PART 5          

Major General William Starke Rosecrans


William and Anne's Family

The first two children born to Anne and William were boys.  The first, William S. Rosecrans, II, died in infancy in 1845 at West Point.  A second son James Addison also died as an infant between 1845 and 1848. 

Adrian Louis Rosecrans

Adrian Louis was born May 28, 1849 in Newport, Rhode Island.  He was educated at Mt. St. Mary's College in Cincinnati and at Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. 

Following college, Adrian worked with his father at a mine company near       Stockton, California. 

In 1867, his spiritual reading so affected his life he moved to New York City and entered the Paulists.  His classmates were Walter Elliott (a Union veteran),
Thomas Verney Robinson (a Confederate veteran), Augustus Brady, and Algernon Brown (a recent arrival from England).

Father Adrian

Father Adrian Rosecrans was ordained a Paulist priest, May 25, 1872.  Never a healthy man, the rigors of missions took a toll on his health.  He contacted malaria in May 1874.  Father Adrian regained his health enough go on the 1874-75 mission to California  with Deshon, a friend of his father's from West Point days.

Father Adrian was a gifted writer and an articulate speaker.  In 1875, he fell ill again, retired from mission work and began to write for The Catholic World.  During this time,  he started a biography of the General but did not finish it.

Mary Louise Rosecrans

Mary Louise was born to William and Anne Rosecrans in Newport, Rhode Island.  in 1851.  Her childhood was spent in Cincinnati where her uncle Father Sylvester H. Rosecrans was a priest and later the  President of St. Mary's College which was next door

Mary went to school at the convent run by the Brown County Ursulines near Cincinnati.  After completing her studies, she became Sister St. Charles and a professor in the school in 1875.  She contracted tuberculosis in 1877 and died in just three years  after being an Ursuline novitate.

Lily (Elizabeth) Rosecrans          

Lily Elizabeth was born April 21, 1854, in Cincinnati, Ohio, right after her father resigned from military service.  She remembered her uncle Sylvester visiting their home as a child.  She made her home with her parents until her Washington marriage to  Joseph Kemp Toole in 1890. 

Joseph, a lawyer, had been in congress with the General and was very interested in both mining and railroads and how they would

Joseph Toole

influence Montana.  He was the first and fourth governor of Montana.  Joseph build a home for his bride. Read about Lily's homes.

Lily and Joseph became the parents of Rosecrans Toole, born 1891, Edwin Warren Toole, born 1893 and Joseph Porter Toole born 1896.

Joseph died March 11, 1929, in Helena and was buried in Resurrection Cemetery.  Lily began to divide her time between Montana and California where her brother Carl resided.  Lily died November 29, 1939, in Los Angeles, California, and was buried in Montana with her husband.

Anna Dolores, aka Anita Rosecrans

Anna Dolores was born in July 1857 in Wheeling, (West) Virginia.  She was the carefree playful child who loved the outdoors, animals, and sports.  She was a high spirited child and always a favorite.  She also had a great taste for books and read David Copperfield  when she was six.  While all of her childhood was happy, she especially loved the time the family lived in Cincinnati at "Roccbella."

Uncle Sylvester was president of Mt. St. Mary's Seminary which was practically next door.  He was a devoted uncle who managed to visit his nieces and nephews every day often romping with them like a little boy.  He would tell them stories and  teach them to sing.  In the winter he brought books from the seminary library and read them aloud so all the children heard all of Dickens', several of Bulwer's, Washington Irving's and numerous short stories and poems of leading authors as well as books on travels.  Father Rosecrans got Anna to read the many volume work on The Lives of the Queens of England.

Once while their father was in California, there was a miserable looking old man who came very often for help and they thought he might belong to a gang.  Seeing him approach one evening the Bishop remarked:  "It is all right to give him food this time, but that man ought to have cold water thrown on him. "  No sooner had Anna heard this, than she disappeared, and several minutes later, the tramp, who was seated on the kitchen doorstep, just beginning his supper, was surprised by a perfect deluge of water from the second story.  Anna having given a quick literal interpretation of her uncle's advice.

When Anna was young girl, the family went to Mexico.  There she became fluent in Spanish. 

Anna also went to the school at the convent run by the Brown County Ursulines. She added French and German to her Spanish and studied music. Upon graduation she continued her music studies and enjoyed life with her many friends.  After the death of her brother, Father Rosecrans and her sister Mary, an Ursuline novitiate, Anna decided she should make some grand sacrifice.  She got permission from her parents to enter the Ursuline Convent in Brown County, Ohio where she became a nun and a teacher.   Her health failed and she asked to be released of her vows and went to live with her parents as Anita.

She frequently spent long periods of time with her sister's family in Montana. but would return to Washington D.C. with her parents.  After the death of her mother, she stayed with her father and served as his hostess in Washington  D.C. and then in California.  She authored children's book and started a biography of her father.

Following her father's death, Anita went to school to learn shorthand.  She was happy when she became the stenographer for her brother-in-law, Governor Toole. in Montana When she died of a bad cold on February 19, 1903,  in Montana, the Montana House and Senate closed for her funeral which was held in the First Baptist Church where she played the organ for the past year.

Carl Frederic Rosecrans

Carl was born in 1861 in Cincinnati.  He moved with his father when even possible.  In 1869 the family moved to California which became home base for the rest of his life.  He went to St. Ignatius College in San Francisco.

He married Lillian Teresa McManman (or McManan) who was born in Wisconsin in October 1862.  They became the parents of Carmelita E. born 1886 and William Starke Rosecrans, III, born March 13, 1889.

Carl shared his father's love of mining and railroads and helped run his father's businesses.  With his home base in California, he spent a lot of time in Mexico supervising the family holdings.  He became an oil tycoon and ran the ranchero.

