18th Infantry Regiment History


BY direction of the President of the United States, of date May 4, 1861, subsequently confirmed by Act of Congress, July 29,1861, the infantry arm of the Regular Army was increased nine regiments, numbering from the eleventh to the nineteenth, inclusive; the new regiments to be organized into three battalions each, each battalion to consist of eight companies, the companies of each battalion to be lettered from A to H inclusive.

The organization of the 18th Infantry was begun in compliance with G.O. 16, A. G. O., May 4, 1861, and G. O. 48, A. G. O., July 21, 1861.

Henry B. Carrington, a native of Connecticut, and at this time (1861) a citizen of Ohio, was appointed colonel of the regiment; Captain Oliver L. Shepherd, 3d U. S. Infantry, a graduate of the Military Academy of 1840, and a veteran of the Mexican War, was appointed lieutenant-colonel; Capt. Edmund Underwood, 4th U. S. Infantry, a native of Pennsylvania, whose original date of entry into service was March 3, 1848, was appointed major; and Frederick Townsend, a citizen of New York, was appointed major. All of these field officers dated from May 14, 1861.

The headquarters of the regiment were stationed in Columbus, Ohio, and recruiting commenced on the 1st day of July, 1861. A camp was established, August 10, 1861, about four miles north of Columbus, called, in honor of the Adjutant-General of the Army, Camp Thomas. The organization of companies was commenced in August, and the necessary captains and lieutenants were appointed and ordered to the rendezvous. As was the case in all of the new regiments thus added to the service, nearly all of these gentlemen were from civil life and entered the military service from a variety of unwarlike professions.

On the 30th of November five companies (A. B, C, D, F) of the 1st Battalion, six (A, B, C, D, E, F) of the 2d Battalion, and one (D) of the 3d Battalion, were organized and ready for the field. Colonel Carrington was ordered to proceed with this detachment to, Louisville, Ky., and there report to General Buell, who was then engaged in organizing the Army of the Ohio. Colonel Carrington accordingly left Camp Thomas December 2, 1861, the 1st Battalion under Major Underwood, the 2d under Major Townsend.

On the 16th of the same month, at Lebanon, Ky., Colonel Carrington turned over the command to Lieutenant-Colonel Shepherd, and returned to Camp Thomas to complete the organization of the regiment.

*Under the direction of Colonel H. M. Lazelle, 18th U. S. Infantry.

General Buell assigned the i8th Infantry to the 3d Brigade, 1st Division, Army of the Ohio, General George H. Thomas being the division commander. The history of the 18th Infantry during the four momentous years of the Rebellion is so intimately connected with that of General Thomas, that to follow it intelligently, one is compelled to make a study of his campaigns.

The 18th Infantry formed apart of the force under that general which, in December, 1861, and part of February, 1862, operated against the Confederate forces under Generals A. S. Johnston and George Crittenden, in southwestern Kentucky. Owing to the condition of the roads, the 18th Infantry did not reach the field in time to participate in the battle of Mill Springs, Ky., January 18, 1862.

A. S. Johnston having retired into Tennessee, General Thomas was ordered with his division to proceed by forced marches to Louisville, and thence to embark for Nashville, Tenn. The 18th Infantry reached Nashville March 3, 1862. On the 6th of March Major W. A. Stokes, 18th Infantry, with companies A, B and E, 3d Battalion, and G, 1st Battalion, joined the first detachment of the regiment, but Major Stokes’ appointment was not confirmed by the Senate and the 3d Battalion was discontinued, the companies composing it being temporarily attached to the 1st and 2d Battalions.

The regiment, as a part of the 1st Division, Army of the Ohio marched from Nashville, March 20, to participate in the operations against the enemy’s position at Corinth—Savannah on the Tennessee River, being the point to which its march was directed. During this march the officers and men suffered great hardships. The roads were knee-deep with mud, the weather was stormy, rations were short, shelter could not be obtained at night, and the wagon trains were delayed many days. The command did not reach Savannah until April 8, and was transferred the next day by steamboat to Pittsburg Landing.

On the 24th of April the regiment had its first engagement with the enemy. Having moved camp beyond Shiloh Creek, it was sent on reconnaissance, and drove back the enemy’s outposts beyond Lick Creek and Pea Ridge, capturing some prisoners. The commanding general having determined upon the reduction of the enemy’s position at Corinth, Miss., the combined Armies of the Ohio, Tennessee and Mississippi, were reorganized and the 18th Infantry passed from the 1st Division, Army of the Ohio, to the 7th Division (General T. W. Sherman) of the right Wing (General Thomas) of the Army. It participated in the siege of Corinth (April 23 to May 30) under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Shepherd, who had as adjutant Lieutenant Anson Mills. The detachment consisted of the 1st Battalion, commanded by Captain Henry Douglass until May 28, then by Major J. N. Caldwell. Lieut. R. L. Morris, Jr., was the battalion adjutant and Lieut. D. W. Benham battalion quartermaster. Lieutenant Kinney commanded Company A; Captain Thruston, Company B; Lieutenant Taylor, Company C; Captain Wood, Company D; Lieutenant Proctor, Company F; Captain Hull, Company G; Lieutenant Brand, Company A (3d Battalion); Captain Kellogg, Company D (3d Battalion).

The 2d Battalion was commanded by Major Frederick Townsend. Lieut. F. Phisterer was the battalion adjutant and Lieutenant McCleery, quartermaster. Captain Fetterman commanded Company A; Captain Dennison, Company B; Captain Granger, Company C; Lieutenant Ogden, Company D; Captain Thompson, Company E; Lieutenant Simons, Company F; Captain Belknap, Company B (3d Battalion); Captain Haymond, Company E (3d Battalion). After the evacuation of Corinth by the Confederates, the Union Army before Corinth was reorganized and the Division to which the 18th Infantry belonged again became the 1st Division under General Thomas.

