Thursday, February 18, 2010

John Hunt Morgan Heritage Trail - Indiana Civil War Raid

A Visit to O'Bannon Woods State Park and Corydon Indiana
A Visit to O'Bannon Woods State Park and
Corydon Indiana
John Hunt Morgan Heritage Trail 
Morgan’s Raid (July 8-13, 1863)
Brigadier General John Hunt Morgan, in an effort to draw Union troops away from their campaign in Tennessee, crossed the Ohio River with over 2000 trained and seasoned Confederate troops. Fresh off two raids in Kentucky that rattled Union commanders in the area, he defied orders from his superior General Braxton Bragg, by crossing the Ohio River into Indiana on July 8 and 9, 1863.
John Hunt Morgan (June 1, 1825 – September 4, 1864)
The eldest son of ten children born to Calvin and Henrietta (Hunt) Morgan, John's father migrated to Lexington, Kentucky after the failure of his pharmacy. He attended Transylvania College but the university tossed him out in 1844 for dueling. He enlisted in the Army in 1846 to serve in the Mexican-American War. He had an avid interest in the military and raised a unit in 1852, which the state legislature disbanded. When tensions began rising during the years before the Civil War, he raised another unit in 1857, which he trained well. When war broke out, he did not immediately favor secession. But when the southern states began seceding, he and his men joined the cause. Using his corps of "Lexington Riflemen" as a nucleus, he soon raised a unit, the 2nd Kentucky Cavalry Regiment. This unit fought at the Battle of Shiloh. On July 4, 1862, Morgan launched the first of his Kentucky raids. This successful action resulted in the capture of over a thousand Federal troops and the requisitioning of tons of Union supplies and hundreds of horses. A second series of raids against Union Major General William S. Rosecrans supply lines disrupted the Union troops and created havoc in the Union command in Kentucky. The success of these raids encouraged his foray into Indiana.
Battle of Corydon Memorial Park
Battle of Corydon Memorial Park

The Crossing
Morgan launched his raid from Burkesville, Kentucky, which is near the Tennessee/Kentucky state line. The beginning of this raid coincided with General Lee's Battle of Gettysburg far to the northeast. From Burkesville, the troops rode north to Brandenburg, Kentucky. He had already scouted the Ohio to find suitable places to cross and had settled on this site. His soldiers commandeered two riverboats on July 7 and by the next day; they moved north towards Corydon and the only Civil War battle to occur on Indiana soil.
Visitors can visit the battlefield here:
Battle of Corydon Memorial Park
100 Old Hwy 135 SW
Corydon, IN 47112

After Corydon
Morgan did not rest after his victory at Corydon. He continued east, crossing Harrison, Washington, Scott, Jennings, Jefferson, Ripley and Dearborn counties. Corydon’s townspeople cared for Morgan’s wounded soldiers from the battle, using the old Presbyterian Church as a hospital.
The Indiana portion of the raid has been mapped into an Auto Tour. The John Hunt Morgan Heritage Trail traces the route of Morgan’s Raiders through Indiana as it fled through the countryside into Ohio.
Find out more Morgan's Raiders in Indiana here.

John Hunt Morgan Heritage Trail 
1981 S. Industrial Park Road, Ste. 1
PO Box 407
Versailles, IN 47042
hhhills@seidata.com
812-689-4107




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