Southeastern Ohio Civil War Roundtable

Home | News & Events | Newsletter | About Us | History & Photos | Links | Contact Us

< Back

The Civil War and Morgan's Raid  
From "Stories of Guernsey County, Ohio;: History of an average Ohio county," William G Wolfe.

 For the newspaper account of the raid, see Appendix E-1

For General Shackelford’s report, see Appendix E-2

 For any eyewitness account of the skirmish at Old Washington, see Appendix E-3
For the claims for damages that were turned in after the raid, see Appendix E-4

In Guernsey County history, the Civil War and Morgan’s Raid are just about synonymous terms.

Except for Morgan’s Raid, the Civil War history of Guernsey County would be no different from that of the 87 other counties in Ohio. We furnished many men to the Union Army, most of them fought in the Western Theater of operations under Generals Grant and Sherman, and many of them were killed and wounded. Wolfe lists 166 men as having died in the war, but also states that there were probably many more. After the war, there would have been literally hundreds of men in Guernsey County who were missing an arm, a leg, a hand, etc. For years afterward, even, men would die from the effects of their wounds, or disease brought on by the hardships and exposures to which they were subjected during the war.

Guernsey County did not furnish any generals on the Union side, but we did furnish a Confederate general! He was General Walter P. Lane, and he was from the Fairview area. He had gone to Texas as a very young man, fought at the battle of San Jacinto, took part in the Mexican War, and was still living in Texas when the Civil War broke out. He became a Brigadier General for the Confederacy and took part in several battles in the Trans-Mississippi area. Several times prior to the Civil War, he had returned to Ohio for brief visits with his relatives in eastern Guernsey County.

Without a doubt, however, the high point of the Civil War for the residents of Guernsey County was Morgan’s Raid.

In the summer of 1863 extremely important events were taking place in the war. Gettysburg was fought on July 1st-3rd and Vicksburg surrendered to Grant on July 4th. Unnoticed among these great victories was the fact that Confederate General John Hunt Morgan, with about 2,400 cavalrymen, crossed the Cumberland River in Kentucky and began his famous raid. Passing north through Kentucky, he crossed the Ohio River at Brandenburg, passed through Southeastern Indiana and came into Ohio at Harrison, just north of Cincinnati. Passing east through southern Ohio, he fought a pretty severe battle at Buffington Bar, near Pomeroy, as he tried to get back across the Ohio River. Union gunboats prevented his crossing, and many of his men were killed, wounded or captured in this battle. With only about 700 men, he started to head northeast through Ohio, and by the time he rode into Cumberland, in southwestern Guernsey County, at about 3 o’clock in the afternoon of Thursday, July 23rd, he is estimated to have had 600 men.

He rested in Cumberland until 10 o’clock PM, then rode during the night through Pleasant City, Buffalo and Senecaville. At about dawn, he arrived at Lore City (called Campbell’s Station in those days), and there he did the most damage that was done by him in Guernsey County. He burned the warehouse and home of S.W. Fordyce, three railroad cars, and the bridge over Leatherwood Creek. He then passed on to Old Washington, where he arrived at about 10 o’clock AM. Resting there until 1 o’clock PM, he was suddenly attacked by Union cavalrymen under General James M. Shackelford, who had been pursuing him all across Ohio. The Union troops fired into the town from the cemetery hill just to the south, and drove Morgan out of Washington, on the road to Winterset. Morgan passed through Winterset, still heading north, then he turned east to Antrim, and left the county by way of Londonderry and Smyrna. Two days later he was captured with his 335 remaining men not far from East Liverpool. During the skirmish at Old Washington, he had three men killed, and they are buried in the Old Washington cemetery. In his passage through the county, there was a lot of horse swapping going on, for he needed fresh horses to keep ahead of the Union cavalry that was pursuing him. They, too, needed fresh horses, and so a lot of farmers who thought that they had saved their horses from Morgan ended up losing them to the Union cavalry that came along a few hours after Morgan had left. Claims for these losses, and any other losses sustained by our citizens due to the actions of either army during the raid, totaling more than $35,000 were later turned in and most of them allowed.

