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A Brief History of the 6th Ohio Volunteer Infantry

By Patrick McSherry and Betty Leonard
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The 6th Ohio Volunteer Infantry served with the occupation forces in Cuba following the Spanish American War.

The Unit History:

The 6th Ohio Volunteer Infantry was formed in Toledo, Ohio. On April 29, 1898 the unit left by rail for Columbus, Ohio where, between May 12 and July 2, the unit was mustered into the Federal servce. Initially, the unit consisted of 46 officers and 874 enlisted men

On May 17, the 6th Ohio departed for Camp George H. Thomas, located on the grounds of the former Civil War battlefield at Chickamauga, arriving two days later. As the spring of 1898 passed into summer, conditions at Camp George Thomas grew considerably worse. The camp was overcrowded, lacked in sanitation, clean water etc. Disease spread rapidly. In an attempt to stem the rising tide of disease, the War Department decided to relocate the units in this and other camps to newer, better camps. Accordingly, on August 28, the 6th Ohio Volunteer Infantry found itself at Camp Poland, Tennessee.

While the 6th Ohio was at Camp Thomas, the fighting of the war had ended with an armistice on August 12, however the war continued officially until the signing of the Treaty of Paris on December 10, 1898. With the war over, troops were still needed to occupy the new lands acquired by the U.S. forces. The 6th Ohio found itself part of those forces. The unit departed Camp Poland for Charleston, South Caroline on December 27. Two days later, the unit was aboard the transport MINNEWASKA headed or Cuba, arriving at Cienfuegos on January 4, 1899.

The 6th Ohio remained in Cuba, serving at Cienfuegos, and Trinidad Cuba. On April 22, 1898, the unit boarded the transport SEDGWICK to return to the U.S., arriving at the quarantine station at Savannah, Georgia four days later. After being pplaced in the detention camp on Daufuski Island for a few days, the 6th Ohio was shipped to Camp McKenzie, Georgia, where it arrived on May 3, 1899.

On May 24, 1899, the 6th Ohio Volunteer Infantry was mustered out of service. At the time of muster out, the unit consisted on 46 officers and 1, 055 enlisted men. During its term of service, the unit lost one officer and twenty-four enlisted men to disease. Twenty-five additional enlisted men were discharged on disability. Also, five enlisted men deserted.


Pratt, E. Warren, Official History of the Ohio National Guard and Ohio Volunteers:  The United States Volunteers in 1898-99, including a History of each Local Organization and each Regimental Formation from its Inception to the Present Time. (Cleveland, Ohio: The Plain Dealer Publishing Co., 1901).

Statistical Exhibit of Strength of Volunteer Forces Called into Service During the War with Spain; with Losses from All Causes. (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1899).

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