Willich's Brigade Descendants Association
15th Ohio Volunteer Infantry



Willich's Brigade Descendants Association

90 Day Unit-15th OVI

Shiloh to Stone River 1862

Liberty Gap-Chickamauga-Mission Ridge

Atlanta Campaign

Franklin, Nashville & Texas Campaigns

Bibliography and Resources

Biography of Colonel Frank Askew

Biography of Colonel William Wallace

Staff Roster

Company Rosters


15th Ohio Reunion-1887

Brigade Biographies

Brigade Stories

Monuments and Links

Guest Book and Ancestor Page

Brigade Photos

Brigade Photos 2

Captain Lucius Doolittle-Co. G

Doolittle Journal-Company G

James M. McMeeken-Co. G

Medals of Honor

Online Cemetery Master List

15th Ohio Online Cemetery

15th Ohio Online Cemetery 2

15th Ohio Online Cemetery 3

15th Ohio Online Cemetery 4

15th Ohio Online Cemetery--Co. A

15th Ohio Online Cemetery--Co. C

15th Ohio Online Cemetery--Co. F

15th Ohio Online Cemetery--Co. I

Willich's Brigade Online Cemetery

NEW BOOK---The Buckeye Vanguard


In The Footsteps of the 15th Ohio Volunteer Infantry

A Brief History of the Association

 "My Lord! I was educated in a military academy. I saw armies of Prussia, Austria, France, England and Switzerland, and I say to you: you choose the best of your French soldiers, the best of your Zouave Regiments and then you pick through lots any one of our western regiments and put the two head to head against each other, and your boys will think all Hell has broken loose"-------August Willich to Count Mercier-1864


The Association was founded in January of 2002 by 15th Ohio Descendant Bob Bundy. Units included in the Brigade were the 15th and 49th Ohio, 32nd Indiana, 89th Illinois, Battery A 1st Ohio Light Artillery and at various times the 39th Indiana, 25th and 38th Illinois, 8th Kansas and 15th Wisconsin. We are looking to locate all monuments, markers and final resting places of those who served with the brigade of General August Willich. We are also gathering as many letters, diaries, newspaper clippings and histories of the Brigade as possible. If you have any information, please contact us!

ADVANCE FIRING! The Official Newsletter of the WBDA


     The Willich's Brigade Descendants Association is in need of a logo. Any artists or ideas out there? Please contact me if you can think of anything!


     Michael Peake, historian of the 32nd Indiana Volunteer Infantry, now has a website which includes the Metzner collection of artwork about the German Regiment. This is a work in progress and looks to be an excellent addition to the history of Willich's Brigade. We highly recommend Mike's book, "Blood Shed in this War". It is an outstanding work! See Mike's website at www.germansons.com 


     A while back, Jim Heilman, great grandson of Captain Lucius Doolittle, sent us a picture of a 1902 Reunion taken in the Chattanooga area. 15th Ohio Descendant Ken Hemmerly pointed out that the photo had several very interesting clues as to its actual location. You can see two cannons, a couple of monuments and tablet along with a road running in front of those in the picture. We sent a copy of the photo to James Ogden, Chief Historian at Chattanooga/Chickamauga National Military Page. Mr. Ogden, in an email dated June 5, 2008, confirmed that the photo was taken on Snodgrass Hill and included a couple of photos of area taken, as near as we can tell, at about the same time frame as the reunion. You can see if for yourself on our Reunion Page. (And look for Captain Doolittle on the far left of the photo!)


