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Camp Dennison, Ohio


Cincinnati CWRT Hosts Tour of Camp Dennison Site, 13 May 2006


Jack Simon 

Dave Mowery

Jack Simon (left) and David Mowery, Cincinnati CWRT members and local historians, led more than thirty participants on a three-hour tour of the Camp Dennison area near Cincinnati on May 13.  The tour included the original training grounds and hospital grounds, the nearby family cemetery where both US and CSA dead were initially buried, and the location of several skirmishes in 1863. 

The site of Camp Dennison, about sixteen miles northeast of downtown Cincinnati, was selected for organizing and training Ohio troops within ten days of the fall of Fort Sumter.  Selected by Capt. William S. Rosecrans for its flat ground near both the Little Miami River and the Little Miami Railroad, Camp Dennison received its first troops on 30 April 1861 when BG Jacob Cox arrived with the 11th OVI and half of the 3rd OVI.  Throughout the course of the war, over 80 regimental and independent company/battery-sized units organized and trained at the camp, meaning that an estimated 50,000 US troops received their initial military training at Camp Dennison.

In addition, Dennison U.S. Army General Hospital was established in 1862 due to the large number of casualties arriving by steamboat from the Shiloh campaign.  An estimated 20,000 to 30,000 sick and wounded patients, both US and CS, were treated in the Dennison hospital during the war.  The hospital consisted of about 100 buildings of the 220 at the site.

Confederate BG John Hunt Morgan approached Camp Dennison on 14 July 1863 during his raid through Ohio.  Several sharp skirmishes were fought, and an approaching Little Miami Railroad train was derailed by Morgan’s troops.  However, the resistance was stiff enough to cause Morgan to bypass the main camp location and continue eastward.  The Ohio Civil War Trail Commission plans to erect three interpretive signs to mark these sites related to the 1863 Morgan raid.

(Photographs by Jim Chaney)

Tour GroupDave and Jack prepare the troops to move out.
Buildings in Camp DennsionCurrent view of part of the Camp Dennison site.
Tour member with mapSerious Tour Member at Work.
Secrest MonumentSecrest Monument identifies the units who trained at Camp Dennison.
Little Miami River at Railroad CrossingLittle Miami River looking east from the railroad crossing.

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