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16th Ohio Volunteer Infantry
Where was the regiment from
August 28 to September 7, 1862

During this time the 16th Ohio maintained its position at Camp Reconnaissance, at the top of the Cumberland Mountains, several miles north of the main force at the Gap. They remained brigaded with the 42nd Ohio, 22nd Kentucky and Lamphere's 7th Michigan Battery.

Pvt. Newt Gorsuch, Company B, mentions the typical day-to-day tasks performed during this time, including the bringing in of peaches, the brigade being ordered out on a march and coming back, eight deserters from the Rebel army surrendering to the Federal forces, performing guard duty, and an exchange of prisoners under a flag of truce on September 4. Gorsuch also mentions that his Company B went out on picket duty, September 5, and that he was barefoot, having no shoes.

It is apparent that the food supply is growing very short and the soldiers are required to work harder and harder to keep themselves fed. General Morgan, having received no reinforcements, supplies or even acknowledgement of his situation by higher command, is faced with the decision of surrendering his entire division to Confederate General Kirby Smith or finding a way home through enemy territory.

* 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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