Since no one knew for sure where Morgan would go next, farmers all over the county were hiding their horses in the hollow, along with their silver, and anything else of value. It must have been a very exciting time for the entire county, but especially for those who were actually in the path of the raid and saw hundreds of real, live Confederates with guns in their hands, followed by more hundreds of real, live Union soldiers, also with guns. Never again would they see such a sight.

Depiction of Morgan's Raid into Washington, Ohio as it appeared on the front page of
Harper's Weekly on Saturday, August 15, 1863.


Newspaper account of Morgan’s Raid – Cambridge Times, July 30, 1863

John Morgan, with the remnant of a band composed of the most villainous cut-throats and scoundrels, the sweepings and accumulations of two years of murdering and plundering among helpless people, amounting in number to probably six hundred, found his way into this county on Thursday, the 22nd [23rd] inst., and entered the town of Cumberland about 3 o’clock in the afternoon of the same day. As usual, his pickets were thrown out, and the work of insult and plunder commenced.

The stores of Colonel Squier and Mr. Holmes, respected citizens of that place, were plundered of clothing and such articles as they seemed to need. Colonel Squier lost about four hundred dollars worth of goods, and Mr. Holmes about three hundred dollars worth. From Mr. Thomas Lindsey, one dirty thief stole, or forcibly took, twenty-five dollars. After robbing Lindsey, the Butternut asked him if he was a Vallandigham man. Lindsey replied that he was not, but instead was a good Union man. Butternut then proceeded to electioneer for his friend Val., by telling him using a considerable number of arguments to convince Lindsey that it was his duty to vote for that glorious friend of the South and its cause, Vallandigham.

In and about Cumberland they succeeded in stealing about one hundred good horses. While in town they quartered upon the inhabitants, from whom they insolently demanded food or whatever else they wished. They left Cumberland about eight o’clock in the evening, after perpetrating all the devilment they could, except burning the town and murdering the inhabitants.

The next place they turned up was at Hartford, in Valley township, which place they retired from with out doing any material damage. We did learn that they robbed Mr. George Miller, of Hartford, of one thousand five hundred dollars; but as we have not heard it confirmed, presume it is not so.

At Senecaville they made a short stay, stole numerous horses, and took the road to Campbell’s Station. While at Senecaville, we learn that one of the thieves entered a stable belonging to a gentleman of that place, and with drawn revolver, demanded a horse. The owner, instead of giving him a horse, gave him a blow alongside of his head with a club, which caused Mr. Secesh to give up all intentions of dealing in horseflesh for the time being. Said Butternut is now lodged in our jail.

When the celebrated John was sojourning in Cumberland, a certain Doctor, formerly hailing from the Hoskinsville region, and of Hoskinsville proclivities had a horse confiscated by the Morgan thieves. The doctor remonstrated against the proceeding, and in the bill of exceptions set forth that he had a patient that he must see and that was the only animal he had to ride. Butternut sets forth in his answer that if they said Doctor would give him seventy-five dollars, he would surrender the horse. Whereupon the Doctor forked over the amount, and when John and his thieves retired, the Doctor’s horse also retired with a Butternut on his back, and left the Doctor with a feeling of goneness in the pocket and to mourn the untimely departure of his trusty pill packer.

Query, wasn’t the Doctor a little verdant?

At Campbell’s Station, they were burned the warehouse and its contents, belonging to Mr. John Fordyce, after robbing his safe, containing, we learn, about four thousand dollars in money, two thousand dollars of which belonged to Mr. Thomas Frame; also the railroad bridge convenient, and three freight cars loaded with tobacco, cut the telegraph wires and started for Washington. Here they made a grand stand; threw out their pickets, and prepared for war. We believe they did no damage in Washington, at least we have heard of none, except eating up what provisions the people had on hand, and relieving them of a few horses. At this place, General Shackleton [sic] came upon the thief with one thousand Union cavalry, which caused him to skedaddle in doublequick. A smart skirmish ensued at the edge of he town, the rebels firing one volley and running, as usual. In this skirmish, three rebels were wounded, two of whom are since dead and the others expected to die. On the road from Washington to Winchester the rebels made two more stands, each for a few minutes, when they fled. During one of these skirmishes, three rebels were captured. Near Winchester, Colonel Wallace, with a few troops and one piece of artillery joined General Shackleford.

