Published Author to Speak at Civil War Living History Weekend

Perrysburg resident Dan Masters, author of eight books, will speak Saturday and Sunday at the Sidney, Ohio Civil War Living History Weekend. The event is set to take place at Sidney’s 230-acre Tawawa Park on September 17-18.

Masters’ interest in the Civil War began more than a quarter century ago when he began researching his family’s genealogy.

“One day I sat down with my grandmother,” Masters said in a City of Sidney press release. “We were going through the part of his family that had lived in the Chillicothe area. She had a Civil War discharge certificate belonging to James Morrow of the 1st Ohio Cavalry. She had no idea who he was or how we could be related.

“That clearance certificate launched me into genealogy research, travel, and research into old records,” Masters continued. “I found out that James Morrow was his father’s grandfather, and therefore my great-great-great-grandfather.”

Over the next 25 years, Masters has researched and written several books, published several articles in regional and national publications, and is one of the most prolific Civil War bloggers in the field today. . His website “Dan Masters’ Civil War Chronicles” ranks among the top five Civil War blogs in the nation. Much of his work focused on the contributions made by the people of Ohio during the war, including members of his family.

“In addition to James Morrow, I found three other direct Civil War ancestors, all of whom served in the Union Army,” he noted. “Two of the men served in units raised in Indiana and two in units in Ohio.”

“My genealogy research project led me to discover these four direct ancestors, but several other uncles and cousins ​​who also fought in the war,” Masters said. “Two of these uncles did not return home and both are buried in national cemeteries located in Tennessee. One of them died from wounds sustained in the Battle of Stones River while the other died of illness in Memphis in 1863.”

“I’ve always had a deep interest in United States history and especially military history,” Masters said. “When I speak, I like to joke that during the Civil War the Army of the Cumberland was a family business,” he continued, “and, in a way, it was. All four direct ancestors served in this army during the conflict.

Masters has direct ancestors who served with the 1st Ohio Cavalry, 89th Ohio Infantry, 37th Indiana Infantry, and 140th Indiana Infantry. Other family members served with the 21st Ohio Infantry, 144th Ohio Infantry, 39th Indiana Infantry, and 89th Indiana Infantry.

After publishing his first book in 2003 (No Greater Glory: A Regimental History of the 144th Ohio Volunteer Infantry), Masters spent more than a dozen years cataloging and documenting the thousands of letters written home by soldiers that were reprinted in the Ohio Civil War era. newspapers.

“It was a real treasure trove of incredible stories from the war that had been relatively untapped,” Masters said.

“The small hometown newspapers of the time often carried letters from their soldier correspondents in every issue,” he said. “It was an eye-opening experience to find out how many letters were there.”

These letters form the foundations of much of his work. He published his second and third books in 2017 and has published one title a year since under the Columbian Arsenal Press imprint.

His most recent work (Echoes of Battle) is his most ambitious effort to date. It includes hundreds of stories written by Ohioans spanning the first 18 months of the Civil War. Every major battle from Bull Run to Shiloh and Antietam is covered in this book, the first of a trilogy he plans to publish. He is currently working on the second volume. In addition, he wrote a study on the Stones River countryside.

The Battle of Shiloh will be the subject of the Masters on Saturday at the Sidney Civil War Living History Weekend. He will talk about the services of one of Shelby County’s local regiments, the 57th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Company I of the 57th Ohio was raised in Shelby County and Shiloh marked the regiment’s first time under fire. The 57th Ohio was among the first Federal regiments to come under fire during this battle. The Master’s speech will recount the horrors of this battle and of civil war fighting in general.

On Sunday, the Masters presentation will focus on the experiences of the 57th Ohio during the Battle of Atlanta in July 1864. That battle was the most intense of the regiment’s four years of Civil War service.

“At one point during the battle, the regiment was fighting on both sides of their parapets simultaneously,” Masters noted. “The Confederates attacked them from all sides. “It’s unbelievable, truly unbelievable that any of these men survived.”

Masters will be available before and after his conferences with copies of his books for sale that he will autograph for those who wish to buy them. He is also happy to talk about his ongoing research.

A native of northwest Ohio, Masters works as a plant traffic manager for Materion Corporation based in Elmore, Ohio. Masters’ resides in Perrysburg with his wife Amy and five of his six children. Her eldest son is currently stationed in South Carolina serving in the US Air Force.

Dan Masters, the author of eight Civil War books, will speak about the 57th Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment at the Civil War Living History Weekend in Sidney, Ohio on Saturday, 17 and Sunday in September.

Lola R. McClure