Sunday, September 6, 2009

Morgan's Monument

There is no shortage of pictures of General John Morgan. He lead a very adventurous life. As he lead his men into Ohio, he was being heavily pursued by Union Forces. On July 26, 1863, he passed through Salineville, he and his men taking what ever they wanted or needed, and they were cut off by over 3000 Union Troupes. After a fire fight that lasted a little over and hour and a half, General Morgan managed to elude capture, along with a small number of his men. However, by 2pm that day he surrendered to Union Major George W. Rue near West Point, Ohio. There was some dispute to this surrender. Apparently, Morgan surrendered to one of his prisoners from an Ohio Militia and this man pardoned Morgan and his men. This pardon had to be investigated before any charges could be laid against Morgan. It was overturned and Morgan was sent to the Ohio Penitentiary.

The Monument is on the left hand side of the road, 518, and it looks like a yard decoration. It is very easily missed. I missed it twice. If it wasn't for Dave McElroy doing some research on it and telling me it was only 1000 feet from it's original site, and some help from Robert Beresford of the Wellsville River Museum, I might still be looking. I am eager to see the sword that General Morgan carried that is housed in the River Museum.
This is the plaque on the oval shaped stone that makes up the monument. I was particularly interested in the discovery that Will L. Thompson, of Thompson Park fame, is the one who commissioned the monument.

This is how it looks today. Out in the middle of nowhere. If you aren't looking for it specifically, you wouldn't even notice it.

This is what it looked like when it sat at the road side rest about 1000 feet up the road from where it is now. The road side rest has long been closed.
Interestingly, by digging a tunnel, General Morgan managed to escape the Ohio Penitentiary. He was promoted to Brigadier-General then and continued his reconnaissance missions. On September 4, he was lodging at a farm in Eastern Tennessee for the night. When he went to sleep, the lady of the house procured a horse and road 15 miles to get a company of Union Soldiers and bring them back to the farm. As they arrived, Morgan had just woke up. He pulled his revolver and tried to escape, but he was shot and killed.
General Morgan's place of surrender at West Point is considered to be the northernmost point reached by an organized Confederate body during the entire Civil War. And we have that right here in Columbiana County. Like Gettysburg and other famous Civil War era scenes, why aren't we taking advantage of it? Why aren't we having it as a tourist attraction to invite people to come here? There are a lot of people who would love to see areas like this, ghost hunters included.

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