Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Marietta College Reacts to the Kennedy Assassination

With the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963, the lives of Americans everywhere, including those of students attending classes at Marietta College, were suddenly and shockingly disrupted. A few weeks later, on Friday, December 13, The Marcolian carried a two-page feature commemorating the day that would never be forgotten. Students' reactions to the loss of the nation's leader were poignantly described by Marcolian editor Judith Vago, Class of 1964:  

By two o'clock we all knew and our knowledge was marked by silence and furrowed brows. At twenty to three as Erwin's bells chimed the finality of the day, professors quietly closed their books and dismissed class. Most students went directly to the Student Center, many walking alone, others in twos and threes. In the Center there was no rock and roll blaring from the juke box. There was only the measured voice of Walter Cronkite telling us the President of the United States was dead. We had many thoughts, many questions, but they were left unanswered as we listened in incredulous silence.

We didn't call him President Kennedy; he was JFK. He was too young. We felt he understood youth, us. We felt he respected us, our beliefs, our problems. We are Baptists, Italians, Lutherans, Catholics, Poles, Jews, Negroes, Irish, Japanese, but we had two things in common at exactly the same time - our youth and our feeling of loss at the death of JFK.

 Many things told of this loss. The flag flew at half mast. Students gathered around the campus bulletin board and read teletype releases with the latest news. We read newspapers and found in all of them that the story was true; the President was dead. So we held our heads in our hands for a brief moment to try and believe in the enormity and solemnity of the history we were experiencing.

The Reverend William Smith, assistant professor of religion and philosophy, led the memorial service on Saturday.  We wore solemn faces, the rain pattering on our umbrellas as we half-listened, half-thought. Dr. Frank E. Duddy Jr. sent a telegram of condolence which was later acknowledged by President Lyndon B. Johnson. 

Although we cannot see the private moments of grief and bewilderment each of us felt as America buried its President, the experiences we did witness belong to all of us as did JFK himself. He was a twentieth century man with twentieth century ideas. He worked to bring together the cultural, the intellectual, the political. We respected him as a man and a leader.

So it is to the memory of the man we had to give up to the ages that we dedicate this small and insignificant reminder of the fact that 'Now the time has come for this nation to fulfill its promise.' And the youthful walls of freedom echo 'Let us begin.'"
- J. M. V.             


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Sally Dodge Cram Green: A Restless Spirit of Mound Cemetery

Mound Cemetery, Marietta, Ohio

Of the many ghosts that wander through the darkness in Marietta's historic Mound Cemetery, that of Sarah "Sally" Dodge Cram Green may be the most haunting. An ordinary woman who struggled with the challenges of nineteenth-century life, in death she became a victim of disrespect.

The daughter of Nathaniel and Rebecca Walton Dodge, Sally grew up in Hampton Falls, a small town in southeastern New Hampshire. Her uncle, Oliver Dodge, was one of the original 48 pioneers who landed at the confluence of the Ohio and Muskingum rivers in 1788 to found the town of Marietta. About 1804, Nathaniel Dodge followed his brother west and became a prominent merchant and operator of a ferry across the Muskingum River to Harmar. 

A veteran of the American Revolution, Nathaniel was described as "a man of fearless disposition and of great integrity." His courage was displayed during one early Marietta court session when a mob of malcontents threatened to overthrow the judges. Nathaniel strode into the courtroom with a heavy club, took a seat near the bench to protect the officials, and sat there each day until court adjourned. (Genealogy of the Dodge Family of Essex County, Mass., 1629-1894, by Joseph Thompson Dodge, 1894.)

Home of the Dodge, Cram, and Nye families on Putnam Street, between Second and Third, in Marietta.

Marriage to Jonathan Cram in1804, kept Sally in New Hampshire until 1816, when she and her husband moved to Marietta with their young family. Jonathan Cram became the partner of Sally's brother, Nathaniel Dodge, Jr., in a mercantile business on Ohio Street. In a few years the store was transferred to the eastern shore of the Muskingum River near the ferry landing, where a wide variety of merchandise, "from a needle to a plow," was sold. Jonathan Cram was at the peak of a successful career when his life was cut short by pneumonia in January of 1821.

Jonathan's death left Sally a young widow with three small sons and a daughter to care for. She must have possessed at least a modicum of business sense, as she served as administratrix for her husband's estate and was later listed as a partner in business with her brother, Oliver. Also in partnership with Oliver Dodge was John Green, a widower who was well known in the community.

