Meet the Wades of Ohio
Meet the Wades of Ohio
Reprinted by permission from RALLY 'ROUND CAMP NELSON - The Newsletter of the Camp Nelson Restoration & Preservation Foundation, Volume 6, Number 2 - Spring/Summer 2002
Three members of the Ohio Wade family played important roles in the history of Camp Nelson: Senator Benjamin Franklin Wade and his two sons, Captain Henry P. Wade and Major General U.S.A. James Franklin Wade.
Born in 1800 in Feeding Hills, near Springfield, MA, Benjamin Franklin Wade moved with his parents, Mary Upham and James Wade, who had served as a sergeant in the Revolutionary War, and eight siblings to Andover, OH in 1821. Although he had little formal education, he was schooled at home by his mother, the daughter of a Baptist minister, enabling him to undertake the study of law in Canfield, OH in 1825; he was admitted to the bar three years later. In 1835, he became interested in politics and public service, becoming first the prosecuting attorney of Ashtabula County, OH and then senator in 1837. In 1841, he married Caroline M. Rosekrans and relocated to Jefferson, OH. Until his death in 1878, he was widely admired for his active support of the anti-slavery movement and his vehement opposition to Ohio's harsh fugitive slave law. During the summer 1864, he visited Camp Nelson and learned of the poor treatment of the black soldiers' families. After this visit, he corresponded with Capt. Theron E. Hall, the quartermaster and superintendent of refugees at Camp Nelson, supporting Hall's concerns about the conditions of the black families. Concerned over the conditions of women and children refugees, he worked tirelessly to author legislation to protect them.
The Camp Nelson files record only that Capt. Henry P. Wade, born in 1845, served as an officer of the 6th U.S. Colored Cavalry Regiment, formed by his older brother, Col. James F. Wade on October, 24, 1864. James Wade, born in Jefferson, OH in 1843, was a career army officer, beginning in 1861 as a first lieutenant of the 3rd U.S. Cavalry. Three years later, in May 1864, he was breveted a Lt. Col. of the 6th U.S.C.T. Cavalry Regiment at Camp Nelson and led the 5th U.S.C.T. Cavalry Regiment into battle at Saltville, VA on Oct. 2, 1864. It was this action which brought attention to the bravery and value of Union Army black troops trained at Camp Nelson. [See the Fall 2001 Newsletter for details of the valor of the 5th at Saltville.] In Sept. 1864, Col. Wade was promoted to Brigadier General, U.S. Volunteers, and was commended for his leadership at campaigns in Beverly Ford, VA, Marion, TN, and southwest VA. After the Civil War, he remained in the regular army and was named Brigadier General U.S.A. in 1897. He retired in 1903 as a Major General, U.S.A. Married to Clara Lyon in 1866, he was survived by a daughter.
Camp Nelson, Kentucky