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Title:
The Ohio twenty-second. [volume] : (Clarksburg, Va. [W. Va.]) 1861-186?
Place of publication:
Clarksburg, Va. [W. Va.]
Geographic coverage:
  • Clarksburg, Harrison, West Virginia  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
Publisher:
Fitch & Fairman
Dates of publication:
1861-186?
Description:
  • Began July 12, 1861?
Language:
  • English
Notes:
  • Description based on: July 12, 1861.
  • Printed on the press of the Clarksburg register by the 22nd Regiment O.V.M.
LCCN:
sn 85059727
OCLC:
12859554
Holdings:
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The Ohio twenty-second. [volume] July 12, 1861 , Image 1

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The Ohio twenty-second

"In this age of human progress, the printing press cannot remain idle, not withstanding wars and rumors of wars." So proclaimed the editors of The Ohio Twenty-Second, a short-lived soldier newspaper from an Ohio infantry regiment of the same name. Although only one extant issue survives, The Ohio Twenty-Second nevertheless offers a glimpse into the fiery patriotism and politics that infused the first months of the American Civil War.

One of many short-lived three-month regiments raised in expectation for a short conflict, the 22nd Ohio Infantry was recruited in the tumultuous spring of 1861 from southern Ohio. It spent the entirety of its service in western Virginia, breaking up pro-Confederate militias and chasing down guerrillas. Included in this inglorious summer campaign was a brief sojourn in the prosperous little town of Clarksburg. During the occupation, Captain George Hulick and Lieutenant Lowell Smith commandeered the offices of the Cooper's Clarksburg Register, whose erstwhile editor William Gordon, Jr. had left to join the Confederate army. The Union officers reveled in their act, writing that while Gordon was "drilling this hot day, in the traitors' ranks, with traitor officers and stolen arms, that your office is filled with men—old, steadfast Union men." Having taken over the printing office, Hulick and Smith promptly transformed William Gordon's secessionist Register into a regimental newspaper that reflected the zeal and Unionism of its rank and file.

Unsurprisingly, the editors made plain their hatred for secession, declaring their motto "Death to traitors and protection to all loyal citizens." They also took aim at fellow Northerners whose support for the war seemed lackluster, questioning "whether or not there are enemies behind us." If Hulick and Lowell lashed out at Southerners' treason and the perceived disloyalty of folks at home, they proved encouraging to local Unionists in Clarksburg and seemed to enjoy their stay.

Besides opining on politics, The Ohio Twenty-Second's editors offered their readers the latest war news and commented upon local military affairs. Local news, such as a Fourth of July celebration and social gossip, was also covered. The Twenty-Second also provided soldierly advice to the rank-and-file, counseling them on how to cook rations properly and to aim low in combat. The paper likewise worked to document the regiment's history in its pages. For newly enlisted soldiers, the Twenty-Second's combination of politics, news, and advice undoubtedly proved informative, useful, and entertaining.

Unfortunately, the The Ohio Twenty-Second apparently made only one appearance, likely caused by the regiment leaving behind Clarksburg—and its printing press. The regiment continued service for another month before mustering out. Many of its former members re-enlisted in other regiments for the duration of the war. Captain George Hulick did not, instead returning to Ohio to pursue a successful legal career and eventually becoming a two-term Republican Congressman from Ohio.

Provided by: West Virginia University