RALPH G. NEW MAN
THE CIVIL WAR centennial was welcomed with mixed emotions. Some greeted it as an opportunity to commemorate the deeds of a war a century earlier which had caused much death and misery but had established the principles of full freedom in these United States. Others cringed at the prospect of celebration rather than commemoration, of re-enactment of battles, of tourist promotions, and of other activities of doubtful taste, many of which seemed more concerned with reward and riches than with respect and remembrance.
The states of Ohio, Illinois, and New York had all served with honor in the fight to preserve the Union. The dedication and valor of the sons of these states had contributed in a major way to the ultimate victory. Among the heroes were some of the most distinguished names in American history—Lincoln, Logan, McPherson, Schofield, Sheridan, Sherman, Sickles, Wadsworth, and others. And there was the great hero whom they shared—Grant. Ulysses S. Grant belonged to the three states: Ohio, where he was born; Illinois, where he rose to greatness; and New York, where he spent his last years and was buried.
Early in the Civil War centennial, representatives of the three states agreed that some joint project which would pay tribute to the memory of General Grant would be proper and desirable. On May 3, 1962, the late Robert S. Harper, secretary of the Ohio Civil War Centennial Commission, brought together some of the members of the Civil War centennial commissions of Ohio, Illinois, and New York to discuss ways in which the centennial could lead to an increased understanding and appreciation of the Union commander and Eight