Military Units Formed in Indiana
Lincoln initially requested that Indiana send 7,500 men to join the Union Army. Five hundred men assembled the first day, and within three weeks, more than 22,000 men had volunteeredso many that thousands had to be turned away. Before the war ended, Indiana contributed a total of 208,367 men, 15% of the state's total population, to fight and serve in the Union Army, and 2,130 to serve in the Union Navy. Most of the soldiers from Indiana were volunteers, and 11,718 men reenlisted at least once. The state only turned to conscription towards the end of the war, and a relatively small total of 3,003 men were drafted. These volunteers and conscripts allowed the state to supply the Union with 126 infantry regiments, 26 batteries of artillery, and 13 regiments of cavalry. By the end of the war, 46 general officers in the Union army had resided in Indiana at some point in their lives.
More than 35% of the men from Indiana who entered the Union Army became casualties: 24,416 (about 6.75% of total war casualties) lost their lives in the conflict, and more than 50,000 were wounded In numbera, this represents more deaths than South Carolina lost in the war.
Many of Indiana's 165 regiments served with distinction in the war. The regiments each consisted of approximately 1,500 men when formed, but as their numbers declined due to casualties, smaller regiments were merged together. The first six regiments mustered at the start of the war were enlisted for six months and were put into action in the western theater. Their short terms of service and few numbers were inadequate for the task of fighting the war, and by the end of 1861, Indiana fielded an additional sixty-five regiments whose men enlisted for terms of three years. These three-year regiments were employed in large part in the western theater. As the war progressed, another forty-eight regiments were mustered in 1862, with about half being sent to the eastern theater, and the other half remaining in the west. During 1863, eighteen regiments were raised to replace the casualties of the first two years' fighting. During Morgan's Raid of that year, ten temporary regiments were created and enlisted for terms of three months apiece, but disbanded once the threat posed by Morgan was gone. The last twenty-five regiments created in the state were mustered in 1864, and served until the end of the war. Most of Indiana's regiments were mustered out and disbanded by the end of 1864 as fighting declined, but some continued in service. The 13th Regiment Indiana Cavalry was the last regiment from the state to be mustered out of the U.S. Army, leaving service on November 10, 1865.
The 14th Indiana Infantry Regiment, also called the Gallant Fourteenth, was a notable Indiana regiment. In the Battle of Gettysburg, it was the regiment that secured Cemetery Hill on the first day of the three-day fight and prevented the possible destruction of the Union Army. Another famous regiment was the 9th Indiana Infantry Regiment, which fought in many major battles and was among the first Hoosier regiments to see action in the war.
The 28th Indiana Colored Infantry Regiment was formed on March 31, 1864, at Camp Fremont in Indianapolis near what is now the Fountain Square district. It was the only black regiment formed in Indiana during the war and lost 212 men during the conflict. The regiment signed on for 36 months, but the war was effectively over in fewer than eleven months from their enlistment, cutting the regiment's length of service short.
The last casualty of the Civil War was a Hoosier of the 34th Regiment Indiana Infantry. Private John J. Williams died at the Battle of Palmito Ranch on May 13, 1865.