“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
West Harrison in Dearborn County, Indiana — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

When the Civil War Came to Indiana

— John Hunt Morgan Heritage Trail —

When the Civil War Came to Indiana Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane Hall, May 20, 2013
1. When the Civil War Came to Indiana Marker
Inscription.  By July 1863, the American Civil War had entered its third brutal summer. In the East, Confederate forces commanded by Robert E. Lee successfully turned back repeated Union attempts to capture the Southern capital at Richmond. General Lee even managed to carry the war northward to the banks of Antietam Creek, Maryland — a battle famous today as the single "bloodiest" day of the entire war.

Ferocious battles had been fought in Virginia at places like Gaines' Mill, Malvern Hill, Fredericksburg, and Chancellorsville, but slowly the stalemate was sapping the South of its vital manpower. In a bold campaign to take the war again onto Northern soil, Lee advanced his army into Pennsylvania. The three-day battle at Gettysburg would result in a decisive Confederate loss.

In the West, Union armies experienced numerous successes. They had repulsed a surprise Confederate attack at Shiloh, Tennessee, and stopped Confederate Braxton Bragg's Kentucky invasion at Perryville. Almost all of the Mississippi River was in Union hands, and Vicksburg, Mississippi, was on the verge of surrendering to the Union forces under General Ulysses
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S. Grant. In middle Tennessee, Union General William Rosecrans was driving General Bragg back toward Chattanooga.

A bold Confederate strategy was needed — one that would dampen the North's desire to reinforce General Rosecrans' forces. In executing his portion of the strategy, General Bragg called on the special talents of Brigadier General John Hunt Morgan, the "Thunderbolt of the Confederacy." Morgan was a daring Confederate cavalry commander whose reputation was popularized in both the North and the South. He was directed to ride through the interior of Kentucky with his horsemen and disrupt Union activity wherever possible. To Morgan, the Ohio River was not to be a stopping point, but an opportunity to create even more chaos. At Brandenburg, Kentucky on July 8, 1863, Morgan disobeyed orders and crossed the Ohio. On July 13, Morgan crossed the Whitewater River at Harrison. The Raiders had swept through southern Indiana in six days. The pursuit would continue in Ohio until July 26 when Morgan was captured.

Note: You are reading the last of a series of 27 signs that have been placed on John Hunt Morgan's historic trail through southern Indiana.
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 Indiana series list. A significant historical month for this entry is July 1863.
When the Civil War Came to Indiana<br>and Morgan's Great Raid Markers image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane Hall, May 20, 2013
2. When the Civil War Came to Indiana
and Morgan's Great Raid Markers
View to north along S. State Street
39° 15.412′ N, 84° 49.211′ W. Marker is in West Harrison, Indiana, in Dearborn County. Marker is on S. State Street south of Mill Street, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 515 S State Street, West Harrison IN 47060, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Morgan's Great Raid (here, next to this marker); High Water Mark (approx. 0.4 miles away); General John Morgan (approx. 0.4 miles away); Harrison (approx. 0.4 miles away in Ohio); P.F.C. William B. Baugh, U.S.M.C. (approx. 0.4 miles away in Ohio); Harrison War Memorial (approx. 0.4 miles away in Ohio); Canal Junction (approx. 0.4 miles away); Morgan's Raiders Enter Ohio (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in West Harrison.
Also see . . .  John Hunt Morgan Heritage Trail. From the Historic Hoosier Hills RC&D website. (Submitted on May 29, 2014, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.) 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 3, 2016. It was originally submitted on July 20, 2013, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 1,005 times since then and 122 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 20, 2013, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Dec. 7, 2023