Journal-News , Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2002
Miami graduate commanded 93rd OVI
By Jim Blount
Butler County men who joined the 93rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment in 1862 entered the Civil War under the command of a Miami University graduate, Colonel Charles Anderson, whose legal and political career included Cincinnati and Dayton connections. The Kentucky native was a Texas resident when the war started.
There were 968 men in the 93rd when it left Ohio Aug. 23, 1862. The regiment included about 275 to 300 Butler County soldiers under the command of Anderson, who brought a military pedigree to his post. His father, Richard Clough Anderson, had been an aide-de-camp to the Marquis de Lafayette, the French captain who became a general in the American cause during the revolution.
1Charles Anderson was born June 1, 1814, at his father's residence (now within Louisville, Ky.), near the falls of the Ohio River. As a youth his interest had been farming, but he entered Miami University in Oxford in 1829 to obtain a liberal arts education.
After graduation in 1833, he read law in Louisville and was admitted to the bar there in 1835. That year Anderson moved to Dayton, Ohio, where he opened a law office. Also in 1835, he married Eliza J. Brown, a daughter of a Dayton merchant who had served with Gen. Anthony Wayne in the 1790s campaign that opened Ohio to settlement and statehood.
In 1843, he began a term as prosecuting attorney of Montgomery County. From 1844 to 1846, he represented Warren and Montgomery counties in the Ohio Senate. As a legislator, he emerged as a spokesman for Negro rights and advocated repeal of Ohio's "Black Laws" or "Black Codes" that limited opportunities for African-Americans.
Health problems led to a prolonged European tour where he sought relief at spas. When he returned to the U. S., Anderson moved his family to Cincinnati in 1848 and formed a law partnership with Rufus King. In 1855 or 1856, he moved back to Dayton, but in 1858 or 1859 -- again because of poor health -- he sought relief in a different climate.
He moved his family to San Antonio, Texas, where he farmed and engaged in horse breeding with plans to sell mounts to U. S. cavalry. While in Texas, he declined an appointment from President James Buchanan to become an assistant secretary of state.
In 1860 and 1861, Anderson jumped into the political debate about secession -- as an outspoken advocate of Texas staying in the Union. His strong opinion made many enemies and led to a number of threats.
His position drew added attention because of the leadership of an older brother. The national spotlight focused on Robert Anderson (1805-1871) in December 1860 as commander of Fort Sumter that guarded the entrance to Charleston Harbor. The pro-slavery Kentuckian -- who remained loyal to the Union -- was an 1825 West Point graduate who had attained the rank of major in the First U. S. Artillery when assigned to the fort in South Carolina Nov. 15, 1860.
He became "the hero of Fort Sumter" for his stubborn stand against secessionist threats that preceded the April 12, 1861, Confederate attack on the fort. The next day, a tense nation learned that Major Robert Anderson had surrendered Fort Sumter.
Meanwhile, in Texas, brother Charles Anderson was involved in a series of events that would bring him back to Ohio and command of the 93rd OVI. (His interesting Civil War service will be covered in this column next week.)
A replica of the flag carried by Anderson's regiment will be dedicated Wednesday, Nov. 13, during ceremonies marking the 100th anniversary of the placement of the cornerstone for the Soldiers, Sailors and Pioneers Monument. The 93rd flag will be displayed that day from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Monument, where it will be housed.
It is one of two replicas sponsored by the Michael J. Colligan Fund of the Hamilton Community Foundation. A grant from the Colligan Fund enabled the Ohio Historical Society to restore the regiment's original Civil War banner.
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Journal-News , Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2002
Miami grad political prisoner of Texas rebels
By Jim Blount
Butler County men in the 93rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment started their Civil War service in 1862 under the command of an 1833 Miami University graduate who had been a political prisoner of Confederate authorities in Texas. Charles Anderson, a native of Kentucky and former lawyer in Cincinnati and Dayton, had moved to Texas for health reasons, seeking a warmer climate.
The former Ohio legislator settled in Texas in 1859, planning to breed cavalry horses for the U. S. Army. He built what became the Argyle Hotel in San Antonio. The future hotel was erected as his plantation home and the headquarters for his ranching business.
Starting with the 1860 election campaign, Anderson was an outspoken advocate of Texas remaining in the Union. His visible and vocal opposition to secession led to repeated threats to his life and property.
A central issue in the secession debate was the future of slavery in the state. In 1860, slaves represent about 30 percent of the Texas population.
A Texas secession convention opened Jan. 28, 1861, and, over the opposition of Gov. Sam Houston, voted Feb. 1 to leave the Union. Feb. 23, by a vote of 44,317 to 13,020, Texans ratified secession.
After the Civil War started in April 1861, Anderson -- realizing his perilous position -- sold his property and planned to return to Ohio by way of Mexico. As he headed through Texas toward Mexico in September, he was arrested and held in San Antonio as a political prisoner. He escaped Confederate captivity in October 1861 and rejoined his family in Mexico.
