During the summer of 1863, General John Hunt Morgan, a Confederate cavalry leader from Kentucky, invaded southern Ohio with 2,460 mounted men. Throughout the campaign Morgan's men plundered and looted before being captured by Union forces. On July 17, Morgan led his troops into Wilkesville stealing horses, sacking stores, and robbing private citizens. That night Morgan and some of his troops took lodging and meals with his first cousin Ruth Virginia Althar Cline and her husband Dr. William Cline. Morgan's troops camped near the house of John and Eliza Levis where Eliza cooked for the men for fear they would harm her family. Additional soldiers of the raiding party stayed on the village square. Legend has it that while Morgan slept at the Cline Mansion, his black servant stole his looted money, and abolitionists Dr. Cline and Abraham Morris, helped him escape to freedom on the Underground Railroad.