The Filson Civil War Field institute July 25-28, 2018
John Hunt Morgan's Great Raid: Rebels Invade the Buckeye State
We will travel by coach bus from Louisville, KY as tour guide David L. Mowery leads us on a four-day tour along John Hunt Morgan’s Great Raid path within Ohio. We will spend two nights in Cincinnati and then move farther eastward and spend one night in Gallipolis, OH.
Throughout the four days, we’ll stop at various historical sites along the way and study Morgan’s raiding tactics and objectives as he traversed Northern territory.
$325 for Filson members;
Includes all admission fees to museums and parks, chartered bus, four lunches, a reception and one dinner.
On Wednesday, July 25 the bus will leave The Filson Historical Society at 7:00 am.
We will return to the Filson Historical Society late Saturday evening.
To reserve your place
A non-refundable deposit of $50 (Due by 5/21/2018) per person is required at time of registration. Space is limited.
All participants are responsible for making their own hotel accommodations
Wednesday, July 25 and Thursday, July 26
Holiday Inn & Suites Cincinnati-Eastgate
4501 Eastgate Boulevard
Cincinnati, OH 45245
mention block code FHS
Group rate $119
Make reservations by July 4
Friday, July 27
577 State Route 7 North
Gallipolis, OH 45631
Mention Filson Historical Society
Group rate $79
make reservations by July 4
More about the sites we will see...
We'll leave the Filson and drive to New Haven, OH, where one of the last Shaker Villages in Ohio stands. Morgan's troopers and Indiana Legion soldiers took property from the pacifist Shaker Society. Then it is on to Miamitown, OH, the site of Morgan’s first skirmish in Ohio, and often referenced as the first land fight of the Civil War in the Buckeye State. We will head to the Great Miami River at New Baltimore, OH, to see the site of the 410-foot covered bridge that Morgan’s men destroyed on the evening of July 13, 1863. We will discuss Morgan’s feinting and counterintelligence strategies as we pass through Bevis and Springdale, OH, while driving the exact path of his daring and difficult night ride through the confusing grid of roads in the northern suburbs of Cincinnati. We’ll stop at Glendale, OH, to view the Cincinnati, Hamilton, and Dayton Railroad depot and crossing, one of the four critical barriers identified by Morgan’s initial raid plan. After driving through Sharonville, Blue Ash, and Deer Park, we’ll visit Porter’s Mill Ford, used by most of Morgan’s 2,000 men to cross the Little Miami River.
The next morning, our first stop will be Camp Dennison, OH, the site of one of the North’s largest military camps. We’ll pass the site of the train derailment caused by Morgan’s scouts. We’ll walk the ground of the Skirmish at the Little Miami River Bridge, the gallant defense of which won Camp Dennison’s commander a promotion from General Burnside. We’ll also visit the Camp Dennison Memorial and the Camp Dennison Civil War Museum. Next, we’ll see the site of Camp Shady, which Morgan burned, and then travel on through Owensville to Williamsburg, where ended Morgan’s great night march, the longest non-stop ride through enemy territory in American history. We’ll travel to Georgetown, OH, where we’ll visit the U.S. Grant Boyhood Home and Schoolhouse and discuss Colonel Richard Morgan’s raid on the home town of Civil War general-in-chief and U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant.
On the third morning of the tour, we'll follow Morgan’s trail through Mt. Orab and Sardinia to Winchester, where Morgan spent several precious hours gathering supplies and waiting for Colonel Richard Morgan's detachment to arrive from Georgetown. Next, we'll travel to Harshaville, the location of an 1855 covered bridge that inexplicably survived Morgan's torch. We'll trail Morgan to Jacksonville, where the general and his rear guard troopers spent the evening of July 15, 1863. We'll move on to Locust Grove, where Morgan’s lead brigade camped on July 15. We’ll pass by Arkoe and Elm Grove to Stoney Ridge, where a small group of Union home guards made a bold but unsuccessful stand that fueled the tragic murder of home guard soldier Joseph McDougal at the nearby canal town of Jasper. Continuing on through Piketon, we’ll conduct a brief walking tour of Morgan’s camp in the streets of Jackson, OH, which hosted a Copperhead newspaper office ransacked by Hobson’s Union troops. Next, we’ll visit the Berlin Crossroads skirmish site, an important Ohio militia fight that delayed Morgan’s progress by three hours. We’ll drive to Wilkesville, the site of Morgan’s camp on July 17, and then we'll proceed through Rutland and Cook’s Gap. We’ll lodge for the night in a motel at Gallipolis, OH.
