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16th Ohio Volunteer Infantry
Where was the regiment on
Saturday, October 4, 1862

On this day the 16th Ohio, along with Morgan's 7th Division, woke up for the first time in many months on friendly ground and without the fear of attack. After the utter exhaustion of a grueling and perilous 17 day trek of over 200 miles, constantly on guard and being harassed by Rebels, the troops could now relax and enjoy the peace of the Ohio River and the loyal citizenry around it.

The troops resumed their march in the morning, going down the bank of the Ohio River about five miles to Reid's Landing. There, they loaded onto three small steamers and went down (north) to Wheelersburg, Ohio, where they disembarked during a heavy rain shower. The batteries were ferried across on barges and the horses were made to ford and swim. Finally on their native soil of Ohio, they marched into town and found the citizens had prepared a huge feast, more than even the hungry soldier's could eat. Pvt. Frank Mason, 42nd OVI, writes:

(They were) on loyal ground, amid friends who honored their bravery and pitied their sufferings, among people who cheered their tattered battle flags and welcomed them to a Union State. It was a bright, warm, autumn (Saturday), and the march of the tattered troops was everywhere an ovation. Congregations assembled at church with great baskets of food; and instead of the ordinary service, they thronged the roadside and fed the soldiers as they passed. Farmers loaded their tables with the best that their land afforded and considered themselves honored by the hungry, ragged and unknown guests who shared their hospitality. It was a day never to be forgotten by any soldier of the Seventh Division.

After the wonderful dinner the 16th Ohio, with the Division, marched to Sciotaville (Sciotoville, now Portsmouth, Ohio), about three miles down river and camped near the town. Cpl. William Reid, Company C, tells us,

During all the march we were without tents having destroyed them at the Gap. Many of the boys marched all the way (over 200 miles) barefooted over a rough mountain road. We were a hard looking set to come into civilized country, many being nearly destitute of clothing".

But they had made it home. The retreat from Cumberland Gap and march through the rugged hill country of Kentucky, being pursued and harassed by the enemy for over two weeks remains one of the greatest achievements of the Civil War.

* Some information and italicized text, above, taken from The Forty-Second Ohio Infantry - A History of the Organization and Services of That Regiment In the War of the Rebellion, 1876 - F. H. Mason, late Private of Company A - Cobb, Andrews & Co., Publishers.

Wide and close view modern day maps of 16th Ohio locations on October 4, 1862 (positions approximated):

A - Greenup (Greenupsburg), Kentucky
B - Sciotoville, Ohio

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