Clock Tower

Out of the Clock Tower

Hello and welcome to the Greene County Archives' blog, "Out of the Clock Tower".  Please join us as we share information on archival issues, news, special events, and highlights from our collection.

Before the archives program began in Greene County in 1996, permanent records were stored in every conceivable space, in basements, garages, and closets. Usually they were in boxes of various shapes and sizes, although seldom adequately labeled, but occasionally they were just in loose piles of books and papers. Most notable were the old records stuffed into the clock tower of the County Courthouse, where they shared their home with pigeon droppings.

Now, there is a clean, environmentally controlled, well appointed location for the county archives, where our historical records are housed in standard sized boxes on steel shelves. We have taken note of their journey in the name for our blog.

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Jan 08

How Greene County Came Together during the War of the Rebellion

Posted on January 8, 2016 at 2:12 PM by Elise Kelly

 When Abraham Lincoln took the oath of office on March 4th, 1861, seven southern states had already seceded from the Union.

The United States had not even reached its 100th year history and the country was facing disintegration, uncertainty and peril.
Lincoln's Inauguration via Wikimedia Commons

Call to Procure Blankets, Board and Other Necessities

By April of 1861, Fort Sumter was attacked and had surrendered to Confederate forces. Subsequently, President Lincoln ordered 75,000 militia men for duty. In order to help supply the volunteers, funds needed to be collected from citizens throughout the country.

In Greene County, the Commissioners examined and discussed the order (See Below).

          Greene County Commissioners Meeting Minutes Vol. 8, Pg. 149
Commissioners Report
"Commissioners Minutes May 2nd & 9th, 1861 -
The Commissioners met this morning to examine the bill of expenses incurred by citizens in procuring Blankets, Board and other necessaries to the volunteers who have tendered their services to the Governor of Ohio under the requisition of the President of the United States to execute the laws of the United States in the States now in armed rebellion to the Government and after consideration order the following entry to be made in their journal."

According to the Minutes, the expenses were unavoidable. Citizens of Greene County had to furnish blankets and board for the volunteers who were marching into service. It was ordered that the initial amount be $767.49.
bull run
Bull Run, VA, Federal Calvary at Sudley Ford by George Barnard, 1862 via Library of Congress
During the summer months of 1861, West Virginia broke free from Virginia and became a Union state; Congress put out a call for 500,000 men and union soldiers were routed at the First Battle of Bull Run.

In Greene County, the Commissioners ordered that a relief committee be assembled for the purpose of investigating and reporting the necessities for families of volunteers throughout the county.
In July of 1861, several families were listed in the Minutes Book. Let's take a look at the list (See Below).

           Greene County Commissioners Meeting Minutes Vol. 8, Pg. 164
list of names
"the amounts following to wit Mrs. Godfrey  App. $16. Mrs. James Ross $15. Mrs. Henry Bogles $15. Mrs. W. B. Smith $16.50. Mrs. Beard $8.00. Mrs. Perry Sroufe $17.00. Mrs. Barrett $4. Mrs. John Simmers $16.00. Mrs A. Cover $12.00. Mrs. John Shoen H. Clin [Cline?] & Bro for support of father & mother $10. Mrs. Srodes $8. Mrs. Collins $4. Mrs. Sroufe Clifton $15.00. Mrs. Jessie Gates $10.00. Mrs. Stoops $12.00.  J.S. Harper for mother and sister $8. Mrs. M. W. Trader $16.50. Mrs. H. Hollenberry $8. Mrs. Thomason $8. Mrs. James Iliff $12.00. Mrs. William Wells $20.00. Mrs. Lighthiser $10.00. Mrs. Henry McBride $4.00 Mrs. John McMillan $8.00.

The last entry, John McMillan [McMillen], was mustered in as a Private in 1861. By the end of the war, he resigned as a Captain. He certainly rose in the ranks during his service.

How did they determine how much money each family should receive? Written in the Commissioners Meeting Minutes was the following criteria: (See Below)

            Greene County Commissioner Meeting Minutes Vol. 8, Pg. 200

The Battle of Shiloh or the Battle of Pittsburg Landing
 battle of shiloh
The Battle of Shiloh, or Pittsburg Landing, April 6th & 7th, 1862, J.H. Bufford's Lith, 1862 via Library of Congress
On April 6th & 7th 1862, men from both factions clashed in southwestern Tennessee. The Confederacy launched a surprise attack against Grant's Army of the Tennessee. Grant's men fell back but by the second day, Grant received reinforcements. 

The Federals counterattacked and forced the rebels to retreat. The Battle of Shiloh was the bloodiest battle in American history up to that time. Thousands of men died or were injured.

In order to help aid the injured soldiers, the Greene County Commissioners called for a procurement of funds (See Below).

            Greene County Commissioner Meeting Minutes Vol. 8, Pg. 200
..."under a call of the citizens for aid in sending nurses to take care of the sick and wounded at the battle of Pittsburgh [Pittsburg] Landing.

The Commissioners agreed to appropriate two hundred dollars out of the County fund.

The war lasted three more long years until eventually the Confederacy surrendered. On April 11th 1865, the Greene County Commissioners met to consider a request from the citizens of the county to appropriate the sum of two hundred dollars to be used in celebrating the capture of Lee's Army and the Confederate capital of Richmond (See Below).

            Greene County Commissioner Meeting Minutes Vol. 8, Pg. 324

What a celebration it must have been!

Until Next Time!

This Week's Trivia Question: Can you name the Xenia Regiment that fought in the Civil War?

Answer to Last Week's Trivia Question: How did the Roberts call for their servants? - Answer: On the second floor, there were switches installed all throughout the rooms. These switches on the wall had wires that ran to the servants' quarters. When you toggled the switch, a bell would ring in the  quarters. There was a different bell for each room.


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