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Old 04-07-2016
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When Fort Sumter was fired upon on April 12, 1861, Jacob Ammen set his sights on war. On the night of April 16th, he organized a town meeting at a church in Ripley. It was on this occasion that he formed a home guard unit which three days later became a company of the 12th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Jacob Ammen was elected Captain of this company. While being outfitted at Camp Chase in Columbus, the regiment elected Ammen as its Lieutenant-Colonel on May 2, 1861. However, on June 22, 1861, Governor Dennison personally offered Ammen the command of the newly-formed 24th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Jacob accepted. Five days after the First Battle of Bull Run had ended, Colonel Ammen was ordered to move his regiment to the western Virginia front. 5

Jacob’s first engagement occurred against one of his former classmates, Robert E. Lee, at the Battle of Cheat Mountain Summit, (West) Virginia, on September 12, 1861. Ammen performed well here and at the Battle of Greenbrier River on October 3. Following his success in western Virginia, he was ordered to report to Major-General Don Carlos Buell in Louisville, Kentucky. Buell made Ammen commander of the 10th Brigade, 4th Division of the Army of the Ohio on November 30, 1861. His brigade spent the winter at Louisville, but soon after Union General Ulysses S. Grant’s victory at Fort Donelson, the 10th Brigade was ordered to Nashville, Tennessee, to prepare for the Spring campaign soon to come. 6

On March 17, 1862, Colonel Ammen was ordered to march his men from Nashville toward the formidable Union camp at Pittsburg Landing, Tennessee. On the eve of what would prove to be the most triumphant moment of Jacob Ammen’s military career, Brigadier-General Ulysses Grant met Ammen as his men arrived in Savannah, Tennessee, just opposite Pittsburg Landing on the Tennessee River. In the conversation that followed, Grant said to him, “Colonel Ammen, I hardly think we will need your troops. I do not think we will have an engagement short of Corinth. Keep your men in hand at this point and I will send the boats down for you.” The next day, April 6, Ammen plainly heard the boom of distant cannon on the opposite shore. 7

Ammen’s men were on the move by late morning. While enduring a drenching rain in complete darkness, he managed to get all of his10th Brigade across the river to Pittsburg Landing by the late evening of April 6. In the morning, he was immediately ordered to advance, and in the desperate fighting that followed in the fields surrounding the Bloody Pond, Ammen’s brigade successfully pushed the Confederate right flank through Sarah Bell’s Field. The day ended with the Federal forces in possession of the Shiloh battlefield -- and “Old Jakey” Ammen a hero. 8

His brigade participated in the Siege of Corinth, Mississippi, in April and May of 1862. In July, Ammen was ordered to serve upon a Court Martial headed by Brigadier-General James A. Garfield. When Garfield was ordered away from this position, Jacob was chosen to fill the vacancy. On July 16, 1862, he was commissioned Brigadier General of Volunteers for his valuable services at the Battle of Shiloh. 9

In August 1862, Ammen commanded the 4th Division of Buell’s army, but during the Kentucky Campaign that autumn, Jacob fell severely ill and was sent to Cincinnati to recover. He spent the rest of 1862 and nearly all of 1863 in various administrative positions, including the commands of Camp Dennison, Ohio, of Camp Nelson, Kentucky, of Camp Douglas, Illinois, and of the District of Illinois. He also served on Courts Martial in Cincinnati. It was while Ammen was performing this duty that Confederate Brigadier-General John Hunt Morgan invaded Indiana and Ohio in July 1863. Major-General Ambrose Burnside, commander of the Department of the Ohio, and Brigadier-General Jacob D. Cox, commander of the District of Ohio and the defenses of Cincinnati, placed Jacob Ammen on duty in the defense of the Queen City on July 13, 1863. Ammen commanded the Third District, which contained the 7th, 10th, and 11th Wards of Cincinnati, and his headquarters were made at the Orphan Asylum. Although it appeared that Morgan might attack Cincinnati, in reality Morgan’s force avoided the metropolis completely. As a result, Ammen returned to his adminstrative work within a few days. 10
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Old 04-07-2016
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On March 17, 1862, Colonel Ammen was ordered to march his men from Nashville toward the formidable Union camp at Pittsburg Landing, Tennessee. On the eve of what would prove to be the most triumphant moment of Jacob Ammen’s military career, Brigadier-General Ulysses Grant met Ammen as his men arrived in Savannah, Tennessee, just opposite Pittsburg Landing on the Tennessee River. In the conversation that followed, Grant said to him, “Colonel Ammen, I hardly think we will need your troops. I do not think we will have an engagement short of Corinth. Keep your men in hand at this point and I will send the boats down for you.” The next day, April 6, Ammen plainly heard the boom of distant cannon on the opposite shore. 7
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Old 04-07-2016
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IT IIS PARDONABLE TO BE DEFEATED, BUT AS IT WERE:; YOU KNOW IT: NEVER BY Surprise!!!
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Old 04-07-2016
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In April 1864, Ammen took charge of the 4th Division, 23rd Army Corps, headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee. While commanding there, he held East Tennessee for the Union with a firm grip. Besides defending against the Confederate cavalry raids made in the area during Hood’s Tennessee campaign, including John Hunt Morgan’s fatal raid at Greeneville in September, there were no significant military actions in East Tennessee in 1864. More often, Ammen’s command confronted enemy underground activity. In particular, Ammen had to deal with Confederate suppliers disguised as Union soldiers, known to locals as “Union Shriekers.” However, he studied these men well and took extra care to prevent them from doing harm to the war effort. He once stopped a major supply of Federal army goods from being handed over to Confederacy by dressing himself as a Union private, secreting himself amongst a group of the suspected perpetrators, and then catching them as they discussed their plans. This effectively ended the plot and dissuaded other such plots from forming. 11

