Side A: With five army camps in Columbus, Capitol Square was a military crossroads from 1861 to 1865. Ohio troops were mustered, paid, and on some occasions garrisoned at the Statehouse. Three of every five male Ohioans between the ages of 18 and 45 served in the Civil War. Ohio’s contribution to the war effort was enormous, supplying almost 320,000 soldiers to the Union Army, representing 230 regiments and 26 independent artillery batteries. More than 35,000 soldiers died during the war, and 30,000 more were disabled. One hundred forty-eight Ohio soldiers received the Congressional Medal of Honor for valor. Perhaps Ohio’s greatest contribution to the war was to the Union leadership that won it: Generals Ulysses S. Grant, William Tecumseh Sherman, Philip H. Sheridan, and James B. McPherson, as well as Secretary of War Edwin Stanton and Secretary of the Treasury Salmon Chase, were all Ohioans.
Side B: Established in 1788 as the Northwest Territory Militia, the Ohio National Guard has played a vital role in the nation’s major conflicts, beginning in 1794 at the Battle of Fallen Timbers. In the Civil War, Ohio volunteers distinguished themselves at the battles of Chickamauga and Gettysburg, among many others. During the 20th century, Ohio citizen soldiers went overseas as the 37th Infantry (Buckeye) Division, formed in July 1917 under Governor James Cox. Sent to France in World War I, the 37th fought in the Meuse-Argonne and St. Mihiel campaigns. In World War II the 37th was deployed to the South Pacific. Victorious in three major island battles, the division helped liberate Manila in 1945. From 1952 to 1954, the 37th provided troops for the Korean Conflict as a training division. Between tours of active duty, the Buckeye Division served as Ohio’s primary National Guard unit until its deactivation in 1968.
Sponsors: Ohio Bicentennial Commission, Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board, The 37th Division Veterans Association, and The Ohio Historical Society