Hamilton County -  Continued

Page 754

Thus situated, the officers were urged, by an irresistible impulse, to tax their wits for expedients to fill up the chasms of leisure which were left on their hands after a full discharge of their military duties; and, as is too frequently the case, in such circumstances, the bottle, the dice-box and the card-table were among the expedients resorted to, because they were the nearest at hand and the most easily procured.


It is a distressing fact that a very large proportion of the officers under General WAYNE, and subsequently under General WILKINSON, were hard drinkers. HARRISON, CLARK, SHOMBERG, FORD, STRONG and a few others were the only exceptions. Such were the habits of the army when they began to associate with the inhabitants of Cincinnati, and of the western settlements generally, and to give tone to public sentiment.


As a natural consequence the citizens indulged in the same practices and formed the same habits. As a proof of this it may be stated that when Mr. BURNET came to the bar there were nine resident lawyers engaged in the practice, of whom he is and has been for many years the only survivor. They all became confirmed sots, and descended to premature graves, excepting his brother, who was a young man of high promise, but whose life was terminated by a rapid consumption in the summer of 1801. He expired under the shade of a tree, by the side of the road, on the banks of Paint creek, a few miles from Chillicothe.


On the 9th of November, 1793, William MAXWELL established at Cincinnati. The citizens of the Northwestern Territory, with the motto, “Open to all parties— influenced by none.” It was on a half-sheet, royal quarto size, and was the first newspaper printed north of the Ohio river. In 1796 Edward FREEMAN became the owner of the paper, which he changed to Freeman’s Journal, which he continued until the beginning of 1800, when he removed to Chillicothe. On the 28th of May, 1799, Joseph CARPENTER issued the first number of a weekly paper entitled the Western Spy and Hamilton Gazette. On the 11th of January, 1794, two keel-boats sailed from Cincinnati to Pittsburg, each making a trip once in four weeks. Each boat was so covered as to be protected against rifle and musket-balls, and had port-holes to fire out at, and was provided with six pieces carrying pound balls, a number of muskets and ammunition, as a protection against the Indians on the banks of the Ohio. In 1801 the first sea-vessel equipped for sea—of 100 tons, built at Marietta—passed down the Ohio, carrying produce, and the banks of the river at Cincinnati were crowed with spectators to witness this novel event. December 19, 1801, the Territorial Legislature passed a bill removing the seat of government from Chillicothe to Cincinnati.


January 2,1802, the Territorial Legislature incorporated the town of Cincinnati, and the following officers were appointed David ZIEGLER, President; Jacob BURNET, Recorder; Wm. RAMSAY, David E. WADE, Chas. AVERY, John REILY, Wm. STANLEY, Samuel DICK, and WM. RUFFNER, Trustees; Jo PRINCE, Assessor; Abram CARY, Collector; and James SMITH, Town Marshal. In 1795 the town contained 94 cabins, 10 frame houses, and about 500 inhabitants. In 1800 the population was estimated at 750, and, in 1810, it was 2,540.


We give on an adjoining page a view of Cincinnati, taken by J. CUTLER, as it appeared about the year 1810. It is from an engraving in “the Topographical Description of Ohio, Indiana Territory, and Louisiana,” by a late officer of the army,” and published at Boston, in 1812.


That work states that Cincinnati contains about 400 dwellings, an elegant court-house, jail, 3 market-houses, and a land-office for the sale of Congress lands, 2 printing-offices, issuing weekly gazettes, 30 mercantile stores, and the various branches of mechanism are carried on with spirit. Industry of every kind being duly encouraged by the citizens, it is likely to become a considerable manufacturing place. It has a bank, issuing notes under the authority of the State, called the Miami Exporting Company. . . . A considerable trade is carried on between Cincinnati and New Orleans in keel-boats, which return laden with foreign goods. The passage of a boat, of forty tons, down to New Orleans, is computed at about twenty-five, and its return at about sixty-five days.


Page 755


In 1819 a charter was obtained from the State Legislature, by which Cincinnati was incorporated as a city. This, since repeatedly amended and altered, forms the basis of its present municipal authority.



[From the Original Edition.]


Cincinnati is 116 miles southwest Columbus; 120 southeast Indianapolis, Indiana; 90 north-northwest Lexington, Kentucky; 270 north—northeast Nashville, Tennessee; 455 below Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, by the course of the river; 132 above Louisville, Kentucky; 494 above the mouth of the Ohio river, and 1,447 miles above New Orleans by the Mississippi and Ohio rivers; 518 by post-route west of Baltimore ; 617 miles west by south of Philadelphia; 950 from New York by Lake Erie, Erie canal, and Hudson river, and 492 from Washington City. It is in 39 deg. 6 minutes 30 seconds N. lat., and 7 deg. 24 minutes 25 seconds W. long. It is the largest city of the West north of New Orleans, and the fifth in population in the United States, it is situated on the north bank of the Ohio river, opposite the mouth of Licking river, which enters the Ohio between Newport and Covington, Kentucky. The Ohio here has a gradual bend towards the south.


This city is near the eastern extremity of a valley about twelve miles in circumference surrounded by beautiful hills, which rise to the height of 300 feet by gentle and varying slopes, and mostly covered with native forest trees. The summit of these hills presents a beautiful and picturesque view of the city and valley. The city is built on two table-lands, the one elevated from forty to sixty feet above the other. Low-water mark in the river, which is 108 below the upper part of the city, is 432 feet above tide-water at Albany, and 133 feet below the level of Lake Erie. The population in 1800 was 750; in 1810, 2,540; in 1820, 9,602; in 1830, 24,831; in 1840, 43,338; and, in 1847, over 90,000. Employed in commerce in 1840, 2,223; in manufacturing and trades, 10,866 navigating rivers and canals, 1,748; in the learned professions, 377. Covington and Newport, opposite in Kentucky, and Fulton and the adjacent parts of Mill Creek township on the north are, in fact, suburbs of Cincinnati, and if added to the above population would extend it to 105,000. The shore of the Ohio at the landing is substantially paved to low-water mark, and is supplied with floating wharves, adapted to the great rise and kill of river, which renders the landing and shipping of goods at all times convenient.