After returning to Dayton, Ohio, the 47-year-old Anderson was sent on a special mission to England by President Abraham Lincoln to lobby the Union cause with British officials. But Anderson wanted to serve in a military capacity, not in a diplomatic post.
He had returned to Dayton by the summer of 1862, seeking military service. His appointment as colonel and commander of the 93d Ohio Volunteer Infantry, signed by Gov. William Dennison, was dated Aug. 25, 1862. The regiment had formed in July and August at Camp Dayton, near Dayton.
He led the regiment -- including about 275 to 300 Butler County men -- into battles in Kentucky and Tennessee in the last four months of 1862. Anderson suffered life-threatening wounds Dec. 31, 1862, in the Battle of Stones River near Murfreesboro, Tenn.. His injuries made it impossible for him to resume command of the regiment and Anderson resigned his commission in Feb. 21, 1863.
That year a critical gubernatorial election was scheduled in Ohio. The Union Party -- a coalition of pre-war Republicans and Democrats supporting Lincoln -- sought a ticket that would attract the soldier vote as well as loyal civilians in the Buckeye state.
As a wounded veteran, Anderson was an attractive running mate for John Brough, the Union Party candidate for governor. With Anderson as the candidate for lieutenant governor, Brough won the election. Brough died Aug. 29, 1865, four months after the war had ended.
Anderson succeeded Brought and served as governor until Jan. 8, 1866. After a term of more than four months, he returned to his Dayton law practice.
In 1870, the Miami graduate returned to his native Kentucky, residing on an estate on the Cumberland River in Lyon County, Ky.
Ohio's 27th governor -- the original commander of the 93rd OVI -- died Sept. 2, 1895, at Kuttawa, Ky., a village he had founded.
A replica of the flag carried by Anderson's regiment will be dedicated at 5 p.m. today during ceremonies marking the 100th anniversary of the placement of the cornerstone for the Soldiers, Sailors and Pioneers Monument. The 93rd OVI flag will be displayed from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Monument, where it will be permanently housed.
It is one of two replicas sponsored by the Michael J. Colligan Fund of the Hamilton Community Foundation. A second flag, a smaller version of the 1862 banner, will be shown in parades and other events. A grant from the Colligan Fund enabled the Ohio Historical Society to restore the regiment's original Civil War flag.
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Journal-News , Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2002
Winter storm chilled 1950 Thanksgiving weekend
By Jim Blount
According to the calendar, it wasn't winter, but Thanksgiving weekend 1950 is remembered for one of Ohio's worst frigid storms. "Strong winds and record cold temperatures made this one of the most disruptive Ohio snowstorms," said Thomas W. Schmidlin and Jeanne Appelbans Schmidlin in their 1994 book, Thunder in the Heartland, A Chronicle of Outstanding Weather Events in Ohio.
The Hamilton temperature dipped to five degrees Friday morning, Nov. 24 as John L. Peurifoy, director of public utilities, assured residents that the city had an adequate supply of natural gas for the expected cold spell.
"Garages and towing services were kept busy getting vehicles started" that morning, the Journal-News reported. Stubborn fuel lines and batteries were still a problem for motorists with the thermometer at two degrees Saturday morning. The afternoon high reached 15 as the snow and wind increased, but the worst was still to come.
"Striking with fury Saturday night," the Journal-News said, "the blizzard paralyzed transportation and caused virtual cessation of activities of all kinds." The snow was reported at six to seven inches that night, but it was compounded by high wind and drifting.
"Despite the terrific gales that pulled and tugged against transmission lines during Saturday night, none of the lines was damaged to the extent to cause serious disruption in electric service," Peurifoy said.
Although it created problems, the Journal-News said the storm's "effect here was considerably less than the rigorous conditions imposed elsewhere in the country." The area "escaped most of the hardships and suffering experienced by other Ohio communities."
The low Sunday morning was 14 degrees, but area churches reported attendance poor because of travel conditions. Snow removal challenged city and county government, which hired private contractors to help plow streets and roads. Abandoned cars, some blocking intersections, complicated the problem. In Hamilton, nearly 1,000 cars were reported marooned in traffic lanes that morning.
Hamilton City Lines continued bus service, but with disrupted schedules and some route changes. Inter-city bus and railroad services were delayed, including a Pennsylvania Railroad passenger train that was 12 hours late in arriving in Hamilton.
The cold eased Sunday afternoon as Hamilton recorded a high of 31, but the snow drifts remained. Retail stores -- which were closed on Sundays in 1950 -- opened Monday morning.
Schools throughout the county were closed Monday. Only a third of Miami University students showed up for classes. The remainder faced transportation problems as they tried to return from Thanksgiving break. Western College for Women in Oxford extended its holiday recess until Wednesday.