Gardena, San Pedro, Redondo were joined by railroad to Los Angeles through Carl's efforts.  His friends said Carl was know for his generosity but he preferred to make his many donations anonymously.  Anyone who ask him for help, received it.

Carl died suddenly on December 2, 1926 of heart failure in his office with his son,  William S. Rosecrans III. William S, Rosecrans III  earned his bachelor and master's degrees from St. Vincent's College which became Loyola University. He married Elizabeth Helm. they lived in Hermosa, Los Angeles County where William was a rancher 1920 and 30s. In 1922 who also entered the oil business He was already working with his father when he died.   

After Carl's death, Carmelita and her mother Lillian continued to live at 840 Rosecrans Avenue.  In 1940 William and Elizabeth moved into the Rosecrans Avenue house and William managed the ranch., oil business and land development business.  He owned and was president of William S. Rosecrans, Inc., and Rosecrans' Farms, Inc.
Carl's and Lillian's Marker       Carl's widow, Lillian, died in L.A. July 5, 1941.

When William died on July 28, 1965, his obituary in the Los Angeles Times  listed the many facets of his life and showed the influence of his father and grandfather. William served on the Loyola Board of Regents and was vice chairman of the Claremont College Board of Fellows at the time of his death.  He held honorary doctorates from Loyola and Claremont Graduate School.  He was director of the Crocker-Citizens National Bank and former chairman of the State Board of Forestry and the Los Angeles Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

Carmelita married Majl Ewing.  Known for her charitable acts, Carmelita died January 30, 1969

Carl and Lillian are buried in Calvary Cemetery in Los Angeles County, California with Carmelita, William and his wife Elizabeth.  There are no known offspring to the family.

Markers in Calvary Cemetery


Charlotte Rosecrans

Charlotte Rosecrans,  was born in Yellow Springs, Ohio, where the family resided with Mrs. Scammon while their husbands were fighting. The family caught whooping cough. The General was fighting in Mississippi when he received word that his wife was better but the baby Charlotte had died.


Rosecrans Moves to California

With the Civil War behind him, Rosecrans decided to get his finances in order and then bring charges of conduct unbecoming an officer against Grant.  Back in civilian life the General discovered his partners had frozen him out of the refinery in Cincinnati so  he went to California to concentrate on mining and railroads.  He often kept several projects going at the same time.

Following a hero's welcome of bands, fireworks and a parade to honor him, o
n July 30, 1865, Major General Rosecrans gave a speech in the Occidental Hotel at Bush and Montgomery streets in San Francisco.  Following his declaration of love for the great free republic and challenging all to maintain its honor and its flag to transmit its glorious legacy to our children.  He urged the people to see that the moral, intellectual, material and political development of the nation be worthy of the resources and institutions with which Providence blessed it.

At 9 p.m. Rosecrans stood on the balcony over the front door of the hotel and addressed a crowd of 10,000 people gathered to see him.  He noted "We are a government based upon principles as firm as truth and as lasting as eternity. . . . I have no doubt our government will extend a cordial sympathy and warm endorsement of all republics on the globe.  Mexico is a republic - we must recognize her as such."

Rosecrans continued, "I want to see one or more iron bands extending across this great metropolis of the Pacific with the distant shores of Maine.  I want to hear the shrill whistle of the locomotive wake up the echoes of the Rocky Mountains and the solitudes of the great interior desert."

Mark Twain happened to be writing in San Francisco then and when Rosecrans left town aboard the "Colorado", Twain wrote about it in his column Steamer Departures on November 1st, saying, "And off goes General Rosecrans, without ever doing anything to give a paper a chance to abuse him.  He has behaved himself, and kept quiet, and avoided scandalous meddling with the Oakland Seminaries and paid his board in the most aggravating manner.  Let him go."


Southern Pacific Railroad

In 1865 Rosecrans was one of the 11 incorporators of the Southern Pacific. With the completion of the Union Pacific his stock became valuable. Because he was often gone and did not trust his partners, Rosecrans hired a judge to watch out for his interests. The other stockholders issued a levy against the stock and advertised it in a small newspaper with only 200 readers - the judge was not one so Rosecrans was not alerted, he did not pay the fee so his stock was auctioned and his partners bought him out.


Railroad to San Diego

In 1867 Rosecrans heard Alonzo Horton speak about the future of San Diego. He was fascinated and made arrangements to visit the area.

Following his tour, Rosecrans told Horton the land could be very valuable if a railroad was built east through Jacumba Pass. Horton was so pleased be gave Rosecrans Lot 70 bordered by F, G, 5th and 6th Streets - one city block of San Diego. He helped form the San Diego Gila Southern Pacific and Atlantic Railroad company.     Rosecrans was appointed president.      He soon found the peace time government was not as interested

Alonzo Horton

in railroads as the wartime administrations had been. 

He tried to convince the Kansas Pacific railroad to go to San Diego instead of San Francisco but they would not change their California destination.  The San Diego and Gila lobbyist in Washington was very impressed with the directors (John C. Fremont and Col. Thomas Sedgwick) of  the Memphis., El Paso and Pacific Railroad  who were soliciting funds to run their line to California.  Rosecrans discovered the Memphis railroad did not have the funds and was soon bankrupt leaving the San Diego and Gila line scurrying to protect itself.  Through several years the railroad was on and off and Rosecrans went to Mexico leaving the railroad in the hands of others.

In 1869, Rosecrans sold his land back to Horton for $2000 gold coin. 


