Whitelaw Reid and Ohio in the Civil War

Deep readers will recognize the citation Ohio in the Civil War by Whitelaw Reid. One comes across it in so many books; so many authors will resort to it for an anecdote or unique piece of information.

Some people cite Reid out of laziness where there are better sources (see for instance note 14 in this Wiki entry). Forget that: I'm referring here to what appears in Ohio and nowhere else.

The desire to read and have this volume after years of hearing about it led me to order a facsimile edition in summer. What arrived was sad. Ohio in the Civil War is at core a voluminous newspaper feature with only the occasional datapoint sourced. You can take Reid's word for something or you can try to corroborate it yourself, but the information that is unique here and that gets cited in better studies generally stands or falls entirley as his say-so.

When you see Ohio among the end notes of your next read, remember this.

p.s. Ohio in the Civil War is also a web site.