The Ohio 51st Volunteer Infantry Regiment (51st OVI) was one of more that 200 regiments of infantry, calvary, and artillery that the families of Ohio provided to the Union 51st ovi battle flagbetween 1861 and 1865. Regiments were numbered in the order mustered into servicce The last infantry regiment mustered from Ohio was the 197th. The 197th mustered in at Camp Chase (Columbus) March 28, 1865 and mustered out on July 31, 1865. That spring and early summer service of the 197th might be compared to the service of the 51st. The 51st mustered in October 26th 1861 at Camp Meigs (Dover) and mustered out the 3rd of October 1865 at Victoria, Texas. (It is also interersting to note that this area of Ohio provided a second regiment from Camp Meigs in 1861, the 80th OVI, mustered in in December of 1861.) The 51st was in the midst of many of the hotly contested battles of the 1860's. Chickamauga, Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge, Resaca, Kennesaw Mountain, Jonesboro, Spring Hill, and Nashville would forever create a bond between the more than 2,400 men who were part of this east-central Ohio regiment. Sadly, bonds created by war are bonds that war severs and for 346 men, their duty ended with their service-related death. Here are some of the stories of men of the 51st.

The Yoder Brothers,
51st OVI and 2nd Independent Battery Ohio Volunteer Light Artillery

There were three Yoder brothers who served in the Civil war as part of the Ohio Volunteers...Noah, Moses, and Jacob. Noah was the oldest of the three brothers and served as a second lieutenant in Company A of the 51st OVI. He was a physician prior to the war and reportedly recruited for the regiment. The Yoders brothers story is one sacrifice ... Noah was to make the first. Here is an extended excerpt from the Yoder family newsletter describing the wounds he recieved at Stone River

" In January 1863 at the battle of Stone River his superior officer ordered the regiment to advance over the brow of a hill and hold the position at all cost. The rebels advanced in solid mass and cut the regiment all to pieces. He was in command and refused to retreat against orders and was hit first by a large musket ball, which entered in front of the breast, fractured the left collar bone and came out at the back near the spine. A branch of the large artery which leads from the heart to the head was severed and the blood spurted at every pulsation. His knowledge of surgery served him well, and as he was slowly but surely bleeding to death, he held his finger against the artery and held it there for hours with all the force his wavering strength would permit, which saved his life.

His comrades, against his earnest protest refused to abandon him on the field. In the midst of the hail of bullets and cannon balls they picked him up but were shot down one after another until at last Mr. John Hall, of Berlin, Ohio, a powerful man who had been drafted and joined the regiment only a few days before, picked him up bodily and set him against a stump with his face towards the rebels. While he was being carried in this manner a ball fractured his left leg below the knee.


The rebels were soon driven back past Noah and as fate would have it formed their lines of battle just beyond him which left him about midway between the two firing lines and there for nine terrible hours he lay. The bullets and cannon balls from both sides passed over, round and by him. He was hit eight times. The end of his finger was cut off, the breast bone was hit, a ball passed across his bowels and in fact he was shot all to pieces and while lying on the field of battle in a helpless condition he was run over by the wheels of a cannon, which crushed his foot."

Noah survived these wounds and was a member of the Volunteer Reserve working in the Union hospital in Louisville, Kentucky. Upon his discharge he returned to Ohio to practice medicine.

Moses Yoder also served in the 51st, however, he served in Company G as a private. Moses was Noah's "constant nurse" during Noah's convalecense from the wounds suffered at Stone Rver. In April of 1864 Moses was promoted to corporal in Company G.However, in the early summer of 1864 at the Battle of Kenneshaw Mountain the next Yoder sacrifice was made. Moses was mortally wounded in late June. He died from those wounds on July 2 of 1864.

The third Yoder brother to serve and sacrifice was Jacob. He was a member of 2nd Independent Battery Ohio Volunteer Light Artillery. On May 22, 1864 Jacob was helping wounded soldiers while on duty in Morganza, Louisianan when he fell into the Mississippi river and drowned.

Unfortunately, for the Yoders the end of the civil war did not entirely end their civil war sacrifice. On a cold and blustery late winter day, Noah and a friend where traveling to see a patient when their buggy slipped into the swollen Sugarcreek. Dr. Yoder's companion was able to reach safety but the doctor, whose leg had been amputated due to his war wounds, was not able to climb from the swift running water and was drowned. Thus on March 9, 1877 th Yoders made their final Civil War sacrifice.