With the Civil War’s outbreak, both the North and the South were ill prepared for the conflict. Ohio Governor William Dennison hoped to utilize the state’s militia forces to assist President Abraham Lincoln in reuniting the nation.
With the Civil War’s outbreak, both the North and the South were ill prepared for the conflict. Ohio Governor William Dennison hoped to utilize the state’s militia forces to assist President Abraham Lincoln in reuniting the nation. Unfortunately for Dennison, many of Ohio’s militia units were no longer in existence. Those units that continued to operate were primarily social organizations that rarely practiced military maneuvers. Following the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina, in April 1861, President Lincoln called for seventy-five thousand volunteers to subdue the Confederate States of America. Despite the lack of a well-trained militia, Governor Dennison beseeched communities to send their militia companies to Columbus, Ohio for possible use by the North during the American Civil War.
To process Ohio’s volunteers, Governor Dennison ordered the creation of Camp Jackson at Columbus. To help speed soldiers’ inductions into Ohio’s military, Dennison soon authorized the establishment of other camps across the state, including Camp McClellan at Norwalk, Ohio. Officials named the base after Union General George McClellan. Camp McClellan was located on the East Branch of the Huron River and remained in use only during 1861.
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"Camp McClellan (Norwalk, Ohio)," Ohio Civil War Central, 2022, Ohio Civil War Central. 19 Aug 2022 <http://www.ohiocivilwarcentral.com/entry.php?rec=347>
"Camp McClellan (Norwalk, Ohio)." (2022) In Ohio Civil War Central, Retrieved August 19, 2022, from Ohio Civil War Central: http://www.ohiocivilwarcentral.com/entry.php?rec=347