Ohio History Journal



Archaeological and Historical






The historic and picturesque little city of Fremont, Ohio,

celebrated on the second of August, the centenary of Croghan's

Victory, the one successful land battle on American soil of the

War of 1812. Fort Stephenson, on the banks of Sandusky

River, at the village then known as Lower Sandusky, was gar-

risoned  by  Major

George Croghan, a

youth of twenty-one,

with a hundred and

sixty men and a sin-

gle cannon. General

Proctor, with eight

hundred British Reg-

ulars, sailed up the

Sandusky river, on

boats of Commodore

Barclay's fleet, and

joined by two thou-

sand Indians under

Tecumseh for two

days besieged the fort.

Against this vastly su-

perior force, Croghan,

having "decided to

maintain this place

and by Heaven we

can!" won, with but

the loss of a single

man, the victory

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which proved the turning point in the War of 1812. For this

exploit he was breveted Lieutenant-Colonel by the President of

the United States; Congress awarded him a medal of honor, one

of nine; and to his officers six swords of the fifteen ever so given.

"The defense of Fort Stephenson," said General Sherman in 1885,

"by Croghan and his gallant little band, was the necessary pre-

cursor to Perry's Victory on the Lake and General Harrison's

triumphant victory at the Battle of the Thames."

A coincidence of history is that Croghan's Victory, which

in 1813 so materially affected the real independence of the

United States, occurred on August 2d, the day in 1776 on which

the Declaration of Independence was signed. No more curious

error exists in the popular conception of American History than

that the Declaration was signed on the 4th of July. Independ-

ence was declared, as all the world knows, bells rung and bon-

fires lighted on the 4th; and within a few days thereafter a few

copies of the Declaration, signed by the president and secretary

of the Congress were published. Not until August 2d, however,

was the Declaration, engrossed on parchment, signed by fifty-

three members of Congress then present.  Subsequently the

other three affixed their signature, completing the fifty-six

signers of our great document.

For many years the city of Fremont had anticipated as an

anniversary to celebrate the centennial of Croghan's Victory, and

the fulfilment of this plan was a worthy culmination of a series

of events in the years between. The first celebration of the day

may be called anticipatory. On the 4th of July preceding the

battle of Fort Stephenson, Col. Richard M. Johnson, "the man

who killed Tecumseh," who was here with his mounted regi-

ment of Kentucky volunteers, joined with the garrison at the

fort to celebrate Independence day "with harmony and enthusi-

asm. * * * Colonel Johnson delivered an address, toasts were

drunk, cheered by the shouts of the men and the firing of small

arms and discharge of a six-pounder from the Fort."

The exhilarating news of Perry's Victory on Lake Erie set

Fort Stephenson, Fort Seneca and Harrison's Army in an up-

roar of tumultuous joy. General Harrison and his officers,

among whom were Governor Shelby of Kentucky and Governor

The Centennial of Croghan's Victory

The Centennial of Croghan's Victory.             3


Meigs of Ohio, proceeded to Lower Sandusky and issued orders

for the movement for the recapture of Detroit and the invasion

of Canada, by way of old Fort Sandoski of 1745 and the islands

of Lake Erie.

The first formal celebration of the anniversary of the battle

was that of 1839, planned by a committee of twenty-one promi-

nent citizens of the village. "A splendid ox was neatly and

admirably roasted whole, after the best Kentucky style, sup-

ported by several smaller animals cooked in the same manner.

The dinner was served under a capacious arbor prepared on the

hill in full sight and within a few rods of the old Fort." After

the barbecue dinner the company adjourned to the Fort, a few

relics of which still remained there, where the Hon. Eleutheros

Cooke, of Sandusky, delivered an able address. Letters were

received from General Harrison, Henry Clay, Vice-President

Richard M. Johnson, Governor Shannon, etc., and the following

letter from Croghan was read aloud:

"ST. Louis, Mo., 26th July, 1839.

GENTLEMEN: I have the honor to receive your letter of the 8th,

inviting me, on the part of the citizens of Lower Sandusky, to be pres-

ent with them in the coming anniversary of the defence of Fort Steph-

enson. It is with regret that I am, on account of official duties, unable

to comply with your flattering invitation. In communicating this, my

reply, I cannot forbear to acknowledge with deep gratitude, the honor

you confer. To have been with those gallant men who served with me

on the occasion alluded to, permitted by a kind Providence to perform

a public duty which has been deemed worthy of a special notice by my

fellow-citizens, is a source of high gratification, brightened too by the

reflection that the scene of conflict is now, by the enterprise and industry

of your people, the home of a thriving and intelligent community.

I beg to offer to you, gentlemen, and through you to the citizens

of Lower Sandusky, my warmest thanks for the remembrance which you

have so flatteringly expressed.

With every feeling of respect and gratitude

I am yours,


In the volunteers sent out from Sandusky county in the

War with Mexico, Capt. E. D. Bradley's company of the First

Ohio Infantry, and Captain Thompson's company of the Fourth

Ohio Infantry, each had the honor of being inspected by the

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then Colonel and Inspector General of the army, George

Croghan, who took special pleasure in meeting men from the

scene of his famous victory.

Of the committee of arrangements for celebrating Croghan

Day of 1852, Col. Wm. E. Haynes alone survives. Fully six

thousand persons were present. A salute of twenty-one guns

from "Old Betsy Croghan" opened the exercises. In the pro-

cession were the Fort Ball Artillery and Band, the Washington

Guards and the Tiffin Hook and Ladder Company, all of Tiffin;

the latter with Wm. H. Gibson, later Brigadier General of Volun-

teers; W. W. Armstrong, later Secretary of State and long editor

of the Cleveland Plain Dealer; and John C. Lee, later Brigadier

General and Lieut. Governor of Ohio, who pulled the hand engine

and hose cart. The Fremont Artillery, Captain Isaac Swank

with the cannon "Betsy Croghan," followed. Wm. H. Gibson,

the Patrick Henry of the nineteenth century, and Homer Ev-

erett delivered eloquent addresses. Gen. John Bell of the Mich-

igan War was president of the day.

In 1858, the celebration was managed by the "Firemen of

the Village," through a committee of seven citizens, who invited

the Hon. Elisha Whittlesey to deliver the address. He said:

"Some who are present knew the site of this beautiful village

when it was a dilapidated, abandoned Indian town, approached

with difficulty by civilized men by reason of the thick forests

and deep swamps. It was so remote from the settlements in

Pennsylvania, which then bordered civilization, and so em-

bosomed in the wilderness, that to the Indians it was only a

city of refuge. For a long period they committed depredations

on the lives and property of the resolute and hardy settlers. In

some instances whole families were murdered; but most fre-

quently women and children were captured and borne off with

celerity to escape pursuit. When the Indians arrived with their

captives, stolen horses and plunder at Lower Sandusky they

were safe. From this spot in former years, many anguished

sighs ascended to Heaven from distressed mothers who stopped

here for a short period on their way to Detroit, or other places

of captivity, while their savage captors held pow-wows of ex-

ultation. Many a mother's heart has bled here from having seen

The Centennial of Croghan's Victory

The Centennial of Croghan's Victory.   5

the head of a beloved child broken against a tree, for no other

reason than that its captor thought the child a burden or im-

peded his flight. I know of no place in the West where more

thrilling events have taken place than at Lower Sandusky where

we are now. When I was here last season and had the pleasure

to converse with our esteemed friend S. Birchard, Esq., my effort

was to impress upon his mind the importance of forming a His-

torical Society here to collect and perpetuate the incidents of

this place, extending far back into the history of the Wyandot

tribe. Lower Sandusky was the theatre during the War of 1812

of one of the greatest military achievements of the age, when

the number and condition of the force under Major Croghan

are considered. If forty-five years ago this day Major Croghan

had not been adequate to his condition and command, and Gen-

eral Proctor had captured this post, can your minds depict the

sufferings and terrific scenes that would have followed?"

