Cincinnati and the Civil War: The Queen City Responds 1861-1862

lauren's picture

September 2012 marks the 150th anniversary of the Confederate Siege of Cincinnati, which compelled soldiers and citizens to organize defenses around our Queen City. Learn about the defense of Cincinnati, the Battle of Perryville and other events from the first two years of the Civil War explored through actual uniforms, weapons and equipment of the common soldier as well as photographs, letters, broadsides and paintings of the period from our collections.

Watch this video for an inside look at the exhibit:

Here are some of the artifacts you'll see in the exhibit:

"Flying Artillery" Recruiting Broadside, 1861
This broadside was produced in 1861 to appeal to "able-bodied men of good moral character" to join Capt. Andrew Hickenlooper’s Cincinnati Artillery Battery.  The battery, mustered in on September 22, 1861 in St. Louis, Missouri, participated in the fighting at Shiloh, Siege of Corinth, Vicksburg, Jackson and Little Rock.

Regimental Colors of the 10th Ohio Volunteer Infantry
This green silk flag of the 10th Ohio contains the unit’s battle honors - Carnifex Ferry, Chaplin Hills, Stone River, and Chickamauga - embroidered in gold and red silk thread. When the stand of regimental colors was presented to the 10th Ohio by the patriotic ladies of Cincinnati, William H. Lytle, the regiment’s colonel, remarked, "Sir, tell the ladies that there is not a man in these ranks who will not shed his heart’s blood like water beneath these colors."

Union Cavalry Shell Jacket, ca. 1863
The shell jacket was the regulation uniform of the Federal cavalry. Close-fitting and waist length, the short jacket allowed greater freedom of movement for the mounted trooper. Made of blue wool and trimmed in cavalry yellow, the coat was usually worn open in warm weather, fastened only at the neck.

Pontoon Bridge at Cincinnati
The 73rd Regiment, Illinois, crosses the bridge at Cincinnati on Friday, September 12, 1862. Sketched by A. E. Mathews, 31st OVI.  Middleton, Strobridge & Co. Lithographers, Cincinnati.

Gwyn & Campbell Carbine
Cavalry carbines were in short supply in the first years of the war. To meet the demand for a short rifle, private contractors manufactured more than fifteen different carbines for the U.S. Government. The Gwyn & Campbell Company of Hamilton, Ohio produced an excellent breech-loading percussion carbine for the Union forces. Known as the grapevine for its serpentine trigger-guard/loading lever, the carbine fired a .52 caliber cartridge. To load the carbine, the soldier pulled the trigger guard forward to lower the breechblock and open the chamber. More than 85,000 Gwyn & Campbell guns were manufactured and issued to Union cavalry troopers in the western theater.



Monday - Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

This free exhibit is on display in the Ruthven Gallery from September 1, 2012 through January 13, 2013.