Camp Taylor, Cleveland, Ohio

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Jan 27, 2019
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#1
Background: In Dyer's Compendium, it is written that the 129th OVI was mustered in at Camp Taylor on August 10, 1863. Other histories of the Civil War camps in Ohio, however, state that Camp Taylor was closed down permanently in October of 1861. Dale Thomas, in The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable, even includes the 129th in his list of regiments that mustered in at Camp Cleveland, which is unanimously documented to have been in use through the end of the war.

Question: Does anyone know of any reason that I should not conclude that Dyer's Compendium is wrong (as are all who cite it on this point), and that it is accurate that the 129th OVI mustered in at Camp Cleveland in August of 1863, not Camp Taylor?

Thanks in advance for any informed replies!
 

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#3
I can’t say for certain, it is likely an error. To explain said error, I’d recommend comparing the Ohio Roster of the units mustered in at Camp Taylor, especially the 7th or 8th as they are well documented.

Many units were made of people re-enlisting and/or being made officers of new units and so whomever cited Camp Taylor as where *they* mustered in may have been thinking of where their old unit entered service in ‘61. Camp Cleveland was created in 1862 in what is now University Heights inorder to consolidate many other camps that were temporarily established in 1861, and this may have added to the confusion.

Although I usually distrust the rosters, as Ohio’s Roster isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on thanks to voluminous errata, dodgy research, and poor accuracy as a result of being written some 20-30 years after the war, I believe both my colleagues at the round table and the Roster itself are correct in listing the place of enlistment for most of the 129th as Camp Cleveland.

For further research I suggest contacting the Soldiers & Sailors Monument, and possibly asking them to look into the name overlap between the 129th and the regiments enlisted at Camp Taylor. They may be able to tell you more and prehaps explain how the mistake occurred.
 
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#4
"Camp Taylor Officially Extinguished. The order for the discontinuance of Camp Taylor was brought from Columbus Saturday evening by Maj. Kinsman. The last company - Ravenna Artillery - goes home today and Camp Taylor will be entirely deserted." Western Reserve Chronicle, June 7, 1861, page 2, column 4 (as reported from the Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 3, 1861).

https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/...lor"&y=9&x=12&dateFilterType=yearRange&page=4
 

drezac

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#5
"Camp Taylor Officially Extinguished. The order for the discontinuance of Camp Taylor was brought from Columbus Saturday evening by Maj. Kinsman. The last company - Ravenna Artillery - goes home today and Camp Taylor will be entirely deserted." Western Reserve Chronicle, June 7, 1861, page 2, column 4 (as reported from the Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 3, 1861).

https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84028385/1861-06-07/ed-1/seq-2/#date1=1861&index=1&rows=20&words=Camp+Taylor&searchType=basic&sequence=0&state=Ohio&date2=1861&proxtext="Camp+Taylor"&y=9&x=12&dateFilterType=yearRange&page=4
I know those guys. Ravenna artillery was Cotter's Independant Battery, who after being mustered out of 3 months service re enlisted and recruited to a 6 gun strength, and became Battery A, 1st Ohio Light Artillery ( 3 year enlistment)
 
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#6
According to the History of the 104th Regiment, O.V.I. from 1862 to 1865 written by N.A. Pinney, Camp Taylor is where the 104th ended their military service. I hope this helps. Pinney stated on page 89 of his book the following:

"We took dinner under an immense bower surrounding Perry's monument, then marched to Camp Taylor where we remained over Sunday. On Monday we received our discharge papers and held our last dress parade. That evening we were joined by our old faithful 100th Ohio. On Wednesday, after dinner, June 28, 1865, we were paid in full. Then with handshaking and hearty good-byes, the boys abandoned their last camp, and during the night and next day went home"
 
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#7
Interesting. I missed that passage in Pinney's, History. Good catch.

I wonder, though, if Pinney's recollection was a little off. After all, he was writing twenty years after the fact. Camp Taylor was an Ohio camp in the sense that the state created it in 1861 for the 90 day volunteers. When it became obvious that the war would last longer than three months, the USG became responsible for the federal volunteers. The government established Camps Dennison and Chase. The state camps - Taylor, Jackson, Harrison, Goddard, Anderson, Putnam, Wool, Jefferson, and Scott - were closed. There was no need for them. However, it is possible - even likely - that the 104th's out-processing occurred at the site of the former Camp Taylor.