Cassius M. Clay was the orator of the day at the Croghan

celebration of 1860. "At six o'clock Captain Parrish brought

out Old Betsy and fired a salute of thirteen rounds. Soon after-

ward the people of the county began to pour in. The Cleveland

and Toledo Railway brought a large delegation from the west

and from all the towns to the east. The steamers Bonnie Boat,

Swan and Island Queen arrived from Sandusky and Plaster

Bed bringing hundreds more."

Every 2d of August thereafter had some recognition from

the townspeople, but in 1877 the long-planned celebration was

postponed a few weeks that Fremont's most distinguished citizen,

then President of the United States, might be present to assist

in the laying of the cornerstone of the City Hall on the north-

east corner of Fort Stephenson Park, the ceremonies being con-

ducted by G. A. Woodward, Grand Master Mason Lodge of

Ohio, after which President Hayes closed the ceremonies by

saying: "Ladies, gentlemen, and fellow-citizens: For the pur-

poses of the city of Fremont we erect here on this ground made

illustrious by the victory of Col. Croghan at his gallant combat

with the British, a City Hall. The cornerstone has now been

laid. The ceremonies in connection with it are now ended and

I am requested to announce that the further public exercises of

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the day will take place immediately after dinner at the park in

front of the Court House."

At the exercises in the afternoon, President Hayes pre-

sided, and after the orator of the day, Major William Mc-

Kinley, 23d Ohio, had delivered his address, introduced Chief

Justice Waite, Secretary of War McCrary, Senator Stanley

Matthews, Lt. Gen. Philip H. Sheridan, U. S. A., and former

Generals W. S. Rosecrans, J. D. Cox, S. S. Carroll, I. H. Duval,

F. H. Devol, E. P. Scammon, R. P. Kennedy, and our own

Wm. H. Gibson and R. P. Buckland.

On Croghan Day, 1885, the Sandusky County Soldiers'

Monument in Fort Stephenson Park, was unveiled, with Gen.

Rutherford B. Hayes, late President of the United States, as

presiding officer. In his address we find: "Intimately associ-

ated with Croghan's Victory are the favorite names of the

pioneer history of the West. General Harrison, Commodore

Perry, General Cass, General McArthur, Col. Rich. M. Johnson,

The Centennial of Croghan's Victory

The Centennial of Croghan's Victory.               7


Governor Meigs, Governor Tiffin and a long list of other able

men whose names were household words in the homes of the

first settlers of this region, were all closely identified with the

military events which hinged upon the brilliant victory which

was gained here, and which decided the struggle for the vast and

noble territory which is tributary to the Great Lakes of the

Northwest.    That I do not overstate the importance of the

brilliant event which gives a place in history to our little city of

Fremont, I read you a few       paragraphs from    letters by Col.

Chas. Whittlesey of Cleveland and by General Sherman. With

an honorable record as a Union soldier, Colonel Whittlesey is

still more widely known as the indefatigable and learned local

historian of this part of our country. He says:

"Your polite invitation brings in review a number of historical

events connected with your city, that have occurred during the past

century. The rapids at Lower Sandusky, where Fremont now is, put a

stop to the expedition of Colonel Bradstreet in October 1764, on its way

to join Colonel Bouquet at the forks of the Muskingum. During the

war of the Revolution, many of the expeditions of the British and their

Indian allies passed up the Sandusky river, to attack the frontier settle-

ments. In the fall of 1781 the Moravian Missions on the Tuscarawas

under Zeisberger, were forced away from their posts to the towns on the

Sandusky, and thence to Detroit. English and Indian war parties passed

up the river to join in the battle against Colonel Crawford near Upper

Sandusky, in June 1782. The first Protestant Mission among the Wyan-

dots and the first United States Agency, were located at the lower rapids

in 1803 and 1808, their buildings forming part of the fort constructed

in 1812. The first company drafted on the Reserve in April 1812, under

Capt. John Campbell was ordered there, and assisted in completing the

Fort. But all these interesting events culminated in the unparalleled

discomfiture of the British and Indians in August, 1813, by a young

Major of Kentucky, acting against orders. Nothing can be more appro-

priate than the celebration of a defence so brilliant and complete and the

erection of a suitable monument to fix the spot forever."

General Sherman writing to the Committee points out in

his terse way the strategic value of the triumphant defence of

Fort Stephenson. He says:

"The defence of Fort Stephenson, by Croghan and his gallant little

band, was the necessary precursor to Perry's victory on the Lake, and

of General Harrison's triumphant victory at the battle of the Thames.

These assured to our immediate ancestors the mastery of the Great

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West, and from that day to this the west has been the bulwark of this


Croghan Day, 1903, was made notable by the presence as

orator of Mr. Charles R. Williams of Indianapolis, who de-

livered an able address on Croghan before the George Croghan

Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution, assembled

under the fine old Reunion Oaks at Spiegel Grove. The Presi-

dent General of the D. A. R., Mrs. Chas. W. Fairbanks, was an

honored guest and speaker; and the D. A. R. chapter unveiled a

boulder tablet to Croghan on the old Fort.

The ceremonies incident to the reinterment of John Paul

Jones at Annapolis recalled to the patriotic Colonel Webb C.

Hayes another form

of honoring our local

hero, and he, having

after much search lo-

cated the remains of

Croghan, received

permission from the

family to reinter the

remains at the base of

the monument erected

some years before in

his honor, within the

limits of the fort he

had so gallantly de-

fended. Elaborate

preparations  were

made and invitations

extended to national

and   state  officials,

which secured the presence of Chas. W. Fairbanks, Vice-Presi-

dent of the United States, Gov. A. L. Harris and staff, and a

brigade of the Ohio National Guard under command of Brig.

General McMaken. A procession of children from the public and

parochial schools followed the military division, and the remains

were taken from the High school (where they had lain in state

on the site of the burial place of the British officers killed in

The Centennial of Croghan's Victory

The Centennial of Croghan's Victory.             9


the assault) and conveyed to the foot of the monument on the

fort. The grave was covered with a large block of Quincy gran-

ite bearing this inscription:

George Croghan

Major 17th U. S. Infantry,

Defender of Fort Stephenson,

August 1st and 2d, 1813.

Born Locust Grove, Ky., Nov. 15, 1791.

Died New Orleans, La., Jan. 8, 1849,

Colonel Inspector General

United States Army.

