These battles, which occurred between May 9th and October 19th, 18;64, were fought wholly, or in part, by the Army of West Virginia, which was, for the most part, identical with the forces in the two divisions under General George Crook. These two divisions, by a provisional arrangement, formed a part of the Eighth Corps, and eventually came to be known as the corps itself.
The Eighth Corps proper was created by General Orders No. 84, July 22, 1862, which designated the troops under Major-General John E. Wool as the Eighth Corps. These forces were stationed in Maryland, at Annapolis, Baltimore, Harper's Ferry, along the Baltimore & Ohio R. R., east of Cumberland, and along the railroad from Harper's Ferry to Winchester, Va.
During the summer of 1864,and, also, in Sheridan's campaigns in the Valley, the Eighth Corps was commanded by General George Crook; the First Division, comprising three brigades, was commanded by Colonel Joseph Thoburn; the Second Division, containing two brigades, was commanded by Colonel Isaac H. Duval. There were 22 regiments of infantry in the two divisions. Colonel Thoburn was killed at Cedar Creek, the last battle in which the corps participated. Colonel Duval was wounded at Opequon, whereupon Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes succeeded to the command of Duval's (2d) Division. The field return of troops, dated September 10, 1864, shows that the Army of West Virginia -- Crook's two divisions had only 7,507 effective men.
At the battle of Winchester, however, July 24, 1864, Crook's command contained three divisions, Sullivan's, Duval's, and Mulligan's. Colonel Mulligan, the hero of Lexington, was killed in that battle, and his division was cut up so badly that it was consolidated into one brigade, which was transferred to the First Division, where it became the Third Brigade (Campbell's) of that division.
The corps lost about 1,200 men at Winchester; at the Opequon it lost 104 killed, 683 wounded, and 7 missing--a total of 794 at Cedar Creek it lost 48 killed, 270 wounded, and 540 captured, or missing; total, 858.
General Lew Wallace was assigned to the command of the Eighth Corps on March 12, 1863, and was in command at the battle of Monocacy, July 9, 1864. But that battle was fought chiefly by Ricketts' Division of the Sixth Corps; the only troops of the Eighth Corps which were engaged, were some regiments from the Baltimore garrison, organized as the First Separate Brigade of the Eighth Corps, General E. B. Tyler commanding. On July 11th, General Ord was assigned to the command of the corps, but on the 28th it was restored to General Wallace. In December, 1864, the First and Third Brigades of the First Division (Thoburn's) were transferred to the Army of the James, then near Richmond, and were designated as the Independent Division of the Twenty-fourth Corps, General J. W. Turner commanding.
The Eighth Corps proper remained in service until August 1, 1865, when its existence terminated.
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