Cincinnati seems to have been originally laid out on the model of Philadelphia —with great regularity. North of Main street, between the north side of Front street and the bank of the river, is the landing, an open area of 10 acres, with about 1,000 feet front. This area is of great importance to the business of the city, and generally presents a scene of much activity. The corporate limits include about four square miles. The central part is compactly and finely built, with spacious warehouses, large stores, and handsome dwellings; but in its outer parts it is but partially built up and the houses irregularly scattered. Many of them are of stone or brick, but an equal or greater number are of wood, and are generally from two to three stories high. The city contains over 11,000 edifices, public and private; and of those recently erected, the number of brick exceeds those of wood, amid the style of architecture is constantly improving. Many of the streets are, well paved, extensively shaded with trees and the houses ornamented with shrubbery. The climate is more variable than on the Atlantic coast in the same latitude. Snow rarely falls sufficiently deep or lies long enough to furnish sleighing. Few places are more healthy, the average annual mortality being 1 in 40. The inhabitants are from every State in the Union, and from various countries in Europe. Besides natives of Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey have furnished the greatest number; but many are from New York, Virginia,


Page 756


Maryland and New England. Nearly one—fifth of the adult population are Germans. But England, Ireland, Scotland, France, and Wales have furnished considerable numbers.


The Ohio river at Cincinnati is 1,800 feet, or about one-third of a mile wide and its mean annual range from low to high water is about 50 feet; the extreme range may be about 10 feet more. The greatest depressions are generally in August, September, and October, and time greatest rise in December, March, May, and June. The upward navigation is generally suspended by floating ice for eight or ten weeks in the winter. Its current at its mean height is about three miles an hour; when higher and rising, it is more; and, when very low, it does not exceed two miles. The quantity of rain and snow which falls annually at Cincinnati is near 3 feet 9 inches. The wettest month is May, and the driest January. The average number of clear and fair days in a year is 146; of variable, 114; of cloudy, 105. There have been, since 1840, from thirty to thirty eight steamboats annually built, with an average aggregate tonnage of 6,500 tons.


Among the public buildings Cincinnati is the court-house, on Main street it is a spacious building. The edifice of the Franklin and Lafayette bank, of Cincinnati, on Third street, has a splendid portico of Grecian Doric columns, 4 feet 6 inches in diameter, extending through the entire front, was built after the model of the Parthenon, and is truly classical and beautiful. The First and Second Presbyterian churches are beautiful edifices, and the Unitarian church is singularly neat. There are several churches, built within the last three years, which possess, either internally or externally. But the most impressive building is the Catholic Cathedral, which, at far less cost, surpasses in beauty and picturesque effect the metropolitan edifice at Baltimore. There are many fine blocks of stores on Front, Walnut, Pearl, Main, and Fourth streets, and the eye is arrested by many beautiful habitations. The most showy quarters are Main street, Broadway, Pearl, and Court street west of its intersection with Main.


There are 76 churches in Cincinnati, viz: 7 Presbyterian (4 Old and 3 New School); 2 Congregational ; 12 Episcopal Methodist; 2 Methodist Protestant; 2 Wesleyan Methodist; 1 Methodist Episcopal South;1 Bethel; 1 Associate Reformed; 1 Reformed Presbyterian; 6 Baptist ; 5 Disciples; 1 Universalist; 1 Restorationist; 1 Christian; 8 German Lutheran and Reformed; English Lutheran and Reformed, 1 each; 1 United Brethren; 1 Welsh Calvinistic; 1 Welsh Congregational; 1 Unitarian; 2 Friends; 1 New Jerusalem; 8 Catholic, 6 of which are for Germans; 2 Jewish synagogues; 5 Episcopal, and 1 Second Advent.


There are 5 market-houses and 3 theatres, of which 1 is German.


Cincinnati contains many literary and charitable institutions. The Cincinnati College was founded in 1819. The building is in the centre of the city, and is the most beautiful edifice of the kind in the State. It is of the Grecian Doric order, with pilaster fronts and façade of Dayton marble, and cost about $35,000. It has 7 professors or other instructors, about 160 pupils, one-quarter of whom are in the collegiate department. Woodward College, named from its founder who gave a valuable block of ground in the north part of the city, has a president and 5 professors or other instructors, and, including its preparatory department near 200 students. The Catholics have a college called St. Xavier’s, which has about 100 students and near 5,000 volumes in its libraries. Lane Seminary, a theological institution it at Walnut Hills, two miles from the centre of the city. It went into operation in 1833, has near 100 students, and over 10,000 volumes in its libraries. There is no charge for tuition. Rooms are provided and furnished at $5 per annum, and the students boarded at 90 and 62 1/2 cents per week. The Medical College was chartered and placed under trustees in 1825. It has a large and commodious building, a library of over 2,000 volumes, 7 professors, and about 150 students. The Cincinnati Law School is connected with Cincinnati College, has 3 professors and about 30 students. The Mechanics’ Institute,

Page 757


chartered in 1828, has a valuable philosophical and chemical apparatus, a library and a reading-room. The common free schools of the city are of a high order, with fine buildings, teachers, and apparatus. In the high schools there are not less than 1,500 pupils; in the common and private, 5,000; and, including the


Drawn by Henry Howe in 1846.



students in the collegiate institutions, there are 7,000 persons in the various departments of education. In 1831 a college of teachers was established, having for its object the elevation of the profession, and the advancement of the interest of schools in the Mississippi Valley, which holds an animal meeting in Cincinnati in October. The Young Men’s Mercantile Library Association has a fine library and reading-rooms. The library contains over 3,800 volumes, and


Drawn by Henry Howe, 1846



the institute promises to be an honor and a blessing to the commercial community. The Apprentices’ Library, founded in 1821, contains 2,200 volumes.


The charitable institutions of the city are highly respectable. The Cincinnati orphan asylum is in a building which cost $l8, 000. Attached is a library and well-organized school with a provision even for infants; and it is surrounded by

Page 758


ample grounds. It has trained up over 300 children for usefulness. The Catholics have one male and female orphan asylum. The commercial hospital and lunatic asylum of Ohio was incorporated 1821. The edifice, in the north-west part of the city, will accommodate 250 persons; 1,100 have been admitted within a year. A part of the building is used for a poor-house; and there are separate apartments for the insane.


The city is supplied by water raised from the Ohio river, by a steam-engine, forty horse-power, and forced into two reservoirs, on a hill, 700 feet distant; from whence it is carried pipes to the intersection of Broadway and Third streets, and thence distributed through the principle streets in pipes. These works are now owned by the city.


Cincinnati is an extensive manufacturing place. Its natural destitution of water-power is extensively compensated at present by steam-engines, and by the surplus water of the Miami canal, which affords 3000 cubic feet per minute. But the Cincinnati and White Water canal, which extends twenty-five miles and connects with the White Water canal of Indiana, half a mile south of Harrison, on the State line, will furnish a great increase of water-power, equal to ninety runs of millstones. The manufactures of the city, already large, may be expected to greatly increase. By a late enumeration, it appears that the manufactures of Cincinnati of all kinds employ 10,647 persons, a capital of $14,541,842, and produce articles of over seventeen millions of dollars value.


