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16th Ohio Volunteer Infantry
Where was the regiment from
September 8 through 10, 1862

On September 8, 1862, General Morgan ordered Col. John DeCourcey's 26th brigade, including the 16th and 42nd Ohio, 22nd Kentucky and the 7th Michigan Battery, to leave Camp Reconnaissance, on the mountain ridge several miles north of Cumberland Gap, and march to Manchester, Kentucky, some 38 miles to the north. The brigade left camp about 5 p.m. and marched 12 miles to Camp Patton, arriving there about daylight the next morning (4 a.m. September 9). Camp Patton was near Cumberland Ford, where the brigade had spent several months preparing for the march to Cumberland Gap, before June 7.

Note: Remaining back at Cumberland Gap were three brigades: the 24th under Gen. Samuel Carter, the 25th under Gen. James Spears and the 26th under Gen. Absalom Baird.

DeCourcey brought with him 109 wagons, 39 of which were loaded with ammunition, the others were empty in the hopes DeCourcey's expedition could fill them with forage and bring them back to the Division at Cumberland Gap. Morgan's purpose for DeCourcey's expedition was to 1) hopefully obtain food for the garrison, 2) to reduce the number of soldiers being fed from the scant stores remaining at the Gap (as the brigade would have to fare for itself while in the field) and 3) to provide an advance guard with a large ammunition train well in advance in the event Morgan had to evacuate the Gap. Such tactics illustrate the true complexity of conducting warfare and the brilliance required to manage large bodies of troops under the most extreme and dangerous circumstances.

When DeCourcey's brigade left Camp Reconnaissance the troops were issued three biscuits per man, the hope being they would find food along the way.

Pvt. Newt Gorsuch, Company B, tells us that before leaving on the march he was able to draw a new pair of shoes. History tells us not all the soldiers were so lucky.

The brigade rested at Camp Patton for most of Tuesday, September 9, and resumed their march northward about 5 p.m. The Union column marched all night, a distance of 20 miles, stopping at daylight on Wednesday, September 10. Here they rested until 3:30 p.m. when they started again, marching 14 miles and stopping for the night at 11 p.m.

It should be noted that specific times and distances vary, significantly, between accounts. This could be due simply to the variances in memory and/or that different regiments or even companies could be in different areas at different times, depending on the tactics and requirements of the commander.

* Some 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.

Modern day map of 16th Ohio locations from September 8 through 10, 1862:

Red Pin - notional position of Camp Renaissance on mountain ridge north of Cumberland Gap
Blue Pin - approximate position of Camp Patten at Cumberland Ford (now Pineville), Kentucky
Green Pin - approximate position of DeCourcey's Brigade seven miles south of Manchester on September 10, 1862
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