Remains removed from

Croghan Family Burying Ground,

Locust Grove, Ky.,

August 2, 1906.


The principal address was delivered by the Hon. S. D.

Dodge of Cleveland, followed by remarks by Vice-President

Fairbanks, Governor Harris and Secretary Randall of the Ohio

Archaeological and Historical Society. A public reception was

held in Spiegel Grove and the cele-

bration terminated with a brilliant

display of fireworks and a Venetian

Night. (Details of this ceremony of

the Translation of Crogan may be

found in Miss Keeler's article open-

ing Vol. XVI of the Ohio Arch. and

Hist. Quarterly.)

The patriotic citizens of Fre-

mont having long looked forward to

a fitting celebration of the centenary

of Croghan's Victory, early in the

year of 1913 appointed efficient cen-

tennial committees having the matter

in charge. Preparations were well

under way when the appalling spring

floods came, bringing death and de-

struction to the river towns in Ohio, those along the old Sandusky-

Scioto waterways of the Indians suffering not the least.

The centennial committees of Fremont at once turned their

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entire attention to the relief of the distressed citizens and by

common consent the centennial celebration was abandoned. Just

prior to the Fourth of July, however, the decision was suddenly

made not to let the centennial of Croghan's Defence of Fort

Stephenson which saved the State from the invasion of British

and Indians go entirely unrecognized. A resolution at the an-

nual meeting of the Ohio Archaeological and Historical Society

to have suitable exer-

cises in connection

with the dedication of

the Harrison Trail

and McPherson-

Thompson Gateways

at Spiegel Grove; and

a patriotic resolution

by the Grand Lodge

of Odd Fellows to

have a basket picnic

on the same date,

were followed by en-

ergetic action by the

Fremont centennia1

commission, with the

result that a local cel-

ebration was enthusi-

astically arranged and

subsequently carried

out. With the excep-

tion of the soldierly

battalion of engineers

of the Ohio National

Guard, under command of Lieut.-Col. McQuigg of Cleve-

land, and the presence of Congressman Simeon D. Fess,

President of Antioch College and orator of the day; and Gen.

W. R. Warnock, commander of the Department of Ohio, G.

A. R.; and H. C. Kuntz, Grand Master I. O. O. F. of Ohio;-

the officers of the Ohio Archaeological and Historical Society

now being classed as citizens of Fremont,-the celebration was

The Centennial of Croghan's Victory

The Centennial of Croghan's Victory.       11


purely local. A distinct effort was made to avoid decorations

other than the national flag of forty-eight stars and to keep

expenses to the minimum with the exception of the display of

fireworks and the Venetian Night on Sandusky river and the

reproduction of Fort Stephenson on Brady's Island-the island

made famous by the scout Brady who, to secure information

under direct orders from Washington, secreted himself on this

island to determine the disposition of the Indians and their pos-

sible warlike intentions during the last year of the Revolutionary


The pageant of the morning in which over two thousand

persons participated, took the form of a procession of military

and fraternal organizations and of historical and industrial floats.

The formation of the parade took place on the east side, Cro-

ghansville, Fremont's original site. Objects and floats that drew

special applause were "Old Betsy," Croghan's historic cannon,

guarded by members of the G. A. R.; Captain Kline, a veteran

of the Mexican and the Civil Wars, driving in President Hayes'

old barouche; and the Port Clinton Life Savers who did such

heroic rescue work during the recent Fremont flood. The Pres-

byterian float showed the Rev. Joseph Badger, pioneer Presby-

terian missionary to this region, sitting by his cabin which about

1807 he built on the knoll where six years later the battle was

fought. Badger, a Revolutionary soldier, who fought both at Lex-

ington and Bunker Hill, was educated in the family of a president

of Yale, and in the opening year of the nineteenth century was

sent to Ohio by the Connecticut Foreign Missionary Society,

becoming the first minister and school teacher in the Sandusky

country. Knowing the locality perfectly, he served frequently

as guide as well as brigade chaplain in Harrison's army in the

war of 1812. He continued his devoted work as missionary

among the Indians without stated compensation till 1826 when

he obtained a pension of ninety-six dollars a year as a Revo-

lutionary soldier. In 1840, during the famous Harrison presi-

dential campaign, the Whigs of northwestern Ohio reached the

convention hall in Columbus, in a procession half a mile long,

with a facsimile of Fort Meigs at its head. This was built under

the supervision of Elder Badger, then eighty years old, who

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rode jauntily upon the fort which he had so valiantly defended.

The Badger float was preceded by twenty-two scouts on horses,

well armed. The Daughters of the War of 1812 displayed a

float representing the log cabin of James and Elizabeth Whit-

taker, first permanent white settlers in Ohio. The two young

white captives, adopted by the Wyandots, were by them given

as a wedding portion a choice tract of land along the river a

few miles below Fort Stephenson, in 1781, their first cabin ante-

dating by several years the settlement at Marietta. More than

thirty years later, the British army retreating down the river,

after their defeat at Fort Stephenson, stopped at the Whittaker

reservation long enough to fire and utterly destroy the old home,

warehouse, the government factory and the wharves. They also

carried off a handsome silver service which British officers had

presented to the Whittakers several years earlier in token of

their appreciation of many kindnesses. Mrs. Whittaker had

cared for the distinguished Revolutionary officer, Major Nathan

Goodale, intimate friend of Rufus Putnam, when as Indian

The Centennial of Croghan's Victory

The Centennial of Croghan's Victory.       13

captive he had been hurried from his home in Marietta, and too

ill to travel further was left to die at the Whittaker's.

The Whittaker float was followed by the display of the

East Side Improvement Association, led by a group of young

men on horseback, with a float representing "the city of refuge,

1650." Their banner was inscribed, "site of the first church

and court house." This float started at Pine Street where the

first court house was located.

The Daughters of the American Revolution commemorated

the Bradstreet Expedition of 1764, to recover the forts taken

by Pontiac. Their float was gay with counterfeit presentments

of British and Colonial figures, Bradstreet himself; Israel Put-

nam, hero of the wolf's den and Bunker Hill; Montresor, the

distinguished British, engineer; and Pontiac, who defied them

all. Bradstreet's army of 1,400 men came up the Sandusky

river in sixty long boats, Lower Sandusky (Fremont) being the

westernmost point reached by the expedition.

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Methodism harked back to Rev. James Finley, the pioneer

preacher, who carried on the notable mission to the Wyandots

at Upper Sandusky. Almost a century ago Finley adopted what

are considered modern methods of dealing with the Indian on

his reservation,-industrial training and land in severalty. The

Catholic Knights of Columbus had a beautiful float representing

Columbus' Discovery of America.

The reviewing stand was erected opposite the McPherson-

Thompson Gateway at Spiegel Grove, from which point the

procession was reviewed by his Honor Mayor Stausmyer and the

former Mayors of Fremont; Capt. Andrew Kline, the Chairman

of the day, and his representative, City Solicitor Overmyer; the

Hon. S. D. Fess, orator of the day; Gen. W. R. Warnock, Com-

mander of the Grand Army; Grand Master Kuntz; Pres. G.

