COLUMBUS — Author-historian Lester V. Horwitz who wrote “The Longest Raid of the Civil War” will present the story of Morgan’s Raid at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 8 at the Dr. Samuel L. Bossard Memorial Library.
His book which tells the true story of Confederate General John Hunt Morgan’s raid through Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio, was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for History. Lynne Pauley, the library’s adult programming associate, said the presentation at the library located at 7 Spruce St. in Gallipolis, is free. Mr. Horwitz’s appearance is made possible by the Ohio Humanities Council, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
In 2013 the 150th anniversary of the Civil War will be observed with a major celebration in Meigs County where Ohio’s only Civil War battle was fought. The celebration will feature a reenactment of Morgan’s Raid through Meigs County which culminated in the Portland community with the Battle of Buffington Island.
Morgan’s Raiders, about 2,000, entered Ohio on July 13, 1863. By July 18, they reached Gallia County. They destroyed the bridge at Vinton, and then continued their rampage into Meigs County where they fought a major battle the next day at Buffington Island. A large detachment of Morgan’s Raiders under the command of Confederate Colonel Cicero Coleman fled back to Gallia County and were trapped at Coal Hill near Cheshire where hundreds surrendered. General Morgan led a separate group north into Athens County and destroyed canal boats and property in Nelsonville. A week later, the rebel force was captured just 70 miles south of Cleveland on July 26. After the raid, 4,375 Ohioans filed claims for damages by the Confederates.
Morgan’s Raiders had traveled from their camp in Tennessee, into central Kentucky, through southeastern Indiana, to northern Ohio in 24 days covering over 1,000 miles making it the longest raid of the Civil War. That is the subject of Horwitz’s book, the first complete chronicle of this true epic adventure.
As part of Horwitz’s presentation, there will be a large map showing the route through Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio taken by Morgan’s men. How he went about uncovering the hundreds of true stories, verifying their authenticity and collecting over 200 historic photos, is a story unto itself. Dr. James A. Ramage, Regent Professor of History at Northern Kentucky University and author of Rebel Raider, said “The book is outstanding! It reads like a novel.”
Mr. Horwitz is the first civil war author to be filmed and broadcast nationwide on C-SPAN/BookTv. He has completed a musical drama,”The Rebels Are Coming!” adapted from his book. It is described as “Morgan’s Raid in Music.”
For more information about the book and the musical play, visit www.LongestRaid.com.