Charles F. Manderson
James M. Nash
The 19th Ohio Volunteer Infantry (OVI), Company B, is a dedicated group of living history reenactors who try to portray as authentically as possible the life of the common soldier during the Civil War. In this endeavor we are able to educate the public so that the terrible conflict that tore this great nation apart will remain as important part of our American heritage.
The 19th OVI was an infantry unit made up of men from Mahoning, Trumbull, Columbiana, Ashtabula, Stark, Geauga, and Summit counties. They come from all walks of life, farmer, clerks, laborers, and factory workers. Their ages range from seventeen to forty-three, common men who enlisted for three months in 1861, then three years, and finally as a veteran regiment for the duration of the Civil War. Their service record was better than some regiments and worse than others. They were like hundreds of other regiments, both North and South, who risked life and liberty for a cause they believed in.
After the Battle of Stone River, in which the 19th Ohio suffered nearly fifty percent casualties, George W.W. Rosencrans stated, “But above all, the sturdy rank and files showed invincible fighting, courage, and stamina worthy of a great and free nation. “ A word that occurs again and again in contemporary writing by soldiers on both sides is “valor”. No finer tribute was paid the common soldier by both armies than the words of Confederate General William Taliaferro after the Second Battle of Bull Run:
“It was a stand up combat, dogged and unflinching, in a field almost bare. There was cover of woods not very far in the rear of the lines on both sides and brave men might have been justified in seeking shelter from the iron ball that smote them, but out in the sunlight, in the dying daylight and under the stars they stood, and although they could not advance, they could not retire. There was some discipline in this but there was much more of true valor…it was a question of endurance and both endured.”
It is to their memory that we strive to keep the image of their deeds live through our actions as reenactors and interpreters.
The 19th OVI was among the regiments answering President Lincoln’s call in 1861 for 75,000 volunteers. It was composed of recruits from the following areas:
The 19th Ohio mustered into service April 23, 1861 for a period of three months to take part in the campaign for western Virginia. They were mustered out July 23, 1861 with their term of enlistment being up. On September 26, 1861, ten companies were mustered into Federal service in Alliance and by November 7, the regiment was in Camp Dennison, fully armed and equipped. From there, they went to Kentucky where they became part of the Army of Ohio, Fifth Division. On October 24, 1862 they joined the newly formed Army of the Cumberland, Fourteenth Corp. On October 9, 1863 they formed up with the new Fourth Corp Army of the Cumberland. On January 1, 1864 four hundred men of the 19th Ohio re-enlisted as veteran volunteers. On January 4 the three years regiment mustered out and the veterans marched on. On January 5 1865 Colonel Manderson resigned due to physical disability, and Major Nash was made Lieutenant Colonel, and remained the command of the 19th regiment during the rest of their service. The 19th was mustered out of service at San Antonio, TX. They were discharged in Columbus at Camp Chase on November 25, after four years and three months of varied and honorable service to their country.
The unit losses were as follows:
No clear records exist on the number of men in the 19th wounded during the Civil War. After the war, Colonel Nash returned home, and lived in the house which is now used as the Canfield War Vets Museum.
List of Engagements
This is only a list of the major battles fought in and does not represent the numerous smaller skirmishes fought during the course of the Civil War.
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