The largest Civil War training camp in
Northeast Ohio was Camp Cleveland, located in the Tremont
neighborhood just to the south of downtown. Along with the U.S.
General Hospital it covered approximately 80 acres and according to
the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History eventually trained 15,230 U.S.
troops. It also served as a transit camp for troops moving from one
front to another and housed two groups of Confederate prisoners.
Camp Cleveland was, however, the only west side facility. Camps
Wood, Taylor, Tod and Brown were located along Woodland Avenue between
East 55th and Ontario Street. Today, this is the route of the Inner-belt.
Along with the training camp, the
U.S. Army General Hospital was located just to the east of what is
today is West 5th Street. One of the men affiliated with the hospital
was Dr. George Miller Sternberg. He is considered by some to be the
Father of American Bacteriology. Sternberg was in the U.S. Army and
served in the Battles of Bull Run, Gaines Mill and Malvern Hill. He
was later assigned to the Cleveland Hospital and was here from May
1864 to July 1865 when the Camp closed. In later years he documented
the causes of yellow fever and malaria and confirmed the roles of
bacilli in both tuberculosis and typhoid fever. In 1886 he was
instrumental in establishing the Army Medical School known today as
the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. Dr. Sternberg died in
1915 and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
buildings at Camp Cleveland, Cleveland, Ohio.
Each building was designed to hold 32
One of the most commonly asked
questions on the Civil War Tour of Cleveland is, "Are there any
buildings from Camp Cleveland left". The answer is not on their
In 1865 the Camp was closed and the
Government was in a hurry to demobilize and downsize. Several
auctions were held to liquidate the various camps. In November 1865
an auction was held at Camp Cleveland and the Cleveland Leader
advertised such items as "spades, rakes, garden tools of all kinds,
horses, working harnesses, boots, shoes, and leather good of all
types, roles of telegraph wire, cook stoves, wash boilers, frying
pans and kitchen supplies of various types.” The list goes on and
on. Camp Cleveland was systematically disassembled, the property was
returned to the lessor, Mr. Silas Stone, who sold it to a group of
investors and they had the property surveyed and divided into
When the camp was liquidated many
of the barracks were sold to private individuals and therefore,
although it has never been researched, many likely ended up as tool
sheds or chicken coops on various properties scattered around the
city. In that case there is no telling if there are indeed any Camp
Cleveland structures left standing today. I personally don't believe it's
probable, but, as we know, nothing is impossible.