On this day in Alabama history: ‘Thunderbolt of the Confederacy’ escaped

On this day in Alabama history: ‘Thunderbolt of the Confederacy’ escaped
Penitentiary, Columbus, OH. (Detroit Publishing Company, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division)

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.

For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.

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