Posted March 11, 2010
The 4th Most Embarrassing Moment of Ohio History is
Columbus (November 27, 1863). Confederate General John Hunt Morgan and his command were captured on July 26, 1863, near Salineville, Ohio, after a long raid stretching from Kentucky, into Indiana and all across southern Ohio. Morgan and most of his officers were imprisoned at the Ohio Penitentiary in Columbus. In early November, Morgan and six of his officers put an escape plan into action by beginning a tunnel under their cells into an air chamber that ultimately led to a courtyard. Scaling a few walls and gates brought them to freedom on November 27, 1863. Five of the seven including John Hunt Morgan made good their escape and rejoined Confederate forces. Two of the officers were recaptured and returned to the Ohio Pen. On the morning of November 30, 1863, the Columbus Ohio State Journal newspaper reported: In some points of view, the escape of John Morgan., is the most humiliating circumstance that has ever occurred in the State of Ohio.
Image of the Ohio Penitentiary, c. 1870-1877, from the collections of the Ohio Historical Society.
Further Reading: David Roth, Escape from Hell! Gen. John Hunt Morgans Escape from the Ohio Penitentiary, Blue & Grey Magazine Vol. 12, No. 1, October 1994 Daily Ohio State Journal, Monday, November 30, 1863 Ohio History Central: John H. Morgan
Come back tomorrow for more from The Most Embarrassing Moments of Ohio History!
Number 10: Ohio Antiquities are Treasured in London Number 9: Rhodes Road to Canada Number 8: Newark Board of Trade Finds a Curious Way to Save an Earthwork Number 7: Presidents and Generals First Number 6: Traitor Runs for Governor Number 5: No One Believes the Passenger Pigeon Will Go Extinct Until it Does