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Civil War Index Page

Shelby County, Ohio, was an agrarian society in 1861. A majority of the residents lived on farms. Because area residents were of necessity self-sufficient, and transportation was cumbersome and expensive, very few men had ever been as far away as Dayton. Within a few short months, hundreds of homesick young men would be swept from Shelby County and thrust into a maelstrom of violence hundreds of miles away. 

Although not well traveled, they were fiercely patriotic. The country was less than a century old. A number of county residents in 1861 had either served in the War of 1812 or the war with Mexico in 1848, or knew someone who had.

It is probable few county residents had definite opinions about the subject of slavery. A number of free blacks lived here. Rumley, a community of African Americans located in Van Buren Township, had as many as 300 residents. There is little evidence that escaped slaves settled here prior to the Civil War. However, there was much discussion about the great issue of the day - whether the states would remain one or the union would be torn asunder.

The national issue had been framed over two decades prior to the war. With the activities of John Brown and the other abolitionists, the talk was everywhere. Abraham Lincoln prophetically stated in 1838: "At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant, to step the ocean, and crush us at a blow? Never! All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa...combined could not by force take a drink from the Ohio in a trial of a thousand years...If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher."

This section contains a general chronological summary of the efforts of Shelby County’s citizens in the war — both on the battlefield, and at home.

ON THE HOME FRONT
Overview
Supporting the War
Loss of Loved Ones

Letters from a Quincy Area Soldier
Battle of Cannon
Anti-War Protests

Jeremiah Ferree
Byron Joslin
Swander Brothers
Sgt. William Van Fossen
Jonathan Lewis: Lincoln's Bodyguard
W. McGinnis
Sgt. Baker Twin
Monumental Building: Past to Future
Monumental Building

ARMY LIFE
The Grand Adventure Begins
Boredom & Perils of Army Life
Military Leadership
Squirrel Hunters
Sharp Shooters
Spying
Furloughs
Prisoners of War
Feeding the Men and Horses

BIBLIOGRAPHY

LINKS

BATTLES
Fort Donelson
Shiloh
Stones River
Raymond, Mississippi
Vicksburg
Chicamauga
Resaca
Resaca "Useless" Battle
Atlanta
Atlanta: Local Sacrifices
March to the Sea
Final Action in the West

EVENTS
Decoration Day 1874
Early Memorial Day
Sidney Memorial Day
Memorial Day: A Long Tradition

MISCELLANEOUS
Recruitment
Medicine in the Civil War
Bodyguard to the President
Black Soldiers
End of the War
Pensions
Reunions after the War
Monumental Building
Prison Camps
Lost Civil War Era Diary

 

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