Ammen continued in the Knoxville administrative role for the rest of 1864. He exhibited a talent for organization and sending reinforcements to the field. The Union high command held a deep regard for his work, yet he realized the war was nearing its end. With this in mind, Ammen retired from military duty on January 14, 1865. 12
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Old 04-27-2016
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CHAPTER II. — THE NEGRO RIOTS OF 1712-1741.

Almost impossible for the present Generation to comprehend its true Character and Effect on the People.—Description of New York at that Time.—The Negro Slaves.—The Negro Riot of 1712.—Description of it.—The Winter of 1741.—Governor's House burned down.—Other Fires.—Suspicion of the People.—Arrest and Imprisonment of the Blacks.—Reward offered for the supposed Conspirators.—Alarm and Flight of the Inhabitants.—Examination and Confession of Mary Burton.—Peggy, the Newfoundland Beauty, and the Hughson Family.—The Conspiracy.—Executions.—Fast.—Hughson's Hearing.—Hung in Chains.—The Body, and that of a Negro, left to swing and rot in the Air.—Strange Change in the Appearances of the Bodies.—The People throng to look at them.—Negroes burned at the Stake.—Terrific Spectacle.—Bloody Summer.—Execution of a Catholic Priest.—Strange Scenes.—Upper Classes accused.—Executions stopped.—Reason of the Panic.
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Old 04-27-2016
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The day of execution appointed for Hughson, his wife, and Peggy was a solemn one, and almost the entire population turned out to witness it. The former had declared that some extraordinary appearance would take place at his execution, and every one gazed on him as he passed in a cart from the prison to the gallows. He was a tall, powerful man, being six feet high. He stood erect in the cart all the way, his piercing eye fixed steadily on the distance, and his right hand raised high as his fetters would permit, and beckoning as though he saw help coming from afar. His face was usually pale and colorless, but to-day it was noticed that two bright red spots burned on either cheek, which added to the mystery with which the superstitious spectators invested him. When the sad procession arrived at the place of execution, the prisoners were helped to the ground, and stood exposed to the gaze of the crowd. Hughson was firm and self-possessed; but Peggy, pale, and weeping, and terror-struck, begging for life; while the wife, with the rope round her neck, leaned against a tree, silent and composed, but colorless as marble. One after another they were launched into eternity, and the crowd, solemn and thoughtful, turned their steps homeward.

Hughson was hung in chains; and in a few days a negro was placed beside him, and here they swung, "blind and blackening," in the April air, in full view of the tranquil bay, a ghastly spectacle to the fishermen as they plied their vocation near by. For three weeks they dangled here in sunshine and storm, a terror to the passers-by. At length a rumor passed through the town that Hughson had turned into a negro, and the negro into a white man. This was a new mystery, and day after day crowds would come and gaze on the strange transformation, some thinking it supernatural, and others trying to give an explanation. Hughson had threatened to take poison, and it was thought by many that he had, and it was the effect of this that had wrought the change in his appearance. For ten days the Battery was thronged with spectators, gazing on these bloated, decomposing bodies, many in their superstitious fears expecting some new transformation. Under the increasing heat of the sun, they soon began to drip, till at last the body of Hughson burst asunder, filling the air with such an intolerable stench that the fishermen shunned the locality.

