SERIES 147. VOL 7A. ADJUTANT GENERAL.
Correspondence to the Governor and Adjutant General of Ohio
August 2-November 20, 1861.
August 2, 1861
Simeon Nash, Gallipolis, Gallia County, Ohio. To Governor William Dennison. Letter requesting an appointment for A. Hennocque as a regimental engineer; stating that Hennocque had been connected with the engineer corps of the French army and was much better qualified for a military position than most of the men being appointed; criticizing the appointment of field officers because of influence rather than qualifications; noting that the dire consequences of such appointments were illustrated by the recent Scarey Creek affair, "where lives were thrown away as recklessly as though the men were the chattels of a Southern plantation"; and stating that General [Jacob Dolson] Cox's army was wholly demoralized and would not stand his continuance in command, that Confederate General Henry A. Wise might have beaten Cox had Wise not been a coward, that the people now demanded the right man in the right place without regard to any other consideration, that he wanted the administration to succeed even though it had turned its back on those who nominated [Abraham] Lincoln, and that if the Union was to be broken up, it would be the fault of northern men and northern divisions.
4 pp. [Series 147-7A:1]
August 9, 1861
Simeon Nash, Gallipolis, Gallia County, Ohio. To Governor William Dennison. Letter criticizing the reappointment of [Timothy R.] Stanley as commander of the 18th Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry and the appointment of John C. Neal as Adjutant of the same regiment; stating that Stanley could not raise a regiment in that part of Ohio, that few or none of Stanley's former regiment would re-enlist under him, that Neal had no qualifications and was a man who succeeded in making everybody mad at him, that he would as soon appoint an insane man as Neal, that it was strange that all appointments were given only to those who begged for them, and that there were enough men in the State who would serve if asked, but who had too much self- respect to crawl and beg for it; expressing concern that appointments of such men as Stanley and Neal would damage the prospects of the Republican Party in Ohio and lead to the election of Democratic candidate [Hugh J.] Jewett as Governor; stating that if things were properly managed, they might carry nearly the whole democratic vote in that part of Ohio, and that Dennison was deceived and mislead by aspirants for appointments who pressed each other and certified for each other; and advising Dennison to consult area residents on the most qualified local candidates for military appointments.
4 pp. [Series 147-7A:4]
August 11, 1861
Ralph Leete, Ironton, Lawrence County, Ohio. To Governor William Dennison. Letter stating that the disaster of their forces at Manassas [First Bull Run], creating an immediate necessity for a large body of new troops, had dispelled all hope on his part and that of the people locally, that Dennison would be able to station troops on the border, that they had done all they could to remove from Lawrence County the odium resting upon them in consequence of the depredations committed by some of their citizens upon the property of individuals in Virginia, that their authorities had collected and planned to return property of various kinds valued at $1,440.00 to the proper owners, that this amounted to only a part of what had been taken by private persons, that the property of avowed rebels seemed to be regarded by Union men on both sides of the river as lawful prize, that the Government was furnishing arms to the loyal citizens of western Virginia, that 500 stand of rifles had arrived in Ironton the previous evening for the 4th Virginia Regiment (Union), that nearly every family in western Virginia of considerable size was divided on the Union question, that the judges, commonwealth attorneys, and most of the civil officers in western Virginia were in the rebellion and could only be displaced by force, that since the success of the Kanawha Campaign, the secessionists seemed scared and disheartened, that small bands of guerrillas were moving about plundering Union men when they had the opportunity, that he did not think their men would commit any further violations of the rights of property in Virginia, that there should be some real troops immediately stationed at various points throughout Virginia, west of the Kanawha, and that one company in each county, under discreet and efficient captains, acting in concert with the local militia, would be sufficient to handle any uprising among the rebels and would give efficiency to the new government for Virginia.
3 pp. [Series 147-7A:3]
August 12, 1861
S[imeon] Nash, Gallipolis, Gallia County, Ohio. To Governor William Dennison. Letter elaborating on his criticisms of the appointments of [Timothy R.] Stanley and [John C.] Neal, 18th Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry, as given in his letter of August 9, 1861; and stating that the creation of a winning coalition of Republicans and Unionist Democrats for the fall elections depended in part on the removal of incompetent military leaders and the appointment of qualified persons.
