FIRST, SECOND AND THIRD INDEPENDENT COMPANIES OHIO VOLUNTEER SHARPSHOOTERS.

(OR COs. G, H, AND K, 66TH ILL. V. I.)

THREE YEARS' SERVICE.

(from Official Roster of the Soldiers of the State of Ohio in the War of the Rebellion, 1861-1866. Vol.1, pp. 539-540)

Roster of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Ohio Sharpshooters

In the fall of 1861 the recruiting of ten companies of Sharpshooters was ordered by the Government for General John C. Fremont, then in command of the Department of the Missouri. The Regiment was to be known as Birge's Sharpshooters. Governor Tod received instructions from the War Department that recruits for this service should undergo a rigid test before acceptance, which caused so much delay that the project failed. The Regiment, however, was formed by a combination of troops from several States, Ohio furnishing but three companies for this regiment. The remaining seven companies were formed later. A battalion of four companies entered the Army of the Cumberland, one company was attached to the 79th O. V. I., and two companies to the 60th O. V. I. (3 years' service).

The First Independent Company was organized at Dayton, Montgomery county, the enrolling of which took place from September 18 to November 14,

1861, by Captain Calvin Reed. It left Dayton October 15, 1861, via Cincinnati and the Ohio & Mississippi R. R., for St. Louis, Mo., to join Birge's Western Sharpshooters. It was armed with the American target rifle, and equipped with bear-skin shot pouch, scraped powder horn, squirrel-tailed cap, blue coat and gray pantaloons. Arriving at St. Louis, it went into quarters at Camp Benton, and on November 23, 1861, was mustered into the service of the United States by Lieutenant J. C. Bundy, 15th Ill. V. C.

The Second Independent Company was recruited in Hancock and Hardin counties, the organization being formed at Findlay during the months of September and October, 1861, by Captain Campbell Dougherty. It was also ordered to St. Louis, where it arrived a short time after Captai1Reed's company, and was mustered into the service of the United States November 30, 1861, by Lieutenant J. C. Bundy, 15th Ill. V. C., Mustering Officer, and was assigned as Co. H, Birge's Western Sharpshooters. On December 12, 1861, the Regiment left Camp Benton, and was engaged in scouting duty through the counties of Boone, Audrain, and Macon, Mo., in pursuit of the rebel force, who were endeavoring to destroy the North Missouri. Railroad. It participated in the battle of Mount Zion, Mo., December 28, 1861. On February 4, 1862, it left Camp McClellen, Sturgeon, Mo., for Fort Henry, Tenn., engaged with the enemy at Fort Donelson, February 12 to 16, capturing three stand of colors from the 3d, 16th and 18th Regiments Tenn. Vol. Inf.,

C. S. A., also before Shiloh April 6 and 7, 1862.

The Third Independent Company was recruited in the counties of Allen and Hardin. It was enrolled at Lima, Allen County, Ohio, from March 12 to April 4, 1862, by Captain George A. Taylor, and was mustered into service of the United States April 7, 1862, at Camp Chase, Columbus, Ohio, by Albert B. Dod, Captain 15th Infantry, U. S. A., Mustering Officer. The company was at once ordered to the front, and on April 14 joined Birge's Western Sharpshooters at Camp C. F. Smith, Pittsburg Landing. On this date the designation of the Regiment was changed to the Western Sharpshooters, 14th Regiment Infantry. Previous to this time, the Regiment not having a State designation, Missouri and Illinois both claimed it. The following orders show the transfers, and between the lines can be seen how reluctantly the State of Missouri turned this splendid organization over to the State of Illinois:

HEADQUARTERS STATE OF MISSOURI,
ADJUTANT GENERAL'S OFFICE,

ST. LOUIS, April 14, 1862.

Special Order No. 52.-- The Regiment heretofore known as Birge's Sharpshooters will be hereafter designated the Western Sharpshooters, 14th Regiment Missouri Infantry.
By order of the Commander in Chief.

CHESTER HARDING, JR., Adjutant General.

WAR DEPARTMEXT, ADJUTANT GENERAL'S OFFICE,

WASHINGTON, December 29, 1862.

