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Ohio during the war was most active in her relief and aid societies. The most noted and extensive organization was the Cincinnati Branch of the United States Sanitary Commission. The most efficient organization was the Soldiers' Aid Society of Northern Ohio.
When the happy tidings swept over the land that peace was proclaimed, an echo of thanksgiving followed the proclamation. The brave sons of Ohio returned to their own soil—those who escaped the carnage. But 'mid the rejoicing there was deepest sadness, for a fragment only remained of that brave army which had set out sturdily inspired with patriotism.
A BRIEF MENTION OF PROMINENT OHIO GENERALS.
George Briton McClellan, the first General appointed in Ohio, was born December 3, 1826, in Philadelphia. His father was a physician of high standing and Scottish descent. Young George was in school in Philadelphia, and entered West Point at the age of sixteen. At the age of twenty, he was a brevet Second Lieutenant, tracing lines of investment before Vera Cruz, under the supervision of Capt. R. E. Lee, First Lieut. P. G. T. Beauregard, Second Lieut. G. W. Smith. At the close of the Mexican war, old Col. Totten reported in favor of them all to Winfield Scott. He had charge of an exploring expedition to the mountains of Oregon and Washington, beginning with the Cascade Range. This was one of a series of Pacific Railway explorations. Returning to Washington, he was detailed to visit the West Indies and secretly select a coaling station for the United States Navy. He was dispatched by Jefferson Davis, Secretary of War, to Europe, with instructions to take full reports of the organization of military forces connected with the Crimean war. This work elicited entire satisfaction. He returned in January, 1857, resigned as regular army officer, and was soon installed as engineer of Illinois Central Railroad. In 1860, he was President of the Ohio & Mississippi. He removed to Cincinnati, where he was at the opening of the war.
William Starke Rosecrans was born September 6,1819, in Delaware County, Ohio. His people were from Amsterdam. He was educated at West Point. When the war opened, he espoused the cause of the Union with enthusiastic zeal, and was appointed by McClellan on his staff as Engineer. June 9, he was Chief Engineer of the State under special law. Soon thereafter, he was Colonel of the Twenty-third Ohio, and assigned to the command of Camp Chase, Columbus. On May 16, his commission was out as Brigadier General in the United States Army. This reached him and he was speedily summoned to active service, under Gen. McClellan. After the battle of Rich Mountain, he was promoted to the head of the department.
In April, 1862, he was succeeded by Fremont, and ordered to Washington to engage in immediate service for the Secretary of War. About the loth of May, he was ordered to Gen. Halleck, before Corinth. He was relieved from his command December 9, 1864.
Ulysses S. Grant, whose history we cannot attempt to give in these pages, was born on the banks of the Ohio, at Point Pleasant, Clermont Co., Ohio, April 27, 1822. He entered West Point in 1839.
"That the son of a tanner, poor and unpretending, without influential friends until his performance had won them, ill-used to the world and its ways, should rise—not suddenly, in the first blind worship of helpless ignorance which made any one who understood regimental tactics illustrious in advance for what he was going to do, not at all for what he had done—but slowly, grade by grade, through all the vicissitudes of constant service and mingled blunders and success, till, at the end of four years' war he stood at the head of our armies, crowned by popular acclaim our greatest soldier, is a satisfactory answer to criticism and a sufficient vindication of greatness. Success succeeds."
"We may reason on the man's career; we may prove that at few stages has he shown personal evidence of marked ability; we may demonstrate his mistakes; we may swell the praises of his subordinates. But after all, the career stands wonderful, unique, worthy of study so long as the nation honors her benefactors, or the State cherishes the good fame of the sons who contributed most to her honor."
Lieut. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman was another Ohio contribution to the great Union war. He was born at Lancaster February 8, 1820. He entered West Point in June, 1836. His "march to the sea " has fully brought out the details of his life, since they were rendered interesting to all, and we refrain from repeating the well-known story.
Philip H. Sheridan was born on the 6th of March, 1831, in Somerset, Perry Co., Ohio. He entered West Point in 1848. During the war, his career was brilliant. His presence meant victory. Troops fighting under his command were inspired. Gen. Rosecrans said of him, "He fights, he fights." A.staff officer once said, "He is an emphatic human syllable."
Maj. Gen. James B. McPherson was born in Sandusky County, town of Clyde, November 14, 1828.
Maj. Gen. Q. A. Gillmore was born February 28, 1825, at Black River, Lorain Co., Ohio.
Maj. Gen. Irvin McDowell was born at Franklinton, Ohio, October 15. 1818.