The rebels, after the last skirmish, succeeded in getting some distance ahead of our forces, we failing to get in sight of them again in this county.

It appears, from conversations with eight of Morgan’s men, who were captured, and are now in the county jail here, that the scoundrels despaired of reaching home many days ago, and that they roamed about without any definite object beyond a very slight hope that they might find an unguarded crossing on the Ohio river. They claim to have had plenty to eat, and but little time to eat it, so hard were they constantly pressed by our troops. They made it a point to take every horse they met with that was of any value, and when they stole a horse they generally turned loose some poor tired-out animal. How many horses they stole in this county we cannot possibly say, but as they stole all along the route, they must have picked up a considerable number.

As John Morgan and his band are now captured, the people can settle down and content themselves with a least of hope that one horse-thieving scoundrel and disturber of the peace of the county, will get his just deserts. If our people don’t shoot him for the raid, the rebel authorities will be sure to, if they ever lay hands on him. He has wasted and destroyed, on a fool’s errand, the best body of cavalry they had in their service, and all to no purpose in the world. Such a senseless expedition never started since the world began. He has failed to perform a single achievement that is worth thinking of a second time.

^ Top ^


Excerpt form the report of Brig. Gen. James M. Shackelford concerning the skirmish at Old Washington and the pursuit of Morgan’s Raiders through our county.

With 500 men, on the morning of the 21st, we resumed the chase. Traveling day and night, we came up with the enemy on Friday morning, the 24th, at Washington. Captain Ward, of the Third Kentucky Cavalry, with his own company and a detachment of the First Kentucky, under Adjutant Carpenter, had command of the advance,. He drove in the rebel pickets, and, by a flank movement, drove the entire rebel force out of the town of Washington, killing and wounding several of the enemy. One mile east [north] of Washington the enemy made a stand, in a dense wood. We formed a line of battle, and soon drove him from his position. He fell back 2 miles, tore up a bridge over a rugged stream [Salt Fork], and took a position in the woods on a high hill just beyond the bridge. The advance moved upon his left flank, while a portion of the Fourteen Illinois crossed the stream just above the bridge, and moved up the hill in the face of a heavy fire from the enemy, steadily they moved up and drove him before them. Late Friday evening he burned two bridges over the Stillwater, causing considerable delay. We succeeded in crossing, and pressed on all night.

The Wolfe history, the newspaper account, and the above report all mention two “stands” or skirmish that occurred as the Raiders fled toward the Winchester [Winterset now]. The map on the preceding page shows the approximate locations of these skirmishes. The first occurred about one mile north of Washington, and must have been on or near the property owed by R.C. Purdum when this map was made in 1870. In 1863, this property was owned by Archibald Shipley, and in the claims turned in by the citizens for damages due to Morgan’s Raid set forth in Appendix E-4 in the section on damages caused by Union forces, Mr. Shipley listed “one ox shot during the skirmish on the claimant’s farm.” The second skirmish occurred where the road crossed Salt Fork. The Confederates had taken position on the wooded hill just north of the creek and the Union forces attacked them on their left flank, and also directly up the hill. At the time of the skirmish, Wm. Henry Hays owned the property on both sides of the creek at that location, and he also turned in a claim for damages to a horse, 12 acres of wheat and 10 acres of meadow sustained as the result of a skirmish on his farm. The wheat and the meadow were probably on the south side of the creek, where the Union forces would have assembled prior to their attack, for you will notice that there is a 22 acre tract of land shown on the 1870 map in that location. This land is level and is of the exact acreage of the total of the damages to his crops.

^ Top ^



Elizabeth McMullin was sixteen years old when Morgan came to Old Washington (simply called Washington in those days). This is her account of the raid as set forth in the Wolfe history.

We lived at the west end of town. Father had gone to the war, and mother, my brother, two sisters and I were left at home. On Thursday, July 23, we heard that Morgan might come our way. Captain John Laughlin, who lived south of town, was home on a furlough. He was a telegraph operator and, in order to learn of Morgan’s movements, he kept close to the instruments all day. The people were advised by him to get ready, as it was his opinion, from what he could gather from the wires, that the rebels would take the road running through our town.

