The 72nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry
National colors of the 72nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry held at the Ohio Historical Society, Columbus, Ohio as part of the Ohio Regimental Flags of the Civil War collection
The 72nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry was not the most famous Ohio regiment to fight in the Civil War, nor was it deemed the most prestigious, but on the morning of April 6, 1862 it saved the Union. Positioned on the right flank of Grant’s army as part of William Tecumseh Sherman’s division – it bore the brunt of Johnston’s assault. Under heavy fire, the regiment was pushed back beyond its camp. In the afternoon, in conjunction with McClernand’s division, it mounted a counterattack. It remained under heavy fire the entire day – suffering high casulties, including the loss of its commanding general – but at the end it held, allowing Wallace’s men to come onto the field of battle and giving the surprised Grant time to reform his shattered troops at Pittsburgh Landing. If the men of the 72nd OVI had not rallied, Grant’s entire right wing would have collapsed and his force would have been destroyed, leaving the West securely in Confederate hands.
Civil War Preservation Trust web site on the Battle of Shiloh
The Union army order of battle at Shiloh
National Parks Service website for the Shiloh National Military Park
Order of Battle of the Union army at Vicksburg
The 72nd OVI at Vicksburg
National Parks Service website for the Vicksburg National Military Park
Organized at Fremont, Ohio, October, 1861, to February. 1862. Moved to Camp Chase, Ohio, January 24, thence to Paducah, Ky. Attached to District of Paducah, Ky., to March, 1862. 4th Brigade, 5th Division, Army of the Tennessee, to May, 1862. 3rd Brigade, 5th Division, Army of the Tennessee, to July, 1862. 3rd Brigade, 5th Division, District of Memphis, Tenn., to November, 1862. 5th Brigade, 5th Division, District of Memphis, Right Wing 13th Army Corps (Old), Dept. of the Tennessee, November, 1862. 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, District of Memphis, 13th Army Corps, to December, 1862. 3rd Brigade, 8th Division, 16th Army Corps, to April, 1863. 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, 15th Army Corps, Army of the Tennessee, to December, 1863. 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 16th Army Corps, to December, 1864. 1st Brigade, 1st Division, Detachment Army Tennessee, Dept. of the Cumberland, to February, 1865. 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 16th Army Corps (New), Military Division West Mississippi, to July, 1865. Dept. of Mississippi to September, 1865.
Moved from Paducah, Ky., to Savannah, Tenn., March 6-10, 1862. Expedition from Savannah to Yellow Creek, Miss., and occupation of Pittsburg Landing, Tenn., March 14-17. Crump’s Landing April 4. Battle of Shiloh April 6-7. Advance on and siege of Corinth, Miss., April 29-May 30. Russell House, near Corinth, May 17. March to Memphis, Tenn., via La-Grange, Grand Junction and Holly Springs June 1-July 21. Duty at Memphis, Tenn., till November. Grant’s Central Mississippi Campaign, operations on the Mississippi Central Railroad, November 2, 1862, to January 12, 1863. Duty at White’s Station till March 13. Ordered to Memphis, Tenn., thence to Young’s Point, La. Operations against Vicksburg, Miss., April 2-July 4. Moved to Join army in rear of Vicksburg, Miss., May 2-14. Mississippi Springs May 13. Jackson, Miss., May 14. Siege of Vicksburg May 18-July 4. Assaults on Vicksburg May 19 and 22. Expedition to Mechanicsburg May 26-June 4. Advance on Jackson, Miss., July 5-10. Siege of Jackson July 10-17. Brandon Station July 19. Camp at Big Black till November. Expedition to Canton October 13-20. Bogue Chitto Creek October 17. Ordered to Memphis, Tenn., and guard Memphis & Charleston Railroad at Germantown till January, 1864. Expedition to Wyatt’s, Miss., February 6-18. Coldwater Ferry February 8. Near Senatobia February 8-9. Wyatt’s February. Operations against Forest in West Tennessee and Kentucky March 16-April 14. Defence of Paducah, Ky., April 14 (Veterans). Sturgis’ Expedition to Ripley, Miss., April 30-May 2. Sturgis’ Expedition to Guntown, Miss., June 1-13. Brice’s Cross Roads, near Guntown, June 10. Salem June 11. Smith’s Expedition to Tupelo, Miss., July 5-21. Camargo’s Cross Roads, Harrisburg, July 13. Harrisburg, near Tupelo, July 14-15. Old Town or Tishamingo Creek July 15. Smith’s Expedition to Oxford, Miss., August 1-30. Abbeville August 23. Moved to Duvall’s Bluff, Ark., September 1. March through Arkansas and Missouri in pursuit of Price September 17-November 16. Moved to Nashville, Tenn., November 21-December 1. Reconnoissance from Nashville December 6. Battles of Nashville December 15-16. Pursuit of Hood to the Tennessee River December 17-28. At Eastport, Miss., till February, 1865. Moved to New Orleans, La., February 9-22. Campaign against Mobile, Ala., and its defences March 17-April 12. Siege of Spanish Fort and Fort Blakely March 26-April 8. Assault and capture of Fort Blakely April 9. Occupation of Mobile April 12. March to Montgomery April 13-25, and duty there till May 10. Moved to Meridian, Miss., and duty there till September. Mustered out at Vicksburg, Miss., September 11, 1865. Regiment lost during service 4 Officers and 56 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 2 Officers and 236 Enlisted men by disease. Total 298.
Other information on the 72nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry
Bibliography of resources on the 72nd OVI compiled by Larry Stevens
Biographical article on General Ralph Buckland compiled by the Sandusky County Historical Society
The Center for Archival Collections at Bowling Green State University on the 72nd OVI
Biographical sketches of men serving in the 72nd OVI compiled by the Center for Archival Collections at Bowling Green State University
Photograph of a reunion of the 72nd OVI held by the Ohio Historical Society as part of its Ohio Memory project