Filed Under Wartime

7th Ohio Volunteer Infantry

While no actual Civil War battles took place in Northeast Ohio, the role that its men played in the war was still a significant one. The 7th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, which is better know as the 7th OVI, was a heroic group of men from all over Northeast Ohio who served proudly in the American Civil War. The 7th OVI was initially composed of 1800 men in 10 companies and was in fact only one of a number of infantry units composed of men from the state of Ohio. Indeed, when President Lincoln called on troops to join the war effort in April of 1862, there were enough volunteers from across Ohio to fill the entire quota of 75,000!

Most men from the 7th OVI were true Cleveland boys with a strong spirit to fight for the Union. These were men of culture and good social status, including clergymen, students, teachers, bankers, farmers, and mechanics. When the 7th Ohio was called into service on April 30, 1861 Colonel E.B. Tyler was chosen to lead the infantry. The 7th Ohio mustered at Camp Taylor in Cleveland, located near what is now East 30th and Woodland Avenue. The troops then were moved to Camp Dennison near Cincinnati to receive further training, weapons, and uniforms. It was here that most of the 7th signed up for three years of service to defend the Union. After their service began, they headed out to West Virginia on June 26, 1861.

When Colonel E. B. Tyler was promoted to General, William R. Creighton, with whom the history of the Seventh is identified, took over as Colonel of the 7th OVI. Creighton was part of the old Cleveland Light Guard militia unit which formed the nucleus of what became the 7th OVI. He led the 7th through many famous battles such as Cedar Mountain, Antietam, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg before he lost his life in the Battle of Ringgold, Atlanta on November 27, 1863. On that same day, Creighton's Lieutentant Colonel, Orrin J. Crane, also lost his life. Both Creighton and Crane always led their men into battle showing great courage and valor.

After Creighton and Crane lost their lives, the 7th headed south to aid in the Atlanta campaign. Before the campaign began, however, the 7th Ohio was pulled from action at the front because their enlistment time had expired. Those who wanted to continue to fight for the Union joined the 5th Ohio. The rest of the regiment was mustered out, with its men paid and discharged at Camp Cleveland on July 8, 1864.

A war historian wrote of the 7th regiment that "[a]ll in all, considering the number of its battles, its marches, its losses, its conduct in action, it may be safely said that not a single regiment in the United States gained more lasting honor or deserved better of its country than the Seventh Ohio Volunteer Infantry." The unit lost 10 officers and 174 men to hostile action and 2 officers and 87 men to disease. The memory of the 7th OVI, however, will live forever in marbled monuments around the country. One such monument can be found in Woodland Cemetery in Cleveland, where both Creighton and Crane are buried.

Images

Monument, Woodland Cemetery A monument to honor the fallen soldiers of the 7th OVI was erected in Cleveland's Woodland Cemetery in 1872. The regiment's veterans association played a major role in planning and gathering funds for the monument. Image courtesy of Diane Norris
Creighton's Grave Colonel William R. Creighton served in the 7th OVI from its inception. He was an inspirational commander and was loved by his men. He died during the Battle of Ringgold, Georgia on Nov. 27, 1863 at the age of 27 and is buried in Cleveland's Woodland Cemetery. Image courtsey of Diane Norris
Crane's Grave Lieutenant Colonel Orrin J. Crane died at the battle of Ringgold while trying to attend to Colonel William R. Creighton's gun shot wound. Creighton also died that day. The two men are buried side by side at Cleveland's Woodland Cemetery. Image courtesy of Diane Norris
7th OVI, Gettysburg The 7th OVI saw combat at the Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863. In 1885, the Ohio General Assembly appropriated funds to erect several monuments honoring fallen soldiers in Gettysburg at the sites where Ohio regiments fought during the battle. This stone structure sits on Culp's Hill in Gettysburg National Military Park and marks the position held by the 7th OVI on July 2 and 3, 1863.
Creighton At Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument Colonel Creightonis honored in the interior of the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument. His bronze bust sits there near the names Ohioans who served, fought, and died to protect the Union. Image courtesy of Diane Norris
Camp Cleveland Camp Cleveland was the largest training camp in Northeast Ohio during the Civil War. The 7th OVI received their training at Camp Taylor, near the intersection of East 30th Street and Woodland Avenue. But, the 7th OVI did muster out at Camp Cleveland on July 8, 1864. This historical marker in Tremont, overlooking the Cuyahoga River valley at the intersection of West 10th Street, West 7th Street, and University Road, indicates the spot at which Camp Cleveland used to be located.

Location

Metadata

Heidi K. Fearing, “7th Ohio Volunteer Infantry,” Cleveland Historical, accessed August 18, 2022, https://clevelandhistorical.org/items/show/255.