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ohioreb
09-06-2006, 07:08 PM
It seems that the state of Ohio is not as concerned about the future of its historical sites as perhaps it should be.
Portland OH is the site of The Battle of Buffington Island, where federal forces under Gen. Hobson (numbering around 8,000) caught up with forces under Gen. John Hunt Morgan (numbering around 1,500) during Morgan's daring 1863 raid. (Here I highly reccommend reading Lester V. Horwitz's book "The Longest Raid of the Civil War" - reads like a novel and is certainly the definitive work on the raid.) It is certainly no "Gettysburg" by scale comparison, however the land on which the 19 July '63 engagement took place is Ohio's *only* WBtS battlefield. The greater portion of the field is owned by a local gravel company. Buffington Island Battlefield Group and locals have managed to stall the start of gravel-mining operations for the time being, but the company has no intentions of indefinitely post-poning their business in Portland. The state will not intervene unless grave sites are found on gravel co. land. I am interested in who all is aware of this.

ohiofed
09-06-2006, 10:44 PM
What about Old Washington, Ohio? At that time it was known as Washington. It is all of 8 miles from where I live in Cambridge, and 3 confederates are buried in the cemetary there from the skirmish that took place on Jul. 23 (?) with Gen. Shackleford's troops. This was a small fight where a small amount of the confederate raiders where captured and sent to Cambridge's jail before being transported to Camp Chase/ various other prison's. So to call Buffington Island the *only* battle in Ohio is a false statement. Not to be a burr in the seat of your pants, but just a little tid-bit.

ohioreb
09-07-2006, 06:30 AM
It's nearly impossible to raid deep into enemy territory without having quite a number of skirmishes along the way, and Morgan's Raid was no exception to that.
I do not discount those skirmishes. A smaller one (than even Old Washington) took place not far from my house, in fact. (other side of the county from Buffington Island).
When I refer to Buffington Island/ Portland Bottoms as being Ohio's "*only* WBtS battlefield," the term "battlefield" is applied based more on the scale of the battle & no. of losses (dead, wounded, captured), rather than the fact that there was fighting at that location. I trust that the place of skirmish at Old Washington is in friendlier hands than Portland at present, however, Ohio's *only* Civil War "battlefield" or not, this issue deserves more consideration from authorities at the state level.
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also, I'm sure you may be aware of the "party" we're having today, friday, saturday and sunday, however- in case you are not- today, roughly 300 cavalry troopers will be riding out of Vinton county into Meigs to mark the beginning of the 2nd (SE Ohio) re-enactment of Gen. Morgan's Great Raid. This is the biggest cavalry event I have ever been privileged to see, & promises to be better than the 2003 event. (There will actually be federal cavalry in full pursuit this time around.) (No battles *scheduled* for today, but if you come, I would highly reccommend tomorrow. There will be a battle, and afterward- a big to-do in Chester.) Of course by now registration is over, but spectators are more than welcome. Come if you can.

Pete K
09-08-2006, 01:21 PM
Am I wrong here , but wasn't Morgan's raid ended in Lisbon, Ohio? Though it was mostly a skirmish, Lisbon is farther north than Buffington Island, being very close to the Pennsylvania border. I believe some of Morgan's officers shared the hospitality of the Western Pennsylvania State Penitentiary in Pittsburgh (Allegheny City in 1863). The Battle of Buffington's Island is of interest to our re-enacting group as one of our members is related of the Buffington family.

tompritchett
09-08-2006, 03:33 PM
You are correct, Morgan's raid did not end at Buffington Island. Rather this is the site at which the Federal forces blocked his attempt to escape back over the Ohio River and gave him his first real defeat of the campaign. For more information on this campaign see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morgan's_Raid

Forquer
09-08-2006, 03:42 PM
Am I wrong here , but wasn't Morgan's raid ended in Lisbon, Ohio? Though it was mostly a skirmish, Lisbon is farther north than Buffington Island, being very close to the Pennsylvania border. I believe some of Morgan's officers shared the hospitality of the Western Pennsylvania State Penitentiary in Pittsburgh (Allegheny City in 1863). The Battle of Buffington's Island is of interest to our re-enacting group as one of our members is related of the Buffington family.

Pete -

Sounds like you are talking about Scott. He came to the event at Buffington a few years ago.

Anyway, Morgan and the remnant of his command were captured near Lisbon, at a place called Salineville, up in Columbiana County. It was one week to the day from the battle at Buffington Island.

