This interpretive historic park includes a variety of markers and monuments and is operated by the Harrison County Park and Recreation Department. The park interprets the only Civil War battle to occur in Indiana and includes a cabin and several cannon as well as interpretive markers and short guided tours with advance notice. The park preserves the small battle that occurred here on July 9, 1863, when Confederate General John Hunt Morgan and 2,000 men launched a raid close to Corydon. The result of the battle was a Confederate victory and several prisoners were taken.
Confederate General John Hunt Morgan and a group of
guerrillas launched a raid starting near Sparta in Tennessee on June 11, 1863.
The raid was meant to distract the Union Army of Ohio from Confederate troops
in Tennessee. Morgan was instructed to keep his raid in Kentucky and to avoid
crossing the Ohio River. For an unbeknownst reason, Morgan ignored General
Braxton Bragg’s instructions and led his men in a 46-day, 1,000-mile raid.
Morgan would eventually be captured close to New Lisbon, Ohio on July 26, 1863.
On July 8 Morgan and his men entered the community of
Brandenburg, Kentucky. The town ran along the Ohio River and was across from
Mauckport, Indiana. The Confederates captured two ships, the Alice Dean and the
John T. McCombs, so they could cross the river. In response, Colonel William J.
Irvin belonging to the “Harrison County Home Guards” and 100 men prepared a cannon
to open fire on ships. Colonel Irvin commanded the men to shoot at the boilers
of the ships. However, afraid that there were women and children on the ships
Colonel John Timberlake, Provost Marshall, ordered the men to shoot at Morgan’s
men on the Kentucky shore. This order would be detrimental. The men on the
Indiana side of the river fled after Morgan’s men fired on them. Once the
Confederates made it over the river, Morgan instructed his men to burn the two
ships. The John T. McCombs was saved after Basil Duke, Morgan’s right hand man,
spoke for Captain Ballard of the ship. The people who lived close to the shore
had left their homes that evening, and Morgan’s men stayed there for the night.
Early July 9th, Morgan and his men started the
trek to Corydon, the county seat. Colonel Lewis Jordan, leader of the Indiana
Legion, sent requests for assistance to the Legion in New Albany. Only having
450 men to face Morgan’s 2,000, Jordan hoped help from New Albany would come in
time to defeat or push Morgan’s men back. Around 11:30 in the morning Morgan’s
men reached the routes that would take them to Corydon. What occurred was a
brief, but heated battle. Reinforcements from New Albany never came and several
men of the Home Guards had never fought before; it was only a matter of time
that a Confederate victory would occur. The battle lasted for one hour and
despite its grim condition, the Indiana Legion managed to kill around 8 Confederates
and injure 40 others. Morgan’s men surrounded the Home Guard and instructed his
troops to fire two cannon balls on the area. The Home Guard fled; 4 were
killed, many more were injured, and 355 were taken as hostages while the others
got away. Morgan’s losses included 11 men dead and 40 injured.