Welcome to the
Hilltop Historical Society!
The Hilltop Historical Society was founded in 1986 to promote the history of the Hilltop
Area of Columbus, Ohio
In the wake
of the tragic events at Charlottesville and the ensuing national discussion, the
Hilltop Historical Society issues the following statement:
organization abhors racism, bigotry, and violence and condemns it in the
strongest possible terms. There is no
place for hatred in any discussion, especially one surrounding the history of
our great nation. As we reflect
achievements—and imperfections—of those
who came before us, it is important that we consider multiple points of view,
including those different from our own, so that we may learn from our past to
move toward a brighter future together.
The HHS has
sponsored the annual Camp Chase Confederate Cemetery Memorial Ceremony for
nearly a quarter of a century. The event
itself traces back to 1895, when Union Colonel William Henry Knauss organized
the first memorial ceremony here at Camp Chase.
In the 1902 dedication of the arch in the center of the cemetery, Judge
D.E. Johnson stated, “And
above all things else, we must not forget that in that great
contest we were and are still all Americans, and that the splendid courage
gallantry, heroism, and valor displayed by the men who sleep here are the
common heritage of our American people.”
Four years later, in his 1906 History
of Camp Chase, Colonel Knauss wrote, “With no thought but that of
pride and admiration for the great American
people, regarding no North or no South, but a land rich in memories of its
brave dead, this volume is offered.” It
is in this spirit that the HHS conducts this event.
The purpose of the current
ceremony is to remember those who
served here and those who are buried here.
Camp Chase, of course, served both as a Union soldier training facility
and a Confederate POW camp during the Civil War. At our event, we remember both a Confederate
soldier buried here and a Union soldier who had a significant experience here
via a brief biography of both. For
example, we recently recounted the experiences William McKinley had here as a
young Union enlistee. He, of course,
later served our country as its President from 1897 to 1901.
We also provide those in attendance with
performances of Civil War era music, including the National
Anthem as it was sung then, played on period
instruments. Many individuals come
dressed in period military uniforms and civilian apparel, adding to the day’s authenticity. The local American Legion post provides a
21-gun salute to conclude the program. This
solemn occasion is meant simply to instruct the audience about those who passed
through here, of which some 2,260 remain buried here today. We make no political statements.
The Camp Chase Confederate
Cemetery is administered by the
National Cemetery Association, which is an arm of the U.S. Department of
Veterans Affairs, and has jurisdiction over the land, gravesites, and events
that occur here. The cemetery’s statue
remembers the individual soldier, not the Confederacy or its leaders or any
philosophy they espoused. The HHS
conforms to all of the NCA’s requirements and regulations regarding the
conducting of our event. For the
by a 1958 act of the U.S. Congress, Confederate soldiers are recognized as
United States military veterans.
The HHS’s purpose
is to preserve and promote the history of our
west Columbus community. We are proud
that we hold this portion of our country’s past here in our community, that
Camp Chase played an important role in the American Civil War, and that we can
provide this event every year. We
cognizant that there are many heartfelt and compelling points of view about our
nation’s history and we also understand that each American citizen experiences
our nation differently. We also
that it may difficult to view individuals’ thoughts and actions based on the
norms of their day as opposed to our more perfect knowledge today.
We ask everyone who cares about our community
and nation to consider carefully the many points of view that are expressed and
to listen thoughtfully and with an open mind, especially to those with whom we
may not agree. We must realize that
are more alike than we are different and that we share common aspirations.
Ultimately, we must determine how all of us
move forward together to continue to build a stronger community and nation.
The 122nd Annual Camp Chase Confederate Cemetery Memorial Service was held on June 12th 2017 at 3 PM
Dave Dobos, President of the Hilltop Historical Society opens the service.
COL (Chaplain) Edward Sensenbrenner
The historical replica wreath arrives.
