— Organized on Aug 16 1861 at Camp Dennison, OH
— Enlistment term: 3 years
— Mustered out on Jul 9 1865 at Louisville, KY

39th Ohio Volunteer Infantry

Companies by County

  • Company A Hamilton County and Portsmouth, Scioto County
  • Company B "Koenig's German Rifles" Marietta, Washington County
  • Company C Athens County
  • Company D Clermont & Hamilton Counties
  • Company E Clermont & Hamilton Counties
  • Company F Hamilton County and "Koenig's German Rifles" Marietta, Washington County
  • Company G Hamilton County
  • Company H "Clinton Grays" Clinton County & Highland County
  • Company I Adams County
  • Company K "Rhoades' Railroad Guard" Athens County 39th Ohio Infantry

Available statistics for total numbers of men listed as:
— Enlisted or commissioned: 1605
— Drafted: 335
— Killed or died of wounds (Officers): 2
— Killed or died of wounds (Enlisted men): 62
— Died of disease (Officers): 3
— Died of disease (Enlisted men): 129
— Prisoner of war: 19
— Died while prisoner of war: 2
— Disabled: 143
— Discharged: 226
— Mustered out: 920
— Transferred out: 29

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(Three Years)

Thirty-ninth Infantry. - Cols., John Groesbeck, Alfred W. Gilbert, Edward F. Noyes, Daniel Weber; Lieut.-Cols., Henry T. McDowell, Henry A. Babbitt; Majs., William H. Lathrop, John S. Jenkins, George T. Rice. This regiment was organized at Camp Dennison, from Aug. 3 to 13, 1861, to serve for three years.

Being fully armed and equipped, it moved by rail to St. Louis, Mo., to join the forces organizing under Gen. Fremont. It assisted in all the operations that resulted in the capture of New Madrid and Island No. 10, after which it embarked on transports and sailed down the Mississippi to within a few miles of Fort Pillow. It held the advance of Pope's army on entering Corinth, being one of the first regiments to occupy the place, and participated in the sanguinary conflicts at Iuka and Corinth in September and October following.

It fought at Parker's cross-roads in December, when the force under Forrest was met, defeated and driven across the Tennessee river. It was one of the regiments that veteranized, and after its furlough home, participated in the Atlanta campaign. It took part in the battle of Resaca, the action at Dallas, then moved to Acworth, thence to Big Shanty, pushing the Confederate army to the base of Kennesaw mountain, where the regiment remained under constant fire until the enemy abandoned his line and took position near the Chattahoochee river. Then the regiment engaged in a successful assault on the enemy's works at Nickajack creek and on July 22 assisted in repelling the attack of Hardee's corps on the left flank of the Army of the Tennessee. This was the most severe engagement in which the regiment participated during its term of service, losing one-third of its number in killed and wounded. During this campaign the regiment lost 24 men killed and 168 wounded.

It then marched to the sea and in Jan., 1865, entered upon the campaign of the Carolinas, being engaged in the action at Rivers' bridge, and struck the Charleston & Augusta railroad at Midway. It engaged the enemy 7 miles from Cheraw, drove him through the town and across the Great Pedee river, and captured large quantities of ordnance and other stores. It took part in the action at Bentonville, N. C., with a loss of 4 killed, 17 wounded and 3 missing. Then came the news of Lee' surrender, the capitulation of Johnston, the march to Washington, the grand review, and finally the muster-out on July 9, 1865.

Source: The Union Army, vol. 2

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Report of Maj. John S. Jenkins,
Thirty-ninth Ohio Infantry.

Near East Point, Ga., September 7, 1864.

CAPT.: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of this regiment from May 1, 1864, up to and including the occupation of Atlanta, in obedience to Special Orders, No. 102, headquarters Fourth Division, Sixteenth Army Corps, dated September 4, 1864:

May 1, 1864, the regiment broke camp at Decatur, Ala., at 6 a. m. and marched fifteen miles in the direction of Huntsville, Ala.

2d, marched eighteen miles to a point one mile east of Huntsville.

3d, marched twenty-two miles to Big Spring.

4th, marched seven miles to Woodville Station, and took cars for Chattanooga, where we arrived at 12 midnight.

5th, marched at 2 p. m., crossing Mission Ridge, and camped nine miles from Chattanooga.

6th, marched six miles, passing battle-field of Chickamauga, and camped at Lee and Gordon's Mills.