As simple hanging was soon thought not sufficient punishment, and they were left to swing, and slowly rot in chains, so this last was at length thought to be too lenient, and the convicts were condemned to be burned at the stake. Two negroes, named Quack and Cuffee, were the first doomed to this horrible death. The announcement of this sentence created the greatest excitement. It was a new thing to the colonists, this mode of torture being appropriated by the savages for prisoners taken in war. Curious crowds gathered to see the stake erected, or stare at the loads of wood as they passed along the street, and were unloaded at its base. It was a strange spectacle to behold—the workmen carefully piling up the fagots under the spring sun; the spectators looking on, some horrified, and others fierce as savages; and over all the blue sky bending, while the gentle wind stole up from the bay and whispered in the tree-tops overhead. On the day of execution an immense crowd assembled. The two negroes were brought forward, pale and terrified, and bound to the stake. As the men approached with the fire to kindle the pile, they shrieked out in terror, confessed the conspiracy, and promised, if released, to tell all about it. They were at once taken down. This was the signal for an outbreak, and shouts of "burn 'em, burn 'em" burst from the multitude. Mr. Moore then asked the sheriff to delay execution till he could see the Governor and get a reprieve. He hurried off, and soon returned with a conditional one. But, as he met the sheriff on the common, the latter told him that it would be impossible to take the criminals through the crowd without a strong guard, and before that could arrive, they would be murdered by the exasperated populace. They were then tied up again, and the torch applied. The flames arose around the unhappy victims. The curling smoke soon hid their dusky forms from view, while their shrieks and cries for mercy grew fainter and fainter, as the fierce fire shrivelled up their forms, till at last nothing but the crackling of the flames was heard, and the shouting, savage crowd grew still. As the fire subsided, the two wretched creatures, crisped to a cinder, remained to tell, for the hundredth time, to what barbarous deeds terror and passion may lead men.

Some of the negroes went laughing to the place of execution, indulging in all sorts of buffoonery to the last, and mocking the crowd which surrounded them.

All protested their innocence to the last, and if they had confessed previously, retracted before death their statements and accusations. But this contradiction of themselves, to-morrow denying what to-day they had solemnly sworn on the Bible to be true, instead of causing the authorities to hesitate, and consider how much terror and the hope of pardon had to do with it, convinced them still more of the strength and dangerous nature of the conspiracy, and they went to work with a determination and recklessness which made that summer the bloodiest and most terrific in the annals of New York. No lawyer was found bold enough to step forward and defend these poor wretches, but all volunteered their services to aid the Government in bringing them to punishment. The weeks now, as they rolled on, were freighted with terror and death, and stamped with scenes that made the blood run cold. This little town, on the southern part of Manhattan Island was wholly given to panic, and a nameless dread of some mysterious, awful fate, extended even to the scattered farm-houses near Canal Street. Between this and the last of August, a hundred and fifty-four negroes, exclusive of whites, were thrown into prison, till every cell was crowded and packed to suffocation with them. For three months, sentence of condemnation was on an average of one a day. The last execution was that of a Catholic priest, or rather of a schoolmaster of the city, who was charged with being one. Mary Burton, after an interval of three months, pretended to remember that he was present with the other conspirators she had first named as being in Hughson's tavern.

His trial was long, and apparently without excitement. He conducted his own case with great ability, and brought many witnesses to prove his good character and orderly conduct; but he, of course, could not disprove the assertion of Mary, that she had some time or other seen him with the conspirators at Hughson's tavern—for the latter, with his wife and Peggy, and the negroes she had before named, had all been executed. Mary Burton alone was left, and her evidence being credited, no amount of testimony could avail him.

