"Could you give me some information about Buffington Island?" One of our Newton Falls Public Library patrons who had recently traveled to Buffington Island wanted to know more about it.
The Battle of Buffington Island has the distinction of being the only significant Civil War battle in Ohio. The battlefield is in Meigs County, Ohio, and is owned by the Ohio Historical Society. It's free and open to the public year-round during daylight hours. The 150th anniversary of the Battle of Buffington Island took place this past July, and was commemorated with a memorial service and demonstrations by Civil War reenactors.
The battle took place when Confederate Brigadier-General John Hunt Morgan and his raiders made an attempt to ford the Ohio River. They were met by Union soldiers and gunboats under the command of Brigadier-General E.H. Hobson and General H.M. Judah. Morgan and several hundred of his men escaped and headed north in the hopes of finding a better place to cross. They were finally surrounded and taken captive in Columbiana County, thus ending the raiding campaign.
For more information on John Hunt Morgan's raids, "The Last Night and Last Day of John Hunt Morgan's Raid: Eyewitness Accounts of Morgan's Ohio Raid of 1863" and James A. Ramage's "Rebel Raider: The Life of John Hunt Morgan" are available through CLEVNET. For general information on Ohio's involvement in the Civil War, "Ohio's War: The Civil War in Documents" and Robert S. Harper's "Ohio Handbook of the Civil War" are both available at the Newton Falls Public Library. Ohiohistorycentral.org, History.com, and Ohiohistory.org all have information on the Battle of Buffington Island.