Appointed Minister to Mexico

On July 7, 1868 President Johnson appointed Rosecrans Ambassador to Mexico

The French had overthrown the Mexican government in 1863 putting Maximilian as Emperor of Mexico. and were planning to invade the United States through the Mexican border. In 1866 the U.S. sent troops to guard the border along the Rio Grand River. Eventually in 1867 Maximilian was executed and Benito Juarez was once again made president of Mexico. Rosecrans was sent in to help the country get back on its feet. He felt Mexico needed "peace, immigration and railroads" to succeed. He began a correspondence with France’s Emperor Louis Napoleon III (Napoleon Boneparte’s nephew) which was to last a lifetime.

Portrait painted by  Samuel Woodson Price in 1868

Rosecrans proposed payment of the Mexican debt through land and railroad grants since the country was bankrupt.  He proposed to link Mexico City with New York through El Paso and to Guadalupe to Acapulco and Mazatlan.  Rosecrans and Robert Symon bought property inland from Tuxpon where the planned terminus would be located.  Acting on behalf of a powerful railroad consortium, he sought a railroad concession from El Paso to Guaymas for the Mexican National Railroad.

Rosecrans and his principal associates in Mexican real estate Brink Symon and William Mackintosh, bought the Yrriate family rights to Hacienda Estaca, an estate of several hundred acres, for a colonization project.  Seeing an infusion of capital, railroad service and mines, President Juarez  agreed and gave them 2 years of unlimited power to form the [colonization] company.  Rosecrans was given 54 percent of the mineral rights and land concession as personal property.  However Vice President Lerdo opposed the concession ending the deal.  However, Rosecrans did gain part of the grant which he sold years later to others in San Francisco for timber and mining enterprises.

Rosecrans family journeyed to Mexico with him.  While they was there his mother-in-law, Eliza Hegerman, died in Mexico. 

His bother, Sylvester, was named Bishop of the Diocese of Columbus in 1868.

Rosecrans wanted to uplift the Mexicans, their economy and their civilization, noted Hart but most of his backer were in for their own gain and considered the Mexicans inferior. 

In 1869 bondholders and railroad men lobbied the U. S. government for help in gaining their concessions and collecting on Mexican debts.  Brink, a disgruntled bondholder and supporter of the more ambitious railway project promoted by Rosecrans met with President Grant, Secretary of State Hamilton Fish and Chief Justice Chase.  As a result Grant invested.  Later Carlos Merighi, one of the men backing Rosecrans also interviewed Grant and Secretary of War John A. Rawlins. He warned Rawlins that Vice-President Lerdo, being a bad man, disliked Rosecrans and was opposed to the Americans.  Lerdo did oppose the shore to shore railroads on the grounds Mexico would lose its independence.

Rosecrans was also interested in mining in Mexico.  He could have bought the Mina Blanco Y Colorado mine in Sonora, Mexico, for $300,000.  The following year it sold for $1,000,000 and three years later for $2,000,000 in 1881.


White Sulphur Springs Manifesto

In August 1868, Rosecrans met with Robert E. Lee and other ex-confederates to work for unity and support in the upcoming elections. The White Sulphur Springs Manifesto is featured as a mural at the Greenbrier Hotel in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. 

The newspaper was quick to point out that General Rosecrans was not in West Virginia on Mexican business but on a railroad matter. 

A letter from General Robert E. Lee  to Rosecrans tells how the South has accepted the terms of the surrender, abolished slavery and is treating the the former slaves with kindness realizing they are important to the economy of the south.

 Rosecrans was doing his best to pull the nation together again.

Letter of Introduction to
      Secretary of the Interior
Throughout the remainder of his life, General Rosecrans wrote many letters supporting veterans looking for positions or pensions

Buys Land in Los Angeles

In 1869 President Grant terminated Rosecrans appointment to Mexico. Rosecrans was the first to apply for the concession to built a narrow gauge railroad and a telegraph system across Mexico

 He built a comfortable house in San Raphael and in 1869 Rosecrans purchased 16,000 acres of the Rancho San Pedro for $2.50 an acre which became known as "Rosecrans Rancho"

The Gardena Valley News ran an article by James Osborne about the early Rosecrans' home.  It is worth your time to read it.

Though this 25-square-mile tract of land was flat and fertile, it was considered to be of no value, possibly because it lacked springs.  In 1870, Rosecrans sold part of the  land $50 per acre and divided into parcels which became Gardena.  Still the developers did not realize how valuable the land would one day become.  See map showing the location of this property.  Los Angeles circles the entire area.  Rosecrans kept the Rancho Sausal Redondo, near Los Angeles.


The Great Decliner

When a man is as popular with the people as Rosecrans, it is inevitable he will be wanted as a candidate for public office.   Rosecrans had charisma, a military presence, and multitude of followers who served beneath him in the Civil War and would still stand with him.  It is interesting to note that while many in the Civil War were concerned that Rosecrans had political aspirations his life shows he did not. He was one of the most popular generals of the Civil War and could easily have won an election but declined to run.

The following are documented events in which Rosecrans was ask to run for public office:

President or Vice President

In James Gilmore's biography of Lincoln he tells of Horace Greeley sending him to interview Rosecrans about serving as Lincoln's running mate.  Rosecrans said they are mistaken about Mr. Lincoln.  He is in this right place.  I am in a position to know and if you live you will see that I am right about him."

Lincoln probably did not know about the inquiry made above but he probably knew Garfield telegraphed Rosecrans offering him to opportunity to be Lincoln's running mate.  Rosecrans was a staunch Democrat and not sure he could support all the Republican ideas so he hesitated before sending his reply and the position was offered to Johnson.  Garfield never did get Rosecrans' reply telegram.

Ohio Governor in 1866 and 1869

The Union Party of Ohio nominated him to run for Governor of Ohio in 1866,  The Democrats ask him to run for Governor of Ohio in 1869.  He declined both.  Besides he was moving to California.
Directorship of the San Francisco Mint

He turned it down in 1867.   This is one position he later wished he had taken because he developed definite ideas to for improvement of the system including the high rate of interest charged on Government bonds, and the idea that bank notes should be paid in coin upon demand.