RJSamp
09-11-2006, 10:59 AM
Well it isn't much to look at....even though the ground we fought on yesterday was 'better' than previous reenactments.......you get this feeling from talking to the locals that the sand/gravel company isn't interested in finding any human bones or artifacts which would slow up their shovelling up of the lowlands.

Had a lot of fun riding down from Wilkesville.....through/near Rutland, Chester, Bashan, along the Ohio River and into the battle site. although I'm stiff and sore.

ohioreb
09-11-2006, 12:36 PM
I can imagine.
Y'all did an awesome job.
I believe this was even better than last time, even without state funding.
I thought the charges/cavalry engagements at Bashan were done especially well. They won't start talking about another event just yet... but when they do, I plan to make sure I am in the thick of it.
All of my personal animosity aside, I think it was a nice gesture of SHELLY to provide water & shuttles to/from the battle... not to mention allowing us to use their property for the event.

VaTrooper
09-11-2006, 02:22 PM
I had a great time but as far Raids go the one in SC last year was better. But I do have interest in Ohio now that will be bringing me back in the future.

ohioreb
09-12-2006, 11:43 AM
It is good to know that we have so many fine people from across the country such as yourself, Mr. Shifflett, that take such an interest in the preservation of such neglected sites as Buffington Island.

VaTrooper
09-12-2006, 11:52 AM
The fine people of Vinton and Meigs county did so much for myself and all of Morgan's Raiders last week that I have no problem giving back to them.

ohioreb
09-19-2006, 03:00 PM
That's very kind of you, Mr. Shifflett.
If only the citizens of Ohio would take as much interest.

VaTrooper
09-19-2006, 03:32 PM
I know there are some Ohio soldiers here. Wacha doin? :evil:

Forquer
09-19-2006, 08:33 PM
I know there are some Ohio soldiers here. Wacha doin? :evil:

Some of us have been working for over 10 years trying to promote awareness, shame politicians (as if THAT'S possible), and even shame our own reenacting community into action. Unfortunately, the aggregate company that is in question is one of the state's biggest contractors. Money talks and you know what walks.

Far too few Ohioans (let alone reenactors) have stepped up to try to reclaim their only CW battlefield.

ohioreb
09-20-2006, 12:16 PM
...shame politicians (as if THAT'S possible)
haaaahahahahahahahahaaahahaha.
hahaha.
ha.
sorry. couldn't help myself.


Unfortunately, the aggregate company that is in question is one of the state's biggest contractors. Money talks..
This is true.
Like I said, the only way (short of the concerned coming up with a LOT of $$$) Ohio is gonna pay attention to the site is if graves are discovered on said corporation's property.

Forquer
09-20-2006, 02:10 PM
Like I said, the only way (short of the concerned coming up with a LOT of $$$) Ohio is gonna pay attention to the site is if graves are discovered on said corporation's property.

Ma'am -

Frankly, I doubt the state of Ohio will ever pay much attention and if Shelley/Old Castle does dig anyone up, I doubt the state will ever know.

I don't know how much you know about gravel mining. earth is not pushed in front of the tractor by a dozer, but is dragged from the rear by a yuke. It's unlikely a driver would ever see anything turned up. Even if he did, he won't risk his job by bringing something like this to anyone's attention.

Besides, according to Ohio funerary law, if a grave is left untended for more than 125 years, the remains are considered to have been reverted to the earth.

The gravel lobby started running roughshod over the state legislature too long ago. Aggregate is bigger business in Ohio than it is even in West ByGod because Ohio has let the industry write the regulatory legislation.

I won't begrudge anyone in that part of the state their livelihood, but it would be nice if they would open their eyes to the economics of heritage tourism as a renewable resource. To describe the mindset down there, I once saw a bumper sticker on a truck (Shelley retiree) that said "If it is not farmed, it is mined."

ohioreb
09-20-2006, 02:19 PM
To describe the mindset down there, I once saw a bumper sticker on a truck (Shelley retiree) that said "If it is not farmed, it is mined."

unfortunate truth.

nc69th
10-08-2006, 04:42 AM
Ohio reb I am from Mansfield Ohio did some duty with those 64th OVI guys, great bunch but they tend to go overboard sometime. I did Buffington Island reenactment in 2001 and loved it. I think its a shame with this Coal mining crap etc etc. from what I hear there wanting to put there.

