Morgan's Defeat  LbNA # 34901

Placed DateSep 6 2007
LocationPortland, OH
Planted ByHardy Boys&Nancy D.    
Found By
Last Found
Hike Distance?

Difficulty: very easy with a slight reach
Terrain: short walk on flat ground
Time: less than 15 minutes after arrival
Please bring your stamp, a stamp pad, pen, and an old rag to wipe off the box, stamp, and your hands.

The Battle of Buffington Island was the only major Civil War engagement fought in the State of Ohio.

…Riding into the valley of the Ohio near Buffington Island, we developed Morgan's force where it had been delayed in a fog, waiting for daylight to ford the river into West Virginia. Morgan's 2,000 horsemen were waiting in the lower end of the valley, which lay between the hills and the river. The Union troops, under General Judah (including General Seammon's detachments from the Kanawha Valley, coming up the river from
Pomeroy, where the steamboats had landed them, approached the enemy about the same time our vanguard of General Hobson's force, led by Colonel Kautz, began the descent into the middle of the valley occupied by Morgan. We attacked bird cages, sleigh bells and even pieces of artillery, answering Judah's guns, told Morgan that those who had followed him from the Cumberland River had closed in on him. In one of the numerous hot rear guard skirmishes that took place both before and after Judah's troops had arrived on the scene, Major McCook, father of "Fighting McCooks," was mortally wounded by a Confederate bullet…

With the rising of the sun the fog lifted, showing the gunboats in the river (tinclads, as they were called), and all hope of escape for Morgan by the shallow bar was gone. Some succeeded in getting beyond this gorge to continue their flight, though many dismounted and disabled were captured here, while some halted a short distance beyond the forest clad hills to surrender rather than continue a hopeless flight.

The Ohio raid practically ended at Buffington Island, although Morgan himself was not captured there, but with a small portion of his men escaped and fled to Lake Erie, being captured at Lisbon in Columbiana County, Ohio, within one day's ride of Lake Erie. From the moment of Morgan's landing on the Indiana side of the Ohio River until his defeat at Buffington's Island, not less than 100,000 "home guards" were called out to suppress him. (Information taken from

Clues: After parking your car in the parking area of Buffington Island State Memorial, have a look around at the Indian mound and the memorials, and then stop and read the two historical markers. While standing directly in front of the historical markers, take a reading of 340˚ and follow that direction 65 steps to a large tree. What you seek will be in a hole on the tree’s back side.

Please be advised that the park is busiest mid-July; see for details on the re-enactment of the Battle of Buffington Island. Thank you to the Ohio Historical Society for permitting this box to be planted.

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