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Ohioans commemorate 150th anniversary of Civil War

Courtesy of MCT

One hundred and fifty years ago, a historically bloody war began that changed the destiny of the United States.

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, a war between states of the North and South.

Officials said that Ohio, part of the Union, or Northern states, played a significant role in the fight against the Southern states, or the Confederacy.

“Just about any American historian would tell you the Civil War was one of the two most important events in our country’s history, the other being the revolution,” said Mark Grimsley, an associate professor in the history department at Ohio State.

However, some argue that the Civil War is more important, Grimsley said.

“One thing about the Civil War is that it kind of defined our country. We went from being ‘the United States are’ before the war to ‘the United States is’ after the war,” said Mike Davis, captain of the Sixth Ohio Volunteer Infantry.

The Sixth Ohio is a company of Civil War re-enactors that plan to take part in many events in Ohio and other states during the 150th anniversary celebration.

“To me, it is very important to commemorate. … The United States wouldn’t be as influential or powerful today without all 50 states,” said Justin Stanek, a fourth-year in history and political science.

Davis said some might not know the importance of Ohio’s role in the war.

“Ohio had over 300,000 men volunteer in the war,” Davis said. “This was 60 percent of Ohio’s population.”

Ulysses S. Grant, a general from Ohio during the Civil War, went on to become president after the war.

Grimsley said OSU is not doing anything in particular to commemorate the 150th anniversary.

On the other hand, the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus held a Civil War encampment on May 6 and 7 that recreated what it was like in a military camp setting, according to a press release from the Statehouse. The encampment included re-enactors, interactive talks and demonstrations.

Other events that will be held in Ohio include living histories, re-enactments, displays and tours. More information on these events can be found at www.ohiocivilwar150.org.

“This is really something special and I’m telling (the re-enactors) over and over again: enjoy every second of it,” Davis said.


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