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 Isaiah Wallick - 49th Ohio Infantry, Co. G

Rank: Private, promoted to Corporal

Place of enlistment: West Lodi, Ohio- Aug 18, 1861

Mustered into Federal service: September 3, 1861

Service Time: 2 years, 3 months, 9 days

Born: c. 1840 - 
Coshocton County, Ohio

Age at enlistment: 20 

Height: 5'7"  brown hair, gray eyes

Civilian occupation: Farmer

Family Lineage

Isaiah, son of Samuel, son of "Bunker Hill" Michael, son of "Bedford" Michael, son of Hans Michael and Esther Wallick.

The wonders of modern science have helped determine that Isaiah Wallick is indeed a descendant of Hans Michael Walch/Wallick and we can add his name to our list of Wallick soldiers who served in the Civil War.  It is through recent DNA test results that we have the positive proof this soldier, who gave his life for his country, is related to our family.  One of Isaiah’s direct descendants was willing to participate in a DNA test, proving our common heritage, and now many more family members can share in the pride and honor of being related to this fallen hero.  Isaiah died from wounds he received while participating in the Union Army's spectacular charge up Missionary Ridge, just outside of Chattanooga, Tennessee, on November 25, 1863.  

Isaiah was born to Samuel Wallick, the firstborn son of “Bunker Hill" Michael, in Crawford Twp, Coshocton County, Ohio, in the year 1840 .  At some point in his youth Isaiah's family moved to northwest Ohio.  On August 18, 1861, Isaiah went into the small town of West Lodi, in Seneca County, and enlisted in the Union Army.  He was working for the Stumm brothers when he joined the army, however, his enlistment papers state that he was a farmer by trade.  Whether the Stumm brothers were a mercantile establishment or owners of a large farm on which Isaiah worked is unknown.   Nevertheless, Isaiah was one of a multitude of men in the summer of 1861 who answered President Lincoln’s call for 300,000 more volunteers to put an end to the southern rebellion.  Isaiah’s younger brother, Edward, also served in the war and enlisted only three months after Isaiah’s death.  His enlistment so soon after the death of his brother is a tribute to them both.

The 49th Ohio Infantry Regiment saw its share of fighting during the war.  Early in the war there was a little skirmishing and minor engagements with the enemy.  Then in early April of 1862, at the Battle of Shiloh, Isaiah’s regiment had the first true test of its mettle  when  they  arrived at the end of the second day of  battle and helped push the Confederates back to their original positions, negating the Confederate successes of the previous day's fight.  The next  great contest for the 49th was on the last day of December, 1862, at the Battle of Stone's River.  At the beginning of the battle, Isaiah's regiment was continuously engaged with the enemy taking a great many casualties.  They had to retire from the field after running low on ammunition and the Confederates captured their commanding officer.  The regiment rejoined the fight on the second day of  battle and made a bayonet charge that helped turn the tide and produce a victory for the Union.  But of all the battles and engagements that Isaiah and his regiment were part of, it was at the Battle of Chickamauga where they perhaps gave their best performance. 

The 49th regiment saw action on both days of  battle at Chickamauga and concluded the fight with an heroic stand near Snodgrass Hill.  There, together with Isaiah’s distant cousins Charles F. Wallick of the 87th Indiana and Levi Wallick of the 44th Indiana, the 49th regiment withstood repeated Rebel assaults over a five-hour period.  All three regiments claimed to be one of the last to leave the battlefield at the close of the engagement.  Chickamauga had more casualties than any other two-day battle of the entire Civil War.  Many military historians consider this conflict more like a gigantic brawl between two opposing armies than an organized battle.  The terrain and thick undergrowth made it difficult for units to stay together and the result was a great deal of chaos within the ranks.  It went beyond a catastrophic defeat for the Union Army.  They were smashed, demoralized and made a humiliating retreat into Chattanooga, TN.  But on the heels of such a loss was to be one of the most remarkable, stunning and successful infantry assaults in history.
With their defeat at Chickamauga, Isaiah and the Federal army were surrounded at Chattanooga by the Confederates, who held the high ground at both Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge. After a six week siege, General Grant was brought in from west Tennessee to help break the strangle hold held by the enemy forces.  On November 24th, Grant ordered his troops to advance and take Lookout Mountain.  This dutifully done, he next ordered the assault of Confederate positions on Missionary Ridge.

