November 27, 1863
Huntsville native John Hunt Morgan and six Confederate officers escaped from the Ohio Penitentiary in Columbus, Ohio. Known as the “Thunderbolt of the Confederacy” for his daring raids into Union territory, Morgan and his men escaped from their cells by tunneling into the prison yard and climbing the outer prison walls with an improvised rope. Morgan and three of the officers then boarded a train for Cincinnati, jumped off before reaching the depot, and crossed the Ohio River aboard a skiff operated by Southern sympathizers. Morgan eventually made his way to Richmond, Virginia, where he was honored by a parade and praised by the Virginia Legislature.
Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.
Born in Huntsville, Madison County, Gen. John Hunt Morgan (1825-1864) is best known as the leader of “Morgan’s Raider,” a Confederate military unit that laid waste to Union materiel and supply lines during the Civil War. Morgan was killed on September 4, 1864, by Federal troops during a capture attempt. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division)
Confederate colonel John Hunt Morgan and members of his unit, the 2nd Kentucky Cavalry Regiment, relax at an unnamed camp in Kentucky in 1862 during the Civil War. The force, known as Morgan’s Raiders, destroyed communication and transport systems throughout Tennessee and Kentucky and captured hundreds of Union soldiers. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, courtesy of the City of Paris, Kentucky)
Incomplete image captioned “Morgan’s Command in Ohio Penitentiary, Columbus.” (Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division)
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