|26th OVVI- The Groundhog Regiment|
| You may be wondering: How did the 26th OVVI become known as the
" Groundhog Regiment"? Or perhaps, more to the point, Why?
The answer is found in the rare 53 page booklet entitled, Roster of Survivors of the Twenty-Sixth Ohio Veteran Volunteer Infantry, April, 1888.
S.F. Robinson, who was the Secretary/Treasurer of the Twenty-Sixth Ohio Association
( an organization founded to preserve the memory of the 26th OVVI and to promote continued contact among the regiment's comrades) , wrote an introductory section regarding the history of the 26th OVVI, and how it became known as the Groundhog Regiment:
"...from the facility with which the regiment could bury itself with a bayonet and half a canteen, or a spoon, and the expedition with which it could construct a line of more elaborate field works, and the frequency with which it was called upon to do so, caused the boys to liken themselves to groundhogs and finally to call the regiment, with some pride, the 'Groundhog Regiment.'"
" At first glance many who are not acquainted with this little animal may think it a queer fancy, and not at all complimentary in nature. If they take the pains to get down their Appleton's Cyclopedia or their natural histories, they will find that the regiment that has all the 'soldierly' qualities of this little fellow is a good one!"
Now you know...
| Front Cover of Booket Roster of Survivors of the 26th OVVI, 1888 ( below)
The front cover is very interesting. Note the large groundhog walking on his fours in the front center. Note the groundhog sitting on his haunches, appearing to converse with a 26th OVI veteran laying in a tent, wearing a uniform, with western theater hat, smoking a pipe. Note the tent is supported by an inverted rifled musket with the bayonet sticking in the ground. In the background are two more tents, one with a soldier reclining with only his legs visible, and in the other tent, a soldier sitting.
Source: Ohio Historical Society archives.