The trade of Cincinnati embraces the country from the Ohio to the lakes, north and south; and from the Scioto to the Wabash, east and west. The Ohio river line, in Kentucky, for fifty miles down, and as far up as the Virginia line, make their purchases here. Its manufactures are sent into the upper and lower Mississippi country.


There are six incorporated banks, with aggregate capital of $5,800,000, beside two unincorporated banks. Cincinnati is the greatest pork market in the world. Not far from three millions of dollars worth of pork are annually exported.


Cincinnati enjoys great facilities for communication with the surrounding country. The total length of canals, railroads and turnpikes which centre here, completed and constructed, is 1,125 miles. Those who have made it a matter of investigation predict that Cincinnati will eventually be a city of a. very great population. A writer, J. W. SCOTT, editor of the Toledo Blade, in Cist’s “Cincinnati in 1841” in a long article on this subject, commences with the startling announcement, “Not having before my eyes the fear of men, ‘who—in the language of Governor MORRIS—with too much pride to study and too much wit to think, undervalue what they do not understand, and condemn what they do not comprehend,” I venture the prediction, that within one hundred years from this time, Cincinnati will be the greatest city in America; and by the year of our Lord 2000 the greatest city in the world.” We have not space here to recapitulate the arguments on which thus prediction is based. The prediction itself we place on record for future reference. —Old Edition




The few following pages are devoted to incidents which transpired within the city and county up to the time of issue of the edition of 1847. They were derived mainly from newspapers and other publications.


Adventure of Jacob WETZE, the Indian Hunter,—The road along the Ohio river, leading to Storrs and Delhi, some four hundred yards below the junction of Front and Fifth streets, crosses what, in early days, was the outlet of water-course, and notwithstanding the changes made by the lapse of years, and the building improvements adjacent, the spot still possess many features of its original surface, although now divested of its forest character. At the period of this adventure—October 7, 1790—besides the dense forest of maple and beech, its heavy undergrowth of spice-wood and grape-vine


Page 759


made it an admirable lurking-place for the savage beasts, and more savage still, the red men of the woods.


WETZEL had been out on his accustomed pursuit—hunting—and was returning to town, at that time a few cabins and huts collected in the space fronting the river, and extending from Main street to Broadway. He had been very successful, and was returning to procure a horse to bear a load too heavy for his own shoulders, and, at the spot alluded to, had sat down on a decaying tree-trunk to rest himself, and wipe the sweat front his brow, which his forcing his way through the brush had started, cool as was the weather, when he heard the rustling of leaves and branches, which betokened that an animal or an enemy was approaching. Silencing the growl of his dog, who sat at his feet, and appeared equally conscious of danger, he sprang behind a tree and discovered the dark form of an Indian, halt hidden by the body of a large oak, who had his rifle in his hands, ready for any emergency that might require the use of it—as he, too, appeared to be on his guard, having heard the low growling of the dog. At this instant, the dog also spied the Indian and barked aloud, which told the Indian of the proximity of his enemy. To raise his rifle was but the work of a moment, and the distinct cracks of two weapons were heard almost at the same time. The Indian’s fell from his hands, as the ball of the hunter’s had penetrated and broken the elbow of his left arm, while the hunter escaped unhurt. Before the Indian could possibly reload his rifle in his wounded condition, WETZEL had rushed swiftly upon him with his knife, but not before the Indian had drawn his. The first thrust was parried off by the Indian with his greatest skill, and the shock was so great in the effort that the hunter’s weapon was thrown some thirty feet from him. Nothing daunted, he threw himself upon the Indian with all his force and seized him around the body; at the same time encircling the right arm, in which the Indian still grasped his knife. The Indian, however, was a very muscular fellow, and the conflict now seemed doubtful indeed. The savage was striving with all his might to release his arm, in order to use his knife. In their struggle, their feet became interlocked, and they both fell to the ground, the Indian uppermost, which extricated the Indian’s arm from the iron grasp of the hunter. He was making his greatest endeavors to use his knife, but could not, from the position in which they were lying, as WETZEL soon forced him over on his right side, and, consequently, he could have no use of his arm.


Just at this point of the deadly conflict, the Indian gave an appalling yell, and, with renewed strength, placed his enemy underneath him again, and with a most exulting cry of victory, as he sat upon his body, raised his arm for that fatal plunge. WETZEL saw death before his eyes, and gave himself up for lost, when, just at this most critical juncture, his faithful dog, who had not been an uninterested observer of the scene, sprang forward and seized the Indian with such force by the throat, as caused the weapon to fall harmless from his hand. WETZEL, seeing such a sudden change in his fate, made one last and desperate effort for his life, and threw the Indian front him. Before the prostrate savage had time to recover himself, the hunter had seized his knife, and with re-doubled energy rushed upon him, and with his foot firmly planted on the Indian’s breast, plunged the weapon up to the hilt in his heart. The savage gave one convulsive shudder, and was no more.


As soon as WETZEL had possessed himself of his rifle, together with the Indian’s weapons, he started immediately on his way. He had gone but a short distance when his ears were assailed by the startling whoop of a number of Indians. He ran eagerly for the river, and, fortunately, finding a canoe on the beach near the water, was soon out of reach, and made his way, without further danger, to the cove at the foot of Sycamore street.


The Indians came up to the place of the recent reencounter, and discovered the body of a fallen comrade. They gave a most hideous yell when, upon examination, they recognized in the dead Indian the features of one of their bravest chiefs.


O. M. SPENCER Taken Captive.—In July,1792, two men, together with Mrs. COLEMAN and Oliver M. SPENCER, then a lad, were returning in a canoe from Cincinnati to Columbia; they were fired upon by two Indians, in ambush on the river bank; one of the men was killed, and the other, a Mr. LIGHT, wounded. Mrs. COLEMAN jumped front the canoe into the river, and without making any exertions to swim, floated down nearly two miles. It is supposed she was borne up by her dress, which, according to the fashion of that time, consisted of a stuffed quilt and other buoyant robes. SPENCER was taken and carried captive to the Maumee, where he remained about eight months and was ransomed. A narrative of his captivity, written by himself, has been published by the Methodists, [For some further details see Defiance County.]


