The American Civil War: Fort Wayne's Soldiers.

"I am old, but my health is good, and I desire to do something for those who every day expose their lives for our country"-Eliza Hamilton-George

Lincoln vs. Douglas: Fort Wayne's Civil War.

The name Lincoln is seen everywhere throughout the city of Fort Wayne. Therefore, it is ironic that most of the citizens of Fort Wayne disliked Presidental Candidate Abraham Lincoln. The citizens were very opinioned at this time,and very Democrat. Democratic Candidate Stephen Douglas was the "hero" of Allen County, and largely supported as the man to lead the country through the difficult times ahead. Politics in general at this time was the talk of the town. Lincoln's only visit to Fort Wayne was on an overnight train headed East with only a few supporters on hand to acknowledge the event. Stephen Douglas's visit, in sharp contrast to Lincolns, was a great fanfare. A parade was given with Douglas as the spotlight. Floats supporting Douglas and panning Lincoln were seen strolling down the street. Lincoln supporters, however, did not go unnoticed. They positioned their float to block the parade route, and stop it dead in its tracks. The float was moved and eventually dumped into the St Mary's River. The battle was also heated in written print. The Dawson Times supported the views of the new Republican Party, and degrated the idea of being a Democrat. The Sentinel responsed likewise by questioning the need for a Republican Party. However fierce the politial conflict, one issue united both parties; support for the Union. It would take a great civil strife to bring together the resources of Fort Wayne.

Sion Bass and the 30th Indiana Infantry.

After the first shots were fired at Fort Sumter, a surge of patriotism spread throughout the Union States and Fort Wayne was no exception. Sion Bass, founder of Bass Works, organized the first regiment in the Fort Wayne area. Men from all around the area were eager to fight the traitors to the south. The regiment camped along the St.Mary's river at Camp Allen near the present day Main Street bridge. The 30th Indiana was mustered in on September 24,1861 and ordered to join General Rousseau's Army at Nolin River, Kentucky. In February 1862 the regiment started its march south to Savannah,Tennessee passing through the cities of Bowling Green and Nashville. The 30th Indiana got its first taste of battle at Shiloh, Tennessee on April 6th of that same year. The Battle of Shiloh lasted two days and took many of the 30th with it. Sion Bass who organized the group was killed at Shiloh and became one of Fort Wayne's first martyrs. The remaining men fought hard campaigns throughout Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama. These campaigns included the Battles of Perryville, Stone's River, Chickamauga, and Kenesaw to name a few. At the end of the war the remaining men were fighting in Texas. Finally, the regiment was decommissioned or "mustered out" on November 25, 1865. Those first volunteers of the 30th Indiana Infantry made their mark on the citizens of Fort Wayne. Few returned, many gave their lives and fueled the fire for other men to join up.

The Pursuits of Henry "Long Hank" Lawton.

One of the great military heroes of the Civil War was Henry Lawton. Long Hank, as his soldiers called him due to his height, joined the First Indiana Regiment at Indianapolis in 1861. President Lincoln called on the remaining States of the Union to fight to save the Union. Henry's regiment was the first to fight the Confederates in the South. Starting out as a Private, Lawton soon rose through the ranks to Captain. He meet up with Sion Bass and the 30th Indiana at the Battle of Shiloh. Henry went on to fight in the Battles of Cornith, Mississippi and Chickamauga in northern Georgia. It was in the campaigns of Georgia that he received national recognition for his bravery. General William Sherman awarded Henry Lawton the Congressional Medal of Honor. By the end of the War Lawton had earned the rank of Colonel and earned great distinction back home in Fort Wayne. He was so highly honored in his home state, that Indianapolis tried to claim him as their own, publicly praising the "Indianapolis hero" at every chance. After the Civil War, Henry Lawton joined up with the branch of the Army fighting in the West. His army waged war against the Indians on the great American Frontier. Lawton was also known as being sort of a mediator when it came to the rights of the remaining tribes. In his mind the army was there to contain the renegade warriors, not to wipe out their existence. He often thought more could be done for the Indians. It was Lawton that negoiated with Geronimo to surrender after a near confronation with the Apache warriors. In 1897 Henry Lawton earned the rank of General and fought along side Teddy Roosevelt in the Spanish-American War. It was during this war that Lawton met a snipers bullet. The body of Henry Lawton was brought before the yet unfinished County Courthouse were a great military ceremony took place. Lawton received a President's salute when his body reached its final resting place, Arlington Cemetery. President McKinley gave this fallen soldier a grand tribute that symbolized his years of bravery. He was one of the lucky few who made it out of the Civil War alive to serve his County with distinction. Old Northside Park was renamed Lawton Park in his honor in 1921. Henry Lawton was a true Fort Wayne Soldier.

