“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Ripley in Brown County, Ohio — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

The Squirrel Hunters

The Squirrel Hunters Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. J. Prats, June 11, 2019
1. The Squirrel Hunters Marker
Inscription.  The American Civil War was in its second year, and Confederate forces were advancing in the east and in the west. Confederates led by General Edward Kirby Smith had defeated a Union Force at Richmond, Kentucky on August 30, 1862. Word was received that they were advancing on Cincinnati. Ohio Governor David Tod issued a proclamation to all Ohioans: “Our Southern border is threatened with invasion. I therefore recommend that all the loyal men of your Counties at once form themselves into military companies. Gather up all the arms in the county and furnish yourselves with ammunition for the same. The service will be but for a few days. The soil of Ohio must not be invaded by the enemies of our glorious government.”

Over 15,000 armed men went to defend Cincinnati from the advancing Confederates. They came dressed in all types of clothing and armed with an assortment of weapons usually used to hunt squirrels. A Confederate scout reported that, “they call them Squirrel Hunter: farm boys that never had to shoot at the same squirrel twice.” For two weeks, the Squirrel Hunters manned hastily prepared but substantial earthworks
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across from Cincinnati in Northern Kentucky for an attack that never came. Brown County provided over 1,300 Squirrel Hunters for the defense of southern Ohio, more than any other Ohio county. In 1908, the Ohio Legislature voted each volunteer to be paid $13, a usual month’s pay for a Union soldier. Minutemen responded to the call to defend their homes in 1776, the Squirrel Hunters will long be remembered as answering the call to defend their homes in 1862.
Erected 2003 by the Ohio Bicentennial Commission, the Scotts Company—founded by a Civil War veteran, and The Ohio Historical Society. (Marker Number 9-8.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Ohio Historical Society / The Ohio History Connection series list. A significant historical date for this entry is August 30, 1862.
Location. 38° 44.723′ N, 83° 50.729′ W. Marker is in Ripley, Ohio, in Brown County. Marker is on Main Street just west of South 2nd Street, on the left when traveling west. It is at the Union Township Public Library. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 27 Main St, Ripley OH 45167, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Battery F Ripley / Ripley Cannon (a few steps from this marker); Liberty Monument (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct
The Squirrel Hunters, side two image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. J. Prats, June 11, 2019
2. The Squirrel Hunters, side two
line); Ripley and the Ohio River (about 500 feet away); Site of the Home of Senator Alexander Campbell (approx. 0.2 miles away); Doctor Beasley (approx. 0.2 miles away); Mr. Thomas Kirker (approx. ¼ mile away); Eliza’s Tale (approx. ¼ mile away); First Home of Rev. John Rankin (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ripley.
Also see . . .  The Squirrel Hunters: Citizen Soldiers and the Defense of Ohio in the Civil War. 2012 article by Richard Donegan for the Oberlin Heritage Center. “The Squirrel Hunters were instrumental in denying Cincinnati to General Heth’s Confederates, thus turning them back deeper into Kentucky to fight General Buell’s men. In this way they were also helpful in getting the Emancipation Proclamation issued. Historians have held that the fate of the Emancipation Proclamation was contingent upon General McClellan’s success in blocking Lee’s intrusion into Maryland. But one can imagine Lincoln would have been hard pressed to issue the Proclamation had one of the Union’s major cities been sacked by Confederates who seemed able
The Squirrel Hunters Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. J. Prats, June 11, 2019
3. The Squirrel Hunters Marker
to strike at the North with impunity.” (Submitted on June 17, 2019.) 
Union Township Public Library image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. J. Prats, June 11, 2019
4. Union Township Public Library
Street-level view. The marker is out of frame on the right. Lawn is accessible from the stairway’s first landing.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 17, 2019. It was originally submitted on June 17, 2019, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 571 times since then and 225 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on June 17, 2019, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.

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Sep. 26, 2023