This marker commemorates Morgan's raid, also known as the Indiana-Ohio Raid, the Great Raid, or the Ohio Raid. It was the only major attack by Confederate forces on the state of Ohio during the American Civil War.
A force of nearly 2000 cavalry troops led by Confederate Brigadier General John Hunt Morgan. The campaign covered 1,000 miles and penetrating deeper into the Union States than any other Confederate campaign during the Civil War. The raid was the single significant military action of the war in Ohio. Union cavalry chased Morgan's cavalrymen across twenty-four Ohio counties after the force entered the state.
Near Miamitown, Cincinnati police detective Major Bill Raney and 23 Union scouts prepared an ambush. Morgan ordered a detachment of 500 men down the Harrison Turnpike to burn the covered bridge over the Great Miami River. Raney's men removed planks of the bridge and hid on the east side of the bridge. Morgan's troopers discovered the bridge unusable and forded the shallow river just upstream from this site. They returned to the turnpike, Raney's militia attacked the surprised troopers, killing two, wounding three, and capturing three. The raiders counterattacked and drove Raney's men out of range, capturing one Union scout. Morgan's detachment rode away,
The raid lasted three weeks. Morgan terrorized the local defenses all across Ohio before Union Forces captured John Morgan at Salineville, taking 336 prisoners. Morgan, along with his surviving officers were taken to the Ohio Penitentiary located in Columbus.
Incredibly, Morgan escaped from prison just four months after his capture. Morgan and six companions would escape through a tunnel dug through a 4 foot stone wall and 20 feet of dirt. They scaled the prison walls and made a clean escape. Morgan arrived safely in the South only to be killed less than a year later, on September 4, 1864, at Greenville, Tennessee.
The most significant impact on Ohio at the time was the notion that they were unprepared for the war to be in their own backyard. Ohioans felt that the distance from the South would protect them from any military action in their borders. The fact that Morgan was able to traverse the whole state with little or no resistance is testimony to this fact.