TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – We have already told you about the war history at Fort Harrison in the early 1800’s.
What many don’t know is that Terre Haute was an active site during the Civil War as well.
In fact, Terre Haute was the first stop for many soldiers in the Wabash Valley.
Their camp? It was located very close to where a popular Terre Haute park stands today.
Dennis Hutchinson is a Civil War historian and a member of The Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.
“When the Civil War started, they needed recruiting camps and also training camps to train the recruits as they came in,” Dennis said. “In Vigo County, the first camp was Camp Vigo located two miles north of the courthouse, just northwest of Collett Park as it is today.”
That location was originally the fairgrounds before the Civil War started.
In May of 1861, it was converted into Camp Vigo.
“The first regiment to be recruited and mustered into service was the 14th Indiana and they were the first three-year regiment to go off from Indiana,” Dennis told us.
If you were wondering why Dennis is so interested in the Civil War…
“The second regiment that came from that camp, which mustered in 1861 was the 31st Indiana, which my great great grandfather was a part of,” he said.
His name was Andrew Gosnell. To learn more about Gosnell, click here.
A historical marker was erected in 1962 along U.S. 41 commemorating the camp, but it’s no longer standing.
That’s something Dennis hopes to change in the future.
“Well, I’d like to see another monument or marker put up, instead of putting it on the highway which is where it was originally I think…if it could be done, near the corner of Collett Park somewhere, which is very close to the corner of where this camp was,” Dennis said.
If you are from Terre Haute, you’ve likely heard of the name Cruft. Most notably Cruft Street on the south side.
For so much more history on this Terre Haute piece of history, check out this link.