Scalping of Col. Robert Elliott.—In 1794 Col. Robert ELLIOTT, contractor for supplying the United States army, while traveling with his servant from Fort Washington to Fort Hamilton, was waylaid and killed by the Indians, at the big hill, south of where Thomas FLEMING lived, and near the line of Hamilton and Butler counties. When shot, he fell from his horse. The servant made his escape by putting his horse at full speed, followed by that of ELLIOTT’S into Fort Hamilton. The savage who shot the colonel, in haste to take his scalp, drew his knife, and seized him by the wig which he wore. To his astonishment, the scalp came off at the first, touch, when he exclaimed, ‘‘dam lie!” In a few minutes, the surprise of the party was over, and they made themselves merry at the expense of their comrade. The next




day, a party from the fort, under the guidance of the servant, visited the spot placed the body in a coffin and proceeded about their way to Fort Washington. About a mile south of Springdale they were fired upon by Indians, and the servant, who was on the horse of his late master, was shot at the first fire. The party retreated, leaving the body of Elliott with the savages, who had broken open the coffin, when the former rallied, re-took the body arid carried it, with that of the servant, to Cincinnati, and buried there side by side in the Presbyterian cemetery, on Twelfth street. Several years after, a neat monument was erected, with the following inscription:




In memory of



Near this point,

While in the service of his country,

Placed by his son,

Com. J. D. Elliott, U. S. Navy






A Witch Story—About the year 1814, one of our most wealthy and respectable farmers of Mill creek, who had taken great pains and expended much money in procuring and propagating a fine breed of horses, was unfortunate in losing a number of them, by a distemper which appeared to be of a novel character. As the disease baffled—all his skill, he soon became satisfied that it was the result of witchcraft. Under that impression, he consulted such persons as were reputed to have a knowledge of sorcery, or who pretended to be fortune-tellers. These persons instructed him how to proceed to discover and destroy the witch. One of the experiments he was directed to make was to boil certain ingredients, herbs, et cetera, over a hot fire, with pins and needles in the cauldron, which, he was told, would produce great mental and bodily distress in the witch or wizard. He tried that experiment, and while the pot was boiling furiously, placed himself in his door, which overlooked the principal part of his farm, including the field in which his horses were kept. It so happened, that, while standing in the door, he saw his daughter-in-law, who lived in a cabin about eighty rods from his own house, hastening to the spring for a bucket of water. His imagination connected that hurried movement with his incantation so strongly, that he immediately ordered his son to move his family from the farm.


From some cause, he had formed an opinion that a Mrs. GARRISON, an aged woman, in feeble health, fast sinking to the grave, living some eight or ten miles from his farm, was the principle agent in the destruction of his horses. He had frequently expressed that opinion in the neighborhood. Mrs. GARRISON had heard of it, and, as might be expected, her feelings were injured and her spirits much depressed by the slanderous report. One of time charms he had been directed to try was to shoot a silver bullet at a horse while the witch was evidently in him. This he was told would kill the witch and cure the animal. He accordingly prepared a silver ball, and shot it at a very fine brood-mare which was affected by the distemper. The mare, of course, was killed and as it so happened that, in a very short time after, Mrs. Garrison died, the experiment was declared to be successful, and the experimenter r believes to this day that his silver bullet killed the poor old woman. However that may be, his slanderous report had a great effect on her health, and no doubt hastened her death. — Burnet’s Notes.


EXPLOSION OF THE MOSELLE. —The new and elegant steamboat, Moselle, Captain PERKIN, left the wharf in Cincinnati, April 26, 1838 (full of passengers), for Louisville and St. Louis; and, with the view of taking a family on board at Fulton, about a mile and a half above the quay, proceeded up the river and ,and fast  to a lumber raft for that purpose. Here the family was taken on board and, during the whole time of their detention, the captain had madly held on to all the steam that he create, with the intention, not only of showing off to the best advantage the great speed of his boat, as it passed down the entire length of the city, but that he might overtake and pass another boat which had left the wharf for Louisville. But a short time previous. As time Moselle was a new brag boat, and had recently made several exceedingly quick trips to and from Cincinnati, it would not do to risk her popularity for speed, by giving to another boat (even though that boat had the advantage of time and distance) the most remote chance of being the first to arrive at the destined port. This insane policy—this poor ambition of proprietors and captains—has almost inevitably tended to the same melancholy results. The Moselle had but just parted from the lumber raft to which she had been fast—her wheels had scarcely made their first revolution—when her boilers burst with an awful and astounding noise, equal to the most violent clap of thunder. The explosion was destructive and heart-rending in the extreme; heads, limbs and bodies were seen flying through the air in every direction, attended with the most horrible shrieks and groans from the wounded and dying. The boat, at the time of the accident, was about thirty feet from the shore, and was rendered a perfect wreck. It scented to be entirely shattered as far back as the gentlemen’s cabin; and her hurricane deck, the whole length, was entirely swept away. The boat immediately began to sink, and float with a strong current down the river, at the same time receding farther from the shore—while

Page 761


the passengers, who yet remained unhurt in the gentlemen’s and ladies’ cabins, became panic-struck, and most of them, with a fatuity which seems unaccountable, jumped into the river. Being above the ordinary business parts of the city, there were no boats at hand, except a few large and unmanageable wood-floats, which were carried to the relief of the sufferers, as soon as possible, by the few persons on the shore. Many were drowned, however, before they could be rescued, and many sunk, who were never seen afterwards. There was one little boy on the shore who was seen wringing his hands in agony, imploring those present to save his father, mother and three sisters—all of whom were struggling in the water to gain the shore— but whom the little fellow had the awful misfortune to see perish, one by one, almost within his reach; an infant child, belonging to the family, was picked up alive, floating clown the river on one of the fragments of the hurricane deck.


The boat sunk about fifteen minutes after the explosion, leaving nothing to be seen but her chimneys and a small portion of her upper works.


The Asiatic Cholera.—This dreaded pestilence first visited the United States in 1832 and broke out in October of that year. The total number of deaths by it in Cincinnati was, as reported, 351. [The most fatal year of its visitation was in 1849, when out of a population of 116,000 the total deaths were 8,500. The deaths among the Germans and Irish were one in sixteen persons and among the Americans one in fifty-six. The causes of these results were doubtless owing to the different modes of living. The greatest mortality was in the hot month of July, yet great fires were made in some streets, but the disease went on with it fearful fatality and ‘‘the long funerals blackened all the way.”]


The Great Freshet of February, 1832.—The Ohio river commenced rising at this place about the 9th inst. On the 12th it began to swell over the banks and on the 14th many merchants and others near the river were compelled to remove their goods to the second story of their houses. It continued to rise rapidly till Saturday morning, February 18th when it came to a stand, having risen sixty-three feet above low water-mark. Differences of opinion exist as to its comparative height with the rises of 1792 and 1815. About noon, on the 18th it commences falling very slowly and yet continues to fall. In the course of two or three days it probably will be confined within its banks.


The rise was of the most distressing character. It carried desolation into all the lower parts of the city. Hundreds of families were turned houseless upon the community. During the early part of the rise many in the lower part of the city were awakened at night by the water pouring in upon them and were obliged to fly; others betook themselves to the upper stories and were brought away in boats the next morning. Many families continue to reside in the upper part of their dwellings, making use of boats in going from and returning to their stores and houses.