Frederick Wright and Secy. E. O. Randall and L. P. Schaus,

chairman of the Hayes Memorial Building Committee; all of

the Ohio Archaeological and Historical Society; and Major Geo.

D. Saffarans, Seventeenth U. S. Infantry, as a representative of

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the regiment in which the gallant Major George Croghan was his

predecessor one hundred years ago. On reaching the reviewing

stand Lieut.-Col. McQuigg, commanding the battalion of engi-

neers, marched his command into Spiegel Grove and counter-

marched through the grove over the Harrison Trail, as Major

Croghan had done on his return from Fort Seneca, to take com-

mand again of Fort Stephenson the evening before the battle. The

remaining division counter-marched after passing the reviewing

stand, and returning east on Croghan Street was disbanded at

Fort Stephenson. The brief exercises of dedication and accept-

ance of the McPherson-Thompson gateway, erected in honor

of the soldiers of Sandusky County who fought in the war with

Mexico, and in the War for the Union, consisted of its presenta-

tion by General Warnock, and acceptance on behalf of the So-

ciety by Secretary Randall, following which the distinguished

guests were conveyed south along the new Cleveland Avenue,

on the west side of Spiegel Grove, to the beautiful Harrison

Trail Gateway at the southern entrance of the old Sandusky-

Scioto land trail later known as the Harrison Trail; to the

Buckland gateway the main entrance into Spiegel Grove some

three-quarters of a mile from Fort Stephenson. The Harrison

gateway was accepted by President G. Frederick Wright of the

Archaeological and Historical Society on behalf of the Society, as


From the days of Joshua when he placed memorial stones to mark

the place where the Children of Israel crossed the Jordan to enter the

Promised Land, until now, patriots have ever been wont to erect sim-

ilar monuments to mark places of special historical interest, so that now

as then children shall be led to ask of their parents, What mean ye by

these stones? thus compelling them to keep alive the memories of the

past. Fully to answer the questions stirred by the sight of this im-

pressive and beautiful gateway would require a longer story than we can

pause to tell on the present occasion. But we cannot let the occasion

pass without giving a brief summary of its significance.

For untold ages the native races of America passed through these

grounds as they traveled to and fro between Lake Erie and the Ohio

River. A deeply eroded pathway still bears evidence of the countless

feet that in ages past have trod this highway. Coming down from the

summit of the hill to the north the trail led through this gateway to a

spring in the valley, where the weary travelers could quench their thirst,

The Centennial of Croghan's Victory

The Centennial of Croghan's Victory.             17


and thence passed onward to the higher general level from which it had


As in numerous other instances civilized man here found that he

could do no better than follow the Indian trail. A hundred years ago

this very month General William Henry Harrison was encamped with

a considerable army at Camp Seneca, a few miles south of here, having

come so far on his way to meet the British forces that were occupying

the western end of Lake Erie. While Harrison paused at Fort Seneca

where he could keep in communication with the forces that were gather-

ing at some distance upon his right and left flank, Major Croghan won

his famous victory over the British forces at Fort Stephenson where his

monument is erected in the center of Fremont. Forthwith scenes were

here enacted that had not been witnessed before or since. Long lines

of well armed infantry and splendidly mounted cavalry with their accom-

panying artillery and baggage wagons moved along this trail, passed

through the area occupied by this gateway and over the hill beyond, on

its way to old Fort Sandoski and across Lake Erie to the brilliant victory

of the Thames. A few weeks later the same warlike host exultant with

victory returned over this trail to enjoy with their fellow countrymen

the fruits of a lasting peace. The picture brought up to the imagination

is an inspiring one and should draw to this spot countless pilgrims de-

siring to be thrilled with the patriotic emotions which this gateway is

calculated to rouse. The Ohio State Archaeological and Historical So-

ciety to whom the care of these grounds has been committed by the

generous donor, Colonel Webb C. Hayes, now opens this gateway to the

public believing that all who pass through it will give thanks to Colonel

Hayes for the noble tribute which he here gives to the defenders of

our country a hundred years ago, that as they pass on to see the mem-

orials which the state has erected to his distinguished father General

Rutherford B. Hayes, President of the United States, they can but still

further appreciate the significance of these memorial stones.

The three handsome gateways are the gift of Col. Webb C.

Hayes. Between the Harrison and Buckland entrances runs the

Harrison Trail, an old, deeply trodden military road, preserved

as the principal driveway of Spiegel Grove. It was traversed

by the Jesuit missionaries and the early war parties with their

Indian allies in their endeavors to expel the English from the

Ohio country, and later by Harrison's troops and supplies. Is-

rael Putnam, Daniel Boone, Simon Kenton, and the Moravian

missionaries passed along this famous road, as well as all the

principal officers of the War of 1812, Andrew Jackson alone

excepted: William Henry Harrison; Richard M Johnson, later

Vol. XXIII-2.

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Vice President; Lewis Cass, later Postmaster General; Governor

Meigs of Ohio, and the venerable Governor Shelby of Kentucky.

Fort Stephenson, where the addresses of the day were made,

is unique among old forts in preserving its ariginal area, its orig-

inal armament and the body of its defender. The speakers' stand

was erected near the grave of Croghan, over which "Old Betsy"

Croghan's single piece of artillery stands guard. Many dis-

tinguished soldiers and statesmen and civilians have through the

years paid tribute at Old Betsy's shrine; and like Independence

Bell she has made voyages of honor. She is the only one left

who saw Croghan in battle and heard the quick orders of those

critical days; who faced the oncoming veterans of Wellington's

troops and laid many of them to rest about her in the soil of

Lower Sandusky.

The guests of the Committee and the speakers of the after-

noon, together with Major George D. Saffarans of the 17th U.

S. Infantry, as the representative of Croghan's old Regiment, and

Brig. Gen. W. V. McMaken and Lt. Col. John R. McQuigg,

with the officers and their ladies of the battalion of Engineers

0. N. G., lunched as the guests of Col. and Mrs. Webb C.

Hayes, at Spiegel Grove.

The program of the afternoon was opened by Mayor Staus-

myer, who introduced the chairman

of the day as follows: "Ladies and

Gentlemen, We are assembled here to-

day for the purpose of celebrating

the one hundredth anniversary of

Croghan's Victory. I am indeed glad

to see the general interest which has

been taken and to have so many

present. I take pleasure and pride in

introducing to you Capt. Andrew

Kline, the hero of two wars, the hon-

orary president of the day." Captain

Kline was given an ovation, and in

rising to acknowledge the greeting of

the audience introduced Arthur W.

20 Ohio Arch

20        Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


Overmyer, Esq., City Solicitor of Fremont, as acting president

of the day. Mr. Overmyer said:

"Fellow Citizens: In behalf of Capt. Kline, I want to thank

you for the very kind reception you have just tendered him,

and I also want to join with you, ladies and gentlemen, in pay-

ing my most sincere respects to this grand old veteran.

He is the one connecting link between the event we are

celebrating and this day. He saw Major Croghan in his life-

time and he sees us today and in that way represents the span

of a century.

