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While the state militia system had deteriorated throughout the first half of the nineteenth century, numerous communities had maintained units. These units existed primarily to march in parades and to provide young men with something to do in their spare time. These militia units provided Ohioans with a basic force to provide Ohio with protection from a Confederate invasion. The soldiers at Camp Harrison usually remained at the camp for only a short time. After receiving some training, military officials would send the men to war.