View atop Missionary Ridge from the Confederate perspective.

Isaiah and the 49th Ohio charged up the ridge below, toward the camera. 
The City of Chattanooga is in the background

View of Chattanooga, Tennessee, from atop Missionary Ridge 

The Rebels had three rows of entrenched troops across the 600 foot ridge, - one line at the bottom of the ridge, one in the middle and one at the top.  By mid-afternoon on November 25th, the Union Army was ready to charge the Confederate lines.  At about 4:00 PM, General Grant gave orders for his commanders to attack, take the first row of rifle pits at the bottom of the ridge, and then halt.  However, the attack was so successful that the Federal troops found themselves in a difficult position.  Having quickly taken the rifle pits they were now being fired down upon by the Confederate army above them.  They had the choice of either continuing to advance up the ridge or turn around and retreat; they couldn't just stay where they were in the rifle pits.  Without orders and on their own initiative the soldiers chose to continue their charge up the ridge and force the Rebels out of their entrenchments, to the shock and surprise of General Grant and all his staff.  The 49th Ohio was one of the first regiments to plant its flag on the summit of  Missionary Ridge and all the Union troops were astonished and wild with delight at their success.  Unfortunately, by that time Isaiah was probably not among them. 


At some point in the charge Isaiah was wounded by a Rebel ball or shell and he failed to advance with the rest of his regiment to the top of Missionary Ridge.  Isaiah died two days after the assault in an army hospital.  The story of his death by charging up Missionary Ridge is an heroic soldier’s tale- one of adventure, honor and self-sacrifice for one’s country.


Missionary Ridge is in the far horizon beyond the cannon.

This picture was taken from Orchard Knob and this sector of the ridge is where Isaiah charged the Confederate positions on November 25, 1863.

Isaiahs regiment charged up Missionary Ridge from this position

  Isaiah Wallick with the 49th Ohio Volunteer Infantry



AUG 18    Isaiah Wallick enlists as a private in the Union Army.
AUG-SEP  Isaiah and his comrades from Seneca County are organized into Company G of the 49th Ohio Volunteer Infantry at Tiffin, Ohio.  The regiment then moves to Camp Dennison.

SEP 21  Isaiah’s regiment is ordered to Louisville, Kentucky, and they are the first organized regiment to enter that state.

OCT-DEC  The 49th Ohio occupies Munfordsville, Kentucky (near present day Mammoth Cave National Park).


JAN-FEB 13  
Duty at Munfordsville, Kentucky.

FEB 14-MAR 3
   49th Ohio Regiment advances to Bowling Green, Kentucky, and then to Nashville, Tennessee.

MAR 16-APR 6   Isaiah is marched to Savannah, Tennessee, and on to Pittsburg Landing  where the Battle of Shiloh is taking place.

 APR 7  Battle of Shiloh.   During the night of April 6th, the 49th Ohio Regiment arrives with General Don Carlos Buell’s Army of the Ohio for the second day’s fight at the Battle of Shiloh.  General Grant’s Army of the Tennessee has been pushed back and nearly destroyed in the previous day’s fight.  The arrival of Isaiah and his comrades help save the Federal forces from annihilation and turns an apparent defeat into a great Union victory.  Isaiah and the 49th are placed near the center of the Union line on the afternoon of April 7th.  The regiment is in a desperate fight until mid-afternoon and is able to regain all that was lost from the previous day's battle.  It is a Union victory, but with a terrific loss of life.  More American soldiers (Union and Confederate) die in this one battle than in all of our previous wars combined.  The country is horrified by the lengthy casualty list and blames General Grant who, although the victor, is nevertheless demoted and has a temporary setback to his career.