Maj. Gen. Don Carlos Buell was born near Marietta on the 23d of March, 1818. His grandfather on the maternal side was one of the first settlers of Cincinnati.
Maj. Gen. O. M. Mitchell was a native of Kentucky, but a resident of Ohio from the age of four years.
Maj. Gen. Robert C. Schenck was born October 4, 1809, in Franklin. Warren Co., Ohio.
Maj. Gen. James A. Garfield, was born in Orange, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio November 19, 1831.
Maj. Gen. Jacob D. Cox was born in Canada in 1828, and removed to Ohio in 1846.
Maj. Gen. James B. Steedman was born in Pennsylvania July 30, 1818, and removed to Toledo in 1861.
Maj. Gen. David S. Stanley was born in Wayne County, Ohio, June 1, 1828.
Maj. Gen. George Crook was born in Montgomery County, Ohio, September 8, 1828.
Maj. Gen. Mortimer D. Leggett was born in New York April 19, 1831, and emigrated to Ohio, in 1847.
Brevet Maj. Gen. John C. Tidball was born in Virginia, but removed while a mere lad to Ohio with his parents.
Brevet Maj. Gen. John W. Fuller was born in England in 1827. He removed to Toledo in 1858.
Brevet Maj. Gen. Manning F. Force was born in Washington, D. C., on the 17th of December, 1824. He became a citizen of Cincinnati.
Brevet Maj. Gen. Henry B. Banning was born in Knox County, Ohio, November 10, 1834.
We add the names of Brevet Maj. Gens. Erastus B. Tyler, Thomas H. Ewing, Charles R. Woods, August V. Kautz, Rutherford B. Hayes, Charles C. Walcutt, Kenner Garrard, Hugh Ewing, Samuel Beatty, James S. Robinson, Joseph W. Keifer, Eli Long, William B. Woods, John W. Sprague, Benjamin P. Runkle, August Willich, Charles Griffin, Henry J. Hunt, B. W. Brice.
Brig. Gens. Robert L. McCook, William H. Lytle, William Leroy Smith, C. P. Buckingham, Ferdinand Van Derveer, George P. Este, Joel A. Dewey, Benjamin F. Potts, Jacob Ammen, Daniel McCook, J. W. Forsyth, Ralph P. Buckland, William H. Powell, John G. Mitchell, Eliakim P. Scammon, Charles G Barker, J. W. Reilly, Joshua W. Sill, N. C. McLean, William T. H. Brooks, George W. Morgan, John Beatty, William W. Burns, John S. Mason, S. S. Carroll, Henry B. Carrington, M. S. Wade, John P. Slough, T. K. Smith.
Brevet Brig. Gens. C. B. Ludlow, Andrew Hickenlooper, B. D. Fearing, Henry F. Devol, Israel Garrard, Daniel McCoy, W. P. Richardson, G. F. Wiles, Thomas M. Vincent, J. S. Jones, Stephen B. Yeoman, F. W. Moore, Thomas F. Wilder, Isaac Sherwood, C. H. Grosvenor, Moses E. Walker, R. N. Adams, E. B. Eggleston, I. M. Kirby.
We find numerous other names of Brevet Brigadier Generals, mostly of late appointments, and not exercising commands in accordance with their brevet rank, which we omit quoting through lack of space. They are the names of men of rare abilities, and in many cases of brilliant achievements.
In looking over the "War Record of Ohio," we find the State a great leader in men of valor and heroic deeds. It was the prolific field of military geniuses
Ohio was draped with the garb of mourning at the close of the war. Her human sacrifice in behalf of the nation had been bitter. There were tears and heart-aches all over the land. Her ranks were swept by a murderous fire, from which they never flinched, and many officers fell.
Col. John H. Patrick will be remembered as opening the battle of Lookout Mountain. He fell mortally wounded, during the Atlanta campaign, May 15, 1862, while actively engaged. He was struck by a canister shot, and expired half a hour thereafter.
Col. John T. Toland, in July, 1863, was placed in command of a mounted brigade, including his regiment, and was instructed to destroy the Virginia Ac Tennessee Railroad. He reached Wytheville, Va., on the afternoon of the 18th of July. The rebels were safely intrenched in the house, and poured a galling fire into the national troops. Col. Toland was on horseback, at the head of his command. A sharpshooter sent a bullet with fatal certainty, and he fell on the neck of his horse, but was instantly caught by his Orderly Sergeant, who heard the fervent words: "My horse and my sword to my mother."
