Sunday, September 01, 2019

September 1 is the anniversary of the Confederate Heartland demonstration at Cincinnati

Confederate Edmund Kirby Smith (later of the Confederate Trans-Mississippi) ordered Henry Heth (later to start the battle at Gettysburg, supposedly ordering men to look for shoes) to make a demonstration threatening Cincinnati. Union General Horatio Wright ordered Lew Wallace to protect Cincinnati. The Confederate campaign began on September 1, 1862, and was unsuccessful.

Horatio Wright (leading the VI Corps of the Army of the Potomac) and Lew Wallace (leading Union forces at the Monocacy) would later combine to defend Washington DC against the attack of Jubal Early in 1864.

Plans had been made to build a suspension bridge across the Ohio, with the work to be done by the Roeblings of Trenton, New Jersey. The military threat posed by Heth caused the construction of a pontoon bridge across the Ohio near the unfinished Roebling Bridge.

Prior to Roeblings' work on the Brooklyn Bridge, the Cincinnati Bridge (opened in 1867) was the longest suspension bridge in the world. Coincidentally, Horatio Wright was involved in work on the Brooklyn Bridge.

One of the early objections to the Cincinnati Bridge was that it would facilitate escape of enslaved African Americans from Kentucky.

As to the "shoes," troops under Ewell's Second Corps had likely cleaned out Gettysburg, and were preparing to attack Harrisburg, until recalled by Lee. There was a clash between Union and Confederate troops near Camp Hill, PA, which may be northern-most organized battle of the Civil War.


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