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John Hunt Morgan

Civil War enthusiasts to kick off
series of John Hunt Morgan events

Historic 1863 raid of Confederate Gen.
John Hunt Morgan through Indiana

Staff Report

(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 Hanover’s 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.

Richard Skidmore

Richard Skidmore

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 route.
The trail commemorates Morgan’s 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, Morgan’s 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, Morgan’s 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 Indiana’s 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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