Regiment after the fall of Colonel Low, the conduct of Captain Patton in battle came under my notice.

I cannot speak too highly of his conduct on that field. He fought his regiment skillfully to its utmost capacity.

I am with great respect
Your obedient Servant
(signed) A. McMahan
Lieut. Col. Commanding
21st Ohio Vet. Vol. Inf.

Adjutant General
State of Indiana

March 22, 1865

Head Quarters 3d Brigade 1st Div. 14th A.C.
Near Goldsboro N.C.
March 22nd 1865


In compliance with orders I have the honor to report the operations of the 3d Brigade 1st Division 14th Army Corps from the 20th day of January to the 23rd day of March 1865.

The Brigade moved from Savannah Ga. January 20th under command of Lieut. Col. D. Miles 79th Penn. Vet. Volunteers Infantry and he continued to command it until the 19th day of March when he was severely wounded in battle and the command devolved upon myself.

This change in command at the close of the campaign, leaves this report deficient of the information which the former commander of the Brigade could by reason of his position embody in it.

A statement in detail of the march, guards and other duties performed would render this report too voluminous.

The command crossed the Savannah River February 5th at Sister's Ferry, and moved into South Carolina via Barnwell C.H., Whites Pond, Lexington C.H. & Thompson, Winnsboro, Blackstock and Rocky Mount, then via Fayetteville to Goldsboro N. Carolina the distance marched being four hundred and ninety nine (499) miles.

The Brigade built eight (8) miles of Corduroy Road and destroyed two and one half (2 1/2) miles of Rail Road.

I estimate the subsistence stores drawn from the country for the use of the Brigade at forty thousand (40,000) rations, four hundred and ten (410) head of cattle were captured, but in consequence of our rapid marches two hundred and ten (210) head died.

Thirty three (33) horses and ninety six (96) mules were captured, these animals were serviceable, the worthless ones having been shot or abandoned.

Two hundred horses and mules pertaining to the Brigade were supplied with sufficient forage taken from the country for forty (40) days.

The total number of prisoners captured from the enemy is thirty one (31).

The following casualties occurred.

Commissioned Officers Killed1
" " Wounded8
" " Captured1
Enlisted Men Killed14
" " Wounded58
Enlisted Men Missing40
Grand Total 122

During a campaign of sixty three (63) days under circumstances which required the command to rely upon the country for subsistence two thirds of the time. The officers and men of the Brigade conducted themselves with such high soldierlike bearing that at this time it would appear but flattery to do more than simply refer to this subject without special mention.

But as my superior officer Lieut. Col. D. Miles is by reason of his wounds unable to report the operations of the Brigade while under his command. I shall here add that I found it a pleasure to serve with him and that in the action of the 19th of March near Bentonville N.C. where he was wounded, he fought his Brigade energetically and skillfully against superior numbers of the enemy.

Very respectfully
(signed) A. McMahan
Lieut. Col. Comdg 3d Brigade

I.E. Edmonds
Capt. And A.A.A.Genl.
1st Div. 14th A.C.

March 26, 1865

Head Quarters 3d Brigade 1st Div. 14th A.C.
Goldsboro North Carolina
March 26th 1865

Hon John Brough
Governor of Ohio,

The Colonel of the 21st Regt. Ohio Veteran Volunteer Infantry (James M. Neibling) resigned Dec. 6th 1864 and is now out of the service.

This fact was duly reported to the Adjutant General of Ohio in the month of January ult.

I need but say that I expected to be appointed Colonel via Neibling resigned, but for some reason your excellency has not seen fit to forward me a commission.

I am now commanding a brigade and have had the honor to command my Regiment in many battles since I joined it April 27th 1861 as First Lieutenant.

I have the confidence to believe that this special effort for my personal advancement will be fairly considered and that I will receive from my State such credit as may be due me.

With great Respect
Your Obt Servant
(signed) A. McMahan
Lieut. Colonel 21st Regt. Ohio Vet Vols
Comdg 3d Brigade

April 24, 1865

Head Quarters 21st Ohio Inf. Vols.
In the Field No. Ca.
April 24th '65

My dear Sir

I beg to assure you of my sincere sympathy with and my earnest hopes for the success of Republican Mexico.

The General commanding the army of the United States in North Carolina announced to his soldiers that he hopes in a few days to conduct them to their homes hostile operations having ceased.

This being true, I will in a few days be at liberty to tender to the Government of Mexico my sword and all the aid I have to repel foreign invasion and usurpation in a Sister Republic. Indeed a large number of my fellow soldiers are ready to tender to Mexico material aid, in the maintainance [maintenance] of her national existence.

Trusting that God will deliver his people from the hand of oppression I have the honor to be
With great respect
Your obedient Serv't
(sig) A. McMahan
Lieutenant Col. Commanding
21st Ohio Veteran Vol. Inf.
Army of Georgia

The minister of the Republic of Mexico
Washington City D.C.

MS 562: Introduction | Transcript List
MS 562 Series Description: MS 562: Introduction | 86th O.V.I. Records | Arnold McMahan Papers
MS 562 Abstracts: Part 1 (McMahan Correspondence) | Part 2 (Box 12) | Part 3 (Box 13) | Inventory
Manuscripts by Subject | Civil War Collections