Showing posts from March, 2021

A Hard Looking Set of Men and Boys: the North meets the Fort Donelson prisoners

     When General Simon B. Buckner unconditionally surrendered the Fort Donelson garrison to General U.S. Grant on February 16, 1862, the estimated 12,000-man Confederate garrison constituted the largest mass surrender in U.S. military history to that time. [This would be eclipsed by the Federal surrender of the Harper’s Ferry garrison in September 1862 and by the Confederate surrender at Vicksburg in July 1863.] The last time the U.S. Army had to handle that many prisoners went back to the days of Lord Cornwallis surrendering his army to George Washington at Yorktown in 1781.              A group of Confederate prisoners of war pose in front of their barracks at Camp Douglas in Chicago. As all four of these men are wearing overcoats, they are probably from a later group of prisoners that were housed at the camp. The initial Confederate occupants in February 1862 were noted for the absence of overcoats, the men using blankets, carpets, and other cast-off bits of cloth to help shield

Arming the Buckeyes: Longarms of the Ohio Infantry Regiments

     A common question that comes up in conversation about Civil War Buckeye regiments is "What were they armed with?" We are fortunate in that the state of Ohio kept good records of how the regiments were armed when they went into service, this being especially true for those regiments which went into service in 1861 and 1862. The state adjutant general's reports for 1861 and 1862 have been heavily drawn upon to construct this article, as well as consultation with Phil Spaugy who has done extensive research on how Ohio's troops were armed during the war.      Buckeyes carried a fairly wide variety of weapons into the field, and the below article breaks this down into weapons of both domestic manufacture and imported arms. The early days of the war found the state of Ohio practically bereft of longarms; as an example, when the 1st and 2nd Ohio Volunteer Militia left the state in late April 1861, they left unarmed, being armed at Lancaster, Pennsylvania on their way to