     Chris Clark of Kentucky has been researching the caves in the Lost River/Bowling Green area. He ran across the names of soldiers carved into the walls of some of caves near which the 15th Ohio camped in 1862. One soldiers name was Jeff. McDowell of the 15th Ohio Volunteers. Pvt. McDowell was a member of Company B. He was wounded at the Battle of Chickamauga on September 20, 1863 and died in Nashville on November 23, 1863. Chris was kind enough to send a picture which appears on our Brigade Stories page. Thanks Chris! (April 21, 2008)


A new website promoting the history of Ohio units in the Civil War has come to our attention. The focus is to build a page for each Ohio unit that served in the war including rosters, photos, stories and the like. It is an open-site, which means that anyone can log-on and add information about a unit into the database. This is a great chance to share information that may not be readily available and a chance to find new sources of information. Unit moderators are needed to help with the project. WBDA members Bob Bundy and Richard Mann have signed on as moderators for the 15th and 49th Ohio Infantry Regiments, respectively. You can access the site at www.historicalpreservation.org/civilwar/ohio/index.php


     Twenty-five acres of the Corrick's Ford Battlefield near Parsons, West Virginia has been purchased and will be protected and developed into a Civil War Park. Local preservationists, the Corricks Ford Civil War Round Table and the city of Parsons all joined forces to make the purchase and protect the battlefield. This is important because the 15th Ohio (90-day unit) was engaged at Corricks Ford on July 13, 1861. We'll add more information as it becomes available. (Civil War News-Vol. XXXIII No. 1 January 2008 page one)


    Jon-Erik Gilot, while doing some research at the Mt.Pleasant (Ohio) Historical Society, ran across a group of letters written by members of the Cope Family. As a Senior Project at Bethany College, Jon-Erik transcribed, Researched and Compiled copies of these letters. He has graciously provided us with a copy of his research. These letters were a great find and include much information about the homefront during the war. His research includes letters from members of the Cope family who fought with the 15th Ohio. We are very grateful for Mr. Gilot sharing this information with us and the hard work he did in producing this excellent information!


    It is hoped that in the near future, we can publish, on this site, the complete rosters for both the 90 day and Three-year enlistments of the 15th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. The plan is to get started later this summer. In the meantime, the rosters can be found in Alex Cope's Regimental History of the 15th Ohio.


     We have not yet received permission from the Ohio Historical Society to put their pictures of the 15th Ohio's Battleflags on our site. They own the copyrights. In the meantime, you can go to the Ohio Historical Society website where you can find pictures of the all the Ohio Regiments Battleflags.


Jon-Erik Gilot, a researcher from the Mt. Pleasant, Ohio area, is doing research at Highland Cemetery in order to find and mark the graves of all the Civil War Veterans buried there. "My plan is to garner support in Mt. Pleasant and throughout the county to have the government headstones replaced and have family headstones marked with flagholders, which very few have. I hope support for this project won't be too far of a cry. While the project is in progress, I hope to creat a walking tour of the Civil War vet graves in Highland that denotes a history of each soldier. Every branch of the service during the Civil War is represented there-Navy, Artillery, Cavalry, Infantry and USCT. The units with the most veterans buried here are the 15th and 52nd (Ohio)." This sounds like a great project and we give it our wholehearted support! Keep up the good work, Jon-Erik! (May 22, 2007)



While doing research on the 15th OVI at Shiloh, I wondered about the dedication of the Ohio Monuments there and whether there were any newspaper accounts of it. Stacy Allen, Chief Ranger at Shiloh National Military Park provided the answer. "The Ohio Monuments (totalling 34 in number) were dedicated and surrendered to the care of the National Government on June 6, 1902. The Ohio Commission did not stage separate ceremonies for each and every monument, but conducted a general dedication of the entire Ohio monumentation erected on the park. An account of the formal activities associated with the Ohio dedication are published in Ohio at Shiloh: Report of the Commission by T.J. Lindsey, Washington C.H., Cincinnati, Ohio, 1903 (see pages 183-226). Individual copies of this century-old publication are often available for purchase via rare book dealers on the internet, and depending on where you reside, might also be available for self study at older and larger research libraries nearby-particularly those in Ohio"  (March 28, 2007)



Bald Knob, the Kennesaw Mountain Battlefield landmark where Willich's Brigade fought so valiantly, may be all but lost. In an email from Kennesaw Mountain Park Historian Willie R. Johnson, we were informed that the site is on privately owned property and the owner has no interest in selling the property to the Park Service for preservation. The family intends to build on the site, Johnson informed us in the December 1, 2006 email. The only way now to obtain the site would be through eminent domain proceedings which is very unlikely. For details about the fight at Bald Knob, click on our link to the Atlanta Campaign of 1864.


