Reverend and Capt. George Sedgwick 175th OVI Co. K

Captain and Reverend George Cyrus Sedgwick

175th Ohio Volunteer Infantry

Reverend George Cyrus Sedgwick was born April 28, 1824 in Cambridge, Ohio. He married Hannah Lamb in 1844 and they had ten children, the last born the year before he volunteered for the Civil War. He died February 23, 1903 in Martins Ferry, Ohio.

Rev. Sedgwick, nephew and namesake of the first Baptist minister in Ohio, had been called to the First Regular Baptist church in Martins Ferry in 1854. The church had been organized in 1836 by his uncle, George Cyrus Sedgwick. Rev. Sedgwick came to a rundown church and built it up to a thriving congregation with a greatly enlarged and updated building.  On weekdays, he was Dr. G. C. Sedgwick, making his rounds on horseback with his medicines packed into a pair of saddlebags.

When the Civil War began, Rev. Sedgwick’s son Leroy enlisted in the Virginia Light Artillery (changed later to West Virginia Light Artillery) for three years when he was about 17 years old.   When he came home he helped recruit for the 175th Ohio Volunteer Infantry (see Ed. Note) His father left his pulpit to go to join him as captain of Company K. Leroy was his second lieutenant, promoted later to first.

The regiment reported to Camp Chase in Columbus in October 1864, and was assigned to the Army of the Cumberland, left behind to protect Kentucky and Tennessee and keep General John Hood busy while Sherman marched from Atlanta to the sea.  This Army, commanded by General George Thomas of Virginia, never received the credit it deserved, especially when its late fall victories at Franklin and Nashville smashed the last Confederate army in the West.

Source; The Story of the Sedgwick House Museum Contributed by Barbara Shrodes of the Martin’s Ferry Historical Society and Sedgwick family entries in

Ed. Note; Formation of the 175th OVI began in late July and August of 1864. For the most part it was formed in Highland County, Ohio as the 178th OVI by Col. Dan McCoy and Lieut. Edward Mullenix. Recruits also came from adjoining Fayette County who were enlisted by W.B. Logan. Other recruits came from Camp Chase in Columbus, Ohio and were added to fill out the ranks of the 178th, re-numbered to the 175th OVI in early October at Camp Dennison, near Cincinnati, Ohio. 

While it is not my place to revise a family’s history, some clarifying information needs to be added to the Sedgwick story. It is unlikely that Leroy or his father actually had a hand in recruitment “for the 175th Regiment” per se. It is not disputed that Leroy and his father recruited men, in fact Leroy and  Lt. Issac McCowan were awarded repayment for their recruiting efforts by the Sate of Ohio (source Eric Jacobson “Baptism of Fire”).  Also, for their efforts, they would be awarded the rank of Lieutenant.

It is likely that they recruited individuals or groups as part of  assigned quotas in the area (county) they lived. Troops were urgently needed in Tennessee by October and the 175th/178th drew men from Sedgwick’s recruiting office, had them mustered in at Camp Chase, and immediately had them join the others for deployment to middle Tennessee. That group from Camp Chase included my wife’s Great-Grandfather Jacob Umstott.

 The 175th arrived in Columbia, Tennessee October 20, 1864 and was ordered to the 4th Army Corps. Later, quite by chance, they became part of Commander James Reilly’s 3rd Div. 23rd Army at Franklin, Tennessee. Both the 4th and 23rd Armies were part of Gen. Thomas’ Army of the Cumberland headquartered in Nashville.

Leroy Cyrus Sedgwick was born April 3, 1845 in Ostego, Ohio, near Cambridge.


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