The CUYAHOGA COUNTY MILITARY COMMITTEE was formed by order of Gov. William Dennison, Ohio's first Civil War governor, in 1861. Each of Ohio's 88 counties had such a committee, with members appointed by the governor to oversee recruitment of volunteers for service in the Union Army and Navy. Committees served without pay. Members of the Cuyahoga County Military Committee at the end of 1863 were WILLIAM. B. CASTLE (chair), WILLIAM BINGHAM, F. Nicola, EDWARD HESSENMUELLER, Col. GEORGE B. SENTER, STILLMAN WITT, M. Barlow (secretary), William Edwards, and William F. Cary. It was the responsibility of the committee to stimulate recruitment to fill quotas set by the governor, to forestall implementation of conscription. Gov. Tod, Dennison's successor, retained the County Military Committee system when he took office in 1862, and on 8 July 1862, by proclamation, he established 11 Ohio recruiting districts. Cuyahoga County was included in the 11th military district, which also included Summit, Columbiana, Medina, Stark, Portage, Mahoning, Trumbull, Lorain, Geauga, Lake, and Ashland counties. At "war meetings" sponsored by local ward or township officials and patriotic citizens, enlistments were encouraged by offering bounty or enlistment bonuses at the city ward or township levels. Through voluntary citizen contributions, the committee also provided relief for Cuyahoga County families whose men had enlisted.
Cuyahoga County Military Committee Records, WRHS.