The Ohio Genealogical Society has founded a new and prestigious lineage scoiety to honor Ohio's Civil War Soldiers. To qualify for membership, you must be a member of the OGS and be able to prove your descent from an Ohio Civil War Soldier. Each inductee is awarded a membership certificate and SCWFO medal at a special banquet held each spring during the annual OGS Conference. For more information contact The Ohio Genealogical Society at 713 S. Main St. Mansfield, Ohio 44907-1644 or email ogs@ogs.org or go to the website at http://ogs.org


A new book entitled "August Willich's Gallant Dutchmen:Civil War Letters from the 32nd Indiana Infantry" is now available. Written by Joesph Reinhart, the book is  published by the Kent State University Press. Mr. Reinhart emailed us to let us know that there are several references to the 15th Ohio in this book. It is an excellent grouping of wartime letters which give a great insight into the all-German 32nd Indiana Infantry. It also provides a wonderful portrayal and little known stories about General Willich. We highly recommend this book!


The home that General Oliver O. Howard once lived in was destroyed by fire in early March. The farmhouse, located in Leeds, Maine was totally engulfed in flames by the time firefighters arrived on the scene. General Howard commanded the Fourth Army Corps during the 1864 Atlanta Campaign. General Willich's Brigade was a part of the 4th Corps during the campaign and the men came to have a deep respect for General Howard.


Late in the summer of 1862, the 49th Ohio Volunteers were encamped at Shelbyville, Tenn., and a local pastor invited the regiment to attend services in his church. The Sunday before, the Confederates had held the town and the minister had preached to them. He talked to the 49th on "Good Citizenship," and he let it be plainly understood that he felt the members of his congregation that day needed lecturing on this topic.

     When he closed, Colonel Gibson arose and told for the benefit of the clergyman how efficient his men were in private life. "A pretty good set of fellows, these Yankee soldiers," he continued. "Every one of them is a good citizen of the United States, and the only thing they do not know is how to become a traitor to that government and to the flag of the Union. They all know a good thing when they see it, and I am afraid, my learned friend, that you cannot say as much."-----Historic Ohio Spots, The Newark (Ohio) Advocate--Septembe 2, 1936 


The October 2005 issue of Civil War Times contains an article on writer/soldier Ambrose Bierce. Included is his short story The Crime at Pickett's Mill. While Bierce was a member of Hazen's Brigade, his story contains references to the battle as a whole and includes an illustration of a 15th Ohio Color Bearer. (Please note that an account of the Battle of Pickett's Mill has just been added to the website as of October 29, 2005)


The Unit Ledger of Company G, 15th OVI has been placed online by Jim Heilman, the great-grandson of Company Commander Lucius O. Doolittle. The ledger contains supply items, promotions and soldier status from September of 1861 to Novmeber of 1865. This company was formed in Richland Co. Ohio. We would like to thank Jim for contacting us and providing our members with access to this great historic ledger from our gallant regiment. You may view the ledger at http://www.rootsweb.com/~ohrichla/DoolittleLedger/DoolittleLedger.htm


While doing research, we ran across a reference to an artillery piece, a 10-pounder Parrott, that was once part of Battery A, First Michigan Light Artillery--Loomis' Battery. This gun was captured at Chickamauga by Walthall's and Govan's Brigade of Walker's Corps of the Confederate Army on the 19th of September, 1863. Later in the day, this gun was recaptured by Willich's Brigade. The gun is currently part of a Union Memorial in the city park at the junction of US-27 and US-12 in Coldwater, Michigan.


