4th Ohio Cavalry

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4th Ohio Cavalry
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4th Ohio Volunteer Cavalry

 

          The 4th Ohio Volunteer Cavalry [hereinafter referred to as 4th OVC] was organized on August 5, 1861 under Colonel John Kennett, mainly from the Ohio and Kentucky counties surrounding Cincinnati, OH, but with many recruits also from the areas around Allen and Lawrence Counties, OH to the north and east of Cincinnati, respectively.  Following initial training at Camp Gurley from August to November, 1861 the regiment was transferred to Camp Dennison on November 23, 1861 where training was completed.  On December 5, 1861, it was sent to Jeffersonville, IN where on December 27, 1861 orders were received to join Brigadier General Ormsby Mitchel’s division at Bacon Creek (now Bonnieville), KY.

          During February, 1862, the 4th OVC advanced on Bowling Green, KY, finding that Major General Braxton Bragg had retreated further south. On February 15, the unit occupied the city.  As Mitchel pushed southward following the retreating rebels, the city of Nashville, TN surrendered to the regiment on February 23, 1862, thus giving the 4th OVC the honor of having taken the first Confederate State capitol.  After further actions around Nashville on March 8-9, it marched to Camp Jackson on March 24 from which it performed a reconnaissance to Shelbyville, Tullahoma, and McMinnville on March 25-28.

          The 4th OVC captured the cities of Decatur and Huntsville, AL taking a great many prisoners and capturing a huge quantity of supplies.  At Huntsville, it was to meet with Andrews Raiders from the Great Train Robbery on April 11.  Unfortunately, Andrews was not expecting the regiment to be on time and his entire group was captured. 

          Further actions in Alabama and Georgia took place with the 4th participating at Bridgeport on April 23, Shelbyville Road on April 24, Tuscumbia on April 25, Bolivar on April 28, West Bridge on April 29, Watkins Ferry on May 2, Athens on May 8, Pulaski on May 11, Fayetteville on May 14, Elk River on May 20, Fayetteville again on May 26, Whitesburg on May 29, again at Huntsville on June 4-5.

          June 10th found the regiment in action at Winchester, TN followed by another ride into Georgia where they found more action at Battle Creek on June 21 and Huntsville on July 2.  The regiment captured the town of Stevenson, AL on July 28, followed by more action at Bridgeport, Ft McCook, and Battle Creek on August 27. 

           Again the regiment was in action at Huntsville on September 1, followed by Tyree Springs on September 13, and Glasgow, KY on September 18.  The 4th then marched back to Louisville with Major General Don Carlos Buell and pursued General Bragg through Kentucky and Tennessee from August 28-September 26.

          During the month of October, they chased Bragg though Kentucky down the Bardstown Pike near Mount Washington, KY on October 1, followed by action at Frankfort on October 9.   The 4th continued chasing Generals Bragg and Kirby Smith out of Kentucky from October 10-22, helping to secure the state for the Union, while seeing more fighting at Bardstown and Pittman’s Crossroads on October 19, plus Lawrenceburg on October 25.  On October 18, 1862 they lost 200 men when they were surrounded and captured by Confederate John Hunt Morgan at Lexington, KY.

          After chasing Bragg out of Kentucky, the regiment again found itself in now familiar Tennessee territory at Sandersville on November 6.  It performed another scouting mission from Rural Hill on December 20, saw further action around Nashville on December 24 and screened the army on its way to Murfreesboro, TN seeing more fighting at Franklin on December 26, Wilkinson’s Crossroads on December 29, and near Murfreesboro, itself, on December 30.  At Murfreesboro, the regiment participated in the Battle of Stones River from December 31, 1862 - January 2, 1863, being stationed at Overall’s Creek on the extreme Union right flank.

          During 1863, fighting became more the norm as the regiment was in continuous action.  Included were actions at the Insane Asylum on January 3 and Shelbyville Pike on January 5, plus an expedition to Auburn, Liberty and Alexandria on February 3-5, more fighting at Bradyville on March 1, and further expeditions toward Columbia on March 4-14 and Rutherford Creek on March 10-11.  From April 2-6, it was on a raid from Murfreesboro (Camp Stanley) to Auburn, Liberty, and Snow Hill, resulting in actions at Smith’s Ford on April 2, Snow Hill, Woodbury and Liberty on April 3.  Again the regiment was in a fight at Franklin on April 10 followed by another raid to McMinnville on April 20-30.  The unit was assigned a reconnaissance mission to Lavergne on May 12, and an expedition to Middleton where it skirmished on May 21-22, at Murfreesboro on June 3, was on an expedition to Smithville June 4-5 where again fighting took place at Snow Hill on June 4, and Smithville on June 5.

