War enthusiasts to kick off
series of John Hunt Morgan events
1863 raid of Confederate Gen.
John Hunt Morgan through Indiana
(March 2003) Organizers of a series of events to
mark the historic 1863 raid of Confederate Gen. John Hunt Morgan through
Indiana plan to kick off the festivities Feb. 27 in Corydon, Ind., with
a trail dedication ceremony. Other re-enactment events are being planned
for April along the trail route in Ripley and Dearborn counties.
The events are being planned by a group of tourism organizations and
Civil War enthusiasts coordinating the interpretive trail project, including
Hanovers Richard Skidmore, who is serving as director. Susan Walter,
the Jennings County tourism director, is scheduled to serve as a hostess
at the inaugural event while dressed in period costume.
The 185-mile trail, which runs across southeastern Indiana
and into Ohio, where Morgan was eventually caught and imprisoned, will
be accessible to the public through a series of interpretive signs and
a navigational brochure directing travelers to key points along the
The trail commemorates Morgans Raid, a six-day period of the Civil
War during which approximately 2,000 Confederate troops stormed their
way through the area, including Scott, Jennings, Jefferson, Ripley and
Dearborn counties. About 20 Hoosiers were killed during the raid; another
24 were wounded.
Throughout the raid, Morgans troops were pursued by a column of
about 4,000 Union cavalry under the command of Brig. Gen. Edward Hobson,
plus another 13 regiments of men mustered into service under the command
of Maj. Gen. Lew Wallace.
By one estimate, Morgans raiders captured and paroled 6,000 northern
soldiers, destroyed 34 major bridges, demolished railroad tracks in
60 locations and burned many warehouses and depots. The raid ended July
26 with his capture in northeastern Ohio after he had traveled 1,000
miles in 25 days.
After serving time in the Ohio State Penitentiary, Morgan escaped to
rejoin the Confed-erate Army. He was killed a little more than a year
later, on Sept. 4, 1864, by a Union private in Greeneville, Tenn.
The John Hunt Morgan Heritage Trail is noteworthy not only for
its historical significance, but also for its value as a heritage tourism
attraction, Skidmore said. Whether travelers choose to explore
just a portion of the trail or travel the entire route, it will enable
people to become better connected to this terrifying period of Indianas
Civil War history.
In addition to the driving tour brochure, the group has produced a 56-page
historical guidebook. CDs and cassette tapes that dramatize the raid
are also available.
For information or to order these materials, call the Madison
Area Convention and Visitors Bureau at 1-800-559-2956 or (812) 265-2956.
Or contact the Historic Hoosier Hills at (812) 689-6410, Ext. 5.
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