Birge’s Western Sharpshooters Company G
(1st Independent Company of Ohio Volunteer Sharpshooters)
Under the authority of General John C. Fremont, Birge’s Western Sharpshooters were organized in the autumn of 1861 at Benton Barracks in St. Louis, Missouri. Comprised of men who volunteered to serve in the Union Army, they were mainly from the states of Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, and Ohio, but also from Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. They had to pass a rigid shooting test before they could enlist with the Sharpshooter’s unit. After qualifying, they were mustered in as Birge’s Western Sharpshooters and attached to the Department of Missouri. The regiment was involved with the capture of Confederate controlled Fort Donelson and then were sent down the Tennessee River where they were engaged at the Battle of Shiloh. On April 14, 1862, they were redesignated as the Western Sharpshooters, 14th Regiment Missouri Infantry. After participating in the Siege of Corinth, the Sharpshooters fought at the Battles of Iuka and Corinth. In late 1862, the designation of the Regiment was changed to the 66th Illinois Infantry. Later, they fought under General William T. Sherman at several battles in the Atlanta Campaign. The regiment was present at Confederate Joe Johnston’s surrender in North Carolina and then marched to Washington D.C. through the former Confederate capital at Richmond, Virginia. They were mustered out of the service in July of 1865.