MEIGS COUNTY — Late last week, co-chairs of the Buffington Island Battlefield Preservation Foundation, David Mowery and Dale Colburn, along with two other Ohio history enthusiasts, Constance White, of Wilkesville, and Steve George, of Ohio History Connection, met in Meigs County with local officials to discuss the raid re-enactment that will take tentatively take place Sept. 15-18, 2016.
Mowery is also an author of two books: “Morgan’s Great Raid: The Remarkable Expedition from Kentucky to Ohio,” and “Morgan’s Raid Across Ohio: The Civil War Guidebook of the John Hunt Morgan Heritage Trail.”
This re-enactment is set to begin in Wilkesville and will end in Portland, with the Battle of Buffington Island ending the re-enactment. The battle will feature genuine costumes, cannon fire and about 1,200-1,300 cavalry in the form of hobbyists from around the country. For this event, the main re-enactors will come from Sixth Ohio Cavalry hobbyists.There will also be talks during the re-enactment for those wanting to see and learn history at the same time.
The four, along with meeting the Meigs County of Chamber of Commerce and the Meigs County Commissioners to garner/cement support from the community, also met with local school officials to discuss educating local students on the subject.
According to information provided by Mowery, the Battle of Buffington Island did not actually occur on the island itself. Instead, the name of the battle was taken from a well-known river ford located at the head of the island. Mowery said this battle, fought July 19, 1863, marked the apex of Morgan’s Great Raid, which took place in two states between July 2-26, 1863. The raid is also known as the Indiana-Ohio Raid.
During fighting, nearly 1,800 Confederate soldiers and nearly 3,000 Union/Federals fought for two hours, with all four arms of the military involved: infantry, artillery, navy and cavalry. In the end, on the Confederate side 57 were killed, 63 wounded and 71 captured, with only six killed on the Union side and 20 Union soldiers injured. In addition to those Confederate soldiers captured in battle, 450 additional Confederate solders were captured off the battlefield along the West Virginia shore of the Ohio River or off the battlefield in eastern Meigs County.
Mowery said that plans are still being solidified for the event, and that the foundation and all others involved in the project hope to get more of the community involved as well, including volunteers for multiple positions
“The history of the battle is really important (to the area),” Mowery said. “Heritage tourism can bring people to Meigs County.”
For any more information, email Buffingtonisland@gmail.com.
Reach Lindsay Kriz at 740-992-2155. EXT. 2555.