California Governor in 1868

The Democratic Party nominated Rosecrans to run for Governor of California in 1868

Mayor of San Francisco in 1876

Rosecrans was asked to run as the working man's candidate but declined.

Congressman from Nevada in 1876

The Democrats wanted Rosecrans to run for Congress in 1876 but he declined.

Although Rosecrans chose not to run for public office, his wisdom was often sought.  In 1867 he attended a Union Party meeting in California and was forced to speak to the group by public demand.  He made it clear he was interested in the reconstruction of the south rather than the local interests of the party.  The political party system as we  know it today was very different from the mid 1840s through the war years.  People switched parties and parties changed as people worked for position in the governments.  However this article shows his continued compassion for the ordinary citizens inconvenienced by war.  Remember he went back to help those in western Virginia when the states divided and later he will help Nevada.  His strong religious conviction which is often criticized was probably guiding him at these times.

Co-Author of "Popular Government"

 In 1878 the booklet, Popular Government:  a new and simple plan to make ours effectively a government "of the people, by the people and for the people," was written by Josiah Riley and William Starke Rosecrans. It was written as ideas for amendments to the constitution of Nevada. Much of the booklet deals with election reforms which are now used throughout the states.


San Jose Mining Company in Nevada

The geologist in Rosecrans was eager to get back into mining. He formed a partnership with Bart O’Connor and they formed the San Jose Mining Company in Egan Canyon, Nevada, in 1872. Once a Civil War army post had been there but all that was left was a Civil War Cemetery. They built a 20 stamp mill run on water power and saw a return of $400.000 on their $250.000 investment when the mine closed in 1883.


Railroads in Mexico

1872 found the General back in Mexico working on railroad legislation. For the next couple of years Rosecrans planned narrow gauge railroads for Mexico. He and his son Carl worked on these through much of the rest of his life.  Apparently Rosecrans put some pressure on his friend President Rutherford B. Hayes to consider annexation of parts of Mexico.

Safety Powder Company

After Alfred Nobel got a patent for dynamite in 1868, mining took on a new roll. Powder companies sprang up all over California. Rosecrans developed a patented fuse cutter.   In 1875 he opened the Safety Powder Company in Los Angeles to manufacture blasting powder and mine blasting caps. In 1878 when competitors set their cost at 1/4 of Rosecrans’ cost, he decided it was time to leave the business.


Veterans' Groups

Following the Civil War, veterans groups began to organize and hold reunions. In addition to the camaraderie these groups worked for benefits for the soldiers and their families.

The first Society of the Cumberland met in Cincinnati in February 6, 1868.  General Thomas served as president of the Society.  Rosecrans sent his regrets in a letter speaking fondly of all his friends who would be there. 

The Third Reunion of the Society of the Cumberland was held in Indianapolis.  General Rosecrans addressed the group. His speech begins on page 72.

General Thomas died before the Fourth Reunion in November 1870 in Cleveland.  General Rosecrans, who had been the first Vice President  was elected President by acclamation. 

Postcard of R. B. Hayes birthplace from Delaware County Genealogical Society website

When Rutherford B. Hayes, who was also born in Delaware County, became President of the United States he held a reunion of the 23rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry at his home in Fremont, Ohio on September 14, 1877. Rosecrans  went to  Ohio  hoping  to  be  assigned  the  directorship  

or perhaps a ministry to another country.  President Hayes introduced him saying "Among the men of Ohio who were most distinguished, perhaps there is none more so for personal gallantry than the general I am about to introduce, by his courage and his personal heroism saved the day in those great decisive battles.  He was the first Colonel, and with pride the 23rd men always said it, he was the best man of the 23rd Ohio."  No appointments were offered.


Death Hits the Rosecrans Family

Adrian Louis Rosecrans, 1876

1876-79 were very hard on the entire Rosecrans family. Rosecrans’s oldest surviving son, Adrian Louis Rosecrans who had followed in his uncle Sylvester’s footsteps and was ordained a priest in the Paulist movement in 1872, had gotten  malaria.  Father Adrian's health continued to decline, he died at the home of Thomas O'Connor in 1876 at the age of 26, just four years after his ordination..  It is interesting to note Thomas' son Charles sold his Lake George estate to the Paulists and was the attorney for Confederate President Jefferson Davis when he was tried for treason.

His uncle, Bishop Rosecrans, gave his Requiem Mass in St. Paul the Apostle Church in New York. He is buried in the crypt under the church.

Mary Louise Rosecrans, 1877

Just a year after her brother died, Mary Louise Rosecrans, known as Sister Charlene, died of tuberculosis in the convent of the Brown County Ursulines at the age of 26.

Bishop Sylvester Horton Rosecrans, 1878

The Bishop and the General had always been close even though their choice of vocations were very different.  When the General was fighting Sterling Price at Corinth in the Civil War, someone commented about this to Father Sylvester who replied, "While the General is wielding the sword of the flesh, I trust that I am using the sword of the Spirit.  He is fighting the rebels, and I am fighting the spirits of darkness.  There is a difference:  he is fighting with Price,  while I an fighting without price."

The General was never wounded in battle but Sylvester was shot while serving the Lord in Cincinnati.  He was a member of the faculty of Mt. St. Mary Seminary in Price Hill.  One evening while returning home from a trip to St. Peter's Cathedral , Father Sylvester was held up and wounded by a footpad as he walked up Warsaw Avenue hill.  Perhaps the thug recognized his victim as a clergyman because he ran away.  Fortunately for Father Rosecrans, the bullet wound was not serious and he calmly proceeded on his way to the Seminary where he was given first aid and medical attention.

