Brig. Gen. John Hunt Morgan and his cavalry raiders began their famous Ohio raid in the summer of 1863 when they crossed into Ohio from Indiana on July 13. When the raiders reached the suburbs of Cincinnati, they had completed the longest continuous march of the war by covering 90 miles in 35 hours.
By July 18, Morgan's men had reached Pomeroy, on the Ohio River in Meigs County. A wide path of destruction and hundreds of stragglers had been left in his wake. The population was terrorized.
Only July 19, Union forces commanded by Brig. Gen. Edward H. Hobson defeated Morgan's Raiders at Buffington Island in Ohio's only Civil War battle.
Morgan and his remaining troops escaped northward - possibly headed for the Mahoning Valley, where they might destroy the iron mills and find needed supplies, horses and money.
The Western Reserve Chronicle reported how the news of Morgan reached Warren and Trumbull County:
"The news that the rebel Morgan and his gang of horse thieves were in Columbiana County, apparently moving in this direction, was received here on Sunday afternoon at about 2 o'clock, Conductor Crawford coming with a locomotive from Youngstown to notify the citizens of this place.
''The bells were rung, the cannon brought out, and the quiet of the Sabbath gave place to the bustle and hurry incident to the gathering of armed men to defend all that they held most dear. A few messengers were sent into the surrounding country, but the notice was not general, nevertheless, but a few hours elapsed before the stalwart farmers, and all night, and in the morning long after the news was confirmed, the stream was unceasing.
"At the sound of the cannon, the citizens met together on the public square, and a committee of five was appointed to suggest the best method of proceeding, and they were to report as soon as convenient. They were soon ready, and reported as follows:
"That all men who could provide themselves with horses and were willing to act as cavalry should report themselves at 6 o'clock to Colonel R. W. Ratliff, of the 2nd Ohio Volunteer Cavalry; that all who would act as infantry should report to Colonel J. F. Asper, late of the 7th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, at the same hour, and that the cannon should be in charge of Lieutenant W. B. King and Thomas Douglass.
(Note: Douglass was the grandfather of one-time publisher of the Warren Tribune, Zell Hart Deming.)
''Colonel Ratliff directed that couriers be sent out on all the roads leading towards Salem and New Lisbon, and stationed at a distance four or five miles apart, to be ready to bring any news they might receive."
"Two trains on the Atlantic and Great Western came in from the east, filled with men from the eastern part of the county and western Pennsylvania. A company of cavalry, commanded by Captain Caldwell, (formerly of the 2nd Ohio Cavalry) came from Farmington. Another, commanded by Captain Pryor (also late of the 2nd OVC) came from Newton Falls, and from the same place were a large number of infantry, and we are told, one piece of artillery, well manned."
"The news was received in Mecca at 10 o'clock, and in four hours Captain A. W. Jones was on hand with about one hundred men, including two chaplains and one surgeon. Niles, Girard, Mineral Ridge, and the townships of Weathersfield and Liberty sent large detachments to Columbiana and towards New Lisbon, and there was not a township but turned out its men nobly.
''There could not have been less than two thousand armed men who reported themselves at this place, between the hours of 8 p.m. on Sunday and 11 a.m. on Monday.
"When it is considered that the farmers are in the midst of their harvest, that laborers are scarce, and thousands of acres of grass and grain will be injured by delay in harvesting, the alacrity with which the citizens of the county responded to the sudden call upon them may well be a source of pride to all concerned."
Morgan's final cavalry exploit of 150 years ago was a wild, 24-day ride through southern Indiana and across Ohio, ending with his capture in Columbiana County and confinement in the Ohio Penitentiary. In November 1863, Morgan and several of his officers tunneled out of the penitentiary and escaped to Kentucky.
Morgan was killed in a surprise cavalry fight at Greeneville, Tenn., on Sept. 3, 1864.
Compiled by members of the CW150 Committee of Warren's Sutliff Museum.