General Rosecrans Returns to Delaware County, Ohio

"The Diary of John Beatty"
printed in Ohio History, Volume 59, pages 175, 177 and 178


     Tuesday, May 27, 1884 Received an invitation to day from the

      committee having in charge the Decoration Ceremonies at Delaware on

      the 30th instant to be present on the evening of the 29th at a reception

      to be given General W. S. Rosecrans, but I replied that I was unable to

      leave home on that day. The General was born in Delaware County

      and will be the living hero of the occasion and very justly, for he

      has rendered great service to the country and won for it a number of

      important victories. The early engagement of the war known as the

      battle of Rich Mountain was a small affair when contrasted with later

      contests, but it gave to McClellan his great start as a commanding officer,

      and for it he was indebted wholly to Rosecrans. At Iuka, Corinth and

      Stone River the latter acquitted himself most honorably. In the advance

      on the fortified position of the rebel army at Tullahoma and in crossing

      the Tennessee and flanking Bragg out of Chattanooga, he displayed the

      highest quality of generalship, and had he won the battle of Chickamauga,

      he would have become the idol of the nation and either the president of

      the United States or the General of the Army. The misinterpretation of

     an order on the part of Wood, or possibly a misapprehension of the

     condition of the Right Wing on the part of Rosecrans, or probably

     the failure to push his army into Chattanooga and fight the battle

     there, spoiled one of the finest reputations of the war and left one of

     its ablest leaders to a position in the hearts of the people far below that

     occupied by many men inferior to him in point of military sagacity

      and service rendered.

A footnote went on to say: 

William Starke Rosecrans graduated from West Point in 1842. He attained
the rank of major general in the Civil War. He was minister to Mexico, 1868-69;
a Democratic representative in congress from California, 1881-85; and register of
the treasury, 1885-93. In 1869 the Democrats of Ohio nominated him for governor.
Rosecrans, who was then in California, declined the nomination, and in his letter
to the committee he took sharp issue with the principles of the Democratic platform
by demanding equal rights for Negroes and the immediate resumption of gold
payments on government obligations.


Thursday, May 29, 1884 Called at the Neil this morning to see Genl Rosecrans who is on his way to Delaware to attend the soldiers meeting which is to take place on tomorrow. 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 where from the log cabin in which he was born near Berkshire, Delaware County, he heard the wolves howl, and that they had good strong voices, and that when he asked his mother what they were she told him they were gray wolves. Since that-the short space of not an old man's life, the forest has been cut down, and the ground cleared, and productive farms made, and I presume there has not
been either wolf, bear or deer in Delaware County for the last thirty five
or forty years.  What has become of the wild beasts so abundant when Rosecrans was a child? Have they been exterminated or gradually driven westward before the advancing tide of civilization?

Friday, May 30, 1884 Went to Delaware on the noon train. 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 and others. Govr
     Hoadly on horseback accompanied by his staff also mounted and in
     uniform headed the column, and the march about the city occupied
     perhaps an hour. When we returned to the court house in front of
     which the monument to the soldiers of Delaware County is located,
     the Governor, Genl Rosecrans and others were conducted to a
     platform and the exercises were opened by prayer. Genl Morgan of
     Mt. Vernon was then introduced and began a rather stilted oration, but
     after about ten minutes apparently stumbled, broke down, and then
     assured his hearers that he had not said a word that he intended to say
     and after a few complimentary allusions to Hoadly and Rosecrans took
     his seat. Rosecrans occupied half an hour. Hoadly then [word illegible]
     in a short speech intended as a bid for the presidency. My name was
     called but being appointed for the evening meeting I did not respond--
     In the evening the City Hall was crowded and I spoke nearly an hour
     but did not deliver myself well, and sat down feeling that I had made
     a failure.

         from Ohio History, Volume 59, pages 177-78

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