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16th Ohio Volunteer Infantry
Where was the regiment on
Tuesday-Wednesday, August 19-20, 1862

On these days the 16th Ohio remained on the ridge of the Cumberland Mountains, defending the main force at the Gap, about eight miles to the south. Pvt. Newt Gorsuch, Company B, reports on Tuesday, August 19, the brigade went out to bring in a forage train and indicates there was some skirmishing activity. Gorsuch further describes Wednesday the 20th:

Called out and formed line of battle before day. On picket four miles from camp. Tom Phillips and I on outside post. Enemies pickets three miles from here. ... A great deal of firing on the pickets during the night.

The Confederates were solidifying their encirclement and siege of Cumberland Gap. Rebel forces, now active west of the Gap, were attacking Union garrisons in various places, forcing them to withdraw and, thus, reducing the ability of Morgan's garrison to gain forage or to make an orderly retreat from the Gap if abandonment became necessary.

Only limited details on the action and movements of the 16th Ohio during the next few days are available.

* Information and quotations from Civil War Diaries and Selected Letters of Robert Newton Gorsuch, recently published in book form by Newt Gorsuch's great grandson, Everett Gorsuch Smith, Jr. The book is available for purchase from various Internet sources.

Period military map showing the approximate location of the 16th Ohio and Col. DeCourcey's brigade atop of the mountain ridges north of The Gap. Gen. Morgan had moved the brigade into this position to defend his main force holding The Gap from any approach by Gen. Kirby Smith's Confederate troops from the north. Additionally, Morgan was protecting what he had already likely planned as his Division's escape route in a few weeks if no relief came from the Union Army. The regiment was involved in several foraging missions, moving down into the valley, below, skirmishing with Rebel troops and collecting corn or any other food items they could scavenge from the land below their mountain stronghold.
Image ©2000 by Cartography Associates via David Rumsey Map Collection
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