Battle of Corydon

Battle of Corydon

Infobox_nrhp | name =Corydon Battle Site
nrhp_type =

caption =
nearest_city= Corydon, Indiana
area =
built =1863
added = July 09, 1979
governing_body = Local
refnum=79000017 cite web|url=|title=National Register Information System|date=2007-01-23|work=National Register of Historic Places|publisher=National Park Service]

The Battle of Corydon took place July 9, 1863, in Harrison County, Indiana, during Morgan's Raid in the American Civil War. It was the only Civil War battle in Indiana. The battle resulted in a Confederate victory, which enabled Brig. Gen. John Hunt Morgan to secure supplies and money before turning eastward to Ohio.


On July 2, 1863, General Morgan, with over 2,400 hand-picked cavalrymen, rode into Kentucky to disrupt the communications of the Union Army of the Cumberland, which began its operations against Braxton Bragg’s Army of Tennessee (Tullahoma Campaign) on June 23. Crossing the Cumberland River at Burkesville, Morgan’s column advanced to the Green River, where it was deflected by a Union regiment at Tebbs Bend on July 4. Morgan surprised and captured the garrison at Lebanon, Kentucky, and then rode northward via Springfield, Bardstown and Garnettsville.cite book|title=The Civil War: A Narrative|author=Shelby Foote|publisher=Random House|isbn=039474621x|year=1963|volume=II|location=New York|page=679-683]

On the morning of July 8 Morgan arrived at Brandenburg, Kentucky where his men commandeered the "Alice Dean" and the "T.J. McCombs", two steamships to cross the Ohio River. Morgan's initial attempt to cross the river was contested by a militia force on the opposite shore and an armed steamer named the "Lady Pike". After a brief artillery duel the militia withdrew to Corydon where a larger body of militia was mustering. Morgan crossed the Ohio River and landed on the east side of Mauckport, Indiana, despite orders he had received to remain in Kentucky.

Union military officials called out the militia in Indiana and Ohio and worked feverishly to organize a defense. In Corydon a body of about 400 men assembled to contest Morgan's advance.

The attack

At 11:00 a.m. on July 9, the Confederates reached the southern outskirts of Corydon, the county seat of Harrison County. Blocking their way, on the heights about a mile south of town, was a line of hastily built works of criss crossed logs. The works were manned by the Sixth Indiana Legion under Col. Lewis Jordan. Morgan’s artillery could have made short work of these four hundred farmers-turned-soldiers, but time was of the essence as the Union was already gathering troops for an effective pursuit. Morgan’s main body could not be delayed and it was decided that the Indiana Home Guard had to be dealt with by the advance elements of his army.

Using an artillery section and one battalion to prevent the defenders from maneuvering, Col. Richard Morgan, the general's brother, launched a flank attack that quickly drove the Hoosiers from their position. The Hoosiers gave way just as General Morgan arrived with the main body of Confederates force. After a short but spirited battle of less than an hour, Jordan retreated with his militia into Corydon. Morgan then took command of the heights south of the town and fired two shells from his artillery into the town which promptly surrendered.


Accounts vary as to the number of casualties, but the most reliable evidence suggests that Jordan lost 4 killed, 10-12 wounded, and 355 captured. Morgan counted 11 dead and 40 wounded raiders. Among the dead Federals was a civilian toll keeper, who perished near his tollgate. Raiders also killed a Lutheran minister on his farm, four miles from the battlefield, and stole horses from several other farmers.

General Morgan led his division into Corydon. Recognizing their spirited defense, Morgan paroled all of the Home Guard as if they had been regular Federal soldiers. Gleeful Confederates then spent the afternoon plundering stores and collecting ransom money. Morgan threatened to torch three local mills, and demanded amounts ranging from $700 to $1,000 from each to save them from destruction. The county treasurer paid Morgan $690, and two leading stores $600 each. Later that day, the raiders left Corydon and continued their northward ride, scouring the countryside to collect fresh horses and additional booty.cite web|url= |title=Corydon Battle Park||accessdate=2008-06-13]

Morgan had lunch at the Kintner House Inn where he learned of Confederate defeat at Gettysburg. At the start of his raid he intended to meet up with the now defeated army in Pennsylvania.

Morgan would continue north raiding northern Harrison County for the rest of the day and camping with is main body in New Salisbury for the night. He would exit Harrison County after the night and then after raiding Salem he turned his force towards Ohio, where they would be thwarted at the Battle of Buffington Island in their attempt to recross the Ohio River to safety. [cite book|title=The Civil War: A Narrative|author=Shelby Foote|publisher=Random House|isbn=039474621x|year=1963|volume=II|location=New York|page=689]



*U.S. War Department, "The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies", 70 volumes in 4 series. Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, 1880-1901.
*Mingus, Scott L., "Morgan's Raid," "CHARGE! Magazine", Volume 4, August, 2004, page 12-13. Used by permission of the Johnny Reb Gaming Society.
* [ CWACS Battle Summary for Corydon]
* [ Corydon Battle Park]

ee also

*List of battles fought in Indiana
*Indiana in the American Civil War
*Morgan's Raid

External links

* [ "The Battle of Corydon, Indiana"] — Article by Civil War historian/author Bryan S. Bush

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