According to Devol family notes, John Green, II, was born in Leicester, Massachusetts. (Devol, Early Settlers in Rhode Island, 1639, and in Ohio, 1788, researched and compiled by Jerry Barker Devol, 1999.) He married Betsy Devol, daughter of Daniel and Elizabeth Jennings Devol, in 1808. In 1820 John Green and his family were living in Marietta near the Cram and Dodge families. Green was involved with mercantile pursuits in the business district, and on January 9, 1824, he captained the Rufus Putnam, first steamboat on the Muskingum River, on its maiden voyage from Marietta to Zanesville.

Green's investment in the steamboat enterprise proved profitable, and it may have been river commerce that took him to Cincinnati, where his wife died on October 31, 1825. Betsy Devol Green is buried in Marietta's Mound Cemetery, with a distinctive monument marking her grave. John Green's sorrow at the death of his first wife is demonstrated by the elaborate verse engraved on the stone:

          Now let my grief its rights of friendship pay,
          And weep my sorrows o'er the breathless clay;
          Visit with just respect, this silent tomb,
          To sooth my anguish in a mournful gloom:
          My wife, the fond companion of my soul,
          Lies here entombed with dust and kindred mould;
          Then hence from me all earthly joys are fled;
         Since she was numbered with the silent dead.

John Green was not in mourning for long, however, for records in the Washington County Courthouse show that "John Green, Esquire, of Cincinnati," was joined in marriage with "Mrs. Sally Cram of Marietta" on January 26, 1826. 

From this point forward, the story of Sally Dodge Cram Green becomes somewhat murky and difficult to follow. The Devol genealogy indicates that John Green died in Portsmouth, Ohio, sometime after 1830. (There is, indeed, a small tombstone with the name of a John Green in the Lucasville Methodist Church Cemetery, but no further information is provided.) In 1828, Sally's daughter, Rebecca, married Anselm Tupper Nye, a Marietta manufacturer with prominent family ties. The Dodge genealogy states that Sally's health became poor after the death of her first husband, and that Rebecca Cram Nye took on the task of raising her youngest brother, Jacob Cram. Oliver Dodge, the last of Sally's siblings living in Marietta, died in 1836. Then her father, Nathaniel Dodge, died in May of 1838. Perhaps it was the loss of so many of her family members that put Sally over the edge, or perhaps it was something to do with her second marriage, but in 1838, she was committed to the Ohio Lunatic Asylum in Columbus. Within a year, Sally was dead.

A brief obituary was published in the Marietta Intelligencer, December 12, 1839: "Died - At Columbus on the 28th ult. [November 28] Mrs. Sarah Green, of this place aged 56 years." But these few words do not begin to convey the anguish and tumult caused by her death.

On January 1, 1840, the Ohio State Journal revealed Sally's fate after death in their report of a bill before the Ohio legislature in relation to "digging up dead bodies." George H. Flood, a Representative from Licking County, told of the recent case of "a respectable lady" of Washington County, whom he had known:
She had been unfortunate, and became deranged, and was placed in the Lunatic Asylum in this city. While there, she sickened and died, and was buried. Soon after her decease, her son came for the purpose of removing the body to Marietta for interment; but, to his horror, found it had been taken away. He procured a warrant, and proceeded to the medical institution at Worthington. The President of that institution denied the right of the officer to search. Search was made; and upon opening a trap door in the centre of the building, the first object that met the eyes of the son was the body of his mother, with the head mutilated. He had been informed, by respectable authority, that persons belonging to this institution dug up bodies, not for anatomical purposes only, but for trade.
The History of the Eclectic Medical Institute, authored by Harvey Wickes Felter, M.D., 1902, provided an even more shocking account of the "resurrection riot" of 1839, part of a nationwide uprising against the practice of grave robbing:
A Mrs. Cramm [sic], of Marietta, O., died at the State Insane Asylum, and owing to the deep mud-roads to Columbus, her relatives did not arrive in time to claim her body. For some reason or other she was buried in the potter's field - then located where the Union Depot of Columbus now stands. Upon the arrival of the Cramms, they found that the grave had been disturbed. Upon opening it they found no body. Suspicion was at once directed to the Worthington Medical College, and the flame was fanned by the college enemies. Two other graves were found to have been opened. On one memorable day, news came that there was to be an attack on the college building, and that a great company of men were on their way from Delaware for that purpose. The students and their friends, by chance, got word in time to arm themselves with pistols and shotguns, and every kind of firearm that they could procure and fortified themselves in the college building . . . It is said that battering-rams were erected for the demolition of the building. Finally, some one betrayed the Faculty, by placing in the hands of the mob the key to the college edifice . . . Entering the building, the latter found what was believed to be the body of Mrs. Cramm upon the dissecting table.
The unauthorized removal and dissection of Sally's corpse resulted in the Ohio legislature revoking the college's right to confer medical degrees. The school was forced to close its doors and move to Cincinnati, where it was revived as the Eclectic Medical Institute.