7th, marched eight miles, passing through Ship's Gap.

8th, marched twelve miles to Snake [Creek] Gap.

9th, marched twelve miles through Snake [Creek) Gap, our advance skirmishing briskly; when near Resaca formed double column, and advanced to within some 300 or 400 yards of the railroad, under a fire of case-shot and shells from the enemy's works; withdrew to a ridge just out of range, where we remained until sunset, when we returned to the gap and threw up a line of intrenchments, where we remained until the 13th. Advanced to within a mile of the enemy's works at Resaca, with brisk skirmishing. Remained in line of battle supporting a battery, until the morning of the 16th, skirmishing almost constantly; loss, 1 enlisted man killed and 2 wounded.

16th, marched six miles, crossing the Oostenaula River at Lay's Ferry.

17th, marched twelve miles, starting at 7 p. m.

18th, marched six miles to Adairsville, and starting again at 9 p. m. marched till 3 a. m.

19th, marched to the railroad near Kingston, where we remained until the 23d, when we marched eight miles southward, crossing the Etowah River four miles west of Kingston.

24th, marched to Van Wert, eighteen miles.

25th, marched twelve miles eastward. 26th, marched through Dallas and went into position, facing east.

27th, worked all night making intrenchments.

28th, 1 man wounded.

29th, Heavy firing all night; 1 man killed and 1 wounded.

30th, still skirmishing.

31st, heavy skirmishing; Capt. John V. Drake, Company H, mortally wounded, and 2 enlisted men wounded.

June 1, withdrew from the line beyond Dallas, and moved five miles northward.

2d, marched to Pumpkin Vine Creek.

3d, built a line of works on east side of creek.

4th, built another line of intrenchments.

5th, moved six miles toward Acworth.

6th, marched eight miles to Acworth, where we remained until the 10th, when we marched to Big Shanty, six miles.

11th, moved to the front and threw up our line of works, where we remained (with a loss of 2 men wounded the 14th) without changing our position materially until the 18th, when we advanced our line nearly half a mile, with a loss of 1 man killed and 1 wounded.

19th, moved across the railroad to the base of Kenesaw Mountain and built a line of intrenchments, where we remained under an annoying fire until the morning of July 3; loss, 3 men killed and 3 wounded.

July 3, marched twelve miles toward Sandtown.

4th, encountered the enemy's skirmishers, near Nickajack Creek, and drove them to their works about one mile east of Ruff's Mill. At 6.30 p. m. charged in line of battle, accompanied by the Twenty-seventh Ohio on our left, and carried the works, with a loss of 5 enlisted men killed, and 3 officers and 28 enlisted men wounded. Col. Edward F. Noyes was wounded by musket-ball through left ankle, rendering amputation necessary. During the night reversed the works we had taken.

5th, marched eight miles toward Sandtown and remained near the Chattahoochee River until the 9th, when we marched to Marietta, about seventeen miles.

11th, marched to the Chattahoochee River near Roswell. 11th, crossed the river and threw up an intrenchment about half a mile beyond, where we remained until the 17th, when we advanced to Nancy's Creek.

18th, marched to Peach Tree Creek.

19th, marched to Decatur.

20th, marched three miles toward Atlanta.

21st, moved to a point one mile and a half south of the Georgia Railroad, being placed in reserve to the Seventeenth Corps.

22d, at 12.30 p. m. skirmishing suddenly commenced in our rear. A few minutes thereafter we were ordered to move to the rear at a double-quick and report to Gen. Fuller, at an old field in rear of the ambulance and supply trains. Passing the trains a few hundred yards we formed in line below the crest of a small ridge. As soon as the Twenty-seventh Ohio was formed on our right the order was given to advance; a few paces brought us to the crest of the ridge and in full view of the enemy advancing across the open field in our front; a spirited charge was made by our regiment with the Twenty-seventh Ohio, driving the enemy in confusion into the woods. We captured Col. Nisbet, commanding the brigade in our front, 1 captain, 1 adjutant, and 13 men, in this charge. Our position at this time was such that we were subjected to a severe enfilading fire, and a column of the enemy appearing on our right flank, we were ordered to retire to the ridge from which we had charged, reforming our line as directed under a heavy fire from our front and right flank. Our ammunition being nearly exhausted, orders were issued to the regiment to lie down and reserve their fire, but the enemy occupying higher ground on our right was still enabled to keep up a destructive fire upon us. We remained some twenty minutes in this exposed position, when the direction of our line was changed by retiring our right, and a supply of ammunition procured. The fire of the enemy gradually slackened, and at about 4 p. m. the force of the enemy's assault having expended itself and our trains having been removed to a place of security, the enemy withdrew from our front, and shortly after we were withdrawn to a new line about half a mile in the rear of the position our brigade had first taken. We maintained our line some hundred yards in advance of our first position until the close of the engagement. During the night we threw up a line of intrenchments. Our loss in this engagement was 15 enlisted men killed, and 5 officers and 98 enlisted men wounded.

