Rushville Republican

News

October 15, 2013

Indiana and the Civil War

I recently purchased a book about Indiana and the Civil War from the Milroy School and a fund raising company. Other than numerous typographical errors it was very interesting. It actually went into some detail about each state and territory around at the time. I remembered Rush County had been very involved with this little war. I found that our state supplied over 200,000 soldiers for the Union and several thousand for the Confederacy which was something I had not thought of. I also found there was a heck of a lot more Generals on both sides than I would have anticipated, hundreds of them. I even found out that Caleb Blood Smith from Indiana served as the Secretary of the Interior for President Lincoln. A third of the soldiers from Indiana were casualties. More men were mustered in WWII about twice as many as the Civil War but more Hoosiers died in the Civil War than WWII.

Oliver P Morton was Governor and an ardent Unionist. He did all he could to help the Union and the veterans of the war. Lincoln asked for 7,500 men at the start of the conflict and Indiana almost immediately 2,000 had volunteered. Indiana had 26,000 dead and 50,000 wounded and wounded meant horrible and many limb lost wounds at the time. Indiana was one of the most Union states around even so there were those who were southern sympathizers. Our soldiers fought in both the eastern and western theaters.

Governor Morton not only raised men and material but also managed to borrow, beg and cajole millions of dollars for the cause. He also organized hospitals and the Soldiers and Sailors Children’s Home in Knightstown, northern Rush County. We also had our number of those who supported the south and because of that the South had Morgan’s Raiders invade Indiana but they found little sympathy when they crossed the Ohio River in 1863. Morgan raided all the way up to North Vernon, not all that far from Rush County.

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