A HISTORY OF THE 80TH OHIO VOL. INF.
In order to secure the railroad, General Quinby was ordered, that if necessary, every family and every vestige of property, except land itself, between the Hatchie and the Coldwater will be removed out of those limits or confiscated. All citizens between eighteen and fifty years of age would be arrested and paroled.
On the 8th of January, General Hamilton told General Quinby to hold his command ready to move to Memphis, and to move them along as rapidly as troops arrive to relieve them. On January 15th, 1863, the Divisions commanded by Generals Quinby, Logan and McArthur were designated to reinforce the expedition operating down the Mississippi River, with General J. B. McPherson commanding. General McArthur's division would embark at once on transports and proceed down the river to report to Major General McClernand for orders until the arrival of Major General McPherson with the rest of the command. General Logan would embark and proceed to the same destination as soon as transports could be supplied. General Quinby's Division (that of the 80th Ohio) would hold itself in readiness to move at the shortest notice.
On January 27th, 1863, the 80th Ohio was still guarding the railroad between Colliersville and Germantown, Tennessee. On this date, a forage train from the 80th Ohio's Brigade was attacked by a force of about 75 rebel cavalrymen near Germantown. The escort covered the train, and brought it off in safety without any loss to the Brigade. However, about 24 men of the 4th Illinois Cavalry, being in the same vicinity, were drawn into ambush and fired on by the enemy. Three were killed, 3 wounded and 16 missing, presumed captured. Colonel Eckley immediately sent reinforcements, but the enemy retreated quickly across the Coldwater River. Eckley placed a force of infantry at the bridge across the Nonconnah, and sent a force of cavalry down the Hernando road and another to Miller's Bridge. The enemy's force south of the Coldwater and west of Byhalia was reported to be at least 500 strong. The rebel cavalry had been sending small parties almost every day to attack and harass the Brigade's trains and pickets. On the 8th of February, the 80th Ohio and its Division moved from their camp at Forest Hills to Memphis, going into camp there to await further orders.
In early February, Union engineers had blown up the levee connecting Moon Lake with the Tallahatchie and Mississippi Rivers just south of Helena, Arkansas. Then they dug a canal wide and deep enough to allow Gunboats into the Yazoo river so they would be able to approach Vicksburg by way of the Tallahatchie River. Gunboats did enter the Yazoo "Pass" and wound their painful way down the Tallahatchie towards Vicksburg. However, near Greenwood, Mississippi, the confederate Fort Pemberton commanded the river. When the gunboats drew close, the confederate batteries opened fire and the boats were forced to withdraw after a futile return of cannon fire. It would take gunboats and infantry to take the fort. This would be the destination of the 80th Ohio and its Division.
On the first of March, the 80th Ohio boarded the steamer "Ed Walsh" and moved to Woodward’s Bend, disembarking the next day. They remained here until the 7th of March when they returned to the boat and moved up the river to within sight of Helena, Arkansas, remaining there on the boat until the 11th. On that day they disembarked and went into camp on a sand bank. While here preparations were made for the expedition down Yazoo Pass and the steamers were loaded and put into readiness. On the 23rd of March Companies A and D boarded the steamer “R. Hambleton” with the balance of the regiment going aboard the “Anglo Saxon”. The Steamers moved out on the 25th going 7 miles to Moon Lake and entered the pass on the opposite side. Their movement was slow and on the 30th of March they entered the Tallahatchie River. Some steamers had previously left on the 7th, the but arriving at the entrance to the passage to Moon Lake found that the wind was then blowing so hard from the north, and there was fog, General Quinby thought it would not be prudent to attempt passing to the lake until the wind died down and the fog cleared away. Quinby made for the opposite shore of the river, where dry land was found and tied up the boats.
Leaving his troops there, Quinby went back to Helena to confer with General Prentiss. Prentiss advised against attempting to take the large transports into the lake. Quinby decided he would take a small steamer and go through the Pass, to judge for himself as to the feasibility of going in with the large boats, and also to select the best position for establishing the Division camp. After moving into the lake with the small steamer, General Quinby's opinion was that it would be unwise to try the large transports. The current was swift, and the narrow channel made a sharp bend of at least 90 degrees. Large boats could not make this turn, and should one get stuck or sunk in the channel, no others could pass until the wreck was removed. Nearly all the lake shore was submerged, and the water was still rising.
