Sunday, September 16, 2007

ON THIS DAY: September 18, 1861

The 39th Ohio is on the move, the lone Ohio unit in a force sent to relieve a besieged Federal garrison at Lexington, Missouri. The 39th had been organized only a few weeks earlier at Camp Coleraine and Camp Dennison, near Cincinnati. Although it had little time for training, the 39th was said to be “fully armed and equipped,” and on August 18, the Ohioans had departed for St. Louis. There they joined forces organizing under Gen. John C. Frémont.

After five companies of the 39th were detached for other duties, the remaining five joined troops dispatched to the aid of
Lexington. Unaccustomed to hard marching and given no transportation for the 85-mile journey, by this time the green soldiers of the 39th are suffering “severely.”

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