PORTLAND, Ohio — A memorial service to honor soldiers who took part in the Battle of Buffington Island, a decisive battle that lead to the end of Morgan’s Raid, was conducted last weekend at Buffington Island Battlefield.
The Battle of Buffington Island took place July 19, 1863, and was the only significant battle of the Civil War fought in Ohio. The encounter began when Union troops supported by artillery, cavalry and navy gunboats converged on General John Hunt Morgan’s Raiders. Morgan’s troops planned to cross the Ohio River at Buffington Island ford, escaping Union forces. The battle lasted two hours and involved approximately 1,800 Confederate cavalrymen and 3,000 Union troops.
With one third of Morgan’s forces captured and the remainder scattered, the threat from the raid that had begun 46 days before the skirmish and covered over 1,000 miles beginning in Tennessee and traveling through Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio, was extinguished and Morgan himself captured July 26 in Columbia County, Ohio.
The following took part in the ceremony, sponsored by the Ohio Department Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War and the Ohio History Connection: Jim Oiler, commander; Bill McCreedy; Chaplain Henry Myers; Dale Lamphier, Cadot-Blessing Camp No. 126; Scott Britton, past commander; Andy Francis; Norm Pape Jr., vice commander, Gen. Benjamin Fearing Camp No. 2; Shawn Cox, commander, Honor Guard, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.
Following introductions and a welcome by Cox, Francis gave the invocation. The pledge of allegiance followed. Wreaths had been placed to honor the soldiers and Myers gave the benediction. The firing of salute was performed by SUVCW Honor Guard and “Taps,” played by Britton and Lamphier, echoed through the park, to close the ceremony.
Lorna Hart can be reached at 740-992-2155 EXT. 2551