Portland in Meigs County, Ohio — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Confusion and Panic
Battle of Buﬃngton Island
A Naval River Blockade
As darkness and dense fog set in on July 18, Morgan's men stopped to rest in the fields near Portland. Meanwhile, Lieutenant Commander Leroy Fitch and his tinclad U.S.S. Moose headed upstream from Pomeroy and anchored at the southern tip of Buffington Island near the ford.
Fitch awoke at sunrise to the sound of gunfire when Judah's men attacked the Confederates. As the fog dissipated, enemy horsemen could be seen crossing the river. Gun crews fired on the escaping raiders, killing several and sending some scampering for shore. Only about 30 made it across the ford to the relative safety of West Virginia.
Fitch ordered shells fired over the river bluff and onto the battlefield, creating more confusion than deaths. Union and Confederate soldiers rode wildly across the fields to avoid the bursting shells. In the ensuing turmoil, Judah's and Hobson's forces closed in on the raiders.
Morgan's troops were now surrounded on three sides and caught in a deadly crossfire. With the ford blocked, the raiders were forced to ride north to try their luck at another crossing point.
During the Civil War, the Union attempted to control key trade and supply routes. The Navy built, converted or purchased gunboats to capture,
Top left: It was standard for Navy tinclads to carry 24 pounder cannons like the U.S.S. Moose used to fire upon the raiders.
Bottom left map: The Union troops surround the raiders, forcing them to flee north.
Top right: By the end of the war, over 300 gunboats were patrolling and controlling the Mississippi, Ohio, Cumberland, Tennessee, Red and Arkansas, Kanawha and other western rivers.
Erected by the Ohio Historical Society.
Location. 39° 0.138′ N, 81° 46.446′ W. Marker is in Portland, Ohio, in Meigs County. Marker can be reached from Ohio River Scenic Byway (Ohio Route 124) south of New Portland Road, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Located within the Buffington Island Battlefield Memorial Park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 56998 OH-124, Portland OH 45770, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Modern Day Buffington Island Surprise Encounter (here, next to this marker); Capture in Columbiana County (here, next to this marker); Escape from the Ohio Penitentiary (here, next to this marker); Attack from the West (here, next to this marker); Buffington Island (here, next to this marker); Path of Destruction and Damage (here, next to this marker); The Battle of Buffington Island (a few steps from this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Portland.
Categories. • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on September 17, 2017. This page originally submitted on September 17, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 78 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on September 17, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.