On and near this spot, July 19, 1863, occurred what is known as the Battle of Buffington Island between the forces of Gen. John H. Morgan, Confederate leader, who was attempting to cross the river near the middle of the island - a short distance south of this monument - and the pursuing Union forces under Brig. Gens. Henry M. Judah and Edward H. Hobson, who intercepted the Confederates and prevented the main force from crossing at this ford. Union Gunboats materially assisted in the encounter.
The engagement was brief but spirited and extended up and down the valley for a considerable distance.A small group of Confederates reached the southern bank of the river and escaped.
About seven hundred, including a number of officers, were captured, but General Morgan the remainder of his men were forced to flee up the Ohio side of the river until finally captured near New Lisbon, Ohio, on July 26, 1863.
The ground on which this monument stands was donated to the State of Ohio by Mrs. Norma Calkins Peoples of Pomeroy, O., granddaughter of Charles and Sarah Price, owners of this land at the time of the battle, for a state park to perpetuate the memory of the United States troops and the Ohio volunteers who fought and fell in the Battle of Buffington Island.Erected for the State of Ohio by the Ohio State Historical Society, 1931.
Major Daniel McCook
Paymaster United States Army, eldest of the "Fighting McCooks," lost his life at the age of 65, in the Battle of Buffington Island. He fell, mortally wounded, at a point about one mile south of this monument, and died the next day on a gunboat bound for Cincinnati, where he was buried in Spring Grove Cemetery.
This tablet commemorates the Moundbuilders of the Ohio Valley whose presence in this region is attested by the nearby burial mounds.