We have heard of the death of but two individuals, Mr. John HARDING and Mr. William AULSBROOK; the former a man of family, the latter a single man. They were in the employ of Mr. William TIFT, of this city, and lost their lives in endeavoring to keep the water out of his cellar. While at work the back wall of the building gave way the cellar filled in an instant and they were unable to get out. They both were very worthy men.


The water extended over about thirty-five squares of the thickly settled part of the city, from John street on the west to Deer creek on tee east, and north to Lower Market and Pearl streets. The distance of about a mile west of John street was likewise sub-merged. This part, of the city, however, is but thinly settled.


The amount of damage sustained by merchants, owners of improved real estate and others cannot be correctly ascertained. Many houses have floated away, a great number have moved from their foundations and turned over; many walls have settled so as to injure the houses materially, and a great quantity of lumber and other property has floated off. The large bridge over the mouth of Mill creek floated away, and that over Deer creek is much injured. Thousands and tens of thousands of dollars worth of dry goods, groceries, etc, have been destroyed or materially injured. Business of almost every description was stopped; money became scarce and wood and flour enormously high.


Active measures were taken by the citizens for the relief of the sufferers. A town meeting was held at the council chamber on the 15th inst. G. W. JONES was appointed chairman Samuel H. GOODIN secretary. On motion a committee of fifteen (three from a ward) was appointed to take up collections for the relief of the sufferers, consisting of the following persons E. HULSE, N. G. PENDLETON, E. C. SMITH, J. W. GAZLAY, Jno. WOOD, W. JONES, G. W. JONES, W. G. ORR W.

Page 762




A committee of vigilance was also appointed, whose duty it was to remove persons and goods surrounded with water. The following persons composed that committee: J. PIERCE, WM PHILLIPS, and Saml. FOSDICK, Wm STEPHENSON, Chas. FOX, Henry TATEM, I. A. BUTTERFIELD, Jas. MC INTYRE, N. M. WHITTEMORE, M. COFFIN, Jas. MC LEAN, J. ANNTUCK, .J D. GARARD, A. G. DODD and Fullom PERRY.


T. D. CARNEAL, J. N. MASON, J C. AVERY. Chas. FOX and R. BUCHANAN were appointed a committee to procure shelter for those whose houses were rendered untenable. On motion it was resolved that persons who may need assistance be requested to make application to the council chamber, where members of the committee of vigilance shall rendezvous and where one or more shall at all times remain for the purpose of affording relief. At a subsequent meeting twenty were added to the committee of vigilance.


It gives us pleasure to state that the in embers of the foregoing committees most faith-fully discharged their respective duties. A provision house was opened by the committee of vigilance, on Fourth street, where meats, bread, wood, clothes, etc., were liberally given to all who applied. The ladies sup-ported their well-known character for benevolence by contributing clothing and food to the sufferers. The committee appointed to collect funds found the citizens liberal in their donations. All who had vacant houses and rooms cheerfully appropriated them to the use of those made homeless. Public buildings, school-houses and basement stories of churches were appropriated to this purpose. Mr. BROWN, of the amphitheatre, Mr. FRANKS, proprietor of the gallery of paintings, Mr. R. LETTON, proprietor of the Museum, appropriated the entire proceeds of their houses, the first on the night of the 17th the second on the 18th, and the third on that of the 20th, for the relief of the sufferers. The Beethoven society of sacred music also gave a concert for the same purpose, in the Second Presbyterian church, on Fourth street, on the night of the 24th.


Destruction of the Philanthropist newspaper printing office by a mob, July 30, 1836.—The paper had then been published in Cincinnati about three months, and was edited by James G. BIRNEY. As early as the 14th of July, the press-room was broken open and the press and materials defaced and destroyed. July 23rd a meeting of citizens was convened at the lower market-house “to decide whether they will permit the publication or distribution of abolition papers in this city.’’ This meeting appointed a committee, which opened a correspondence with the conductors of that print—the executive committee of the Ohio Anti-slavery Society—requesting them to discontinue its publication. This effort being unsuccessful, the committee of citizens published the correspondence, to which they appended a resolution, in one clause of which they stated, “That in discharging their duties they have used all the measures of persuasion and conciliation in their power. That their exertions have not been successful the above correspondence will show. It only remains, then, influence of their instructions, to publish their proceedings and adjourn without day. But ere they do this, they owe it to themselves, and those whom they represent, to express their utmost abhorrence of everything like violence, and earnestly to implore their fellow-citizens to abstain therefrom.’’ The sequel is thus given by a city print.


On Saturday night, July 30th, very soon after dark, a concourse of citizens assembled at the corner of Main and Seventh streets in this city, and upon a short consultation, broke open the printing office of the Philanthropist, the abolition paper, scattered the type into the streets, tore down the presses and completely dismantled the office. It was owned by A. PUGH, a peaceable and orderly printer, who printed the Philanthropist for the Anti-slavery Society of Ohio. From the printing office the crowd went to the house of A. PUGH, where they supposed there were other printing materials, but found none, nor offered any violence. Then to the Messrs. DONALDSON’S, where only ladies were at home. The residence of Mr. BIRNEY, the editor, was then visited no person was at home but a youth, upon whose explanations the house was left undisturbed.


A shout was raised for Dr. COLBY’S, and the concourse returned to Main street, pro-posed to pile up the contents of the office in the Street and make a bonfire of them. A gentleman mounted the pile and advised against burning it, lest the houses near might take fire. A portion of the press was then dragged down Main street, broken up and thrown into the river. The Exchange was then visited and refreshments taken. After which the concourse again went up Main Street to about opposite the Gazette office. Some suggestions were hinted that it should be demolished, but the hint was overruled. An attack was then made upon the residences of some blacks in Church alley; two guns were fired upon the assailants and they recoiled. It was supposed that one man was wounded, but that was not the case. It was some time before a rally could again be made, several voices declaring they did not wish to endanger themselves. A second attack was made, the houses found empty and their interior contents destroyed. . . . On the afternoon of August 2d, pursuant to a call, a very large and respectable meeting of citizens met at the court-house and passed a series of resolutions, the first of which was “that this meeting deeply regret the cause of the recent occurrences, and entirely disapprove of mobs or other unlawful assemblages.” The concluding resolution was approbatory of the course of the colonization society, and expressed an opinion that it was the only method of getting clear of slavery.”


Negro Riot of September, 1841.—This city

Page 763


has been in a most alarming condition for several days, and from 8 o’clock on Friday evening until 3 o’clock yesterday [Sunday] morning almost entirely at the mercy of a lawless mob, ranging in number from 200 to 1500.


