Civil War Battles
Union Forces Commanded by:
Brig. Gen. James Shackelford
Confederate Forces Commanded by:
Brig. Gen. John Hunt Morgan
**Missing and Captured
Conclusion: Union Victory
After breaking through Union lines and escaping the encirclement at Buffington's Island with about 400 of his men, Morgan continued east and north, attempting to find a safe crossing over the Ohio River. Twenty miles from Buffington Island, Morgan's Raiders found an unprotected crossing. Several hundred of the Confederates succeeded in crossing the river before Union gunboats arrived. Morgan and his remaining soldiers retreated westward, with several columns of Union cavalry in hot pursuit,through Meigs and Gallia Counties and then moved in a more northeasterly direction through Vinton, Hocking, Athens, Perry, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Guernsey, Harrison, Jefferson, Carroll, and Columbiana Counties.
In June 1863, Confederate Brig. Gen. John Hunt Morgan departed his camp in Tennessee on a raid with 2,460 troopers, intending to divert the attention of the Union Army of the Ohio from Southern forces in the state. On July 8, 1863, Morgan crossed the Ohio River at Brandenburg, Kentucky, and entered Indiana, in violation of his orders to remain in Kentucky. After a victory at the Battle of Corydon, Morgan proceeded eastward into Ohio, pursued by Federal troops under Brig. Gen. James M. Shackelford. On July 19, Morgan attempted cross the Ohio River into West Virginia at Buffington Island, upriver from Pomeroy in Meigs County, Ohio. Some of his men did make it south across the river. However, Union forces under Brig. Gens. Edward H. Hobson and Henry M. Judah captured an estimated 800 – 1,200 of Morgan's force, while some 300 under Col. Adam "Stovepipe" Johnson managed to cross upriver.
General Morgan and the remaining 400 men of his command escaped, cut off from the river crossings. When another attempt to ford the river failed, he headed north, eventually reaching Columbiana County, still hoping to cross the Ohio River at some point and head back to the South. His route took him through a number of terrified villages, including Moorefield, Harrisville, New Athens, Smithfield, New Alexandria, Wintersville, Two Ridge, Richmond, East Springfield, Bergholz, and Monroeville (Jefferson County). With his horses playing out and his men emotionally and physically exhausted, Morgan trudged northward while his pursuers blocked attempts to reach the river.
Union General Shackelford continued in pursuit of Morgan, leading a mixed command of cavalry, artillery, and mounted infantry from Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Michigan, and Ohio, as well as the Steubenville Militia. Morgan's weary men were isolated, under constant pursuit, and heading deeper into enemy territory. Passing through Salineville, Morgan was riding down the railroad toward Smith's Ford. Turning onto the New Lisbon Road, Morgan's raiders were finally cut off. Union Cavalry, under the command of Major W.B. Way and Major G.W. Rue surrounded Morgan's Raiders.
Badly outnumbered, Morgan attempted to cut his way out from the estimated 3,000 Federals. He lost 364 casualties (including 23 dead, several wounded, and nearly 300 captured) in a firefight that lasted no more than an hour and a half. Remarkably, General Morgan and a small number of his men initially managed to elude capture. However, at 2:00 p.m., they surrendered to Union Maj. George W. Rue of the 9th Kentucky Cavalry near West Point, Ohio approximately 8 miles northeast of Salineville. Morgan's capture signified the end of his raid of the North. Today, a historical marker commemorates the location of the surrender.
During this raid, Morgan and his men captured and paroled about 6,000 Union soldiers and militia, destroyed 34 bridges, disrupted the railroads at more than 60 places, and diverted tens of thousands of troops from other duties.
Major Rue later reported that General Morgan, upon first seeing the major approaching, surrendered to one of his own prisoners, an Ohio Militia captain named Burbridge, who then immediately paroled Morgan and his fellow officers, an act that would have allowed them to return home to Kentucky as noncombatants. Rue disregarded that "surrender" and insisted that Morgan formally surrender to the Union forces, ignoring the paroles. Troops escorted Morgan to Columbus, Ohio, where he and his men were imprisoned in the Ohio State Penitentiary.
In July and August 1863 Ohio Governor David Tod led an inquiry into Morgan's surrender. Governor Tod concluded that Captain Burbridge was actually James Burbick, a private citizen of New Lisbon, Ohio, who had never served an as officer in the Ohio Militia. As such, Governor Tod ruled that he had no authority over Morgan, and that Morgan’s surrender to Union forces stood.
Another Confederate action, the St. Albans raid, was farther north than the Battle of Salineville. On October 19, 1864, thirty Confederates slipped southward from Canada and raided St. Albans, Vermont. However, they were not an official command of the Confederate army. General Morgan’s place of surrender at West Point is considered to be the northernmost point reached by an officially organized Confederate body during the Civil War.