The remains of Sally Dodge Cram Green appear to have been brought to Marietta and interred in Mound Cemetery. It is hoped that they lie there yet today.

A large, hexagonal sandstone obelisk, shared with her first husband, marks the grave of Sally Dodge Cram Green in Mound Cemetery. 

The inscription on the tombstone identifies Sally as "Sarah Cram," and the many published accounts of her riotous end refer to her only as "Mrs. Cramm." The Dodge family genealogy does not mention her marriage to John Green.
Linda Showalter
Special Collections Associate
Marietta College Library


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Julia Cutler's Experience During Morgan's Raid

While Southern civilians lived in constant dread of battles in their backyards during the Civil War, the people of the North were, for the most part, spared this fear.  One exception was the Ohioans who lived along the Ohio River.  In 1861, upon hearing that Virginia had seceded from the Union, Julia Cutler of Washington County grimly noted, "This places us on the border & we must look the monster Secession in the face."  Warnings of Rebel invasions and threats of towns being burned were frequent, but usually just rumors started by Confederate sympathizers.  In the summer of 1863, however, the approaching thunder of Rebel cavalrymen was all too real.  The diaries, letters, and essays of Julia Perkins Cutler, held by Marietta College Library's Special Collections, describe how a farm house full of women rose to the occasion during Morgan's Raid.

Julia P. Cutler
In the rural community of Constitution, about eight miles south of Marietta, Ohio, Julia Cutler made a routine entry in her diary on Wednesday, July 1, 1863:  "Men at work in hay field.  Very warm."

By the next day, however, Julia's attention was absorbed by the news of a battle at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.  Although she celebrated the Union victory with her neighbors, Julia trembled with anxiety for her nephew, Rufus Dawes, who had taken part in the bloody confrontation with Confederate forces.  It was nine long days before the family was assured of his safety and learned of the key role he had played during the struggle.

While Julia waited for news of her nephew's fate, she and the other women of the neighborhood were kept busy in the hot, humid farm kitchens, cooking for the extra hands who were getting in the hay.  The air along the Ohio River during the early part of July was ominously stagnant.  "Everybody speaks of the singular state of the atmosphere," wrote Julia.  "The sun does not shine, even when there are no clouds - and when dark and cloudy no rain falls.  The air is damp and wheat molds in the shock."  A thick layer of smoke and haze obscured houses only a mile away, and Julia wondered, "Is it the battle cloud wafted westward?"  Thus consumed with thoughts of the Gettysburg battle and the onerous labor in field and kitchen, she and her neighbors were slow to notice the rising threat of a band of Rebel marauders.

The Old Stone House of the Cutler Family at Constitution, Ohio, painted by Sala Bosworth. The original is held by Dawes Arboretum.

On Wednesday, July 15, Julia noted that "the sun shines to-day, the first time for a week, and the men are making hay & getting it into cocks."  Before the day was over the men had gone from the fields, called by the Ohio governor to capture a Confederate foe.  "It was in the midst of harvest," Julia later reflected, "but the farmers threw down the scythe and the hoe, leaving the hay uncut, wheat unstacked, and corn unworked, to hasten to the defense of their homes." 

Ordered by Confederate General Braxton Bragg to distract Union troops from Eastern Tennessee by invading Kentucky, General John Hunt Morgan exceeded instructions and moved on into the North, crossing the Ohio River and advancing through Indiana and Ohio with about 2,000 cavalrymen.  All along their route, the Raiders stole property, tore up railroads, and destroyed buildings, bridges and farms.  On Monday, July 13, Morgan and his men had passed over the Ohio border into Hamilton County.  As most of the regular army was engaged in the South, Governor David Tod called out the militia to protect Ohio. 

General John Hunt Morgan, from Morgan and His Captors, by F. Senour, 1865.

