The 8TH OHIO VOLUNTEER INFANTRY REGIMENT was organized 29 Apr.-2 May 1861 at Camp Taylor (see CIVIL WAR CAMPS IN CLEVELAND) and was mustered into service in the CIVIL WAR for 3 months on 2 May. Its nine companies were composed of men from northern Ohio, with Co. B representing the HIBERNIAN GUARDS. The 8th Ohio was transferred on 3 May to Camp Dennison, near Cincinnati.
Following President Lincoln's call for regiments of 3 years' duration, the 3 month regiment reenlisted on 22 June. It participated in the Shenandoah Valley Campaign against the forces of General "Stonewall" Jackson, and gained distinction at the Battle of Antietam with their fighting at the Sunken Road. They also served at the battles of Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg. The 8th became well-known after its service at Gettysburg, due to its repulse of Confederate troops during “Pickett’s Charge.”
After Gettysburg, the regiment was sent to quell the New York City draft riots. Following its return to the Army of the Potomac, the 8th participated in Grant’s Overland Campaign from the Wilderness to the siege of Petersburg. At Spotsylvania Court House, they were engaged in the fighting at the “Bloody Angle,” where hand-to-hand combat raged for 22 hours. Just 3 weeks before their enlistment expired, on 1 June 1864, they took part in the ill-fated attacks at the battle of Cold Harbor. This constant, intense fighting throughout the war gained the 8th a dubious honor: more of its men died from hostile action than of disease.
The regiment was officially mustered out of service on 13 July 1864. Veterans who wished to continue the fight, along with new recruits, formed two companies and were attached to the 4th Ohio Infantry Battalion on 25 June 1864. A total of 205 members of the 8th Ohio Regiment died during its term of service, including 8 officers and 124 enlisted men in battle and 1 officer and 72 enlisted men from disease.
Three soldiers from the 8th earned the medal of honor for the actions, two at Gettysburg and one at Spotsylvania. John Miller, James Richmond, and Lewis Rounds all received the nation’s highest honor for capturing enemy flags - a feat Miller performed twice.
After the war, monuments to the 8th Ohio were erected on the Antietam and Gettysburg battlefield sites.
|Hill's Brigade, Army of Occupation, West Virginia||May-Aug. 1861|
|3d Brigade, Army of Occupation||Sept. 1861 - Jan. 1862|
|Landers' Division, Army of the Potomac||Feb.-Mar. 1862|
|1st Brigade, Shields' Division, Banks' 5th Army Corps, Dept. of the Shenandoah||Apr.-May 1862|
|Kimball's Independent Brigade, Dept. of the Rappahannock||June-July 1862|
|Kimball's Independent Brigade, 2d Army Corps, Army of the Potomac||Aug.-Sept. 1862|
|1st Brigade, 3d Division, 2d Army Corps, Army of the Potomac||Oct. 1862 - Mar. 1864|
|3d Brigade, 2d Division, 2d Army Corps, Army of the Potomac||Apr.-June 1864|
Updated by Meghan Schill
Galwey, Thomas Francis. The Valiant Hours (1961).
Sawyer, Franklin. A Military History of the Eighth Regiment (1881).