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 Delaware at Delaware, Ohio. Officials named the camp after the city of Delaware. Camp Delaware remained in use from 1862 to 1864. In 1863, officials expanded the camp, housing white soldiers on the west bank of the Olentangy River and African American troopers on the east bank. The 96th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry, the 121st Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry, the 127th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry, the 5th Regiment United States Colored Troops, and the 27th Regiment United States Colored Troops organized at Camp Delaware. Camp Delaware was located at the intersection of South Sandusky Street and Olentangy Avenue in Delaware.