The commissioned captain of the militia at Constitution was Loring Cole, reputed to be a Copperhead, or anti-war Democrat, and the Union supporters in the community were unwilling to serve under him.  An independent militia company of about 80 men was quickly organized, with Thomas Watson Moore for captain, Augustus Stone Bailey for lieutenant, and William D. McClure for orderly sergeant.  This unit rendezvoused at Camp Marietta with similar militia companies from all over Southeastern Ohio.  As many as 12,000 men were assembled, most of them unarmed.

William Parker Cutler
William P. Cutler, Julia's brother, had just completed a term in the United States Congress and was a director of the Marietta & Cincinnati Railroad.  When word was received that Morgan's men had torn up the Little Miami Railroad and burned a train, he immediately went into action.  Cutler left home on Saturday morning, July 18, traveling to Athens to arrange for the safety of the M&C.  Railroad workers and Athens area militia were set to work guarding the tracks and blockading the gravel roads that led to them.  Sixty trustworthy railroad men were sent out as scouts to watch Morgan's movements and report back every hour.  The information they gathered was passed on to military officials.

Elizabeth "Lizzie" (Voris) Cutler
With William away and the hired men chasing Morgan, the Cutler farm was left in the charge of the women.  This consisted of Julia Cutler, 49 years old and unmarried; her sister-in-law, 31-year-old Lizzie (Voris) Cutler; Lizzie and William's daughters, 10-year-old Annie and 7-year-old Sarah; Julia's 33-year-old niece, Lucretia Catherine "Kate" Dawes; 26-year-old Nancy Carlin, who helped in the kitchen; and Lucy Dawes, Julia's 30-year-old niece who was an occasional visitor.  Julia reported in her diary, "We have not a man or boy about the house."

On Saturday, July 18, the women watched as most of the men of Constitution, under the leadership of Colonel Moore, passed by on a train.  They were bound for Buffington Island, near Meigs County, Ohio, where Morgan and his men were expected to re-cross the river.  Two additional train cars of militia, along with a steamboat and barge, all passed by the Cutler's stone house on the way to intercept Morgan.  Dispatches were received that a skirmish with the raiders had occurred at Berlin Heights in Jackson County, and when rumors placed the enemy's scouts at Coolville, less than 20 miles away, the ladies' afternoon tea party was "thrown into quite a little flutter of excitement."  As soon as their guests left, the Cutler women hustled about, hiding a shotgun and burying the family silver and valuable papers.  A neighbor boy was hired to move their horses to a remote pasture out of Morgan's view.

About sundown 45 soldiers from Marietta were sent to remove all the boats along the river.  Anxious to be of assistance, the women "cut up and buttered four loaves of bread and gave them, with six or eight pies."  Not long after the soldiers' departure, Julia Cutler was walking in her flower garden when she noticed a "sun-browned" man in a linen duster, traveling up the river road on a "fine grey horse."  The man did not go far and "was seen returning & heard galloping by in the dusk of the evening, taking the Hocking road."  The stranger was thought to be one of Morgan's scouts.

Map of Washington County, Ohio, from History of Washington County, Ohio, H. Z. Williams & Bros., 1881

 On July 19, the usual Sabbath stillness was broken by the arrival of a company of cavalry, the Governor's Guards from Columbus, who stopped at the Cutler's well for water on their way to "hunt Morgan."  Not long after, "Col. Hill" (probably Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Hill of the 145th O.V.I.) and his assistant, Captain Werter W. Madeira of Chillicothe, were ushered into the house by a neighbor, Bennett C. Bailey.  These officers had come to examine maps and consult with William Cutler regarding the probability of Morgan fording the Ohio River at a nearby island.  As William was still in Athens, they discussed matters with Kate Dawes and Julia, and determined that the ford must be defended.  Later in the morning, a traveler from Parkersburg, West Virginia (the new state had been admitted to the Union June 20th), came in with the announcement that there was fighting 35 miles away at Buffington Island.

Sarah and Annie Cutler
 The Reverend Charles Curtis, pastor of Constitution's Presbyterian Church, "finding his congregation were in camp, or too anxious and troubled to leave their homes, did not preach" that morning, but Sabbath school was to be held in the afternoon.  Not realizing that their own farm would soon be the scene of battle preparations, Kate Dawes, Annie Cutler, and Nancy Carlin dutifully walked up the road to the church, leaving Julia and Lizzie behind with little Sarah, who was unwell.  At three o'clock, before Sabbath school prayers were over, a bugle call announced the arrival of a train load of men and equipment.  Julia and Lizzie  watched in amazement as "four or five hundred men got off, and from the hindmost cars a large number of spades & pickaxes were unloaded after which the men formed in line & were marched toward the orchard."

