Ohio History Journal

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An Ohio Farmer's Account of Morgan's Raid

An Ohio Farmer's Account of Morgan's Raid


Edited by ARVILLE L. FUNK*




ALTHOUGH OHIO contributed soldiers to all of the major

battles of the Civil War, the state itself was to know war

only through an exciting thirteen-day invasion of its borders

by "The Thunderbolt of the Confederacy," General John

Hunt Morgan, and his Confederate cavalry division.

The purpose of the raid through Kentucky, Indiana, and

Ohio in July 1863 was to divert federal troops in these areas

who were moving to join General Ambrose E. Burnside at

Cincinnati for an invasion of east Tennessee.

Morgan's division was composed of 2,400 mounted men,

divided into ten regiments and two brigades. The excited home

guards of Indiana and Ohio variously estimated the raiders'

strength at from 5,000 to 10,000 men. After crossing the Ohio

River at Brandenburg, Kentucky, Morgan had a brief skir-

mish at Corydon, Indiana, the next day, then spent five days

raiding southeastern Indiana before crossing into Ohio at

Harrison on July 13. From Harrison, the raiders by-passed

Cincinnati, then sped through Piketon, Jackson, and Pomeroy,

until they were cornered and defeated at Buffington Ford,

where they were attempting to recross the Ohio River.

Morgan's ill-fated raid finally ended near Lisbon, in Co-

lumbiana County, on July 26, when he surrendered with only

300 of his command left.

David Hulse, the writer of the following letter, was a

farmer living near the little village of Sharonville, just north

of Cincinnati. Although Hulse did not actually see the events


* Arville L. Funk is head of the social studies department of the Perry Town-

ship Junior High School, Indianapolis.