The Battle of Buffington Island occurred in Meigs County, Ohio in July 19, 1863. This battle only lasted one day and ended in a Union Victory for Brig. Gen. Edward H. Hobson. The Union had a brigade of about 3,000 while the Confederates also had a brigade but of only about 1,700. After this battle the Confederate Brig. Gen. John Hunt Morgan lost 800 soldiers, some of which were captured, and had to retreat east. He also lost a lot of his supplies and weaponry to the Union
On July 11, 1863 Brigadier General John Hunt Morgan
had a mission. He was to lead his cavalry of 2,000 soldiers across the Ohio
River into Southern India and loosen up pressure on the Confederacy. Throughout
this march, they spread fear and anxiety wherever they went. On July 13, 1863,
he crossed the Ohio once again near Cincinnati and begun to attack Northern
troops around the area. A group called The First Michigan Sharpshooters from
the Union to pursue Morgan and deal with the crisis at hand.
The raiders that Morgan had sent down met with some
unexpected surprises as two Union armies and gunboats had already foreseen
Morgan’s plan. This resulted in a ferocious battle between the two forces on
July 19,1863 near Buffington Island.
During this battle hundreds of Morgan’s forces were captured, and he was
forced to be on the run. From that point
on, Morgan was on the run with Union soldiers are on his tail, being only
minutes away from him and his soldiers. This made raiding very difficult.
Morgan’s remaining forces moved North in hopes of
escaping the Union forces that were chasing after them. A few difficulties
stood in his way that ultimately led to his capture. There had been a lot of
rain that summer, so the Ohio river was high, and the Union had riverboats that
could easily out pace the horses that the Confederates had in their possession.
The soldiers tried there best but they were exhausted from running away from
the Union soldiers and their morale was low from being chased. Ultimately
Morgan was captured a week later in a brief battle at Salineville.
Morgan and his officers were sent to the Ohio State
Penitentiary in Columbus to be treated as horse thieves and criminals instead
of soldiers in retaliation of the treatment Confederate prisoners were
receiving. Four months after being captured, Morgan and six prisoners burrowed
their way through the floor of the prison using kitchen knives until they
tunneled into freedom. A year later, Morgan was killed in Tennessee and his
remains rest in Lexington, Kentucky.