All had confidence in Captain Laughlin and they acted on his advice. Valuables were concealed and horses were hidden back in the woods far from roads. The Guernsey Count Bank was in Washington then. Mr. Lawrence, Mr. McCurdy and some others took all the money out of the safe and carried it to Wheeling or safekeeping. It was a busy day for everybody and that night nobody slept, excepting the children.

The next morning we could see smoke in the south. It was reported that Campbell’s Station had been set on fire. We expected Washington to be burned, too. Nearly all the men had gone to the war. Captain Laughlin changed his army uniform to citizens’ clothes and with some boys armed with guns went south to investigate. They soon returned with the report that Morgan was coming. We were all frightened. Captain Laughlin advised us to keep cool and offer no resistance. Nearly all the town gathered at the corner where the Campbell’s Station-Winchester (Winterset now) road crossed the Pike (at the Colonial Inn).

Riding two abreast the rebels came up the road. Rev. Ferguson, our Presbyterian minister, stepped out in front and waved a white handkerchief. The rebels did not pass through as we hoped, but dismounted and gathered along the street. They entered homes and ordered dinners to be prepared for them immediately. Morgan and his staff of fourteen men went to the American Hotel kept by James Smith. Rebel guards were placed around the town, two miles out on all sides. Anybody could come in, but nobody was permitted to go out.

Just before Morgan arrived Charlie Simms came into town with the mail which he was carrying form Cambridge to Wheeling. The sack was thrown out of the bus and hidden. Charlie drove on but was captured and his horses taken. Believing that the mail was concealed at the post office the Confederates went there, took the sacks that had been made up to be sent out, and rifled them. They seemed to be looking for letters that might enlighten them as to the movements of the Union army, rather than for valuables.

Morgan and his staff ordered dinner at the hotel and Smiths called in some of us older girls to help prepare it. I waited on the table. Morgan seemed very tired and worried and talked but little during the meal. After eating they all went upstairs and lay on their beds. In the meantime , his soldiers, having eaten their dinners and fed  their horses, were lying along the streets from one end of the town to the other. They were in Washington two or three hours.

Captain Laughlin kept in communication with General Shackleford who, with his cavalry, mounted infantry and Ohio militia, was following Morgan. Suddenly a gun was fired by one of the rebel guards as a signal that Shackleford’s was near. Morgan and his staff immediately rushed down the stairs and out into the street. The soldiers ran to their horses, mounted them and headed for the Winchester road. All was confusion.

Looking to the south we saw Shackleford’s army gathering on Cemetery hill. We wondered what would happen and we soon learned. They began firing at the Confederates who, in turn, shot back. Women were screaming and children were crying. The shooting increased. Above the noise of battle we could hear voices coming from the Federal lines, ordering women and children to run to cellars. I ran into the one that was nearest, where twenty or thirty other persons soon gathered.

The firing continued. They were shooting across the town. The Union men were firing from the south, the Confederates from the north. We could hear the bullets whizzing over our heads and the crash of broken windows. It was terrible, as we did not know what would happen to us who were in the direct line of fire.

The shooting ceased and we ventured out. Morgan’s men had gone towards Winchester and Shackleford’s soldiers were sweeping across the town. They seemed to be coming from everywhere, which was a great relief to all of us. Two rebels lay dead in the streets and others were wounded. Dead horses lay here and there and others were so badly hurt they had to be killed.

Some of the Confederates were cut off from Morgan’s main army and taken prisoners. They were placed in the old academy building and guarded until the next morning, when there were marched to Cambridge and locked in the jail. They were afterwards taken to Columbus.

Some of us girls went into the room that had been occupied by Morgan at the hotel and on the bureau I found a picture of a young man. Some of the Confederates who were held as prisoners over at the academy said his name was William Cloud, Morgan’s physician. I have the picture yet, a reminder of the most exciting day in the history of Washington.

^ Top ^

APPENDIX E-4 - Coming Soon

^ Top ^


Copyright 2011 © Southeastern Ohio Civil War Roundtable
Questions or Comments concerning this site contact the Webmaster at