Birth: Aug. 7, 1829.
Death: Jan. 21, 1896.
Photo provided by Mr. Ed
Civil War Union Brigadier General, US Congressman. Born in Lancaster, Ohio, into Ohio's privileged Ewing family, his father was Thomas Ewing, who served as a United States Senator and Cabinet member of several presidential administrations. His brothers were future Union generals Hugh Boyle Ewing, and Charles Ewing, and his foster brother (and later brother-in-law) was William T. Sherman. He first distinguished himself in the national spotlight by serving as a private secretary to President Zachary Taylor in 1848, the year before his father, Thomas Sr., began serving as United States Secretary of the Interior in Taylor's cabinet.
He soon entered Brown University, graduating in 1854, and studied law in Cincinnati, where he was admitted to the bar. He moved his practice to Leavenworth, Kansas, in 1857 and joined the firm of William T. Sherman and Daniel McCook. He left the firm in 1861, when he became a member of the Kansas peace conference. He fought to stop the admission of Kansas to the Union as a slave state and until the war served as Kansas' first supreme court chief justice. He joined the army in 1862 as a Colonel in charge of recruiting for the 11th Kansas Volunteer Cavalry.
After commanding the regiment at Battles of Cane Hill and Prairie Grove, he accepted a promotion to Brigadier General, US Volunteers on March 13, 1863, and command of the District of the Border. Here he became known for issuing General Order Number 11, dictating the evacuation of 4 Missouri counties thought to contain Southern sympathizers harboring Colonel William C. Quantrill's guerrillas.
In 15 days all inhabitants were to leave these counties. His command, backed by an order from President Abraham Lincoln was to execute all violators. He finished military service in February 1865 after notable performances against Major General Sterling Price during his 1864 Missouri Raid and at the Battle of Pilot Knob. After the war he practiced law in Washington D.C., for several years, turning down appointments of United States Attorney General and Secretary of War. He was then elected to represent Ohio in the United States House of Representatives, serving two terms from 1877 to 1881. He then practiced law in New York City from 1881 until his death.
Map of the battle of the little & big Blue and Westport.