Of the transports in which the 7th Division embarked, two were found fit to be used for the expedition. Two were sent to Memphis for repairs, and two were unfit and could not be safely repaired. Quinby decided to load what transports there were at his disposal and start down the "Pass" to overtake General Ross, who had previously preceded Quinby down the Pass. The Division moved out on the 14th of March down the Tallahatchee, about 40 miles below the mouth of the Coldwater. On the 21st, Quinby met a fleet of transports bringing the division of General Ross up the river. After two unsuccessful attempts by the gunboats to take the rebel Fort Pemberton, in which the "Chillicothe" was seriously damaged, it was decided by General Ross and the Naval commanders to abandon the expedition, or defer further operations until more extensive preparations were made for it.
Quinby conversed with General Ross, and after weighing his reasons for making this movement, deemed it best to order him to return with him to the point he had left above the Fort. Quinby felt, that falling back, after coming this far, would have a depressing effect upon the men and raise the hope and determination of the enemy. The transports continued at daylight the next day. The Second (that of the 80th Ohio) and the Third Brigades of the Division would come down the river later after Quinby and the First Brigade disembarked, sending the transports back for them.
Quinby reached the position formerly held by the command of General Ross, about 2 miles above Fort Pemberton, on the afternoon the 23 of March. At 3 p.m., Lieutenant Commander Foster moved down the river with the "Chillicothe" and "De Kalb" to draw fire from the fort. Three shots were fired from the "Chillicothe" and none from the "De Kalb". The confederate guns from the fort made no response, evidently waiting for the gunboats to draw closer. It was raining hard at the time, and continued until noon on the 24th. Quinby determined that at the present stage of the water it would be impracticable to reach the fort by land, or the Yazoo River, below it, on the west bank. But it did appear they could get to the Tallahatchee below the fort, and also to the Yalabusha. A long pontoon bridge would have to be laid however.
But now General Quinby had another problem. Lieutenant Commander Foster declared that unless he received orders to the contrary, he will take his gunboat fleet and start for the Mississippi River by way of Moon Lake, and would do so before the 1st of April. If he did this, the land forces would be left there in a precarious position, with nearly 200 miles of unguarded water communications between them and the Mississippi. Quinby was going to send 4 transports back up the river to bring down the rest of the Division, but was now unsure whether it would be prudent to bring them down. Meanwhile, the 80th Ohio and its Brigade lay in their camp to the north, still awaiting orders. Finally deciding to keep the transports with him, he awaited the two brigades to come down by other transports which were supposed to come from Helena or Memphis. On the 19th of March, Quinby received a note from a Colonel Boomer informing him that no transports had yet reported to him and may not for several days.
The delay in getting the rest of his Division down to him bothered General Quinby considerably. He believed the confederates were receiving reinforcements. He wrote to General Prentiss, at Helena, to send him enough material to build a 300 foot bridge. For several days, General Quinby tried to figure out a way to get behind the fort with land forces, but heavy rains and rising water finally forced him to give up the attempt. The steamers carrying the reinforcements which included the 80th Ohio arrived on the 3rd of April and disembarked, going into camp a short distance from the Confederate Fort Pemberton. On the 4th of April the troops boarded the steamers again and moved back up the river. If Vicksburg were to be taken, the assault would have to come by land via another route.
On the 11th of April, the regiment reached their old camp on the sand bank near Helena. Here, General Quinby became sick and left for home. Colonel Sanburn of the 4th Minnesota, commanding the 1st Brigade, assumed command of the Division in Quinby’s absence. General Grant had decided to move south around Vicksburg, and go north towards Jackson, and turning west, take the Mississippi River town by land. On April 12th, the 80th Ohio and its Division received orders to proceed directly to Lake Providence, Louisiana, using the transports now available. The Division moved down the Mississippi River on the 13th, aboard the "Anglo Saxon" to Milliken's Bend, Louisiana and disembarked, arriving there on April 17th, and disembarked the next day. That same day, the 56th Illinois and 80th Ohio, in command of Colonel Raum, were sent to occupy Richmond, Louisiana, and relieve the forces at that point.
