Thursday, July 20, 2017

Governor Rutherford B. Hayes and the Lincoln and Soldiers Monument at the Ohio Statehouse

Guest Post by
David Boling, Ohio Statehouse Tour Guide

In early January,1872  Rutherford B. Hayes was completing his term as Ohio's governor. He wrote in his diary a list of what he believed were his most important acts of legislation and accomplishments since coming into office in 1868. Nestled between the passage of the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States and creation of an ''Asylum for the Inebriate"  in Mansfield, he lists item number 12,   The Lincoln Memorial - T. D. Jones (See Diary entry, January 9, 1872)


What memorial to Lincoln? Where is it? Does it still exist? What role did Governor Hayes have in its creation? Perhaps most important why was this so important to Governor Hayes?

I am a tour guide at the Ohio Statehouse. On our daily tours of the Ohio Statehouse, one of our stops in the Rotunda is a large marble tableau (pictured below) that honors Abraham Lincoln and the soldiers who fought at the battle of Vicksburg in the summer of 1863.





Standing 14 feet tall, from floor to the top of the bust of Abraham Lincoln, the Lincoln and Soldiers Monument stands in the same spot as it did when it was dedicated on the evening of January 19, 1871. The dedication itself was quite the event, Here is how it was described in the Cincinnati Enquirer the next day. 
                                                                            

'An immense crowd attended the unveiling, music by the Quintet Choir of First Presbyterian Church was magnificent. Governor Hayes presided. Mr. Galloway, representing the Association spoke first, followed by General William H. Enochs of the House and General Durbin Ward of the Senate. When Mr. Jones unveiled the monument, the crowd gave unequivocal demonstrations of applause.'

'
Governor Hayes presided. As chairman of the Ohio Monument Association, the contracting agent for the memorial. As governor and as a veteran he would have been within his rights to give his own speech, but as Hayes writes the next day in his diary, he chose 'a meritorious thing'.


January 20, 1871, -- I did an unusual, and, I think, a meritorious, thing last night, Tom Jones' memorial to Lincoln and the Ohio Soldiers was to be inaugurated in the rotunda of the Capitol. I presided, I had a fairish little opening speech, which with my good lungs I could make go off well.  But there were three speakers to give addresses. I knew that the little, pretty, pet things to be said were not numerous, and that my speech would more or less interfere with the success of theirs. I accordingly swallowed my speech and introduced the various actors without an extra word. Who has beaten this? 


The Speech I Didn't Make 
Fellow Citizens: -- We have assembled this evening to witness the inauguration, the unveiling of the Memorial -- the work of an Ohio sculptor, Thomas D. Jones, of Cincinnati -- placed here in the rotunda of the State House,  to remain, we trust, as long as the building itself shall stand in honor of the brave sons of Ohio who in more than a thousand conflicts on land and water poured out their lives for Liberty and Union; and in honor also of him who "strove for the fight as God gave him to see the right," and who "with charity for all and malice towards none," "Ascended Fame's ladder so high from the round at the top he stepped in the sky.  


The Lincoln and Soldiers Monument stands in the southeast niche of the Statehouse  Rotunda where it was originally placed, although it was moved to other locations, and the monument and bust were displayed removed and stored for some time. Starting at the top of the 14-foot monument, there stands a bust of Lincoln, done by T.D. Jones in Springfield, Illinois, during the winter months of 1861 after Lincoln's election, but before his inauguration in March. It is one of five known to be in existence for which Lincoln sat. .
 
The surrender of the Confederate army at Vicksburg on July 4, 1863 fills the center tableau (shown below) of the monument.  On the left, General John S. Bowen, Colonel M. C. Montgomery and General John C. Pemberton, who is seen handing over a list of his troops to General Ulysses S. Grant. Standing next to Grant on the right, is General James B. McPherson and General William T. Sherman. All three of the Union generals were from Ohio. On each side there is an orderly holding the reins of a horse to honor all those on both sides who had served.



Just below this scene is a quote from Lincoln's second inaugural address, "Care for him who shall borne the battle and for his widow and his orphans." Use of the words appear to have been a compromise as Governor Hayes had written to his Uncle Sardis Birchard on February 3,1868 that not enough money had been collected to include the 'uprising of the people when Fort Sumter was taken.'



Personally, I think the words are a better choice for they cause us to pause and remember the more than 620,000 Americans, from the North and the South, who lost their lives in the Civil War, and especially the 35,475 who were from Ohio.