On the 5th of July the organization of Company G, 3d Battalion, at Camp Thomas, was completed, and with it the organization of the regiment with 24 complete companies.

On the 2d of July the portion of the regiment in the field was augmented by the arrival of companies E, 1st Battalion, and C and F, 3d Battalion, under command of Captain H. R. Mizner, who joined at Iuka, Miss.

The months of June, July and August, 1862, were spent in performing outpost duties and on detached service in Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee, guarding bridges, towns, trains, etc. During August the army was disposed at different points in Tennessee for the purpose of disputing Bragg’s advance into Kentucky, Thomas having been ordered to assume command of the troops at McMinnville, to repair the railroad from Tullahoma to that point as he advanced, and to establish posts of observation with signal stations on the mountains to watch Bragg’s movements, The18th Infantry, now concentrated, was placed en route for Pelham, Tenn., August 21, to guard the mountain passes near that place, reaching its destination August, 24. General Buell, believing that it was probable that Bragg would advance on Nashville or Louisville, directed Thomas to hold his forces so disposed as to intercept the enemy’s advance on Nashville. Buell gave orders, August 30, for the concentration of his entire command at Murfreesboro, Tenn. His railroad communications north of Nashville had been destroyed by the enemy’s cavalry and it was now in order to draw nearer to Nashville, for the purpose of repairing the railroad to the north and opening up his line of communications, and at the same time to make ready a reception for the enemy should he come.

Bragg’s movements were conducted with so much secrecy, and the Union Army was so deficient in cavalry, that for some time General Buell was in ignorance of the real direction of his advance; and some time before his ulterior designs, became manifest to him, the enemy had crossed the Tennessee River at Chattanooga, August 28, moving in a northwesterly direction; crossed the Cumberland River at Carthage and Gainsville, turning the left flank of the Union Army; and was actually threatening Bowling Green, Ky., in its rear, before General Buell learned definitely of his movements. On the 7th of September, 1862, General Buell started in the race of the two opposing armies for Louisville. The shorter lines upon which Bragg was moving, and his start in the race, gave him the advantage. Upon reaching Nashville, Buell left there three of his divisions under Thomas, as he regarded the holding of Nashville by the Union forces as second only to the safety of Kentucky. He himself pushed on with his remaining three divisions, believing himself to be sufficiently strong to contend with Bragg for Kentucky. On the 10th of September, however, hearing of reinforcements reaching Bragg north of the Cumberland, he directed Thomas to turn over the command of Nashville to General Negley, and to join him with the old 1st Division, of which the 18th Infantry formed a part. On the 17th it encamped near Bowling Green. The two armies were concentrated about the 20th, the enemy in a position of considerable strength on the south side of Green River. After some skirmishing between the opposing lines that evening, the enemy withdrew during the night, his rear guard was driven out of Munfordville next day, and pursued by Buell’s advance guard until he turned off towards Bardstown. The 18th Infantry, crossing at Munfordville, pushed on through Elizabethtown, and on the 26th embarked on steamboats, near West Point, for Louisville, which city it reached on the 28th. Marching through the city it bivouacked two miles distant. Colonel Shepherd here turned over the command to Major Townsend.

The Army of the Ohio was again reorganized, and the 18th Infantry was assigned to the 3d Brigade (General Steadman), 1st Division (General Schoepf), 3d Corps (General Gilbert). The enemy’s army lay between Bardstown and Frankfort, its front covering a distance of sixty miles. General Buell’s plan was to attack the enemy’s left flank and force it back beyond any convenient line of retreat, while at the same time to divert his attention from the real point of attack by a demonstration in force against his right. The movement commenced October 1, the 3d Corps moving against the enemy’s left, through Shepherdsville, on Bardstown, and forming the centre of the Union line. On the 4th the 18th Infantry bivouacked near Bardstown; on the 6th, engaged the enemy’s rear-guard, driving it back beyond Texas, and bivouacked near the latter place; on the 7th, bivouacked near Perryville, Ky. During the engagement of the 8th (battle of Perryville) the regiment was in reserve until about 6 o’clock P. M., when the brigade, the 18th Infantry leading, was ordered to reinforce General McCook. During the advance to its position, and after reaching it, it was exposed to artillery fire for an hour and a half without the opportunity of replying. Bivouacked that night on the battlefield. On the next day the enemy fell back in the direction of Harrodsburg. The 18th was in reserve again. On the 10th passed through Perryville, and on the night of the 11th bivouacked near Harrodsburg. Continued in pursuit until the 15th, when, near Crab Orchard, Ky., the pursuit was abandoned. The Army of the Ohio was then turned towards Bowling Green and Glasgow, preparatory to the advance to Nashville, and Gilbert’s (3d) Corps was directed on Bowling Green, towards which place the troops marched. General Buell was now relieved by General Rosecrans, the Department of the Ohio was changed to the Department of the Cumberland, and the Army of the Ohio became the Army of the Cumberland.

General Rosecrans having assumed command of his department on the 7th of December, announced the reorganization of the Army into the right wing (McCook), the centre (Thomas), and the left wing (Crittenden). The division to which the 18th Infantry belonged passed in the centre, retaining its numerical designation, and under the command of Gen. S. S. Fry. Company H, 3d Battalion, joined the regiment in the field, November 26, from Camp Thomas, Ohio. The detachment of the regiment in the field, December 1, 1862, consisted of companies A, B, C, D, E, F, G and H, 1st Battalion, with A and D, 3d Battalion attached; and A, B, C, D, E and F, 2d Battalion, with B, C, E and F, 3d Battalion, attached. Lieut.-Col. Shepherd returned and assumed command about December 10.