The Willich's Brigade Descendant's Association is looking into the possiblity of placing a historical marker at the site of the Brigade's battle at Liberty Gap, Tennessee. This is in the early planning stages at this point. Mike Peake, 32nd Indiana historian, has been doing the groundwork. He has contacted the State of Tennessee and obtained the proper paper work to begin the project. He has also been in contact with local area people and enlisting their help in this project. Cost will be a big factor. However, we believe we can raise the neccesary funds. More on this after the first of the year.


(The 8th Kansas joined the brigade just before the Battle of Missionary Ridge)

"The writer one day saw a commissary train, which had just arrived from Stevenson and was unloading at the depot surrounded by several hundred half famished soldiers, who eagerly snatched at and struggled for the crumbs of crackers that fell into the road from the broken boxes as they were being carried into the storehouse. Behind our camp was a park of artillery horses and over them a guard had to be stationed to keep the half starved men from taking the poor rations of corn doled out to the almost famished animals. The writer has seen soldiers during that siege eagerly picking up the few grains of corn that had been spilled by the horses from their troughs and reampled in the mud and filth under foot. One of the regiments of our Brigade caught, killed and ate a dog which wandered into the camp."

     "So the long, cold, cheerless, labor-burdened days dragged slowly on. A week after we reached the town the rebels opened a fierce artillery fire on our camps, commencing at daylight. The heights of Lookout and Mission Ridge and the valley of the Chattanooga thundered with the startling crashes of the great guns. The angry cannonading was kept up until late in the night and repeated, day after day, for some time. The men, thus accustomed to it, soon grew to regard it with indifference and worked on the fortifications, built their shanties, cooked their scanty meals, or crowded on top of the breast works to watch the flash and smoke of the enemy's guns..." (From Military History of Kansas Regiments.)


     Vol. 1/#1-Jan. 2002----Historical Markers---Recent Articles--Bio of General Willich--Band of Brothers--Contacts

    Vol. 1/#2-April 2002--Atlanta Campaign Markers--Saving Bald Knob--32nd Indiana Monument Restoration--Descendants Gathering at Stone River--Bio of Chaplain Randall Ross--The Strange Life of General Mank

     Vol. 1/#3-July 2002--Nashville Markers-Sultana Disaster--Bio of Col. William Gibson--Brigade Members buried at Andersonville Pt. 1-Bio of Wilbur Goodspeed--Members Descendants

     Vol 1/#4--October 2002--Stone River Symposium--This Day in Brigade History--Descendants at Stone River--Bloodshed for Glory (Nashville)--Bio of Col. Charles T. Hotchkiss--Brigade Members buried at Andersonville Pt. 2--From the Gallant 49th Ohio--New Members

     Vol. 2/#1--January 2003--Descendants Gather at Stone River--Brigade Members Tour Liberty Gap Battlefield--This Day in Brigade History--Bio of Col. Frank Askew--Book Reviews

     Vol. 2/#2--April 2003--Descendants-Researcher Asks for Assistance-This Month in Brigade History--Battle of Liberty Gap Pt. 1

     Vol. 2/#3--July 2003-News Updates--This Month in Brigade History--Letters for Stone River--The Battle of Liberty Gap Pt. 2-Obit of General Willich

     Vol. 2/#4--October 2003-News Updates--This Month in Brigade History-Book and Magazine Reviews--General Johnson--Chattanoooga Tourist Agency Seeking Ancestors--8th Kansas at Missionary Ridge

     Vol 3/#1--January 2004--This Month in Brigade History--Brigade Monuments Hit by Vandals at Chickamauga--A Brave Deed (Kenesaw Mountain)--GAR Newspapers found

     Vol. 3/#2--April 2004--Important Updates--Chickamauga Vandals Caught--New Development Threatens Brigade Battlesites at Kenesaw Mountain--Friends of Stone River Plan Ancestor Reunion--Historical Marker for Liberty Gap?--8th Kansas at Chattanooga