The 23D OHIO VOLUNTEER INFANTRY REGIMENT, 1861-65, was organized at Camp Chase in Columbus, Ohio on 11 June 1861 to fight for the Union in the American CIVIL WAR. A total of 341 Cleveland men served with the regiment. 

The regiment is particularly notable for its large number of soldiers who rose to prominence both during and after the war. Its number included two future U.S. presidents, Rutherford B. Hayes and William McKinley, future Supreme Court justice Stanley Matthews, and future US senator Robert P. Kennedy.  Five of the regiment's members, Hayes, James M. Comly, Russell Hastings, E. P. Scammon, and William S. Rosecrans, rose to the rank of general. 

The 23d distinguished itself at the Battle of Antietam, and participated in the pursuit of John Hunt Morgan's Raiders, the raid on the Virginia & Tennessee Railroad, and the Shenandoah Valley Campaign. Among others, the regiment also saw action at South Mountain, Lynchburg, and Cedar Creek.

The regiment was mustered out at Cumberland, MD, on 26 July 1865. Its members were discharged and paid off at Camp Cleveland (see CIVIL WAR CAMPS IN CLEVELAND) on 28 July 1865. The 23d lost 5 officers and 154 enlisted men to hostile causes and 1 officer and 130 enlisted men to disease. 

In 1903, a monument to the 23d was erected on the Antietam battlefield, praising the regiment’s bravery in crossing Antietam Creek. William McKinley received his own monument on the same field near Burnside’s Bridge. It was dedicated on 13 Oct. 1903, and commemorates an unusually domestic action. It’s inscription reads: “Sergeant McKinley Co. E. 23rd Ohio Vol. Infantry, while in charge of the Commissary Department, on the afternoon of the day of the battle of Antietam, September 17, 1862, personally and without orders served “hot coffee” and “warm food” to every man in the Regiment, on this spot and in doing so had to pass under fire.”


Unit Assignments:

Cox's Kanawha Brigade July-Sept. 1861
Scammon's Brigade, Dist. of the Kanawha, WV Sept.-Nov. 1861
3d Brigade, Kanawha Div. Nov. 1861 - Mar. 1862
1st Brigade, Kanawha Div., Dept. of the Mountains Mar.-Sept. 1862
1st Brigade, Kanawha Div., 9th Army Corps, Army of the Potomac Set.-Oct. 1862
1st Brigade, Kanawha Div., Dist. of West Virginia, Dept. of the Ohio Oct. 1862 - Mar. 1863
1st Brigade, 3d Div., 8th Army Corps, Middle Dept. Mar.-June 1863
1st Brigade, Scammon's Div., Dept. of West Virginia June-Dec. 1863
1st Brigade, 3d Div., Dept. of West Virginia Dec. 1863 - Apr. 1864
1st Brigade, 2d Infantry, Div. of West Virginia Apr. 1864 - Jan. 1865
1st Brigade, 1st Infantry, Div. of West Virginia Jan.-Apr. 1865
4th Provisional Div. of West Virginia Apr.-July 1865


Updated by Meghan Schill

Black, white and red text reading Western Reserve Historical Society

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View finding aid for the Adelaide Rudolph Papers, WRHS.

View finding aid for the John S. Ellen Journal, WRHS.

Williams, T. Harry. Hayes of the Twenty-third (1965).

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