Major General Ambrose Burnside. By Matthew Brady.
(from Ohio in the War -
Volume II by Whitelaw Reid)
THE FORTY-FIFTH REGIMENT was organized at Camp Chase in August,1862 and mustered into the United States service on the 19th of that month.
The day following its muster-in the regiment was in Kentucky, having been ordered to Cynthiana in that State, where it remained until the advance of General Kirby Smith, after his success at Richmond, compelled it with the Ninety-Ninth Ohio, to pull back to Covington.
Having participated in the defense of Cincinnati, in October the regiment advanced to Lexington, reconstructing several of the bridges on the Kentucky Central Railroad. It remained in Lexington until the 25th of January, 1863, when it was ordered to Danville.While in Lexington the Forty-Fifth was brigaded with the Eighteenth and Twenty-Second Michigan Regiments, and One Hundred and Twelfth Illinois under the command of General Green Clay Smith.
About the middle of February the regiment was mounted at Danville and brigaded with the Seventh Ohio and Tenth Kentucky Regiment of Cavalry, all under the command of Colonel Runkle. During the end of February and early part of March the regiment performed much arduous service in pursuit of a body of Rebel cavalry, under command of Colonel Cluke, in the region lying between Crab Orchard and Mount Sterling, and at Dutton's Hill, near Somerset on the 30th of March, a part of the regiment was engaged, for the first time, in the action between the force under General Gillmore and the command of the Rebel General Pegram. In the affair the Forty-Fifth had one man mortally wounded.
From that time until the beginning of July following the regiment was stationed at Somerset or in that neighborhood, picketing the line of the Cumberland River, and occasionally reconnoitering beyond. These reconnaissances sometimes resulted in skirmishes with the enemy ; and in one at Captain West's, between Mill Springs and Monticello, the regiment lost two men killed and several wounded -- two of the latter mortally.
On the evening of the 4th of July, 1863, the Forty-Fifth, with Wolford's and the Second Ohio Cavalry, left Jamestown, Kentucky in pursuit of John Morgan who, with his command, had crossed the Cumberland at Burkesville. It constituted a portion of the force under General Hobson which pursued the Rebels in the raid from the Cumberland to the Ohio at Brandenburg, and hence through Indiana and Ohio to Cheshire, where a part of the enemy surrendered on the 20th of July. On that occasion, this regiment being in the advance and pushing the enemy hotly, it had one man mortally and a few others slightly wounded.
Returning to Camp Nelson, Kentucky, toward the end of July, the Forty-Fifth took part in the pursuit of Colonel Scott's force, which had advanced as far as Winchester in that State.
Upon the organization of General Burnside's army in Kentucky, during the month of August 1863 , the Forty-Fifth was included in Byrd's brigade of General Carter's division with the First Tennessee and One Hundred and Twelfth Illinois Mounted Infantry and the Eighth Michigan Cavalry. It was there ferried across the Tennessee River in advance of all other portions of the arm, and was soon after transferred to the cavalry brigade of Colonel Wolford. This brigade, with that of Colonel Byrd, constituting the extreme right of General Burnside's army, occupied the region between Louden and Charleston, on the Hiawaasee River, for some weeks; but after the battle of Chickamauga, in September, the possession of it was disputed by the enemy's cavalry.
On the 20th of October Wolford's brigade, then stationed at Philadelphia, was surprised, its direct retreat cut off., and completely routed, with the loss of all its trains, a battery of artillery, and many prisoners. In this affair the Forty-Fifth had three men killed, four mortally wounded, one of whom was an officer, and more than one hundred men captured.
On the 15th of the following month, as the mounted division of General Sanders, to which the Forty-Fifth belonged, was falling back before the enemy's cavalry, the regiment was dismounted and left without any immediate support, while its horses were led to the rear. Being suddenly overpowered by a very spirited attack, and thrown into disorder, one hundred men and officers were taken prisoners, five killed, and several wounded.