The state of Ohio and it’s citizen-soldiers are well represented at Vicksburg National Military Park. The 39 memorials and 20 markers denote the positions regiments held and where 11,984 Ohioans served throughout the siege of Vicksburg.
Through an act by the Ohio State legislature, Governor George K. Nash selected “six honorably discharged” veterans who participated in the campaign for Vicksburg. On September 29, 1900, Governor Nash designated Andrew Hickenlooper (Chief Engineer of the 17th Army Corps); Albert H. Brown (Lieutenant Colonel, 96th Ohio Infantry); Charles Hipp (Major, 37th Ohio Infantry); Ebenezer Z. Hays (First Lieutenant, 32nd Ohio Infantry); Josiah B. Allen (Sergeant, 30th Ohio Infantry); and William P. Gault (Sergeant, 78th Ohio Infantry). Upon the resignation of General Hickenlooper, James Kilbourne (Captain, 95th Ohio Infantry) was appointed in his place on November 16, 1901. Colonel Brown resigned his position and William H. Raynor (Colonel, 56th Ohio Infantry) was appointed on May 25, 1903.
The Ohio-Vicksburg Battlefield Commission decided, rather than erect a single state memorial, to place a monument for each of the thirty-nine units that participated in the Vicksburg Campaign. The State of Ohio appropriated $57,000 for the creation of the monuments throughout Vicksburg National Military Park. The commission contracted the Hughes Granite & Marble Company of Clyde, Ohio, to create and erect the monuments at a price not to exceed $1,500 for the 26 infantry regimental memorials, $1,000 for the 12 independent batteries of artillery memorials, and $500 for the one company of cavalry. A total cost for the monuments plus the commission’s expenses was reported in 1905 as $56,000.
William P. Gault, secretary of the commission, concluded his summary of their work by stating:
“The work for which this commission was created is now completed…May they stand for ages to come as silent witnesses to the heroism, valor and patriotism displayed by the…Ohio soldiers who braved the heat of the battle, for the maintenance, and perpetuity of one undivided country, and one flag. They stand here today an honor to our state, and to future generations will show the part Ohio’s sons took in the most brilliant, best conceived, and hardest fought campaign of the Civil War, that of Vicksburg, and to the everlasting honor of the great state of Ohio.” (Ohio at Vicksburg, page 330).