Abram Sanders Piatt

Abram Sanders Piatt, whose first name appeared as "Abraham" in the records of the War Department, was born in Cincinnati, on May 2, 1821. He was a brother of Donn Piatt, well-known journalist and author, and of Jacob Piatt, who as a Cincinnati councilman was the original advocate of the paid fire department. Abram received a classical education in the local academies and then devoted himself to farming in the Macacheek Valley, an occupation which he followed, with few interruptions, until his death. In 1846 he studied law for a time and edited the Macacheek Press.

At the beginning of the Civil War he recruited and became colonel of the 13th Ohio, a ninety-day regiment which did not leave the state, but on September 2 he was made colonel of the 34th Ohio, which spent the first winter of the war in the snowy mountains of West Virginia guarding the rear of W. S. Rosecrans' forces. Promoted brigadier general on April 30, 1862, Piatt commanded the only brigade of Sturgis' division to reach the front at Second Manassas and was warmly commended by John Pope in his report of the battle. This was something of a dubious honor in view of Pope's subsequent effort to discredit virtually everyone previously connected with George B. McClellan. During the Maryland campaign which followed, Piatt's brigade was detached in the Washington defenses. On December 13, 1862, at the battle of Fredericksburg, Piatt's horse fell with him, and the resulting back injury caused him to turn over command of his brigade of Whipple's III Corps to his senior colonel. Presumably this injury brought about his resignation from the service, which was accepted as of February 17, 1863. He returned to his Ohio home and resumed farming. In labor unrest helped to create support for the Greenbackers who pressed for the free coinage of silver a program irresistible to hard-pressed middle-western farmers. The Greenback-Labor ticket of 1877 polled more than a million votes in the presidential election and the following year narrowly missed electing Piatt governor of Ohio. He was for years a member of the Granger movement which advocated many of the reforms now existing in the Interstate Commerce Commission regulations and the antitrust laws. General Piatt died at his home, Mac-a-cheek, Logan County, Ohio, March 16, 1908, and was buried in nearby Piatt Cemetery.

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Reference: Generals in Blue. Lives of the Union Commanders by Ezra J. Warner. Louisiana State University Press. Baton Rouge.