Avoiding Another Battle
— John Hunt Morgan Heritage Trail —
The loss of their baggage train and artillery at Buffington Island
allowed Confederate Brigadier General John Hunt Morgan and
cavalrymen to travel cross-country in an effort to
shake their Union pursuers and avoid revealing their position.
After going around Tuppers Plains in Meigs County, they headed
almost due west away from the river and back into the interior
of southeastern Ohio.
On July 20, 1863, Morgan rode south toward an Ohio River ford
at Cheshire, but the Condor and an attack by Union cavalry under
Brigadier General James Shackelford prevented the crossing.
Morgan and 700 men escaped to Addison, turned inland,
and encamped that night at Porter.
The following morning, Morgan surprised and captured 450 men
of the 1st Scioto Militia under Lieutenant Colonel Louis Sontag
near Ewington. Morgan paroled the troops but confiscated their
weapons and ammunition. More than 50 exhausted raiders
surrendered to Sontag before Morgan continued northwest
through Iron Valley Furnace and Vinton Furnace.
When the raiders arrived at Vinton Station after 7 pm, they ordered
Isaac Brown, the manager of Vinton Furnace, to guide them to
McArthur. When Brown reported that Union soldiers were
guarding it, Morgan directed his scouts to locate a route around
McArthur in hopes avoiding another major conflict.
at Rankin's Point.
On the night of July 20, General Morgan permitted about 100 frustrated raiders to leave their camp at Porter to find their own escape route. The next day these men successfully reached the Ohio River at Rankin's Point (present-day Crown City) but were all captured by Union militia before they could cross.
Text: Edd Sharp & David L Mowery, Illustration: Bev Kirk.
(Marker Number 32