"Mother George" A Soldier's Blessing.

One of the greatest heroes of the War was not a soldier at all. Eliza Hamilton-George, or better known as "Mother George" to the troops, won the hearts of everyone she touched. A pioneer from Vermont, Eliza Hamilton-George came to Fort Wayne in the 1840's in pursuit of opportunity. Her daughter of the same name married a young man by the name of Sion Bass who had just arrived from Kentucky to pursue the great railroad opportunities that Fort Wayne had to offer. He founded Bass Works, maker of railroad wheels. When President Lincoln called the Nation to arms against the South, Sion Bass headed up the first regiment from Fort Wayne. Colonel Bass went on to fight in one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War, Shiloh. On the second day of fighting, Bass was mortally wounded while leading a charge on the Confederate lines. Eliza was so moved by the death of her son-in-law, she acted and joined the Union forces as a nurse. In 1863 she applied and was accepted into the Indiana Sanitary Commission which at that time was the Nurse Corps. Many saw her and considered her out of her league. It did not take long for her kind words to sink into the hearts of dying men. She was shipped to Memphis were she first encountered the horrors of war. Many in her care were so badly wounded that all she could do was to sooth their pain. She earned the name "Mother George" because she put her soldiers first often exposing herself to shell and rifle fire to rescue and nurse the wounded. Toward the end of the War she had new shoes made for the thousands of Union Prisioners who were sent to the hospitals with frostbit feet. Finally, a month before the end of the War "Mother George" died of typhoid fever on May 9th 1865. She was brought back to Fort Wayne and buried in Lindenwood Cemetery with full military honors. A middle aged lady who gave everything to her soldiers was one of the greatest inspirations, and a true Fort Wayne "soldier".

Hugh McCulloch: A Man close to the President.

Although not a soldier, Hugh McCulloch contributed greatly to the Union cause. Already known as a great citizen of Fort Wayne, (see Canal) McCulloch moved on to serve in Washington. Hugh became the comptroller of the new Union currency and launched a new banking system that gave the funds necessary to finance the War. Some hail him as "the father of the national banking system". In 1865 McCulloch became the Secretary of the Treasury and served two adminstrations. He was at Lincoln's bedside when he the President passed away. Before his death in 1895, Hugh went on to serve as ambassador to Great Britain and a premier position in the dipomatic corps. Hugh McCulloch was a great businessman that helped the Union win the Civil War. Another of Fort Wayne's Soldiers.

After The War: Prosperty and Industry.

The end of war signaled great strides for the local economy of Fort Wayne. The railroad was in full swing. Bass Works and the Pennsy Shops, the two leading locomotive manufaturing facilities ushered in the railroad age.


Fort Wayne's Soldiers: The Regiments

30th Indiana Infantry

44th Indiana Infantry

74th Indiana Infantry

88th Indiana Infantry

100th Indiana Infantry

Civil War Memorial located on Spyrun Avenue.

The Fort Wayne Regiments camped along the St. Marys River where this playground exists today. Camp Allen was the training grounds for most of the local Regiments.

This Statue in Lawton Park is a memorial to the great Civil War Hero Henry Lawton. The park is also dedicated to all the soldiers who fought in the Civil War.

The Civil War marker located in Lindenwood Cemetery is a dedication to the Allen County men and woman who died during the Great War.

Plain Text Version.

Maumee-Wabash Portage: The Glorious Gate.

Fort Miamis: The First European Settlers
Historic Fort Wayne: The Great American Outpost
Wabash and Erie Canal:The Great Waterway.
Johnny Appleseed: The Pioneer Spirit
Arrival Of Locomotives:The Canal's Demise.
The Rise of Industry: Fort Wayne's Revolution.
The Management of Progress:The Prewar Years.
The War to End All Wars: Patriotism and Fervor.
The Promise of Hope: The Depression Years.
Great Strides in Industry: World War II.
High School Proms & Cherry Sodas: The Fifties.
The Coming of Age: Fort Wayne in the Sixties.
The Rebirth of Fort Wayne History: The Seventies.
A new Sense of Direction & Growth: The Eighties.
The Bicentennial of Fort Wayne: 200 Years of Prosperity.
The Year 2000: Reflections and Great Expectations.

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Last updated 01/18/2003

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