          The 4th OVC led the Tullahoma Campaign from June 23 to July 7, with fighting taking place at Morris Ford, Elk River, and Kelly’s Ford on July 2 resulting in the capture of Tullahoma.  Upon completion of this campaign, another started almost immediately, giving the rebels no time to rest.  The 4th was included in the expedition to Huntsville from July 13-22.

          The 4th was then assigned to protect Middle Tennessee until August 16 when it was again called to action, this time for the Passage of the Cumberland Mountains, Tennessee River, and the Chickamauga Campaign from August 16 – September 22.  During these campaigns, the unit was on reconnaissance from Stevenson, AL to Trenton, GA from August 28 to 31, fought at Alpine, GA September 3 and 8, and was on another reconnaissance from Alpine toward Lafayette on September 10.  During the Battle of Chickamauga, the 4th was station at Sulfur Springs on September 19-21 where Confederate General Joseph Wheeler’s Cavalry roughly handled them.

          Following Chickamauga, the 4th was assigned to operate against both Wheeler’s and Roddy's cavalry from September 30 to October 17.  Fighting took place during this time at McMinnville on October 4, Farmington and Sim’s farm near Shelbyville, on October 7, and at Farmington again on October 9.  Fighting continued during the winter months at Maysville, AL on November 4, and at Winchester on November 22.  During the Chattanooga-Ringgold Campaign on November 23-27, it raided the East Tennessee & Georgia Railroad on November 24-27, Charlestown on November 26, and Cleveland on November 27. After the battle of Chattanooga, it marched to the relief of Knoxville, TN on November 28 – December 8 and again fought at Charlestown on December 28.  From December 6 – 11, it was on an expedition to Murphey, NC.

          During Sherman’s march to Atlanta, the 4th participated in an expedition from Scottsboro, AL towards Rome, GA from January 25 to February 5, 1864, was at action at Ringgold on February 8, made a demonstration on Dalton on February 22-27, where it fought at Dalton on February 23-24, Tunnel Hill, Buzzard’s Roost Gap and Rocky Faced Ridge on February 24-25 and fought at Dedmon’s Trace on April 10.

          The 4th was much used by Sherman during his Atlanta Campaign from May 1 to September 8.  During this time the regiment saw action at Courtland Road, AL on May 26, Pond Springs on the 27th, Moulton on the 28th–29th, and operated around Marietta and against Kennesaw Mountain from June 10-July 2.  This operation resulted in fights at McAffee’s Crossroads on June 11, Noonday Creek on June 15-19 and 27, and near Marietta on June 23, followed by assaults on Kennesaw June 27, Nickajack Creek on July 2-5, Rottenwood Creek on July 4, Chattahootchie River on July 5-17, Alpharetta on July 10, and Garrard’s Raid to Covington July 22-24.

           At the siege of Atlanta July 24 - August 15, the 4th was on Garrard’s Raid on July 27-31, fought at Flat Rock Bridge and Lithonia on July 28, participated in Kilpatrick’s raid around Atlanta August 18-22 where it fought at Red Oak, Flint River, and Jonesboro on August 19, and at Lovejoy Station on August 20.  After the fall of Atlanta, the 4th operated at the Chattahootchie River Bridge from August 26 to September 2, with one fight at Sandtown on September 1.

          On September 21, 1864, the regiment was ordered back to Nashville and from there to Louisville on November 8 where it was on duty until it was transferred to Gravelly Springs, AL on January 12, 1865.  It was stationed there until March when it again was called upon to participate in Wilson’s Raid to Macon, GA from March 22 to April 24.

           While on the raid to Macon, the 4th made a desperate attack against Nathan Bedford Forrest’s forces in Selma, where the men dismounted, taking the battlements and everything before them, capturing the city on April 2.  It also participated in the capture of Montgomery on April 12 and Macon on April 20 where it stayed until May 23 when it was ordered back to Nashville.  The regiment remained on duty in Nashville until it was mustered out of service by reason of fulfillment of service on July 15, 1865.

           Regiment losses while in service were 5 officers and 50 enlisted men killed and mortally wounded, 1 officer and 169 enlisted men lost through disease for a total loss of 225 men.

 

Companies by County

Company A - Hamilton County
Company B - Hamilton County
Company C - Hamilton County
Company D - Hamilton County
Company E - Hamilton County
Company F - Allen and Hamilton Counties
Company G - Lawrence County
Company H - Montgomery County
Company I  - Allen, Hamilton and Lawrence Counties
Company K - Hamilton County
Company L - Hamilton County
Company M - Hamilton County
Band            - Hamilton County

 

 Taken from Reid's Ohio in the War:

"The regiment joined in the pursuit of Bragg, and, on arriving at Elizabethtown, Kentucky, was ordered to Brownsville, where Buell's wagon-train was to cross Green River. After about five days' march over a mountainous country, subsisting on flour and fresh meat with no salt, the regiment met the train at Brownsville, and was assigned a section of about nine hundred wagons to guard through. The Fourth brought the train safely to the mouth of Salt River, and then advanced via Shepherdstown, Frankfort, and Harrodsburg to Danville, Kentucky, where a detachment under Captain Robie was ordered to accompany an expedition toward Lexington, Kentucky. This expedition was unfortunate, as John Morgan, with two thousand eight hundred men, surrounded the command and, in a short time, two hundred and fifty of the regiment were surrendered, robbed, paroled, and on their way to Ohio. From Danville, the Fourth proceeded by way of Crab Orchard and Lebanon to Nashville, marching sixty-nine consecutive days."


