CIVIL WAR HISTORY

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Indiana During the War between the States


Throughout the war many states were famous for their gallant war efforts and their massive civil strides. Many had famous regiments that showed great valor in the heat of battle. Indiana was one of the most vital states to the Union during the war. By proportion it was supplied the second most amount of men in the war. Indiana, an agriculturally rich state containing the fifth-highest population in the Union, was critical to the North's success due to its geographical location, large population, and agricultural production. Indiana residents, also known as Hoosiers, supplied the Union with manpower for the war effort, a railroad network and access to the Ohio River and the Great Lakes, and agricultural products such as grain and livestock. The state experienced two minor raids by Confederate forces, and one major raid in 1863, which caused a brief panic in southern portions of the state and its capital city, Indianapolis. During the war roughly 210,000 men would serve in the Union army. Indiana's economy was significantly shifted during the war. It went from a rural agricultural economy to an industrial powerhouse. With the help of its railroad system Indiana helped transport wartime materials throughout the duration of the war.

 

MEN IN THE RANKS

Soldiers       208,367 

Sailors             2,130 

Killed              24,416 

Wounded      48,568

When Ft. Sumter was fired upon Indiana was one of the first states to come to the call to preserve the Union. Weeks following the attack two mass meetings were held in Indianapolis to decide Indiana's fate in the Union. After the meetings they decided to help suppress the rebellion. On April 15, 1861 Governor Oliver P. Morton called for 10,000 soldiers to meet the states' quota. Within a week over 12,000 men answered the call. Camp Morton was then established as the main training grounds for the Indiana soldiers. As the war dragged on the state resorted conscription to fill the Union ranks. Indiana's volunteers and draftees provided the Union army with 129 infantry regiments, 13 cavalry regiments, 3 cavalry companies, 1 regiment of heavy artillery, and 26 light artillery batteries. In addition to providing Union troops, Indiana also organized its own volunteer militia, known as the Indiana Legion. Formed in May 1861, the Legion was responsible for protecting Indiana's citizens from attack and maintaining order within the state.

Training and Support

Slightly more than 60 percent of Indiana's regiments mustered into service and trained at Indianapolis. Other camps for Union soldiers were established elsewhere in the state, including Fort Wayne, Gosport, Jeffersonville, Kendallville, Lafayette, Richmond, South Bend, Terre Haute, Wabash, and in LaPorte County.

Governor Morton was called the "Soldier's Friend" because of his efforts to equip, train, and care for Union soldiers in the field. Indiana's state government financed a large portion of the costs involved in preparing its regiments for war, including housing, feeding, and equipping them, before their assignment to the standing Union armies. To secure arms for Indiana's troops, the governor appointed purchasing agents to act on the state's behalf. Early in the war, for example, Robert Dale Owen purchased more than $891,000 in arms, clothing, blankets, and cavalry equipment for Indiana troops; the state government made additional purchases of arms and supplies exceeding $260,000. To provide ammunition, Morton established a state-owned arsenal at Indianapolis served the Indiana militia, home guard, and as a backup supply depot for the Union army. The state arsenal operated until April 1864, employing 700 at its peak; many of its employees were women. A federal arsenal was also established in Indianapolis in 1863.

Prison Camps

Indianapolis was the site of Camp Morton, one of the Union's largest prisons for captured Confederate soldiers. Lafayette, Richmond, and Terre Haute, Indiana, occasionally held prisoners of war as well.

 

Military Cemeteries

Two national military cemeteries were established in Indiana as a result of the war. In 1882 the federal government established in New Albany, Indiana, the New Albany National Cemetery, one of fourteen national cemeteries established that year. In 1866 the federal government authorized a national cemetery for Indianapolis; Crown Hill National Cemetery was established within the grounds of Crown Hill Cemetery, a privately owned cemetery northwest of downtown.

Conflicts

Indiana troops participated in 308 military engagements, the majority of them between the Mississippi River and the Appalachian Mountains. Soldiers from Indiana were present on most of the Civil War battlefields, beginning with the first engagement involving Hoosier troops at the Battle of Philippi (West Virginia) on June 3, 1861, to the Battle of Palmetto Ranch (Texas) on May 13, 1865. Nearly all the fighting was outside of the state's boundaries. Only one significant conflict, known as Morgan's Raid, occurred on Indiana soil during the war. The raid, which caused a brief panic in Indianapolis and southern Indiana, was preceded by two minor incursions into Indiana. Hoosiers also fought at Gettysburg, Antietam, Turner's Gap, Shiloh, First and Second Bull Run and many more gruesome engagements.

Raids in Indiana

On July 18, 1862, during the Newburgh Raid, Confederate officer Adam Johnson briefly captured Newburgh, Indiana, after convincing the town's Union garrison that he had cannon on the surrounding hills (they were merely camouflaged stovepipes). The raid convinced the federal government of the need to supply Indiana with a permanent force of regular Union Army soldiers to counter future raids.

 

On June 17, 1863, in preparation for a planned cavalry offensive by Confederate troops under the command of John Hunt Morgan, one of his officers, Captain Thomas Hines and approximately 80 men crossed the Ohio River to search for horses and support from Hoosiers in southern Indiana. During the minor incursion, which became known as Hines' Raid, local citizens and members of Indiana's home guard pursued the Confederates and succeeded capturing most of them without a fight. Hines and a few of his men escaped across the river into Kentucky.

 

Morgan's Raid, the Confederate army's major incursion into Indiana, occurred a month after Hines' raid. On July 8, 1863, General Morgan crossed the Ohio River, landing at Mauckport, Indiana, with 2,400 troopers. Their arrival was initially contested by a small party from the Indiana Legion, who withdrew after Morgan's men began firing artillery from the river's southern shore. The state militia quickly retreated towards Corydon, Indiana, where a larger body was gathering to block Morgan's advance. The Confederates advanced rapidly on the town and engaged in the Battle of Corydon. After a brief but fierce fight, Morgan took command of high ground south of town, and Corydon's local militia and citizens promptly surrendered after Morgan's artillery fired two warning shots. Corydon was sacked, but little damage was done to its buildings. Morgan continued his raid north and burned most of the town of Salem.

 

When Morgan's movements appeared to be headed toward Indianapolis, panic spread through the capital city. Governor Morton had called up the state militia as soon as Morgan's intention to cross into the state was known, and more than 60,000 men of all ages volunteered to protect Indiana against Morgan's men. Morgan considered attacking Camp Morton, the prisoner-of-war camp in Indianapolis, to free more than 5,000 Confederate prisoners of war imprisoned there, but decided against it. Instead, his raiders turned abruptly east and began moving towards Ohio. With Indiana's militia in pursuit, Morgan's men continued to raid and pillage their way toward the Indiana-Ohio border, crossing into Ohio on July 13. By the time Morgan left Indiana, his raid had become a desperate attempt to escape to the South. He was captured on July 26 in Ohio.

Soldiers and Sailors Monument

The monument's original purpose was to honor Hoosiers who were veterans of the American Civil War; however, it is also a tribute to Indiana's soldiers who served during the American Revolutionary War, territorial conflicts that partially led to the War of 1812, the Mexican–American War, and the Spanish–American War. The monument is the first in the United States to be dedicated to the common soldier.