Wade was born on December 2, 1802 in Cincinnati, Ohio. His father, Daniel Everett Wade, was a soldier in the American Revolution and was held captive by the British in New York City.
Melancthon Smith Wade was the commander of Camp Dennison during the first year of the American Civil War.
Wade was born on December 2, 1802 in Cincinnati, Ohio. His father, Daniel Everett Wade, was a soldier in the American Revolution and was held captive by the British in New York City. Melancthon Wade received an education in Cincinnati schools and eventually opened his own dry goods business. He retired from this venture in 1840, and Wade soon became a fruit farmer in Avondale, Ohio. Wade also actively participated in volunteer militia organizations from 1825 to 1849, rising from the rank of second sergeant to brigadier-general.
With the Civil War's outbreak and because of Wade's military experience, General Ormsby Mitchel recommended that authorities commission Wade as a brigadier-general. Wade accepted and was given the command of Camp Dennison, a military training facility near Cincinnati. Interestingly, while military authorities granted the commission to Wade, the United States Senate never confirmed the appointment due to Wade's short term of service. Wade served as the commander of the camp, being responsible for training new enlistees and preparing them for regular military duty, from late 1861 to March 18, 1862, when he resigned from the military due to his age and poor health. He returned to his farm at Avondale and died on August 11, 1868. He was buried in Cincinnati's Spring Grove Cemetery.