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16th Ohio Volunteer Infantry
Where was the regiment on
Monday, May 2, 1864

Cpl. Theodore Wolbach, Company E, in his series of articles detailing the history of the 16th Ohio, Camp and Field, describes this day:

While the right wing was at work on the dam the left wing was taking an (active) part in some lively work beyond our lines. May 2d, they, with other troops under Gen. Lawler, went three miles from camp, pitched into and drove a force of the enemy.

Pvt. Peter Perrine, Company C, tells us the left wing of the regiment was in camp, near Alexandria, until 1:00pm when they were ordered to the front. They skirmished with the Rebels, driving back their cavalry two miles and returned to camp in the evening.

This period military map shows the approximate position of the 16th Ohio's left wing in camp near Alexandria, Louisiana, and the right wing on the opposite bank of the Red River helping to build Bailey's Dam, on May 2, 1864. The Federal gunboats, under Admiral David Porter, were trapped several miles upstream, above a set of rapids that were not navigable during low water.

This map shows the location of the dam, across the Red River just north of Alexandria, Louisiana, designed by Col. Joseph Bailey and built by troops investing the city and under Gen. Nathaniel Banks, including the 16th Ohio. The right wing of the 16th Ohio was probably the first unit assigned to begin building the dam, part of a desperate effort to raise the river level and allow the Federal gunboats, stranded above the upper rapids, to move down the river to safety. Many other soldiers would join them. The 16th Ohio began work on the east side of the river while other units worked from the west side.

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