AID PROPERLY RENDERED:
175th Anniversary of the mobilization for the Mexican War
Story by Sgt. 1st Class Joshua Mann, Ohio Army National Guard Historian
“A requisition has been received from the President of the United States at this Department calling on Ohio for three regiments of infantry or riflemen to repair as speedily as possible to the theatre of war. Under these circumstances I now appeal to the gallant and spirited sons of Ohio to come forward in this emergency and promptly meet the expectations of the General Government. Let it not be said that when our country appeals to the courage and patriotism of the citizen soldiers of Ohio for aid that that aid was not properly rendered.”
With these words, Ohio Gov. Mordecai Bartley issued the first call for troops for the Mexican War on May 20, 1846. The same day, Samuel R. Curtis, adjutant general of Ohio, issued orders directing that a general rendezvous would be established at Camp Washington near Cincinnati. In less than two weeks, 40 companies of Ohio troops were gathered, 10 more than were needed.
Bartley organized the assembled companies into the Buckeye Brigade, which consisted of three regiments of infantry:
- The 1st Regiment, under the command of Col. Alexander M. Mitchell, consisted of companies from Cincinnati, Dayton, Hamilton, Portsmouth, Georgetown and Sandusky.
- The 2nd Regiment, under the command of Col. George W. Morgan, consisted of companies from Athens, Columbus, Mount Vernon, Newark, Logan, Lancaster, Circleville, Chillicothe and Hillsboro.
- The 3rd Regiment, under the command of Curtis, consisted of companies from Mansfield, Massillon, Wooster, Norwalk, Steubenville, St. Clairsville, Coshocton, Zanesville and Seneca.
“They were chiefly from the rural districts, where the volunteers had followed those manly and laborious avocations that trained them admirably for the fatigues of war.” wrote Luther Giddings, an officer in the 1st Regiment. “The garb and vocation of the citizen were abandoned together; and with his uniform the volunteer assumed the duties of a soldier.”
On June 23, 1846, the 1st Regiment, having been armed, equipped and uniformed, were mustered into federal service and shortly after struck its tents and departed Ohio for Mexico. “The streets of Cincinnati through which we marched, were filled with a dense multitude of spectators, wrote Giddings. “There were mothers, wives, sweethearts, fathers, brothers, friends, who eagerly scanned the passing ranks for some familiar face; to which, when recognized, they ran to add another blessing and a last adieu.”