Ginger Thursh of the Hilltop Historical Society brings flowers to lay on the so=tone under the
Steve and Lisa Ball provided period music to the crowd
The 73rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regimental Band provides period music using instruments that were made during the 1860's
(except the drum)
Sid Drumhouser of the Sons of Union Veterans delivers the story of COL George Washington Neff who was the Commander of
the 88th OVI, who were the Camp Chase Prison Guards.
Dick Hoffman of the Hilltop Historical Society delivers the story about CSA PVY Eli Knipe.
The Color Guard from Don Gentile Post American Legion provided the firing salute.
Joe Briggs, the great-great grandson of Lousiana Briggs (The Gray lady of Camp Chase) closed the service
Remembering one of our Founders: Lois Neff April 30th at 3 PM in the West High School Library
2nd Annual Hilltop Veterans Program was held on
Sunday November 13 at 3 PM at Don Gentile American
Legion Post 532 at 1571 Demorest Rd, Columbus OH.
Pictured here are(From left) Dave Dobos,
President of the
Hilltop Historical Society and Earl (Wimpy) Potts the HHS honoree. Next is Joe
Mellenbaugh, the American Legion honoree with Bernie Brogan the Post Commander
of Don Gentile American Legion Post 532.
Wreaths Across American wreath laying at Camp Chase Confederate Cemetery was held at noon on December
Thanks to all those who came out in the ice and rain to lay wreaths.
Columbus Hall of Fame inducts West High Graduate
West High School graduate (1948) Donn F.Eisele was inducted
into the Columbus Hall of Fame on October 25, 2016 along with 3 other community
members. Pictured here are the West High School Graduates and the West HS Jr
ROTC Color Guard who were present for the ceremony. Highlighted in red are the
names of the class mates of Donn Eisele and the names in blue are relatives of
Fellow hall of Fame inductee Carl Brown Sr.
We had 16 WHS graduates and the WHS Jr ROTC Color Guard present for the ceremony. 4 of the graduates
were also relatives of Carl Brown Sr. who was also inducted in the Hall of Fame. Attending were left to right
Cayla Wright ’19, Matthew Wolford ’19,
Ken Mahan ’48, Dick DeRoberts ’48, Dave Dobos ‘73,Monty
Chase ’66, Pat Mahan ’48,
Ginger Thrush ’79, Sandy Chase Doutt ’64, Stanton Prior ‘46. ora Yank ’83,
Chad Brown ’71, Chanell
Brown-Sanchez ‘93’ Linda Hessinger Hoffman ‘65, Sandra
Beatty Gentry ’69, Jim
Lawrence Davidson ’41, Kevin Wolford ’17, Rita Elliott Stethem ‘53, Gabe
Pritchett ’19, Cristopher Santos ‘18
Highlighted in red are the names of the class
mates of Donn
Eisele and the names in blue are relatives of Fellow hall of Fame inductee Carl
We have lost
one of the founders of the Hilltop Historical Society. She was the historian of the Hilltop
Lois Ann Neff
April 22, 1938
Died: March 16, 2016
Visit our Facebook page at
Hilltop Historical Society
The Hilltop Historical Society in partnership with the Civil Air Patrol laid wreaths at Camp Chase confederate
Cemetery as part of the National wreaths Across America Program
50 year old 1ST Day Cover from April 1965
Lincoln Funeral Train Presentation:
to John Ward for his excellent presentation on the Lincoln FUneral Train and other Lincoln history
Lincoln Funeral Train in Columbus on April 29, 1865
John's ancestor who blew Taps at the burial service in Springfield IL
The VA has installed a interpretive marker at Camp Chase Confederate Cemetery at the base of the flag
The Ohio National Road Association unveiled a Camp Chase
Interpretive sign in front of the Westgate Masonic Temple at 2925 West Broad Street on September 6th. This is the site of
the main entrance to Camp Chase.
Columbus Dispatch video about Camp Chase and Wreath Laying. Learn how we respect and remember those who are buried there.