General John Morgan's Ohio Raid


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, August 15, 1863

This site features the Harper's Weekly newspapers published during the Civil War. The material allows you to examine details of the War not available from modern publications. These newspapers will take you back in time to the days the war was still raging on.

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John Morgan's Raid

Morgan's Raid

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VOL. VII.—No. 346.]




Entered according to Act of Congress, in the Year 1863, by Harper & Brothers, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Southern District of New York.


THERE are white faces in each sunny street, And signs of trouble meet us every where; The nation's pulse hath an unsteady beat, For scents of battle foul the summer air.

A thrill goes through the city's busy life,

And then—as when a strong man stints his breath—A stillness comes; and each one in his place

Waits for the news of triumph, loss, and death.

The "Extras" fall like rain upon a drought, And startled people crowd around the board Whereon the nation's sum of loss or gain In rude and hurried characters is scored.

Perhaps it is a glorious triumph gleam—An earnest of our Future's recompense; Perhaps it is a story of defeat,

Which smiteth like a fatal pestilence.

But whether Failure darkens all the land, Or whether Victory sets its blood ablaze, An awful cry, a mighty throb of pain,

Shall scare the sweetness from these summer days.

God! how this land grows rich in loyal blood! Poured out upon it to its utmost length, .The incense of a people's sacrifice

The wrested offering of a people's strength!

It is the costliest land beneath the sun!

'Tis priceless ; purchaseless ! And not a rood But bath its title written clear and signed In some slain hero's consecrated blood.

And not a flower that gems its mellowing soil But thriveth well beneath the holy dew

Of tears, that ease a nation's straining heart,

When the Lord of battles smites it through and through.


WE publish below an illustration of the ENTRY OF THE REBEL RAIDER MORGAN INTO TILE TOWN OF WASHINGTON, OHIO, on the occasion of his late raid into that State. The famous bandit levied pretty freely on the defenseless towns and villages through which he passed, directing his men to provide themselves with food, clothing, horses, and whatever else they wanted. In these respects he treated loyal men and Copperheads with perfect impartiality—robbing some opponents of "this Abolition war" very thoroughly. We gave in our last number the fact of his capture. We now append the following interesting account of the last excursion of the famous bandit, from the Columbus Journal of July 30 :

Yesterday afternoon, in accordance with orders of the War Department, John Morgan and twenty-eight of his command were placed in the Ohio Penitentiary, where they are to be subjected to close confinement until the rebels see proper to release the officers of the Streight and Grierson expedition, now inmates of the Libby Prison at Richmond. The prisoners arrived on the afternoon train from Cincinnati, which stopped at the State Avenue crossing, thus saving the trouble of marching them from the depot. A detachment of the Provost Guard had been detailed to keep the road from the track to the Penitentiary clear of people —a measure that was absolutely necessary, considering the large crowd that had collected. It required but a few minutes for the Guard, under command of Lieutenant Irwin, to conduct the prisoners to the Penitentiary, where General Mason turned them over to N. Merlon, Esq., the Warden, who received his charge with as much grace as the circumstances would allow.

The examination of the prisoners which followed was a tedious process, but was not devoid of interest. It was conducted with due regard for the feelings of the prisoners,

and at the same time it was very minute. One fellow was compelled to hand over a watch he had concealed in one of his pantaloon legs, between the lining and the cloth, while others handed over articles, including greenbacks and " Confederate scrip." These things will at the proper time be returned to those from whom they were taken, unless they were a part of their stealings in their late raids. Morgan himself had several hundred dollars in money, and what he considered as money, the greater part of which consisted of greenbacks.

As the examination of each prisoner was completed, he was marched to the wash-house, where he was required to give himself a "scrubbing," and from thence he was taken to his cell. Morgan, who was the first one to pass through this ordeal, did so with as much indifference as he could command, which, however, was but little; for as he passed into the ante-room that leads to the cells, his step was far from being as firm as one would expect, not-withstanding his efforts to the contrary. The prisoners are to be governed by the rules of the prison, which will prevent them from talking with each other. Their beards have been shaven in accordance with these rules, and they will doubtless find themselves otherwise inconvenienced by them. They will receive the same treatment as other prisoners receive, which is all they ask, and which is better than has been done to many a Union soldier who has died in some Southern prison. They will be closely confined to their cells, though they will doubtless be allowed to take some exercise each day. We understand that details from the Provost Guard will keep close watch over them.

There were several other facts connected with this matter, which we are compelled to postpone for the present. However, we hope that this retaliatory measure on the part of our authorities will soon have the desired effect to secure the speedy release of the officers of Colonel Streight's expedition, among whom are several citizens of Columbus.


 The following letter appears in the Cincinnati Times:

CINCINNATI, Thursday, July 23, 1863.

I overtook Major-General Morgan and his entire force,

on the 26th inst., at 2 o'clock P.M. On the first sight of the enemy, I found that he was moving rapidly toward Smith's Ford. I at once commenced a rapid movement to intercept him. I succeeded in my attempt. The result was the surrender of Gen. Morgan's forces to my command.

On my approach to the road on the enemy's front, I observed a flag of truce advancing to me. I proceeded to the spot and asked the bearer what he wanted. He said he demanded a surrender of the militia forces now advancing. I told him at once to return to General Morgan, and tell him that I did not command militia ; that I would not surrender, but demanded an unconditional surrender of his entire forces, or I would open fire immediately upon them.

In a few minutes Captain Neil of the Ninth Kentucky cavalry (under my command) came up front my left with Major Steel, of the rebel force, bearing a flag of truce, and stating that General Morgan's forces had already surrendered, and they hoped they would not be fired on. I assured Major Steel that there was no danger while the flag was present.

I at once concluded that the surrender was complete, and remarked to the parties that all should remain quiet until General Shackelford arrived. I then rode forward and met General Morgan under a full belief that the affair was all settled.

It was soon observed by some one that the terms of surrender were made with Captain Burbridge, of the militia, who was a prisoner in Morgan's ranks, he permitting Morgan and his officers to be paroled, and field and line officers to retain their side-arms. On seeing Captain Burbridge, he told me that such was the case. I asked at what time and how long since Morgan had surrendered to him. He said at the same time I myself had intercepted him. This was quite a trick, and I paid no more attention to the affair, but turned John and his party over to General Shackelford, and proceeded to disarm the prisoners, all except the line officers; I let them keep their side-arms for the present, until the Burbridge surrender was further investigated. Burbridge's surrender was a mere ruse.

GEORGE W. RUE, Major Ninth Kentucky Cavalry.


John Morgan's Ohio Raid

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