On the 20th of April, the remainder of the Brigade followed, with instructions to collect forage there for the passing troops, protect the pontoon bridge over the Roundaway Bayou, explore the same, reconnoiter the vicinity, and obtain such information as might be of service. The Brigade, including the 80th Ohio remained there on these duties until the 25th of April, 1863, when they moved to Holmes Plantation, 10 miles away. The next day they moved to Smith's Plantation, 8 miles away, where they remained until the 28th of April. They then moved on to Fisk's plantation, 4 miles. On the 29th, to Perkin's plantation and on the 30th, marched 20 miles around Lake Saint Joseph to a point about 3 miles from the crossing of the river. During these marches nearly all the camp and garrison equipage of the several regiments were left behind at different places for lack of transportation.
On the morning of May 1st, the firing of artillery was heard from the battlefield of Thompson's farm, or Port Gibson, indicating a severe engagement in progress. Leaving the 56th Illinois under Colonel Raum, on detail, the remaining three regiments moved rapidly as possible to Hard Times Landing, opposite Grand Gulf, where they embarked on board gunboats and transports. The 80th Ohio went aboard the steamer "Carondolet" and dropped down river to Bruinsburg and immediately took up the line of march for Port Gibson. When within about 3 miles of the battlefield, Colonel Samuel Holmes, Brigade Commander, received orders to fall back 1 mile, with his own Brigade and three regiments of the Third Brigade, and take up position for the night, covering a road leading from Grand Gulf.
In the morning, being joined by the whole of the First and Third Brigades, the 80th Ohio and the Second Brigade moved into Port Gibson, passing the battlefield of the day previous. There they rested, awaiting the completion of the pontoon bridge over the Bayou Pierre, the enemy having destroyed the other bridge behind them. At 4 p.m. the same day, they crossed the Bayou Pierre and marched until late at night, encamping near the bridge over the north branch of the Bayou Pierre. During this night the bridge was made passable by a portion of the Third Brigade, and in the morning the troops crossed. After advancing about three miles, the head of the column encountered a force of the enemy with artillery, which was at once engaged by the skirmishers of the First Brigade under Colonel Sanborn. General Crocker, commanding the Division, ordered Colonel Holmes to take a position on the left of the road, the 10th Missouri being deployed as skirmishers, supported by the 80th Ohio, Colonel Bartilson commanding, and the 17th Iowa in line of battle. The enemy soon abandoned the position, and the pursuit was at once resumed to the Black River, a distance of 6 miles.
The Brigade, with the division, remained bivouacked at this point until the morning of May 9th, when they moved out on the Utica road 10 miles, and encamped. On the morning of the 10th,the 80th Ohio marched 10 miles, to a point 2 miles beyond Utica, and encamped. Again, on the 11th of May, they marched about 1 mile and took up a position.
On May 12th, the Brigade and the 80th Ohio advanced about 7 miles toward Raymond, near which place they found Major General Logan's division engaged with the enemy. The Brigade, by direction of Brigadier-General Crocker, was at once formed in support of several batteries found in position on the left of the road, but not engaged. Remaining there a short time, the 80th Ohio and the 10th Missouri were ordered to the support of Brigadier-General Stevenson, preparatory to an advance into town, the former to his center and the latter to the extreme right wing. Having taken the position assigned, the whole line of battle moved forward 1 1/2 miles, and entered the place, the enemy evacuating without further opposition, except from his artillery, which did no damage to those of Colonel Holmes' command. One lieutenant and a few prisoners were captured by Company A, Tenth Missouri. The brigade and division encamped near the town of Raymond and marched again on the morning of the 13th to Clinton, without opposition, and encamped one mile east of that place, on the Vicksburg and Jackson Railroad.