The crisis had placed John Lynch, a major in the 114th O.V.I., into the role of acting colonel of the militia.  Colonel Lynch quickly set up headquarters for his military staff in the Cutler's "Old Stone House," and designated the farm "Camp Cutler."  After spending several hours surveying the situation, he laid out plans for defense.  The Hocking road (now Veto Road) was blockaded with timber and a cannon positioned to guard it; another cannon was set up a short distance above the Cutler's home along the river road.  About sunset the men were put to work digging entrenchments, or rifle pits.  The women slept very little that night, and Julia Cutler later described the commotion that surrounded them:
As the twilight deepened, fires were lighted and all the lanterns in the neighborhood pressed into service to expedite the work.  Every six hours a relief party came down from Camp Putnam on the cars and took the places of those who had performed their tour of duty and were returned to camp on the same train that brought the relief.   No rations were sent here.  The tired & hungry soldiers were to go back to town for food.  A militia force gathers all.  There were lawyers, doctors, ministers, merchants & clerks as well as mechanics & farmers.  To those who were unaccustomed to manual labor the service was a severe one, many almost fainted under it.  We endeavored to give some refreshment to all who came, if it were no more than a cup of tea or coffee & a slice of bread & butter.  The poor fellows continued coming to the house until long after midnight and Kate, who did not go to bed until two o'clock in the morning, rose three times afterward to attend to them.  About midnight we heard the measured tramp of men coming down the river road.  It was Col. Brown's Ross Co. Regiment going down to Crooked Creek, three miles below here, which position they were to hold as a kind of advance post, while the intrenchments were being dug here.  As they halted a few minutes before the house, in the darkness, some sang snatches of song - some quoted Shakespeare . . .
View of Constitution from Atlas of Washington County, Ohio, D. J. Lake, Philadelphia: Titus, Simmons & Titus,1875.  The Old Stone House, in which the Cutler family lived from 1809 until 1872, is near the left edge of the drawing, just below the midpoint.

On Monday, July 20, the men continued their drudgery in the rifle pits, which stretched "all the way from river road to the point of the hill."  Julia discovered that among the laborers was the Honorable James R. Morris, United States Congressman from Monroe County, a Copperhead who had defeated her brother William in the last election.  Morris had slept in the Cutler's barn the night before.

Trouble from the local Copperheads was anticipated, and several had been placed under arrest.  One particularly notorious Warren Township resident, John Sharp, had been taken into custody after "ammunition enough for a whole company was found concealed in his house and a sixteen shooter was taken from his person."  Among the incriminating evidence was Sharp's correspondence with John Hunt Morgan.

Marietta Register, July 24, 1863

The women focused their energies on preparing food for the soldiers and called for more help in the kitchen.  Nancy Carlin, the hired girl, "stood at the table making pies &c. from morning till night."  Soldiers "came to the house by hundreds for food," and were given gingerbread, pies, biscuits, cake, tea and coffee.  In addition to the men in the trenches, the military officers and staff who sat at the Cutler's table also had to be fed.  The women were impressed with the ranking men's gentlemanly conduct:

Col. Lynch himself is from Circleville, where he has for twelve years superintended the Union Schools.  He is an educated man, very modest and has the reputation of being a brave & accomplished officer.  He has served under Grant and participated in some of the most desperate fighting before Vicksburg.  Mr. Drum, a teller or cashier of the Circleville bank, seemed to be the most intelligent and efficient man on "the staff."  Mr. Turney, a fat good natured gentleman, said to be the richest man in Pickaway Co. had left 1000 acres of wheat uncut to come and "head off Morgan" or catch him if that might be.

