Army Of The Ohio


Army of the Ohio Guidelines


Adopted:  January 16, 1999

Last Ammended: November 7, 2009


Army of the Ohio Guidelines. 1

A.  Purpose. 1

B.  Membership. 2

C.  Voting. 2

D.  Personnel 2

1)          Administrative. 2

2)          Military Organization. 3

E.  Rank structure. 3

1)          Infantry. 4

2)          Artillery. 4

3)          Cavalry. 4

F.  Civilians. 4

G.  Selection of Events. 5

H.  Uniform, Camp Styles, and Authenticity. 5

I.  Safety. 6

1)          Individual Responsibilities: 6

2)          Unit Responsibilities: 6

3)          Chain of Command: 7


A.  Purpose


1)     To combine the strengths of  American Civil War enacting units from Ohio and surrounding states for the purpose of focusing the general public’s awareness of historically significant people, places, and events in Ohio’s history from the period 1861 to 1865.


2)     To facilitate and increase participation in quality events, promote quality in impressions, and assist with event scheduling.



3)     To honor the Memory of Ohio’s Civil War soldiers through accurate portrayal of them at reenactments and living history events.



4)     Our purpose shall be accomplished by supporting Ohio’s only Civil War battlefield, Buffington Island Battlefield, and by supporting member units at Ohio Civil War reenactments and living history events.


B.  Membership


1)     Membership is open to both individuals and reenactment units. Units of infantry, artillery and cavalry from the State of Ohio and neighboring states may join as voting members. Individual reenactors may join as associate members in a non-voting status.


2)     An existing member must sponsor prospective new members (individuals and units) in order to join. The current member units will vote on the acceptability of new units and individuals. A majority affirmative vote is necessary for acceptance.


3)     Unit membership dues shall be twenty-five dollars ($25.00) per year. Individual dues of associate members shall be five dollars ($5.00) per year.


4)     Unit or individual membership may be revoked for cause. Before revocation action, the individual or unit concerned shall be given a statement of charges against them and have an opportunity for explanation. A unanimous vote of the current member units shall be necessary for expulsion.


C.  Voting


1)     Each member unit shall have one vote in all elections or questions brought before the membership. A representative of that unit must be present, in order to cast a vote. If more than one member of a unit attends a meeting, one will be designated as the unit representative before voting begins.


2)     Associate (individual) members shall have no vote. However, they are welcome to attend business meetings, offer opinions, and submit questions for the member units to vote upon.


3)     All members must be notified in advance of the date and place of business meetings. A quorum of representatives comprising 51% of the member units must be present for voting to take place.


4)     Elections of officers (both executive and military) shall be held each November. Term of office shall be for the following calendar year for all positions.


D.  Personnel

1)   Administrative


a)     The member units shall elect one individual as Executive Officer of the association. This person may not be the same person as the military commander. He shall conduct all business meetings and manage the business affairs of the Association. He may hold one other administrative position, either secretary or treasurer.


b)    The member units shall elect another individual as Secretary, who may hold an additional office. He shall take and maintain minutes of each business meeting, send correspondence to members, and oversee publication of the unit newsletter.


c)     The member units shall elect an individual as Treasurer, who may hold an additional office. He shall have custody of association funds, and shall maintain records of all receipts and disbursements. He shall be responsible for all financial records required by any government or legal entities. He shall give report of the association’s financial status to the executive officer at each business meeting.


d)    No military office or rank is conferred by administrative positions.


