Side A: Soldier, engineer, and statesman, W.S. Rosecrans was born in Delaware County in 1819 and grew up in Homer. He graduated from West Point in 1842. During the Civil War, Rosecrans commanded the federal Army of the Cumberland. Popular with his troops, who called him “Old Rosy,” he was a cautious commander and, though victorious at, Corinth, Murfreesboro, and Chattanooga, he suffered major defeat at Chickamauga in 1863. A skilled engineer, Rosecrans developed coal properties in western (now West) Virginia before the war and helped design St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Columbus for his brother, Bishop Sylvester Rosecrans. Following the war he served as minister to Mexico and represented California in Congress from 1881 to 1885. He died in 1898 and is interred at Arlington National Cemetery.
Side B: Sylvester Rosecrans, the first Bishop of the Diocese of Columbus, was born in 1827 one half mile east of this site. He attended Kenyon and St. John’s colleges and studied for the Roman Catholic priesthood in Cincinnati and Rome, where he was ordained in 1852. Returning to Cincinnati, he officiated at St. Thomas’s church and taught in the diocesan seminary, becoming its president after it became a college in 1859. When the Diocese of Columbus was created in 1868, he became its first bishop. There he founded St. Aloysius Seminary, established a newspaper, fostered temperance societies, and built St. Joseph’s cathedral, which his brother W.S. Rosecrans helped to design. He died in 1878, on the day following the dedication of his new cathedral.
Sponsors: Licking/Knox Roman Catholic Vicariate, Catholic Record Society, Homer Historical Society, Granville Historical Society, and The Ohio Historical Society