Chadd M. Vail
69th NC Infantry

nc69th
10-08-2006, 04:44 AM
P.S. Same crap going on down here in S.Carolina with Morris Island, we were afraid they were going to rip it up and turn it into a condo village, still don't know whats going to happen with it an all even so a Contractor Millionair now owns it.

Also Fort Lamar here in Charleston is in danger as well, why it was just a couple of months ago someone accidently plowed through a peice of earthworks of the fort.

Yeah right.

Chadd M. Vail

ohioreb
10-11-2006, 12:22 PM
That is so dang aggravating.. and with this "best interest for the common good" mindset / "Imminent Domain" crap, we are only going to see more of it. (pardon the french)
Whatever will reap the largest profit, that is the course they will take. Aggravating ain't the word. In fact, I don't think I can say/type the word on here. [/rant]
There is a fledgling museum that has started in the old Portland School, and if that keeps growing and becomes big enough, it just might attract enough attention to get more of the locals involved... kinda wake 'em up. Hopefully.

Union Navy
10-18-2006, 10:24 AM
Once again, the Union Navy's contribution has fallen out of the story. Morgan found, to his great frustration, that every time he wanted to cross back across the Ohio, Lt. Cmdr. LeRoy Fitch (of Indiana) was waiting for him with gunboats.
Go here for the whole story:
http://www.wideopenwest.com/~jenkins/ironclads/buffingt.htm

RJSamp
10-19-2006, 08:39 PM
Not so Bob. In fact the gunboat Naval guns are mentioned by the
PA announcer many times during the reenactment battle, and a battery of guns (unfortunately land based) are posted along the river portraying the riverine based naval cannon.

We remarked many times during the raid sternchasing that we hoped that the gun boats could make it upriver past the numerous shoals and slow down or stop Morgan so that we could catch up.

Union Navy
10-23-2006, 04:18 PM
Not so Bob. In fact the gunboat Naval guns are mentioned by the
PA announcer many times during the reenactment battle, and a battery of guns (unfortunately land based) are posted along the river portraying the riverine based naval cannon.

We remarked many times during the raid sternchasing that we hoped that the gun boats could make it upriver past the numerous shoals and slow down or stop Morgan so that we could catch up.
Excellent! I'm so used to the "What Navy?" treatment that this is a refreshing change. I wasn't there, so I didn't hear the details...

ohioreb
10-23-2006, 05:57 PM
it did take a little bit of an imagination though...

TheBaldYankee
10-24-2006, 01:46 PM
I have not yet visited Buffington Island. I just learned about it recently while cruising the OHS website.

I'm from Cleveland. I gotta agree the state of Ohio does little to protect historic sights. The Franklin Castle hear is rotting, They keep building and quarrying on Kelly's Island. Johnson's Island all houses. At least they respect the cemetery there.

The state does no advertising to attract tourism to historic sights, like Buffington Island, Zoar, The Cuyahoga Valley, Serpent Mounds etc.

It is quite aggrovating.

RJSamp
10-25-2006, 01:16 PM
It was worse when Dennis Kucinich was mayor......

Used to live in East Cleveland and work at GE Lamp HQ (NELA Park) on Noble Road.

ohioreb
11-07-2006, 06:22 PM
The state does no advertising to attract tourism to historic sights, like Buffington Island, Zoar, The Cuyahoga Valley, Serpent Mounds etc.

It is quite aggrovating.

Completely.
It sure isn't encouraging when even the Meigs County Chamber of Commerce (Tourism Board) won't so much as lift a finger to help advertise for Morgan's Raid... even when 90% of the rest of the work was already done, they wanted no part in it. I think the realisation of their indifference toward the success of the event began to sink in around the time the key organisers for the Raid showed up for their scheduled meeting at the chamber and were locked out of the building and though the bulding was occupied, were refused entry. Yes... you might say that the local board of tourism has been somewhat... less than helpful.
Gee... advertise for the Raid?... the biggest thing to happen in this little podunk armpit of America since the original in 1863? hmm... that has the potential to bring in a *lot* of spectators.. tourists... who need places to stay.. places to eat... why, that might bolster the county's economy! *gack* no, perish the thought, etc. & so on....
*sigh*

TheBaldYankee
11-10-2006, 09:36 PM
Now that's just SAD! Why would they pass uo an oppertunity like that? It's not like it'd break the bank to throw in a few bucks for addvertising. But the problem is state wide. Maybe things will change with our new governer.

