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the shaking of an approaching earthquake, but of the part he was to play he was wholly ignorant. Under this phase of public affairs did Ohio's first “War Governor” take his seat.
1860–1865. THE RADICAL TRIUMVIRATE — ANSWERING LIN
COLN'S PROCLAMATION—THE MILLION DOLLAR
PEACE. The Legislature which assembled on the first Monday of January, 1860, was destined to grapple with the gravest questions of State ever submitted to a General Assembly. There were three men, however, in that body who were capable of meeting any public problem - James A. Garfield, J. D. Cox and James Monroe. They were called the “Radical Triumvirate” of the Ohio Senate, by reason of their staunch Republicanism and fearless convictions. By the com
mon consent of his distinguished colleagues the leadership was given to Garfield. Cox, afterwards famed as General, Governor and Secretary of the Interior, was a man of the very finest accomplishments, both in education and honor. Monroe was an old-time Abolitionist; he afterwards went to Congress from the Oberlin District, and was sent abroad in the Lincoln administration. Mr. Blaine calls him “a man of cultivation and high character.” The Legislature was Republican in both branches, but in the demands upon patriotism, which were made before its term closed, party lines were obliterated, and it became a partisan only for the Government and the Constitution.
The news of the attack on Fort Sumpter thrilled the people of Ohio, and when President Lincoln issued a proclamation, April 15th, 1861, calling for 75,000 of the militia of the several states of the Union, the response was immediate from the Buckeye State. Within twenty-four hours after the President's call twenty companies had proffered their services; within thirty-six hours they were on their way to Columbus, where they were organized April 18th, into the First and Second Regiments of Ohio Volunteers. The next day they started for Washington City. All this preparation was actively sustained by the Legislature. On the day after the call to arms the Senate passed a million dollar appropriation bill for war purposes exclusively; within three days it passed the House unanimously. By this law five hundred thousand dollars were appropriated to assist the National Government, four hundred and fifty thousand dollars for equipping the militia of the state, and fifty thousand dollars for unlooked-for expenditures; the last amount to be under control of the Governor. Having taken the first prompt step against the slaveholders' rebellion, the Legislature turned its attention to affairs within its own border. Senator Garfield presented an elaborate report on treason to the state, together with a bill “ to define and punish treason against the State of Ohio." Like all of his legislative work, it was exhaustive and convincing. Said he, “it is high time for Ohio to enact a law to meet treachery when it shall take the form of an overt act; to provide that when her soldiers go forth to maintain the Union there shall be no treacherous fire in the rear.” At this time an anti-war spirit was manifested among a certain element in the Democratic party. Hon. C. L. Vallandigham, who was at Columbus vainly endeavoring to stem the patriotic current of a vigorous prosecution of the war among the members of his party in the Legislature, was the leader of this disloyal faction. But the Democratic members of this General Assembly loved their country more than they did their party, and sustained the demands of the administration.
During all the hours of his administration Governor Dennison found himself in a whirlpool of events. The duties of the hour literally crowded him out of the ordinary enjoyment of life. He was beset on all sides with all sorts of affairs, was criticised, cursed, and never commended. Yet at this distance, under all the circumstances of war, and the confusion which war creates, history will pronounce his administration patient, loyal, conservative and effective. For purity of purpose and sagacious ability it will stand out in
bold relief in the history of Ohio. When his term of service had closed, so thoroughly had he pressed enlistments that Ohio was credited with more than twenty thousand soldiers above her quota. He controlled and disbursed millions of dollars without any restraint but public necessity and private honor. He supervised the vast and numerous army contracts of the State with success and dispatch. In all these things his honor was beyond suspicion and his patriotism a model. When he left the Governor's Chamber he became the counselor and friend of his successor. He grew to be one of Ohio's most trusted and popular characters, and was finally called to the Cabinet of Lincoln as Post Master General.
David Tod, the second “War Governor," was elected in 1861 over Hugh J. Jewett, by 55,000 majority. He was a well-known Democrat, and had been the candidate of his party for Governor in 1844 and 1846 and at the outbreak of the war was open and pronounced for its prosecution and the Union. The regular Democratic organization of Ohio was an anti-war and anti-administration party, failing in all respects to rise to the demands of the times for a loyal support of the government. Thousands of Democrats, loving the Union, ceased to act with their party, and joined with the Republicans under the name of the Union-Republican party. David Tod was nominated as the representative of this loyal sentiment of the State, regardless of past party affiliations. The Democrats in their platform of 1861 criticised, carped, complained and denounced the war, and the administration of President Lincoln. The election made Mr. Tod Governor, and furnished
him a Legislature overwhelmingly Union-Republican. Governor Tod had all the experience of Governor Dennison to guide him in his administration, and he used it bountifully. He retained three of his predecessor's staff, and avoided some mistakes of which Mr. Dennison's career had warned him.
In the summer of 1862 General John Morgan, a daring Confederate cavalry raider, marched through the interior of Kentucky and made a feint of attacking Cincinnati. The Queen City was unprotected in any way, and for a while the panic-stricken citizens were all convinced of the danger to their city and inability to protect themselves. Happily, the Morgan movement was a “scare," and the citizens of Cincinnati regained their feeling of safety only to experience what danger was. Generals Kirby Smith and John Morgan, with united forces, commenced their invasion of Kentucky, with the Ohio border as the objective point, in the early days of September. In defenceless Cincinnati, all was fear and suspense, but the nerve and patriotism were there that enabled the city authorities to place all its resources, financial and physical, between the enemy and the city. The pledge of the city was given for all the money necessary for defense, and every available man was drafted for military duty. A proclamation declaring the city, and also Newport and Covington, Ky., under martial law was issued by General Lewis Wallace, of Indiana, who had been assigned to duty by the Department Commander. Thousands of troops from the interior of the State were soon marching through the streets of the Queen City, in response to a call from Governor Tod. The citizen-soldiery