The 51st Indiana Infantry was organized and mustered in at Indianapolis, Indiana for a three-year enlistment on December 14, 1861 under the command of Colonel Abel D. Streight.
The regiment was attached to 20th Brigade, Army of the Ohio, to January 1862. 20th Brigade, 6th Division, Army of the Ohio, to September 1862. 20th Brigade, 6th Division, II Corps, Army of the Ohio, to November 1862. 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, Left Wing, XIV Corps, Army of the Cumberland, to January 1863. 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, XXI Corps, Army of the Cumberland, to April 1863. Streight's Provisional Brigade, Army of the Cumberland, to May 1863. Prisoners of war until December 1863. Post of Chattanooga, Tennessee, Department of the Cumberland, to April 1864. 1st Separate Brigade, Chattanooga, Tennessee, Department of the Cumberland, to September 1864. 2nd Brigade, 2nd Division, IV Corps, Army of the Cumberland, to November 1864. 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, IV Corps, to August 1865. Department of Texas to December 1865.
The 51st Indiana Infantry mustered out of service at San Antonio, Texas on December 13, 1865.
Moved to Louisville, Ky., December 14; thence to Bardstown, Ky., and duty there until February 1862. March to Nashville, Tenn., February 7-March 13, 1862 and to Savannah, Tenn., March 29-April 6. Battle of Shiloh, April 6–7. Advance on and siege of Corinth, Miss., April 29-May 30. Pursuit to Booneville May 31-June 12. Buell's Campaign in northern Alabama and middle Tennessee June to August. Guarding Memphis & Charleston Railroad. March to Louisville, Ky., in pursuit of Bragg August 21-September 26. Pursuit of Bragg to London, Ky., October 1–22. Battle of Perryville October 8 (reserve). March to Nashville, Tenn., October 22-November 7, and duty there until December 26. Prim's Blacksmith Shop, Edmonson Pike, December 25. Advance on Murfreesboro December 26–30. Battle of Stones River December 30–31, 1862 and January 1–3, 1863. Duty at Murfreesboro until April. Reconnaissance to Nolensville and Versailles January 13–15. Streight's Raid to Rome, Ga., April 26-May 3. Dug Gap, Sand Mountain, Crooked Creek and Hog Mountain April 30. East Branch Black Warrior Creek May 1. Blount's Farm and near Centre May 2. Galesville (Cedar Bluff) May 3 where the regiment was captured. Exchanged November 1863. Reorganized at Indianapolis and rejoined the army at Nashville, Tenn., December 1863. (A detachment on Tullahoma Campaign June 23-July 7.) Assigned to duty as guard on Railroad, between Nashville and Chattanooga, until April 1864. Duty at Chattanooga, until September 1864, and at Atlanta until October. Action at Dalton, Ga., August 14–15. Pursuit of Hood into Alabama October 3–26. Nashville Campaign November-December. Columbia, Duck River, November 24–27. Battle of Franklin November 30. Battle of Nashville December 15–16. Pursuit of Hood to the Tennessee River December 17–28. Columbia December 21. Duck River December 22. Non-veterans mustered out December 14, 1864. Moved to Huntsville, Ala., and duty there until March 1865. Operations in eastern Tennessee March 15-April 22. At Nashville until June. Ordered to New Orleans, June 16; thence to Texas, July. Duty at Green Lake and San Antonio until December.
The regiment lost a total of 264 men during service; 1 officer and 55 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded, 6 officers and 202 enlisted men died of disease.Colonel Abel D. Streight
Captain William W. Scearce - commanded at the battle of Nashville
Captain Marion T. Anderson, Company D - Medal of Honor recipient, for action at Nashville
Captain Milton Russell, Company A - Medal of Honor recipient, for action at Stones River