On Tuesday evening last, as we are informed, a quarrel took place on the corner of Sixth street and Broadway, between a party of Irishmen and some negroes; some two or three of each party were wounded. On Wednesday night the quarrel was renewed in some way, and some time after midnight a party of excited then, armed with clubs, etc., attacked a house occupied as a negro boarding-house on Macalister street, demanding the surrender of a negro whom they said was secreted in the house, and uttering the most violent threats against the house and the negroes in general. Several of the adjoining houses were occupied by negro families. The violence increased and was resisted by those in or about the houses—an engagement took place, in which several were wounded on each side. On Thursday night another encounter took place in the neighborhood of the Lower Market between some young men and boys and some negroes, in which one or two boys were badly wounded, as was supposed, with knives.


On Friday evening before 8 o’clock a mob, the principal organization of which, we understand, took place in Kentucky, openly assembled in Fifth street market, unmolested by the police or citizens. They marched from their rendezvous towards Broadway and Sixth street, armed with clubs, stones, etc. Reaching the scene of operation with shouts and blasphemous imprecations they attacked a negro confectionery in Broadway, next to the synagogue, and demolished the doors and windows. This attracted an immense crowd.


About this time, before 9 o’clock, they were addressed by J. W. PIATT, who exhorted them to peace and obedience to the law but his voice was drowned by shouts and throwing of stones. The mayor also attempted to ad-dress them. The savage yell was instantly raised: “Down with him! run him off,” were shouted and intermixed with horrid imprecations and exhortations to the mob to move onward. A large portion of the leading disturbers appeared to be strangers—some connected with river navigation and backed by boat hands of the lowest order. They advanced to the attack with stones, etc. and were repeatedly fired upon by the negroes. The mob scattered, but immediately rallied again, and again were in like manner repulsed.


Men were wounded on both sides and carried off—and many reported dead. The negroes rallied several times advanced upon the crowd, and most unjustifiably fired down the street into it, causing a great rush down the street. These things, were repeated until past 1 o’clock when a party procured an iron six pounder front near the river, loaded with boiler punchings, etc., and hauled it to the ground, against the exhortations of the mayor and others. It was posted on Broadway and pointed down Sixth street. The yells continued, but there was a partial cessation of firing. Many of the negroes had fled to the hills. The attack upon the houses was recommenced with the firing of guns upon both sides, which continued during most of the night and exaggerated rumors of the killed and wounded filled the streets. The cannon was discharged several times. About 2 o’clock a portion of the military, upon the call of the mayor, proceeded to the scene and disorder and succeeded in keeping the mob at bay. In the morning and throughout the day several blocks, including the battle-ground, were surrounded with sentinels and kept under martial law—keeping within the negroes there, add adding to them it such as were brought in during the day for protection.


A meeting of citizens was held at the court-house on Saturday morning, which was addressed by the mayor and others, and a series of resolutions passed discountenancing mobs—invoking the aid of the civil authorities to stay the violence, repudiating the doctrines of the abolitionists, etc. The city council also held a special session to concert measures to vindicate the majesty of the law and re-store peace to the city. Intense excitement continued during the day, the mob and their leaders boldly occupying the streets without arrest. The negroes held a meeting in a church and respectfully assured the mayor and citizens that they would use every effort to conduct as orderly citizens, to suppress imprudent conduct among their own people, etc. They expressed their readiness to conform to time law of 1807, and give bond, or to leave within a specified time—and tendered their thanks to the mayor, watch, officers and gentlemen of the city for the efforts made to save their property, their lives, their wives and children.


At 3 P.M. the mayor, sheriff, marshal and a portion of the police, proceeded to the battle-ground, and there, under the protection of the military, though in the presence of the mob, and so far controlled by them as to prevent the taking away of any negroes upon their complying with the law, several of the negroes gave bond and obtained permission go away with their sureties, who were some of our most respectable citizens, but were headed even within the military sentinels, and compelled to return within the ground. It was resolved then to embody the male negroes and march them to jail for security under the protection of the civil and military authority. From 250 to 300 were accordingly escorted to that place with difficulty, surrounded by the military and officers, and a dense mass of men, women and boys, con-founding all distinction between the orderly and disorderly, accompanied with deafening yells. They were safely lodged, and still remain in prison, separated from their families. The crowd was in that way dispersed.


The succeeding night the military were ordered out, the firemen were out, clothed with authority as a police band. About eighty citizens enrolled themselves as assist

Page 764


ants of the marshal. A troop of horse and several companies of volunteer infantry continued on duty until near midnight. Some were then permitted to sleep upon their arms, others remained on duty until morning guarding the jail, etc.


As was anticipated, the mob, efficiently organized, early commenced operations, dividing their force and making their attacks at different points, thus distracting the attention of the police. The first successful onset was made upon the printing office of the Philanthropist. They succeeded in entering the establishment, breaking up the press, and running with it amid savage yells, down through Main street to the river, into which it was thrown. The military appeared in the alley near the office, interrupting the mob for a short time. They escaped through the by-ways, and when the military retired, returned to their work of destruction in the office, which they completed. Several houses were broken open in different, parts of the city, occupied by negroes, and the windows, doors and furniture completely destroyed. Among these was the negro church on Sixth street. One of the last efforts was to fire or other-wise destroy the book establishment of Messrs. TURMAN SMITH, on Main street. From this they were driven by the police, and soon after, before daylight, dispersed from mere exhaustion.


It is impossible to learn either the number of killed and wounded on either side probably several were killed and twenty or thirty variously wounded, though but few dangerously. Several of the citizen-police were hurt with stones, etc. the authorities succeeded in arresting about forty of the mob, who are now in prison. The mob was in many cases encouraged and led on by persons from Kentucky. About 11 o’clock on Saturday night a bonfire was lighted on that side of the river, and loud shouts sent up as if a great triumph had been achieved. In some cases the motions of the mob were directed and managed by mere boys, who suggested the points of attack, put the vote, declared the result and led the way! After all the negro men had been disarmed and committed to prison for safe-keeping, under a solemn pledge that their wives and children should be protected, a band of white men were permitted to renew their brutal attacks upon these females and children. The excitement continued yesterday. The governor, who had arrived in town, issued his proclamation. The citizens rallied with spirit to aid the city authorities. Strong patrols of military and citizens last night prevented any further out-break.


Bank Mob, Jan. 11, 1842.—Monday evening, the Miami Exporting Company Bank its effects and on Tuesday morning (January 11) the Bank of Cincinnati closed doors. Early in the morning, the crowd, in consequence of their failure, began to collect around the doors of these institutions, and by 11 o’clock had broken into them, destroying all the movable property and whatever of books or papers could be laid hold of. About this time ten of the city guards, headed by their brave captain, MITCHELL, appeared, drove the rioters away and, for a time, gallantly maintained their position but they were called off. On retiring, they were assailed—they fired, and wounded some one or two persons. The mob had, with this exception, undisputed possession of the city, and commenced, first aim attack upon Babes’ Exchange Bank, and after that, upon Lougee’s exchange office, both of which they destroyed, making in havoc of everything which was at all destructible.


