The 26th Ohio Veteran Volunteer Infantry:
The Groundhog Regiment
Welcome to the website dedicated to the service of the 26th Ohio Veteran Volunteer Infantry: the
Groundhog Regiment in the American Civil War. The website was created in 2002 and is regularly
updated. The website contains the most comprehensive information available about "The Old 26th." Be
sure to have your computer's speakers active to listen to the Civil War era music that accompanies
nearly all of the information pages.
You can also order a signed copy of webmaster, Jeffrey Hill's updated edition of the
regimental history, titled, The 26th Ohio Veteran Volunteer Infantry: The Groundhog
Regiment (Second Edition). Just click on the "Individuals Ordering Only" button at the top of
this page. Librarians can click on the "Library Orders Only" to order and receive volume
discounts. "It doesn't read like a novel, but I left with the distinct sense of having
heard a good story..." M. Hollan, a reviewer wrote on Amazon.com
Have a question or comment? Want to discuss the Civil War? Go to the facebook page at: The 26th Ohio
Veteran Volunteer Infantry: The Groundhog Regiment --click on the facebook icon to the left.
What others are saying about the book, The 26th Ohio Veteran Volunteer Infantry: The
Groundhog Regiment (Note: Below are excerpts from the reviews. To read the full reviews, go to the Book Review page):
"Skillfully Written Regimental History That Reads Like a Novel- An outstandingly detailed compilation of the day to day lives of the 26th Ohio,
the Groundhog Regiment during the Civil War. You feel that you are almost there. The details are strongly evocative, the language clear and to
the point. For instance, the author stitches together first person accounts such as diary entries and letters and battlefield reports with a running
narrative that puts you on the battlefield with the 26th. It also clarifies how this regiment fits in the larger picture of the battle as well as the
whole war... It reads almost like a novel. It is the kind of regimental history that appeals to Civil War buff and novice alike."
Jeff Richards, author of historical fiction including, Open Country, and a fellow descendant
"You have stoked my interest and we have now visited Shiloh, Stones River, Perryville and Chickamauga since purchasing your book. You
are putting a lot of miles on our car!! Thanks for the great work you did." Bob Parsons, Descendant
"There is much to like about Jeffrey A. Hill’s The 26th Ohio Veteran Volunteer Infantry: The Groundhog Regiment. I say this from the
viewpoint of a lover of good books and professional historian, though not one with any expertise in the U. S. Civil War or even American
history in general. Most appealing is the way Hill individualizes the war. Too often historians fail to capture the innumerable individual
tragedies of war… While Hill details the bravery and courage that the men of the 26th Ohio often displayed and writes of the “sacrifice they
made to help maintain the Union, that we, the future generations can enjoy the blessings of our great country,” he does not ignore the
individual tragedies… In his Introduction, Hill summarizes the fate of the 26th Ohio… Although the 26th Ohio differed from the majority of
regiments in losing more men from battlefield-caused deaths than from diseases, Hill does not ignore the toll that the latter took. And he
describes well the atrocious conditions suffered by prisoners at Andersonville… For those who appreciate a chronological account of a
regiment’s service, that is the primary format of the book… Hill’s final two chapters even recount the post-war pension and reunion activities
and efforts of the men of the 26th Ohio who were determined to keep alive their war-time memories and associations.
"As Hill tells us in his Introduction, he has visited Chickamauga and the other battlefields where the 26th Ohio fought, and he has traversed
most of the ground over which they marched and camped in various states. This has enabled him to describe better the physical settings for
the regiment’s activities. But it is the letters, diaries, journals, and service records of so many individual enlisted men and officers… that
individualize the regiment’s story. Of course, some background—for example concerning slavery, President Lincoln, generals such as Grant
and Lee, the anti-war Copperheads, and even why France had troops in Mexico in 1865—is necessary in order to understand why the 26th
Ohio was ordered to do what it did in the war. But even here, Hill often individualizes the larger picture by quoting what some of the men of the
26th Ohio thought of such individuals and issues… Ample maps, appendices, chapter endnotes, a bibliography, and an index or search
function (depending on paperback or inexpensive ebook format) add to the value of Hill’s book. This reviewer found especially useful
Appendix A, listing a little something about each man in the regiment... The German historian Wilhelm Dilthey once wrote: “How can one deny
that biography is of outstanding significance for the understanding of the great context of the historical world?” To help us further understand
the history of the 26th Ohio, Hill has set up a web site devoted to the regiment’s history. And at the site, there is a section entitled Soldiers’
Stories. To date there are 17 biographical “stories,” there, the last of which, Pvt Benjamin R. Moss, Co G, my brother and I contributed. It
owes much to Hill’s first-rate book." Walter G. Moss, professor emeritus, Eastern Michigan University, and fellow descendant,
"The sheer size of this book is impressive. With 800 pages, it ranks among the larger Civil War regimental histories. And the 26th Ohio
made an impressive record for itself, participating in many of the great battles of the Western Theater...A liberal use of wartime letters,
diaries, and newspaper accounts make for a solid bibliography. In addition, Mr. Hill utilized a large number of compiled military service
records found at the National Archives to 'flesh out' numerous members of the regiment...This is a well-written history, with enough
background information to augment the story but not burden the reader with useless detail. By using a plethora of original material, Hill has
allowed the soldiers to tell their own story, in their own words. And that would make the veterans of the 26th Ohio proud." David L.
