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Thirteenth Missouri or Twenty-Second Ohio?

Updated: Oct 26, 2023

A group of nefarious ne'er do wells if there ever was one - The Thirteenth Missouri monument at Shiloh

The Thirteenth Missouri Volunteer Infantry can cause a bit of confusion to students of the Civil War. Looking at its monument at Shiloh adds to this confusion. The regiment (as the Thirteenth Missouri Volunteer Infantry) was organized from August 9th to November 5th, 1861 in St. Louis. Under the banner of the Thirteenth the men would see action as such places as Fort Donelson, Shiloh, and the advance on Corinth. On May 29th an order was issued by the Secretary of War that changed the Thirteen Missouri's designation to the Twenty-Second Ohio, After this re-designation the regiment would be involved in the pursuit of the Confederates after the October 1862 battle at Corinth, then move to occupy Little Rock, Arkansas in September of 1863. After performing mostly garrison duty in Arkansas the men would serve until November 18th, 1864 when the regiment mustered out at Camp Dennison, Ohio.

To add to the confusion, there had already been a Twenty-Second Ohio in existence, a three months regiment that had been created in mid to late April, and served until August. Unlike most three months regiments from Ohio, the men did not re-enlist in a same-numbered three years regiment during its three months service.

At Shiloh the monument to the regiment, seen above, was furnished by the State of Ohio. It displays OHIO across the top, and the text below the soldier includes this:



Why the re-designation? Actually most of the men in the Thirteenth were from the Buckeye State. After the first and second calls for recruits in 1861 Ohio rapidly filled its quota, leaving many men from Ohio who were still wanting to serve without an opportunity. Many would join regiments forming in other states, such as the First and Second Kentucky Infantries, the Fourth Virginia, along with the Thirteenth Missouri.

Fort Donelson: The Thirteenth Missouri's location on February 15th noted by blue oval - American Battlefield Trust

As part of Cook's Brigade, Smith's Division at Fort Donelson, the Thirteenth did not see much action. It was in a supporting position for the attacks on February 13th, as well as for the Federal counterattack on the 15th, but it was expecting to assault the Confederate works on the morning of the 16th before discovering that the Confederates had surrendered. The colonel of the Thirteenth, Crafts J. Wright (who is buried at Spring Grove Cemetery in Cincinnati), wrote this report about the Thirteenth's service at that battle.

National Colors - from Ohio Memory

Fort Donelson, TN after action report:

No. 26.

Report of Col. Crafts J. Wright, Thirteenth Missouri Infantry.

FORT DONELSON, TENN., February 17, 1862.

SIR: I herewith report to you, under Order No. 2, the operations of this regiment against the enemy and the casualties which have resulted:

On Friday evening we were ordered to retain our position behind the sharpshooters as skirmishers, and which we had occupied during the day. We remained in this position without fires during the storm of rain, hail, and snow. The clothes of the men were drenched and frozen upon them. I sat upon a log wrapped in my blanket until 3 o'clock, when permission was given to go back half a mile and build fires to dry the men. Saturday, notwithstanding the severe duty and exposure of the previous day, we resumed our position at 8 o'clock a. m. We were ordered by Gen. Smith to change position to prevent the enemy from advancing by one of the roads, and also to sustain a battery of several pieces planted for the same purpose. To be better prepared, our men threw off their knapsacks and blankets at the suggestion of Gen. Grant. We thus prevented any advance in that quarter.

Crafts J. Wright - American Civil War Research Database

Late in the afternoon we were again changed and ordered to the trenches, through which the entrance was finally made. We were allowed, just as we reached our place, to withdraw and bivouac near by for the night. On Sunday morning we were ordered to the advance in the trenches. I was prepared to leave upon the ground whatever number was necessary to plant the Stars and Stripes of our country on the intrenched position of the enemy, and all of my men stood to their places. I am happy to say no sacrifice was necessary, but that shortly after being in position I was enabled to send forward the color company (C) with the Stars and Stripes, and that thus your brigade were enabled to announce to our friends beyond and about that Fort Donelson had surrendered and the engagement ended. I can say all did their duty.



Col. Thirteenth Missouri Volunteers.


Cmdg. Third Brigade, Second Division.

MORE on Crafts J. Wright.



American Civil War Research Database

Official Records, Series I. Vol. 7. Serial No. 7, pgs. 224-7

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