It sustained its high Christian character in all the battles, marches and campaigns in which it was engaged during nearly four years of service. It has for the first time to be driven back, or surprised and panic-stricken by the enemy; it never disgraced in the field or in camp its commander, by cowardice or outrage.
No regiment has a purer record. In discipline it was thorough and complete; quick to destroy when ordered, and ready to let alone and spare the enemy when destruction and slaughter were useless. Under the command of Colonel M. D. Leggett the regiment left the State, and arrived at Fort Donelson, Tenn., February 15th, 1862, while that desperate battle was in progress. It took an active part in all the bloody battles in the West under General Grant, and afterwards, General Sherman. First Shiloh, Siege of Corinth, thence it marched to Jackson, Tennessee, thence to Bolivar, Grand Junction and LaGrange, where, with the Twentieth and Sixty-Eighth Ohio regiments, it was in the field daily, breaking up rebel encampments and harassing the enemy between Bolivar, Tenn., and Iuka, Miss.
It commenced the winter campaign under General Grant into the interior of Mississippi, and returned after a march of two hundred miles to Grand Junction. Thence it marched to Memphis and Vicksburg, and took an active part in running the transports past the rebel batteries, during the cover of night, which solved the difficult problem of the capture of that city.
It crossed the Mississippi River below Grand Gulf and did its full share of fighting in the battles of Port Gibson, Raymond, Jackson, Champion's Hill, Black River, and Siege of Vicksburg. After the surrender of Vicksburg, it made an important campaign under General Sherman to Clinton and Jackson; and a second campaign to Monroe, La.
February 1st, 1864, it commenced the long and most destructive campaign of the war, through Central Mississippi to its extreme eastern boundary.
The 20th of March, 1864, the regiment started from Vicksburg for home, on veteran furlough. May 7th it left Columbus, Ohio, for Georgia, marching from Clifton, Tenn., to Rome, Ga., via Huntsville, Ala.; thence to Big Shanty, where it took an important part in all the bloody conflicts of the Atlanta campaign. Kenesaw Mountain, Nickajack, Chattahooche, Jonesboro, and Lovejoy are all grave-yards of its heroic dead.
After three weeks rest it started on the campaign into Northern Alabama, in pursuit of the rebel army under the command of General Hood. It soon returned to Atlanta, where it was partly supplied with clothing, and on the 13th day of November, 1864, entered on the greatest campaign on record, through Central Georgia to Savannah, thence to Beaufort, South Carolina, Pocotaligo, Columbia, Bennettsville, Washington City, and Louisville, Ky.; in all more than four thousand miles the regiment traveled on foot, three thousand by railroad, and twenty-six hundred by water; making a total of nine thousand six hundred miles.
The loss of the regiment was ninety killed in battle, two hundred wounded, thirty missing in action, two hundred and twenty-five died of disease, two hundred and ninety-five discharged for disability, seventy deserted, and thirty-one transferred to Invalid Corps.