UC Planning Project Produces First-Ever List of Nearly 200 Civil War Memorials and Sites in Greater Cincinnati

Mike Riesenberg, 28, of Colerain Township, completed a 2010 research thesis that cataloged 177 of Cincinnati’s Civil War monuments, memorials and sites. It is the first-ever comprehensive listing of Cincinnati Civil War sites originating from 1860 onward.

Said Riesenberg, “I chose this subject for my thesis because I’m interested in the Civil War but also because I interned and then worked for the Civil War Preservation Trust in Washington D.C. while a UC student. That taught me the importance of cataloging and preserving our history for educational purposes. If we don’t know what we have, how can we preserve it and learn from it. That was my motivation for this thesis project.”

Titled “An Assessment of Cincinnati-Area Civil War Resources: Preparing for the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War,” the project answers some very basic questions: how many Civil War resources exist in Cincinnati; what is their type and location; who owns or manages the sites; and is the site documented and preserved in any way.

It doesn’t claim to include every possible Civil War marker in Cincinnati. It does not include, for instance, Underground Railroad sites active prior to 1860, nor would it be possible, for example, to demarcate every Civil War grave in the region. However, Riesenberg’s listing does include cemeteries with significant Civil War burials.

Riesenberg explained, “Just because Cincinnati was not the scene of major fighting in the Civil War does not mean that the city wasn’t impacted by the war. At the time of the war, Cincinnati was the fifth-largest city in the nation, connected economically and socially with southern river ports and interests. When the war began in 1861, there was even some fear that Cincinnati would side with the south.”

Of course, that didn’t happen. Ohio’s largest Civil War training camp (Camp Dennison)  for Union recruits was located near Cincinnati, and a Cincinnati regiment, the 9th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, known as “Die Neuner” (the Niners) because its ranks were filled with first- and second-generation German immigrants, made the first bayonet charge of the war at the Battle of Mill Springs.

In addition, Cincinnati was threatened with invasion in 1862 and skirmished with Confederate cavalryman John Hunt Morgan on his 1863 raid in Hamilton County.





BELOW ARE SEVERAL CINCINNATI-AREA CIVIL WAR MARKERS, MONUMENTS, SITES AND STRUCTURES BUILT OR CREATED SINCE 1860

, as provided by Riesenberg:

BUTLER COUNTY SOLDIERS, SAILORS & PIONEERS MONUMENT

The monument was dedicated on July 4, 1906, by local Civil War veterans. A local tax was levied to pay for construction of the building. The names of all local veterans are inscribed inside along the walls. Large, stained-glass windows depict the contributions of women during the Civil War. Today the building is operated as a museum and is open to the public.

Location: 1 South Monument Avenue

Hamilton, Ohio 45011

513-867-5823


CAMP DENNISON

Camp Dennison was established at the outset of the war to train Ohio’s troops and prepare them for war. As the war progressed, it was converted into a hospital and temporarily held Confederate prisoners of war. At the end of the war, the camp was dismantled. Many of the houses and buildings within the adjacent town of Camp Dennison were constructed using material from the dismantled camp. Interpretive signs explaining the significance of Camp Dennison will be installed in 2011. Visit the

Christian Waldschmidt House

, operated by the Daughters of the American Revolution, for more information.

Location: Along Ohio State Route 126 between the towns of Indian Hill and Milford. 

DEVOU PARK (BATTERY BATES)

Battery Bates was part of a series of fortifications constructed in Kentucky to protect the City of Cincinnati from a possible Confederate attack. Many of the defensive fortifications were constructed by free black laborers and defended by country militia known as the “Squirrel Hunters.” The nearby cities of Fort Wright and Fort Mitchell were named for similar nearby defenses. What remains of Battery Bates is located within the City of Covington’s Devou Park.

Contact:

Behringer-Crawford Museum

1600 Montague Road

Covington, Ky. 41011

859-491-4003

GRAND ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC FLAGSTAFF

The flagstaff was dedicated in 1930 by Civil War veterans.

Location: Eden Park

1501 Eden Park Dr.

Cincinnati, Ohio 45202

HAMILTON COUNTY MEMORIAL BUILDING

Construction of the Hamilton County Memorial Building was funded by a local chapter of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), a post-war social organization for Union veterans. The exterior of the building is protected by large stone soldiers from the American Revolution through the Spanish-American Wars. Excerpts from many of Abraham Lincoln’s most famous speeches are inscribed along the exterior. Inside are displays of Civil War relics.

Location: 1225 Elm Street

Cincinnati, Ohio 45210

Contact:  Hamilton County Facilities Department

513-946-5000


HARRIET BEECHER STOWE HOUSE

The

Stowe House

was the residence of Harriet Beecher Stowe. The author of the novel, "Uncle Tom's Cabin," lived at the house prior to her marriage. Stowe's best-selling novel served to strengthen the anti-slavery movement in the United States.

Location:

2950 Gilbert Ave.

Cincinnati, Ohio 

45206

HIGHLAND CEMETERY

Several notable individuals with ties to the Confederacy are buried at

Highland Cemetery

. These include Eli M. Bruce, a Confederate congressman, James M. Hawes, a brigadier general in the Confederate Army, and Henry Thomas Harrison, a Confederate spy who scholars believe gave Robert E. Lee information that led him to fight the Union army at Gettysburg.