Richards, Blue & Gray Magazine, XXIX, #1, 2012
" A very enjoyable read for someone interested in the Civil War...It doesn't read like a novel, but I left with the distinct sense of having heard a
good story...It's a big book and will take time, but for a thorough and satisfying account that's what you want. I got the feeling from the
knowledge of this regiment that most other regiments, blue and gray, were not dissimilar. This book will help answer the question why the Civil
War should be noted 150 years later, and it's also the story they wanted told."
Mark Holian, August 29, 2011, Amazon. com
"...To write the history of a regiment as active as the 26th is a daunting task. The right way to do it is to apply what Professor James I.
Robertson Jr has called “vacuum cleaner research,” the term which he attributes to Allan Nevins, that describes collecting and evaluating
evidence from every potential source. Mr. Hill meets that test admirably, tapping journals and letters written by unit members, newspapers,
manuscript collections at several university and public institutions, historical societies and local libraries, archives at the primary battlefield
parks and Andersonville, travel across nearly all of the areas traveled by the 26th, historians including OCWGJ Contributing Editor Kevin Frye
at Andersonville, and personal collections of many descendants...This is an excellent modern regimental history, a fitting tribute to the
members of the Groundhog Regiment, and certainly a benefit to those of us seeking to know and understand what happened now 150 years
ago." Dan Reigle, Ohio Civil War Genealogy Journal, to be published in November, 2011 issue
"Overdue 26th Ohio Infantry History Thoroughly Researched, Well Done."
"In the decades following the Civil War the veterans of the 26th Ohio Infantry attempted to follow the lead of other regimental associations and
publish a regimental history...Due to a lack of funds for publication, however, the regiment's veterans decided to abandon the project in 1894.
For more than a century the veterans of the 26th Ohio-- one of William F. Fox's 'Fighting 300' in his Regimental Losses of the American Civil
War-- had no voice in the Civil War's growing literature.
"Fortunately historian Jeffrey Hill has rescued this regiment from obscurity and fulfilled the desire of the 26th's survivors to have their story
published and legacy preserved.
"Hill, a descendant of two 26th Ohio veterans, has relied heavily on primary material, including a substantial array of items in private hands, to
paint a picture of life in this storied regiment. The book's impressive bibliography manifests the author's passion for this topic and desire to
make his ancestors proud.
"Hill does not make the great mistake of so many regimental historians--getting off topic. While he provides necessary information to place
the regiment in proper context he does not overburden the reader.
"While this regimental history ably chronicles the 26th's experiences and should serve as a useful tool for scholars interested in the war's
Western Theater, Hill's tome should also appeal to historians with broad interest in the conflict...
"Impressively researched and soundly written, Hill's 26th Ohio regimental history preserves the regiment's legacy, but does so in a way that is
appealing to historians interested in more than the regiment or Ohio's role in the Civil War. With broad appeal, Hill's book is a fitting tribute to
a long-forgotten regiment." Jonathan A. Noyalas, reviewer for the Civil War News, April, 2011 issue
"In the divisions of the Union army, brotherhood was formed as they fought side by side, trying to survive while still trying to get the job done.
'The 26th Ohio Veteran Volunteer Infantry: The Groundhog Regiment' tells the unique story of this troop known for its quick agility and prowess
when it came to missions that needed digging. Written by a man honoring his ancestors, 'The 26th Ohio Veteran Volunteer Infantry' is a fine
addition to any military history collection. Willis M. Buhle, reviewer for The Midwest Book Review
" A fine accomplishment that honors your ancestors and a cool regiment. Quite detailed and written the way a regimental should be done.
Believe everyone who comes across a copy will be pleased..."
