CIVIL WAR CAMPS IN CLEVELAND (1861-65) were situated in 2 general locations. Four camps (Taylor, Wood, Brown, and Tod) were located along or near what is now Woodland Ave., between E. 22nd and E. 55th streets. Two camps (Wade and Cleveland) were located west of the CUYAHOGA RIVER in the area now known as TREMONT. A seventh camp (Cuyahoga) was located on E. 55th St. All were considered camps of rendezvous and training where local regiments organized before being sent into service in the Civil War.
Camp Brown was used by the 37TH OHIO VOLUNTEER INFANTRY from Aug.-Sept. 1861. It was located on the corner of Park (E. 46th) St. and EUCLID AVE, with a separate parade ground at Kinsman St. (Woodland Ave.) and Case Ave. (E. 40th St.) on land owned by LEONARD CASE.
Camp Cuyahoga was a militia drill and training camp located at Willson's Grove, along what is now E. 55th St. The camp was used from 2-9 Sept. 1863 as a place of muster and encampment for some 2,500 officers from the 7th Ohio Military District (comprising Cuyahoga, Lorain, Medina, Geauga, Ashland, Trumble, Summit, Mahoning, and Portage counties). Camp Taylor was Cleveland's first Civil War camp, situated on the fairgrounds of the Cuyahoga County Agricultural Society at Sterling (E. 30th St.) and Kinsman (Woodland) Avenues. The Camp was used by 4 regiments—the 7TH OHIO VOLUNTEER INFANTRY REGIMENT, 8TH OHIO VOLUNTEER INFANTRY REGIMENT, 14th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and 21st Ohio Volunteer Infantry—between Apr.-Oct. 1861. From late Oct. to Dec. 1861, the Camp was used by the 2ND OHIO VOLUNTEER CAVALRY.
Camp Tod, located along Kinsman (Woodland) Ave., was used by the 45th Ohio Volunteer Infantry in Dec. 1861. Camp Wade, located on land that later would be occupied by Camp Cleveland, was used by the 2nd Ohio Volunteer Cavalry from 26 Aug-21 Oct. 1861. Its boundaries (what are now W. 5th St., W. 7th St., Literary Rd., and Jefferson Ave.) were expanded to form Camp Cleveland in 1862. Camp Wood was located on 20 acres of land situated on the east side of Forest (E. 37th) St., one-half mile from Kinsman (Woodland) Ave. It was used by the 41ST OHIO VOLUNTEER INFANTRY REGIMENT from 17 Aug.-6 Nov. 1861.
CAMP CLEVELAND was the area’s largest and best-developed Civil War camp, as well as the only camp to remain open for the duration of the war. Situated on land occupied by the recently closed Camp Wade, Camp Cleveland was organized in July 1862 on a 35.5-acre site bounded by Herschal (now W. 5th) St., University (now W. 7th) St., Railway St. (now University Rd.), and South St. (Marquardt Ave). Approximately 15,230 officers and men, almost 5% of the troops raised in Ohio during the war, trained there. The Camp also housed federal units in transit from one assignment to another, as well as one group of former prisoners of war for a day and one group of prisoners of war also for a day. There was never a prisoner of war camp established at Camp Cleveland; however two confederate soldiers did spend time at the adjacent United States General Hospital Cleveland (USGHC), which served Union soldiers but was administratively separate from Camp Cleveland. The Confederates were part of a group who had been prisoners at Camp Douglas near Chicago and had opted to join the Union Navy, thus renouncing allegiance to the Confederate States. At the war's end, more than 11,000 troops were paid off and discharged at Camp Cleveland, which closed in Aug. 1865.
Updated by Christopher Roy