Fremont Body Guard (1861)

Updated: July 19, 2011

In the American Civil War, Ohio provided the federal government with 260 regiments of men, including infantry, artillery, and cavalry units. Ohioans also served in several other regiments from other states, most notably from Kentucky, West Virginia, and Massachusetts, as well as in federal units.

In the American Civil War, Ohio provided the federal government with 260 regiments of men, including infantry, artillery, and cavalry units. Ohioans also served in several other regiments from other states, most notably from Kentucky, West Virginia, and Massachusetts, as well as in federal units. Almost 330,000 Ohio men, including 5,092 African Americans, served in the Union military during the conflict.

Units formed in Ohio served for varying lengths of time, averaging one hundred days to three years. In the late spring and early summer of 1861, the Fremont Body Guard organized, consisting of cavalrymen from Ohio and Kentucky, with just thirty members from other states. The organization was known as the Fremont Body Guard as it was assigned to General John C. Fremont's command in Missouri. On October 25, 1861, the organization participated in the First Battle of Springfield, Missouri. At this engagement, 150 members of the Fremont Body Guard, under the command of Major Charles Zagonyi, routed two thousand Confederate soldiers. With sabers drawn, the Northern soldiers charged across the battlefield, screaming "Fremont and Union!," "Old Kentucky forever!," "Hurrah for Cincinnati!," and "Remember the Queen City, boys!" The Fremont Body Guard had fifty-two men and an additional four officers killed or wounded at the battle, while the Confederates had 107 men killed and approximately thirty soldiers captured.

Following the Battle of Springfield I, the Fremont Body Guard moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where officials ordered the organizations disbandment. Before authorities could muster the Fremont Body Guard out of service, Confederate Major General Sterling Price advanced into central Missouri, prompting Union forces, including the Fremont Body Guard, to attack. The organization again performed bravely at this engagement. Officials requested that the Fremont Body Guard join the regular service, but the organization's members refused and mustered out of service on November 28, 1861.

John C. Fremont's wife, Jessie Binford Fremont, authored a history of the Fremont Body Guard, titled The Story of the Guard.

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"Fremont Body Guard," Ohio Civil War Central, 2019, Ohio Civil War Central. 15 Oct 2019 <http://www.ohiocivilwarcentral.com/entry.php?rec=712>

APA Style

"Fremont Body Guard." (2019) In Ohio Civil War Central, Retrieved October 15, 2019, from Ohio Civil War Central: http://www.ohiocivilwarcentral.com/entry.php?rec=712

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