Rare authentic civil war certificate for the defenders of Cincinnati against rebel invasion. Squirrel Hunters were civilian men who assisted the federal government in defending Cincinnati, Ohio from Confederate attack in 1862. In September 1862, Confederate forces under General Kirby Smith captured Lexington, Kentucky, in the second year of the American Civil War. Smith dispatched General Henry Heth to capture Covington, Kentucky and Cincinnati, Ohio.
Major General Horatio Wright, commander of Union forces in Kentucky, ordered General Lewis (Lew) Wallace to prepare Covington's and Cincinnati's defenses. Upon arriving in Cincinnati, Wallace immediately declared martial law. He issued a call in Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan for a volunteer militia.All business owners were to close their shops, and civilians were to report for military duty. Wallace stated, Civilians for labor, soldiers for battle. Men in the regular army would fight on the battlefield, while the civilians would prepare trenches and other defensive features to prepare the two communities for attack. Cincinnati residents reportedly "cheerfully obeyed" the order. Ohio Governor David Tod left Columbus, the state capital, and came to Cincinnati to assist Wallace. Tod immediately ordered Ohio's adjutant-general to send any available troops other than those guarding Ohio's southern border to Cincinnati. Tod also ordered the state quartermaster to send five thousand guns to equip Cincinnati's militia.
A number of Ohio counties offered to dispatch men to Cincinnati as well. Tod immediately accepted the offers on Lew Wallace's behalf. He stated that only armed men should report and that railroad companies should transport the men for free and then later send a bill to the State of Ohio. Civilians from sixty-five counties numbering 15,766 men reported for duty at Cincinnati.
These volunteer men became known as the Squirrel Hunters. Many of the Squirrel Hunters had no military training and carried antiquated weapons. Despite these shortcomings, they still rallied together to help defend Ohio from Confederate invasion. City officials commandeered Cincinnati's Fifth Street Markethouse to serve as a dining hall for the volunteers.
Churches, meeting halls, and warehouses served as barracks. One day after he called for the volunteers, Governor Tod requested Ohioans to stop sending men for duty.Thanks to the actions of Wallace and Tod, Covington and Cincinnati had adequate defenses to repel Heth's advance within two days. By September 13, 1862, news reached Cincinnati that the Confederate forces were withdrawing from Kentucky and that Cincinnati was no longer in danger. Wallace earned the nickname "Savior of Cincinnati" for his actions in September 1862.
To thank the Squirrel Hunters, the Ohio legislature, in 1863, authorized funds for Governor Tod to print discharges for these men from military duty. The discharges thanked the men for their patriotism and their willingness to sacrifice their lives in the defense of Ohio. Resolved by the Senate and the House of Representatives of the State of Ohio.
The Governor is hereby authorized and directed to appropriate out of his contingent. Fund, a sufficient sum to pay for printing and lithographing discharges to the. Patriotic men of the State, who responded to the call of the Governor, and went to. The southern border to repel the invader, and who will be known in history as the. In September 1862, Confederate and Union forces continued to battle in the second year of the American Civil War.Kirby Smith led the Confederate forces to capture Lexington and sent Confederate Brigadier General Henry Heth to capture Covington, Kentucky and Cincinnati. Horatio Wright, commander of the Union forces in Kentucky, ordered Union Maj. Lewis Wallace to prepare to defend Covington and Cincinnati against Confederate invaders. Wallace declared martial law and seized 16 steamboats and had them armed. Cincinnati Mayor George Hatch ordered all businesses to be closed. David Tod sent from Columbus the following call for Ohio civilians who would bring their own weapons and form an armed volunteer militia: Our southern border is threatened with invasion. I therefore recommend that all the loyal men of your counties at once form themselves into military companies. Gather up all the arms in the county and furnish yourselves with ammunition for the same. The Squirrel Hunters 15,766 civilian men from 65 Ohio counties answered the call and reported for duty in Cincinnati. The Squirrel Hunters traveled on foot, by train and by horse from the backwoods, the Great Lakes region, farms and small towns all over Ohio. Some were family men; others were drifters. They carried an assortment of weapons, including old flintlocks or muskets, powder horns, fowling pieces and squirrel rifles. The Squirrel Hunters wore homemade clothing, including buckskin and coonskin caps. This varied group of volunteers included men of all ages.
According to news reports, James B. Daniels was only 14 years old when the mobilization in Cincinnati took place.
He went to see the citizen soldiers mustered in, and the officers, learning that he could play a drum, compelled him to enlist as a drummer boy. He was sworn in in the old Mercantile Library building, and taken to the Mechanics Institute, where he spent the night with a number of other recruits. David Baker was a typical Shelby County volunteer Squirrel Hunter.
He was 35 years old and a Salem Township farmer in 1862. Unmarried, he immediately left his crops in the field and traveled to the Queen City. Malcolm McDowell, an Army paymaster, is credited with giving the volunteers their nickname.
The name stuck and even Gov. Tod was calling them Squirrel Hunters in official correspondence with Secretary of War Stanton. After the arrival of the Squirrel Hunters in Cincinnati, a news story reports that The Patriotism of the Rural Districts has been fanned to a flame. In the villages merchants closed their stores; in the fields farmers deserted their plows and grasping their rifles, sprang forward to aid in the defense of Cincinnati.
For two weeks, members of the military tried to teach this group how to be soldiers. Cincinnati churches, meeting halls and warehouses served as barracks.The Squirrel Hunters came prepared to fight, but they saw no real action against the enemy, instead helping to build trenches and other fortifications and preparing defensive tactics for Cincinnati communities. Some sought to continue to serve in a more official military capacity. Heacock, of Cardington, Ohio, moved on to other callings. Heacock was 31 when he heeded Gov. Tods call and joined the ranks of the Squirrel Hunters to help defend Cincinnati. Heacock later was admitted to the bar in 1873 in Columbus and practiced law at the Morrow and Marion county courts for years, according to news reports. Some Squirrel Hunters stayed in Cincinnati, however, being in a festive mood and taking advantage of the governments free meals. There is no official date of disbandment for the group.
Smith sent a letter Sept. Wallace stating, Reports from the front state that the enemy is in full retreat. Cannot I get rid of the Squirrel Hunters? They are under no control. Despite the possibility that some Squirrel Hunters might have lingered a bit too long in Cincinnati after their service was concluded, becoming an occasional nuisance for other members of the military, these men answered the states plea for help.
This certificate was mounted to a piece of cardboard. The item "Squirrel Hunter Discharge American Civil War 1862 Confederate Invasion Kentucky" is in sale since Tuesday, August 28, 2018.
This item is in the category "Collectibles\Militaria\Civil War (1861-65)\Original Period Items\Other Civil War Original Items". The seller is "cavltc" and is located in Cincinnati, Ohio.
This item can be shipped to United States.