Civil War Soldiers Trained at OSR

Mansfield News Journal, originally printed May 24, 1970

More than 4,000 soldiers were trained for action in the Civil War at a camp which stood on the present site of the Mansfield Reformatory.

Opened in August 1861, the training center was known as Camp Mordecai Bartley. It was named in honor of the Mansfield man who served as governor of Ohio in the 1840's.

The camp was established on rolling land just north of the present main reformatory building and near the Tingley family home. A large spring at the site probably accounted for the selection of that spot as a training center since fresh water supply was a necessity. The spring has since been covered.

The 32nd Regiment under Col. T.H. Ford was the first outfit to train at Camp Bartley. Seven hundred and 50 men had arrived here by late August 1861, and when the unit left for Camp Dennison in southern Ohio it took 16 railroad cars to transport the men.

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