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Ohio State Parks

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USA Parks
Southeast Ohio Region
Buffington Island State Memorial
Cardinal ©
Afternoon Hike ©
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Portland, Ohio   45770
(lat:39.0029 lon:-81.7869) map location
Buffington Island commemorates the only significant Civil War battle that took place on Ohio soil. Here a Union army routed a column of Confederate cavalry commanded by General John Hunt Morgan in 1863. Major Daniel McCook, patriarch of the fighting McCook family, consisting of his eight sons and his brother John's five sons, was mortally wounded in the fight.

A monument made of broken Ohio glacial boulders is set in a four acre outdoor park where visitors can enjoy picnics and read the signs describing the history of the area.
History of the Area
Buffington Island State Memorial is located in Meigs County, Ohio, along the Ohio River. It commemorates the Battle of Buffington Island, which took place on July 19, 1863, during the American Civil War. The battle was a significant engagement in the larger campaign known as Morgan's Raid.

Morgan's Raid was led by Confederate Brigadier General John Hunt Morgan, who embarked on a daring raid through Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio with around 2,400 cavalrymen. His mission was to disrupt Union supply lines, demoralize the civilian population, and divert Union troops from other key battlefronts.

On July 19, Morgan attempted to cross the Ohio River at Buffington Island, but he encountered a Union force led by Brigadier General Edward H. Hobson. The Union troops, numbering around 3,000, had positioned their artillery on the high bluffs overlooking the river, creating a strong defensive position.

During the battle, both sides engaged in intense fighting on land and water. The Union gunboats, the U.S.S. Moose and U.S.S. Allegheny Belle, played a crucial role in repelling Morgan's attempted crossing. The Confederate cavalry managed to make some headway initially, but the Union reinforcements and naval support eventually turned the tide.

Morgan's forces suffered heavy casualties and were forced to retreat from Buffington Island. The Union victory at this battle proved instrumental in containing and eventually capturing Morgan and his remaining forces a week later in northeastern Ohio.

In 1929, the State of Ohio established the Buffington Island State Memorial to commemorate the battle. The memorial includes a granite monument topped with a bronze statue of a Union soldier. It stands as a reminder of the sacrifice and valor displayed by both Union and Confederate troops during the Battle of Buffington Island. The site also has interpretive panels providing information about the battle and its historical significance.

Buffington Island State Memorial is managed by the Ohio History Connection and is open to visitors who wish to explore the history of this significant Civil War battle.

Buffington Island State Memorial is located near Parkersburg

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