"While at Nashville the regiment participated in several skirmishes, and in two raids to Franklin, Tennessee, destroying a flour mill at that place used by the Rebels. On the 26th of December, (1862), the Fourth advanced toward Murfreesboro', reconnoitering the enemy's position from Franklin to Triune. It participated in the battle of Murfreesboro' and pursued the enemy toward Shelbyville, Tennessee, and on its return camped near Murfreesboro'. It was frequently engaged in skirmishing, and was on scouting expeditions to Liberty, Lebanon and Alexandria. It engaged and routed John Morgan's command, killing and wounding seventy five rebels, and capturing one hundred."
"The regiment started with the Army of the Cumberland June 24, (1863), and one battalion skirmished with the enemy at the crossing of Elk Creek, and after crossing, continued to drive the Rebels until dark. After continuous marching and counter- marching, it camped for a few days at Fayetteville, Tennesse, and again moved southward, and on the 9th of September, fought with Wheeler's cavalry, in the vicinity of Alpine, Georgia, and routed them. The Fourth moved northward, and on the 29th was engaged on the extreme right of the army at Chicamaugua, with a loss of thirty-two killed, wounded and missing. After the battle it marched into East Tennessee, and engaged in the pursuit of Wheeler, fought with him near Farmington, Tennessee, and followed him through Pulaski to the Tennessee River, where the pursuit ended."


"The regiment remained in Northern Alabama guarding railroads and inflicting summary punishment on "bushwhackers," until December 27th, when it moved through Huntsville to Pulaski; there reenlisted as veterans, and proceeded to Ohio on furlough. Meanwhile the second battalion marched into east Tennessee, made a raid on Cleveland, captured a large number of prisoners, and burned a shot, shell and cap factory. Falling back it joined the expedition for the relief of Knoxville, and from there moved into North Carolina, and captured a large number of mules. The battalion then moved to Calhoun, Tennessee, where it reenlisted and went to Ohio on veteran furlough. On the 7th of March, 1864, the regiment rendezvoused at Camp Dennison, and on the 13th started for Nashville."
"On the 12th of January, 1865, the Fourth left Nashville and moved to Gravelly Springs, procuring its forage off the country, after leaving Columbia. At Gravelly Springs it received the necessary outfit for a long campaign, and the time was spent in drilling and in building quarters and stables. The regiment marched down the river to Waterloo, crossed in transports, and moved to Chickasaw. From this point the baggage was sent to Nashville for storage; the only wagons allowed being those necessary for carrying the ammunition, a small quantity of forage, and sixty days' rations of coffee, thirty of sugar; and fifteen of salt; in addition to this each man carried five days rations on his person. On the 22nd of March General Wilson's cavalry command, of which the Fourth was a part, advanced via Frankfort, Russellville, Jasper, Elyria, and Montevallo to Selma. At Montevella there was a slight skirmish, and on the 1st of April, at Ebenezer Church, fifteen miles from Selma, the enemy was encountered and routed, losing three pieces of artillery and between two and three hundred prisoners. On arriving within six hundred yards of the works at Selma, April 2nd, the troops dismounted and established a skirmish line. Wilder's brigade occupied the right and the Fourth was on their left. The entire charging force only amounted to fifteen hundred men, as one-fourth of the original number were holding the horses. When the word "Forward" was given, the Rebels had already opened with shell; and when the attacking party appeared in full view, it was met with a shower of grape and canister, while small arms poured in their still more destructive fire. Five hundred yards of open ground were passed over and the works were reached. The men pulled up or pushed aside the palisades, jumped into the ditch, and mounted the works. The Rebels fled and our men pursued, crossing a swamp, and capturing a two-gun lunette; pressing forward they advanced across a cotton field as level as a floor, and captured another lunette mounting five guns. Here the line halted, all opposition having ceased. Fifty men of the Fourth, killed and wounded, lay near the enemy's works, with scores of bleeding, dying heroes of other regiments. The dead were buried with military honors. The arsenal and navy-yard were destroyed, and on April 6th the column took up the line of march, capturing Montgomery and Columbus, and reached Macon on the 20th of April."


"Here it remained, performing guard and patrol duty, until May 23rd, when it proceeded via Atlanta and Chattanooga, to Nashville, where it arrived June 25th, and was mustered out in the latter part of July, 1865

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