Squirrel Hunters boarding train for CincinnatiSave
Description: Photostatic copy of an engraving which appeared in the September 27, 1862, issue of Leslie's Weekly. The illustration shows volunteers known as Squirrel Hunters boarding the train for Cincinnati, Ohio, at the Xenia Railroad Depot in Greene County on September 5, 1862, in response for a call for civilians to defend the town from Confederate forces.
In the second year of the Civil War, Confederate troops were ordered to capture Covington, Kentucky and Cincinnati, Ohio. Major General Horatio Wright, commander of Union forces in Kentucky, ordered General Lewis (Lew) Wallace to prepare Covington's and Cincinnati's defenses. Upon arriving in Cincinnati, Wallace immediately declared martial law. He issued a call in Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan for a volunteer militia. Men in the regular army would fight on the battlefield, while the civilians would prepare trenches and other defensive features to prepare the two communities for attack. Cincinnati residents reportedly "cheerfully obeyed" the order.
Ohio Governor David Tod left Columbus, the state capital, and came to Cincinnati to assist Wallace. Tod immediately ordered Ohio's adjutant-general to send any available troops other than those guarding Ohio's southern border to Cincinnati. A number of Ohio counties offered to dispatch men to Cincinnati as well, and civilians from 65 counties numbering 15,766 men reported for duty at Cincinnati. These volunteer men became known as the "Squirrel Hunters." Many had no military training and carried antiquated weapons, but despite these shortcomings, they still rallied together to help defend Ohio from Confederate invasion. A Confederate scout reported that, "They call them Squirrel Hunters; farm boys that never had to shoot at the same squirrel twice."
Thanks to the actions of Wallace and Tod, Covington and Cincinnati had adequate defenses to repel the Confederate advance within two days. By September 13, 1862, news reached Cincinnati that the Confederate forces were withdrawing from Kentucky and that Cincinnati was no longer in danger. Wallace earned the nickname "Savior of Cincinnati" for his actions in September 1862. The Squirrel Hunters returned to their homes. To thank the Squirrel Hunters, the Ohio legislature, in 1863, authorized funds for Governor Tod to print discharges for these men from military duty. The discharges thanked the men for their patriotism and their willingness to sacrifice their lives in the defense of Ohio. View on Ohio Memory. Image ID: OVS2653 Subjects: Civil War 1861-1865; Squirrel Hunters; Ohio--Militia; Cincinnati (Ohio)--History Places: Xenia (Ohio); Greene County (Ohio)
Description: Carte de visite portrait of Major Frank Y. Commagere , 6th U.S. Cavalry. The photograph was taken by Carpenter and Mullen in Lexington, Kentucky, early in the Civil War and collected as part of the Howard Rossen Collection.
Born in Maumee, Ohio, Commagere (1844-1892) served as a midshipman at the U.S. Naval Academy in 1861, then joined the 67th New York Volunteers as a second lieutenant from 1862-1863 before being dismissed. He later served as a major in the 6th U.S. Colored Cavalry from January 1865 until he mustered out in April 1866. Following the end of the Civil War, he was appointed first lieutenant in the 7th U.S. Cavalry in 1866, serving under Lieutenant Colonel Custer, until his resignation in 1868. He died in 1892 and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery. View on Ohio Memory. Image ID: AV13_B01_20 Subjects: Ohio--History--Civil War, 1861-1865; Military officers; Military uniforms; Portrait photography Places: Maumee (Ohio); Lucas County (Ohio)
Description: Portrait of Civil War officer Americus V. Rice (1835-1904). After serving in 1861 as a captain in the 21st Ohio Volunteer Infantry following the start of the Civil War, Rice received a commission as captain of the newly-organized 57th Ohio Volunteer Infantry in September 1861. He was promoted to lieutenant-colonel in February 1862 and then colonel in April 1863. He led his regiment in action at the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain in the Atlanta Campaign, during which he was wounded and would lose his right leg. He was appointed brigadier general of volunteers following the end of the war. View on Ohio Memory. Image ID: SC3920_AmerRice Subjects: Ohio--History--Civil War, 1861-1865; Military officers; Portrait photography; Generals--United States Places: Ottawa (Ohio); Putnam County (Ohio);
Description: Portrait of Civil War officer Benjamin D. Fearing in uniform. Fearing, born in 1837, was a descendent of Ohio's earliest European settlers. He graduated from Marietta College and was living in Cincinnati at the beginning of the Civil War. He immediately joined the Army and left for Washington, D.C., with a unit that became the 2nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry. When he returned to Ohio, Fearing assisted in organizing the 36th Ohio, 63rd Ohio, and 77th Ohio.
