Morgan’s Raiders display offers step back in time

By Regina Villiers.  Originally published May 17, 1995 in The Suburban Life, added May 13, 2016.

Jo Richardson, director of the Loveland Historical Museum, displays a Civil War era dress in the Morgan exhibit. It is believed to be stained with the blood of a wounded soldier.

Jo Richardson, director of the Loveland Historical Museum, displays a Civil War era dress in the Morgan exhibit. It is believed to be stained with the blood of a wounded soldier.

Bill Samuel of Madeira first called me about it.  “I thought you might want to check it out,” he said.  “It’s interesting and would make a good story.”

Then Nancy O’Connor, Pursuits editor, called and told me how much she had enjoyed it.

So I decided I’d better check into what they were raving about- the Morgan’s Raiders exhibit at the Loveland Historical Museum in Loveland.

I called Jo Ann Richardson, the director of the museum, and she graciously gave me a tour of the exhibit and the museum.

The exhibit is everything they told me it is.  And more.

During the Civil War, about 132 years ago, Morgan’s Raiders, who were led by Gen. John Hunt Morgan of the Confederacy, who was called the “Thunderbolt of the Confederacy,” attacked Cincinnati and many communities in this area.

Morgan’s raid started out near Burkesville, Ky., on July 2, 1863, when Morgan, with 3,000 guerilla soldiers, crossed the Cumberland River.

In his first battle near Campbellsville, Ky., Morgan lost 71 men, either dead or wounded.  On July 5 at Lebanon, Ky., in another battle, his brother, Thomas, died in the arms of another brother, Calvin Morgan.  All of John’s brothers fought and served under John, the oldest.

The raiders of Morgan continued on through Kentucky and Indiana, where at Corydon, they subdued 400 Home Guards.

Morgan’s men entered Ohio at Harrison. By then, Morgan had lost one third of his men, and the rest were tired.

July 13 and 14, 1863, Morgan’s men fought and rode for 50 miles in 29 hours across the Cincinnati area, along a path that is now roughly I-275.

They came through Madeira and did some damage.

According to reports in the exhibit at Loveland, both Mahlon and John L. Hosbrook filed reports of damages from Morgan’s Raiders, for horses and saddles.

For Madeira history buffs, John L. Hosbrook was the grandfather of Nellie Hosbrook.

The Morgan’s Raiders exhibit at Loveland combines dozens and dozens of Civil War artifacts, documents, photographs, letters, uniforms and other Civil War memorabilia, including Morgan’s saddle.

The materials are on loan from various organizations and private collections.

The exhibit gives an opportunity to step back in time and get a rare glimpse of history.

A journal written by Clarkson Butterworth has this entry:  “14 July 1863 – We plowed all day.  I called at Cy Linton’s and Jo Doan’s to hear the news.  It appears that the rebel John Morgan, with about 3,000 cavalry guerrillas has made a dash into Indiana and into Ohio and has damaged the Little Miami Railroad.  Wherefore, no papers reached Wilmington today.”

A letter on display, written by a woman identified only as Jerusa June, details how the men of Morgan suddenly appeared at the stables and took horses, including those of John and Mahlon Hosbrook.

The Morgan exhibit opened in March and was slated to close May 29.

However, Jo Richardson has announced that it will continue through June and July.  It has been filmed and will be shown on Public Access TV.

Even without the exhibit, the Loveland Historical Museum is a great place to visit.

It’s housed in a historical house known as Bonaventure, built by Dr. John Stephens Law in 1862.  The original estate contained 97 acres.  The house has gone through several owners and was purchased by the Greater Loveland Historical Society in 1984.

You can see the Morgan’s Raiders exhibit from now through July on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 1-4:30 p.m.

It’s free, and it’s worth every minute of your time.

The Loveland Historical Society is located at 201 Riverside Drive in Loveland.