8 pp. [Series 147-7A:5]
August 14, 1861
J. Harry Heath (of Ohio), General Land Office, Washington, D.C. To Governor William Dennison. Letter requesting an appointment in the cavalry regiment to be raised by B[enjamin] F. Wade and John Hutchins.
3 pp. [Series 147-7A:6]
August 15, 1861
Charles P. McIlvaine, Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Ohio. To Governor William Dennison. Letter protesting the dispatch of western troops to Washington, D.C. when there were insufficient forces available to secure western Virginia; stating that the Groesbeck Regiment [39th Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry] did not contain a single officer who knew anything of military duties; asking for some plan to be instituted whereby the raising of regiments and companies by incompetent men securing the command to themselves could be stopped; stating that a man might be good to raise a regiment and miserable to command it; expressing concern that [Robert E.] Lee could capture Wheeling, western Virginia and even cross the Ohio River; and suggesting the appointment of Colonel Charles F. Smith as commander of the military district encompassing Ohio.
5 pp. [Series 147-7A:7]
August 17, 1861
H[enry] B. Payne, Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio. To Governor William Dennison. Letter stating that Dennison had recently addressed a communication to him as the chairman of the Committee on Resolutions at the Democratic Convention on August 7, and that he was not the chairman, but rather read the resolutions before the convention at the request of the chairman; and returning the communication.
2 pp. [Series 147-7A:8]
August 20, 1861
M. Greenwood, Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Ohio. To the Committee on Ordinance. Letter stating that he would furnish to the City of Cincinnati one or more batteries of bronze guns complete and ready for service, except for harnesses and cartridges, for the sum of $7,930.00.
1 p. [Series 147-7A:10]
August 20, 1861
Simeon Nash, Gallipolis, Gallia County, Ohio. To Governor William Dennison. Letter stating that Captain [Charles C.] Aleshire had been delayed in reforming his company [Company G, 18th Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry (three months' service)] by the fact that the company had not been discharged, that others had come in and raised companies while Aleshire had been held in check, that Lieutenant [Junius] Gates had quarrelled with Aleshire because he wanted to be Captain, that he hoped Aleshire might still retain his position and have a company, that Aleshire could raise a portion, if not the whole company, locally, that many of Aleshire's former company would re-enlist when paid off, that more cavalry was needed in order to put General [Jacob Dolson] Cox on "somewhat of an equality with the enemy", that the rebels appeared to be planning for an attack on the Kanawha Valley, that salt was getting scarce in the rebel states and the salt works on Kanawha would be valuable to the enemy, that the enemy was less than 100 miles from the railroad which terminated at White Sulphur Springs, that salt could be distributed throughout the South using that railroad, that such a necessity of life as salt must be had regardless of the cost, that he anticipated a rebel attack and expected it to succeed since there was not a military man in [Jacob Dolson] Cox's division, that neither Cox nor his officers had any experience, that the men had no confidence in Cox, that the men even went so far as to charge Cox with cowardice, that the confidence of the men in the ability and bravery of their officers was the first requisite for success, that available troops were now being sent to Missouri because a few regiments had not been assigned early enough to General [Nathaniel] Lyon, that in consequence of the Missouri situation, he thought western Virginia would be lost sight of until some disaster occurred, that there should be 10,000 men on the Kanawha since he believed the rebels would attack in that area, that a boat just in brought news that [Robert E.] Lee was between the two Kanawhas and thus had separated the armies of [William S.] Rosecrans and Cox, that Cox's position would undoubtedly be turned with the rebels coming down in his rear by the road from Elk to Charleston, that he had seen a statement signed by northern men calling a convention and that no names from southern Ohio were on it, that he thought southern Ohio had a roll to play in the coming election as did the rest of the State, that he expected a bad nomination made by those interested in "public plunder", and that he feared the party would go to pieces.
8 pp. [Series 147-7A:9]
August 21, 1861
Dwight Jarvis, Massillon, Stark County, Ohio. To Governor William Dennison. Letter criticizing [Henry B.] Payne; and pledging support of Dennison for renomination.
