Archiver > OH-FOOTSTEPS > 1999-10 > 0939948201

From: "Maggie Stewart" <>
Subject: Fw: Bio History -- Know your Ohio Ohio in the Civil War Pt 1
Date: Thu, 14 Oct 1999 20:43:21 -0400

----- Original Message -----
From: kathi kelley <>
To: <>
Sent: Thursday, September 30, 1999 1:55 AM
Subject: Bio History -- Know your Ohio Ohio in the Civil War Pt 1

Historical Collections of Ohio
Diaries of S. J. Kelly
Plains Dealer
Know Your Ohio
by Dalene E. Kelley
Ohio in the Civil War -- Part 1

The Civil war transformed Ohio from a commercial state to many cities
dependant on manuacturing. Migrating settlers transplanted their
religious, political and social ideals to the western reserve including
the abhorrence of slavery. Not all Ohioians hated slavery, nor were they
convinced that a civil war would resolve the deep-rooted ideological
differences. As the country moved to the election of 1860, and closer
toward war, the rhetoric and emotional appeal of partisian was being
editorialized in newspapers and somewhat clouded the issues. President
Lincoln was wont to ask on the eve of a battle, how many Ohio men would
participate. When he was asked why, he remarked, " Because I know that
if there are many Ohio soldiers to be engaged, it is probable, we will
win the battle, for they can be relied upon in such an emergency." Ohio
provided 315 organizations of military units in the civil war. There
were 6,536 killed in action, 4,674 died in hospitals, and 13,354 died of
deseases contracted while in service. Hundreds of others sacrificed arms
and legs, or were partially disabled in other ways for the remainder of
their lives. Grant, Sherman and Sheridan, the three generals commonly
acknowledged as having possessed superior military talents and
accredited with leading the Federal forces to some of the greatest
victories, were all natives of Ohio. Besides these, Ohio produced 19
major generals and 53 brigadier generals, with a total enlistment of
340,000 soldiers.

Newspapers-- Politics -- & activities

Cleveland citizens consistantly supported the war policy of the Lincoln
administration. This was expressed in 3 forms, election returns;
positions of the editors of the Leader, the Herald and the Plain Dealer;
and the support that local government gave to military establishments
and military related activities, including the recruitment of
volunteers. The republican party had solid support in all counties of
Ohio, except Huron by 1855. In 1859, republican George B. Senter was
elected mayor with a majority of republican council members. City
elections were dominated by the Union party [Republican] ticket in the
years 1863-65. The greatest threat to Ohio republicans and to the
Lincoln administration occurred during the gubernational election of
1863. Copperhead or Peace democrate Clement L. Vallandigham of Dayton
ran against Cleveland democrat John Brough, who ran on the statewide
Union party ticket.
Copperhead activity, although limited, found its major voice in Plain
Dealer editorial policy, which supported Vallandigham's candidacy and a
platform of a negotiated peace with the Confederacy.
The Cuyahoga County Union Central Committee polled the county before the
election. In Brooklyn Twp., 650 voters counted as potential Union Party
Brough supporters, and 225 as Vallandigham " traitors and
doubtful " supporters. The poll excluded convalesscent soldiers at the
U.S. General Hospital, but the officers there assured the Central
Committee that the 200-300 patients were Brough men. Soldiers
particularly opposed Vallandigham's peace position. As early as July
1861, Clevelander's in an unidentified regiment threatened to ride him
out of their camp on a rail, calling him
"secessionist" and "traitor" as he visited troops near Washington D.C.
Officers extricated him from the encampment and kept the peace.
In March 1862, 75 men of the 2D Ohio Volunteer Calvalry. many of them
Clevelanders, destroyed the office and presses of the anti-Lincoln
newspaper, Crisis, while wintering in Columbus. Bough beat Vallandigham
soundly in the Oct election, with a majority of votes in Cuyoga County,
he carried Cleveland. Support of the Lincoln adminisration continued to
the 1864 presidential race. Lincoln won against Democrat George B.
McClellan in Ohio by overwelming vote. The Union party received support
from Democrats who backed the Lincoln administration. It found voice in
the Herald, a moderate newspaper, and the Leader, which took a radical
stance but by the war's end supported the Lincoln administration rather
then congressional control of reconstruction. The Plain Dealer, edited
by Democrat Joseph W. Gray, supported Stephen Douglas's Presdential
candidacy in 1860 and like Douglas, backed Lincoln during te secession
crisis of 1861. Gray's death in 1862, led to the editorship of J.S.
Stephenson, who turned the paper into an anti-Lincoln orgin that
supported the latter. Stephenson was replaced by William W. Armstrong in
March 1865, who again made the Plain Dealer, a responsible opposition
publication of the Democratic party.
The issue of emancipation proved to be one of the most emotional issues
of the war in Cleveland. Of the proposed Jan1, 1863 Emancipation
Proclamation, Herald editor Josiah A. Harris, wrote that emancipation
was necessary to defeat the south. Leader editor Edwin Cowles held that
the north was morally right in emancipating slaves and that Lincoln was
to be commended " for the stalwart blow he struck for freedom and for
peace and future tranquility of the Union." Democrats, however,
condemned emancipation. The war they felt, was being fought to preserve
the union, not abolitionism. Stephenson of the Plain Dealer was replaced
by William W. Armstrong in March 1865, who again made the Plain Dealer a
responsible opposition publication of the Democratic party.
Ohio in the civil war continues in part 2 --

This thread: