Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

of Montpelier, a lady appeared in the audience wearing a finely ornamented butternut breastpin. A resolute Union girl present spied the disloyal emblem, whereupon she seized it, and, after a brief struggle, during which time the air seemed filled with articles of feminine apparel, she carried it off in triumph. An account of this scene having reached the boys in the army, they sent the Union girl $5 in greenbacks with their warmest expressions of approval of her loyal conduct. Many other instances of a similar character might be narrated, if space permitted.

a

POLITICAL AND WAR MEETINGS. In May, 1863, the Democrats of Bryan and vicinity held a rousing meeting at Bryan. Distinguished speakers were present, and a large pole (hickory) was raised, and a magnificent national banner, 20x30 feet, was run up amid great enthusiasm and applause. Early in June they had another “big day," on which occasion John J. Hootman, Rev. M. Cheney and Dr. Q. H. Graser, delivered speeches, the latter speaking in German. All the speakers opposed the continuation of the war as regards any interference with slavery. It was noticed by the editor of the Leader that a delegation of citizens from Bridgewater Township carried a banner which had eleven stars in a field of white. The editor thought the flag a very significant one. About a week later, the Republicans of the county met at Bryan to elect delegates to the State Convention at Columbus. The largest crowd ever in Bryan up to that time assembled, there being present, as estimated by various parties, from six thousand to eight thousand people. The Republicans had endeavored to excel in numbers, loyalty, enthusiasm, etc., the Democratic meeting of the week before. Centre Township, in fifty wagons, came in early in the morning, headed by the Centre Brass Band. A very tall flag pole was raised early in the morning, and a fine flag was soon flying from its top. A long delegation arrived from St. Joseph under J. 0. Rose, Marshal, headed with martial music, and consisting of a group of horsemen, followed by a long line of wagons, carriages and pedestrians. The townships of Northwest, Bridgewater, Madison, Florence, Superior and Jefferson, concentrated at West Jefferson, formed a procession of over three hundred teams and marched down to Bryan, headed by the Bryan Band, which had gone up for the purpose of marching down with them. Capt. 0.0. Kelsea was Chief Marshal of the day, and Capt. William Stough, Lieut. J. H. Long, Dr. A. L. Snyder, M. P. Mason, E. L. Richardson and L. M. Boothman, Assistant Marshals. A fine delegation of over one hundred tearns arrived from Brady, Springfield and Mill Creek. The various fragments were united, and the whole procession, consisting of over six hundred teams, marched through the principal streets amid the wildest enthusiasm. Hundreds of banners

[ocr errors]

with all sorts of loyal devices and mottoes were carried, and the procession was led by two six-horne wagons, each containing thirty-four girls dressed in white and ornamented with flowers and national colors. Bryan had never before witnessed a pageant so brilliant and imposing. Dr. H. A. Ensign was President of the Day. The usual ceremonies on such occasions were enjoyed. John R. Osborn delivered a short speech, and was followed by Hon. John L. Greene, who enchained the vast audience for over two hours with his eloquence.

ADDITIONAL RECRUITING. Capt. Andrew Newman began recruiting for the Thirty-eighth in June, 1863. In this month, Edgerton sent out a company commanded by Capt. Wood, for the six months' service, the first in Northwestern Ohio raised for that department. In July, Lewis Geaugue, Levi Noble and Frank Elder, commenced recruiting for Maj. McQuilkin's battalion. Capt. Stough, Thomas Yates, John Carnaban, Capt. J. H. Palmer, James Beechler and Lieut. T. B. Hanna, also began recruiting for the two companies that were to be raised in the county. These men were for the six months' service under the call of June 15, for 100,000 men. Rousing war meetings were again held in all parts of the county. In August, 1863, a Ladies' Union League was organized at Bryan, Mrs. L. A. Eckes being President. If similar organizations were formed in other parts of the county, such fact is not known to the writer. The following advertisement appeared in the Leader about this time:

WANTED-CORRESPONDENCE. Two brave, gay and festive young soldiers, who have lately been marching through mud and rain after Skedaddle Bragg, have become mud-bound near the mountains, and hence have got the blues. So, accordingly, they challenge Uncle Sam's fair nieces to write on love, fun and the consequences, as they are bound after the Union of States is secured to settle down in the Union with some fair girl who is noble and true. Correspondence from Brady and Pulaski Townships preferred. Address

WILLIAM BLAIR or HARRY TOBIAS, Company H, Second Ohio Volunteer Cavalry, Second Brigade, Third Division, Army of the Cumberland.

MILITIA ORGANIZATIONS. In August, 1863, all the militia of the county capable of bearing arms were formed into the First Regiment, 0. 0. Kelsea, Colonel; Second Regiment, George Helwig, Colonel ; and Third Battalion, P. W. Norris, Lieutenant Colonel. These organizations were only partly perfected; they were the means, however, of preparing the way for the more rapid enlistment of men to fill the county's subsequent quotas. An enormous mass-meeting was held at Bryan in September, 1863, Hons. John A. Bingham, of Ohio, and George W. Julian, of Indiana, being the speakers. Political questions in the county, during the autumn of 1863, ran to feverheat. Meetings were held everywhere, and speakers of all degrees of loyalty, eloquence and intelligence, thundered their sentiments and those of their party from every public building. Churches, where erst were heard the humble prayers and simple songs of worshipers, were transformed into halls of political enthusiasm, where wrathful utterances and enduring animosities were exchanged. There was as much excitement in the county during the latter part of 1863, as there was during the Presidential campaign of 1864.

NEW CALLS FOR TROOPS.

The call of President Lincoln, October 17, 1863, for 300,000 three years' men stimulated anew the enlistment. John W. Pollock began recruiting for the Thirty-eighth ; William Stough for the Ninth Cavalry; J. P. Caldwell and C. H. Everhard, also for the Ninth Cavalry. The county did not respond properly to its quota under the call, and the 10th of March, 1864, was fixed for the draft. The quota of the county under the call of June 15, 1863, for 100,000 six months' men, and the call of October 17, 1863, for 300,000 three years' men, was as follows: Springfield, 26; Brady, 21; Jefferson, 22; Centre, 23; Pulaski, 50; St. Joseph, 22; Florence, 20; Northwest, 21 ; Bridgewater, 17; Superior, 21 ; Madison, 19; Mill Creek, 16. On the 11th of February, 1864, the county lacked sixty-seven men of filling its quota, but as this number was considerably reduced before March 10, the draft was postponed to April 15, at which time the county had entirely freed itself by enlistment. At this time, the offers of bounty from the county, from individuals, and from the State and Nation, were very enticing, the total footing up to about $500 for each volunteer. In May, 1864, the only company from the county in the 100-days' service left Pioneer under the command of Capt. Richard Gaudern. The call of the President, July 18, 1864, for 500,000 men, was responded to by the opening of enlistment offices in all portions of the county. On the 11th of August, 1864, there was yet due from the county under all previous calls the following number of men: Springfield, 7; Brady, 39; Jefferson, 40; Centre, 41; St. Joseph, 49; Florence, 27; Northwest, 39; Superior, 41; Bridgewater, 32; Madison, 31; Mill Creek, 29; Pulaski, 0. Total, 375. It should be noted at this point that, during the enlistment of men under previous calls, many had come from distant portions of the county and had joined the companies raised at Bryan and Stryker, and, instead of giving their real residence, they carelessly permitted their names to go on the muster rolls as residents of those towns. It will thus be seen that Pulaski and Springfield Townships were wrongly credited with volunteers, from the other townships. This, late in the year 1864, occasioned much bitterness in the county, as will be seen farther along. In August, 1864, W. E. Kintigh began raising men for the war. Other offices were opened, but the county could not free itself, and on the 26th of September, the following draft was made upon the county at Toledo : Jefferson, 40; Centre, 38; St. Joseph, 42; Florence, 24 ; Superior, 40; Northwest, 36; Bridgewater, 30; Mill Creek, 16. The other townships had filled their quotas (partly as above stated) and were free. John Kent was Provost Marshal of the Tenth District, and Capt. E. J. Evans, Deputy. A week later, the drafted men (the most of them) left for Toledo, quite a disturbance occurring at the depot on the occasion of their departure.