After the war, when Sylvester was appointed the first Bishop of the Columbus Diocese, the General was pleased to be able to go over the plans for the new St. Joseph’s Cathedral to be built in Columbus, Ohio. Many of the General's  suggestions were incorporated into the facility when the corner stone was laid in 1868.

An early 1900s  postcard from George Campbell at
 The building stands at the corner of Broad and Fifth Streets in downtown Columbus.

Designing the cathedral had been a small part in the overall construction.  Sometimes three years went by without any work on the facility.  When it was completed, there was a major debt but Bishop kept telling his following God would provide. The Bishop deprived himself of all but the necessities for life and his health began to fail.
During the dedication ceremony in 1878, Sylvester began to hemorrhage and died the following day with only his gold watch which he gave to the General and two coins to his name. He is buried in the crypt of the Cathedral.


Congressman from California

Finally in 1880, the Great Decliner changed his mind and ran as a Democrat for the Forty-seventh Congress from California and won 21,005 against 19,496 of his Republican opponent  He was reelected in 1882 and was appointed to Chair the Committee on Military Affairs.

Grant’s pension came before the house for a vote and Rosecrans voted against it calling it a ‘proposition to reward Grant for his distinguished military service.’ Rosecrans said he could not vote for it because when ‘true history is written that service would be pared down to very different dimensions.’ Despite his objections the bill passed.
William Loses His Beloved Wife
On Christmas 1883, Ann Eliza Hegeman Rosecrans died, probably of cancer.  She was buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery in Washington. D. C. The General's friend Lt. Col. Julius Garesché is buried nearby. She had out lived five of their children and did not live to see the addition of any grandchildren.

Grand Army of the Republic

Another veterans' group which formed after the Civil Was was known as G.A.R.  General Rosecrans who had often kept his staff up at night discussing theology during the war, helped found the Grand Army of the Republic. He was always proud of this organization which  stood for Fraternity, Charity and Loyalty and often signed his letter "In F. C. and L."

The first labor union, Knights of Labor formed during the end of the century and was very attractive to many Catholics.  The Catholic Church was telling its members not to join any 'secret societies' since it viewed the rites of these groups as substitute religions.  When Rome's inclination was to decline membership in the union, Cardinal Gibbons, the Archbishop of Baltimore intervened and wrote to Rome requesting that he be allowed to monitor activities of the Knights of Labor.  Veterans became concerned about their membership in G.A.R.

In 1884, when the group held its meeting in Portland, Maine, the Commander-in-Chief John S. Kountz addressed the G.A.R..  He told of appointing a committee, consisting of Comrades W. S. Rosecrans, California; M. T. McMahon, New York and J. C. Linehan, New Jersey, to lay the nature and work of the Grand Army of the Republic before the proper Catholic Ecclesiastical Authorities of the United States, and the chairman, Comrade Rosecrans, had reported to him:  "That in fulfillment of this duty, I corresponded with the other members of the committee, and thereupon addressed letters to the Primate, the Most Rev. Archbishop Gibbons, of Baltimore, and archbishop Ryan, of Philadelphia stating to them than while we do not expect to ask any endorsement or ecclesiastical approval of our Society, we were anxious to have its nature so understood that it might be known to all confessors that Catholics might, lawfully and with good conscience, be members thereof.

Rosecrans noted, "In response to their kindly suggestions, I furnished ample explanations, written and printed, showing that our association was for the noble objects of cultivating among its members the spirit of Fraternity, Charity and Loyalty, and to its nature temporary.  I also conversed with other archbishops, bishops, and theologians and have the pleasure to inform you that it was the opinion of everyone with whom I conferred that the Society  of the Grand army of the Republic, as now organized and conducted, is not, in the ecclesiastical meaning of the phrase, “a secret society.” and that Catholics may, with all good conscience, belong to it.

"I congratulate our Order that, in the opinion of such dispassionate judges, we have builded, as we intended, an association so broad, liberal and just that it may be worthy the great Republic for which we periled our lives, and for which so many shed their blood.  I congratulate you, also, for happily having undertaken the good work of eliciting these expressions of opinion, so important to the honor and future welfare of our Order." W. S. Rosecrans.

Kountz went on to say the Church of the United Brethern, in Conference, decided that there is no objection to their members uniting with the G.A.R. and he was advised that the United Presbyterians have left the matter to the conscience of their individual members.



Return to Delaware County

Photo from the Delaware County Gealogical Society Website

In May 1884 General Rosecrans journeyed to Delaware, Ohio, for the Decoration Day Ceremony at the Soldiers Monument in front of the Courthouse. John Beatty who was also an honored guest noted, "The General is in splendid health, and was in the best of humor. He said he did not propose to make a speech at Delaware, but would simply give a free and easy talk to his old neighbors, and went on to say that he remembered the town very well." Beatty told of the caravan going from the train that noon.

"The town was thronged with people. The number was estimated at fifteen thousand. The procession was formed and the carriages ready to start when I arrived. A seat was given me beside General Robinson, the Republican candidate for secretary of state, and in the same carriage were Judge McWray and Carey Paul, members of the reception committee. Genl Rosecrans occupied the foremost carriage with Judge T C Jones."

Carey Paul is the great-great-grandfather of Tom Paul who portrays General W. S. Rosecrans today.

15th Annual Reunion of Graduates of West Point

On June 13, 1884, Rosecrans addressed the group of former West Point graduates in New York.  The program contains the list of members and obituaries for those who have died since the last meeting

History Sells Tobacco

General Rosecrans was so popular his life story and picture were used to sell items to the public.  This advertising card for the Duke Tobacco Company was published around 1887.  While it has some errors in the story, it made a nice collectible for the children of veterans who remembered the commander of the Army of the Cumberland fondly.  Collectible cards were popular in the 1940s.

