Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Morgan Raiders Gave Good Scare

Sunday Morning Observer, April 15, 1917

Marietta Prepared to Give Them Warm Reception But They Failed to Come This Way

At this time when the country is on the threshold of real activity in another war, it is interesting to look back over the past and lance at the wars that have been and note the side lines and pick up the little things that happened in and about old Marietta from where many of her sons went forth to battle.

One of the always interesting stories of that war is the one of Morgan's raid.  the "Home Guards" of that time were kept busy to get ready to "head him off," but he never got within gun shot of the "loved ones" at Marietta, but the story is often told of the local activities.

Morgan Raiders crossed the Ohio River below Cincinnati.  The main body did not enter the city.  They were next heard from where they crossed the Little Miami R. R. a few miles below Loveland, here they boarded a passenger train.  Their route was towards Jackson, passing through Piketon and Berlin to Cheshire, Gallia County.  At Buffington Island, a few succeeded in crossing the river and escaped.  The river was being patrolled by ferryboats converted into gunboats by building up the sides with baled hay, these prevented the main body from crossing the river.  Morgan then started through Vinton county, passed through Nelsonville to the northeast and was captured before reaching the Ohio river.

Col. Ben P. Runkle brought a train load of troops from Chillicothe to Moore's Junction and established a camp there.  Part of the troops were cared for at Marietta.  At the camp there were some ten or twelve locomotives with train crews and cars.  Earth works were constructed at the W. P. Cutler farm at Constitution.  Trains were constantly taking fresh troops to the trenches and bringing back those who had been working there.  There must be some mistake regarding the hay placed on the railroad bridge at Marietta for the purpose of burning it.  It was placed there, undoubtedly, as a barricade and not with a view to burning the bridge, a can of oil and a lighted match would have accomplished that purpose.  Col. Runkle's troops probably saved Marietta from a visit from Morgan.

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