Thomas Ewing Jr.

Thomas Ewing, Jr., brother of Generals Charles and Hugh Ewing, was born in Lancaster, Ohio, August 7, 1829. At the age of nineteen, while his father was Secretary of the Interior, he became one of the private secretaries of President Zachary Taylor. Subsequently, he studied law in Cincinnati, gained admission to the bar, and in 1856 moved to Leavenworth, Kansas, where he associated himself with the firm of Ewing, Sherman 8c McCook. Ewing was a staunch an-tislavery advocate and had much to do with preventing the admission of Kansas to the Union as a slave state. Elected the first chief justice of the state supreme court in 1861, he resigned in the autumn of 1862 to recruit the 11th Kansas Cavalry of which he became colonel. The regiment served as infantry at Cane Hill and Prairie Grove, Arkansas, in James G. Blunt's division of the Army of the Frontier. On March 13, 1863, Ewing was promoted to brigadier general and soon after was assigned to the command of the District of the Border, comprising Kansas and the western tier of Missouri counties. In an effort to suppress the bushwhackers who roamed the area, Ewing issued his notorious Order No. 11, which decreed expulsion of the inhabitants, loyal or disloyal, from the Missouri counties of Jackson, Cass, Vernon, and Bates. During Sterling Price's famous Missouri Raid in 1864, Ewing's command embraced the District of St. Louis, and he distinguished himself at the battle of Pilot Knob and in the subsequent retreat of the Federal forces. He resigned on February 23, 1865, with the brevet of major general and for the next few years practiced law in Washington, declining the posts of Secretary of War and Attorney General tendered him by President Andrew Johnson. In 1870, General Ewing returned to Lancaster and soon became identified with the Greenback wing of the Democratic party. He represented his district in Congress for two terms (1877-81) and was an unsuccessful candidate for governor of Ohio in 1879. From 1881 Until his death on January 21, 1896, he practiced law in New York City. He was buried in Oakland Cemetery, Yonkers, New York.

Previous Page

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