Distressing Fire, Feb. 28, 1843 —On Saturday morning, about 5 o’clock, a fire broke out in the smoke-house of Messrs. PUGH & ALVORD, at the corner of Walnut street and the canal, which, in its consequences, has been one of the most distressing that ever occurred in this city. The smoke-house was in the rear and somewhat detached from the main building, being connected with it only by a wooden door and narrow passage-way, through which the meat was usually wheeled. It was thought the fire could be confined to the former, and for that purpose the pork- house was closed as tight as possible, by shutting all the doors and windows, to exclude a rush of air to feed the flames.


In the course of half an hour, the main building was filled with smoke, rarefied air and inflammable gas from the smoke-house and when the flames burst through the wooden door connecting the two buildings, an instantaneous roar of flame was perceived, and in the twinkling of an eye, the whole of this spacious, substantial building was a mass of ruins. The whole roof was lifted in the air and thrown into the streets in large fragments—the second story walls, on the north and south sides, were thrown down, and the whole eastern end of both stories fronting on Walnut street blown into the streets from its foundation up. The appearance of the explosion was awfully terrific, and its consequences fatal to several of our most estimable citizens. We annex the names of the killed arid severely wounded, as far as we can now ascertain them. Killed—Joseph BONSALL, Caleb W. TAYLOR, H. S. EDMANDS, J. S. CHAMBELAIN, H. 0. MERRILL, John OHE, a German laborer, with two or three other German laborers. Wounded severely—George SHILLITO, H. THORPE T. S. SHAEFFER, Mr. ALVORD, (of the firm of PUGH & ALVORD), Samuel SCHOOLEY, Warren G. FINCH, John BLAKEMORE, Lewis WISBY, John M. VANSICKLE, Joseph TYRATT, A. OPPENHERMER, Jas. TYRATT, Robt. RICE, William H. GOODLOE.


A few minutes before the explosion, the smoke settled to the ground around the corner of time building, on the canal and Walnut street fronts, which caused the removal of the masses of people which filled those spaces, unconscious of danger. But for this, the force of the explosion being in that direction, the destruction of life would have been frightfully extensive.


On Sunday morning, a special meeting of

Page 765


the city council was called, and in obedience to one of the resolutions passed is identified for this purpose, shops were to one of the resolutions passed, the mayor issued a proclamation requesting the business of the day on Monday, the 27th inst., and attend the funerals of the deceased. On Monday, the court of common pleas adjourned for this purpose, shops ere closed, and the business of the day was set aside. The bell were tolled, and little was done save to aid in performing the last sad rites of the dead.




Cincinnati up to the outbreak of the rebellion sympathized with the stave-holders so far as to deprecate any restrictions upon what was termed “their rights under the laws.” Many of the leading families by blood and kindred were connected with the South: indeed largely came from there.  Through trade with the South its citizens had been greatly sustained. “The establishment of an anti-slavery newspaper had resulted in its destruction by a mob, in which were some of the most prominent citizens and the driving of its editor Mr. BIRNEY to a distant city. The quarters of the negro population at times were subject to attacks from the scum of the city, aided by the rabble from the Kentucky side of the Ohio. Free speech if it took the form of public protests against the continuance of slavery, was dangerous. Wendell PHILLIPS was driven from the stage at Pike’s Opera House, and waited for in the streets to be hung up by a howling pro-slavery mob, the mayor refusing to allow the police to suppress it. At the same era Mr. YANCEY, of Alabama, was allowed therein to utter the most bitter disloyal tirade, with threats against the North without a whisper of dissent from an audience of three thousand.


With the firing upon Sumter, April 12, 1861, a spirit of vengeance for the insult to the flag seemed one to take possession of the entire population. All thoughts of trade and money-getting were swept completely from the minds of the people as in any Northern city. These incidents illustrate the conciliatory temper of the public just prior to this event. On April 5th three cannon from Baltimore were allowed to pass through the city en route for Jackson, Mississippi, marked for the “Southern Confederacy” and on the very day before a slave was remanded into the custody of his master by a United States Commissioner in Cincinnati.


The first authentic despatch of the bombardment reached Cincinnati Friday evening, the 12th, and was posted on the bulletin boards. The fact was a surprise to multitudes. Up to that very moment they had believed the South was not earnest. It was all bluster; there would be no war. What is note-worthy, the large German population of the city believed differently; among them were many old soldiers who had been engaged in the German revolution of 1848, and they felt war “in the air.” And it was the same with the officers of our army. We remember meeting on the street a valued acquaintance, in a Captain of the Topographical Corps of Engineers, on the reception of the news of the fall of Sumter. He greeted us with sadness and in tones of anguish exclaimed: “It is terrible—it is terrible; there is great suffering in store for us all; it is to be a long and bloody struggle. God only knows how it will end,” With that he drew in his breath between his closed teeth in his agony of emotion and walked away. This officer was a member of the Cincinnati Literary Club. In a paper read before the club in the preceding fall on the subject of “Fortifications,” he criticized the policy of President BUCHANAN in unsparing terms; for this he was arrested to be tried by court-martial. His strong Union sentiments and his boldness of denunciation early made for him implacable enemies. He did excellent service in the war and is known in history as General John POPE. He was a rather short man, then it his prime, very handsome too, with full chest, sparkling black eyes, pearly teeth, dainty hands and feet, his figure just beginning to round into that fullness which at a certain time of life often overtakes both sexes, and when reached by some specimens of the gentler sex is sometimes happily expressed by the agreeable sentence, “fair, fat, and forty.”

Page 766


At the Gazette office a man had a sentence in favor of the South squelched by an egg striking him fairly in the open mouth, when amid the jeers of the crowd this egg receiver disappeared. Before night the city was gay with the Stars and Stripes. Never had the flag seemed so beautiful in the eyes of the American people. Until that moment they had no conception of the strength of their patriotism. Everywhere throughout the land it fluttered in its glory and was such an insignia of love for the Union, that even the lukewarm as a defense against the stigma of them more loyal neighbors felt compelled to display it. A comical incident on the outskirts of an Ohio city, where a family of lukewarm proclivities were alarmed by a cry in the street. She called out to her son, “John, they are calling out to us, ‘Secesh, secesh;’ ‘run quick and put out our flag or we shall he mobbed.’’ John thereupon obeyed. It was subsequently ascertained the cry had proceeded from a peddler, who going by in a wagon was proclaiming his wares, “fresh fish.”


