Ohio History Journal

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The Croghan Celebration

The Croghan Celebration.               73


three tremendous cheers. The day was a glorious one for the

cause of freedom." This of course foreshadows the civil war.

"Who used Old Betsy last?" asks the Journal of January

23, 1857. "It has been standing in the street for several weeks

now. Captain Parrish should see to this old servant."

In a long article on the celebration of August 2, 1860, the

Journal says: "At 6 o'clock Captain Parrish brought out 'Old

Betsy' and fired a salute of thirteen rounds. Soon after the peo-

ple of the county began to pour in. Cassius M. Clay was the

orator of the day." At the celebration of 1852 Thomas L Haw-

kins, a well-known Methodist preacher and the town poet, who

had been appointed commissary of the fort after the battle of

Fort Stephenson, read a poem addressed to the old six-pounder,

apostrophizing her as Betsy Croghan, a name by which she is

frequently called. This poem is printed below. In another

poem on Croghan's victory, Mr. Hawkins calls her "Our Bess,"

while tradition has it that the garrison called her "Good Bess."

But "Old Betsy" she is now and ever will be in local and na-

tional parlance. Little children play about her, the birds often

build their nests in her mouth, visitors pass curious hands over

her breech, and young reporters take her photograph and write

"story" about her. After all she is the only one left who saw

our hero in battle, who heard the quick orders of those two days'

fight, who faced the oncoming veterans of Wellington's troops

and settled it that they should rest thereafter in Lower Sandusky


"Old Betsy's" voice will probably never be heard again, but

as she stands her silent guard over the remains of George Cro-

ghan, on the scene of their great victory, she "yet speaketh."






Hail! thou old friend, of Fort MeGee

Little did I expect again to see,

And hear thy voice of victory,

Thou defender of Ohio!