In 1889, a bill was introduced into the House to restore Rosecrans' rank and place on the retired list.  Although some were in opposition because he had refused to vote for Grant's retirement, the majority including many Republicans still held him in high esteem.  Republican David Henderson of Iowa noted, "We can afford to forget what General Rosecrans said.  we cannot afford to forget what he did."  The bill concluded by saying it would be a "solace to him in his declining years to be made the recipient of this evidence of the country's gratitude.  It passed on February 22, 1898.

Register of the Treasury

Silver Certificate signed by W. S. Rosecrans

On June 8, 1885 President Cleveland appointed him Register of the Treasury. Rosecrans thrived on his life in Washington.  Martha Washington is the only woman to appear on paper money.  She appeared on the front of the $1 silver certificate in 1886 and 1891.  She was moved to the back of the $1 silver certificate in 1896. Rosecrans had resigned in June 19, 1893, due to ill health. 

Until his health failed, Rosecrans enjoyed life in Washington. 

One young man who caught his eye, was working hard for statehood for Montana. Naturally talk revolved around the railroads and mining and Governor Joseph Kemp Toole was invited to the Rosecrans home.  Lily Rosecrans and Joseph Toole became an item and married in May of 1890.

Anita left the convent and moved to Washington to serve as his hostess


Universities Honored the General

University of California elected him to their Board of Regents, 1884-1885.

In 1889, Georgetown University bestowed the honorary Doctor of Laws degree upon General Rosecrans for their centennial celebration. 

The oldest most prestigious award given to American Catholics is the Laetare Medal from Notre Dame University.  First given in 1883,  the award is given to an American Catholic "whose genius has ennobled the arts and sciences, illustrated the ideals of the church and enriched the heritage of humanity."  Bishop Montgomery brought the award to General Rosecrans on the fourth Sunday of Lent, March 15, 1896.


Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park

The Society of the Army of the Cumberland wanted an site to honor this great battle but they did not want to honor just the Union army but both armies.  Beginning in May 1888, with a site visit by Ferdinand Van Derveer and Henry Van Ness Boynton, the purchase of land.  A confederate veteran from Nathan Bedford Forrest's Camp at Chattanooga moved the General William S. Rosecrans be elected chairman by acclamation of the park committee. The motion passed.

On the morning of September 19, 1889, General Rosecrans rode the train to the battlefield of Chickamauga where he had suffered his defeat 25 years before.  Today "Old Rosy" was a hero. Today, he would address thousands of veterans from both sides of the conflict. "People shall come and visit," he said, "with the interest due to the greatness of the events which occurred on this battleground. It took great men to win that battle, but it takes greater men to wipe away all the ill feeling which naturally flows out of such a contest. "

On the following day, General Rosecrans and former Confederate General John B. Gordon rode a train to Crawfish Springs, mounted steeds and made a grand entry before a crowd of 13,000 as part of the momentum that less than a year later would culminate in the creation of the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park.  Veterans from both sides of the conflict supported the effort.  When on August 19, 1890 President Benjamin Harrison, himself a Union veteran who fought in Georgia, signed the bill establishing this first Civil War battlefield park, Congress fully recognized this joint Blue and Gray effort.

In 1891, the Society of the Cumberland met in the Chittenden Hotel in Columbus, Ohio.  General Rosecrans has led the group to raise statues to honor the Civil War Generals. To date the Society has raised money for a statue to General Thomas and one to General Garfield which are in Washington D.C.  The 600 members of the Society are raising money for a statue for General Sheridan .

In 1892 and the encampment of the Grand Army in Washington, the electricity failed.  When

former President Hayes introduced General Rosecrans he spoke with such a low voice, he could not be heard. He told his former soldiers, "I speak as loud as i can.".  Someone in the crowd yelled they wanted to see him so Hayes lit a match and held it near the General's face which seemed to glow in the small light.  A sustained roar of applause shook the tent  as the soldiers gave their last public salute to their commander.

The General's Health Was Getting Worse

The General resigned from the Treasury on June 19, 1893 and went home to California to raise wheat and fruit on Rancho Sausal Redondo.   Since Carl and his family were living in the main house on the ranch, Anita and her father moved into the Redondo Hotel.  Anita served as the General's hostess while writing children’s books and the General’s biography which she never finished.

Many things on the ranch had been left to manage themselves while the General was in Washington and Carl in Mexico.  The General had sold much of his original acres to finance his mining ventures.  With him absent the boundaries became confused so the General convinced the government of Gardenia, a garden community built around the Los Angeles Redondo Railroad to split the cost of a new survey.

When Carl noticed the General seemed lost or just didn't care any more, Carl added an addition to the house and brought the General to live on the ranch.  Once again he seemed to regain his strength and enjoyed long walks through the fields and in the orchards.  Carl's children, William and Carmelita, were a major entertainment.

William remembered his grandfather fondly.  When he was four, he visited his grandfather who told him "Boys don't wear curls" so William went home with his curls in a bag. William became a very good horseman and would ride out to see his grandfather who never failed to challenge him to remember who and what he saw to make the boy aware and to be observant.

Both of the children delighted in the stories of Boney, the General's war horse and the people and places he had been.  William was sure his grandfather never mentioned Grant.

For the last five years of his life, he rarely left the ranch.  Many of his old comrades continued to visit with him.
In February 1898 the General was looking forward to a visit from his namesake eight year old Rosecrans Toole of Montana. While on the journey, the boy became ill in San Francisco and died suddenly of the croup. The family took a three days to ease the shock for the General but he took the death very hard.  He remained rigid for eleven minutes and they thought he was paralyzed.   Making a heroic effort to control himself, the General seemed to rally and spoke of the child.  The next day there was a complete physical, and for the first time mental collapse.  He did not appear to recognize anyone and remained in that condition for two weeks.  Just before his death he was entirely conscious and the end was peaceful.