Lieut. Col. Barton S. Kyle accompanied his regiment to the battle of Pittsburg Landing. The regiment was forced back, though resisting bravely. Lieut. Col. Kyle was at his post of duty, encouraging his men, when he received a bullet in his right breast. He survived five hours.
Col. William G. Jones was engaged in the battle of Chickamauga, June, 1863. His regiment, the Thirty-sixth Ohio, was included in Turchin's Brigade of the Fourteenth Corps. He wrote in his pocket memoranda: "Off to the left; merciful Father, have mercy on me and my regiment, and protect us from injury and death "—at 12 o'clock. At 5 that afternoon, he was fatally wounded and expired at 7 that same evening, on the battle-field His remains were taken by the rebels, but in December, 1863, they were exhumed and interred in Spring Grove Cemetery, Cincinnati.
Col. Fred. C. Jones held command of the Tenth Brigade, in October, 1862, marching from Wild Cat, Ky., to Nashville, through a perpetual skirmish. During the battle of Stone River, Col. Jones' regiment, the Twenty-fourth, was on the front and left of the line. During the afternoon, when the rebel assault upon the left became furious, Col. Jones ordered his men to lie down and hold fire, which was obeyed. They rose to pour a deadly volley into the rebel ranks, and rush forward in a fierce charge. The capture of an entire rebel regiment was thus effected, but Col. Jones was shot in the right side. He was carried to the rear. "I know it; I am dying now; pay no attention to me, but look after my wounded men." He survived about ten hours. His remains are buried in Spring Grove, Cincinnati.
Col. Lorin Andrews went with his command to Western Virginia, where he succumbed to exposure and severe duty. He was removed to his home, Gambier, Ohio, where he died surrounded by friends September 18, 1861.
Col. Minor Milliken was sent to repel the attacks of the rebels at the rear. He led a superb cavalry charge against the enemy, vastly superiorvin numbers, and was cut off with a small portion of his regiment. He disdained to surrender, and ordered his men to cut their way out. A hand-to-hand conflict ensued. Col. Milliken, being an expert swordsman, was able to protect himself with his saber. While parrying the strokes of his assailant, another shot him. The regiment, again charging, recovered his body, stripped of sword, purse and watch.
Col. George P. Webster, with his regiment, the Ninety-eighth, left Steubenville for Covington, Ky., August 23, 1862, marching from that point to Lexington and Louisville. He was placed at the command of the Thirty-fourth Brigade, Jackson's division, Cooke's corps. He fell in the battle of Perryville, and died on the field of battle.
Col. Leander Stem was appointed Colonel of the One Hundred and First Ohio Infantry- August 30, 1862. His premonitions that he should fall during his first regular engagement proved too true. As the army was advancing on Murfreesboro, the engagement of Knob Gap occurred, when Col. Stem's regiment charged and took a rebel battery, with several prisoners. The army closed around Murfreesboro, and on the evening of the 30th, the One Hundred and First was engaged in demonstrations against the enemy. Next morning, the battle of Stone River began in earnest. When Col. Stern's regiment began to waver, he called out: "Stand by the flag now, for the good old State of Ohio !" and instantly fell, fatally wounded.
Lieut. Col. Jonas D. Elliott held his position in May, 1863. During the summer of 1864, he commanded the left wing of the regiment at Dodsonville, Ala.; in September, he was sent after Wheeler, and was ordered into camp at Decatur. On the 23d, he was dispatched to Athens, to participate in the attack of Gen. Forrest, of the rebels. Col. Elliott was sent out, with 300 men, and being surrounded by Gen. Forrest, with vastly superior numbers, a forced resistance enabled them to sustain their own ground, until a fresh brigade of rebels arrived, under Gen. Warren. This officer instructed one of his men to shoot Lieut. Col. Elliott, and a moment later he fell. He lingered nineteen days.
Col. Joseph L. Kirby Smith took command of the Forty-third Ohio Regiment. He fell at the battle of Corinth, under Rosecrans.
Lieut. Col. James W. Shane fell, June 27, 1864, in an assault upon the enemy's works at Kenesaw. He survived but forty minutes.
Col. Augustus H. Coleman displayed the abilities of a successful commander. He was in the first charge on the bridge across Antietam Creek. He was fatally wounded. His last words were inquiries regarding his men.
Col. J. W. Lowe commanded the Twelfth Ohio, and was ordered to assist the Tenth in the battle of Carnifex Ferry. Cheering his men, in the thickest of the fight, a rifle ball pierced his forehead, and he fell dead—the first field officer from Ohio killed in battle in the war for the Union.