23d strengthened our works; sent out working parties to bury the rebel dead, having brought off our own the evening previous. Remained on this line until the 27th, when we withdrew from our works on the left flank at 1 a. m. and marched to the right of the army. Advanced about half a mile and lay on our arms until morning under fire of the enemy's skirmishers.

28th, advanced a few hundred yards and threw up a strong line of earth-works about two miles from Atlanta. During the engagement on our right were obliged to take shelter on the outside of our works from an enfilading fire from a rebel battery in the rear.

Remained on this line exposed to an irregular fire of musketry and heavy shells until the 7th of August, when we advanced about 200 yards to a new line.

8th, moved half a mile to the front at 6 p. m. and worked all night throwing up intrenchments. Occupied this line till the 16th, exposed almost constantly to a fire of musketry and frequent shelling from the enemy's works; loss, 6 men wounded.

16th, moved back to the second line, and remained till the 24th, when we returned to the front line, which we held until the morning of the 26th, when we withdrew one mile and took position on retired line, facing north, and strengthened the works; marched all night toward Sandtown.

27th, marched ten miles toward the La Grange railroad.

28th, marched six miles and camped one mile from railroad. 29th, moved out at 6.30 a. m. and worked until night destroying the railroad in the vicinity of Fairburn.

30th, marched from 7 a. m. until 11 p. m., reaching a point within one mile of Jonesborough. 31st, threw up a line of breast-works on the right flank of our line, facing south.

September 1, strengthened our works.

2d, marched in pursuit of the enemy through Jonesborough to near Lovejoy's Station.

3d, received official information of the occupation of Atlanta by our forces. Moved with our division to cover a road on the right flank of our army, where we remained until the 5th, when we moved two miles to the rear and threw up works.

6th, marched to our old camp near Jonesborough.

7th, marched eight miles toward East Point.

8th, marched to East Point and camped.

Our loss during this campaign has been 24 enlisted men killed (not including those mortally wounded) and 8 officers and 158 enlisted men wounded, with 2 enlisted men missing in action. Total loss,192.

I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Maj. Thirty-ninth Ohio, Cmdg. Regt.

Capt. J. H. BOGGIS,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-Gen.

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Report of Lieut. Col. Henry T. McDowell,
Thirty-ninth Ohio Infantry,
of operations July 22.

Near Atlanta, Ga., July 26, 1864.

CAPT.: In compliance with Special Field Orders, No. 45, headquarters Left Wing, Sixteenth Army Corps, under date of July 25, 1864, I have the honor to report the part taken by this regiment in the engagement of the 22d instant.

The First Brigade, Fourth Division, was in reserve in the rear of the left of the Seventeenth Corps. About 12.30 p. m. I was ordered by Col. Morrill, commanding brigade, to move to the rear at a double-quick and report to Gen. Fuller, in the old field where the trains were parked. Sharp skirmishing was at that time going on to our left and rear. The regiment was moved as directed as speedily as possible. Reaching the field the line was formed facing south, the left wing refused to take the general direction of the line of the Second Division, Sixteenth Army Corps, already in position on our left. This position left us retired somewhat under the crest of the hill. The rest of the brigade coming up soon after, and being formed, a company was sent forward as skirmishers. They advanced but a short distance when they were driven back by the enemy's line of battle then advancing on us. As soon as the skirmish company had taken its place in line, bayonets were fixed and the line moved forward, the Twenty-seventh Ohio Veteran Volunteer Infantry being on our right. Reaching the crest of the hill, and coming in sight of the enemy, the double-quick was taken and a spirited charge made on their line, which had advanced some distance into the open field. They were driven back in disorder to the woods, and by the time we reached a small ravine in our front, had retired to a second ridge. The ground over which we passed was clear of all obstructions, and the line easily preserved. Before reaching the woods I discovered the enemy firing on us from the right and rear, and for this reason deemed it prudent to halt at the edge of the woods. On communicating this fact to Gen. Fuller I was ordered by him to face by the right, file right, and present a front to the flank fire. In endeavoring to execute this movement the regiment was thrown into some disorder, and in order to rectify this I gave the order to face about and retire to the crest of the hill, when the line was reformed without much difficulty, though the enemy's fire was severe. We had held this position some time, keeping up a steady fire to our right and front until many of the men were entirely out of ammunition, when I ordered the regiment to lie down and reserve the fire until a supply could be obtained. I think we must have remained in this exposed position for some fifteen or twenty minutes before the cartridges could be got to us. We held this position, our line some hundred yards in advance of our first position during the entire engagement, or until about 4.30 o'clock, when we withdrew in good order across the field, and formed on the right of the Fifty-second Illinois Volunteers.

