Our ECW Weekender today welcomes guest writer George Hettenhouse. George, of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, shares with us a recent trip through Ohio and a memorial to William T. Sherman.
On a recent trip from North Caroline to Michigan, my wife, Nancy, and I drove diagonally across Ohio to avoid congested interstates. Nancy googled local towns as we drove and mentioned that Lancaster, Ohio, a few miles ahead, was the birthplace of William T. Sherman and that his boyhood home is now a museum. We took the next exit.
Lancaster, with a population of 40,000, is a prosperous and pretty 19th-century town. The Sherman house (1855) was easy to find on the main street, but the museum was open in the afternoon and we had arrived at 9:00 AM. We took a few pictures and walked around, enjoying the beautiful, well-maintained homes and antebellum buildings.
At the corner of Main and Front streets, we found a small park with a memorial to Sherman, including an Ohio Historical Marker, a nice statue, and an 1861 Parrott gun.
The plaque on the statue reads:
General William Tecumseh Sherman 1820 – 1883
Famous Civil War General
His brilliant military strategy was the major force to end the Civil War and preserve the Union
Commanding General of the United States Army 1869 – 1883
Birthplace: Lancaster Ohio
The plaque on the Parrott gun reads:
Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War
At the request of W T Sherman, the War Department presented this 1861 2.9-inch Parrott Rifle to the Ben Butterfield Post of the Grand Army of the Republic, circa 1882. Reportedly, the gun saw action at the Battle of Shiloh in the year 1862.
It was restored 2009-2011 by the William McKinley Camp 21 SUVCW for the people of Fairfield County.
Dedicated to the memory of W. T. Sherman and the more than 3000 Fairfield County citizens who served in the Civil War.
Sherman was one of 11 children; his father died when Sherman was 9. I was surprised to learn of his younger brother, John, who had an illustrious career in politics, serving for 42 years in the U.S. House and Senate, assuming the seat vacated by Salmon P. Chase at Lincoln’s election. John was a leader in financial matters during the war, helping to restore the nation’s credit. He later served as Secretary of the Treasury and Secretary of State. Upon his return to the Senate, he was the principal author of the 1890 Sherman Antitrust Act. The Wikipedia summary of John Sherman is a very interesting story.