OWU Connection Programs
Project Title: A Battling Bishop at War: The Civil War Service of Henry Crozier, OWU Class of 1866
Student: Andrew Stock ’16
Mentor: Dr. Barbara Terzian
In September of 1862, shortly before Henry Crozier was to return to Ohio Wesleyan University for his senior year, Confederate General Kirby Smith led his army into Kentucky with the apparent intention of continuing north to Cincinnati, Ohio. Crozier, who was from Ripley, a small town near Cincinnati, chose to forgo his senior year and enlist in the Union army that was being raised to defend his state. He served from that initial enlistment in 1862 through the conclusion of the war in the summer of 1865, after which he returned to Ohio Wesleyan and graduated in 1866. My presentation will cover the first phase of his service as a Union artilleryman with the 17th Ohio Battery, Light Artillery, from his enlistment through July 4th, 1863, when he personally witnessed the fall of Vicksburg, a major turning point in the war.
To research Crozier’s career, I read, transcribed, and examined previously unanalyzed personal writings, located in the Ohio Wesleyan University Historical Collection in Beeghly Library. My work reveals Crozier’s pride as he and his comrades went from green recruits to seasoned soldiers throughout the war, as well as the daily life of a soldier in the Union Army, where disease was often more deadly than hostile fire. Finally, Crozier’s tone towards the enemy demonstrates that, while he was continually inspired by the cause of restoring the Union and held the “Scecesh” [sic] cause in great disdain, he did not hate his foes individually, and even sympathized with them in his interactions with Confederate prisoners and civilians. This study contributes to the scholarly discourse on the lives of individual Civil War soldiers, which began in earnest over the last few decades of the 20th century.