The Seventy-Seventh Ohio Infantry was organized at Marietta, Ohio, during late 1861 and early 1862. It was mustered into Federal service by detachments between September 28, 1861 and January 5, 1862. Nine hundred and three officers and enlisted men were accepted into service as part of unit. A large number of officers and men in the regiment had been members of the pre-war Ohio militia.
As was the case with almost all civil war units, the 77th Ohio Infantry was often known by an alternative designation derived from the name of its commanding officer. Unofficial names of this type used by or for the unit are shown below.
On February 17, 1862 the regiment was ordered to Paducah, Kentucky. There it joined the Department of the Tennessee. In the following month the unit joined the Army of the Tennessee, serving in that army until July, 1862. The regiment then rejoined the Department of the Tennessee. In August , 1862, the unit was moved to Alton, Illinois, where it was assigned as prison guards to to the prisoner of war camp. A year later, in August, 1863, the regiment joined the Arkansas Expeditionary Corps, serving in that command until January, 1864. The regiment then joined the Department of Arkansas. It served in this command until February, 1865, when it joined the Military Division of West Mississippi. In June, 1865, the regiment joined the Department of Texas, serving in that command for the durations of its career. Listed below are the specific higher command assignments of the regiment.Attached, District of Paducah, Kentucky, Department of the Tennessee Feb., 1862 -March, 1862
Listed below are the specific engagements in which the unit took part. Numbers after the events locate them on the map following this history.Movement from Paduch, Ky. (1) to Savannah, Tenn. (2) March 6-10, 1862
The Seventy-Seventh Ohio Infantry served on garrison duty at a number of locations in the Rio Grande Valley until late Febuary, 1866. The regiment was then consolidated at Brownsville, Texas. It was mustered out of Federal service there on March 8, 1866.
During its career the regiment suffered the loss of two officers and sixty-eight enlisted men killed or mortally wounded. An additional two officers and two hundred and eight enlisted men died from disease or other non-battlefield causes.
Delivered by Commander G.W. Knapp at the installation of officers of Douglass Post, No. 97, G.A.R on Tuesday, January 1st, 1885:
COMRADES:-- Nearly twenty years have passed away since last we woke to the reveille, or started at the long roll to face in deadly peril and conflict the enemies of our flag and our nation. Twenty years since last we met at roll call to our names, as hoarsely sounded by our Seargant, to ascertain how many of had survived the bloody charge.
Twenty years since, with a tearful, yet a joyous farewell we broke ranks, for the last time under the old flag, untarnished and a rescued nation, and with acclamations of an applauding world we separated go to our welcome homes to resume our peaceful advocations in the walks of civilians life. Twenty years, what joys, what sorrows, what trials, what triumphs have been ours. How swiftly have these years flown by. We were but boys then, most of us. We are men now, going down the other side of life, and where the Johns and Wills and Joes and Charlies and Edwards, who marched by our side during the long, laborious journey, through darkness and sunshine; through wet and dust; patiently enduring and accepting with a smile the burdens and self denyings of a soldiers life. Where the bosom chum who shared our blanket and last hard tack when the rations failed and men were fainting by the way. Some of them lay down to their last, dreamless sleep upon the hot dusty field of blood, strife and carnage. Some from prisons dark as erebus, and dark as the grave, were laid in their narrow bed to sleep the sleep that knows no waking. In the swamps; on the mountain side; in the valley; at the bottom of the sea;--all over the Southern states, lie mouldering to day the bones of our brave, large hearted fellow soldiers. Can we forget them? No. As we gather here to day, memory transports us to the scenes of other years. We love the merry songs to renew our lagging limbs on the long forced march. We see them bravely enter the strife, we stoop to catch their last farewell, their words of consolation to the loved at home. Forget them, not until the memory shall be unthroned. They shall dwell in firm security in our hears, as lifes purest and most precious jewels.
Still others who stood by our side and spoke the words of kindly farewell on muster out day, are not of us here this evening. Where are they ? They have fallen out by the way. Lifes journey has been too long for them. The march has proven to laborious for them to bear and they have lain them down to rest till the last bugle call shall waken them to greet the resurrection morn. To them we say comrades; brothers farewell, until we meet you in the grand review under the eye of our great commander. All hail until the dawning of the day in which no wars shall ever come.
We, the little handful who are left of the mighty army who went out to face our common foe, gather here to renew our vows of fidelity and mutual confidence, know not whether to smile or weep as we view the decimation which time has wrought in our ranks. Nor have we fought in vain. An united country with freedom waving her welcome banner over rich and poor, white and black alike is the glad result. It has linked us together as a band of soldiers for mutual protection and benefit.
Comrades, I cannot thank you too much for the honor conferred upon me, as your commander. I ask the hearty support and co-operation of officers and comrades alike, for without your council and aid our efforts would fail.
Then in conclusion, comrades, we welcome you here, and as the years roll by we shall ever cherish the memories of the days of war, and in our hearts shall ever flourish the friendship formed amid the scenes of camp life, and welded in the hot and flaming forge of deadly strife. Then let us march together to the grand triumphant future where we shall gather the golden harvest of universal freedom which has ripened in the sunshine of national prosperity.
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