“Beyond the Battlefield”: An Ohio History Connection Symposium

By William F.B. Vodrey
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2014, All Rights Reserved

The Ohio History Connection (the newly rebranded Ohio Historical Society) on November 8 hosted a symposium on Ohio’s home front during the Civil War. Nine historians, professional and amateur, explored various topics in three panel discussions.

Continue reading ““Beyond the Battlefield”: An Ohio History Connection Symposium”

U.S. Grant Boyhood Home Rededicated

By William F.B. Vodrey
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2013, All Rights Reserved

On April 6, Mel Maurer, Chris Fortunato, and I went to Georgetown, Ohio to attend the ceremonial rededication of U.S. Grant’s boyhood home. Georgetown is just east of Cincinnati, about four and a half hours’ drive from Cleveland.

Continue reading “U.S. Grant Boyhood Home Rededicated”

Ulysses S. Grant in Georgetown, Ohio – The Indispensable Man’s Boyhood Home

By Daniel J. Ursu
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2017, All Rights Reserved

If you believe, as I and many others do, that the Civil War would not have been won by the North but for U.S. Grant, then a visit to his boyhood home in our own State of Ohio at Georgetown, about ten miles north of the Ohio River and 40 miles east of Cincinnati, will be inspiring, informative and worthwhile.

Continue reading “Ulysses S. Grant in Georgetown, Ohio – The Indispensable Man’s Boyhood Home”

Hickenlooper’s Ohio Artillery Anchors the Hornet’s Nest at Shiloh

By Daniel J. Ursu
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2017, All Rights Reserved

Not only did the abolitionist John Brown, the “Meteor of the Civil War” as proffered by poet Walt Whitman, live part of his life in the northeastern Ohio Village of Hudson, but did another military leader of the Civil War actually hail from Hudson – that being Andrew Hickenlooper, Captain of the 5th Independent Battery Ohio Light Artillery.

Continue reading “Hickenlooper’s Ohio Artillery Anchors the Hornet’s Nest at Shiloh”

Lincoln and Cleveland

By Dale Thomas
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2003, All Rights Reserved


Artemus Ward

In 1857, Charles Farrar Brown became the local editor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer and began to write articles about an itinerant showman named Artemus Ward. Later moving on to Vanity Fair in New York City, Brown’s humorous commentary of the news was admired and enjoyed by Lincoln. “With the fearful strain that is on me night and day,” he told his Cabinet, “if I did not laugh I should die…”

Continue reading “Lincoln and Cleveland”

Johnson’s Island

By Dale Thomas
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2002, 2008, All Rights Reserved

Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in The Charger in March 2002.


During Career Day at Bay High School in 1990, Professor David R. Bush talked to my students about archaeology. He invited me to observe his excavations that summer on Johnson’s Island in Sandusky Bay, Ohio. What most intrigued me were the remains of collapsed escape tunnels that he had found leading from some of the sink (latrine) structures to the stockade walls. The soil of one of these tunnels yielded a gold watch and a gold locket with the remains of a photograph and lock of hair tied with a ribbon. He also discovered a large iron bar and cow bone that were apparently used for digging. (Bush wrote an article in Archaeology magazine in 1999.) Before leaving the island, I went to the prison cemetery where the remains of 235 prisoners are buried. Only 12 Confederates were able to escape from the island but not to the mirage across the bay, Cedar Point Amusement Park.

Continue reading “Johnson’s Island”

Lincoln Visits Cleveland

By Dale Thomas
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2008, All Rights Reserved

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in The Charger in the spring of 2002.


On the way to Washington, three days after his 53rd birthday, President-elect Abraham Lincoln stopped overnight in Cleveland for his only visit to the city. (Three days later in Montgomery, Alabama, Jefferson Davis was inaugurated President of the Confederacy.) To feel the immediacy of the times, the story is best told directly from the pages of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, which was then an evening newspaper. These accounts are quoted over a two-day period beginning on Friday evening, February 15, 1861.

Continue reading “Lincoln Visits Cleveland”

The Underground Railroad in Ohio

By Daniel J. Ursu, Roundtable Historian
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2019-2020, All Rights Reserved

Editor’s note: This article was the history brief for the December 2019 meeting of the Cleveland Civil War Roundtable.


Our speaker this evening will be focusing on Colored Troops during the Civil War. As many of you know, he also portrays a personage involved with the Underground Railroad. So, it seemed a natural for this evening’s history brief to focus on the Underground Railroad and especially in Ohio.

Continue reading “The Underground Railroad in Ohio”

Robert E. Lee’s Invasion of Ohio

By David A. Carrino, Roundtable Historian
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2013-2014, All Rights Reserved

Editor’s note: This article was the history brief for the May 2014 meeting of the Cleveland Civil War Roundtable.


People with even a little knowledge of the Civil War likely know that Robert E. Lee led two invasions of the North, one into Maryland and another into Pennsylvania. However, Lee once invaded Ohio, and if Lee had been successful in this invasion, Ohio would have lost some of its territory. Worse yet, the territory that Ohio would have lost would have been lost not to the Confederacy, but to the state of Michigan.

Continue reading “Robert E. Lee’s Invasion of Ohio”

The First Confederate Invasion of Ohio

By David A. Carrino, Roundtable Historian
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2013-2014, All Rights Reserved

Editor’s note: This article was the history brief for the September 2013 meeting of the Cleveland Civil War Roundtable.


On June 6, 1863, General John Hunt Morgan and over 2,000 Confederate cavalrymen left McMinnville, Tennessee and headed north. On July 2, this unit entered Morgan’s beloved Kentucky and continued northward. On July 8, Morgan and his troops crossed the Ohio River into Indiana and then turned east. On July 13, Morgan and his men entered Ohio and became the first Confederate soldiers to set foot on Ohio soil. Except Morgan and his men were not the first Confederate soldiers to enter the Buckeye State. That distinction belongs to Albert G. Jenkins and his band of 550 cavalrymen. Jenkins beat Morgan into Ohio by almost nine months.

Continue reading “The First Confederate Invasion of Ohio”