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 Carrington at Gallipolis, Ohio. Camp Carrington remained in use only during 1862. In April 1862, the Union military established a hospital—the U.S. Army General Hospital–near the site of the camp initially to treat sick soldiers at Camp Carrington. Workers constructed the hospital’s first building in April 1862. During the remainder of the Civil War, hospital staff treated both sick and wounded Union and Confederate soldiers. The hospital comprised twenty-nine acres of land and consisted of several ridge-ventilated, wooden buildings. Equipped with 350 beds, at its peak, the hospital treated 769 soldiers at a single time. Surgeons O.B. Davis and Lincoln R. Stone oversaw the hospital. Unclaimed deceased soldiers were interred in Gallipolis’s Pine Street Cemetery. Among these men were four Confederate soldiers. The hospital was located near the intersection of Buckeye Avenue and Ohio Avenue in Gallipolis.