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July 28, 2011

WRC in the Civil War - Charles Young’s Account of Company B, 85th Ohio Volunteer Infantry - Part 2

Below is a continuation of Charles Augustus Young's account of the Civil War experiences of Western Reserve College's Company B. 85th O.V.I. The Company was mostly stationed at Camp Chase in Columbus, where they guarded prisoners of war. Last week's account describes the Company's beginnings.

“We arrived in the city about noon (instead of the evening, as I had remembered) reported to the governor, marched out to camp (four miles) and were quartered for the night in a kind of big shed, and got our first experience of sleeping on the soft side of a plank. We were in the shed for a couple of days, I think, before we were assigned to company quarters as Co. B. (a letter seems to be missing from the file so that I cannot give the date of mustering in)

“One of the mornings our little drummer, Arba Farwell, started quite a commotion by innocently giving a long roll in beating the Reveille: Col. Moody, then the commandant of the camp, came down upon him good and hard, but forgave him when he understood the case. Of course it ought to have indicated that the prisoners in the camp (about 2000 if I remember rightly) were making an attempt to escape.

“I don’t remember exactly how many men we took into camp from Hudson, but it was not quite up to the requirements for a full company, and it was necessary therefore to enlist a few more men from those who were looking for chances at camp Chase. This was soon accomplished. We got in one squad from Austinburg sixteen men, but their names do not appear on the descriptive list because they were soon transferred to another company that went into the field, while our regiment was assigned to State service. We had therefore to recruit again until we reached the full number required, (101).

“I do not remember, or find any mention in my letters, as to the exact date of our mustering in, but I think it must have been between the 25th and 30th of June: I know that it was long delayed for various reasons. (Perhaps I had better explain that the gaps in the file of my letters preserved by my wife are caused by the fact that a number of them were sent to my Mother in New Hampshire, and never returned; otherwise I should have a pretty full diary of the four months service)..

“I may as well insert here that a second time, in August, on account of a raid by Morgan in Kentucky threatening Cincinnati, our regiment was depleted by a call for service in the field. Half the companies were detached and sent down into Kentucky. The Governor had promised President Hitchcock that our company should be kept in the state, and he made good his word, although a large majority of the boys were very anxious to go into the field."

Next week's entry describes the Company's guard duties

Posted by jmt3 at July 28, 2011 12:43 PM

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