Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Ohio moments


Maj. Gen. Banning rose through ranks

On Dec. 10, 1881, Henry Blackstone Banning, who enlisted as a private during the Civil War and rose to the rank of major general, died in Cincinnati at age 45.

A native of Bannings Mills, Ohio, he attended Mount Vernon Academy and Kenyon College in Gambier. Admitted to the bar in 1857, he practiced law in Mount Vernon.

At the war's start in April 1861, Banning joined the 4th Regiment of the Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Two months later, he was elected captain of Company B. He fought in numerous battles. As a lieutenant colonel, Banning was cited for gallantry in leading the Ohio 121st Regiment in the Atlanta campaigns and at Chickamauga. He was promoted to brigadier general and, in March 1865, to major general.

After the war, Banning served as a state representative (1866-67) before moving to Cincinnati and practicing law. He was elected to Congress as a Liberal Republican in 1872 - defeating Ohio Gov. Rutherford B. Hayes. The following two terms, Banning was elected as a Democrat. He served as chairman of the Committee on Military Affairs before resuming the practice of law in Cincinnati in 1879.

Banning is one of 41 Union Army generals buried at Spring Grove Cemetery in Winton Place.

Rebecca Goodman

E-mail rgoodman@enquirer.com or call (513) 768-8361




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