The 18th Infantry was detached from the 1st Division of the centre, and on the 25th, proceeding to Nashville, it, together with the 15th, 16th and 19th Infantry, and Battery H, 5th Artillery, were formed into a brigade, and Lieut.-Col. Shepherd assumed command thereof. This “Regular Brigade” was assigned to the 3d Division (General Rousseau) of the centre, Army of the Cumberland.

On the 31st of December, 1862, this brigade, as part of Rousseau’s Division, was in reserve in rear of the centre. About 10 o’clock A. M., when McCook had been forced back by Hardee, Rousseau’ s Division was sent into the fight (Stone’s River), on the right of Negley, the regular brigade “under perfect discipline,” on the extreme right. The line was formed in a dense cedar brake, through which Cleburne’s and McCown’s victorious columns were advancing, sweeping everything before them. “The shock of battle fell heaviest upon the regulars; over one-third of the command fell killed or wounded. Steadily, as if on drill, the trained battalions fired by file, mowing down the advancing Confederate lines.” But “Guenther’s Battery (H, 5th Artillery), could not long check the fury of the charge that bore down upon the flanks, and was fast enveloping the entire command.” There was no recourse but to retreat. “At this moment Negley’s Division, with empty cartridge boxes, fell back, and Rousseau, finding his flanks exposed, after a heroic fight of over two hours, fell back slowly and stubbornly to the open field where his flanks could be more secure.” The advance of Bragg’s left wing had brought it into a position at right angles with the original line. The entire strength of his centre, and most of his left, was concentrated upon the angle formed by Rousseau and the right of Palmer’s Division. Here the severest fighting of the day took place. The new line had open ground in front of it for. some 400 or 500 yards. Rousseau requested Van Cleve with a portion of his division to form on his right, which was done. Against this new line the Confederates, flushed with their victory of the early morning, charged in dense masses. They had, so far, swept everything before them, and felt that final success was within their grasp. “Emerging from the cedars where Shepherd’s regulars had been so roughly handled, with yell after yell, in four lines deep, they rushed forward to brush away this new line that barred their path to final victory.” But the fire of this new line proved too terrible to resist, and they were driven back with great slaughter. Rallying under cover of the cedars, again and again did they renew the assault, and as often were driven back. Four gallant, and finely sustained efforts did they make, each time to meet with a repulse. The “regular brigade” sustained the heaviest blow of the assault.

This position was held until nightfall, when it became one of the advanced lines. Early on the morning of January 1, 1863, the regiment was recalled from the front, and, under the fire of the enemy’s artillery, moved from place to place along the centre and right wing wherever its presence seemed most necessary. During the last thirty-six hours of the battle it assisted in throwing up and holding entrenchments commanding the central portion of the field, the occupancy of which, owing to the heavy rains, became one of hardship and trial.

Such was the share borne by the 18th Infantry in the battle of Stone’s River. The detachment was commanded by Major Frederick Townsend, and consisted of the 1st and 2d Battalions. The 1st Battalion, Major Caldwell, went into action with 16 officers and 273 men, and on the 31st of December sustained a loss of one officer (Captain Kneass) killed; six officers (Captains Douglass, Wood and Hull, and Lieutenants McConnell, Carpenter and Adair) wounded. Twenty-seven enlisted men were killed and 109 wounded. In his official report Major Caldwell says: “All exhibited the same coolness and unflinching devotion to their country and flag that they had shown on the battle-field of Perryville, Ky.” The 2d Battalion, commanded by Major Townsend, went into action with 16 officers and 298 men and sustained a loss of one officer (Lieutenant Hitchcock) killed; five officers (Captains Dennison, Thompson and Haymond, and Lieutenants Ogden and Simons) wounded; 30 enlisted men killed, 98 wounded, 3 captured, 2 missing; aggregate loss, 139. In his official report of the battle, General Rousseau says: “The 18th Infantry were new troops to me, but I am now proud to say we know each other. If I could I would promote every officer and several non-commissioned officers and privates of the brigade of regulars for gallantry and good service in this terrific battle. The brigade was admirably and gallantly handled by Lieut.-Col. Shepherd.”

On the 11th of January companies A, C, D and F, 3d Battalion, were temporarily discontinued, and the enlisted men of these companies transferred to the 1st and 2d Battalion; and on the 27th of February companies A and C, 1st Battalion, and B and E, 3d Battalion, were also temporarily discontinued.

During the first six months of 1863, the military operations of the Army of the Cumberland were, of a minor character. In performing its share of these operations the 18th Infantry was engaged in throwing up entrenchments, foraging, guarding railroads, towns, and in reconnaissance and outpost duties. After the reorganization of the Army of the Cumberland in January, the 18th Infantry passed into the 14th Army Corps, under its old commander, General Thomas. On the 24th of June, it entered upon the “Tullahoma Campaign ” against Bragg’s army, and on the 26th of June engaged the enemy at Hoover’s Gap, driving him from his position. In this engagement the 18th Infantry was commanded by Captain Thruston, with Lieut. Freeman as adjutant. The 1st Battalion was commanded by Captain Q. W. Smith; the 2d Battalion by Captain J. A. Thompson, who, being mortally wounded in charging the enemy’s position, was succeeded by Captain Haymond.

