Ohioans could be found on both sides of Civil War PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sentinel-Tribune Staff   
Thursday, 16 February 2012 10:20
(Editor's note: "Josh Franklin's Far Out Family Blog" is 10 chapters of Civil War history focusing on Ohio's role, written in a modern tone. Students, parents and teachers are invited to take the series a little further after reading it, and discuss the topics suggested below. The series is published through Ohio Newspapers in Education and was written by Steven Coburn-Griffis. The illustration is by Isaac Schumacher.)

Chapter four:
September 29, 1862
Wilf,
We are in the south of Ohio now, and Kentucky, and we are in it for good or ill. I have had shots taken at me three times and have returned fire, as well. I have taken no hurt, aside from a small cut on my right hand when I stumbled and grabbed another fellow's bayonet. It was a foolish act on my part and I was the butt of jokes for several days. You needn't tell Ma of this for it would only cause her needless grief. The injury is almost healed and there is, thankfully, no sign of infection.
I have discovered a curious thing down here at the bottom of our great state of Ohio. I have found that there are no few Ohioans who have taken up the cause of the Confederacy. In point of fact, many of those men we hunt through the Kentucky hills are men from Ohio, even from areas as far north as our own home. When we go out on sortie, when we hunt, we try to capture, not kill. And more times than not we do just that. Even so, I have had the chance to talk with a few of these men and they are so wrong-headed as not to listen to reason. One man with whom I spoke went so far as to call President Lincoln the Devil Himself, and just because Mr. Lincoln wishes to free the slaves. That was that man's worry: that the President would dare to tell another man what to do with his property even when that property is a man himself!
I despair for men such as this, and for the future of our Great Nation should the Union fail in its efforts. This we cannot allow. This I shall not allow.
Give my love, again, to Ma. Tell Da I shall be careful.
Ethan

You know, when I read this letter, I thought, "But Ohio's in the North and wasn't this whole thing between the North and the South?"
Goes to show you that even someone as wonderful as me can't know it all. As it turns out, though, we can try.
So I went down to the library and then got on the Internet to see what was what. And you know what? There were some Ohioans who were pretty important to the Confederate cause.
I mean, there were even a couple of generals.
Like Bushrod Johnson (seriously, where do they get these names?) and Phillip Luckett, Roswell Ripley, Otho Strahl and Robert Hatton. Charles Clark was from Cincinnati and he led a division in the Army of Mississippi during the Battle of Shiloh and then was made the pro-Confederate Governor of Missouri.
And then there was William Quantrill, who was born in what is now called Dover, Ohio. Even though he was raised in what they call a Unionist home, he just hated everything about the Union.
He worked as a school teacher, a teamster and a professional gambler (if you want to call that work). Then he was made a Captain in the Confederate Army.
Quantrill and his gang, known as Quantrill's Raiders (go figure), were more about messing with families than they were about fighting soldiers.
They were bushwhackers, men that weren't really a part of any army and that liked causing trouble. They operated mostly out in the rural parts of Kansas and were responsible for the Lawrence Massacre.
I'd go into detail, but this is a family-oriented blog and I just don't like violence.
If you want to know more, there's tons of stuff about him out there. You just have to look.

Vocabulary words
bayonet
Confederacy
sortie
Unionist
bushwhackers
Lawrence Massacre

Chapter four: questions and activities
Up until now, Josh has begun his blog with his own thoughts. Why do you think he led with an entry from Uncle Ethan this time?
Ethan, and Josh through his research, discovered that there were Ohioans who fought on both sides of the Civil War.
Find an article in the state or regional news that is about a polarizing subject, or one that people have very different opinions about.
What is the dividing issue? Why do you think people feel so strongly, one way or the other?

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