By the way, In the Portage County Democrat, Pinney, writing under the name Xenophon from June 1885 to January 1886, published a series of articles that became his History. It's word-for-word with the book. The only difference is that he included his personal experiences in the newspaper articles.
 
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#9
In Dyer's Compendium


Organized: Camp Cleveland, OH on 8/10/63
Mustered Out: 3/10/64 at Cleveland, OH

Officers Killed or Mortally Wounded: 0
Officers Died of Disease, Accidents, etc.: 0
Enlisted Men Killed or Mortally Wounded: 0
Enlisted Men Died of Disease, Accidents, etc.: 25
(Source: Fox, Regimental Losses)


OHIO
ONE HUNDRED and TWENTY-NINTH INFANTRY
(Three Years)

One Hundred and Twenty-ninth Infantry. - Col., Howard D.
John; Lieut.-Col., George L. Hayward; Maj., Charles Mitchener.
This regiment was organized at Cleveland, Aug. 10, 1863, to
serve for six months, and on the same day started for Camp Nel-
son, Ky. On Aug. 20 it left Camp Nelson for Cumberland gap, at
which place it assisted in the capture of the Confederate gar-
rison - more than 2,000 prisoners, with a large amount of war
materials of all kinds. The regiment remained at and about the
gap, engaged in foraging, scouting, picket duty, etc., until
Dec. 1, when it was ordered to move in the direction of the
Clinch river, which was reached the next day, at a point where
the Knoxville road crosses that stream. There a sharp engage-
ment was in progress, in which the regiment took an active
part. From Dec. 2 to 31, the regiment had occasional skir-
mishes with the enemy. It was mustered out from March 4 to 10,
1864.


Source: The Union Army, vol. 2
 
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#10
If I remember correctly (always an iffy proposition), Camp Cleveland was established sometime in mid-1862 to process draftees and was one of several other such camps established in Ohio that year. It remained in operation until the war's end . Other Cleveland camps are: Wood, Wade, Taylor, Cleveland, Brown, Tod and at least one other. My hunch is that many post-war writers - to include Whitlaw Reid who wrote that the 129th was organized at Camp Taylor - confused Camp Cleveland with earlier camps. With the creation of Camp Cleveland, Ohio and the USG had camps of rendezvous and instruction in northern, central (Chase) and southern (Dennison) Ohio.
 
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#11
According to CWR : https://case.edu/ech/articles/c/civil-war-camps-in-cleveland
Camp Taylor was Cleveland's first and most-used Civil War camp, located at the fairgrounds of the Cuyahoga County Agricultural Society at Sterling (E. 30th St.) and Kinsman (Woodland) avenues. The camp was used by 4 regiments—the 7TH OHIO VOLUNTEER INFANTRY REGIMENT, 8TH OHIO VOLUNTEER INFANTRY REGIMENT, 14th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and 21st Ohio Volunteer Infantry—between Apr.-Oct. 1861. From late Oct. to Dec. 1861, the camp was used by the 2D OHIO VOLUNTEER CAVALRY.
This site says they were closed in 1861 with photos and sources: https://clevelandhistorical.org/items/show/314
Taylor (E. 30th and Woodlawn), Wade (occupying a part of what became Camp Cleveland), Brown (Euclid and East 46th), Wood (E. 37th and Woodland) and Tod (also along Woodland)—were launched at the beginning of the war, but all closed in late 1861. There were no camps in the area until Camp Cleveland opened in July 1862—once the reality of a long, bloody war became apparent.
 
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#12
I think I can pin down the “bower” mentioned above where the men rested. The photos attached should show where they would have rested, maybe wanting a shady spot to admire the monument. we have records of it in 1865 as Lincoln’s funeral passed through, and you can clearly see the people taking shelter from the typical Cleveland weather under the bowers, and their umbrellas. Also, there’s a lovely photo of some men mustering out in front of the old Cuyahoga County Courthouse which once stood along on the south east side of the square.

17ED894C-D2A8-46A6-A2E8-4CFFCD0203CF.jpeg


FE00245C-F4B6-4C46-B1E1-5FB171F19DD9.jpeg


FFF590BD-2FE7-4578-A4C3-EE9D5BB835D9.jpeg


A1233637-B705-4906-B020-6193FD819CFB.jpeg
 
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