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Extracts from a letter to Ohio's Adjutant General regarding over zealous recruiting among Ohio Volunteer units

September 12, 1861

Thomas Clark, Major, 29th Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Camp Giddings, Jefferson, Ashtabula County, Ohio.

To Adjutant General C.P. Buckingham.

Letter regarding a company from Geauga County which was enlisted for the 29th Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry; stating that owing to the misrepresentations of the officers of the 41st Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry in favor of their own regiment, the company was induced to go to Camp Wood, that he had no doubt of ultimate success in filling up the 29th Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry, but would much prefer an honorable defeat than success by the dishonorable course of slandering one's neighbors, that the course resorted to by many recruiting officers now in Ohio was "highly censurable", that the commander of the 19th Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry had been very liberal in promises of commissions to old members of his regiment in the area if they would recruit for him, that they had been overrun with men recruiting for cavalry and artillery, that some of these men had the "impudence" to enter Camp Giddings and talk privately with the men, that out of less than 7,000 voters at the last election, Ashtabula County had about 1,000 men now in camp for the different kinds of service including one company in the 28th Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry, that Ashtabula County had done its share, that the people still said the 29th Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry must be filled, that Colonel [Lewis P.] Buckley brought a company with him from Summit County, that otherwise, they had made little effort outside of Ashtabula County, and that very little had been done in Trumbull, Lake and Geauga Counties; asking if the State could be districted for the better organization of the regiments; and stating that they needed a territory to work on by themselves, that it was but simple justice to ask those who enlisted for one regiment to go into that regiment, that they ought to have the men in Captain Hamilton's company which had just gone to Camp Wood, that they cared nothing about Captain Hamilton since one so wavering was hardly safe to be entrusted with a command, that if the course pursued by some was tolerated and they were allowed to wear epaulettes, he must be excused from putting them on, that he had seen some service in the war and thus far had received no pay, that he had observed men pocketing large sums for services rendered by getting a commission and staying at home, that he wanted Buckingham to take such a course relative to recruiting as would give them an equal chance with others to fill up their regiment, and that without common honesty among the officers, there could be no discipline among the troops when in the field.

 

Source: www.ohiohistory.org "Civil War Documents" 3 pp. [Series 147-8: 27]