Sorry indeed do I feel for the man or woman in this au-

dience, if any there be, who does not enter completely into the

spirit of this moment or is not thrilled by what we here are wit-

nessing. To have with us a veteran of a war that ended sixty-

five years ago, and who saw our hero, Major Croghan, in his

lifetime, is a fact which alone is worthy of celebration.

Fellow citizens, we are convened

this day on holy ground. Here is the

sacred spot where the cause of liberty

achieved one of its most glorious vic-

tories; here the pulsation of the heart

of true freedom was quickened.

When we pause for a moment to con-

template the events that transpired on

this spot one hundred years ago, it

thrills our hearts with the most pa-

triotic feeling and I feel sorry indeed

for any one who cannot enter into

the spirit of this hour. I have thought

what it would mean if on this day,

after the lapse of a century, the de-

fender of Fort Stephenson, released from the sleep of death in

yonder sacred mound, could re-appear on earth and be with us,

what indeed would be his emotions of joy and wonder!

We are now a century removed from that eventful day

when an American youth, with true American patriotism in his

heart, achieved here a splendid success, and it is eminently fitting

and proper that we should assemble here on this day and in

The Centennial of Croghan's Victory

The Centennial of Croghan's Victory.       21


speech, song and story commemorate this important historical

event, and at the same time pay our respects once more to our

single survivor of the Mexican War and the fast thinning ranks

of the Grand Army of the Republic.

We are honored in having with us today men of national

prominence and from them we will hear patriotic words of hope,

of praise and of counsel. Let us give them close attention that

the lessons of this day may be borne with us through life.

I desire to read to you at this time a letter from Major

Croghan written to the committee in charge of the celebration in


(Reads letter. See page 3.)

It is gratifying to recall that Major Croghan was permitted

to live long enough to know that the service he here had ren-

dered was being given its proper place in history and that the

citizens at that early day showed their appreciation of the impor-

tance of this event. I think one of the most gratifying things

in American history is the fact that our great and good Wash-

ington was permitted to select the site and prepare the plan for

our national capital and knew that it was to bear his name; and

one of the saddest things in history, to my mind, is that our

martyred Lincoln was not permitted to live to see the complete

reunion of the North and South, a reunited country free from

the stains of slavery.

Before proceeding with the program I desire to read another

letter showing a connecting link between Croghan's day and

our own. Adjutant General George H. Wood, in sending his

regrets and advising us of the order for the presence of the

Battalion of Engineers, Ohio National Guard, at these cere-

monies, writes as follows:




MY DEAR COLONEL: In conformity with your request I have di-

rected Lieutenant Colonel John R. McQuigg, Commanding Corps of En-

gineers, 0. N. G., to proceed on August 2nd to Fremont to take part

with the citizens of Fremont in the celebration of the centennial of the

Defence of Fort Stephenson by Major Croghan.

22 Ohio Arch

22         Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


A centennial means a hundred years and does seem a long stretch

of time, and rather strangely, I have heard accounts given by Major

Croghan, at only second hand, for it happened that in 1845-6 when my

father, the late General Thomas J. Wood, U. S. A., who graduated from

West Point in 1845, was serving on the staff of General Zachary Taylor

in the Mexican War, Major Croghan, at that time Colonel and Inspector

General, was also on the staff of General Taylor and quite a friendship

sprang up between the grizzled veteran of 1812 and the young boy fresh

from West Point and my father often told me of hearing Colonel Cro-

ghan tell of his services during the War of 1812, especially of the gallant

defense of Fort Stephenson. So you can see that probably I have re-

ceived the "freshest" news on this subject of any one in the State of

Ohio.                      Very sincerely,


The Adjutant General.

Colonel Webb C. Hayes,

Fremont, Ohio.


In introducing the Hon. S. D. Fess, orator of the day, Mr.

Overmyer spoke of the good fortune of the committee in having

been able to secure so able and well known an orator, writer

and historian as Dr. Fess to deliver the principal address of the

day and made the prediction that his

address would make a valuable addi-

tion to the historical literature of our




I accepted your invitation to make this

address with a peculiar interest, and I as-

sure you it gives me an unusual pleasure to

be here. For years I have been scolding at

the average citizen for his wicked indif-

ference toward the preservation of the tab-

lets of our history. We are so young as a

nation that we can not realize any interest

in holding to the past. In some parts of the

country, as in New England, the citizenship

has awakened to this duty. Only a short

time ago, when the commercial call was

about to raze the old South Church in Boston to make way for a hand-

some modern office building, the citizenship of that New England city

was aroused and readily responded to the call to complete plans whereby

such a consummation would be made an impossibility.

The Centennial of Croghan's Victory

The Centennial of Croghan's Victory.              23


A few days ago I stood on the famous estate of Gen. Washington,

at Mount Vernon, and allowed my mind to rest upon the tardiness of

State and Nation and people to preserve this, the most famous spot in

America, which was not finally accomplished until an invalid southern

girl gave herself to the task. It is now perpetually assured. But not so

with Monticello, Montpelier, The Hermitage, and so forth.

In the midst of such vicious neglect, what a tonic one receives to

come face to face with the magnificent work of such organizations as

the Ohio Archaeological and Historical Society, the Colonial Dames, the

Daughters of the American Revolution, the Daughters of 1812, and kindred


I have known something of these activities in the past, and espe-

cially in this most fertile section of Ohio, historically speaking; hence my

delight in being enabled to come. I desire to congratulate this community

first upon its position in history and, second, in having such leaders as

Col. Hayes and others to direct you.

Most places are satisfied with but a single historical event, but in

your case you have a succession of events that will pass as first in rank.

Here we have the wondrous activities between the French and English

as well as the Indian in the final determination of national control. The

tablets dating back to 1745, then 1754 to 1763, refer us to one of the

most historically significant struggles on the continent. History refers

to this struggle as the French and Indian War. In Europe it is known

as the Seven Years' War, although it lasted nine years-1754 to 1763.

From 1688 to 1815 twelve wars were waged between England and

France for supremacy upon the sea. During these one hundred and

twenty-seven years fifty-four of them were spent in actual fighting. One

of these dozen wars was our French and Indian, in which Fremont and

vicinity played so prominent a place. All along the shores of lakes,

and especially at the mouths of the various rivers, the French took the

precaution to plant leaden plates with inscriptions, to make sure their

title in the case of a contest. When the dispute was transferred from

forum to field, which caused this place to be overrun by French and

Indians and finally secured to the English by the closing of the war

scenes on the Plains of Abraham, the first distinctive step to the build-

ing of the modern state of democracy was taken.

While history dismisses the event by stating that the English took

possession of the North American Continent, it does not express the full

meaning of the results. The final struggle which closed at Quebec was

more than a contest between two nations for the control of a continent.

It was a contest between two most distinctive systems of government.