Location: 2167 Dixie Highway

Fort Mitchell, Ky. 41017

859-331-3220

JAMES A. RAMAGE CIVIL WAR MUSEUM (BATTERY HOOPER)

The James A. Ramage Civil War Museum is also the site of what was once Battery Hooper, part of a defensive network constructed to protect Cincinnati from a Confederate threat. Archaeological digs are periodically conducted at the site and are open to public participation.

Location: 1402 Highland Avenue

Fort Wright, Ky.  41011

859-344-1145

LINCOLN AND LIBERTY MONUMENT

The monument includes a statue of Abraham Lincoln standing atop a platform on which is inscribed: “With malice toward none,” from Lincoln’s second inaugural address. The monument was donated by a Civil War veteran to the Cincinnati Public Schools and unveiled in 1902. After falling victim to vandalism, the monument has been restored and repaired many times.

Location: The grounds of South Avondale Elementary School

636 Prospect Place

Cincinnati, Ohio 45229


MORGAN TOWNSHIP HOUSE

The Morgan Township House, in Butler County, Ohio, was the site of a meeting of local Copperheads in 1863. The Copperheads represented a political movement in the North to end the war immediately, even if it meant recognizing the Confederate States as an independent country and allowing the system of slavery to remain intact. The Morgan Township House was recently restored and is open to the public as a museum of local history.

Location: 483 Okeana-Drewersburg Road

Okeana, Ohio 45013

513-738-0845


ROBERT E. LEE MONUMENT

This is likely one of only a handful of monuments to Robert E. Lee that can be found in a northern state. The inscription reads: "Erected and dedicated by the United Daughters of the Confederacy and friends in loving memory of Robert E. Lee and to mark the route of the Dixie Highway."

Location: Franklin Township, Warren County, Ohio

Corner of Old Dixie Highway and Hamilton-Middletown Road


SAWYER POINT PARK (BLACK BRIGADE AND SULTANA MARKERS)

Two Ohio Historical Society markers located in Sawyer Point Park relate to the Civil War. The first of these honors the free blacks who performed difficult manual labor to construct fortifications to defend Cincinnati. The hundreds of men who did so were collectively known as the Black Brigade. The second marker is to commemorate the Sultana tragedy. The Sultana was a side-wheeler steamboat built in Cincinnati. At the end of the Civil War, the boat was overloaded with Union soldiers returning home. Under stress from the heavy load, the boat exploded and sank, killing about 1,800.

Location: 705 East Pete Rose Way

Cincinnati, Ohio 45202

513-352-6180


SPRING GROVE CEMETERY AND ARBORETUM

Spring Grove Cemetery

is the final resting place of hundreds of Civil War soldiers and veterans. Soldiers who died during the war are buried in three groups of 100 each. Many notable Civil War figures are buried here, including Major General Joseph Hooker; Salmon P. Chase, secretary of the treasury during the Civil War; and Brigadier General William H. Lytle, known as both a poet and soldier. Lytle Park in downtown Cincinnati is named in Lytle's honor.

Location: 4521 Spring Grove Avenue

Cincinnati, Ohio 45232

513-681-7526


UNION BAPTIST CEMETERY (POWHATAN BEATTY MARKER AND CIVIL WAR MONUMENT)

Many United States Colored Troops (USCT) and veterans are buried at Union Baptist Cemetery. The most notable of these is Powhatan Beatty, a Cincinnatian who received the Medal of Honor for bravery at the Battle of Chaffin’s Farm. A marker has been installed by the Ohio Historical Society, and a monument is dedicated to the memory of Civil War soldiers.

Location: 4933 Cleves-Warsaw Road

Cincinnati, Ohio 45238


UNITED JEWISH CEMETERIES

A monument originally dedicated to Jewish Civil War soldiers and veterans is the centerpiece of a war memorial located at United Jewish Cemeteries in Evanston. The memorial was originally dedicated in 1868 to honor Lieutenant Louis Reitler who died in battle. Since then, several names have been added to the memorial. The most notable Civil War figure buried nearby is Medal of Honor recipient

David Urbansky

, who received the award for gallantry at two battles among the 15 or more major fighting engagements he was in throughout the war.

Location: 3400 Montgomery Road

Cincinnati, Ohio 45207

513-961-0178



WASHINGTON PARK (MCCOOK, HECKER, AND MOBILE BAY MONUMENTS)

Washington Park

is the site of three Civil War-related monuments. The first of these is a monument to Friedrich Hecker, a native of Germany who played a significant role in the failed German Revolution of 1848. He moved to America and commanded an infantry regiment and then a brigade during the Civil War. He was revered as a leader in the German-American community. The second monument is to Colonel Robert L. McCook, leader of the all-German 9th Ohio Volunteer Infantry from Cincinnati. McCook was killed by Confederate guerrillas in 1862. The monument was dedicated to his memory by his men in 1878. Nearby is the third monument, a Parrot Rifle (cannon) provided to the City of Cincinnati by a Civil War veteran. The cannon is purported to be from the ship U.S.S. Hartford and was used during the Battle of Mobile Bay.

Location: 1230 Elm Street

Cincinnati, Ohio 45202

513-352-4080

Note:

Washington Park is currently inaccessible due to renovation.

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