The march was resumed on the morning of the 14th toward Jackson, the Second Brigade leading. In view of the probability of soon meeting the enemy, a heavy force of skirmishers from the Tenth Missouri was thrown forward and deployed with supports. Advancing about 3 miles, the enemy was discovered in force on both sides of the road, occupying a commanding position, his right covered by a dense thicket of oak bushes, his center and artillery at Wright's house, with his left on the continuation of the ridge. The main position at the house was also covered by a line of infantry formed in the ravine in his immediate front. His artillery commanded the road and an open country of undulating ridges for 1 1/2 miles in the direction of their approach. Upon discovering the enemy, the Second Brigade was at once deployed, the Tenth Missouri, Lieutenant-Colonel Horney, to the right of the road, and the Eightieth Ohio, Colonel Bartilson, and the Seventeenth Iowa, Colonel Hillis, to the left. The First Missouri Battery was now taken into position and the Brigade's line changed so as to support it, with the Seventeenth Iowa on the left of the road, the Eightieth Ohio in the center on the right of the road, and the Tenth Missouri on the right of the line, the whole supported on the right by the First Brigade, Colonel Sanborn, and on the left by the Third Brigade, Colonel Boomer. The whole line advanced in a heavy rain and under a severe fire of artillery and skirmishers to within 500 yards of the enemy's main line, when the Brigade was halted under the shelter of a ridge, prior to the final charge. Being again ordered to advance, the Brigade was ordered to fix bayonets, and, at the word, to move at double quick upon the enemy, which they did in excellent order, sweeping everything before them and carrying the position. The Sixth Wisconsin battery, Captain Dillon, was quickly brought to the front, and opened a heavy fire upon the fleeing enemy, who continued his retreat into and through the town of Jackson, abandoning his artillery as he went. In this battle the Brigade suffered about 215 killed, wounded and missing out of a force of about 1,000 men actually engaged.
After the battle, which was won by the Union forces, the 80th Ohio and its Brigade were ordered to bury the dead, subject to the orders of Brigadier General McGinnis, detailed with his Brigade on the same duty.
On the 19th of May, the Brigade marched to the Black River, joining Colonel Sanborn with his First Brigade, and crossed the river during the night at the upper crossing. Before leaving Champion's Hill, the Brigade was joined by the 56th Illinois, absent on detached service since the crossing of the Mississippi. At the same point, the 80th Ohio was detailed to guard prisoners, and left the Brigade for that duty. On the 20th, Colonel Holmes moved from his camp near Black River, with the Tenth Missouri, Seventeenth Iowa, and Fifty-sixth Illinois, to a position in the rear and near Vicksburg, and on the 21st of May, went into position in front of the enemy's works.
Meanwhile, the 80th Ohio, detailed as guards to 1500 rebel prisoners, was ordered to transport them to Memphis. The regiment moved out with their prisoners on the 20th of May and marched to Chickasaw Landing, a distance of 22 miles. The next day they crossed the river to Young’s Point. Boarding steamers, the regiment and its Brigade, with the prisoners, moved up the Mississippi River. They arrived at Memphis on the 28th of May, anchoring for the night in the middle of the river. Turning over their prisoners the next day, the regiment marched to Fort Pickering and camped for the night. On the next day, May 30th, they moved to the landing and went aboard the steamer “Black Hawk”, starting back down the river the next morning. They arrived at Milliken’s Bend the night of June 1st. The next day they steamed to Chickasaw Landing and disembarked. From here they could hear artillery fire coming from Vicksburg. On the 4th they marched about 8 miles, joining their Brigade in the rear of Vicksburg and General McPherson's command.
General Quinby had now resumed command of the 7th Division of the 17th Corps. General Marcellus Crocker had commanded the Division since leaving Milliken's Bend, due to General Quinby being ill. General Quinby rejoined his Division during the battle of Champion's Hill, but did not assume command from General Crocker while the battle was going on. General Crocker himself became very ill soon after, of what was then called consumption but what we now call tuberculosis. Crocker died of the disease on August 26th, 1865 in Washington, D.C.
The 80th Ohio had missed the assault on the Vicksburg fortifications which had occurred on the 22nd of May, resulting in severe Union losses. The fortifications could not be easily taken, and General Grant made preparations for a siege of the city. Entrenchments were dug, and eventually the Union lines stretched 15 miles from Hayne's Bluff to Vicksburg, then South to Wattenton. The enemy's line was about 7 miles long. Since confederate General Joseph Johnston had troops now at Jackson and Canton, Mississippi, in the rear of Grant's forces, a second line of defense was prepared in the rear.