The conduct of officers and men was entirely satisfactory.

The loss of the regiment in this engagement was as follows: 5 officers wounded, 15 enlisted men killed, 98 wounded, and 5 missing.

I have the honor to be, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Lieut.-Col., Cmdg. Regt.

Source: Official Records
[Series I. Vol. 38. Part III, Reports. Serial No. 74.]

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Reports of Maj. Daniel Weber,
Thirty-ninth Ohio Infantry,
of operations February 2-4 and March 21.

Rivers' Bridge, February 4, 1865.

I have the honor to report that on February 2, while the regiment was following the Twenty-seventh Ohio on the road to Rivers' Bridge, I received an order to move in line through the swamp with the right of the regiment near the road until within about fifty yards of the front line and there halt. This order was executed with some difficulty in consequence of the almost impassable condition of the swamp, the water in many places being more than knee-deep and full of fallen timber and undergrowth. The regiment remained in position until 10 p. m., when it was relieved by the Sixty-fourth Illinois Infantry and moved to camp about one mile to the rear, where it remained until about 3 p. m. February 4, when the regiment in obedience to orders moved toward the bridge, following the Eighteenth Missouri Infantry. After moving about half a mile, filed to the left on a plank road through swamp nearly to the Salkehatchie River, where the command again had to wade the swamp for some distance. Crossing the river on logs, formed and on the left of the Third Brigade, the Sixty-fourth Illinois Infantry forming on our left; Company K was deployed as skirmishers in front of the regiment. After remaining in this position a short time the line advanced through the swamp until it passed through the timber and arrived on open ground, where it was halted. After being read justed it again advanced under a fire from the enemy's skirmishers across an open field and through a narrow belt of timber, where it was halted and a rail barricade erected. Remaining there a short time the line changed direction, facing north, forming on the right of the Sixty-fourth Illinois Infantry. During the night the regiment intrenched itself in this position.

While I cannot say that any one deserves particular mention I must say that all officers and men conducted themselves in manner alike creditable to themselves and their command.

The casualties are as follows: Eight enlisted men wounded.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Maj. Thirty-ninth Ohio Infantry, Cmdg. Regt.

Lieut. H. W. GODFREY,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-Gen.



March 25, 1865.

I have the honor, in obedience to orders received, to forward report of
operations of this command on the 21st of March, 1865, as follows:

The regiment moved with the division, taking a road in a northeasterly direction; moved a bout two miles; formed line on the right of the Third Brigade, facing nearly west; moved forward in line through a swamp and dense thicket to elevated ground, where the enemy had been posted behind a barricade of rails and logs, from which he had been driven by the skirmish lie. After reaching this point the line moved at a double-quick in order to secure some pieces of artillery posted about 300 yards to the front, which the enemy had been using, but he succeeded in getting them off. The line hated after reaching the hill and was readjusted. Soon the enemy was seen to advance in line, but after a sharp fight was driven back in a few minutes. The regiment then moved by the flank to the rear and left about half a mile, where it took position on a hill and intrenched.

The casualties are as follows: 3 killed, 17 wounded, and 4 missing.
Number of officers engaged, 18; men, 300.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Maj. Thirty-ninth Ohio Infantry, Cmdg. Regt.

Capt. L. S. AMES,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-Gen.

Source: Official Records
[Series I. Vol. 47. Part I, Reports. Serial No. 98.]

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