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16th Ohio Volunteer Infantry
Where was the regiment on
Thursday, October 13, 1864

On this day it is believed the 16th Ohio, having arrived in Mattoon, Illinois, the night before, changed trains and boarded cars of the St. Louis, Alton and Terre Haute Railroad, roughly around 5:00 am. They proceeded about 56 miles to Terre Haute, Indiana, arriving there at 8:00 am. This railroad, though not implied by its name, took the troops on to Indianapolis where they arrived at 4:00 pm. Pvt. Robert "Newt" Gorsuch tell us the troops went to the Soldier's Home in Indianapolis where they had supper. Afterwards, they returned to the depot and "changed cars", again, boarding what is believed to have been the Indianapolis, Pittsburg and Cleveland Railroad.

The Indianapolis, Pittsburg and Cleveland Railroad would provide transportation through eastern Indiana, from Indianapolis to Union City, very near the Ohio border. It is not known how far the regiment actually reached on this day. They did pass through Union City so we will estimate this is where they reached about midnight. Here there will also be another change of railroad companies.

Cpl. Theodore Wolbach, Company E and author of the important series of articles Camp and Field, describing the history of the 3-year 16th Ohio Infantry, tells about this day:

On the 13th at 10 a.m. we reached Terra Haute, Ind. 4:30 found us at Indianapolis. On the way a lot of the boys broke open a freight car and made a raid on some boxes of canned fruit. One of the participants, James Deets, took sick suddenly and severely and had to be left at Indianapolis where he died before the end of the month. We disembarked at this great capital city, marched to the soldiers' home, took supper, and returned to the cars.

History records that James Deets (or Deetz) did, indeed, die of acute dysentery at City General Hospital in Indianapolis on October 24, 1864. He is buried at Crown Hill National Cemetery having just almost survived the Civil War.

This period map of Illinois shows the approximate route of the 16th Ohio on their trip home from the war. This segment includes their route from Cairo, Illinois to Terre Haute, Indiana, where they arrived on the morning of October 13, 1864. See the second map, below, for the continuation of their trip on this day.

This period map of Indiana shows the continuing route of the 16th Ohio from Terre Haute, Indiana, on October 13, 1864, when the regiment, boarded a St. Louis, Alton and Terre Haute Railroad train, and moved east, arriving in Indianapolis at 4:00 pm. After dinner, the troops boarded an Indianapolis, Pittsburg and Cleveland train and continued their journey, arriving at Union City, Ohio, at the Indiana border, around the end of the day (this time is an approximation).

Modern day map showing the approximate route and location of the 16th Ohio on their trip home from the war.
N - After boarding train cars of the Illinois Central Railroad at noon in Cairo, Illinois on October 12, 1864, the regiment travelled to Mattoon, Illinois, arriving late in the evening. We will make the assumption the troops did not leave Mattoon on the next leg of their journey until some time in the early morning of October 13.
P - From Mattoon, Illinois, the regiment passed through Terre Haute, Indiana, about 8:00 am, October 13, 1864.
Q - The train arrived in Indianapolis, Indiana, at 4:00 pm on October 13, 1864. The troops had dinner at the Soldier's Home and returned to the station to board another train.
R - The 16th Ohio travelled from Indianapolis, through the evening hours. Without knowing exactly where they were at the end of the day on October 13, we will estimate they reached Union City, Ohio, directly on the border with Indiana, and where they would change trains for the last time as a military unit. The troops are now less than 100 miles from Columbus, Ohio.

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