1 p. [Series 147-7A:11]
August 22, 1861
Simeon Nash, Gallipolis, Gallia County, Ohio. To Governor William Dennison. Letter describing Confederate General [John Buchanan] Floyd's movements in and around the Kanawha Valley of western Virginia and General [Jacob Dolson] Cox's efforts to block him, including holding Gauley and guarding the river passes; stating that Ohio troops should look to Ohio interests and not be sent to Missouri, that Cox needed more artillery to fortify Gauley and protect the river passes, that if a man like [Nathaniel] Lyon was in western Virginia, he would have the boldness to crush Floyd the moment his columns were visible near Fayette Court House, that they could not and should not expect such a step from Cox who was a "mere county court lawyer" who knew nothing of the trade of war as the profession of arms, that Cox's men had little confidence in him, were disheartened and demoralized, expected defeat, and believed that Cox was a "pet" and relation of Dennison's, that Dennison would have to bear much of the responsibility if defeat came, that defeat was pretty sure to come when the men who did the fighting expected it to come, that since falsehoods had been written to shield certain men for the Scarey Creek blunder, he could not expect Dennison to have much chance of knowing the truth through the regular channels, that he could not stand by and see men murdered by incompetency, and that if Cox's men were sacrificed, there would be a day of perfect reckoning; and relating the problems Captain George was having in supplying his cavalry.
8 pp. [Series 147-7A:12]
August 22, 1861
Simeon Nash, Gallipolis, Gallia County, Ohio. To Governor William Dennison. Letter recommending the appointment of Captain [Charles C.] Aleshire to any military position for which he was qualified; stating that recruiting in Gallia County was in "entire confusion", that parts of companies were being raised, but no whole ones, because there were so many aspirants for the posts of Captain, and that if only one or two men were authorized to raise companies, two full companies might be raised; describing a skirmish between elements from the armies of [John Buchanan] Floyd and [Jacob Dolson] Cox near Gauley in western Virginia; and stating that Cox should have 8,000 men because Floyd would make a desperate effort to capture the Kanawha Valley and its salt works.
4 pp. [Series 147-7A:13]
August 23, 1861
A. L. Brewer, New Lisbon, Columbiana County, Ohio. To Governor William Dennison. Letter stating that he was glad to see Dennison's letter to [Henry B.] Payne before the public, that the letter would do much to relieve the abuse heaped upon Dennison by those who sought to make him the scapegoat for the misdeeds of other men, that the Vallandigham party expected to make capital out of the situation in the coming campaign, but had singularly failed, and that it was one of those cases where good had come out of evil.
2 pp. [Series 147-7A:15]
August 23, 1861
Charles P. McIlvaine, Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Ohio. To Governor William Dennison. Letter stating that his son-in- law (George W. Dubois), who was Chaplain of the 11th Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry, had informed him that [Jacob Dolson] Cox's Brigade was in need of reinforcements, that Dubois was admitted into much of the confidence of the superior officers, especially Cox, that Cox was fortifying 13 miles in advance of Gauley Bridge, that according to Dubois, Cox's Brigade was in a critical situation, that if [Robert E.] Lee advanced upon [William S.] Rosecrans' reserves, he might cut off Cox's supplies and communications by putting a force between the brigade and Charleston, that the activity of rebel forces along the Potomac River might be a ruse designed to keep Union troops in Washington while the rebels attempted to regain western Virginia, that the strain and stress of the war was to be in the West, that if Union forces took Virginia, the war was not over, and that if they took the Mississippi River and held it, the war would be over.
2 pp. [Series 147-7A:14]
August 26, 1861
J[ohn] M. Connell, Camp Goddard, Zanesville, Muskingum County, Ohio. To Governor William Dennison. Letter assuring Dennison that he had no responsibility for the "treasonable" course of the Ohio Eagle, a newspaper in which he "unfortunately" had a pecuniary interest; and stating that before the fall of Fort Sumter and before the inauguration of Abraham Lincoln, when Lincoln's best supporters in Ohio held back timidly and spoke of peace, compromise, and concession, he had raised his voice publicly in speeches and in private conversation for a firm, bold, decided and, if need be, bloody arbitration of the matter by force, that the little fire then kindled might have been put out almost by a breath, that now the conflagration wrapped the world's republic in destructive flames, that he originally urged a vigorous and decided effort to crush the rebellion with the great power of the government and had never changed his views, that he most "bitterly deplored" the partisan zeal and prejudice which led many of his former political brethren to advocate an anti-war policy, that such a policy was in itself the worst and most dangerous expression of treason, that nothing but emotions of patriotism and fidelity to his country could ever have induced him to throw aside home ties and duties and a lucrative profession to perform "my little part in this terrific struggle", and that his feelings were hurt by Dennison's apparent lack of trust on account of his connection with that "miserable" paper.
