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Nelsonville in Athens County, Ohio — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Nelsonville

"An Act of Devilishness"

 

— John Hunt Morgan Heritage Trail —

 
Nelsonville Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, September 4, 2014
1. Nelsonville Marker
Inscription.  Brigadier General John Hunt Morgan and his Confederate raiders, wearied by the relentless Union pursuit, crossed the Hocking River into Nelsonville in the mid-morning of July 22, 1863. They found the town almost abandoned. Nelsonville's local militia were in nearby Athens, the raiders' rumored next destination. The local newspapers had reported that Morgan had very few troops remaining after the Battle of Buffington Island, and residents were lulled into thinking Morgan was not headed in their direction.

On Morgan's arrival, the mayor immediately surrendered the town, hoping to avoid extensive damage. The Confederates helped themselves to the food families had prepared for themselves. Despite the mayor's request, Morgan ordered about a dozen canal boats and a canal bridge put to the torch, and the fire spread to an adjacent coal yard. A flour mill was spared only through a personal plea to the general by the owner's wife.

After seizing around 36 fresh horses and all the supplies they could carry, the Confederates left Nelsonville and headed northeast in the early afternoon. Union forces under Brigadier General James Shackelford
Marker detail: “an act of devilishness” image. Click for full size.
2. Marker detail: “an act of devilishness”
The Confederates’ destruction in Nelsonville infuriated a local newspaper editor who insisted that such an “act of devilishness” deserved “death by slow torture.”
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arrived about six hours later.

Morgan’s Raid in Ohio
The Civil War, which most thought would be over quickly, had bogged down into a long fight between the states. Heavy fighting was going on in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and in Vicksburg, Mississippi, when Confederate Brigadier General John Hunt Morgan brought the war to the northern home front. Racing through Indiana, he crossed into southwestern Ohio on July 13, 1863, and brought more than 2,000 veteran raiders with him. Their mission in crossing the state was to occupy and divert as many Union troops as possible. Department of the Ohio commander Major General Ambrose Burnside sought to stop Morgan, but that would prove a much harder job than he expected.
Text: Edd Sharp • Illustrations: Bev Kirk

 
Erected by Ohio Department of Transportation, Ohio Historical Society, and Ohio Civil War Trail Commission. (Marker Number 34.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the John Hunt Morgan Heritage Trail in Ohio series list. A significant historical date for this entry is July 22, 1863.
 
Location. 39° 27.553′ N, 82° 14.356′ W. Marker is in Nelsonville, Ohio, in Athens County. Marker is on Lake Hope Drive (Ohio Route
Marker detail: Morgan's Raid in Ohio image. Click for full size.
3. Marker detail: Morgan's Raid in Ohio
278) 0.1 miles west of West Canal Street (Old US Highway 33), on the right when traveling west. Marker is located in a small pull-out between the highway and the railroad tracks, just west of the railroad crossing and east of the Nelsonville City Hall. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 211 Lake Hope Drive, Nelsonville OH 45764, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Hocking Canal Site (approx. 0.2 miles away); Camp Site of Lord Dunmore (approx. ¼ mile away); Hocking Valley Railway (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Hocking Valley Coal Strike (approx. 0.4 miles away); Daniel Nelson (approx. 0.4 miles away); E. M. Poston (approx. 0.4 miles away); Veterans' Memorial (approx. 0.4 miles away); Fort Street Cemetery (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Nelsonville.
 
More about this marker. Marker is a six-foot tall composite plaque mounted between metal posts.
 
Also see . . .  Ohio's John Hunt Morgan Heritage Trail follows Confederate Army's push across a panicked state. In July 1863, a fast-moving Confederate army swept across the land, stopping at every farm and home to steal horses and food. Citizens of the Buckeye State were consumed by panic as Confederate Brig. Gen. John Hunt Morgan and his soldiers swept across the state for 13 days in what essentially amounted to an invasion. What came to be called Morgan's Raid was the northernmost penetration of the Union states by the Confederates. That fear remained vivid in the minds of Ohio residents long after 1863. For years afterwards, mothers would level a simple threat against their
Nelsonville Marker (<i>wide view; looking north across railroad tracks toward ballpark</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, September 4, 2014
4. Nelsonville Marker (wide view; looking north across railroad tracks toward ballpark)
unruly children as a warning to make them behave. That threat? "Morgan will get you!" (Submitted on February 27, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 24, 2020. It was originally submitted on February 26, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 247 times since then and 64 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on February 26, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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Sep. 16, 2021