General McPherson's 17th Corps was in the entrenchments on the eastern side of Vicksburg, with Sherman on the north and Lauman and Herron on the south. General Grant had his headquarters between Sherman's and McPherson's lines. On the 14th of June, the 80th Ohio was ordered into the rifle pits at this place for the first time since it came on the line. The Rebel works were about 600 yards out in front of them. The next day they were relieved by the 10th Missouri.
The Union batteries soon were in place and they began firing into the rebel fortifications and even into the city itself. On the 23rd of June, the 80th Ohio was ordered into the rifle pits. While there, one man from Company G had his leg broken by a premature explosion of one of the Union shells. The regiment was relieved the next day by the 18th Wisconsin. The regiment was again in the rifle pits on the 26th and again on the 30th. The men had little to do except dig, stand guard, and occasionally exchange musket fire with the enemy. The siege lasted until July 4th, 1863, when General Pemberton, his men starved and civilians in the city without food, surrendered. At 10 a.m. the garrison of Vicksburg marched out of their works, formed a line in front, stacked their arms, and marched back into the city. The whole Union army present, witnessed this scene without cheering. Moving into the city, the Union soldiers began talking with the prisoners. Many of the men gave food to the starving rebel soldiers. The 80th Ohio was given the task of gathering up all the mules, horses and wagons. All the confederate troops were paroled and on the 11th of July, the confederate garrison marched out, 31,000 in number and began making their way back to their own lines in eastern Mississippi. Shortly after this, Port Hudson, Louisiana was taken by Union forces and the Mississippi River was now completely in Union hands. About this same day, General Grant was promoted to Major General in the Regular Army and Generals Sherman and McPherson were made permanent Brigadier Generals in the Regular Army, however, Sherman was a brevetted Major General of Volunteers. On the 19th of July there was a General inspection and the regiment received 2 months pay. Several of the men began going home on furlough.
On the 11th of September, 1863, Brigadier General John E. Smith and the 7th Division of the 17th Corps was ordered to Helena, Arkansas to support an expedition under General Steele. The 80th Ohio boarded the steamer “John J. Roe” and steamed to Helena, Arkansas on the 12th of September. The commander of the 2nd Brigade, being that of the 80th Ohio, was now Colonel Clark Wever.
General Smith's 7th Division arrived at Helena on the 14th of September. He found no instructions for him there, and decided to move out to Devall's Bluff the next day to try effect a junction with General Steele. However, before General Smith proceeded too far, orders were received by him to proceed at once with his entire force, including the 80th Ohio, to the Department of the Cumberland at Chattanooga, Tennessee, and there report to Major General Rosecrans. The 80th Ohio and its Division boarded river transports at Helena on the 27th of September, the 80th going aboard the steamer “Belle Creole”, and moved to Memphis, arriving there in the afternoon of September 28th. The 7th Division encamped near Memphis, waiting for camp and garrison equipage, of which only a part had arrived, the remainder being on the steamer "Adriatic" aground near Helena. On October 6th, General Smith received orders to move the 7th Division to Glendale and await orders from General Sherman, to whom the division will be attached.
On the 6th of October, the First Brigade left on the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, and arrived at Corinth, Mississippi that night and moved on to Glendale. Due to the limited capacity of the railroad cars, the Second and Third Brigades did not arrive until the 10th. They encamped near Glendale and remained there until the 17th, when they marched 8 miles to Burnsville, encamping there until the 19th, then marched 9 miles to Iuka, encamping there. The 80th Ohio had begun a 400 mile march through Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee, to reinforce General Rosecrans army which was presently under siege by General Bragg's confederate army at Chattanooga.
On October 21st, they were at Bear Creek, Alabama. The next day they were at Dickson's Station, Alabama. On the 29th, Chickasaw, Alabama on the Tennessee, River. Crossing the River on the gunboat "Hastings", they marched one mile to Waterloo, Alabama. The next day they moved 5 miles to Brush Creek.
On October 29th, General Smith received orders from Major-General Sherman to march to Chickasaw, where they arrived at 1 p. m. They commenced crossing the Tennessee River October 30, at 10 a. m. The Second Brigade, that of the 80th Ohio, Colonel Raum commanding, succeeded in getting across, and was ordered to move out from Waterloo to Gravelly Springs, and there await the remainder of the command. Owing to the limited means for crossing the river, the First and Third Brigades did not get over until November 1st. Arriving at Gravelly Springs, General Smith learned that Colonel Raum's Brigade had been ordered forward to Florence by Major-General Sherman.