4 pp. [Series 147-7A:17]
August 26, 1861
Simeon Nash, Gallipolis, Gallia County, Ohio. To Governor William Dennison. Letter denying a newspaper report that his son had been appointed Lieutenant; and stating that his only son old enough to serve was in charge of the telegraph office at Clarksburgh, that he demanded absolute competency and therefore could recommend very few individuals for military appointments, that there was no modern battle that he had not studied in its minutest detail, that this study had revealed too many lives lost from incompetent officers and commanders, that the war must be fought and the rebellion put down, but at the least possible loss of life, that it was awful to see men's lives sacrificed through the incompetency of those who sought to lead, that the land should be searched for competent men, that they should seek men with brains, nerve, and promptness of decision who could think and plan amid the roar of cannon and the hiss of lead and iron, that had he been in Dennison's place, he would have told [Simon] Cameron that if he could not have competent men to lead, he would send no more men under incompetent leaders to be "murdered", that it was hard to understand why the administration should desire a "second edition" of Bull Run, that the men would fight if they were led by capable men in whom they had confidence, but would not fight under men who on the battlefield hid behind log houses for safety, that he had seen many "boys" in officer positions which required the mental power, decision, and self-possession of mature men, that things on Kanawha in western Virginia had continued quiet since the affair at the Hawk's Nest, that the rebels had some 1,200 cavalry and General [Jacob Dolson] Cox needed some 500 cavalry to cope with them, that he had read Dennison's letter to [Henry B.] Payne, that the loco [foco] leaders had made a mistake, that if they had a good nomination for governor who was above suspicion and a Republican, they could win by a wide margin, and that he did not want David Tod who was a man "wholly destitute" of all political integrity and a "mere party hack".
8 pp. [Series 147-7A:16]
August 27, 1861
Simeon Nash, Gallipolis, Gallia County, Ohio. To Governor William Dennison. Letter regarding the disaster on the Kanawha (western Virginia) involving the destruction of the 7th Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry under Colonel [Erastus B.] Tyler; and stating that Tyler had left his camp located some 15 miles up Gauley from General [Jacob Dolson] Cox's camp to move on Summerville, that on the way, the regiment was surrounded by [John Buchanan] Floyd with some 6,000 men and "utterly cut up", that this disaster offered proof of a sufficient enemy force present to retake the Kanawha Valley and rouse up the slumbering fires of secession throughout the region, that Cox was removing all his stores and ammunition not in his own camp to Gallipolis, that the disaster had demonstrated the existence of incompetency somewhere, that he had believed for some time that the Kanawha Valley with its salt works was the great object of the rebels, that he had heard there was a plan to get Floyd between Cox and the Ohio River so that by a move from Gallipolis, Floyd might be cut off with no way to escape, that such a plan was "madness" since it devoted a regiment to destruction in order to carry out a strategic operation with no guarantee of Floyd's participation unless he was confident of success, and that he took it for granted that the War Department would now understand the "absurd pretence" of an attack on Washington.
8 pp. [Series 147-7A:18]
August 27, 1861
Simeon Nash, Gallipolis, Gallia County, Ohio. To Governor William Dennison. Letter stating that the latest news regarding the 7th Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry was not as bad as previously reported, that the enemy had an abundance of cavalry so they were able to prevent [Jacob Dolson] Cox's men from scouting effectively, that according to the Richmond Inquirer, the salt on Kanawha was worth the loss of 50,000 lives, that to prevent the enemy from getting the salt in the Kanawha Valley, an immediate reinforcement of 5,000 men was necessary, that Cox's ignorance of his enemy would be his destruction, and that he did not know whose business it was to look after Cox, but that Cox would need looking after; and criticizing the appointment of an alleged southern sympathizer as a surgeon on a Union gunboat.
4 pp. [Series 147-7A:19]