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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Portland in Meigs County, Ohio — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Dry Run

Initial Contact

 

—John Hunt Morgan Heritage Trail —

 
Dry Run Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, September 9, 2017
1. Dry Run Marker
Inscription. On the morning of July 19, 1863, Confederate Brigadier General John Hunt Morgan learned that the Union redoubt guarding the ford had been abandoned in the night. Colonel Basil Duke was ordered to send a force south to try to preserve the element of surprise while Morgan and the bulk of his troops prepared to cross the river. A Union force under Brigadier General Henry Judah, meanwhile, had disembarked from riverboats at Portsmouth and were marching east through Pomeroy and Racine.

As the sun rose, the valley was so thick with fog that the opposing forces did not realize they had moved to within 50 yards of each other. A sudden breeze swept through, and after staring at each other for a few seconds, the Confederates fired a devastating volley into the Union troops, who were forced to retreat. Major Danie McCook, patriarch of the "Fighting McCooks" who contributed six sons to the war, was mortally wounded in the volley.

Confederate artillery fired on the reorganized and advancing Union troops, who pressed their enemy until the Confederate guns were captured. Duke, who realized how crucial the guns were to his position, made several vain attempts to recapture them. Facing his untenable position, Duke began to withdraw north.

[Photo captions]
[Map on left]: The Battle of Buffington
Dry Run Marker on far left. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, September 9, 2017
2. Dry Run Marker on far left.
Island began at 5:30 am when General Judah's Union advance guard unexpectedly collided with the battle line of Colonel Duke's 5th and 6th Kentucky Cavalry near the Williamson house, located 0.2 mile south of here. Duke's men broke the Union line, captured an artillery piece, and advanced as far as the first bend in the road. A counterattack under Judah slowly pushed the Confederates back toward Portland. After heavy fighting, the Confederates retreated further north when, around 6:15 am, Duke's artillery was captured on a low knoll 400 yards southwest of the state memorial. At about the same time, General Hobson's Union cavalry attacked Colonel Johnson's Confederates along modern County Road 31, and Lieutenant Commander Fitch's gunboat USS Moose bombarded the Confederate positions. General Morgan's cavalrymen faced triple threats.
[Top right]: The Williamson House served as a temporary field hospital for both Union and Confederate soldiers.
[Bottom right]: Fog obscured the Confederate and Union troop positions until the opposing sides were a mere 50 yards apart. As a result, the opening volley by the Confederate artillery was especially devastating.

Text: Edd Sharp & David L. Mowery
Illustration: Bev Kirk

 
Erected 2013 by the Ohio Department of Transportation, the Ohio
The view southwest where Duke's artillery was captured and McCook was killed. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, September 9, 2017
3. The view southwest where Duke's artillery was captured and McCook was killed.
History Connection, and the Ohio Civil War Trail Commission. (Marker Number 27.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the John Hunt Morgan Heritage Trail in Ohio marker series.
 
Location. 38° 59.686′ N, 81° 46.486′ W. Marker is in Portland, Ohio, in Meigs County. Marker is on Ohio River Scenic Highway (Route 124) 0.3 miles south of Old Portland Road (County Road 69), on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: Ohio River Scenic Highway, Portland OH 45770, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Major Daniel McCook (a few steps from this marker); First Ohio Invasion (approx. half a mile away); The Battle of Buffington Island (approx. half a mile away); a different marker also named The Battle of Buffington Island (approx. half a mile away); Buffington Island (approx. half a mile away); a different marker also named Battle of Buffington Island (approx. half a mile away); a different marker also named The Battle of Buffington Island (approx. half a mile away); Surprise Encounter (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Portland.
 
Categories. War, US CivilWaterways & Vessels
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 14, 2017. This page originally submitted on September 14, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 58 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on September 14, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.
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