The regiment, as a part of the 14th Corps, pursued the enemy toward Shelbyville, where it was believed that Bragg would either be forced to fight, or to abandon middle Tennessee. He evacuated Tullahoma without accepting battle, and fell back on Chattanooga closely pursued by the Union Army, and reached there during the first week in July. Chattanooga then became the objective of a campaign which commenced on the 16th of August, and in which the 18th Infantry, as a part of the 14th Corps, participated. It crossed the Tennessee River at Bridgeport, Ala., September 10th; and, crossing the Raccoon Mountains and Lookout Mountain, at about dark on the evening of September 18, marched toward the left of the army, marching all night until sunrise. In the meantime, Bragg, ascertaining that the general movement of the Union Army was toward his left and rear in the direction of Dalton, determined to evacuate Chattanooga, and with his army concentrated, to take up a position on the road running south from Chattanooga, fronting the east side of Lookout Mountain, and on the east side of Chickamauga Creek, strike the Union columns as they debouched from the defiles of the mountains, and defeat, them in detail. The result was the battle of Chickamauga, fought on the 19th and 20th of September, 1863, in which battle the regiment participated.

On the morning of the first day of the battle, Baird’s Division, 14th Corps, to which the regular brigade (General J. K. King) belonged, was on the extreme left of the Union line. About 9 o’clock A. M., the regiment became engaged, and between 10 and 11 o’clock, being attacked from the rear, was compelled to fall back to the crest of an adjoining hill, from which position it repulsed all attacks of the enemy. On the 20th it became engaged early in the morning; about noon, charged and drove back the enemy over half a mile, but not being supported on either flank had to fall back to its original position. About 5 P. M., the enemy made a heavy attack, turning its left and almost enveloping the regiment. This necessitated its falling back until its flanks were secure, fighting desperately during the movement. That night the regiment was ordered back to Rossville, where it took position in the gap in Mission Ridge, covering the passage of the army. This position it held until the morning of the 22d, exposed to continued and heavy artillery fire. The, army having passed, the regiment fell back early in the morning of the 22d to Chattanooga.

In the battle of Chickamauga the regiment was commanded by Captain G. W. Smith, who also commanded the 1st Battalion. His adjutant was Lieut. Neill. The 2d Battalion was commanded by Captain Haymond, Captain Ten Eyck being second in command. The 1st Battalion consisted of Companies B, D, E, F, G, and H, with G and H, 3d Battalion, attached, commanded by Lieuts. Harding, Adair, Little, Brand, Bennett, Captains Mills and Taylor, and Lieut. Powell; with Lieut. Freeman, adjutant. The 2d Battalion consisted of Companies A, B, C, D, E, F, G, and H, commanded by Lieuts. Sutherland, Kirtland, Gates, Truman, Hutchinson, Ostrander, L. F. Brown and Davis, with Lieut. Lind as adjutant. The 1st Battalion lost one officer (Lieut. Lane) killed; three (Lieuts. Neill, Brand and Adair) wounded; and two (Lieuts. Freeman and Bennett) missing; 29 enlisted men killed, 73 wounded, and 39 missing. The 2d Battalion lost one officer (Lieut. Truman) killed; two (Lieuts. Hutchinson and L. F. Brown) wounded; and three (Captain Ten Eyck and Lieuts. Gates and Pohlman) captured; 13 enlisted men killed, 64 wounded, 14 missing and 48 captured. From this time until November 22, the regiment was engaged in throwing up entrenchments, grand guard duties, and furnishing details for fatigue and train guards.

On the 22d of November the regiment left its camp near Chattanooga to participate in the battle of Chattanooga. The Union Army had again changed commanders, General Grant being now in command. He determined to dislodge the enemy from his strong position on Lookout Mountain and Mission Ridge. About noon on the 25th the regiment was ordered to participate in the assault upon Mission Ridge. Its share in this engagement is best given by quoting from the official report of Captain G. W. Smith, who commanded the 18th Infantry in the action.

“I was ordered to join the 2d Brigade, 1st Division, 14th Corps, on the right of the Rossville road near the picket lines. The battalions were assigned a position in the second line and on the right of the brigade, covering the 15th U. S. Infantry, The whole soon moved forward, crossing the Rossville road, and steadily advanced toward the Missionary Ridge. About half a mile from the base of the ascent we emerged from a dense wood upon an open plain, which was crossed under a heavy fire of the enemy’s batteries advantageously posted upon the heights, and exposed to a fire of musketry from the line of earthworks held by him immediately at the base of the hills. The works were speedily cleared by the skirmishers from the first line, and the 1st Battalion of the 15th Infantry having swept to the right, my command closed up the space thus left. The line of battle halted a few moments for breath among the huts of a camp from which the enemy had been driven, when, finding the fire of shell and spherical case shot concentrating upon us, I almost immediately gave the order to resume the advance. The command was obeyed with the zeal and alacrity which these gallant troops have ever shown, and the line pushed onward an upward, exposed to a galling fire from an earthwork about half way up the side of the ridge. From this the enemy was soon dislodged, and behind this work the command again halted for breath, as well as to pour a destructive fire upon the retreating masses of the enemy. At the command the line again started toward the summit, crowned by a carefully constructed line of works from which the heavy forces of the enemy poured their fire The ground was now so steep that I was compelled to dismount. Still the troops toiled upward until the heights were carried, the 1st Battalion planting its colors upon the earthworks, the first of the demi-brigade. And there could be no more glorious exhibition of gallantry than that made by the troops of my command at the assault of the Missionary Ridge.”

On the 26th, pursued the enemy, taking the Ringgold road and crossing the extreme left of the Chickamauga battle-field, and about 7 P. M., as part of the regular brigade, surprised the enemy’s rear-guard near Graysville, Ga., capturing four guns, one caisson, and 150 prisoners.

During the winter and the early spring of 1864, the 18th Infantry was engaged upon several operations of minor importance, and remained in the vicinity of Chattanooga. On the 7th of May it entered upon its last campaign, the memorable “Atlanta Campaign” of General W. T. Sherman, one so familiar to all that it is unnecessary, in sketching the movements of the regiment and its share in the marches and combats, to outline the movements of the contending armies.

