Camp Dennison (1)

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Camp Dennison (1) (1861-1865) - A U.S. Civil War Camp established in 1861 near the present-day Town of Camp Dennison, Hamilton County, Ohio. Named Camp Dennison after then Ohio Governor William Dennison. Abandoned in 1865.

Camp Dennison Drawing.


Established in 1861 by Captain William S. Rosecrans who surveyed and laid out the camp in April 1861. The camp provided a site for military recruiting and training for the U.S. Army during the U.S. Civil War and came to include a large military hospital. The site was adjacent to the Little Miami River and the Little Miami Railroad tracks ran through the camp providing direct access to Cincinnati and other points.

An initial contingent of some 1,500 recruits from Camp Chase was sent by train and over the course of the war, more than 50,000 Union soldiers were mustered in or out of service at the camp. The camp held as many as 12,000 troops at any one time. The first post commander was Brigadier general Melancthon S. Wade, a former general in the Ohio Militia. A full regiment of infantry was posted to the camp to maintain and guard the training camp as well as to conduct training.

Soldiers from Camp Dennison responded to the 1862 Confederate threat to Cincinnati by the cavalry of Brigadier-general Albert G. Jenkins and to the brief 1863 invasion by cavalry under Confederate Brigadier general John H. Morgan.

After the April 1862 Battle of Shiloh a large military hospital was established at Camp Dennison. Wooden barracks were converted into hospital wards with some 2,300 beds, it was among the North's largest such hospitals. Also during 1862, an unknown number of captured Confederate prisoners of war were detained at Camp Dennison perhaps some of those wounded at Shilo. The nearby Waldschmidt Cemetery served as a temporary gravesite for 340 Union soldiers and 31 Confederate soldiers who were prisoners of war. The remains were later removed to Spring Grove Cemetery and Camp Chase in the late 1860s.

Camp Dennison was abandoned after the end of the war in September 1865.

Current Status

Two of the remaining buildings from the camp were listed in 1973 on the National Register of Historic Places as a historic district, the "Waldschmidt-Camp Dennison District." Includes the Waldschmidt House and Civil War Museum.

Location: Town of Camp Dennison, Hamilton County, Ohio.

Maps & Images

Lat: 39.19111 Long: -84.29056

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  • Elevation: 536'

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