MOUNT VERNON — In the midst of the war stories in the aftermath of the first battle of Bull Run and the usual local fare in the pages of the Mount Vernon Democratic Banner is the following short notice:
“Our young townsman E. W. Muensher is now actively engaged in raising a company of volunteers for the war. Up to Saturday morning, the muster roll numbered over sixty members; and we presume, from the efforts made since then, the roll is now complete. The young men composing this company are mostly three-month volunteers, who are already pretty well drilled, and will be ready for service at anytime.”
A week later, in the Aug. 6 issue, the Banner reported:
“Capt. Muenster’s company (C), left Mt. Vernon on the 11 o’clock P.M. train, on Monday night last, for Camp Chase, at Columbus. They reached Newark at 12 o’clock, and spent the night in the drill room, at warren’s Block. In the morning, some of the ladies of Newark, as we learn from the American, repaired to their quarters with baskets of provisions which were gratefully appropriated, and at 10 o’clock they took the train and went on their winding way.”
If the (C) indicates a company designation, the question remains as to what regiment the unit would be part of.
The item also illustrates a variation that occurs in Union Civil War regiments. A regiment at “full strength” is generally thought of as being made up of 10 companies of 100 men each. However, a company could be considered “full” and eligible for mustering into service, if it had 70 men. Therefore, a full-strength regiment could be anywhere from 700 to 1,000 men. But, of course, regiments were almost never at full strength due to battle losses, illness, detached duty assignment and desertions, so it may be a moot point.