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Ewing, Thomas and Charles


Father and son. Thomas was a statesman and lawyer;b. West Liberty, Ohio County, Va., Dec. 28, 1789; d. Lancaster, Ohio, Oct. 26, 1871. Of Scotch-Irish and Presbyterian background, he married Mary Wills Boyle, a Catholic, and was received into the Church (1871) by Abp. J. B. Purcell of Cincinnati, Ohio. As a lawyer Ewing was prominent in important court litigation that tested the validity of charitable trusts, the binding force of national church incorporation, and land titles in the West. He was a friend and adviser of Archbishop Purcell and an opponent of know-nothingism. Ewing served in the U.S. Senate (183036, 185051) and was secretary of the treasury (1841); he organized the interior department as its first secretary (184950) and was delegate to the Peace Conference of 1861. His son, Thomas, served in the Congress and in the Union Army. His daughter, Ellen, married Gen. William T. Sherman.

Charles was the head of Catholic Indian Missions and a Civil War general; b. Lancaster, Ohio, March 6, 1835; d. Washington, D.C., June 20, 1883. He studied at the Dominican College near Lancaster, Ohio; at Gonzaga College, Washington, D.C.; and at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. In 1860 he was admitted to the practice of law in St. Louis, Mo., and became a captain in the 13th Infantry Regulars of the Union Army. While fighting in the Arkansas and Mississippi campaigns, he was wounded three times at Vicksburg and was subsequently made a lieutenant colonel. He served as acting inspector general during the Atlanta campaign under Gen. William T. Sherman, his brother-in-law. At the end of this campaign he was cited for gallantry and promoted to brigadier general. After the war he returned to his law practice, and in 1873 he became head of the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions.

Bibliography: e. e. sherman, Memorial of Thomas Ewing of Ohio (New York 1873).

[t. o. hanley/

j. l. morrison]

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