—John Hunt Morgan Heritage Trail —
On the morning of July 14, 1863, John Craig Hunt
and his ten-year-old son, Wilson, watched from their
Blue Ash farmhouse as Confederate raiders led six
horses from the barn. When the boy asked his father
about his intentions, the father replied, "There's not
much that I can do. You can't stop an army!"
Confederate Brigadier General John Hunt Morgan's
cavalry had separated into groups of between two and
twenty men in search of food, water, and fresh horses.
Eight hours later, Union Brigadier General Edward
Hobson's forces arrived in Blue Ash to forage for new
mounts. To their dismay, the new arrivals discovered
that Morgan's men had confiscated nearly all useful
horses within a three-mile radius.
The Raiders Throw Out a Net
Morgan had sent his troopers on multiple routes
from Sharonville to conceal their crossing of the Little
W. Duke's 1st Brigade marched southeast toward
Road, and Zig Zag Road. To screen his left flank,
Sharonville along the wagon paths now known
Miami River and to maximize foraging. Colonel Basil
Montgomery by way of Creek Road, Glendale-Milford
Duke sent large detachments northeast from
as Lebanon Road, Kemper Road, and Cornell Road.
Morgan led the other column, composed of Colonel
Adam "Stovepipe" Johnson's 2nd Brigade, along
Reading Pike and Cooper Road to Carpenter's Run
Schoolhouse, then south on Plainfield Turnpike
through East Sycamore (now Rossmoyne) to the
rendezvous at Montgomery.
Morgan's Great Raid
Modern historians have listed Morgan's
Indiana-Ohio Raid as among the top 20 in
world history. Though Morgan's "Great"
did not affect the outcome of the Civil War,
it set a significant precedent. The German
Blitzkrieg of World War II and Operation
Iraqi Freedom in 2003 extrapolated from the
"lightning war" tactics of John Hunt Morgan.
Morgan's Raid counts among the longest raids
in the Civil War and reached the farthest north
of any Confederate force from the contiguous
southern states. The raid included the longest
nonstop cavalry march in American military
history (85 miles in 35 hours, from Sunman,
Indiana, to Williamsburg, Ohio). Finally
it was the largest military action of the Civil
War in Indiana and Ohio.
Top left: John Craig Hunt and his young son watched helplessly from an upstairs window
of their home as some of Morgan's Raiders took six of their horses. The Hunts would
recover only two of the animals.
Middle left: John Craig Hunt and his wife, Eliza Bowen Hunt
During their ride around Cincinnati, Morgan's cavalrymen confiscated one of Jonathan T. Conklin's horses. Ohio government later offered Conklin $125 in reparation.
Bottom left: As Confederate Colonel Duke's brigade marched by Archibald Johnston's house on the morning of July 14, the raiders confiscated a horse from his father's nearby stable.
Text: Stephen Kelley & David L. Mowery
Illustrations: Bev Kirk