The 18th Infantry formed part of the 2d Brigade (General J. H. King) 1st Division (General R. W. Johnson), 14th Corps (General J. M. Palmer), Army of the Cumberland. It moved on the enemy’s position near Resaca, Ga., May 13, driving his outposts into their main works; it was relieved at night and ordered to the left. On the 14th the regiment again advanced, and, after a sharp contest, drove the enemy into his main works and, taking position on the brow of a range of hills, threw up fortifications, exposed during the time to a heavy artillery fire. On the night of the 15th the enemy attacked and was repulsed. Following the enemy in his retrograde movement towards Atlanta, the regiment next participated in the battle of New Hope Church, Ga., beginning May 27, and extending to June 5, during which days the command was exposed to continual artillery and musketry fire. From June 12, to June 18, it was engaged in advancing on the enemy’s position, fortifying from time to time. The regiment, still advancing, moved against the enemy’s lines on Kenesaw Mountain, relieved the brigades on the front, and was in turn, relieved and placed in reserve.

During the battle of Kenesaw Mountain the regiment was under fire, and several times occupied very important positions. On the 3d of July it entered upon the pursuit of the retreating enemy, overtaking him near Neal Dow Station. Engaged the enemy, July 4, near Smyrna Station, Ga., and during this day was exposed to heavy artillery fire, after which it continued the pursuit to the Chattahoochee River.

On the 8th of July, the sixteen companies, which up to this time had been operating as two battalions, were, for tactical purposes, consolidated into one battalion of eight companies.

Crossing the Chattahoochee, the 18th participated on the 20th of July in the battle of Peach Tree Creek, supporting the 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 14th Corps. On the 22d it joined the division to which it belonged and marched to within a mile and a half of Atlanta, fortifying near the Atlanta and Chattanooga R. R., in which position it remained until August 3, when it marched to the extreme right of the army, participating in a movement extending our lines and covering the right flank of the army. On the 4th of August drove the enemy’s pickets and videttes until dark, and on the following day, in connection with the division, made a reconnaissance in force and on the same night marched back to the left, taking position on the fight of the 15th Corps, relieving a division of the 23d Corps. On the 7th of August the regiment took part in the battle of Utoy Creek, Ga. During the siege of Atlanta it was continually under the enemy’s fire. August 19 and 20, it supported the 23d Corps and cavalry in the movement against the Atlanta and West Point R. R. On the 26th it took part in the flank movement which culminated in the battle of Jonesboro’, and resulted in the fall of Atlanta. On the 1st of September it was engaged in the battle of Jonesboro’, from noon until evening; charged the enemy’s works, took his first line, and although unable to hold that line, kept the enemy from reoccupying it until Union reinforcements arrived upon the field.

The regiment remained in the vicinity of Atlanta until September 28, when it left for Chattanooga, where it arrived on the 30th, and then marched to Lookout Mountain and encamped on the southern slope for the remainder of the year 1864.

On the 22d of October, pursuant to S. O. 320, A. G. 0., Companies B D E, F, G and H, 1st Battalion, and G and H, 3d Battalion, were temporarily discontinued, and the enlisted men were transferred to the 2d Battalion, leaving it as the only organized portion of the regiment. As a part of the regular brigade, it remained at its post on Lookout Mountain during the first six months of 1865.

During its field service the 18th Infantry lost three officers and 122 enlisted men killed, 29 officers and 608 enlisted men wounded, 7 officers and 199 enlisted men captured; a total loss of 39 officers and 929 men. From the 23d of April, 1863, there were no field officers serving with the regiment in the field, and it was commanded by captains, as follows: Captain Eyster to June 14, 1863; Captain Thruston to July 21, 1863; Captain Smith to June 14, 1864; Captain Lyman Kellogg to September 1, 1864; Captain Hull to September 28, 1864; Captain Mills to October 20, 1864; Captain Mizner to October 22, 1864.

After the First and Third Battalions were discontinued, the Second Battalion was commanded until January 10, 1865, by Captain H. R. Mizner; to June 30, 1865, by Captain Chambers. The regimental adjutants were in turn Lieutenants Cash, Mills, Sutherland, Phisterer, Hull, Morris and Freeman, and when the two battalions were discontinued, Lieutenant Bisbee, who was at that time adjutant of the 2d Battalion.

The reorganization of the 1st Battalion was commenced at Camp Thomas, Ohio, September 30, 1865, in accordance with instructions from the War Department; and concluded at Jefferson Barracks, Mo., December 21.

Companies B, C, D, E and G left Camp Thomas, November 6, for Fort Leavenworth, where they arrived, November 20, and were ordered by Colonel Carrington to report to General Elliott, commanding the District of Kansas. In compliance with orders from General Elliott the command left Fort Leavenworth under Captain Hull, November 24, to march to their designated posts in Kansas and Colorado. On this march the command suffered severely owing to the continuous cold, snow and sleet, and upon arriving at Fort Ellsworth, Kansas, the battalion commander determined to await milder weather before proceeding further. Companies A and K, under Captain Mills, left Jefferson Barracks, December 8, and on the 18th left Leavenworth for their designated posts in Kansas, encamping on the 31st at Fort Ellsworth. On the 31st of December, Company F of the 1st Battalion was still at Jefferson Barracks.

The 2d Battalion remained as a part of the regular brigade stationed on Lookout Mountain until the brigade was broken up in August, 1865, when it was ordered to proceed to Louisville to report to General Palmer for duty. It left Lookout Mountain August 26. The Battalion left Louisville,

November 3, accompanying the headquarters of the regiment, and proceeded to Fort Leavenworth; and on the 26th of November left Leavenworth for Fort Kearny. This march was very severe on account of the continuous cold and snow storms. It reached its destination December 11, and three companies were sent to Fort Cottonwood, Neb.