At this point "all was uncertain anxious suspense," as the results of the battle at Buffington were still unknown.  News eventually came that 100 of Morgan's men had been killed and perhaps 1,000 captured by Union forces.  Morgan himself, along with 700 or more men, escaped to continue their ride.  It was believed that the Rebel band would now seek out the upper fords on the Ohio River, and the officers encamped at Constitution began to seriously discuss the possibility of a battle, hoping to fight Morgan on that very spot:
They say to us "we are sorry to spoil your beautiful place here."  Mr. Drum says "Your house is in an unfortunate position in case of a battle at this ford," but Col. Lynch thinks "the house is shell-proof."  This sounds warlike to our unaccustomed ears.  Mrs. W. D. Bailey, our near neighbor, inquires "will it be safe to stay in our houses?"  We compare ideas among ourselves.  Kate says she will not go away in any event.  She wants to see the fight and aid the wounded.  Some of the more timid would prefer not so near a view, and the capabilities of the cellar to accommodate inmates is discussed.  Finally we decided to abide the event, and act according to circumstances.  This (Monday) evening the Colonel reported to Col. Runkle "After six o'clock this P.M. we can hold this position against 20,000 men."
Kate Dawes

By Tuesday, July 21, several rows of rifle pits zigzagged from the river road, back to the railroad, then up the hills behind Constitution.  The work was continuing when a dispatch arrived by train reporting the surrender of more of Morgan's men on Kyger Creek in Gallia County.  Once again, however, Morgan and several hundred of his followers had escaped and were fleeing northward.  As the news was relayed to the men in the trenches, "they made the welkin ring with their shouts."

William Cutler and his niece, Lucy Dawes, arrived at the farm about noon, just as Colonel Lynch and his men were preparing to board a train.  They were leaving the Old Stone House and heading up the Muskingum River in pursuit of Morgan.  Assessments were made for damages to the fields, but Cutler refused remuneration, saying "he did not want a farm unless he could have a government."  The women of the neighborhood thought it now safe to come out of their houses and inspect the rifle pits.  The Cutlers congratulated themselves that they had come relatively unscathed through Morgan's Raid.  But the excitement was not over yet.

Diary of Julia Cutler, July 22, 1863

On the morning of Wednesday, July 22, William Cutler left the house early to check on damages the Raiders had inflicted on the railroad.  About 9:00 a.m. the women had another visit from Captain W. W. Madeira.  He was on his way to Crooked Creek to order Colonel Brown's Ross County regiment upriver to Constitution, where they would take over the rifle pits left by the previous crew.  Military officials thought it best to be prepared in the event that Morgan and his remaining men should turn their flight in that direction.

About noon the Ross County regiment under Colonel Allison L. Brown, along with a part of the 19th Ohio Battery under Colonel James W. Conine, marched up the road and commenced preparations, once again, to head off Morgan.  "Three beautiful Brass cannon belonging to the 19th Ohio battery were stationed in the turnpike above our house, ready at a moment's warning to be whirled into position," noted Julia. "Squads of mounted men were coming and going with reports to the Head Quarters.  Col. Brown & his field officers made their home with us and the regimental Surgeon established his hospital here."

Of the hundreds of men who milled about the house and grounds of the Cutler farm that week, the "fat doctor" affiliated with Colonel Brown's regiment was the only one whose rude, drunken behavior caused offense:
He said he must have rooms for himself & his patients and if we objected he would take the whole house.  He stretched himself upon the parlor sofa and conducted himself like a boor as he was.  We had all exerted ourselves beyond our strength the past three days - glad to do all we could - regardless of fatigue or expense.  But when this man with brutal manners appeared, I confess my heart sank.  Having established himself in the parlor, his apothecary shop in the entry, and his patients in one of the back rooms - he went to sleep - without troubling himself about the sick ones - leaving them to two or three nurses, only one of whom appeared to feel any responsibility.  Lucy took the matter in hand & brought down mattresses & pillows and made them as comfortable as she could.  She then prepared tea & toast or broth for such as could take it, all which seemed to do the invalids a vast deal of good.
Lucy Dawes

By Thursday, July 23, with the threat of Morgan and his raiders diminishing, the soldiers and the residents of Constitution were settling into a comfortable routine at their military encampment:
In the early morning light we saw the battery-men stretched by the road-side upon their blankets near their guns, fast asleep - except those whose duty it was to stand guard.  It looked indeed like being in Camp.  We are getting accustomed to warlike sights and sounds. The glittering bayonets of the infantry, the bugle call of the Artillery, the clanking of saber & carbine of the Cavalry make "Camp Cutler" seem quite like a military post . . . [The soldiers] come to us for food, medicines, tools, cooking utensils, tubs, washboard, soap, books, newspapers, &c. &c.  Every shade tree has its group of loungers, reading, writing, or discussing the raid.  There are no angry political disputes.  Some walk about the garden - some spend hours in the river - while others sleep their time away.
But the idyllic spot was not long to be enjoyed, as the majority of the loafing soldiers were ordered to Wheeling later in the day.  Only Captain Reed with an independent company from Ross County was left to guard the ford.

