126th Ohio Volunteer Infantry U.S. Flag
Colonel Benjamin F. Smith
The 126th was organized September 4, 1862, under Colonel Benjamin F. Smith (see left). It moved via the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad the same month to Parkersburg, West Virginia, and then to Cumberland, Maryland. It guarded the railroad during the winter, and in spring of 1863 operated against guerillas in West Virginia as a member of the Third Brigade, Second Division, Eighth Army Corps. In June the Regiment returned to the vicinity of Martinsburg and was severely pressed by the advance of Lee's army in the Battle of Martinsburg, a component of the Second Battle of Winchester. The 126th escaped to Harper's Ferry and afterwards moved to Washington (City). On July 9, 1863, the Regiment was assigned to the Third Brigade, Third Division, Third Army Corps, commanded by General French. From this point to the end of the war, the history of the 126th is identified with that of the Army of the Potomac. On the sixteenth of August 1863, the 126th was sent to New York City to aid in squelching the draft riots that had broken out on July 13, 1863. On the 16th of September, the Regiment returned to Virginia.

It joined the legendary Sixth Corps on March 25, 1864. In 1864, it took part in the Battles of the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor, and Petersburg under General Grant; The Battle of Monocacy under General Lew Wallace; Snicker's Gap, Opequon (Third Winchester), Fisher's Hill, and Cedar Creek under General Sheridan, and ended the war fighting in the Battle of Petersburg. The Regiment was mustered out June 25, 1865, and lost during its term of service over 500 men.

126th News

The 1883 History of the 126th Ohio Volunteer Infantry by John H. Gilson, has been reissued by Blue Acorn Press . To get information on price and shipping on this handsome and long-awaited reissue, click here.

"Gilson's work features an annotated roster and nine biographical sketches of officers who lost their lives in battle. A new index and 52 photo portraits, most of them recently discovered, further enhance Blue Acorn Press' edition of this rare Ohio regimental history."

-Blue Acorn Press

Letter & Journal Collections

George G. Eagleson, Private, Company C, 126th Ohio Volunteer Infantry
  1. George G. Eagleson Diary, Private, Company C - October 20, 1862 - Demember 13, 1863 - (Large file: 7.3 MEG, PDF file)
  2. 1907 Speech given by George G. Eagleson to the Relief Corps discussing the horrors of Andersonville Prison (469 KB, PDF file)
    - All documents in possession of his Great Great Granddaughter Caroline Wilcox (March, 2012)
A letter written by Sergeant Joseph Fisher, Company A
  • Written on November 3, 1862
  • Held & transcribed by Eric & Liz Davis
  • Captain Thomas Jefferson Hyatt, 126 Ohio Volunteer Infantry Mary Hyatt Captain Hyatt: Being the Letters Written during the Years 1863-1864, to His Wife, Mary, by Captain T. J. Hyatt, 126th Ohio Volunteer Infantry
  • Edited by Hudson Hyatt
  • Appears in: Ohio Historical Society's 'Ohio History' scholarly journal
  • David Close A Collection of 15 letters written by David Close, Company D, to Rachel Close-Dunbar
  • Written between November 4, 1862 and May 3, 1864
  • Transcribed by L. Clark Close & Don Close
  • A Collection of 18 letters written by Eli Barrick, Company F
  • Written between September 21, 1862 and April 27, 1864
  • Held & transcribed by Michael Robey
  • Diary of an Unknown Civil War soldier, Company F
  • August 23, 1862 thru August 3, 1863
  • Author unknown
  • First Lieutenant Rufus Ricksecker,  Company G, 126 OVI A Collection of 30 letters written by First Lieutenant Rufus Ricksecker, Company G
  • Written between October 12, 1862 and September 18, 1864
  • Held by the Rare Books & Manuscripts Library of The Ohio State University | OSU Catalog Record
  • Transcribed by Eric T. Davis, January, 1997
  • Letters and Reports from the 126th OVI, published in the Steubenville Weekly Herald
  • Published between January and October, 1864
  • Transcribed by Janice G. Donley

  • Other Useful Ohio Civil War Links

    Ohio Historical Connection: Ohio in the Civil War
    Ohio in the Civil War
    Ohio Civil War Stories
    The U. S. Army Military History Institute
    National Archives and Records Administration: Pictures of the Civil War
    Library of Congress: Civil War Glass Negatives and Related Prints

    If you wish to comment on or contribute to this 126th OVI collection, contact Eric Davis at:

  • lsci@iwaynet.net

    Other parties with an interest in the 126th OVI:

  • Michael Robey at mrobey27@gmail.com
  • Janice Donley at jdonley@garlock-elliott.org
  • Don Close at dlclose@yahoo.com

    Other Web Pages by Eric Davis:
    Civil War Journal of Bingham Findley Junkin, 100th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry ("Roundheads")
    The Memoirs of Dr. James Lee Fisher & his childhood on the Panhandle Railroad
    Bell Family History | Junkin Family History | Miller Family History
    Horine Family History | Fisher Family History
    My Facebook Page