Camp Dennison Civil War Museum
Camp Dennison was a military recruiting, training, and medical post for the United States Army during the American Civil War. It was located near Cincinnati, Ohio, not far from the Ohio River. The camp was named for Cincinnati native William Dennison, Ohio's governor at the start of the war.
With the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, George B. McClellan, commander of Ohio's state militia, was charged by Governor Dennison with selecting a site for a recruitment and training center for southern Ohio, a possible target for the Confederate States Army due to its Ohio River location and proximity to slave states such as Kentucky and Virginia, from which invasions could be launched. McClellan was joined by Joshua H. Bates and another member of the militia in preparing the plans for the new camp. The site was actually chosen by then Captain William S. Rosecrans, who chose a level tract of land near Indian Hill, Ohio, 17 miles (27 km) from Cincinnati. The land was on both sides of the Little Miami Railroad (LMR) tracks, which ended at Cincinnati's Public Landing. There are variable area listed, but 700 acres (2.8 km2) of land appears to have been rented from the Buckingham and Nimrod Price families. They were offered $12 to $20 per acre per month, a figure named without negotiation, and considered generous. Rosecrans laid out the camp via survey around April 24, 1861, and a large contingent of recruits from Camp Chase, numbering about 1,500 men were sent by train. The first post commander was Melancthon Smith Wade, a Cincinnatian who was a former general in the Ohio Militia.
The LMR could transport volunteers from Central Ohio, and from areas along those tracks. The location had fresh water in the nearby Little Miami River but the recruits had to be trained to use latrines, for in 1862, the United States Sanitary Commission reported that men refused to use latrines, and instead used an area hillside, at the bottom of which was their water supply. It was the Little Miami Railroad which could transport troops quickly into Cincinnati in case of enemy threat. However, among the men initially sent, there were less than a dozen muskets among them, but presumably the Confederates, if they considered attacking Cincinnati, were not aware. One can view the land of Camp Dennison via Google. The Little Miami Railroad tracks are now a bicycle trail.
More than 50,000 Union soldiers were mustered in or out of service at Camp Dennison. As many as 12,000 occupied the camp at any one time. During Morgan's Raid in 1863, troops from Camp Dennison responded to the invasion by Confederate cavalry under Brig. Gen. John Hunt Morgan, as they had in 1862 when Cincinnati was briefly threatened by the cavalry of Albert G. Jenkins.
Within the first week, inclement weather made life very hard on those who were first there. They had no chance to build substantial structures, and the weather turned cold and accompanied by a lot of rain. The fields became a sea of mud. The camp hospital was established on the ground floor of the Waldschmidt barn, after horses were liveried elsewhere, the manure removed, and fresh straw laid down. Camp Dennison along with its surrounding cities of Indian Hill and Madeira have a curfew of 1 AM, Many men contracted pneumonia, and then there was a measles epidemic. For a time, the "hospital" was simply a shelter, although there was minimal bedding. At least one man died.
As the war progressed, shortly after the Battle of Shiloh a military hospital was established on the grounds of Camp Dennison, with over 200 beds situated in a series of wooden barracks. These wooden barracks were originally used to house soldiers, but were converted into hospital wards. There were considerably more men sent there over the course of the war. The nearby Waldschmidt Cemetery served as the temporary gravesite for 340 Union soldiers and 31 Confederate soldiers who were prisoners of war. The bodies were reinterred at Spring Grove Cemetery or at Camp Chase in Columbus in the late 1860s.
The end of the Civil War in 1865 eliminated the need for Camp Dennison, which was deactivated in September. A small community, Camp Dennison, sprang up around the camp and hospital. Many of the later barns and homes used lumber and materials from the abandoned army camp.
Launch Party Event: (Click Here)
AFK Geocaching is proud to present, the first phase of the Freedom GeoTrail with the partnership of National Park Service's Network to Freedom Program, Ohio History Connection (Ohio Historical Society), National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and nearly a dozen more historical organizations!
The Freedom GeoTrail will share a small portion of Greater Cincinnati's history involving the Underground Railroad and American Civil War! During the drive along the trail you will experience over 97 miles of history with much of the suggested route along the scenic Ohio River.
Come, learn and explore one of the main hubs of the Underground Railroad and a region that had a huge significance to the American Civil War.
- Did You Know: The launch of this trail marks the 150 years since the end of the American Civil War..
How this GeoTrail works:
- Obtain your Freedom GeoTrail Passport brochure by printing it out (click here). At each of the geocaches you will find a tag with a unique word. Collect these words on your passport! Do not forget to enjoy each location and and don't forget to log your find during all of the excitement!
- What if you can not print it or stumbled upon this trail by accident? No problem! Collect the code words at each location, sign the logs (we will randomly but frequently check) and then when you can print a Trail Passport, do so. If you need us to mail you a Trail Passport, let us know your mailing address!
- Remember, in the future, the Freedom GeoTrail will grow and have more locations added! However, to complete this portion of the trail the objective will not change.
Freedom GeoTrail Locations
FGT National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (GC5T08R)
FGT Spring Grove Cemetery (GC5T08W)
FGT Harriet Beecher Stowe House, Cincinnati (GC5T090)
FGT Camp Dennison Civil War Museum (GC5T095)
FGT Historic New Richmond Ohio (GC5T09A)
FGT Ulysses S. Grant Birthplace (GC5T09D)
FGT John P. Parker House (GC5T09G)
FGT Rankin House (GC5T09M)
FGT Ulysses S. Grant Schoolhouse (GC5T09Q)
FGT Ulysses S. Grant Boyhood Home (GC5T09T)
We are pleased to offer a 3D sculpted, 2.5" massive work of art Geocoin by the renowned Christian Mackey.. The trail's GeoCoin is available after completion of the GeoTrail. Full details available at the website, link available from the Launch Party Event: (Click Here).
- Trail GeoCoin: A classic antique gold finish with beautiful red and blue highlights.
- Gift-shop Edition GeoCoin: Post event rendition of the limited event coin to help complete any cacher's collection for a Gold/Silver mix! The classic antique silver finish but without any color highlights. This coin will only be available thought participating locations.
- Event GeoCoin / Advance Sale GeoCoin / Volunteer Edition GeoCoin: Only available for a limited time, exact quantities minted, no extras.
*The trail's GeoCoin is available for purchase after completion of the GeoTrail. Initial order of coins will be mailed out after the event the launch event. For people completing the trail after the launch, there will be coins available at the Clermont County Convention and Visitor's Bureau.
**If coin supply runs out for the Trail coin, we will take back orders then coins will be mailed once they arrive.
***ALL GeoCoins will come with an official Adventure Cards, Copy Card! This is an all weather trading card designed for Geocachers with an illustration of the coin and your GC Tracking code. Hold onto your coin and send your Copy Card out to be discovered!
You might need to contact us if there is a situation that you run into on the trail. Remember we stay busy but will always try to take any calls or text messages. To call or text us: 513-235-2436. (You can also message us though the Geocaching website.)
You may also need to mail us your trail completion slips. (Warning: We will randomly check signatures on log papers.) You may mail us at:
AFK Geocaching. PO Box 43272. Cincinnati, OH. 45243
Lodging and accommodation information is available on the website, link available from the Launch Party Event: (Click Here)
A special thanks goes out to the Clermont County Convention and Visitor's Bureau whom without their main sponsorship this trail may not have happened!