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 John Hunt Morgan Heritage TrailITEMS FOR SALE  * EMAIL
 
 
John Hunt Morgan Heritage Trail
 
The American Civil War (18-61-1865) was a great test.  Was the United States to remain an undivided nation or a Confederacy of many independent states?  In 1861, the country was divided when 11 southern states attempted to secede from the United States government.  Leading the effort to hold the United States together was President Abraham Lincoln.  The leader of the Confederacy was Jefferson Davis.  To determine who would prevail, over six hundred thousand men would die of battle wounds and disease.  The agony for those at home can not be calculated.
 
MORGAN'S GREAT RAID
 
In early July 1863, with battles raging in Vicksburg and Gettysburg, General John Hunt Morgan initiated the Great Raid.  The main purpose of the raid was to divert the attention of Union General Ambrose Burnside's Army of the Ohio away from eastern Tennessee.  It was threatening Confederate forces and preparing to join with General William Rosecrans' Army of the Cumberland, in an advance on Chattanooga.
 
Morgan had led his cavalry in previous successful raids throughout Kentucky and Tennessee.  On July 2nd his division crossed the rain-swollen Cumberland River in the area of Burkesville, Kentucky.  Fighting their way through Tebbs Bend, Lebanon, and Bardstown, the raiders finally reached Brandenburg when Morgan established headquarters at the Buckner house on the bluff overlooking the Ohio.  Against strict orders not to leave Kentucky, Morgan's troops commandeered two riverboats and crossed into Indiana on July 8, 1863.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Morgan's Great Raid of July, 1963 through Kentucky, Indiana & Ohio.
(click image to enlarge)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
GENERAL MORGAN'S RAID THROUGH INDIANA
 
General Morgan's men spent six days crossing through southern Indiana, leaving behind a swath of devastated homesteads and burnt buildings.  With their pursuers, led by Union General Hobson, only a few hours behind them, the raiders left Indiana and entered Ohio at Harrison, on July 13th.  This website will guide you through the path taken by Morgan's men through all 7 Indiana counties.  Most of the route taken by John Hunt Morgan through Indiana has been mapped out for a driving tour complete with directional markers and road-side points of interest.
 
THE FINAL DAYS OF THE RAID
 
Morgan attempted a crossing at Buffington Island, near Pomeroy, Ohio.  The Confederates were defeated by northern forces and gunboats.  Approximately 750 men were captured.
 
After the battle, Colonel Adam Johnson and 300 of the raiders escaped, crossing the Ohio just upriver from Buffington Island.  The gunboats arrived before all the men could cross.  Morgan could have gone with Johnson, but chose to stay with the remainder of his force still in Ohio.
 
The remnants of Morgan's command fled into northeastern Ohio, where they were captured near West Point in Columbiana County, on July 26.
 
After a four month incarceration, Morgan and six of his men escaped on November 27th.  General John Hunt Morgan returned south to take a small command and was killed at Greenville, Tennessee, in September 1864.
 
Morgan's Great Raid covered 1,000 miles
and was the longest sustained cavalry raid of the Civil War.
While given little significance in the overall history of the Civil War,
it was regarded as a major event along the route he traveled.
 
THE JOHN HUNT MORGAN HERITAGE TRAIL PROJECT
 
The project began in 1996, when a committee of Civil War historians, published Civil War authors, and Morgan's Raid enthusiasts first met as a project committee of Historic Hoosier Hills RC&D, Inc.  The group was chaired by Richard Skidmore and included Lora Cahill, Dave Taylor, Larry Ligget, Eric Losey, Clara and Dick Lewis, Ken Knouf, and Elbert Hinds.  County representatives were:  Maxine and Mike Klump, Dearborn county; David Craig, Harrison County; Elbert Hinds, Jefferson County; Mike Ochs, Jennings County; Dan Goris, Ripley County; Joe Gibson, Scott County; and Ron Ewing, Washington County.  The group agreed on five products which were needed to accomplish their goal of "identifying, interpreting and promoting the July 1863 Raid ("The Great Raid") of Confederate General John Hunt Morgan through southeastern Indiana.  with the financial support of the Civil War Preservation Trust, an experienced proposal writer was secured and an application for Transportation Enhancement Act (TEA-21) funds was submitted and approved.  With additional funding support from the Indiana Department of Commerce, Tourism Division's Tourism Information Promotion Fund, the Harrison county Community Foundation, the Community Foundation of Madison and Jefferson County, the Ripley County Tourism Bureau, the Dearborn County Community Foundation, the Scott County Commissioners, Jennings County Commissioners, and Washington County Commissioners, the products were financed.  Several donation were also received from various Civil War organizations, individuals, and groups.  We are deeply appreciative for all of the financial support.  Many hours of time by committee members went into the development and refinement of the five products, which we offer on this site for your information and enjoyment.
 
Click the links below to view other pages regarding the
 John Hunt Morgan Heritage Trail
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