The Ohio Statehouse in Columbus offers free tours of the capitol building and of the grounds during the summer. Open seven days a week, I hope you will come and view the monument yourself and learn more about 'the people's house.'



Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Captain Charles L. Hudson, 72nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry and 4th U. S. Cavalry


Charles L. Hudson
72nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry
4th U. S. Cavalry



Army and Navy Journal
March 7, 1874

Lieutenant Charles L. Hudson was born in Brantford, Canada West, January 17, 1843.  In 1859 his parents moved to Ohio,  first settling in Huron County, but two years later making their permanent residence near the beautiful village of Clyde. In 1861, Colonel Eaton, recruiting a company for the Seventy-second Ohio, found young Hudson, yet but a boy, at work in a corn field and without any difficulty secured him for his command. "He proved at once a worthy and brave soldier.  His intelligent performance of duty and faultless conduct in camp and in the field made him a favorite with officers and men and step by step he ascended in rank from his original position as private.  In 1864, he was made adjutant of the regiment which position with the rank of first lieutenant, he held till the end of the war, when he was commissioned a captain.  

.                                                                              
Inscribed Sword Presented to Charles L. Hudson by his 72nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry Comrades
(privately owned)
                                                                           


He was in nearly every engagement with his corps, and wounded at Shiloh in the hip, and a second time very seriously at Tupelo, Mississippi, a musket ball entering below the waist in the abdomen, and after passing half round the body, lodging near the backbone.  

After the war Hudson’s original idea was to study medicine, but in 1866 he was persuaded to adventure as a cotton planter in Louisiana. This enterprise proving disastrous, he returned to Clyde, when the summer of 1867 found him a law student. 
                                                                            

                   
     National Cemetery San Antonio. Texas

In December of that year, through the influence of appreciative friends, he was commissioned second lieutenant in the U. S. Army and assigned to the Fifteenth Infantry, joining his regiment at Mobile in January, 1868. He was shortly assigned to the Fourth Cavalry, promoted to first lieutenant and breveted captain. For three years, the headquarters of the command was at Fort Clark, and it is hardly necessary to suggest that a company thus located, which accompanied Colonel McKinzie [ Randall McKenzie] in his famous raid ‘over the border’ and was in the successful expedition of December last, against the Indians has seen pretty trying and constant service.

On the morning the 4th of January, just returned from a fight with the Comanches and resting from his fatigue, Lieutenant Hudson received his death wound from the accidental discharge of a Winchester carbine, dropping from the hands of Lieutenant Tyler. The ball entered the body a little below the third rib in the back of the left side, and passed through the cavity of the abdomen ranging downward and passing out on the right side of the stomach.  He lived till the 5th, at dark, conscious and suffering very little. He received every attention from his comrades, officers and men hoping almost against hope that the wound might not prove fatal, but about noon, it becoming evident that death must be the result, he was able to give an hour  to such partial arrangements of his affairs as one almost in extremis but retaining his mental faculties, is capable of.  

A friend writes, with true “soldierly pathos” he full realized that he was dying and went down to the brink of the dark river with the same calm composure that he had so often shown when death shots were falling thick and fast. The message which reached his widowed mother in far off Ohio, at noon, of ‘Charley’s’ successful skirmish with the Indians, was followed the same afternoon by a telegram announcing his death.

The friend to whom we are indebted for the foregoing details adds: “No words of encomium could ever rate the many excellent qualities of Captain Hudson. I knew him long and well, and do not believe he had an enemy. He was brave, generous, and just. As a soldier few equaled him. It is not too much to say, that in the Army and at home, he was universally respected and beloved. As an Indian fighter and leader of cavalry, Hudson was the  Bayard of the Border, not more popular with his command than idolized by the frontiersmen.  

General Sherman had recommended him for promotion shortly previous to his sad taking off. The body of Hudson was embalmed and laid in the National Cemetery at San Antonio,Texas.  Economy and retrenchment just now do not recognize the value of a soldier’s life, and it is hardly strange that they refuse to pay the usual respect to his remains. Thus the department was forced to respond to the request of one of Captain Hudson’s friends, to have his body forwarded to the little Ohio hamlet, whence some of the States’ best soldiers went to the war, and where McPherson’s remains were buried, ‘I am compelled to return a negative answer to your request.’