2)   Military Organization


a)     All military officers elected by the association shall apply themselves to study of period tactical manuals and regulations in order to perfect their knowledge of authentic drill and military procedures. Every officer should prepare himself to carry out the duties of his own and the next higher position.


b)    The member units shall elect an overall military commander, who will also command the infantry battalion. He will be the principal instructor of the battalion at drills and will command it in the field. He will ensure that the field officers are trained to take his place in his absence.


c)     The member units shall elect 2 Wing Commanders (Lt. Colonel & Major), Adjutant, and Sergeant Major.


d)    The member units shall elect a Battalion Quartermaster who (with a detail of his choosing) will be responsible for arranging and carrying out any Rations Issues, Mail Call or Pay Call scenarios carried while in the field.


e)     The member units of Artillery shall elect a Chief of Artillery. This officer will be the principal instructor of artillery units at drill, and will command the artillery units appearing with the Army of the Ohio in the field.


f)     The member units of cavalry shall elect a Chief of Cavalry. This officer will be the principal instructor of cavalry units at drills, and will command the cavalry units appearing with the Army of the Ohio in the field.


g)    Additional staff appointments may be made by the commanders of the respective branches whenever necessary. All such appointments will be temporary in nature. Establishment of additional permanent staff positions will require a majority vote of the member units.


 E.  Rank structure


No fixed military rank structure shall be established. Instead, the rank displayed by officers and the number of staff officers will depend upon the number of units present and the scenario depicted. The commanders of the individual branches will determine the rank structure for each branch at each event. However, the maximum rank structure will not exceed the following:


1)  Infantry


a)     If two field companies are present the Commanding Officer may appear as Major, and may appoint a Sergeant Major.


b)    If four field companies are present, the Commanding Officer may appear as Lt. Colonel. He may appoint one Major, a Sergeant Major and an Adjutant.


c)     If five or more field companies are present, the Commanding Officer may appear as a Colonel. He may appoint a Lt. Colonel and Major, a Sgt. Major, and an Adjutant.


d)    Colors will not be carried on the field, except for parades and reviews, unless at least five field companies are present.


2)  Artillery


a)     If one or two guns are present for action, the Chief of Artillery (COA) may appear as a Lieutenant, commanding the Section.


b)    If three guns are present, the COA may appear as a Captain, commanding the Battery. He may appoint a Section commander (lieutenant)


c)     If four to six guns are present, the COA may appear as a Major, commanding the Battalion. He will establish an appropriate rank structure, with Captains commanding batteries of at least three guns, and Lieutenants commanding section of one or two guns.


3)  Cavalry


a)     An appropriate historical model should be followed.


F.  Civilians


1)     Members of reenactment units are encouraged to have their spouses, children and friends participate in Association activities as authentic civilians. However, civilians appearing in modern dress during times in which camps are open to the public are encouraged to camp in modern facilities.


2)     Civilian and military camps will be separated. However, civilians in appropriate dress and following appropriate etiquette are encouraged to visit military camps. Likewise, soldiers are permitted to visit the civilian camps when off duty.


3)     Civilians are encouraged to developed authentic impressions reflecting the life and conditions of the 19th century people in order to assist the association’s overall impression.


4)     The Association executive officer may appoint a civilian coordinator on a temporary or permanent basis. This person will assist civilians with camp layout and set-up, coordinate civilian activities, and serve as liaison with the military officers.


G.  Selection of Events


1)     A scheduling meeting shall be held as soon as possible close to the start of the new calendar year. The battalion’s activities for that year shall be determined at that meeting. Any additions or deletions will require the approval of a majority of the member units.


2)     The member units shall choose two or three maximum effort events each year, to include the Buffington Island (Ohio) event. All military officers of the association and member units are expected to attend these events, and to encourage as many of their members as possible to attend.


3)     The member units may also choose a number of sanctioned events each year. These events should be chosen at least 30 days apart.


4)     When attending national-level events the association may attend as part of the Great Lakes Brigade, if the Brigade is present.


H.  Uniform, Camp Styles, and Authenticity


1)     The intention of the Association is to present a high quality impression of the life of Civil War soldiers in the field or in garrison. Accordingly, a high degree of Authenticity is encouraged.


2)     Civilian members of reenactment units will not camp in military camps.


3)     Member units who permit women to portray soldiers may continue to do so when appearing with the Association. However, any woman whose gender is discovered while portraying a soldier will be liable to removal from the ranks, as her historical counterpart would have been.