Taps for General Rosecrans

Two weeks after Rosecrans Toole died, a  Los Angeles newspaper carried the headline "Taps" Sounds for Rosecrans.  The General died March 11, 1898, on Rancho Sausal Redondo in Redondo Beach, California. His son Carl had been in Mexico but came home to see his ailing father. Carl and Anita were with their father when he died. That evening the Los Angeles City Council met and offered City Hall to the family to use to allow  the remains of the General to lie in state. The San Francisco Call had his obit on March 12. On the 15th, the Call carried a follow-up with some of the messages of condolences  from William McKinley,  General Boyton and his godson, General D. S. Stanley. The General's body was moved on the 15th to lie in state in Los Angeles City Hall where the populace could pay its respects.  Items of interest on display were the bullet ridden flag he carried in battle at Carnifax Ferry and a sword given to him by the people of Cincinnati with the words Rosecrans spoke to the people of Western Virginia:  "My mission among you is that of a fellow citizen charged with the duty by the Government of restoring law and order."  The Los Angeles Times March 15th, had a detailed article on the arrangements for moving his body. On the dead General's breast were pinned medals of the Grand Army, the Loyal Legion and the Army of the Potomac as well as the Laetare Medal.

Drawing from the Los Angeles Times, March 17, 1898

To avoid traffic problems, the casket of the General was quietly moved from city hall to the Cathedral where Right Rev. Bishop Montgomery began the service at 10 a.m.  Following the pontifical requiem mass, Schmidt's requiem mass was performed in its entirety.  During the mass, a procession was forming outside of the church.  When the casket was lifted and carried to the hearse many more than would fit inside the cathedral fell into line.  The Los Angeles Times gave the order of the procession

Federal, county and city offices as well as scores of businesses closed to show their respect.  School sessions were suspended and many children lined the streets along the route of the funeral procession.  Eight active pallbearers consisted of four Union veterans and four Confederate veterans attended the casket.  J.J. Alden of the Los Angeles Street Railway furnished 15 cars with special accommodations for the veterans.

The procession to Rosewood Cemetery ended at 1 p.m.  After Rt. Rev. Bishop Montgomery performed the sad last rites of the Catholic ceremony over the General's remains, the ceremony was turned over to the military.  After all joined in singing the General's favorite hymn, Rock of Ages, Comrade A. C. Shafer  led the military ceremony.  He noted that even though the General's military record is bright with achievements of genius, he was a true friend of humanity.

At the General's request two armies stood at his brier, one in gray and one in blue.  They were invited to shake hands again on sacred soil.  They were directed to the past as a panorama of great scenes to be forgotten.  With fingers pointed heavenward, he bid them see one flag, one country with no South, no North, no East, no West. 

Comrade Shafer read part of the last letter the General wrote dated February 22, 1898 to his comrades in Union Veterans of Los Angeles on the occasion of George Washington's birthday.  He wrote, "to our Brothers of the South, my heart goes out in greeting and sympathy knowing well their dash and gallantry in the face of leaden hail, and their indomitable courage in the face of overwhelming obstacles.  Happily recruited and bound to us in bonds of closest sympathy, would grim war ever again assail us, there will be none more ready 'with arms to strike and souls to dare as quick as far' as those gray-clad heroes and their descendants of the land of waving cotton and the palm.  May an all wise Providence keep you for many years to mingle thus happily together, and transmit to those who follow us the lessons of fraternity, charity, and loyalty to the flag of our great republic. 
                                                                             Your Sincerely,
                                                                             W. S. Rosecrans"                                 

Rosecrans' body was put into a vault provided by the Cemetery Association at Rosedale Cemetery until arrangements can be made to bury him in Arlington or Chickamauga by the Society of the Army of the Cumberland. 

The funeral was the largest attended in Los Angeles to that date.

The General had outlived two of his three brothers, his wife, three sons, two daughters and now a grandson.


Rosecrans Hearse in front St. Vibiana's Cathedral in Los Angeles

Veterans in Funeral Cortege

Snaphots of General Rosecrans Funeral in Los Angeles  from Tom Wolke

  Dead Commander's Memory
      to be appropriately honored
  A Monument Association
      Suggested by his former
      Foes in Arms


We have often said, General Rosecrans was loved and respected by his men, feared by his enemies and disliked by those in power above him.  On March 25, 1898, this article ran in the Los Angeles Times. Note it was a Confederate veteran who suggested the monument.

What became of it?

Major General William Starke Rosecrans
Laid to Rest in Arlington National Cemetery

For over four years, Rosecrans remain in the vault is Rosedale Cemetery in California.  Thousands visited the vault to pay their respects.  One old comrade who had been with him in the Army of the Cumberland and a close friend ever since, ask the Superintendent of the cemetery for permission to look one last time at his fallen chieftain.  He was granted permission and when he saw the General's beloved features he fell on his knees and cried bitterly. 

According to the funeral parlor where his remains were taken in preparation for the trip to Washington very little had to be done to make his body ready.  On May 8th accompanied by his son Carl F. Rosecrans, the General took his last train ride on the Sante Fe to Washington D.C. compliments of Senator Chauncey DePew. 

The officers of the Society of the Army of the Cumberland planned the ceremony.  These men were Gen. D.S.  Stanley, Gen. H. V. Boynton, Maj. John Truedale, U.S.A., Col. J. W. Steele, Maj. Charles E. Belknap, Gen. C. H. Gosvenor, Capt. J. W. Foley, Gen. A. Baird, Gen. T. J. Wood, Gen. W. A. Robinson, and Capt. A. P. Baldwin.

On May 17, 1902,  Major General William Starke Rosecrans was buried in Arlington Nation Cemetery by his comrades in the Society of the Cumberland.   President Theodore Roosevelt spoke at his service.