On the one hand the contention was the establishment of an ecclesiasti-

cism, on the other the building of an Anglo-Saxon democracy. On the

one hand it demanded a union of church and state, on the other the

American tripod of free state, free church, and free school. Had France

24 Ohio Arch

24         Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


won in 1763, this new world would have become the chief home of a

French ecclesiastical dynasty. Instead it was reserved as the virgin soil

in which were planted the seeds of liberty in government, based upon

freedom in church, school, and state, and which within the short period

of one hundred and fifty years has become the riddle of the world. Little

did our ancestry think of what the future held. They could not believe

that by 1913 this planting would produce a nation of one hundred mil-

lions of people, a population two and one-half times that of the mother

country, ten times that of her largest colony-United Colonies of Aus-

tralia-sixteen times that of Canada, and more than all the other Eng-

lish-speaking peoples of the world combined. No wonder that Salisbury

in an outburst of oratory said upon one occasion, "Had it not been for

the unwise policy of an English King the capital of the British Empire

in all probability would today be on the North American Continent."

No wonder that in 1878 W. E. Gladstone, eulogizing the achievements

of the two nations, shouted, "Oh, brave mother; Oh, braver daughter,

you have done more in one year than we in eight. You have passed us

in a canter." When a citizen in 1913 contemplates the meaning of that

contest one hundred and fifty years ago and then remembers this was a

part of the battle ground, and there "Old Betsy," a real participant in

the struggle, it has a new significance.

But the significance of this place will not be confined to fighting

the French in the Seven Years' War or the Indians led by Pontiac in

1763. The records indicate that here at this very place were held during

the Revolutionary War perhaps as many as 2,000 prisoners, and "Old

Betsy" had a part in that greater struggle. The war that closed in 1763

by the treaty of Paris decided America as the chief theater of an

Anglo-Saxon democracy. However, under the mother country it had

certain effete customs which were unwelcome to the American pioneer

who braved the sea and faced death that he might be free from many

of these customs. Some of these people left England for the Continent,

others remained to fight the battles on native soil with Pym, Hampden,

and Cromwell, while others embarked on the unknown sea in search of

the New World. Arbitrary government, taxation without representation,

and so forth, are usually detailed as the cause of the War of the Revolu-

tion. That is true, but is not the whole truth. England recognized in

a way the feudal system with its corollary customs of primogeniture and

entailed estates. She had secured the latter two customs in Virginia and

Pennsylvania. England also believed then as she does now in hereditary

government; that some men are born to rule, others to serve. We

denied it and took our stand upon the principle that the right to govern

must come from the consent of the governed. The George III idea was

the head of the nation both ruled and reigned, while we held the head

of the Nation the servant of all the people. This was a fundamental

principle first established by us as the most significant step in self-govern-

The Centennial of Croghan's Victory

The Centennial of Croghan's Victory.              25


ment ever taken. England believed in the life tenure in office, while our

slogan was short terms and quick and decisive responsibility. While it

is true the ostensible cause of the Revolutionary War was no taxation

without representation, or better, no legislation without representation,

the real result of that war was to give full play to the new democracy

planted years before, free from the effete customs of continental Europe

or the mother country. In that world-wide significant struggle this part

of the country was an interesting field.

No citizen of our day can know the utter contempt in which Eng-

land held the colonies the first two decades of our national life, and

the consequent humility of our representatives at her court. A perusal

of the writing of Franklin, and especially John Adams, as well as Jeffer-

son, will shed some light on this treatment. The conduct of Citizen

Genet reflects the regard France had for us as a national entity in the

countries of the world. The contempt with which England refused to

remove her forts, and which was not fully done until after the Jay

treaty of 1796, as well as the X Y Z mission of France, in 1798, and

the miserable conduct of Minister Merry, all show with what small

respect our Nation was regarded in Europe. The episode of the Carolina

was not to be unexpected, as well as the famous orders in Council of

England and the Berlin and Milan decrees of France, which forced us

to declare the embargo of 1807. Europe was using the new Republic

as a handy man to have around to be treated as a football, if desirable.

The administration wisely attempted to avoid war until the jingoes

declared Madison could not be kicked into a war. England became so

arrogant, having impressed at least 5,000 American seamen into the Brit-

ish service upon the monstrous doctrine "Once an Englishman always

an Englishman," augmented by the ruling that one speaking the English

language is an Englishman until he could prove he was not, and that by

documentary evidence, that to further submit seemed dishonor, and war

was declared in June, 1812. It is not my purpose to detail this struggle.

Our school children are familiar with the brilliant performances upon

the sea, and no less familiar with our disasters and, in one instance, dis-

honor upon the land. As has been said here, on this very spot took place

the one distinct land operation that redeemed the American name. Cro-

ghan and Fort Stephenson-the name and fame are household furniture

of these people here. It would be but a repetition of the most familiar

item of our history for me to detail the operations here one hundred

years ago today. A mere mention of the spectacular defense of this his-

toric spot by that gallant boy, just past his majority, and his brave bend

of 160, who repulsed the English regulars, under the ignoble Proctor.

is sufficient on this occasion, which is designed to call up the larger

results on the world's struggles, in which this place was one of the chief

battle grounds, and which in turn became the chief gateway of the current

of progress which virtually has enveloped the world; for this battle in

26 Ohio Arch

26         Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


this second war of independence made possible the victory on Lake Erie,

which we are celebrating this year.

This Perry's victory in turn made possible the victories on the

Thames and the second naval triumph on Champlain. Notwithstanding

the British attack on Washington and the burning of the Capitol, the

young Republic gathered new strength from the triumph at Lundy's Lane

and the numerous engagements on the sea, which forced peace the

latter part of December, 1814, although the one most spectacular of all

engagements, that of New Orleans, was fought several days after the

treaty, on January 8, 1815.

From the time of this war, although our distinguished commis-

sioners did not secure a reversal of the contention on the main points

of issue, the new Republic was henceforth looked upon in Europe as a

growing giant, demanding an immediate recognition. Our Navy had won

its plaudits and was the topic of enthusiastic comment both in Europe

and America. Our diplomacy, as represented by J. Q. Adams, Henry

Clay, and others less distinguished, had won great respect. Our domestic

enterprises along manufacturing and commercial lines were gaining by

leaps and bounds. Henceforth our representatives were received in all

European courts with marked deference and respect. The ending of this

war was the beginning of the Nation's development. From that day to

1860 we had one unbroken triumph in material progress, save a short,

unhappy difference with Mexico.

At this time and here it would probably be out of order for me

to rehearse the events which drove us into the most gigantic war known

to man. Suffice it to say, as the French and Indian War was a struggle

between two systems of government, and the Revolutionary War was a

struggle for a larger political liberty, and the War of 1812 was a struggle

for the recognition of national rights, the Civil War, the greatest of all,

was a struggle between two civilizations, differentiated by natural differ-

ences over which law and legislation had little effect. And as the region

of Sandusky played a part in all the early wars, so Fremont played a

distinct part in this greatest of wars. The nation recognized that part

by placing at its head one of its citizens, who had won his rank in that

war for human rights.

This greatest of all wars which placed 2,000,000 soldiers in the field

to battle as Greek against Greek at the staggering outlay of over one

thousand million dollars, at the cost of lives to the number of 600,000

ended at last with two decisive results, viz., the freedom of a race and,

what was a thousand times of greater importance, the preservation of the

Union. The first result was inevitable. The civilization of the nineteenth

century had pronounced against slavery and its day was at hand. Had

it not come as the result of war it would have come as the result of an

awakened national conscience. But the perpetuity of the Union was not

at all an assured fact. Only an American could believe it possible. Eu-

The Centennial of Croghan's Victory

The Centennial of Croghan's Victory.             27


rope expressed her conviction in its impossible continuance through Mac-

aulay, De Toqueville, Gladstone, and others. Even the great English

Commoner proclaimed that Jefferson Davis had given to the world a

second republic that would rival the first.