 

Special Orders No. 418.--[Extract]--30 In accordance with instructions from the War Department of April 22, 1862, the organization known as Birge's Sharpshooters, claimed both as an Illinois and Missouri Regiment, will be considered as an Illinois Regiment, and the officers will be commissioned by that State. This order will not be to the prejudice of any officer now in the organization who holds a commission from the Governor of Missouri.

By order of the Secretary of War.
L. Thomas, Adjutant General.

HEADQUARTERS STATE OF MISSOURI,
ADJUTANT GENERAL'S OFFICE,
ST. LOUIS, January 26, 1863

Special Order No. 9.--1. In compliance with Special Order No. 418, series 1862, from the War Department, the Regiment heretofore known as the 14th Infantry Missouri Volunteers, is hereby transferred to the State of Illinois.

By order of Commander in Chief.

W. D. WOOD, Acting Adjutant General.

 

The Regiment's final designation was 66th Regiment III. V. I. The three Ohio companies took the Regimental letters G, Hand K, but also retained the figures as independent companies until their re-enlistment as Veterans, when they were known afterwards by letter only. They established Camp Davies, Mississippi, as an outpost for General U. S. Grant's army; served General E. O. C. Ord as Headquarters Guard from June 23 to August 23, 1862; accompanied General G. M. Dodge, 2d Division, 16th Army Corps, from Camp Davies to Pulaski, Tenn., to re-enforce General Thomas, Army of the Cumberland, at Chattanooga, Tenn., guarded the Nashvil1e & Decatur R. R. and Rhode's Bridge, Tenn.;  entered the service as Veterans December 22, 1863, at Camp P. E. Burke, Pulaski, TenI1.; received Veteran furlough January 28, 1864, the Ohio companies going to Chicago with their Regiments, and thence to their home in Ohio.

Returning in time for the Atlanta campaign, they became a part of the left wing 16th Army Corps, McPherson's Army, and in this position passed through the actions of this famous march. They subsequently participated in the march to the sea, and in the campaigns of the Carolinas. The three Ohio companies, blended as heroes, shared equal1y with great distinction and fortitude the trials, hardships, privations and dangers of war.

The First and Second Companies were mustered out of service July 7, 1865, at Louisvil1e, Ky., after serving nearly four years. The Third Company was mustered out on expiration of term of service April 26, 1865, at Springfield, Ill.

Inscribed on the Rol1 of Honor of three companies are the names of fifty-nine heroes, killed or died of disease, whose sacrifices, heroism, sufferings and deaths during their brilliant service will never cease to be cherished by a grateful people.

The official list of battles has not yet been published by the War Department, but the officers and men enumerate the following as a part of their honorable record:

 

Mount Zion, Mo.

December 28, 1861

Fort Donelson, Tenn.

February 12-16, 1862

Shiloh, Tenn.

April 6-7, 1862

Phillips Creek, Miss.

May 21, 1862

Iuka, Miss.

September 19-20, 1862

Corinth, Miss.

October 3-4, 1862

Hatchie River

October 9, 1862

Snake Creek Gap, Ga.

May 8, 1864

Resaca, Ga.

May 13-16, 1864

Rome Crossroads, Ga.

May 16, 1864

Dallas, Ga.

May 25-June 4, 1864

Kennesaw Mountain, Ga.

June 9-30, 1864

Ruff’s Mills, Ga.

July 2-5, 1864

Chattahoochee River, Ga.

July 8, 1864

Peach Tree Creek, Ga.

July 19-20, 1864

Atlanta, Ga. (Hood’s First Sortie)

July 22, 1864

Ezra Church, Atlanta, Ga.

July 28, 1864

Atlanta, Ga., Siege of,

July 28-September2, 1864

Lovejoy Station, Ga.

September 2-6, 1864

Rome, Ga.

October 12-15, 1864

Savannah, Ga., Siege of,

December 10-21, 1864

Congaree Creek, S.C.

February 15, 1865

Columbia, S.C.

February 16-17, 1865

Fayetteville, N.C.

March 13, 1865

Bentonville, N.C.

March 19-21, 1865

Goldsboro, N.C.

March 21, 1865

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