The reorganization of the 3d Battalion was not begun until December 29, 1865, and on the 31st only one company (H) was organized. During January, February and March, the headquarters of the regiment remained at Fort Kearny, Neb.; the 1st Battalion was on duty in Kansas and Colorado; the 2d Battalion in Nebraska; and the 3d Battalion undergoing organization and instruction at Jefferson Barracks.

During the month of March, the reorganization of the 3d Battalion was completed, and it left Jefferson Barracks for Fort Kearny, April 20. In May Colonel Carrington assumed command of the Mountain District, Dept. of the Platte, and the headquarters of the regiment were transferred to Fort Sedgwick, Col., with the 2d Battalion. The 1st Battalion was on duty in Colorado, Utah and Dakota, and the 3d Battalion was on the march to Sedgwick, which it reached May 31, 1866. During the remainder of the year the regiment was on duty in Dakota, Utah and Colorado, performing the usual garrison duties, furnishing escorts for the U. S. mail, for hay and wood trains, and also in scouting against hostile Indians. At times the hostiles were so bold as to attack the herds in the immediate vicinity, and in sight of the garrisons, of some of the posts in Dakota.

On the 21st of December, 1866, 50 enlisted men of Companies A, C, E, F and H, 2d Battalion, under Captain Fetterman and Lieut. Grummond, and accompanied by Captain F. H. Brown, were sent out from Fort Phil Kearny to relieve the wood train which was reported attacked by Indians. The detachment came up with and attacked the Indians, who appeared to be in small force and who fled. Captain Fetterman pursued, and was led into an ambush about three miles from the post on the Virginia City road. It is supposed the command was suddenly surrounded from the ravines by a large body of Indians, estimated at 3000, and the entire detachment, officers and men, massacred. Constant firing being heard in that direction a party was sent to reinforce Captain Fetterman, but before they arrived on the field the massacre was completed.

In compliance with G. O. 92, A, G. O., 1866 (pursuant to Act of Congress of July 28, 1866), the following changes took place in the regiment during the month of December. The companies of the 1st Battalion became a separate regiment, retaining the designation “18th Infantry.” The 2d Battalion became the 27th Infantry, and the 3d Battalion the 36th Infantry. The officers of the reorganized 18th Infantry were Col. Carrington, Lieut.Col. Wessells, Major VanVoast, Captains Kellogg (L. M.), Ogden, McCleery, Morris, Ten Eyck, Hull, Mills and Hughes; 1st Lieutenants Carpenter, Hyer, Kellogg (S. C.), Wilcox, Brent, Adair, Bell and Skinner; 2d Lieutenants Bradley, Counselman, Hibbets, True, Wood and Galbreath.

During the years 1867-68, and part of 1869, the regiment remained in the Department of the Platte, and its duties were practically unchanged.

In May, 1868, the headquarters were moved to Fort D. A. Russell, Wyoming, and the companies were distributed along the line of the Union Pacific R. R. and its immediate vicinity. In January, 1869, headquarters were removed to Fort Sedgwick, Colorado. On the 1st of April, 1869, Colonel Carrington turned over the command of the regiment to Major Van Voast, and proceeded to his home to await orders.

In compliance with S. O. 53, Department of the Platte, issued in pursuance of S. O. 17, A. G. O., 1869, the regiment left the Department of the Platte, under command of Major Van Voast, and proceeded to Atlanta, Ga., for consolidation with the 25th Infantry. The regiment arrived at Atlanta, April 15, and was consolidated with the 25th Infantry, April 28. The officers of the new organization were Colonel T. H. Ruger; Lieutenant-Colonel E. Upton; Major J. Van Voast; Captains E. R. Kellogg, M. L. Ogden, J. Christopher, R. L. Morris, Jacob Kline, F. H. Torbett, R. B. Hull, Anson Mills, C. A. M. Estes and James Stewart; 1st Lieutenants C. H. Potter (adjutant), J. H. Baldwin (quartermaster), G. W. Wood, J. H. Bradley, F. F. Whitehead, T. H. B. Counselman, Cass Durham, C. R. Paul, G. J. Madden, H. H. Adams, J. K. Hyer and W. A. Miller; 2d Lieutenants F. B. Taylor, R. S. Egelston, H. H. Benner, T. M. Canton, G. S. Hoyt, J. H. Todd, F. H. Barnhart, R. F. Bates, C. B. Hinton and John Anderson.

The headquarters of the regiment remained at McPherson Barracks, Atlanta, Ga., until August, 1871, when they were removed to Columbia, S. C. The companies of the regiment during that time, besides the usual garrison duties at their several stations in the States of Georgia and South Carolina, were employed in assisting the civil officers in preventing violations of the Federal laws, and in the enforcement of the same.

In August, 1871, Colonel Ruger relinquished the command of the regiment to Lieutenant- Colonel H. M. Black (who had been assigned to the regiment July 1, 1870, vice Upton), and reported at West Point, N. Y., as superintendent of the U. S. Military Academy.

The regiment remained in the Department of the South until April, 1879, serving the greater portion of the time in Georgia and South Carolina. In September, 1874, Companies A, G and I were sent to New Orleans as part of the military force ordered to that city to assist in the suppression of serious riots growing out of political and race differences. In December of that year the companies so detached had rejoined their proper stations.

In the latter part of the year 1876, the entire regiment was in South Carolina, called thither owing to serious apprehensions on the part of the Federal and State officials that there would be a race conflict during the existing political campaign of that year. Companies and detachments were dispatched to different portions of the State, to aid, by their presence, in preserving the peace and preventing blood-shed. In December, 1876, three companies were sent on a brief tour of detached service to Florida, to assist in the enforcement of the law and the preservation of order. During the first six months of 1877, the entire regiment served in South Carolina.

