After being hospitalized for typhus with partial recovery local soldier Isaac Gause requested to return to his company.
The 2nd Ohio Cavalry once again chased Confederate General Price in Missouri. During this raid a fellow soldier, Lewis Campbell accidentally discharged his revolver crippling himself. Gause felt the regiment was unfit for service, but in December 1862 they received orders to march. Reaching the east side of the Missouri River they boarded box cars, instead of coach cars, but no one complained because the box car was better than what they had been used to. They traveled eastward, arriving at Camp Chase near Columbus, and more recruits, called the 62 recruits, mostly friends and relatives of the veterans were added; the 8th Ohio Cavalry was also added making the 2nd Ohio Cavalry a full regiment. While this reorganization was going on Gause went home on furlough. Arriving at home he found out a friend, William Engle, who had helped him enlist was at his home mortally wounded. William had joined the 105th Ohio Volunteer Infantry and saw fighting, days later William died and Gause took part in the funeral service.
Returning to Camp Chase Sgt. Harris invited Gause to take part in a raid that was planned to clean out the newspaper office of Clement Vallandigham. Published in Columbus this paper, called the CRISIS, was antagonistic to the Union.
Vallandigham was born in New Lisbon, Ohio, in 1820. A practicing attorney he gave many speeches against the war, which enraged the troopers of the 2nd Ohio Cavalry. Vallandigham was also a member of the Copperhead movement, called that because their symbol was the Indian head on a copper penny. The Copperheads were sympathetic to the Rebel cause.
One article that Vallandigham wrote enraged the troopers; it stated that no soldier who crossed the Mason Dixon line would live to return. This statement and others angered the soldiers so they planned a raid on the newspaper office.
The leaders picked a Sunday because they could get by the sentinels without a pass, saying they were going to church. Gause's party met more than 100 others armed with clubs, hatchets and axes. Sgt. Harris led the advance guard, moving out at double-quick. Crossing a covered bridge, on the city side of the river they encountered a guard. They easily passed when the man impersonating the commander said we are a party to church. Arriving at the street where the office was located, someone recognized the building and entered. Guards were posted at the corners; Gause was a guard across the street. Men entered the building, breaking windows, throwing out furniture, books, paper and maps. This noise attracted the police, who sounded the alarm. A policeman approached Gause asking what was going on. Gause and his fellow soldier told him that soldiers were wrecking the CRISIS office.
Many citizens and more police arrived. The soldiers told them it was useless to interfere, and the policemen walked away. An order was given to fall in and the men moved quickly toward the bridge. Sgt. Harris was told that no one could find the type, he thought this was important and took several men back to check another steam printing press further into the city. The rest of the men proceeded to the bridge. At the steam press Sgt. Harris was told that the CRISIS did not have type there and it was unknown where the paper was printed. Passing by the State House the soldiers could see patrol guards, police and others moving briskly toward the CRISIS building. Crossing the bridge was easy as the guard called out asking if they had seen anything unusual. No was the reply.
Back at the barracks the men revealed they had taken books, manuscripts and pens. Gause advised them that the raid was not intended for plunder, they did not take his advice, and next morning it was rumored that authorities were searching to find the men who wrecked the office. Immediately the plunder went into the fire and at 11 a.m. officers searched their companies. They found nothing.
It was then learned that Col. Kautz was anxious to have a fine pipe that had been taken from the office, and that if the pipe were found there would be no more effort to search the men. They all wondered what Col. Kautz's pipe was doing in a Copperhead place. They were told that the Col. had purchased the pipe as a present for a friend serving in the Navy. The pipe had been left with a worker at the CRISIS office to forward it to the Navy friend.
A discussion followed, many called Col. Kautz a Copperhead but in the end it was decided that the Colonel was loyal. After the discussion a 6-foot man from Gause's company approached him holding a morocco case, with gilt letters A.V.K. on the side. The case contained a fine meerschaum pipe. Confiding in Gause the man said, "Only three men know I have this and I would like to return it but do not want to be known." The pipe was wrapped up and addressed to Col A.V. Kautz. Issac strolled to the officer's quarters and slipped the package through the mail slot.
The men received new uniforms and the new Burnside carbine, a breech-loading gun with a metallic cartridge, the best at that time. When the horses were issued Gause was on duty so he got the last one, a nice-looking mare of frail built.
Sources: "Four Years in Five Armies," Isaac Gause; and Ohio History Central website.
Compiled by members of the CW150 Committee of Warren's Sutliff Museum.