Major General Rosecrans Interment in National Cemetery

Cavalry escorted Rosecrans Hearse
from Speare's Undertaking Chapel
at 910 F Street, NW
to Arlington Hotel where the
Funeral Cortege went to Arlington
National Cemetery.
Arlington Hotel - postcard
From his Burial in Arlington National Cemetery, May 17, 1902:

Speaker of the House of Representatives David B. Henderson (Henderson had served under Rosecrans at the Battle of Corinth):  "I am not a soldier worshiper, if the only claims of the soldier are marked by human graves or great victories to command the devotion, respect and love of the country.  The soldier's aims must be analyzed and understood, and these must show that he comprehended that for which he fought, and that love of country rose above the ambition to be a great fighter.  The plow is better than the sword; the school-book is a better guide than the work on military tactics; the builder is better than the destroyer;  the maker of homes is better than the maker of graves, and yet if the work of the soldier is to protect the Plow, the School, and the Home, he is entitled to the respect according to the valor of his heart and arm.

... In every position held by General Rosecrans his noble character was manifest.  As a soldier;  as a Member of Congress; as Minister to Mexico; as Register of the Treasury; as an engineer and business man, he showed ability, integrity, and an absolute devotion to the noblest ambitions of the American citizen.

. . .   He was one of the most fearless officers That I ever saw in battle.  He seemed unconscious of danger.  . . . Swinging his sword he called out to us:  "Stand by your flag and country, my men!  How he escaped, God only knows.  It seemed the air was so full of lead, and death was holding high carnival along his pathway, and yet fearless he rode into the very teeth of death, rallying successfully his men for the mighty struggle before them.  That splendid, fearless, heroic dash was the death-knell to the armies of Prince and Van Dorn."

President Theodore Roosevelt at Rosecrans burial:  "Officer and enlisted man stand at the bar of history to be judged not by the differences of rank, but by whether they did their duties in their respective ranks.. . . Doing the duty well is what counts."

General Charles H. Grosvenor of the House Committee and served in the Army of the Cumberland: "No man would hesitate to go where Rosecrans led.".
 . . .   Of Rosecrans' Tullahoma campaign:  "It was a brilliant campaign, grandly planned and successfully executed."

Senator Foraker who served under Rosecrans at Stone's River:  "It was his sound judgment, undismayed bearing, incomparable courage and fearless exposure of his own life that inspired his troops, and gave them the renewed courage and hope that finally won the victory. ... On that bloody field, General Rosecrans gained confidence and admiration of every man in the Army of the Cumberland down to the humblest private in the ranks.  From that time forward that army was literally his to command."

Washington Gardner
of Michigan a private soldier under Rosecrans:  "He believed that soldiers well fed and well clothed were better fitted to endure and to fight than the ill clad and poorly fed.  His men knew and appreciated their general's care for them and when, as during the siege of Chattanooga, they were reduced to scant rations, there was no murmur of complaint."         . . . "As a general he brought things to pass.  He had the ability to plan and successfully execute programs."   "Rosecrans never fought a losing battle, unless Chickamauga be so regarded.  On the sanguinary field the contest was waged for Chattanooga as the stake.  It is true the field was lost, but the town was held and no flag but the Stars and Stripes ever floated above it from the day the Union Army under Rosecrans entered."

Society of the Army of the Cumberland

Society of the Army of the Cumberland held its Thirty-third meeting in Chattanooga September 19-20, 1905.  The General's comrades discussed the pros and cons of an equestrian statue of a monument to honor their leader.  Should it be in the cemetery where a plank marked his grave or in a park in Washington for everyone to see? The minutes show the heated discussion and the final vote which sent the decision to committee.  So far I have not discovered why the statue was never built.  Is the marker in Arlington from his comrades or his family?

Few man have been higher regarded by the privates he commanded or the generals of the opposing army.
His intelligence, compassion, leadership and patriotism held him above most men.


Carl Frederick was interested in mining and railroads and worked with his father in California and Mexico. He married Lillian and they had a daughter Carmelita, who married a Ewing, and a son William S. Rosecrans. Carl also started his father’s biography but never finished it.  Carl had taken over running the family businesses after his father's health began to fail.  Carl continued running the family businesses after his death.

Anita learned stenography and became the secretary for her brother-in-law, Governor Toole. When she died in 1903, they closed the government offices in her honor.  The biography she started of her father was also never finished.


Community Honors Hometown Native

Rosecrans Display Wall in the General Rosecrans School.  Photo by Lenny Lepalo

In October 2009, the Big Walnut Local Schools Board named the new school General Rosecrans Elementary School in his honor. The school located at 301 South Miller Drive in Sunbury was dedicated on August 23, 2010.
A Statue to Honor this Great Man

Major General William Starke Rosecrans is the only upper echelon Civil War general without a statue to honor him. This oversight needs to be rectify as Ohio celebrates the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War.

When the Rosecrans Headquarters committee of the Big Wlanut Area Historical Society disbanded, Bill Comisford became chairman of  committee of members of the Big Walnut Area Historical Society who continued to raising money to build an equestrian statue of the General which will be put on the glacial errata on Sunbury Square.

Alan Cottrill's equestrian Statue of Major General William Starke Rosecrans was Dedicated September 28, 2013 on the Village Square in Sunbury, Ohio.

Goto Part 1:  Genealogy, Ancestors and Youth
Goto Part 2:  Cadet at West Point, Corps of Engineers,
                      Marriage, Religious Conversion
Goto Part 3:  Cincinnati as a civilian, Architect
                      and Consulting Engineer, Inventor
Goto Part 4:   The Civil War  
         Part 5:   Post Civil War  
Goto Part 6:  Equestrian Statue of William S. Rosecrans on his
                        horse Boney



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