    The monument to the 49th Ohio Infantry is located on the Hamburg-Purdy Road.

                                                Back of the 49th Ohio monument.

This regiment arrived on the field at 11a.m. April 7, 1862.  It became engaged here about noon and fought its way forward about 80 yards where the battle ended at 3 p.m.  Its loss was 6 men killed: 34 wounded; total 40.

MAY 30
   The 49th marches to and begins the siege of Corinth, Mississippi.

JUN 10-AUG 19   The regiment is posted at Battlecreek, Alabama. 

AUG 20-SEP 26
   Isaiah and the 49th Ohio are moved to Louisville, Kentucky, and begin their pursuit of Confederate General Bragg.

SEP 27-OCT 15   The 49th pursues General Bragg in Kentucky and have some skirmishing at the Battle of Perryville.

OCT 16-DEC 26
   Isaiah and the 49th march to Nashville, Tennessee, and join the advance brigade that raises the siege of Nashville.

DEC 26-30
   There is an advance on Murfreesboro, Tennessee, by the 49th Ohio and its division.

 DEC 31  Battle of Stones River- First Day   Isaiah and the 49th Ohio are heavily engaged in the early fighting at Stones River.  The Confederate Army delivers a surprise attack at dawn on Isaiah's brigade and the entire Union right line is forced to retreat, minus Isaiah's brigade commander, General August Willich.   During the  morning's  battle  General Willich has been captured by the Confederates (he is eventually exchanged to resume command of his brigade at the Battle of Chickamauga).  Distant cousins William Wallick and Levi Wallick are also at the Battle of Stones River.  By the end of the first day's fighting all three Wallick brigades have gathered in the fields east of Asbury Road and just north of Stones River National Military Park.

                       The brigades of Isaiah, Levi and William Wallick all gathered 
                            here at the end of the first day's fighting at Stones River. 

JAN 1   New Year's Day   Both combatants are very disorganized and avoid battle, using the New Year holiday to consolidate their lines and reorganize their armies.

JAN 2   Battle of Stones River- Second Day  
The second day of fighting at Stones River finds the 49th Ohio held in reserve until late afternoon, then they are ordered to join a bayonet charge to repel a brigade of Confederates and help retrieve lost ground on the Union left.  The battle ends in a tactical draw, however, after a few days the Confederate Army retreats, thus providing a strategic victory for the Federal Forces.


JAN 3-JUN 22
   Isaiah's regiment is placed on guard duty at Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

JUN 23-JUL 7   The 49th Ohio participates in the Tullahoma Campaign in middle Tennessee.

JUL 8-AUG 16   The regiment is an occupation force in middle Tennessee.

AUG 17-SEP 22  Isaiah and his regiment cross the Cumberland Mountains and Tennessee River in preparation for the Chickamauga Campaign.

                                                                    Kelly Field, Chickamauga National Battlefield
                                                                  Both Isaiah and Charles Wallick fought here.

Isaiah and Charles F Wallick were both on this field of battle at Chickamauga SEP 19-20   Battle of Chickamauga   Isaiah and the 49th Ohio are active in many parts of the battlefield at Chickamauga and are moved about freely throughout the battle.  It is interesting that more than once, Isaiah, Charles F. Wallick of the 87th Indiana and Levi Wallick of the 44th Indiana will cross paths in the course of the two day battle.  At Kelly Field, in the middle of Chickamauga National Military Park, the 49th Ohio and the 87th Indiana have monuments to their respective regiment’s not more than 100 yards apart (see photo).  However, it is unlikely that Isaiah and Charles ever knew each other due to where they were raised (one in Ohio and the other in Indiana) and the great distance  between the branches of their family trees.  At the conclusion of the battle all three Wallicks and their regiments are again very near each other as they make a last stand on Snodgrass Hill.  Their heroic actions enables the Union Army to safely retreat back to Chattanooga.

