Cincinnati Massacre
Part of the American Civil War
Location Cincinnati, Ohio
Date December 25, 1857
Deaths 257
Non-fatal injuries 506




Union Army men

The Cincinnati Massacre occurred on Christmas Day, 1857. After losing the Battle of Middletown in November, halting the Columbus Campaign, the Union forces were forced back over the Ohio River. Being chased, they needed to be quick, so they went to Cincinnati where there were many bridges to easily cross. As they were going through, Simon B. Buckner advised the troops to place traps to halt anybody following them and restrict any invasion of Kentucky. Earlier, using scorched earth tactics, he had burned the village of Reading. As the Union armies marched through the streets of Cincinnati, setting booby traps, two abolitionist civilians fired at the soldiers from a crowd that had gathered on a major intersection on the corner of Vine Street and 5th. As a result, Buckner ordered the troops to fire at the crowd to stop their rebellious intents. Some of the crowd quickly dispersed, setting off some of the booby traps. Some people stood their ground though, not knowing what had occurred, and they began to charge at the troops. These people were fired at, with many being killed or wounded. The rest surrendered, and were taken as prisoners of war. This became known as the Cincinnati Massacre or Christmas Massacre, and heightened the tensions between the North and South. It led to increased enlistment for the Federation, was key for propaganda in the North, and was in some ways the beginning of Northern patriotism.

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