Following the 1860 election of Abraham Lincoln as president of the United States, several states seceded from the Union to form the Confederate States of America, primarily over concerns that slavery would be limited or constrained. Four years of war devastated the South while simultaneously fostering vigorous expansion of commerce, transportation, industry, and manufacturing.
The Civil War resulted in Lincoln issuing the Emancipation Proclamation and the United States Congress passing the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth amendments to the United States Constitution. These amendments respectively ended slavery, defined citizenship, and defined voting rights. In addition to expanding the power of the president, the Civil War also elevated the power of the national government over the states.
John Hunt Morgan was a popular and romantic Brigadier General of the Confederacy. In the summer of 1863, he disobeyed orders and slipped past Union forces to race across Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio. On July 8th, 1863, Morgan and his men seized river boats to cross the Ohio River from Kentucky into Indiana to engage both military and civilian targets. Across six days he caused confusion and distress as he encountered, fought, misdirected, raided, evaded, and plundered his way across Indiana.
Union forces effectively pursued Morgan, limiting his options, and effecting his capture in northeast Ohio. The raid left lingering questions about his reputation as a military leader in contrast to the romantic figure of the post war neo-Confederate movement.
For a world-class interactive experience on Indiana history, including the John Hunt Morgan Raid, we encourage you to visit Conner Prairie Interactive History Park on the north side of Indianapolis.