With the adventure seemingly over, Julia took to her room to rest from the strenuous activity of the past several days.  She was soon awakened, however, by "a bustle in the road in front of the house."  Looking out the window, she saw a crowd gathering around a buggy and heard someone say, "Yes, I'm a live rebel."  After a week of dreadful anticipation, Julia finally encountered one of Morgan's Raiders.

The handsome young man captured by scouts was George Nolan, the son of a Union sympathizer, from Shelby County, Kentucky.  According to Julia, Nolan was "well educated for a rebel & horse thief" and "ought to know better than to be a rebel and robber."  The man had ridden with Morgan through Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio, and his feet were badly swollen.  After receiving medical treatment, he ate his dinner under guard in the Cutler's house before being sent to Camp Marietta.

On Friday, July 24, news was received that Morgan had been involved in a skirmish at Eagleport on the Muskingum River above McConnelsville.  The gallant Colonel Lynch and his men, who had guarded the ford at Constitution, had finally gotten their chance to strike a blow at Morgan.

The officers still stationed at the Old Stone House were remaining cautious.  They agreed that it was best to keep the men at their posts, as a surprise visit from Morgan was possible.  Julia went to bed that night "expecting to hear the signal guns before morning."

By Saturday, July 25th, Morgan was reported in Belmont County and moving in a northward direction.  Julia was becoming weary of his antics and expressed the hope to "hear that he is either killed, captured, or driven from our borders."

On Sunday, July 26, the Cutlers, along with some of the soldiers, attended church.  Dispatches were received indicating that Morgan was moving even farther away and was now beyond Steubenville in Jefferson County, Ohio.

Monday morning, July 27, brought the long-awaited news that Morgan and the last of his Rebel band had been captured at Salineville in Columbiana County.  With a mixture of regret and relief, the soldiers at Constitution packed up their equipment and prepared to leave, but not before a parting gesture to the Cutler family:
When the soldiers left they marched by the house, halting in front and displayed the flag with which they had dared Morgan to the fight at Berlin Heights and then in consideration of the kindness shown by the ladies of the family, gave three cheers with a will.  Considering the unexpected & severe draft on our energies, I think we sustained the credit of the family very well, giving without stint to all who came.

Tuesday, July 28, found the neighborhood back to the routine of an ordinary summer day.  The men returned to the hay fields, and the women, suffering from "sick headache," toothache, palpitations and fatigue, began their recovery from the stress of the recent adventure:
To-day the farmers resume their work plowing out corn, stacking wheat, or making hay - everything of the kind having been suspended.  Mrs. Dawes & Lucy came down this evening to talk over the exciting events of the last ten days, which seem a month to us, & to see the rifle-pits.

While Julia rested, she took time to reflect and write about the events of the preceding week and decided that all had gone rather well.  "Altho hundreds passed through & around our gardens, not a flower was broken or the slightest injury done," and best of all, the Cutlers had made quite a number of "pleasant acquaintances and some warm friends" among the soldiers who were in their midst.

Linda Showalter
Special Collections Associate
Marietta College Library

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Rufus Dawes, Class of 1860

Marietta College was represented by 181 men during the Civil War, including alumni, undergraduates, and students of the preparatory academy.  One of the best known among these valiant soldiers was Rufus Dawes, Class of 1860, who achieved a remarkable record of military service and contributed significantly to the Union Army’s success at Gettysburg.

Rufus Dawes in 1859
 Rufus Dawes was born at Malta, Morgan County, Ohio, on the Fourth of July, 1838, son of Henry and Sarah (Cutler) Dawes. He was the great-grandson of William Dawes, who rode with Paul Revere during the American Revolution, and also of Manasseh Cutler, who negotiated with Congress on behalf of the Ohio Company to purchase the land that opened the Old Northwest Territory to settlement.

Much of Dawes’ childhood was spent in his grandfather’s home near Marietta, where his mother found refuge following a legal separation from his father. Henry Dawes moved to Mauston, Wisconsin, and Rufus joined him there, entering the University of Wisconsin in 1856. After two years he came back to Ohio and enrolled at Marietta College, obtaining a degree with the Class of 1860.

