Reflections: The rest of the Gen. Beatty story


By Evelyn Long - Contributing Columnist

With no intention of plagiarizing the late Paul Harvey, I want to share information I came across on General John Beatty. I mentioned in a recent column that the 90-year-old Beatty-Chase block had been razed in Cardington in 1967. This building stood on the northeast corner of the square.

It was constructed in 1876 on a site ravaged by fire in 1874. It was built by the Beatty Bros, who established a banking business in Cardington in 1874.

The brothers, Jim and John Beatty were part of a firm titled Trimble, Beatty and Wood Banking Company but John Beatty bought out both Trimble and Wood and it became the Beatty Brothers Banking Company, remaining so for five years.

In the early 1860s when the South rebelled and President Abraham Lincoln put out the call for volunteers to handle the rebellion, Cardington, along with other village in the county, responded. Company I of the Third Ohio Infantry was completely composed of men from Morrow County and led by General John Beatty of Cardington.

The story of General Beatty’s service during the Civil War was detailed in a story written in 1996 and published in the Dublin Villager This Week. General Beatty, and his brother born in Sandusky, Ohio, came to Cardington and became the successful bankers described. John Beatty enlisted as a private in the Cardington Company and because of his popularity, he was quickly elected a captain of the company. Later, he was elected Lieutenant Colonel of the Third Ohio Volunteer Infantry.

According to the story (by Ed Lentz) the men enlisted for only three months but was reorganized as a three year unit under its original officers. The story describes Beatty and the Third Ohio serving in the original occupation of West Virginia, moving to Kentucky where they became part of the Army of the Ohio. Beatty became then a Colonel

and his regiment was involved in a number of engagements in Alabama and Kentucky and in 1862 he was given command of the Seventh Brigade just in time to be a participant in the Battle of Murfreesboro. This was one of the battles that almost turned into a disaster for the Union but was saved from being so by notable efforts of many men, including John Beatty.

Later, Beatty was in the middle of the hardest fighting when the Confederate General John Hardee launched a ferocious assault against an unprepared and badly positioned Union Army. Beatty was in the middle of the hardest fighting repelling this threat and in the process had two horses shot out from under him.

Following his successful bayonet charge against a fortified Confederate position along the Murfresboro Turnpike and as a result of his success was promoted to Brigadier General. Following more successes during the Battle for Lookout Mountain and the Battle of Chickamauga in September, 1863, Beatty then tendered his resignation in January, 1864.

He noted he did what he said he would do, serve three years.

He later served three terms in Congress and cast his electoral vote for Abraham Lincoln in 1869. Following the war, Beatty came to Columbus where he used his banking experience as president of the Citizen’s Savings Bank and the Central Building and Loan Association.

He died in 1914 at the age of 86, one of the last surviving veterans of the Union Army officer corps. He is buried in his hometown, Sandusky, Ohio.

I like to think of Cardington as a stepping stone for this famous man’s successes.

80 years ago, March, 1939: First 1939 license number issued in Cardington was purchased by H. M. Fish, village street commissioner. His car for many years had carried the same license plate number, R500l. C. C. Kirkpatrick was the deputy registrar for Cardington.

70 years ago, March, 1949: Kent Curl, a freshman at Otterbein College, maintained a straight A average for 18 hours work during his first semester.

50 years ago, March, 1969: Donna Ackerman and Gail Philip were named by the Cardington-Lincoln Junior class to attend Buckeye Girls State in June.

By Evelyn Long

Contributing Columnist

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