He was promoted several times, achieving the rank of major. Distinguished service in the battle at Shiloh Church earned him a promotion to Lieutenant Colonel, and then Colonel, of the 92nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry. After recovering from a severe wound at the Battle of Chickamauga, he was able to return to service. In December 1864, President Lincoln appointed him Brigadier-General for his conduct in the Atlanta Campaign. Fearing commanded the Third Brigade, Fourteenth Corps until he received a disabling wound to his right hand. View on Ohio Memory. Image ID: SC2665_Fearing Subjects: Ohio--History--Civil War, 1861-1865; Military officers; Generals--United States; Portrait photography Places: Cincinnati (Ohio); Hamilton County (Ohio)
Description: Carte de visite portrait of Civil War officer Colonel Charles G. Harker. A notation on the back of the card states that he was "Killed at Kennesaw Mt June 27 / 64."
Harker was born in New Jersey in 1825. He graduated with distinction from the United States Military Academy in 1858, and served on the western frontier until the beginning of the Civil War when he was ordered to Ohio. He accepted the position of Colonel of the 65th Ohio Volunteer Infantry and was promoted to Captain in the regular Army. He distinguished himself at the battles of Pittsburgh Landing, the Siege of Corinth, Stone River, Chickamauga, Mission Ridge and Resaca. After the Battle of Chickamauga he was promoted to Brigadier-General. Harker was mortally wounded at the battle of Kennesaw Mountain on June 27, 1864. View on Ohio Memory. Image ID: SC2948_Harker Subjects: Ohio--History--Civil War, 1861-1865; Military officers; Generals--United States; Portrait photography Places: Ohio
Description: Carte de visite portrait of Colonel Henry S. Commager of the 184th Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and a captain in Company A of the 67th O.V.I. The photograph was taken during his military service.
Commager (ca. 1817-1867) enlisted as a private at age 44 in Company A of the 14th Ohio Infantry Regiment on April 22, 1861. He steadily rose through the ranks, re-enlisting in Company A, Ohio 67th Infantry Regiment, on October 8, 1861, and continuing his advancement. He was promoted to full colonel on February 22, 1865, mustering out and enlisting in Company S, Ohio 184th Infantry Regiment, then was promoted to brigadier general on February 27. He mustered out of service on September 20, 1865, at Nashville, Tennessee. He died on August 14, 1867, and is buried in Galveston, Texas. Commager is the grandfather of his namesake Henry Steele Commager, born in 1902, a noted American historian. View on Ohio Memory. Image ID: AV13_B01_22 Subjects: Ohio--History--Civil War, 1861-1865; Military officers; Generals--United States; Portrait photography Places: Ohio
Description: Carte de visite portrait of Ohio geologist Charles Whittlesey pictured in his Civil War uniform.
Whittlesey, born in 1808, graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point and served in the U.S. Army during the Black Hawk War in 1832. He resigned his commission, studied law, and became an attorney in Cleveland, Ohio. While at West Point, Whittlesey had studied geology; he became an assistant geologist of Ohio in 1837 and participated in the geological survey of the state conducted in the late 1830s. With the outbreak of the Civil War, he immediately enlisted in the Union Army, and in April 1861, he became the assistant quartermaster-general for Ohio troops. He also participated in the western Virginia campaign of 1861, serving as the chief engineer for Ohio's military units.
Following this campaign, Whittlesey helped design the defenses of Cincinnati, and he became the colonel in command of the 20th Ohio Infantry. He participated in the Battles of Fort Donelson and Shiloh. Ill health caused him to resign from the military in April 1862. In 1867, he helped establish the Western Reserve Historical Society and served as the organization's president until his death on October 18, 1886. Whittlesey authored approximately 200 books and articles, mostly about geology and early Ohio early history. View on Ohio Memory. Image ID: SC4190_Whittlesey Subjects: Ohio--History--Civil War, 1861-1865; Military officers; Portrait photography; Geology -- Ohio; Authors Places: Cleveland (Ohio); Cuyahoga County (Ohio)
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