Morgan and hundreds of reenactors to strike again and again this weekend
Despite the striking resemblance, one obvious difference between Confederate Gen. John Hunt Morgan and Corydon’s Morgan Raque is that the latter’s guns aren’t loaded.
Both Morgans rocked downtown Corydon with the thunder of cannon and musket fire while leading calvary into the south of town. The first Morgan sacked the town 142 years ago. The second was just having a little fun, and he’ll be back for more this weekend.
Morgan Raque’s army of reenactors will travel from at least six states to assemble at their staging grounds at Morvin’s Landing near Mauckport on Friday morning.
The ‘Morgan’s Raid Preservation Ride’ will include 50 reenactors retracing the exact route taken by Morgan on his way from the banks of the Ohio River to downtown Corydon.
Those numbers will swell Saturday with about 200 individuals and 11 artillery pieces registered as of Tuesday for participation in the Downtown Raid Drama and The Battle of Corydon Reenactments at Hayswood Nature Reserve.
This fourth reenactment of The Battle of Corydon is shaping up to be the biggest by far in both numbers and breadth of activities, Raque said.
He attributed the high participation to the fact that the ride hasn’t been recreated since Morgan himself first traveled the route, and Saturday’s battle reenactment will coincide with the exact date of the original.
‘A high percentage of people just come and walk on,’ said Sean Hawkins, community development manager with the Harrison County Convention and Visitors Bureau, who expects a lot of late entries.
Though the 2001 reenactment in Corydon succeeded in startling both children and some surprised adults, the original raid took place on a much larger and more frightening scale.
Morgan entered Indiana with 2,400 Confederate soldiers, including calvary and artillery units.
Morgan’s scouts discovered members of the Harrison Home Guard. Expecting a small force, Morgan sent an advance company with the intention of easily riding over the opposition, but the Home Guard turned out to be 450 men strong. They dealt Morgan’s advance company most of the casualties that would be lost.
Realizing the size of the force, Morgan used his artillery and outflanked the Home Guard, prompting a quick surrender.
The public is invited to bear witness to vignettes being acted out at stops along Friday’s Preservation Ride, much of which will be on Union Chapel Road, including ‘Lopp’s Mill,’ ‘Foraging Liberally,’ ‘Best Soup Since Tennessee’ and ‘Reprisal at Reverend Glenn’s.’
Maps complete with times for each vignette are available at the Blaine H. Wiseman Visitor Center in Corydon. The first stop is at the Frakes’ Mill Sign on Otterbein Road at noon on Friday, and the last stop is, of course, Corydon at noon on Saturday.
The dramas are based on true events that occurred as Morgan pushed through Indiana and on to Ohio where he was eventually captured.
When Raque rides into Corydon Saturday at noon, it will be under the cover of musket and cannon fire as ‘Thunder Over Little Indian Creek’ recreates the day the Confederate Battle Flag few over Corydon.
The Battle of Corydon will be reenacted at Hayswood Nature Reserve on Saturday at 4 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.
The Preservation Ride is supported by the Morgan’s Raid Heritage Commission and Harrison County CVB. Those groups as well as Raque and partner Keith Karcher’s MDB Production Services helped organize events.
‘The biggest thing on something like this, especially when you have a lot of people around, is safety. We try to make sure that safety is a key factor,’ Raque said.
To that end, he said, ‘tremendous help’ is being provided by the Harrison County Sheriff’s Dept.