Village Council Action for Civil War
On April 15, 1861, President Abraham Lincoln put out a call for 75,000 men for three month’s service
to quell the rebellion of the southern states. Obviously, it was going to be a very short war in everyone’
s estimation.*
Local reaction to this news of impending war and the romance and glory that might accompany it, was
The first local reaction of which we have a record is this page from the New Lisbon Village Council
Minute Book : **
                                                                        Incorporated Village of New Lisbon, O.
                                                                                                              April 24th 1861

The council convened at the council chamber.
Present: S. J. Firestone, Mayor; R. B. Pritchard, Recorder; Wm. Dorwart, James S. Smith, Wm Myers,
David C. Shultz, and Andrew J. Cowan, Trustees.
 The object of the meeting being to take into consideration measures for the protection and
maintenance of the families of those of our citizens who have or may volunteer under the call of the
government of the United States for troops for the protection and support  of the government.
Whereupon the following ordinance was presented and read, and on motion said ordinance was
passed by a unanimous vote.
Aff: Firestone, Dorwart, Smith, Myers, Shultz, Cowan, Pritchard; Nays: none
 “Be it ordained by the town council of the Incorporated Village of New Lisbon, O. that we appropriate
the sum of Two Thousand Dollars in money, the sum to be included I the Borough levy for this year
and raised by taxation, and as raised to be equitably distributed toward maintaining the families of
men who have or may volunteer in companies organizing in said under the present government call
for troops. Said money to be distributed as aforesaid by said council or a committee by them
appointed for that purpose”.                                                           
                                                                                                     On motion
Resolved that a committee be appointed to wait upon the Trustees of Center Township and request
they cooperate in making such an appropriation as will insure the protection and maintenance of the
families of men who volunteer in the service of the government.   
                                                                                                         On motion the
Council adjourned.                                                                                  S. J. Firestone
R. B. Pritchard, Recorder

*What, generally, isn’t known is that this act of the President’s was illegal. He didn’t have the power to
order troops into any state to interfere in that state’s internal affairs; and furthermore, only the states
had the right to request troops in 1861. Most of the northern state legislature immediately enacted
their own rules calling for men from their state to support the federal government. Ohio enacted
orders on or about April 16,
1861, for men and $1,000,000 to support the war effort.  

**Thanks to Jeff Dorrance, owner of the New Lisbon Council Minutes book, for allowing us to reprint
this page.