The Division arrived at Florence, Alabama at 2 p.m. General Smith ordered the Second Brigade under Colonel Raum to move out to Shoal Creek, a distance of 7 miles, with orders to march early next day. On the 3rd of November, the 80th Ohio marched to Second Creek, a distance of 20 miles. The next morning they marched about 4 miles to Rogersville where they came up with the Fourth Division which was in advance and unable to cross Elk river. General Smith's Division closed up at this point and moved out on the Pulaski road at 12 noon, arriving at Anderson's creek at 4 p.m. The Second Brigade (that of the 80th Ohio) was sill in the advance and was ordered to camp on Sugar Creek.
Moving from Anderson's Creek at 5 a.m. on November 5th, the Division reached Sugar Creek at 7:30 a.m. The Second Brigade had been unable to move due to the Fourth Division having the right of way on the road. They left Sugar Creek at 11 a.m. and arrived at Gilbertsborough at 3 p.m. On the 6th they marched at 6 a.m., arriving at Brown's Mills on Richland Creek at 11 a.m., a distance of 9 miles. From here they marched in the direction of Fayetteville and camped at 4 p.m. on Bradshaw Creek.
On November 8th, the 80th Ohio and its Brigade marched 12 miles to cane creek, and the next day marched 14 miles to Gum Springs, arriving at 3:45 p.m. Leaving there the next morning at 6 a.m., they arrived near Winchester, Tennessee at 5 p.m. on the 11th of November and camped. This was a marching distance of 22 miles.
The 80th Ohio and its Brigade moved on to University Switch, arriving there at 3:30 p.m. on the 13th. the next day they marched to Sweeden's Creek and camped at 4 p.m. On the 15th, they moved at 7 a.m. and arrived at Bridgeport, Alabama at 11:30 a.m. They remained in camp here at Bridgeport until the 18th of November, when, in compliance with orders received the night before from Major-General Sherman, they marched with all the supplies they could get, leaving their camp equipage and extra baggage. The command moved in the direction of Chattanooga, marching 11 miles, and going into camp and going into camp at the foot of Lookout Mountain. . On the 20th of November, they marched to Brown's Ferry where the First Brigade crossed the Tennessee River and encamped. On the 21st of November each man was issued 100 rounds of ammunition.
General Grant was now in command of the Western Armies and was already in Chattanooga. General Rosecrans had been replaced by General Thomas. General Smith reported to Major General U. S. Grant, and was ordered to move his command up on the Dallas road, about 4 miles above Chattanooga, and go into camp in the valley near the Tennessee River before daylight, which was accomplished, although the Second Brigade and the 80th Ohio were 6 miles in the rear. They remained in camp until the night of the 23rd of November when, in compliance with orders received from Major-General Sherman, they moved, at 12 o'clock, to the bank of the Tennessee River, nearly opposite the mouth of East Chickamauga Creek, in readiness to cross the river in pontoon boats.
At about 1.30 a. m. on the 24th, the boats arrived, and the First Brigade, followed by the Third and Second Brigades, crossed in good order. Upon reaching the opposite bank, in compliance with instructions previously received, Colonel Alexander, commanding First Brigade, deployed the Fourth Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, Lieutenant Colonel J. E. Tourtellotte commanding, as skirmishers, so as to cover the brigade front, while the remainder of the First and Third Brigades entrenched themselves as rapidly as possible, so that by daylight, when the Second Brigade had crossed, the whole command was secure behind a good line of works. Daylight revealed a second ridge about 500 yards in advance of the first line. General Smith ordered the command forward, and they again entrenched themselves. At this point Colonel Tourtellotte reported to his brigade commander the enemy's cavalry picket was taken by his skirmishers. The Fourth Division having crossed the river, and taken the position assigned it on General Smith's right, Smith withdrew the Second Brigade, formed it in column of regiments, to protect the right flank, and placed them in the rear of his line.