In July of that year, the Governors of Indiana, West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania, having called upon the President for aid in suppressing the serious riots in those States growing out of railroad and labor troubles, the 18th Infantry, with the exception of one company at Atlanta,

and one company sent to take station at Chattanooga, was sent to different points in the above-named States; and the several companies so detached remained on this duty until November, when the Headquarters, Staff, Band, and Companies C, D, E, F, G and K, took station at McPherson Barracks; Companies H and I at Newport Barracks, Ky., Company A remaining at Chattanooga.

In April, 1879, the regiment was transferred from the Department of the South to Montana. Proceeding by boat up the Missouri River the regiment landed, May 4, at Coal Banks, Montana. Companies B and E remained at the landing to guard the stores, and the remainder of the regiment marched to the site of Fort Assinniboine and went into camp. From May till September the troops were engaged in furnishing escorts between the post and the landing, in the usual guard duties, and in assisting in the erection of the new post, Fort Assinniboine.

In January, 1881, Companies C, D, E and K, left Fort Assinniboine, forming part of the command under Captain Morris, sent down Milk River for the purpose of intercepting and attacking a party of hostile Sioux under Sitting Bull. The command returned to Fort Assinniboine in February, having failed to meet the hostiles, who had escaped across the boundary into the Dominion of Canada. The officers and men suffered severely from the intense cold, which, until the last day’s march, was at all times many degrees below zero. During 1881 the companies stationed at Fort Assinniboine were frequently sent into the field to drive British Indians and half-breeds across the boundary line, and to prevent their intrusion upon the reservation of our friendly Indians. This service, while inglorious, was at all times disagreeable, and was often attended with great suffering on account of the intense cold of that latitude during the winter season, a season during which much of this service was performed.

About June 1, 1885, the regiment, under command of Lieut.-Col. J. J. Coppinger, left Montana, and proceeded to the Department of the Missouri. The Headquarters, Staff, Band and Companies E and F, were assigned to station at Fort Leavenworth; Companies A, B and D, at Fort Hayes; C and I, at Fort Gibson; and G, H and K, at Fort Reno. Colonel Ruger assumed command of the regiment, post of Fort Leavenworth, and the U. S. Infantry and Cavalry School, June 29, 1885.

On the 19th of March, 1866, Colonel Ruger was appointed a Brigadier-General, U. S. Army, and was succeeded in the command of the regiment by Colonel John. E. Yard. In May, 1886, the Headquarters, Staff and Band were transferred to Fort Hayes, Kansas.

Colonel Yard died at Fort Hayes on the 17th of February, 1889, and was succeeded by Colonel Henry M. Lazelle, who joined in October of that year.

During the month of April, 1889, Companies F, G and K were ordered from their respective stations for field service in Oklahoma.

In October, 1889, Headquarters, Staff, Band and Companies A, B, C, E, G, H and K left their respective stations and proceeded to the Camp of Instruction, Camp Schofield, I. T., for instruction in field duties, etc.

The 18th Infantry having been relieved from duty in the Department of the Missouri, and assigned to duty in the Department of Texas, with station at Fort Clark, the Headquarters, Staff, Band and Companies A, B, C, E, G, H, I and K, under command of Major G. K. Brady, left Camp Schofield after the conclusion of the field exercises, and proceeded thither. Company D from Fort Hayes, and Company F from Fort Lyon, arrived at Fort Clark in November, 1889. In pursuance of G. O. 76, A. G. O., 1890, Companies I and K were skeleton zed, the enlisted men being transferred to other companies. The entire regiment is now serving at Fort Clark, Texas.


The 18th U.S. Infantry

Its Part in the Spanish-American War and the Philippine American War



The 18th U.S. Infantry took part in both the Spanish American War and the Philippine American War. This account was written by the unit’s historian, A.B. Cushing, who died on A. B. Cushing, died, February 1, 1941 at El Paso, Texas. 

Unit History of the Spanish American War period:

“At the outbreak of the Spanish-American war the 18th U.S. Infantry was stationed in Texas Headquarters, Band and Companies D and H at Fort Bliss, near El Paco, and Companies A, B, C, E, F and G at Fort Sam Houston, near San Antonio.

On April 22, 1898 the regiment was assembled under Col.  D. D. Van Valzah at New Orleans.  Here the third battalion, companies I, K, L, and M were organized by transferring a nucleus of noncommissioned officers and seasoned privates from other companies to drill recruits that had already begun to arrive in response to President McKinley’s call.  Companies I and K were first to complete their organization and companies L and M completed their organization shortly after the first of July.

Following Admiral Dewey’s victory at Manila Bay on May 1st it became apparent that troops would be needed to occupy the city of Manila and a number of Volunteer regiments from the western states were ordered to San Francisco for embarkation for the Philippines.  The need for some well-trained Regular troops being recognized, the 14th, 18th and 23rd regiments of Infantry and some regular Artillery units were also ordered to the Philippines to become a part of the 8th Army Corps.

The 18th Infantry left New Orleans on May 24 and entrained for San Francisco, arriving there on May 29, and went into camp at Camp Merritt, just outside the Presidio. Here the organization of the 3rd Battalion was completed and the companies assigned as follows.

lst Battalion, Companies A, B, E and G, under command of Lieut-Col.  C. M. Bailey;

2nd Battalion, Companies C, D, F and H, under Major Chas.  Keller; 3rd Battalion, Companies 1, K, L and M, under command of Capt.  C. R. Paul.

At the end of June the strength of the Command was given as 20 officers and 1,125 enlisted men. On June 14 the lst Battalion embarked for Manila, companies A and G on the “China” and companies B and E on the “Colon”.  They sailed next day as part of the Second Expedition under command of Major-General F. V. Green U.S.V.  