Ask around. You'd be suprised at who many people don't know about all the great historic sites in Ohio. They have no idea that two War of 1812 battles were fought at Fort Miegs, or about the battle of Lake Erie, or about Camp Chase, or Johnson's Island Confederate cemeteries. If I didn't check the OHS website I wouldn't know about Buffington Island. I would not have known about the Hayes Presidential Center or the great Reenactment that happens there in October. Alot of sights I learned about through my other hobby (ghost hunting), but the state does very little.

I making it my personal mission to help get the word out. That's a big reason I'm joining this hobby. The public needs to be informed.

ohioreb
11-16-2006, 02:38 PM
That's why reenacting, in many cases, is slowly turning from hobby to obligation.
The school system has failed American generations long enough, that most young people today don't know squat about their own history, have no sense of nationalistic pride, and as if that isn't bad enough, are now questioning the need for patriotism. (???!!) Things are just goin from screwed-up to insane.
[/rant]
at any rate, it saddens me to say this, but gravel mining has indeed begun on the battelfield. For y'all who were there/fought this past September, it is the exact location of the Sunday battle at Portland. It is clear now why SHELLY was so compliant/helpful in clearing off the site. They knew what they were going to do, and "getting involved" helping with the Raid gave them a chance to look good in the public eye. Well... not that the Meigs county public eye really *cares* anyway.
I have a picture that was sent to me of the battle site as it looks right now..... but I ain't sure how to post it.

bizzilizzit
11-17-2006, 04:13 PM
I making it my personal mission to help get the word out. That's a big reason I'm joining this hobby. The public needs to be informed.

You, Sir, are taking on quite a lot for such a big State who sent almost as many men to fight for the Union as NY and PA. Good luck with your effort!
I volunteer at OHS - they can only do so much, since Ohio cut back their budget. Without volunteers, the historic sites would all close...
Elizabeth

road_apple1861
11-17-2006, 10:01 PM
The way i see it is if it isnt well know then people out side the civil war community just dont care which is sad. we have a fort(built by the british and used up to the Vietnam war) up here in Michigan that our company that we portray the 5th Mi Co.k its in the heart of detroit sorta and its gone to crap yes were trying to fix it but States just dont care any more same as cities Unless it was on the scale of Gettysburg and all the other major battlefields well all we can do is fight with the little power we have over multi-milion dollar CORPS that want that land..so pretty much were fighting for land that the men that we portray did. States should get more involed this was just my thoughts:neutral:

Forquer
11-18-2006, 05:43 PM
I volunteer at OHS - they can only do so much, since Ohio cut back their budget. Without volunteers, the historic sites would all close...
Elizabeth

Elizabeth -

OHS has had years and many opportunities to take the fore down in Meigs County...................

...........If they wanted to.

OHS has suffered a combination of mismanagement and politics. As a result, it's the history that's suffered, and the people of Ohio are worse off for it. Buffington was to have been the recipient of budget increases for a number of years to pay for repairs and some small improvements. Somehow those funds that were earmarked for down on the river always seemed to get diverted back inside the beltway.

I think Mr. Laidlaw is doing what he can to try and keep OHS from sliding further into the abyss, but the damage is already done and, sadly, many people that I know (particularly in the reenacting community) are a bit gunshy in supporting OHS. Frankly, I don't blame them one bit. OHS has a lot of work to do in restoring goodwill.

YOS,

TheBaldYankee
11-19-2006, 12:35 PM
You, Sir, are taking on quite a lot for such a big State who sent almost as many men to fight for the Union as NY and PA. Good luck with your effort!
I volunteer at OHS - they can only do so much, since Ohio cut back their budget. Without volunteers, the historic sites would all close...
Elizabeth
Well, the key word is "help". As one man I can only do so much. I am a memeber of the Zoar Community Association, and now I joined the 51st O.V.I Co.B. The thought crossed my mind to join up with the OHS or Western Reserve Historical Society. I wish I had more time. It's a shame I have to work a job 40 hours a week. I'd much rather devote my time to historical preservation and education. Maybe I'll win the lotto someday.

Maybe we can't convince the old fuddy duddies, but we can try to get em while their young. I already hipped my nephews to Civil War History, and bet your back side that I'll do the same for my daughter when she's old enough to understand.

It seems like there is a severe lack of interest in history with the younger generations. It exsists even in my own age bracket. I'm 28. If we could change that then maybe we won't have to worry about the future of Ohio's historical sights.