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

Transcripts - Other McMahan Writings: Draft of History of the 21st OVI

[Draft] History of the 21st Regt Ohio Infantry Vols. From 28th of August 1862 to 28th of July 1865

The Regiment returned from Athens Alabama to Nashville Tenn on the 29th of August 1862 and arrived at the latter place on the 2nd of Sept.

The Regiment with its division under command of Brig Genl Jas S Negley was then in consequence of the movements of the enemy and Genl Buell besieged in Nashville until the 7th of November when the siege was raised by the return of our forces under Genl Rosecrans. During the siege of Nashville the Regiment then was engaged in the affairs of Levergne, Whites Creek, Franklin Pike and Wilsons Bend. At Levergne the Regiment captured a portion of the 3rd Regt of Alabama Rifles with their colors, camp and garrison equipage and 54 head of horses.

On the 26th of December the Regiment moved with the army against the enemy at Murfreesboro. Skirmishing continued incessantly until December 31st when a general battle was commenced and continued until January 3rd 1863. The Regiment was engaged every day having position first in the center and then on the left of our army. In the battle of Jan 2nd with the enemy under Genl Breckenridge the 21st Ohio charged across Stone River the water being about waist deep & captured three brass field pieces, the only artillery captured at the battle of Stone River. On Jan 4th, the Regt entered Murfreesboro having the advance of its division. The Regt lost in this battle 1 officer and 23 enlisted men killed and 1 officer 98 enlisted men wounded and 11 enlisted men missing.


During the occupation of Murfreesboro from Jan 4th to June 24th 1863 the Regiment participated in several expeditions and skirmishes.

June 24th the Regiment massed with the army upon the enemy at Tullahoma. Genl Bragg with his rebel host having been turned out of the latter place, the Regiment went in to camp at Decherd Station Tenn on the 7th of July. Here Capt. A McMahan of Co C who'd been for his gallant conduct at Stone by Genl Negley was promoted to Major. Having left the latter place on the 16th of August, crossing the Tennessee River and hauling artillery and trains over Lookout Mountain by hand, the 21st Ohio engaged the enemy on the 11th of Sept. at Dug Gap. Skirmishing continued daily until September 19th when the regiment deployed into line of battle under command of Lt Col D M Stoughton and opened fire upon the enemy posted on the line of Chickamauga Creek in state of Georgia. Fighting continued until dark without any material result and was commenced in good earnest he next morning, September 20th. At 11 o'clock the 21st Ohio was sent by Genl Jas S Negley to hold a very important position known as Horse Shoe Ridge, upon the earnest request of Brig Genl J. M. Brannan. The position covered the line of retreat of the forces under Genl McCook which had been that day crushed so severely by the enemy. Immediately after forming in this position the Regiment became engaged with the enemy and a most severe engagement ensued resulting in the repulse of the enemy. Not however without severe loss to the Regt. Lt Col Stoughton had his arm fractured and was taken from the field,(and returned to his home in Findlay Ohio where he soon afterward died from the effects of his wound), and the command devolved upon Major A. McMahan.

The battle had by this time (3 o'clock P.M.) demonstrated the inability of the Union army under Genl Rosecrans to meet successfully the immensely superior numbers under Genl Bragg. The national troops were forced back on the right and left of the position held by the 21st Ohio but the Regiment being armed with Colts revolving Rifles continued to hold its position. The rebels charged upon the 21st Ohio five successive times without being able to drive it from its position.

An hour before Sundown the rebels brought up a whole battery and commenced a furious cannonade upon the Regiment tearing its rank in a most horrible manner. Again the rebels charged, just at Sundown, but were met with a voley [volley] and a countercharge and the 21st Ohio held the Horse Shoe Ridge until dark. It would be impossible to describe the scene at this time. The rebel battery had set fire to the dry brush and

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Skirmishing continued daily until the enemy presented his front at Kennesaw Mountain, June 17th. The 21st Ohio was engaged at this point every day, holding the front line at Bald Knob 12 days and nights in succession, at which point Lt. R.S. Dilworth, Co.G and 2 enlisted men were killed & 10 wounded. July 4th marched through Marietta in pursuit of the enemy who had retired toward the Chattahoochie River the previous night. Skirmishing continued until July 9th, when the 21st Ohio was ordered forward to learn the position of the enemy, with orders to attack and drive in his out posts. A severe engagement at Vinings Station was the result. Two regiments of the enemy, the 4th Miss. and 54th La. Infantry were encountered in their rifle pits. A charge was ordered by Major McMahan--the rifle pits captured with 17 prisoners and 33 stand of new English rifles. The enemy was driven into his main works after a desperate struggle in which the 21st Ohio lost 15 men killed & 2 officers & 37 men wounded. The Regt. continued to hold the rifle pits and annoy the enemy in his main works. Corpl Wm. Waltman of Co.G upon this occasion led his Co. in the charge and would have been promoted had his term of ...

By 4 o'clock of the morning of July 10th the enemy withdrew and the Regt by daylight advanced to the Chattahoochie River, no other troops than the 21st Ohio was engaged on this occasion. Major McMahan was not promoted to the rank of Lt. Col. to date back to March 1st, 1864.

Having crossed the river the Regt. again engaged the enemy at Nances Creek, June 20th and continued to engage him until June 21st when the battle of Peachtree Creek was fought. In this battle Capt. Daniel Lewis, Co.C was killed, Sergt Major Earl W. Merry was wounded and a leg amputated. June 22d commenced the siege of Atlanta and continued until the night of Sept. 1st when the defense of that city was abandoned by the enemy in consequence of his defeat at Jonesboro 35 miles south of Atlanta. The 21st Ohio during the Siege of Atlanta was engaged with the enemy and was under his fire every day. At the battle of Jonesboro, Ga., which won Atlanta, Sept. 1st, the Regt was again engaged and again its character as a fighting Regiment--its loss in this battle was 5 men killed, 30 men wounded and 1 man missing. After the battle of Jonesboro the 21st Ohio returned with the army to Atlanta and went into camp on the 8th of September. The total loss of the Regt. in this campaign from May 7th to the occupation of Atlanta Sept. 2d was 2 off. & 32 enlisted men killed and 5 off. and 119 enlisted men wounded, many of whom subsequently died.

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
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