By 1861 Dawes had returned to Wisconsin, to help his father with business matters.  He was only 22 years old when President Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers to put down the rebellion.  In April of 1861, Dawes raised a company in Mauston called the “Lemonweir Minutemen.”  On July 6, Captain Rufus Dawes, along with 94 men of Company K, went to Madison to join the Sixth Wisconsin Volunteers. This regiment became a part of the “Iron Brigade” and fought in the Army of the Potomac.

Rufus Dawes' commission as captain of the Lemonweir Minutemen, May 3, 1861. Marietta College Library Special Collections.

On the first day of fighting at Gettysburg, July 1, 1863, Lieutenant Colonel Dawes commanded the Sixth Wisconsin in a gallant charge upon a Confederate brigade and
Rufus R. Dawes
rescued the 147th New York from a perilous position.  In this charge the Sixth carried the enemy’s position at the point of the bayonet and captured parts of two Confederate regiments. Dawes’ horse was shot under him in the charge, and he led the men on foot. Upon the issue of the engagement hung the possession of Cemetery Hill, and upon the holding of Cemetery Hill hung the issue of the Battle of Gettysburg itself. General Abner Doubleday, in his official report, said that “the moment was a critical one, involving the defeat, perhaps the utter rout, of our forces.”  

Dawes position at Gettysburg, diagram from Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, ed. by R. U. Johnson and C. C. Buel, New York (1887).

Mary (Gates) Dawes
During the Civil War, Rufus began a courtship of Mary Gates, daughter of Beman and Betsey (Shipman) Gates of Marietta.  Eight months after the couple's engagement, Rufus was granted a furlough due to re-enlistment.  He returned to Marietta, and he and Mary were married on January 18, 1864.  They honeymooned in Milwaukee, where Rufus received his only war-time injury.  His horse slipped and fell on the ice, causing Rufus to suffer a sprained ankle and gaining him three additional weeks of leave from the army.

One of the heroes of the Iron Brigade, Rufus Dawes fought in 20 battles. He was made major in 1862, lieutenant colonel in 1863, colonel in 1864, and finally, brigadier general by brevet at the close of the war.  

Rufus Dawes' commission as brigadier general by brevet, signed by President Andrew Johnson, May 22, 1866.   Marietta College Library Special Collections

Following the War, Rufus and Mary lived the rest of their lives in Marietta, Ohio.  They had six children:  Charles Gates Dawes (Vice President of the United States under Coolidge); Rufus Cutler Dawes; Beman Gates Dawes; Mary Frances Dawes Beach; Henry May Dawes; and Betsey Gates Dawes Hoyt.  

Home of the Dawes family on Fourth Street in Marietta, Ohio.

Rufus Dawes operated a lumber business and was involved with the railroad.  He served on the Marietta College Board of Trustees from 1871 until his death.  He was elected to a term in the U.S. Congress in 1880, and was one of the leading candidates for nomination as governor of Ohio in 1889.  President McKinley offered Dawes the post of Minister to Persia in 1897, but he declined.   

At the age of 50, Dawes' health began to deteriorate, and he spent the last three years of his life confined to a wheelchair due to partial paralysis.  In the summer of 1899, the Marietta High School Cadets performed a dress parade in front of Dawes' home to honor the old general.  He died in Marietta on August 2, 1899, aged 61.

Rufus Dawes with family members and the Marietta High School Cadets in 1899.

On hearing the news of Dawes’ death, a soldier who had served with him during the Civil War said, “I was very much impressed with his nobility of character, his sterling worth as a man, and his earnestness and bravery as a soldier.  He was a man of high ideals and firmness, and was popular with the soldiers of his regiment.”

In 1890 Rufus Dawes published a memoir, Service With the Sixth Wisconsin Volunteers.  Regarded as a Civil War classic, it contains important descriptions of the military campaigns of the Army of the Potomac.  This book has been digitized and is accessible on-line, courtesy of the Wisconsin Historical Society:   http://content.wisconsinhistory.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/quiner/id/22766/show/22360/rec/2

Dawes' original Civil War diary had also been made available by the Wisconsin Historical Society:   http://content.wisconsinhistory.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/quiner/id/31847/show/31759/rec/12

Many additional materials related to the life and career of Rufus Dawes, including diaries for 1859 and 1893, are available in the reading room of the Marietta College Library Special Collections:  http://library.marietta.edu/spc/

Linda Showalter
Special Collections Associate
Marietta College Library