Union Light Guard (1862 - Reconstruction)

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 December 1863, Ohio Governor David Tod ordered the establishment of the Union Light Guard. On an earlier trip to Washington, DC, the lack of security at the White House, the Capitol Building, and at the Treasury Building greatly concerned Tod. To rectify the situation, the governor ordered the recruitment of one man from every Ohio county to comprise the Union Light Guard. Organized on December 23, 1863, the men in the organization were to serve three years and immediately departed for the nation's capital. Upon the Union Light Guard's arrival at Washington, Secretary of War Edwin Stanton stationed the organization's members at various locations around the capital city. Some of these soldiers even served as President Abraham Lincoln's personal bodyguards when he traveled away from the White House. The Union Light Guard performed guard duty from 1863 until early 1866 at washington, when the organization returned to Ohio and mustered out of service.

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"Union Light Guard," Ohio Civil War Central, 2021, Ohio Civil War Central. 19 Sep 2021 <http://www.ohiocivilwarcentral.com/entry.php?rec=717>

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"Union Light Guard." (2021) In Ohio Civil War Central, Retrieved September 19, 2021, from Ohio Civil War Central: http://www.ohiocivilwarcentral.com/entry.php?rec=717

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