Larry Stevens, webmaster, Ohiocivilwar.com
"One of the very best regimental Ohio histories ever penned." Steven Ward, author, Buckeye's All: A Compendium and Bibliography,
Ohio in the Civil War
"Jeffrey Hill has, in eight years of work, put together a chronicle of interest to all Americans. Obtaining the service records and full pension
files of the Regiment, as well as compiling other primary source material, he has combined the men and, while studying in-person the
Regiment's encampments and battle sites, the terrain they fought for. This erudite presentation, told in terse, pithy, easily readable diction and
syntax, is a keeper." David Jardine, author of Jonah's War, and The Emancipation of Jonah Hommen
"Those with ancestors who served in the 26th or who have an interest in Ohio, the Civil War, or military history will find your work an excellent
resource. I was particularly impressed with your description of the research process in the Introduction, which can serve as a model and
instructive example to our own students in history classes. Thank you for your careful research and persistence in bringing this much desired
history to fruition." Jean Mulhern, Ph.D., Director, Watson Library, Wilmington, Ohio College
"I find it one of the best "reads" of any civil war book that I have read. If you close your eyes, you can imagine that you are part of the regiment
as they ride the river boat up the Ohio. You can also feel the maturing of the men as they grow from wide-eyed innocent recruits to veterans..."
Wade Barr, fellow descendant
"Your book is not only a great tribute to the men of the 26th, but a great resource for anyone wanting to understand the life of the Civil War
soldier. I am also gaining a much better understanding of how the war was conducted. My husband, who has read much more about the Civil
War, is enjoying your book as well..." Eileen A. Wilson, fellow descendant
"What an endeavor. I am really enjoying it. The writing and maps make the whole picture come to life." Gerald Huffman, fellow descendant
To navigate to the main web site or to the book order page, read reviews of the book and book
updates, click on the desired button on the the navigation bar at the top of this page.
Enjoy, and thanks for visiting!
Note: Fellow descendant of the 26th Ohio, Robert Weller has put together an outstanding website of grave markers and other
information of the 26th Ohio soldiers. Find a link to his website on the "Favorite Links" page on the Main site Index, or click on the link
here: Congrats, Rob on a job very well done! Jeffrey Hill
Libraries continue to acquire The 26th Ohio Veteran Volunteer Infantry: The Groundhog Regiment. The book is now in 72 library systems
across the country. The most recent libraries to add copies of the the book to their collection include: Utah Valley University, Ohio University,
Bowling Green State University, Ashland University, Eastern Michigan University, University of Kentucky, Middletown Library, West Chester
Library, Dayton Metro Library, the Ohio Genealogical Society, Auburn University, Massillon Public Library, Warren-Trumbull County Library,
Marshall University, Portsmouth Public Library, Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, Stark County District Library, U.S. Library
of Congress, U.S. Army Military History Institute, the Family Search International of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Newark
(Ohio) Public Library, and the Akron-Summit County Public Library. Click on the Book Updates page button at the top of this page to see the
up-to-date complete listing of libraries.
"The groundhog regiment's story now finally told, will live on for future generations."
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT for 26th Ohio Descendants and friends:
On September 20-22, 2013, seventeen fellow descendants met to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the battle of
Chickamauga, the bloodiest battle for the regiment during the entire Civil War.
On Friday night at the Hampton Inn- Ringgold, the descendants gathered for a meet-and-greet. While enjoying
refreshments, the descendants shared information about their ancestors, saw a power point overview of the regiment,
and a power point by descendant Wade Barr on Andersonville. Wade modestly noted that he was simply reading the
material developed by his son, Chris Barr, who is a park ranger at Andersonville. After reviewing the tour itinerary for
Saturday, the descendants retired for the evening.
Saturday morning, we were greeted by pouring rain that lasted in to the early afternoon. Nonplussed, we first visited the
Chickamauga Visitors' Center which was packed with everyone trying to also wait out the rain.
When the rain slowed down slightly we headed out and began our walking tour. We visited the grounds at Lee and
Gordon's Mills, Viniard Fields, Dry Valley Road, Brotherton Cabin, and Dyer Field where the regiment fought and
camped. A special commemorative ceremony was held after lunch at the site of the 26th Ohio Infantry monument at
Viniard Fields. Several of the descendants took part in the ceremony which included: an invocation, placement of flags
at the monument, presentation of colors ( a 34 star US flag ,no less) reading from Ecclesiasticus, comments, placement
of a beautiful customized wreath, moment of silence with playing of taps, and group photos.
In the afternoon, we traveled to Chattanooga and toured sites at Chattanooga National Cemetery, Orchard Knob , and
Missionary Ridge. It was a memorable weekend! Three cheers for the Old 26th! (view additional photos on the web site
under the "150th Anniversary Get Together" page.
Second Edition published September, 2013
First Edition published September, 2010
26th Ohio Monument with wreath and
flags placed by Descendants, September,
Descendants at Monument to commemorate 150th anniversary of the
battle of Chickamauga