The GOVERNORS' CONFERENCE, held in Cleveland on 3 May 1861, served as a platform for the governors of Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan to urge a more aggressive war effort against the rebellious South. Concerned about access to the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, Ohio Governor William Dennison convened the conference to coordinate the wartime activities of the midwestern states. As a result, the governors sent messages to Pres. Lincoln advocating more forceful measures against the South, and Dennison asked permission to move Ohio troops into Kentucky and Virginia. Lincoln responded immediately, making it clear that Ohio troops were under his command and he alone would direct and control the Army of the U.S.
Abbott, Richard H. Ohio's War Governors (1962).