It is not for the present historian to estimate the importance of

this result of the Civil War. It must be left to the future discriminating

interpreter of great events who to properly estimate the importance to

history must view the event in its influence, not upon our country alone

but upon the Governments of the world. When the war ended, assuring

the stability of American self-government, Democracy's cause took on

new life, and the places where it was planted received new fertilizing

impulses, and what were up to that time vague semblances of republican

government became dynamic forces regnant with order. Here and there

throughout the world mutterings of unrest under arbitrary rule became

distinctive demands.  It took possession of Italy.  It startled every

Government in Europe, the last to show it most was Portugal. It

changed in a night's time monarchial Brazil into a Republic. It has

covered the seas with its fragrant bloom in the United Colonies of Aus-

tralia, New Zealand, Hawaii, and has touched on the Empire of South

Africa. It awakened Russia, and has even revolutionized the yellow race

in its influence upon Japan, and last, but not least, China, which on Feb-

ruary 12, 1912, passed from the control of the Manchu dynasty, under

which the Celestial Empire had continued for over four thousand years,

to that of the national assembly, and thus wrote the page of American

influence in the Far East.

In 1813 the entire country was composed of but 18 States. The

population of the entire United States was little more than that of the

single city of Greater New York today, while the wealth of the Nation,

as estimates were then made, was less than that of New York City

today. In that day we had no standing in the councils of the nations;

today no serious world problem is proposed which does not enlist our

opinions. Our influence is not confined to the interests of our own

people, but, as signified by the expansive meaning of the Monroe

doctrine, we have assumed and maintained the guardianship of the liber-

ties and welfare of the western world. We have even gone beyond this

realm. When the call of Cuba was finally heard, for the mere sake of

humanity, we responded when we were morally certain the response meant

war, and with firm hand we bade Spain either to modify her inhuman

policy or leave the work of governing the people of Cuba to other hands.

We accepted the choice of Spain, the arbitrament of the sword, and as a

consequence have assumed not only the task of preserving order in Cuba,

but the far greater duty of modernizing the peoples of the Philippines

by introducing the common-school methods, and by the orderly processes

of evolution have witnessed within a decade the sure evidences of a

transformed people, a changed civilization through education, to be brought

28 Ohio Arch

28         Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


about within a few generations. This duty has been performed at a

frightful sacrifice to us.

All good citizens are hoping that the unhappy country of Mexico

will be able to stop the atrocities of rival leadership without interference

from without. For we can not brook interference on the part of Europe,

at whatever cost. The Nation will hardly surrender the Monroe doctrine.

If it maintains this principle, it is then morally and legally obligated

to protect life and property of citizens of other countries. On this occa-

sion I would not have this people believe I extol war simply because

the historic incident we celebrate has its interest in war, nor because in

our observations upon the growth of democratic government we have re-

ferred to the specific results of specific wars.

While the fruits of war in these respects are marked, the fruits

of peace are even more so. Soon after the treaty of peace that closed

the war in which Col. Croghan won his fame, another treaty was signed

between our Nation and Great Britain, which neutralized the waters of

the Great Lakes by limiting the size of the defensive vessels to be main-

tained upon these waters, beyond which neither nation could go. This

single line of agreement has made the Great Lakes as well as the bound-

ary line between us and Britain and her possessions here in the New

World a line of friendship which has been maintained unbroken for 96

years. Had it not been for this provision these waters would today be

frowned upon by mighty battleships, which would have inevitably clashed

in 1860-1865 when English built ships were supplied to the Confederacy.

What has been done on the Lakes has been the dream of some

statesmen of this and other countries may be done for the waters of the

sea, when all the powers may join in the establishment of the court of

arbitral justice, which is an American suggestion. While this is but a

dream, and may never assume any nearer reality than a dream, the im-

mediate past is a partial justification of the dream. The Hague confer-

ence was a real achievement for peace, if in no other way than to allow

representatives of the twenty-six nations, including all the first-class

powers, to sit under the same roof and dispassionately discuss plans of

maintaining peace among the nations represented. But it achieved some-

thing more substantial in the establishment of The Hague tribunal, which,

by the way, was an American suggestion. The first case to be submitted

to the court was the dispute between Germany and Venezuela at the

initiation of our own country. The second Hague conference gave more

promise, in that, instead of twenty-six nations, forty-four were repre-

sented. It also adopted three additional resolutions, viz., strengthened

The Hague tribunal by requiring any disputant opening warfare against

another nation, until the willing party had a chance to be heard before

the tribunal; second, it adopted the Drago doctrine, which denies to one

nation to employ war methods to collect a debt, until after the case is

The Centennial of Croghan's Victory

The Centennial of Croghan's Victory.              29


heard by the tribunal; third, it recommended the establishment of the

court of arbitral justice.

To an American the activities leading to these conferences and the

work in the conferences are most pleasing. This Nation distinctively

stands for peace. Our bringing together at Portsmouth the peace com-

missioners of Russia and Japan is but an incident in the efforts of our

Nation to reduce war. The work of the famous international peace

conferences was begun by Elihu Burritt as far back as the forties. This

Nation was the first to give this work governmental recognition when

President McKinley requested Secretary John Hay to represent the Nation

officially in the conference held at Boston. We are equally active in the

work of the Interparliamentary Union.

The almost five hundred various peace associations organized in the

United States among the churches, the colleges, the schools, the civic

organizations, the commercial bodies indicate the awakening among us.

This should be our position. If ever peace is to be established in the

world permanently, we must take the initiative. Our geographical situa-

tion, our vast wealth of resource, our rank among the nations of the

world all point to this fact. This does not mean we must abandon a

naval program. Probably the surest guaranty of peace is the concentra-

tion of the war power in the hands of the peaceful nations, to command

the peace of the world. We must always maintain a sufficient armament

to police the seas, but it does not mean we must enter the insane com-

petition of Europe to surpass all nations in the building of dreadnoughts.

Our greatness will never be measured by the size of the Army, nor the

number of battle ships. It will not even be measured by the acreage of

our farms, the output of our mines or our factories, nor the miles of

railroads. While all these are useful and the fruits of peace, yet they

do not symbolize our real greatness. Greatness nationally as individually

can not be measured by the bushel, nor by the yardstick, nor even can

it be estimated by the dollar mark. The real greatness of a nation

consists in the men and women of the nation. Its measure is the amount

of character disseminated among its people. The agencies of this great-

ness will be largely found in the homes, the schools, the churches, the

civic organizations, the numerous other agencies making for a finer sense

of justice of man with man in all his activities, business, professional,

social, and all that make up his everyday life.