SEP 24-NOV 24   Siege of Chattanooga  
Isaiah and the Union Army are now bottled-up and besieged by the Confederates at Chattanooga.  This causes a great shortage of food and supplies that is only broken with the arrival of General Ulysses S. Grant.  On October 17, the day of his arrival, Grant immediately takes control of the situation and within two weeks he has routed the Rebels at Brown’s Ferry and creates a safe supply line for his army. He then develops a plan that will push the Confederates off the surrounding hills of Chattanooga.   By late November everything is in place and Grant starts the Union breakout by taking from the Confederates a small knoll to the west of Missionary Ridge called Orchard Knob.  Isaiah and his division are used to accomplish this task.  The next day Lookout Mountain is overrun and secured, setting the stage for the assault on Missionary Ridge.

 NOV 25-27   The Assault on Missionary Ridge & Death of Isaiah   At 3:40 PM on November 25th, Isaiah is one of over 24,000 Federal troops ready to storm the Confederate positions on Missionary Ridge.  General Grant has established his command post at Orchard Knob and a cannon is fired as a signal to begin the assault.  A thick blue line two-and-a-half miles long marches forward to capture the entrenched Rebel positions at the bottom of Missionary Ridge.  This quickly being done, the Federal troops are now fired upon from above by the enemy and must either retreat or continue to move forward.  On their own initiative and en masse they charge out of the captured entrenchments and up the steep slopes of Missionary Ridge to take the remaining Confederate positions.  General Grant, watching all of this with great anxiety from Orchard Knob, is over-heard saying to his commanders, "Who ordered those men up the hill?" Unable to find an answer he says: "Someone will suffer for it, if it turns out badly."  It does not turn out badly for the Federals and is one of the most remarkable assaults ever made by any army in history.  The Rebels are totally routed and  abandon their almost impregnable position.  However, it does turn out badly for Isaiah.  He is mortally wounded during the charge and is taken to a hospital where he dies two days later.  As glorious a victory as it is, it comes at a very high price. Isaiah is one of 2,287 Union soldiers killed or wounded in the hour that it takes to capture Missionary Ridge.


                                                  Chattanooga National Cemetery
                                        Isaiah is in the second row, third from the left.
Chattanooga National Cemetery.  Isaiah, second row, third from the left.



Edward    34th & 36th OH

A few words concerning Isaiah’s headstone:


Unfortunately, Isaiah's given and surnames are both misspelled on his headstone and his date of death is also incorrect.  Only the regiment and company inscriptions are without error. Misspellings are not uncommon on Civil War memorials.  The spelling of his surname as Wall-a-c-k does appear in some of his service records.  The misspelling of Isaiah must have been a clerical error. The Nov 29, 1864 date on the headstone may have been the date of his burial. Casualty reports and other war records confirm that he was mortally wounded at Missionary Ridge and died two days later on November 27, 1863.


His gravesite is located in section D, Plot 12110 in the Chattanooga National Cemetery, Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Mary (Wallick) Stierhoff was very generous to provide copies of Isaiah's compiled service record.  They were invaluable for this article.  It is interesting that Mary’s husband, Fred Stierhoff, also had a forefather killed at Missionary Ridge.

Song- The Vacant Chair;  or, We Shall Meet, But We Shall Miss Him
                                               (Thanksgiving, 1861)

This song was written to commemorate a soldier's death at the Battle of Ball's Bluff.  It is also very fitting for Isaiah Wallick's webpage.  In the mid-nineteenth century the term "vacant chair" was a euphemism for someone who had died and this song centers around a fallen hero whose chair is left empty at the 1861 Thanksgiving table.  Isaiah  was mortally wounded the day before Thanksgiving, 1863, and he died two days later. 

The Vacant Chair vs. 2
At our fireside, sad and lonely,
    Often will the bosom swell,
At remembrance of the story,
    How our noble Willie fell.

How he strove to bear our banner,
    Thro' the thickest of the fight,
And uphold our country's honor,
    In the strength of manhood's might.

We shall meet but we shall miss him,
    There will be one vacant chair,
We shall linger to caress him,
    When we breathe our evening prayer.

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