Edward Henry Hobson


Edward Henry Hobson was born on July 11, 1825, in Greensburg, Kentucky, a village on Green River in the central part of the state; his father was a steamboat operator and merchant. He attended school in Greensburg and in Danville, Kentucky, and at the age of eighteen went into business with his father. During the Mexican War he served with the 2nd Kentucky Infantry and was made first lieutenant for gallant conduct at the battle of Buena Vista. By 1861, Hobson had become prominent in commercial circles and was president of the Greensburg Branch Bank of Kentucky. That autumn he recruited the 13th (Union) Kentucky Infantry from the counties along Green River and was mustered in as its colonel on January 1, 1862. The regiment, assigned to Jeremiah T. Boyle's brigade of T. L. Crittenden's division, was present at Shiloh with Don Carlos Buell's forces. Thereafter, Hobson's service was almost entirely in Kentucky, first under the command of the dictatorial Boyle and later under that of Boyle's still more unpopular successor, Stephen G. Burbridge. Hobson's prime wartime accomplishment was probably at Buffington's Island, Ohio, where he helped compel the surrender of a part of the command of General John H. Morgan in July, 1863. The following June, Morgan, who had escaped from the Ohio penitentiary, turned the tables by capturing Hobson and his entire command near Cynthiana, Kentucky.  Hobson, who had been made a brigadier general in April, 1863 (to rank from November 29, 1862), entered into a quasi-parole arrangement with his captor to go to Cincinnati and attempt to effect his own exchange and those of his officers for some of Morgan's officers imprisoned in the North. At the end of the war Hobson was stationed at Lexington in command of the "First Division, Department of Kentucky." He was honorably mustered out in August, 1865. In the postbellum years Hobson joined the Radical Republicans, ran unsuccessfully for clerk of the state court of appeals, was made a district collector of internal revenue by U. S. Grant in 1869, and took a prominent part in business and the affairs of the Republican party and the Grand Army of the Republic. He died at an encampment of the latter in Cleveland on September 14, 1901, and was buried in the family graveyard at Greensburg.

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