20th Ohio Volunteer Infantry
by Suzanne Link Allen
In May 1861,
with Colonel Charles Whittlesay in charge, the 20th Ohio
Volunteer Infantry was organized for a period of service for three
months and on October 21, the service time was expanded to three
grandfather, Leroy Perfect enrolled for duty on September 24, 1861
at Delaware, Ohio, then reported to Camp Chase on October 12, 1861.
recruits were mustered in at Camp Chase, a military base, near
Columbus, Ohio that consisted of wooden huts in rows in an open
field. The huts had board platforms where the men could lie down
unit left Camp Chase in 1861 and traveled by railroad to Camp
Dennison, a base near Cincinnati, Ohio. The next trek was a march to
Camp King, 2 miles south of Covington, Kentucky. At that base, the
recruits were taught how to be a soldier through constant drill.
The routines taught at Camp King were the ones the men used during
the Civil War.
At Camp King, the men were given their weapons, Harper’s Ferry rifle-muskets, which they used throughout the war. Previously, the men were given a physical examination and their uniform, shoes, underclothes, stockings, knapsack, haversack, and a blanket. Lieutenant Colonel Manning Force was in charge of the new recruits.
Company D of
the 20th OVI guarded the Tunnel Battery that protected
the Louisville-Nashville Railroad and Fort Mitchell which was the
main road between Cincinnati and Louisville. The unit was stationed
there in the fall of 1861 and during the 1861-1862 winter. Each tent
at this camp was shared by fourteen or fifteen men including my
great grandfather, Leroy Perfect and other Sunbury area men. Some of
the group had moved to Newport, Kentucky.
On February 11, 1862, the 20th OVI boarded two steamboats, the “Emma Duncan” and the “Doctor Kane” and steamed down the Ohio River and on down the Cumberland River where they heard the first sounds of battle at Fort Donelson, Tennessee on February, 1862. The soldiers left the boat and marched over ten miles on hilly roads through the Tennessee forests. The unit participated in the battle at Fort Donelson from February 14-16, 1862.
At Shiloh or Pittsburg Landing, the Union surgeons established one of the first tent hospitals in the Civil War. By concentrating medical services, patient care was much improved and the death rate was lowered.
Private Edgar S. Boudinot- died in service and buried in Nashville, TN
Private Joseph Carpenter- killed in Battle of Raymond
2nd Lt. Byron Selby of Co. A., 20th, killed at Battle of Raymond
Resources for this article:
Delaware County Burials of Civil
Delaware County Cemetery List
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