On April 1, 1862, Robert Patterson was mustered into the 61st Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Company F, in the rank of First Sergeant, for three years. The 61st OVI was organized on April 23, 1862 at Camp Chase, near Columbus, Ohio and was comprised of recruits from all parts of Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, and newly arrived immigrants, primarily Irish, Scots, and Germans. The 61st was originally commanded by Colonel Newton Schleich. However, Colonel Schleich resigned on September 23, 1862. For most of the war the regiment was commanded by Colonel Stephen McGroarty.
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