Show me a nation that seeks this high standard and dedicates its

powers of wealth and influence to this end, and I will show you a nation

happy, prosperous, powerful, and the guiding, if not the dominant, power

in the family of nations. God has wonderfully blessed the people of this

country in many ways. The opportunity is before us. Our responsi-

bility is clear. I believe we will fully meet every reasonable obligation

placed upon us, always remembering that our greatest problems are from

30 Ohio Arch

30         Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


within our body politic, not from without. This argues the more that

our national prosperity and happiness must be found within the dominion

of a sublime manhood and a pure womanhood. Ladies and gentlemen, I

thank you and bid you good-by.

It was a source of much pleasure

to the committee to have with them as

one of the principal speakers of the

day, Gen. W. R. Warnock, depart-

ment commander of Ohio, Grand

Army of the Republic, and in intro-

(lucing him, Mr. Overmyer not only

voiced the sentiment and appreciation

of the committee and citizens of Fre-

mont, but also took occasion to pay a

word of tribute to the G. A. R., the

great order which the speaker rep-


Gen. Warnock said:

"When I received an invitation from Comrade Burgoon to come here

to address you on this occasion in behalf of the G. A. R., I was exceed-

ingly glad. When this invitation was supplemented by an invitation from

Col. Hayes to be his guest as well, I was additionally glad to be able to

accept. I knew something of the history of Fremont and vicinity and

have many personal reasons why I am interested in this city. The 72nd

regiment was in the same brigade to which I was assigned for two years.

For Col. Buckland I have always felt the greatest respect as I consid-

ered him one of the safest and grandest men of the army. He was a

born leader of men. I also recall with pleasure my acquaintance with

Col. LeRoy Crockett of Clyde, and I have the most kindly recollections

of my friendship with Maj. Eugene Rawson. Again I want to call atten-

tion to another friendship. In 1875 I was elected to the senate of Ohio

at the time when Governor Hayes was just entering upon his third term.

I was intimately associated with Governor Hayes, and so today with all

recollections which came to me as I visited Spiegel Grove I could not

but recall the memory of that gracious man, Rutherford B. Hayes. I

also want to pay tribute to Mrs. Hayes, the greatest, sweetest lady who

ever graced the White House.

"I also want to say a word for the G. A. R. When the gateways

at Spiegel Grove were decorated they complimented the G. A. R. in the

significance of their inscriptions. I am glad to accept these honorable

testimonials made in behalf of the G. A. R. Think of the significance

The Centennial of Croghan's Victory

The Centennial of Croghan's Victory.              31


of the trail and the historical value of the dates. The fact is, Fremont's

on the map and has been there for over two centuries. I cannot refrain

from recalling the associations of the great civil war, Major Rawson,

Gen. McPherson, Capt. Kline, in command of Co. A, whom I have been

glad to greet and meet again today. Scarcely one of the line officers

and only two of the field officers of that regiment are now living.

An English statesman said, "The great test for the United States

will come when the war is ended." He didn't know that the American

soldiery was made up of farmers, business men and professional men

who returned to their homes and labors better citizens than they had ever

been before. As we believe that Providence raised up George Washing-

ton to lead us to independence so we believe that in that dark hour

Abraham Lincoln was sent to guide us through the Civil War. What

tender, mysterious nature he possessed. Today while he wears a martyr's

crown he still speaks to us as he spoke at Gettysburg. It reminds me

of that lesson in patriotism which was taught us 150 years ago. Great

things happened in this vicinity a century ago. The brave deeds of Perry,

Croghan and others of that time inspired and prompted others. The words

and commands which rang from their lips have been the messages which

have come down through the years and inspired succeeding generations to

deeds as noble and as great."


Following Gen. Warnock, H. C. Kuntz, Grand Master of the

I. O. 0. F. of Ohio, was introduced. He expressed his plea-

sure at being able to be present at the centennial and in his

brief remarks spoke eloquently of the relations between honoring

Odd Fellowship and honoring the flag. The principles of patriot-

ism are the foundation of the lodge of Odd Fellows. He also

referred to the great statesmen of Ohio whose lives are exem-

plary of good citizenship, paying special tribute to Garfield and


The last speaker of the afternoon was Prof. G. Frederick

Wright, president of the Ohio Historical and Archaeological so-


One of the big features on Saturday's program was the

grand reunion and basket picnic of the Odd Fellows at Birchard

park. At least five hundred members, with their wives, fami-

lies and friends, assembled in the grove after the parade and en-

joyed the splendid picnic dinner at tables spread under the beau-

tiful and stately old trees.   Many brought their lunches, but

those who did not because they came from points too far dis-

32 Ohio Arch

32        Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


tant, found the Rebekah ladies ready to serve them with a de-

licious and bountiful repast. There were several thousand peo-

ple present.

The Genoa Odd Fellows' band furnished good music during

the noon hour and a part of the afternoon.

After dinner Grand Master Kuntz gave a very interesting

address from the band stand on "Odd Fellowship." He was

presented by Hon. John W. Worst, chairman of the Fremont


Spiegel Grove, the beautiful and historic home of the late

President Hayes, now occupied by Col. and Mrs. Webb C.

Hayes, was thronged all day with interested visitors. The stately

old family mansion was lavishly decorated with the stars and

stripes. Under the fine old Reunion Oaks at the left of the

house, a Play Festival and May Pole Dance was given in the late

afternoon under the auspices of the Women's Federation of

Clubs. The folk lore games, contests and dances were carried

out by young girls and little children, music being furnished by

the Ladies Band of Chicago Junction.

In the early evening band concerts were held in different

portions of the city, but the crowds soon gathered on both

banks of the Sandusky river and covered the old Maumee and

Western Reserve bridge as well as the high trestle of the Lake

Erie and Western railway whose abutments rested on the is-

land made famous in local history by the report of Captain

Brady who was sent here by General Washington during the

close of the Revolutionary War to find out the disposition of

the Indians, whether for war or peace. The crowd on the wes-

terly bank stood on what was originally the course over which

white prisoners were forced to run the gauntlet, and on the left

a crowd occupied the site which after the famous defence of

Fort Stephenson was set aside by the general government for

the Lower Sandusky navy yard: The efficient Venetian Night

committee then had portrayed in living fire a scene depicting

the sailing up the Sandusky River of Commodore Barclay's fleet

carrying Proctor's Army; the bombardment of Fort Stephenson

from the fleet, and the return fire from Old Betsy during the

night of the siege. Later Fort Stephenson itself was shown, as

The Centennial of Croghan's Victory

The Centennial of Croghan's Victory.       33


well as the repulse of the assaulting relief column led by

Lt-Col. Short, of the 41st Regt., who was killed in the ditch

with many of his comrades when Old

Betsy loaded with slugs and loose

bullets was discharged at them at

thirty feet range. Portraits of Gen-

eral Harrison, Commodore    Perry,

Major Croghan and President Hayes

were also shown.

The city of Fremont has been

notably  loyal  and   indefatigable

through the years, in keeping bright

the memory of her local heroes and

her heroic past. Of the many cen-

tennial celebrations the past summer,

in honor of Perry's Victory and Har-

rison's Northwestern Campaign, none

has exceeded in interest and local enthusiasm the centennial cele-

bration of Croghan's Defence of Fort Stephenson, at Fremont,


Vol. XXIII. -3.