The 50th Ohio Volunteer Infantry (OVI) Regiment was organized at Camp Dennison near Cincinnati, Ohio. The 50th OVI was mustered in for three-year’s service on August 27, 1862, under the command of Colonel J. R. Taylor. The regiment was recruited in Allen, Auglaize, Belmont, Hamilton, Preble, Putnam, Shelby, Tuscarawas, and Van Wert Counties.
The regiment was ordered to Covington, Kentucky on September 1 to aid in the defense of Cincinnati against the threatened attack of Confederate General Kirby Smith’s forces. The regiment was assigned to the 34th Brigade, 10th Division of the Army of the Ohio. On September, the regiment moved to Louisville.
They were attached to the 34th Brigade, 10th Division, I Corps of the Army of the Ohio and joined the pursuit of Confederate General Braxton Bragg’s army on October 1, engaging in the Battle of Perryville on October 8.
About October 15, they moved to Lebanon, Kentucky, assigned to the District of West Kentucky, Department of the Ohio. They camped there for the next four months engaged in garrison duty.
In March, they moved to Muldraugh’s Hill, Kentucky, building fortifications including Fort Boyle, Fort Sands, and Fort McAllister. They also constructed bridges over the Sulphur and Rolling Forks of the Green River. During this time they were assigned to the 2nd Division, XXIII Corps of the Department of the Ohio.
The 50th OVI was ordered to Nashville, Tennessee on September 18, 1863. There they were assigned to the 1st Division, XXIII Corps of the Department of the Ohio.
The 50th OVI moved to Gallatin, Tennessee, then to Glasgow, Kentucky, and finally to Knoxville, Tennessee, arriving there on Christmas Day. The following day they began the march across the mountains to Jacksboro, Tennessee, arriving there on January 7, 1864.
They remained on duty at Jacksboro until February 22, when they marched to Knoxville and then on to Loudoun until May, when they moved to Cleveland, Tennessee, all the while assigned to the 1st Division, XXIII Corps of the District of South Central Kentucky. From Cleveland, they marched to Kingston, Georgia joining General William T. Sherman’s army on May 23, 1864.
Assigned to the 3rd Brigade, 4th Division, XXIII Corps, Army of the Ohio, the 50th OVI participated in the Atlanta Campaign from May 23 through September 8. They fought at Kingston (May 24), Pumpkin Vine Creek (May 25), New Hope Church (May 25-26), Dallas (May 28), and Allatoona Hills (June 5).
Attached to the 3rd Brigade, 2nd nd Division, XXIII Corps of the Army of the Ohio, the 50th saw almost continuous action. They marched through Marietta and demonstrated against Kennesaw Mountain (June 10 through July 2), fighting at Pine Hill (June 11–14), Lost Mountain (June 15–17), Muddy Creek (June 17), Noyes Creek (June 19), Kolb’s Farm (June 22), and then the assault on Kennesaw Mountain on June 27.
They saw action at Nickajack Creek (July 2–5), the Chattahoochie River (July 6–17), Decatur (July 19), Howard House (July 20), and then the siege of Atlanta (July 22-August 25). As part of the ongoing fighting that encompassed the siege, they engaged the enemy at Utoy Creek (August 5–7).
The 50th OVI then participated in the flanking movement on Jonesboro (August 25–30), the Battle of Jonesboro (August 31 through September 1), and Lovejoy’s Station (September 2–6). Finally able to rest and resupply, they camped at Decatur until October 4.
From October 4-26, they pursued General John Bell Hoods’s army into Alabama. They then participated in the Nashville Campaign during November and December, engaging the enemy at Duck River (November 24–27), Columbia Ford (November 28–29), fighting in the Battle of Franklin (November 30), and finally, the Battle of Nashville (December 15–16). The 50th continued to pursue Hood’s army to the Tennessee River from December 17 through December 28.
The 99th Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment was merged with the 50th OVI on December 31, 1864, in an attempt to bring the regiment back to full strength. Both regiments had been recruited from the same counties of Ohio, and it was thought that the amalgamation of the troops would be far easier as a result.
The 50th OVI then moved to Clifton, Tennessee, and bivouacked there until January 16, 1865. They were then moved to Washington, D.C., assigned to the Department of North Carolina and began their march to Smithville, North Carolina.
The 50th OVI arrived in Smithville February 10. They engaged the enemy at Hoke (February 12–14), Fort Anderson (February 18–19), Town Creek (February 19–20), and the Battle of Wilmington (February 22).
The 50th OVI advanced on Goldsboro, North Carolina, March 6 through March 21. They occupied both Goldsboro and Raleigh, and were present at John Bennett’s House (April 26) to witness the surrender of General Joseph E. Johnston and his army. They remained on duty at Raleigh until May 5, and then at Greensboro and Salisbury until June.
The 50th Ohio Infantry mustered out of service at Salisbury, North Carolina on June 26, 1865. The regiment lost a total of 210 men during service. Six officers and 70 enlisted men were killed or mortally wounded and 134 enlisted men died of disease.