The China, loaded with troops, including Companies A and C of the 18th U.S.

On June 26, Headquarters, Band and companies C and F embarked on the “Ohio” and companies D and H on the “Indiana”.  Both transports sailed on the 27th as part of the Third Expedition under command of Major General Merritt.

Both expeditions touched at Honolulu, the 1st Battalion arriving in Manila Bay on July 17 and Headquarters, Band and the 2nd Battalion on July 31st.  The 1st Battalion immediately disembarked and went into camp at Camp Dewey, near the Spanish lines, where it took part in outpost and reconnaissance duty, relieving the Filipino insurgents in their trenches on the 29th.  On the night of August 2nd the battalion was under heavy fire from the Spanish lines, which, under orders of the Commanding General was not returned.

Headquarters and the 2nd Battalion disembarked at Cavite on August 1st, where they remained until the 7th, when they crossed Manila Bay in small boats and joined the 1st Battalion at Camp Dewey.  Here the regiment was brigaded with the 2nd Brigade, lst Division, 8th Army Corps.  The 2nd Battalion took their places in the trenches on August 10 and 11.

The Capture of Manila

Early on the morning of August 13 the regiment took its place in line with 26 officers and 1,027 enlisted men, the 1st Battalion on the right with the 3rd Artillery and the 2nd Battalion resting on Calle Real, connecting with the 1st Colorado Volunteers and the Utah Light Battery.

The engagement began at 9:30 A.M. with a bombardment of the enemy’s trenches.  The 1st Colorado deployed to the front and the 2nd Battalion of the 18th deployed to the right of Calle Real, followed at 200 yards by the 1st Battalion.  Companies C and F were on the firing line with companies D and H in support, but their support were soon absorbed into the line.  The 1st Battalion deployed in rear of the 2nd, with Company E, under Capt. Wheeler, in reserve.

The lines then advanced as skirmishers, firing volleys at halts, which had the effect of decreasing the Spanish fire.  Reaching the Spanish trenches only three of the enemy dead were found.  Major Keller then advanced into the city with his Battalion.  During this advance the Battalion was under quite heavy fire from the right, which was believed to be from the insurgents, and it was necessary to seek cover where it could be found.  General Greene then ordered one company, F of the 18th, to go ahead in advance guard formation toward the “Walled City” and also ordered other troops to keep in the rear of the 18th Infantry.  Soon a white flag was seen to be flying from the “Walled City” and the regiment, having been joined by Company E, was ordered to advance to the “Iron Bridge” and hold it.  Two iron bridges were found, and one battalion was placed at each. [The two bridges were the Colgante or Suspension and the Bridge of Spain., noted the editor of the American Old-timer].

In the afternoon the regiment marched across the bridge “El Puente del Espania” and lined up on the Escolta and Calle Rosario, where they spent the night, guarding property and bridges.  On the 14th they were assigned to quarters in Cuartel del Fortin.

No casualties were suffered by the Regiment in this engagement.  Col. Van Valzah, in his report of the fight, said, “I wish to testify to the bravery and intelligence displayed by all the officers and men of my regiment.  There was, to my knowledge, no occasion for the conspicuous display of personal bravery but each man did his duty.” The regiment remained at Cuartel del Fortin, performing guard and police duty, until October 18, when they were transferred to Cavite.

The “Milk Battalion”

Meantime the 3rd Battalion, the “rookies” left behind at Camp Merritt, spent two weary months drilling over the sand-lots of San Francisco and learning their “company manners” under the hardboiled non-coms. assigned as their instructors.  At last, however, on August 20 they embarked on the transport “Arizona” (afterwards rechristened the “Hancock”) and sailed the next day, making the run to Honolulu in less than six days sailing time, a fast run in those days.  Here they disembarked and went into camp at Camp Otis, in the Waikiki race track, just bordering beautiful Kapiolani Park, together with recruits for the 10th Pennsylvania, 1st Nebraska and 1st Colorado, and the “Arizona” went on to Manila without them.  Two months of drilling and training and they again embarked on the “Arizona” and arrived in Manila Bay on November 25th.  They disembarked on the 30th and joined the Regiment in quarters at Cavite.

On December 3rd the companies of the regiment were re-assigned as follows:

1st Battalion, Companies B, E, I and K, Capt.  Bates, commanding 
2nd Battalion, Companies A, C, H and L, Major Keller commanding 
3rd Battalion, Companies D, F, G and M, Major Paul commanding.

Off for Panay

During the month of December the Commanding General of the 8th Army Corps received several appeals from the Spanish garrison at Iloilo for relief, as they were besieged by Filipino insurgents and were holding the town awaiting the arrival of the Americans.  Accordingly he ordered General Miller with the 18th Infantry to proceed to Iloilo and take over the town if the Spanish garrison still held it, but to avoid any clash with the Filipinos.  The regiment embarked on Christmas eve, again on the “Arizona” and sailed for Iloilo, accompanied by the “Boston” and the “Petrel”.

On arrival in Iloilo Bay five days later they learned that the Spaniards had abandoned the city to the Insurgents, who now held the place and refused to permit the Americans to land peaceably.  Accordingly General Miller, having in mind his orders to avoid a clash with the Filipinos, sent a dispatch boat back to Manila with his report and a request for orders. He was directed to remain in the harbor until further orders, and the regiment remained on the “Arizona” until February 11.”

This is a member of the 18th riding a local bull on Panay. The bulls were reportedly fast, and the men called themselves the “Trotting Bull Cavalry

By this time the Spanish American War was over, having ended by treaty on December 10, 1898. As of February 4, 1899, a new war had commenced, the Philippine-American War