On our last day of the tour, we head to Pomeroy, where we will walk the battlefield of “The Gauntlet,” named for the intense ambuscade-style fighting that Morgan’s veterans endured here from local militia and veteran regulars who included future U.S. presidents Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes and Lieutenant William McKinley. Next, we will tour Chester, OH, where Colonel Adam “Stovepipe” Johnson and Colonel Basil Duke agreed that General Morgan committed his biggest mistake of the raid. From there, we will wind through the Appalachian foothills to Bashan to study the skirmish there that resulted in the capture of General Morgan’s brother, Richard. Next, we’ll move on to Portland, OH, to conduct a combination bus and walking tour of the Buffington Island battlefield, the largest Civil War battle fought in the North Central United States, and the location of Morgan’s worst defeat in the war up to that time. The tour includes moderate hikes on unpaved trails to sites unknown and inaccessible to most visitors (appropriate shoes and comfortable attire recommended!). We'll drive back to Louisville, arriving late Saturday evening.
More on Morgan's Great Raid:
Confederate Brigadier General John Hunt Morgan’s famed 2,500-man cavalry division crossed the Cumberland River into Federal-held territory on July 2, 1863, in what would be one of America’s most amazing cavalry operations. Although Morgan had been ordered to stay within the confines of Kentucky, he believed that to truly divert Ambrose Burnside’s Army of the Ohio away from East Tennessee, Morgan needed to do something very risky – invade the Northern states.
The Great Raid, also known as the Indiana-Ohio Raid, did just that. Morgan’s division successfully penetrated Burnside’s front-line defense in the southern Bluegrass, and feinting toward Louisville, Morgan surprised his enemy – and his superiors – by crossing the Ohio River into Indiana at Brandenburg, Kentucky, on July 8. The Provisional Division of 2,500 veteran Federal cavalrymen, led by Brigadier General Edward Hobson, took up the chase, and Lieutenant Commander LeRoy Fitch engaged his gunboats of the Mississippi Squadron to prevent Morgan from re-crossing the Ohio River. Governor Oliver Morton rounded up 65,000 troops to defend Hoosier soil, but the Confederates’ lightning speed and effective counter-intelligence confounded Indiana’s military leaders. Morgan’s men headed straight for the Ohio border, avoiding large militia outposts, living off the civilians, and staying one step ahead of Hobson’s regulars.
On July 13, Morgan’s division, now reduced to 2,000 men with artillery, entered Ohio at Harrison. Governor David Tod had 10,000 Ohio troops waiting to defend nearby Hamilton and the Union’s largest western city, Cincinnati, but Morgan executed a brilliant night march to evade them. Morgan’s men spent the next four days traversing southern Ohio while they searched for a way to get across the Ohio River. Resistance increased as the number of Ohio militia multiplied to nearly 60,000 men. Even worse, while Hobson nipped at Morgan’s heels, Brigadier General Henry Judah transported a brigade of fresh cavalry by steamboat to Portsmouth, Ohio. Morgan hoped to cross the river upstream of this city, preferably at the ford at Buffington Island, but Mother Nature would interfere. What resulted on the morning of July 19, 1863, was the largest Civil War battle fought north of the Ohio River – the Battle of Buffington Island. Here, Hobson, Judah, and Fitch achieved an overwhelming victory over Morgan. Incredibly, Morgan escaped with 1,100 men, but they remained trapped on the Buckeyes’ side of the river. Hobson assigned one of his brigade commanders, Brigadier General James Shackelford, to hunt down Morgan and his refugees once and for all.