Although the proceedings were all dignified and solemn, as became an English court, yet the course the trial took showed how utterly unbalanced and one-sided it had become. To add weight to Mary's evidence, many witnesses were examined to prove that Ury, though a schoolmaster, had performed the duties of a Catholic priest, as though this were an important point to establish. The attorney-general, in opening the case, drew a horrible picture of former persecutions by the Papists, and their cruelties to the Protestants, until it was apparent that all that the jury needed to indorse a verdict of guilty was evidence that he was a Catholic priest. Still it would be unfair to attribute this feeling wholly to religious intolerance or the spirit of persecution. England was at this time at war with Spain, and a report was circulated that the Spanish priests in Florida had formed a conspiracy to murder the English colonists. A letter from Ogilthorpe, in Georgia, confirmed this. Ury, who was an educated Englishman, but had led an adventurous life in different countries, could not disprove this, and he was convicted and sentenced to be hung. He met his fate with great composure and dignity, asserting his innocence to the last. He made the eighteenth victim hung, while thirteen had been burned at the stake, and seventy-one transported to various countries.
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Old 04-27-2016
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At the average rate of two every week, one hanged and one burned alive, they were hurried into eternity amid prayers, and imprecations, and shrieks of agony. The hauling of wood to the stake, and the preparation of the gallows, kept the inhabitants in a state bordering on insanity. Business was suspended, and every face wore a terrified look. The voice of pity as well as justice was hushed, and one desire, that of swift vengeance, filled every heart. Had the press of to-day, with its system of interviewing, and minuteness of detail and description, existed then, there would have been handed down to us a chapter in human history that could be paralleled only in the dark ages.

A swift massacre, a terrible slaughter, comes and goes like an earthquake or a tornado, and stuns rather than debases; but this long, steady succession of horrible executions and frightful scenes changed the very nature of the inhabitants, and they became a prey to a spirit demoniacal rather than human. The prayers and tears of those led forth to the stake, their heartrending cries as they were bound to it, and their shrieks of agony that were wafted out over the still waters of the bay, fell on hard and pitiless hearts. The ashes of the wood that consumed one victim would hardly grow cold before a new fire was kindled upon them, and the charred and blackened posts stood month after month, hideous monuments of what man may become when judgment and reason are surrendered to fear and passion. The spectacle was made still more revolting by the gallows standing near the stake, on which many were hung in chains, and their bodies left to swing, blacken, and rot in the summer air, a ghastly, horrible sight.

Where this madness, that had swept away court, bar, and people together, would have ended, it is impossible to say, had not a new terror seized the inhabitants. Mary Burton, on whose accusation the first victims had been arrested and executed, finding herself a heroine, sought new fields in which to win notoriety. She ceased to implicate the blacks, and turned her attention to the whites, and twenty-four were arrested and thrown into prison. Elated with her success, she began to ascend in the social scale, and criminated some persons of the highest social standing in the city, whose characters were above suspicion. This was turning the tables on them in a manner the upper class did not expect, and they began to reflect what the end might be. The testimony that was sufficient to condemn the slaves was equally conclusive against them. The stake and the gallows which the court had erected for the black man, it could not pull down because a white gentleman stood under their shadow.

Robespierre and his friends cut off the upper-crust of society without hesitation or remorse; but unfortunately the crust next below this became in turn the upper-crust, which also had to be removed, until at last they themselves were reached, when they paused. They had advanced up to their necks in the bloody tide of revolution, and finding that to proceed farther would take them overhead, they attempted to wade back to shore. So here, so long as the accusations were confined to the lowest class, it was all well enough, but when they were being reached, it was high time to stop. The proceedings were summarily brought to a close, further examinations were deemed unnecessary, and confessions became flat and unprofitable; and this strange episode in American history ended.

That there had been cause for alarm, there
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Old 04-29-2016
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Confederate skirmishers. All the rest of the afternoon, until nightfall, the river sailors kept up their continuous bombardment, and in connection with the field batteries on the bank checked General Withers’ desperate attempt on the Landing. The dauntless brigade of Chalmers, whose brave Southerners held their ground near the foot of the ravine and maintained the conflict after the battle was ended elsewhere, was swept by the gunboats’ fire. When Buell’s army, that had been hurrying up to Grant’s assistance, reached the battle-field, Gwin sent a messenger ashore in the evening to General Nelson, who had just arrived, and asked in what manner he could now be of service. It was pitch dark; except for the occasional firing of the pickets the armies were resting after the terrific combat. In reply to Gwin’s inquiry, General Nelson requested that the gunboats keep on firing during the night, and that every ten minutes an 8-inch shell should be launched in the direction of the Confederate camp. With great precision Gwin followed out this course. Through the forest the shells shrieked and exploded over the exhausted Confederates, showering branches and limbs upon them where they slept, and tearing great gashes in the earth. The result was that they got little rest, and rest was necessary. Slowly a certain demoralization became evident—results that bore fruit in the action that opened on the morrow. Here we see pictured—in the lower part of the page—the captain’s gig and crew near the Lexington, ready to row their commander out into the stream.