The week that opened with Monday, the 15th, with the news of the fall of Sumter, and the call of Mr. LINCOLN for 75,000 troops, was one of intense activity all over the State. The legislature appropriated $1,000,000 to arm and equip the 10,000 men. These Gov. DENNISON telegraphed the President were subject to his orders; Cincinnati also voted by its Council $200,000 to aid in equipping the troops. These sums were then thought to be sufficient in view of the prediction of Mr. SEWARD that the “war would be over in ninety days.”


Large and enthusiastic meetings were held in the city, participated in largely by leading Democrats, and every voice rang clear in support of the Government. The attitude of Kentucky at this time was alarming, and the citizens at one of these meetings amid a whirlwind of applause adopted resolutions signifying hat it was too late to draw nice distinctions between armed neutrality and open rebellion——that both were alike rebellion—that those who did not sustain the Government in the present crisis were traitors. As Whitelaw REID expresses it, “From the first day that the war was open, the people of Cincinnati were as vehement in their determination that it should relentlessly be prosecuted to victory as the city of Boston.” The attitude of Kentucky was indeed at this time peculiarly alarming. Her Governor Beriah MAGOFFIN, in response to the call for troops had declared—” I say emphatically Kentucky will furnish no troops for the wicked purpose of subduing her sister Southern States.” Whereupon Governor DENNISION telegraphed to Washington, “If Kentucky will not fill her quota, Ohio will fill it for her.” He more than kept his promise. Some of the first Kentucky regiments, so called, were almost entirely composed of Ohio men and commanders. Sixteen days after the President’s call, Ohio had volunteers offered enough to fill the full quota for the nation, 75,000 men.


What made the position of Cincinnati at this trying era especially interesting was that no large Northern city was so exposed, so inviting to attacks from its location and great wealth. If Kentucky should secede the city would have to be defended from her own hills instead of from those on the south side of the river. By wise management Kentucky was saved, but multitudes of her young men from her rich slave-holding centres enlisted under the banner of Secession.


General Henry M. CIST, in his article in the “ Magazine of American History” entitled “ Cincinnati with the War Fever,’’ says “During the first week after the fall of Sumter, active work was done in recruiting and drilling companies and in perfecting regimental organizations. Thursday, April 18th, heartstrings of mothers, relatives, and dear friends received the first strain of war. When the three companies of Rover Zouaves and Lafayette Guards left the city under order to report at Columbus to take their place in a regiment en route to the defense of Washington, these companies were escorted to the depot by the Guthrie Grays and the Continentals, and there amid the tears and farewells of friends the soldier boys started, all aglow with martial ardor, for the fields of glory. During the week four regiments were

Page 767


started in the city, and recruiting was so active that it became a question who was not to go. The Germans turned out with a magnificent soldierly body of men, over 1,000 strong, the regiment known as the famous 9th Ohio.


This was called the Turner Regiment. It paraded the streets as we remember in the white garb of the Turner Society, of which its members were mostly composed. It became one of the most effective of regiments and had the distinguished honor of making at Mill Springs the first bayonet charge of the war. It proved an unhappy punching to the enemy, who, not relishing that kind of tickling broke and ran. There were, however, composed of “poor whites” and armed mainly with shot-guns. This regiment was commanded by Col. Robert L. McCOOK. He was a large-hearted man with a frank, open, laughing manner; a lawyer and a partner with the eminent German lawyer, J. B. STALLO. He so hated pretense and show of any kind that he most unwillingly submitted to the requirement of wearing a military dress. On the occasion of this parade he was mounted on horseback clad in citizen’s dress with stove-pipe hat, his only military insignia a sword buckled to his side. We lately met a lady who, when a child, was a school-mate with McCOOK and she tells us that he at one time got into a quarrel with another boy and on being separated and reprimanded by the “school-marm,” answered, “It is all right—you are a woman—you don’t know anything about war.”


McCOOK, who was idolized by his men, was murdered in the summer of 1862 while riding, sick and recumbent, in a Spring-wagon, attended by a small escort of cavalrymen, who all but one cowardly galloped off as the guerillas appeared.


The Irish element in Cincinnati was not far behind the German in their alacrity to spring to the cause of the Union, and, says CIST, “The well—known regiment, the Tenth Ohio, that did splendid work under Col. William H. LYTLE, the ‘Soldier Poet,’ was ready for camp. The Fifth Ohio, with Col. J. H. PATRICK, with many of the most promising young men of the city as members, formed during the week; and the ranks of the Guthrie Grays—the Sixth Ohio— were well filled, over one thousand strong, with the most prominent young men in all branches of society and business in the city, under W. K. BOSLEY. The latter part of the week orders were received by General LYTLE to establish a camp of instruction, which was done at the Cincinnati Trotting Park, some six miles north of the city, and named Camp Harrison. To this camp these regiments marched with the music of hands and the waving of flags and amid the applauding cheers of vast crowds lining the streets and bidding them God-speed.” A little later Camp Dennison was established sixteen miles out on the Little Miami Railroad and became the great rendezvous for Ohio in the war.


None of those early city regiments at this time were in Federal uniforms. The German regiment was in the white clothing of the Turner Society with short white roundabout jackets of linen; the Sixth Ohio in the uniform of the Guthrie Grays; and the Fifth Ohio in red flannel shirts, making a gorgeous display as they marched down Sycamore Street, one thousand strong in platoons stretching from curb to curb.


In a very few days more, just at the edge of evening, the First and Second Indiana regiments disembarked at the Fifth street depot and marched through the city, the whole length of Fourth street, en route for Western Virginia. Oliver P. MORTON, the Governor of Indiana, a man of extraordinary executive as well as oratorical ability, had regiments mustered into service in a surprisingly short space of time. A stigma of cowardice cast upon the conduct of Indiana troops at Buena Vista by Mr. Jefferson DAVIS during the Mexican war had rankled in the hearts of the Indiana people and they were eager for vengeance. These regiments, on departing from Indianapolis for the seat of war, had kneeled before the State Capitol and with bared heads had taken an oath to “Remember Buena Vista.” Later they doubtless sang with unwonted gusto, in the war-song of the time,

Page 768


Top Picture



Middle Picture



Bottom Picture


Page 769




The above view was drawn by J. W. BARBER for “Historical Collections, U. S. by J. W. BARBER and Henry HOWE.  The building with Grecian front was occupied at Post-office and Custom House now the site of the Chamber of Commerce.  Mitchell & Rammelsburg’s furniture and Shillito’s dry goods establishment and the tower of the Unitarian Church appear beyond.

Image button58061219.jpg

Image icon967932.png Image icon173734.png