July 9-11, 2004
141st Anniversary of Morgan's Raid through Indiana
On July 9, 2004 a group of CWRTWCI members and guests met at Greencastle for the beginning of an adventure that would end a state away two days later. On the 141st anniversary of Morgan's celebrated raid through Indiana and into Ohio, the group was to follow his path as he cut a swath through the Hoosier state. Dick Skidmore, a founding member of the Civil War Round Table of West Central Indiana and the driving force behind the establishment of the John Hunt Morgan Heritage Trail was to lead the group on a trip that covered the entire 185 miles of the trail through southeastern Indiana. His indepth and thorough knowledge of the trail and the history of the Raid was encyclopedic.
The group traveled to Sheperdsville, KY for an overnight stay before joining Dick, his wife Wilda and a special guest, Vicki Heilig of Germantown, MD. Vicki, the national historian of the United Daughters of the Confederacy had come out to Indiana for the express purpose of joining us for the trip. Also joining the group was Ray Shortridge of the Indianapolis Round Table.
Crossing the Ohio River at Brandenburg, KY, the group embarked on a memorable tour of Morgan's Raid.
Ready to mount up and begin the trail. This picture is taken from the Kentucky side looking over to Indiana. Just to the right of this picture is the landing used by Morgan's men to load onto steamers for the river crossing. Morgan stayed in the home on this site during the day before he entered Indiana. Members of the group include (Standing L to R): Jim Buffington, Louis Baldwin, Loraine and Ken Anderson, Wayne Dell, Dick and Wilda Skidmore, Vicki Heilig, Emmaline Henry and Ray Shortridge. Kneeling (L to R): Deb Goecker and Sharon Baldwin. Not pictured: Jim Goecker.
Dick explains the landing of Morgan's Raiders at Morvin's Landing, Indiana. Across the river is Brandenburg, KY. The white house in the upper right corner of the photo is the site of the previous picture. The landing at Brandenburg is visible in the center of the photograph.
The trip included a surprise visit to StreamCliff, a tea house and herb farm located on the Morgan Heritage Trail in Jennings County. The group's vans had just forded a stream - just like Morgan's raiders had 141 years ago!
A surprise Sunday rain storm drove the group under cover to wait out the rain. The Reservation Restaurant in Milan served the purpose nicely. By the way, we were very well provisioned on the trip - lots of good food!
Trail's end at West Harrison, Ohio. The hills of Indiana rise in the distance. It was here where Morgan and his tired men crossed into Ohio.
Thanks, Dick, for a fantastic opportunity and experience.
Also thanks go to Wayne Dell for originating the idea for the trip and hard work in coordinating all of the details, not to mention being chauffeur for the van!