THE LEXINGTON
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Old 05-24-2016
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There was, as I have said, a deep ravine in front of our left. The Tennessee River was very high and there was water to a considerable depth in the ravine. Here the enemy made a last desperate effort to turn our flank, but was repelled. The gunboats Tyler and Lexington, Gwin and Shirk commanding, with the artillery under Webster, aided the army and effectually checked their further progress. Before any of Buell's troops had reached the west bank of the Tennessee, firing had almost entirely ceased; anything like an attempt on the part of the enemy to advance had absolutely ceased. There was some artillery firing from an unseen enemy, some of his shells passing beyond us; but I do not remember that there was the whistle of a single musket-ball heard. As his troops arrived in the dusk General Buell marched several of his regiments part way down the face of the hill where they fired briskly for some minutes, but I do not think a single man engaged in this firing received an injury. The attack had spent its force.

General Lew. Wallace, with 5,000 effective men, arrived after firing had ceased for the day, and was placed on the right. Thus night came, Wallace came, and the advance of Nelson's division came; but none—unless night—in time to be of material service to the gallant men who saved Shiloh on that first day against large odds. Buell's loss on the 6th of April was two men killed and one wounded, all members of the 36th Indiana infantry. The Army of the Tennessee lost on that day at least 7,000 men. The presence of two or three regiments of Buell's army on the west bank before firing ceased had not the slightest effect in preventing the capture of Pittsburg landing.

So confident was I before firing had ceased on the 6th that the next day would bring victory to our arms if we could only take the initiative, that I visited each division commander in person before any reinforcements had reached the field. I directed them to throw out heavy lines of skirmishers in the morning as soon as they could see, and push them forward until they found the enemy, following with their entire divisions in supporting distance, and to engage the enemy as soon as found. To Sherman I told the story of the assault at Fort Donelson, and said that the same tactics would win at Shiloh. Victory was assured when Wallace arrived, even if there had been no other support. I was glad, however, to see the reinforcements of Buell and credit them with doing all there was for them to do.

During the night of the 6th the remainder of Nelson's division, Buell's army crossed the river and were ready to advance in the morning, forming the left wing. Two other divisions, Crittenden's and McCook's, came up the river from Savannah in the transports and were on the west bank early on the 7th. Buell commanded them in person. My command was thus nearly doubled in numbers and efficiency.

During the night rain fell in torrents and our troops were exposed to the storm without shelter. I made my headquarters under a tree a few hundred yards back from the river bank. My ankle was so much swollen from the fall of my horse the Friday night preceding, and the bruise was so painful, that I could get no rest.

The drenching rain would have precluded the possibility of sleep without this additional cause. Some time after midnight, growing restive under the storm and the continuous pain, I moved back to the log-house under the bank. This had been taken as a hospital, and all night wounded men were being brought in, their wounds dressed, a leg or an arm amputated as the case might require, and everything being done to save life or alleviate suffering. The sight was more unendurable than encountering the enemy's fire, and I returned to my tree in the rain.

The advance on the morning of the 7th developed the enemy in the camps occupied by our troops before the battle began, more than a mile back from the most advanced position of the Confederates on the day before. It is known now that they had not yet learned of the arrival of Buell's command. Possibly they fell back so far to get the shelter of our tents during the rain, and also to get away from the shells that were dropped upon them by the gunboats every fifteen minutes during the night.

The position of the Union troops on the morning of the 7th was as follows: General Lew. Wallace on the right; Sherman on his left; then McClernand and then Hurlbut. Nelson, of Buell's army, was on our extreme left, next to the river.

Crittenden was next in line after Nelson and on his right, McCook followed and formed the extreme right of Buell's command. My old command thus formed the right wing, while the troops directly under Buell constituted the left wing of the army. These relative positions were retained during the entire day, or until the enemy was driven from the field.

In a very short time the battle became general all along the line. This day everything was favorable to the Union side. We had now become the attacking party. The enemy was driven back all day, as we had been the day before, until finally he beat a precipitate retreat. The last point held by him was near the road leading from the landing to Corinth, on the left of Sherman and right of McClernand. About three o'clock, being near that point and seeing that the enemy was giving way everywhere else, I gathered up a couple of regiments, or parts of regiments, from troops near by, formed them in line of battle and marched them forward, going in front myself to prevent premature or long-range firing. At this point there was a clearing between us and the enemy favorable for charging, although exposed. I knew the enemy were ready to break and only wanted a little encouragement from us to go quickly and join their friends who had started earlier. After marching to within musket-range I stopped and let the troops pass. The command, CHARGE, was given, and was executed with loud cheers and with a run; when the last of the enemy broke.
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