Hamilton postal officials said 5 percent of the incoming mail Monday wasn't delivered because some streets and roads remained impassable amid continuing snow flurries.
All schools in the county reopened Tuesday, except St. Ann in Hamilton, which resumed Wednesday, and Reily Township, which opened Thursday.
By Tuesday morning, more than 9,500 tons of snow had been hauled from Hamilton streets. Two days later, county and township crews were still struggling to clear roads. Some rural roads had only one lane open. Jesse Pochard, county engineer, reported Elk Creek Road between Trenton and Miltonville had been buried under a nine-foot drift. Among the last roads to be completely cleared were several state routes, including 747 in Union and Liberty townships, 503 north of Seven Mile and 732 in the Oxford and Reily areas.
Nearly 300 people died in 22 Eastern and Midwest states, including 64 in Ohio, in what the press called "one of the most severe blizzards in history." No deaths were blamed on the weather in Butler County.
For some 1950 Butler County residents, the most memorable events of the wintry crisis were two college football games -- Miami at Cincinnati, Michigan at Ohio State. Those "Blizzard Bowl" games will be reviewed in this column next week..
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Journal-News , Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2002
1950 'blizzard bowls' had lasting impact on football
By Jim Blount
A 1950 Thanksgiving weekend storm crippled transportation, industry, business and education and disrupted personal routines, but it didn't stop two important college football games in Ohio. Despite snow, single-digit temperatures and stinging wind, Miami played at Cincinnati and Michigan and Ohio State met in Columbus Saturday afternoon, Nov. 25, 1950.
Sports writers used names like "blizzard bowl," "snow bowl" or similar labels because of the severe weather conditions that cut attendance at the soldout contests. The weather seemed the only common element that day, but within a few weeks the two games would become connected and have long-term reverberations in college football.
Three strong incentives boosted Miami as it prepared for UC. The Redskins -- the nickname for MU teams until June 1997 -- were rated 13-point underdogs, and the Bearcats were headed to the Sun Bowl while Miami had been shunned by the same bowl selectors.
Miami had won the 1948 Sun Bowl, edging Texas Western, 14-13, under the direction of Sid Gillman, who won 31 games, lost six and had one tie in four seasons at Oxford. Gillman moved to UC in 1949, and coached the Bearcats to a 27-6 win over the Redskins, the only Miami loss that year. That season-ending game also had decided the conference championship.
Miami and UC were believed to be contenders for the 1950 Sun Bowl trip, but the Bearcats were chosen five days before the teams met. Bill Moeller, Journal-News sports editor, said Miami hadn't been a candidate for the Texas game, but its exclusion had nothing to do with football.
Three days before the Miami-UC contest, Moeller wrote that he was told weeks earlier by a bowl representative that "Miami could not be considered because the Redskins have a colored player, Jim Bailey. He said they did not object to a colored player in the game, but they were not prepared for the housing and entertainment of a colored boy" in El Paso. "Miami, of course, would have no part of an invitation that did not include Bailey," Moeller explained.
The Associated Press said the Michigan-OSU match had "the customary football frenzy" associated with that rivalry, and noted that "Ohio State coaches have risen and fallen on the outcome." Both teams had a chance to win the Big Ten title and earn a trip to the Rose Bowl.
An Ohio State victory would settle the matter. Michigan's opportunity depended on another game, Illinois vs. Northwestern. If Michigan beat OSU, the Wolverines would be champs only if Northwestern defeated Illinois. If both Michigan and Illinois won, they would share the crown.
Only 50,503 of the expected 83,000 fans braved the 5-degree temperature and 40 mph winds as Michigan failed to record a first down, didn't complete a pass and gained only 27 yards while beating the Buckeyes, 9-3. The teams punted 45 times in the 60-minute game that was decided by two blocked punts.
There was more offense as Miami stunned the Bearcats, 28-0, in a blinding snowstorm. Second-year Coach Woody Hayes saw his Redskins gain 213 yards rushing and 52 passing, despite the slippery conditions. The game's standout was Hamilton High grad Jim (Boxcar) Bailey, Miami's sophomore fullback, who averaged 7.5 yards on 10 carries. The Redskins not only gained some revenge against their former coach, but administered the first shutout of Gillman's coaching career.
A few days later, Miami was invited to the Salad Bowl in Phoenix. MU's 34-21 victory over Arizona State in that game cost the Redskins their coach.
Disappointment at Ohio State led to the ouster of Wes Fesler after four seasons. OSU hired Hayes, described by an Ohio State website as "the legendary coach [who] took the Buckeyes to heights never before achieved in the school's rich football history." In 28 seasons, Hayes coached OSU to five national titles and 13 Big Ten championships.
His move to Columbus opened the way for a former Miami player to take the Redskins reins. Ara Parseghian, an assistant under Hayes, won 39 of 46 games at Miami before continuing a 24-year Hall of Fame coaching career at Northwestern and Notre Dame, including three national championships for his Fighting Irish.