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 Fairgrounds in Lancaster. Camp Fairgrounds was located at the Fairfield County Fairgrounds. Camp Fairgrounds was also known as Camp Anderson. Organizers named Camp Anderson in honor of Major Robert Anderson, the Northern commander of Fort Sumter. The camp remained in use from 1861 to 1865. The 17th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry and the 90th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry organized at Camp Anderson.
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"Camp Fairgrounds," Ohio Civil War Central, 2021, Ohio Civil War Central. 17 Oct 2021 <http://www.www.ohiocivilwarcentral.com/entry.php?rec=435>
"Camp Fairgrounds." (2021) In Ohio Civil War Central, Retrieved October 17, 2021, from Ohio Civil War Central: http://www.www.ohiocivilwarcentral.com/entry.php?rec=435