FURTHER WAR MEASURES. The Presidential campaign of 1864 was spirited, and left a lasting impression upon the mind. Each party thoroughly organized for the struggle which was to decide the question of continuing the war. Meetings were held every week, clubs were formed, and torch-light processions paraded nightly with martial music, banners and intense enthusiasm. When the election returns finally came in, and the country stood pledged to quell the rebellion at all hazards and at any cost, the feeling among loyal men rose to mountainous heights, and only found vent in long-continued rejoicings and jubilees. After this, the county took a new start in the direction of speedily crushing the rebellion. In November, 1864, a supplementary draft was made upon the county at Toledo, to supply the

, deficiency of exempted men and men who had deserted (a few) under the draft of September 26. The following is the draft: Centre, 10; Florence, 12; St. Joseph, 22; Jefferson, 14; and Northwest, 12. The quota of the county under the call of December 19, 1864, for 300,000 one, two and three years' men was as follows: Springfield, 10; Brady, 21; Jefferson, 22; Centre, 18; Pulaski, 0; St. Joseph, 14; Florence, 21; Northwest, 23; Superior, 28; Bridgewater, 27; Madison, 23; Mill Creek, 15. At this time, the question of the “veteran credits ” began to create much bitterness and interest. Pulaski and Springfield Townships had been wrongly credited with veterans from other townships who had carelessly given Bryan and Stryker as their residences at the time of enlistment or, perhaps, when they were “veteranized.” The other townships put in their claims for men or money as follows, each man being valued at $200, the bounty necessary to secure volunteers : Pulaski owed Bridgewater three men or $600; Madison two men or $100; Centre ten men or $2,000; Jefferson sixteen men or $3,200; and Superior eleven men or $2,200. Springfield owed Bridgewater three men or $600; Madison three men or $600; Florence four men or $800; and Mill Creek

four men or $800. The military committee of the county were asked to correct the error, but they either could not or would not; at least, they did not.

The county papers were for weeks filled with long, wrathful letters, pro and con, on the question; but nothing was done to correct the trouble. The termination of the war ended the vexing question. At one time a mass convention was held by the aggrieved townships at Montpelier to consider the question, and the following petition was sent to the Governor of Ohio:

To His Excellency, John Brough, Governor of Chio: The undersigned citizens of Williams County, Ohio, would respectfully represent that on the 4th of February, 1865, a mass convention was held at Montpelier in said county, attended by citizens of nine townships, and that at that convention, among the business transacted, as will appear from a report of the proceedings herewith transmitted to your Excellency, the following resolucions were unanimously adopted :

Resolved, That though we do not by this act proclaim as our belief that there are not among the military committee of the county men who are willing to do justice and to deal impartially with the whole county; yet, as a whole, the committee have not the confidence of the people of these townships, and we shall hail with pleasure the day when the way shall be made clear for the re-organization of that body.

That since the adoption of the foregoing resolution by said convention, the members of the military committee, who are therein referred 10, have, by their persistent refusal or neglect to resign the positions they occupy, continued to disregard the will of the people, 80 clearly and unmistakably expressed. Your petitioners, therefore, pray that your Excellency may appoint instead another military committee for this county, and that the members of the same may be fairly distributed among the different towuships of the same.

SUPERIOR, March 20, 1865. No response to this petition came from the Governor, and the early termination of the war obliterated the conditions requiring one.

COUNTY AID SOCIETIES.

On the 31st of October, 1861, in response to the first calls for sanitary aid from Western Virginia, the ladies of Bryan, pursuant to notice, met at the court house for the purpose of taking some definite action in accordance with the suggestions of the Governor of Ohio for the formation of ladies' aid societies. A long, excellent series of resolutions was adopted. Mrs. M. Blinkley was made President; Mary Anderson, Vice President; Mrs. A. M. Pratt, Secretary ; Mrs. S. J. Moon, Treasurer; Mrs. W. H. Keck, Mrs. W. A. Stevens, Mrs. Alvin Spencer, Mrs. Fisher, Mrs. Allen and Miss Fulton, Directresses; Mrs. I. R. Sherwood, Mrs. Jacob Youse, Mrs. Walt, Mrs. James Bell, Miss Pike, Miss Delia Crall and Miss Laura Cunningham, Executive Committee. The following subordinate committees were also appointed: West Jefferson, Mrs. Dr. Omo and Mrs. J. Gilbert ; West Unity, Mrs. G. H. Pierce and Mrs. Letcher; Mill Creek, Mrs. E. G. Denman and Mrs. T. Landon; Pioneer, Mrs. Dr. Gaudern and Miss Rogers; Montpelier, Mrs. Dr. Snyder and Mrs. Platt; Stryker,

« ForrigeFortsett »