At about 1 p. m. General Smith received orders to advance his column, formed by division. The skirmishers advanced steadily without much opposition until they gained the summit on the left on Missionary Ridge, where they met with heavy opposition, but soon drove the enemy's skirmishers from the ground. The First and Third Brigades were formed in two lines, the Second in reserve, and ordered to intrench themselves. One section of the Sixth Wisconsin Battery was ordered up to the hill, but owing to the poor condition of the horses it was found impossible to get it up without the assistance of the infantry. A detail of 200 men from the First Brigade soon had the guns in position on the right of the line. This being done, about 5 a. m., in compliance with orders from Major-General Sherman, and in anticipation of an attack through the valley at the base of the ridge, General Smith moved down with the Second and Third Brigades and placed them under cover of the woods, ready to act in any emergency that circumstances might require.
They remained in this position, without receiving any orders, until 11 a. m. of the 25th, when Brigadier-General Ewing, commanding the Fourth Division, on Smith's right, requested of General Smith one brigade to enable him to close a gap in the valley, not covered by his men. Fearing that the enemy might attack at that point, Smith at once ordered the Third Brigade, Brigadier-General Matthies commanding, to report to General Ewing. An hour later General Ewing sent for another brigade and General Smith promptly ordered out the Second Brigade, Colonel Raum commanding, to report to him. Colonel Raum went forward at the double-quick, in two lines, under heavy artillery fire. He formed the 17th Iowa and 80th Ohio behind a fence, on the upper side of the field, and the 56th Illinois and 10th Missouri in the road at the foot of the hill. A short time after these dispositions were made Colonel Raum received information that General Matthies' brigade was running short of ammunition. He at once ordered the Seventeenth Iowa and Eightieth Ohio forward, intending to relieve the troops in front. At this juncture the enemy, massing a considerable force upon the right flank of Matthies' brigade, made a furious attack upon him. Colonel Raum was with his advance troops, and therefore could not see what was going on around the point of the hill. His men had not advanced more than forty yards beyond the fence when Raum discovered that Matthies' right had been forced back, carrying Raum's with it, and that the enemy had actually passed to his rear on the right, while they were making a vigorous attack in front. The disorder on the right communicated rapidly, and in a few moments the entire line gave way, and was reformed again. The enemy pursued and formed an irregular line below the upper fence. Colonel Raum's second line, composed of the fifty-sixth Illinois and Tenth Missouri Volunteers, stood firm, engaged the enemy with spirit, and forced him to retire to his works upon the hill. It was while directing the fire of these two regiments that Colonel Raum was wounded. He did not leave the field, however, until the engagement was over.
Most of the wounded were recovered, although some of them not until next morning. The 80th Ohio suffered heavy losses in the attack. Captain John Kinney was shot through the heart and killed. Lieutenant F. M. Ross was also killed and Lieutenant F. Robinson was wounded and captured. Company "C", that of John King's, lost 3 killed, 3 wounded and 2 captured. The Brigade's loss was 40 killed, 140 wounded and 24 missing, presumed captured.
Although the assault on the Ridge at the tunnel was unsuccessful, the main assault on the Ridge further down resulted in the rout of the confederate forces on the ridge, and the confederates at the tunnel fell back with them.
On the 26th of November, the 80th Ohio and its Brigade followed the Eleventh Army Corps in pursuit of the enemy, arriving at Graysville, Ga., on the 28th. Nothing of interest transpired except the capture of a few stragglers, 28 in number; reported to the provost-marshal. The Brigade could not pursue the enemy farther for want of supplies, and was ordered to return to camp near Chattanooga. There were 480 stands of arms of various caliber, together with accouterments, picked up on Tunnel Hill, and turned over to the ordnance officer at Chattanooga.
Shortly, after returning from Graysville, the 80th Ohio was ordered to Bridgeport, Alabama for guard duty on the Memphis and Charleston railroad, where it encamped in a swamp, and continued there a sort of amphibious life until early January. While in Bridgeport, the 80th Ohio and its Division were permanently transferred from the 17th Corps to the 15th Corps. The 80th Ohio was now in the Second Brigade, commanded by Colonel Clark Wever, and in the Third Division, commanded by General John E. Smith. The 15th Corps was a part of the Army of the Tennessee, commanded by General James B. McPherson. General Grant had been appointed to the command of all Union Armies and General Sherman was given command of all the Western Armies, and reporting to General Grant.
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Chapter 2 - 1863
Chapter 3 - 1864
Chapter 4 - 1865
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