Our Namesake: General Charles H. Grosvenor
Colonel (later Brevet Brigadier General) Charles H. Grosvenor took over command of the 18th Ohio Regiment of Veteran Infantry at Chattanooga, TN on October 31, 1864. Earlier Captain Charles H. Grosvenor had been recognized for “gallantry and coolness” under fire when the 18th Regiment made several “brilliant charges” on the second day of the Battle of Chickamauga. The regiment was in the occupation of Nashville during Hood’s threat to that city. They followed the pursuit of Hood in the Tennessee River Valley during December 17-28, 1864.
During this period the 18th participated in the bloody but successful assault on Overton Hill. Here again, the battle took a heavy toll among the unit’s officers and men. But the heavy fighting was over for the 18th Regiment. They were sent to Columbus, Ohio, and were mustered out on October 22, 1865. General Charles H. Grosvenor returned to Athens where he resumed his law practice.
He had a long and successful career in state and national politics. Elected to the Ohio House of Representatives in 1873, he was re-elected and served as Speaker of the House from 1876-1878. In 1884, he was elected to the U.S. Congress, where he served for five successive terms. He was responsible for getting funding for a Carnegie Library in Athens, erecting the Civil War Memorial on what is now part of the Ohio University campus and initiating the bill that set up the National Military Park Service. When he retired from Congress, a bill was passed in his honor to build the classic post office building on West Union street that is now Ohio University’s Haning Hall. According to local legend, this was the fastest bill ever to make it through the halls of Congress, with both houses passing it the same morning and the president waiting in the wings to sign it immediately.