Hosea Paul, Jr., Surveyor and Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Recorder, Civil War-Era and Post-War Archive
60 Letters, 1856-1912, (bulk ca 1863-1865).
Hosea Paul Jr. (1845-1923) served in the United States Christian Commission relief organization from 1864-1865, during which time he was primarily stationed in City Point, VA with the Army of the Potomac. After the war, he became a surveyor, county recorder, and civil engineer in Ohio and throughout the Ohio River Valley. He married Emma Plum in 1875 and worked with his brothers at H. Paul & Co. survey firm. Hosea Paul Jr. came from a long line of engineers and surveyors. His father Hosea Paul Sr. (1809-1870) was a civil engineer and the surveyor of Summit County, and worked with the Army Corps of Engineers during the Civil War. Hosea Paul Jr. was a prominent member of the community in Cuyahoga Falls and Summit County, OH, and worked closely with the mayors of Cleveland, building an exceptional reputation as a surveyor and government official.
This archive contains letters written primarily between 1863 and 1865. There is a particularly interesting selection of letters to and from Hosea Paul Sr., including a number of letters from the Army Corps of Engineers to Hosea Paul Sr. with orders and information about projects that he was ordered to work on during his appointment. He was primarily stationed in Ohio, and worked closely with a number of important members of the Army Corps. Additional letters from Hosea Paul Sr. appear in other archives connected with the Paul family, as he was a constant correspondent with his children and wife. (See also Lots 92-95, 97-99, and 123.)
Hosea Paul Jr. wrote a series of letters to his family describing the conditions in City Point, VA. On September 18, 1864, he wrote to his parents regarding his observations, People down here seem to be more confident of final success than they are in the north, yet also some of the “victories” we gain are losing operations, for instance the 2nd Corps was it got the worst of it decidedly at Ream’s Station some weeks ago, and many regiments acted very cowardly. A few mornings since a rebel “race” was made into our picket lines + come within 3 or 4 mines of here +capture +drove of 2500 cattle they wanted the cattle or else they could have scared City Point very much. A cavalry force was sent in pursuit but was too late. These vignettes describing his time at City Point provide an excellent illustration of the experience of a civilian in the war, particularly the perspective of a very young man.
This archive as well as others from the Paul family features several examples of Civil War-dated letters between Hosea Jr. and his father and brothers containing encrypted messages, presumably connected to the family's wartime activities. While the letters are signed in the writer's hand, the content is indecipherable.
As a part of his work, Hosea Jr. was closely associated with the reporter Sylvanus Cadwallader, a war correspondent for the Chicago Times and a family connection. In a letter on September 15, 1864 to his father, he wrote about Cadwallader’s reporting. In order to report full information, he had a correspondent assigned to each corps and each cavalry division. Their reports arrived in Cadwallader’s hands in the morning, and he either edited them or sent them directly to Baltimore via messenger where they were forwarded to the Herald. Some news bulletins were sent to Washington or telegraphed out from Baltimore. Hosea’s Uncle, Daniel Paul was responsible for carrying the dispatches to Baltimore, and he felt comfortable seeing friends from Ohio.