Ohio in the Civil War: Interesting Facts

The Civil War began 150 years ago this month when Confederate troops under the command of Brigadier General P.G.T. Beauregard fired on Fort Sumter, a Union fort in the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina commanded by Major Robert Anderson. There were no casualties during the bombardment and Anderson surrendered the fort on April 13.

Like many historical events, there is an Ohio connection! Robert Anderson was the brother of Charles Anderson who became Governor of Ohio in 1865. In honor of the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War, here is a list of interesting facts about Ohio’s participation:

How many troops from Ohio served in the Civil War?
Over 300,000 Ohioans served in the Civil War, the third largest number of soldiers of any Union state.

Who was the youngest Civil War soldier from Ohio?
Joseph Fissell from Circleville, Ohio who was the youngest Civil War soldier from Ohio to serve in the Union Army. He was eleven years old when he enlisted as a musician in the 45th Ohio Volunteer Infantry on August 1, 1862.

Who was well known Civil War nurse from Ohio?
Mary Ann Ball Bickerdycke, who was born in Mount Vernon, traveled with the Union armies and established more than 300 field hospitals during the war.

In which Ohio infantry regiment did two future U.S. Presidents serve?
Presidents Rutherford B. Hayes and William McKinley both served in the 23rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry.

Where in Ohio were Confederate prisoners held?
Confederate prisoners were house at Camp Chase in Columbus and Johnson’s Island on Lake Erie.

Who were the Ohio Governors during the Civil War?
The three Civil War governors were William Dennison (1860-1862), David Tod (1862-1864) and John Brough (1864-1865).

Which general led the Union Army to its first major victory?
In February 1862, Brigadier General Ulysses S. Grant from Brown County, Ohio, led the Union to victory at Fort Donelson on the Cumberland River near Dover, Tennessee.

Which Ohio city was braced for Confederate attack?
In the fall of 1862 Cincinnati was preparing to be attacked. A militia force dubbed “The Squirrel Hunters” was called up by Governor Tod to defend the city and the Black Brigade built defenses.

Who was the first recipient of the Medal of Honor?
Jacob Parrott, a private in the 21st Ohio Volunteer Infantry was awarded the first Medal of Honor for his role in Andrew’s Raid.

Where and when was the only Civil War battle fought in Ohio?
At Buffington Island, a spot east of Pomeroy on the Ohio River, a Union Army column routed a Confederate cavalry force lead by General John Hunt Morgan on July 19, 1863.

Where was Confederate General John Hunt Morgan who lead a cavalry raid in Ohio imprisoned?
Morgan escaped at Buffington Island. On July 26, 1863 he was captured near Salineville and sent to the Ohio Penitentiary in Columbus. He eventually escaped.

Which politician ran unsuccessfully for Ohio governor from Canada?
Clement Vallandigham, a leader of the Peace Democrats, was arrested for treason in 1863 and exiled to the South. He escaped to Canada where he was nominated the Democratic candidate for governor. Vallandigham was defeated by John Brough.

Who was the highest ranking Union soldier killed on the battle field?
Major General James McPherson from Sandusky County was killed in battle July 22, 1864 during the Atlanta Campaign.

What was the first African American infantry regiment raised in Ohio?
The first regiment of African American recruits from Ohio formed the 127th Ohio Volunteer Infantry.

Where were Civil War battle flags kept after troops retired their colors?
The retired battle flags were kept in the Relic Room at the Ohio Statehouse. Until 1916 veterans groups could check out their flags for parades and reunions.

Where in Ohio did President Abraham Lincoln’s body lay in state?
After his assassination in 1865, President Lincoln’s body traveled by train from Washington, D.C. to Springfield, Illinois. It generally followed the path that Lincoln traveled when he went to Washington as the President elect in 1861. The funeral train stopped in Cleveland and Columbus to allow Ohioans to pay their respects.

How many Ohioans died in the war?
35,475 Ohioans died during the Civil War.

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12 Responses to Ohio in the Civil War: Interesting Facts

  1. John Burris says:

    You didnt mention General William T. Sherman from Lancaster who took Atlanta

  2. Pingback: Ohio Civil War 150 » Blog Archive » Boy Soldiers John Clem and Joseph Fissell

  3. Thanks so much for all the great history information!

  4. Meghann Sullivan says:

    You didn’t talk at all about the impact of the Ohio River during the civil War. The Ohio River separated the Union and Confederates, it was the most important and most used passage of the underground railroad even more so during the Civil War, and was patrolled by gunboats daily so as to keep away both sides of the war, Ohio was neutral as an overall state though many helped both sides of the war either by allowing passage to and from, or holding meetings and having strategical buildings in Ohio.

  5. Ron Salmons says:

    Hello, There was another battle in Ohio,july 17th 1863 at Berlin X Roads, in Jackson County,involving over 3500 troops, 12 confederate rebels was killed and several wounded in a 3 1/2 hour battle. This was the first battle in ohio in 1863,

    Ron S .

  6. Max Terman says:

    I thought my Ohio Civil War ancestor’s story might be of interest. For more information, see:

    Book reviews http://tinyurl.com/mc9oc7k http://tinyurl.com/7upza5v

    Online chapters http://tinyurl.com/7pg7tfr and http://tinyurl.com/oe3ytcn

  7. Tabitha Ross says:

    You think Donald Trump would have fought in the civil war? I noticed you run an ad about him.

    • ohiohistory says:


      I have not seen this advertisement on our blog and I do not know how it appeared. The Ohio History Connection does not sell advertising space on this blog, nor does the organization endorse any political candidates. The platform for this blog is a program called Word Press that we are using for free. Word Press might sell advertising space or the advertisement might have appeared in a pop up window.

      Thank you,
      L. Wood, Curator for Visual Resources

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