During the American Civil War, the State of Ohio provided the United States government with three types of military units: artillery units, cavalry units, and infantry units. Ohio supplied the federal government with more than 260 regiments of men, not counting several companies that formed the basis of regiments in West Virginia, Kentucky, and Massachusetts. A total of 310,654 Ohioans served in the Northern army for varying lengths of time. The federal government required each state to supply a set number of soldiers determined by the state's population. Ohio exceeded the government's call for men by 4,332 soldiers. This number does not reflect the 6,479 men who paid a monetary fine to the government to escape military duty. It also does not include the 5,092 African-American soldiers who served in the United States Colored Troops or in units from other states, including the famous Fifty-Fourth and Fifty-Fifth Massachusetts Infantry Regiments. Ohio exceeded the federal government's requirements by more than fifteen thousand men.
Ohio men fought in every major battle of the war. Within forty-eight hours of President Abraham Lincoln's call for volunteers in April 1861, two Ohio infantry regiments already had departed for Washington DC. An Ohio brigade protected the Union army's retreat at the First Battle of Bull Run in 1861. Ohio regiments also helped secure Kentucky and West Virginia for the North. They participated in the Battles of Fort Donelson, Gettysburg, Antietam, Fort Wagner, Shiloh, Chickamauga, and many others. Approximately 11,237 Ohio soldiers died from wounds received on the various battlefields, while another 13,354 men perished from diseases. Eighty-four of every one thousand Ohio men who served died in the war. Another forty-four for every one thousand deserted. This was one of the lowest desertion rates in the Northern states.
Artillery units from Ohio: