George Washington Neff

GEORGE W. NEFF was born January 5,1833, in Cincinnati. His father was president of the Independent Fire Engine and Hose Company and president of the Firemen's Insurance Company until his death in 1850. Young George W. Neff assumed his father's business and was a member of the "Rover Guards," one of Cincinnati's pre-Civil War militia companies. At the outbreak of the Civil War he was briefly in command of Camp Harrison, then became the principal organizer of the 2nd Kentucky Volunteers. In the early days of the Civil War, Kentucky assumed a position of neutrality, and Governor Beriah Magoffin did not supply volunteers for the Union Army. As there were many more volunteers from Ohio than had been requested, it was decided to raise troops in Cincinnati and call them Kentucky volunteers. Thus, most of Colonel Neff s 2nd Kentucky volunteers were from Ohio. Neff served with his regiment in western Virginia, but was captured during the battle of Scarry Creek on July 17,1861. He suffered much hardship in Confederate prison camps. He was first imprisoned at Richmond, Virginia, then at Charleston, South Carolina, then was moved to a prison camp at Columbia, South Carolina, then back to Richmond, then to Salisbury, North Carolina, and finally to Belle Isle, near Richmond. After a year's imprisonment, he was exchanged. He was on leave of absence in Cincinnati when the Confederates threatened the city in September 1862z and he volunteered his services to General Lew Wallace until the threat of siege was over. He was then named commandant of Camp Dennison. He repelled the attack of John Hunt Morgan in July 1863 and took part in the pursuit of Morgan's raiders across southern Ohio. After this he was named colonel of the 88th Ohio Volunteers, where his principal duty was guarding Confederate prisoners confined at Camp Chase in Columbus, Ohio. Near the end of the war he was named a brevet brigadier general. General Neff died at Newport, Kentucky, on December 13,1892, at age fifty-nine.

Previous Page