4)     Military camps will be paid out according to regulations and in a manner appropriate to the scenario being portrayed. All non-period-appropriate items within military camps will be effectively concealed during duty hours.


5)     Members portraying officers and soldiers may stay in modern or civilian camps if the so desire. However, they are expected to be present with their units during duty hours, unless excused. Officers leaving their commands during duty hours will leave someone in charge, and will advise him of their destination and the time they expect to return.


6)     Uniforms and equipment will be appropriate for the time period and scenario portrayed. A mid-to- late war, “generic” Western Federal impression is appropriate unless otherwise specified. A plain and functional appearance appropriate to soldiers in the field is generally desired.


7)     It is not intended to require member units or individuals to acquire their gear from specific suppliers, nor to require expensive handcrafted uniforms and equipment. However, the association may compile a list of recommended vendors and suppliers for the benefit of new members and those who wish to upgrade their impressions.


8)     Authentic drill procedures as prescribed in original manuals will be followed, with any necessary changes due to safety considerations. The commanders of the various branches will specify the particular manuals to be used for references and instruction. They will also specify any deviations neither required by safety and any procedures nor covered by manuals and regulations. The intention is to provide unit commanders enough information to drill their units to association standards before appearing with the Army of the Ohio.


I.  Safety

1)   Individual Responsibilities:


a)      In order to participate in a battle scenario, individuals must have attended any Company and/or Battalion drills held prior to it. Exceptions may be granted for individuals arriving late at the event.


b)      When capped, rifles will be kept on half-cock until brought to the ready. The hammer will never be fully lowered against a cap.


c)      Ramrods are not to be used unless orders are given to do so.


d)     Powder charges will not exceed the load historically prescribed for each individual weapon. Typically this is 65-70 grains for the .58 cal rifle, and 110 grains for .69 caliber rifle or smoothbore weapon.


e)      Bayonets will not be fixed except under orders.


f)       Bayonet scabbards must be fitted with brass tips.


g)      A hit will not be taken with a loaded weapon.


h)      Malfunctioning weapons will be cleared by a file closer or other specified safety officer. If the weapon is found to be unserviceable the individual should leave the field or take a hit (being sure to remove the percussion cap from the weapon).


i)        Weapons should never be aimed directly at an individual. The weapon will be elevated when firing over wounded and when firing at close range.


j)        Individuals will keep all body parts clear of the muzzle at all times.


2)   Unit Responsibilities:


a)     Company and battalion drills will be conducted using established, historically correct procedures, such as Casey’s or Hardee’s Tactics.


b)    Before each firing scenario, weapons will be inspected by a commissioned officer or senior NCO. The inspector will insure that the barrel “rings” clean by springing the rammer and that the hammer will not release from the half-cocked position upon pulling the trigger.


c)     Weapons should be cleaned after each battle and inspected before the individual is allowed to depart camp for personal reasons. “Clean” means that the ramrod passes freely down the barrel to the bottom and comes out clean, and that the ignition channel is clear.


d)    If time permits before the scenario, each weapon should be capped off individually prior to loading by aiming at the ground and watching for grass movement.


e)     Whenever possible, officers will form their units and clear weapons prior to leaving the field.


3)   Chain of Command:


a)     Responsibility for safety begins with the individual. Prior to firing, each man will assure that he is aiming in a safe direction and is at a safe distance from others. If he does not believe it is safe to fire, he will hold his fire and wait for the next command.


b)    Responsibility continues with the file-closers. They will pay particular attention to the rear rank men, making sure they stay close to their file leaders and place their feet properly. File-closers will make assure the men hear and respond to firing orders, especially “Cease Firing”.


c)     Each commanding officer (company, wing, or battalion) is responsible for the safety of his command. Therefore, he has the authority to remove individuals who fail to meet these standards, or refuse to follow directions, from his command.


d)    Battalion commanders may designate additional staff officers and NCO’s as safety officers, with the same responsibility and authority as commanding officers.