Indiana’s Civil War Sesquicentennial Commemoration

The state of Indiana furnished  over 210,000 men for the Union Army and Navy in the Civil War, and over 24,400 of these men died in the war.  One of the more famous Indiana regiments was the 19th Indiana Infantry, one of the regiments of the Iron Brigade.  The 19th Indiana Infantry fought at Second Bull Run, South Mountain, Antietam, Gettysburg, and in the battles of Lieutenant  General Ulysses S. Grant’s Overland Campaign in 1864.

One of the more famous Indiana residents to fight in the war was Eli Lilly, founder of the giant pharmaceutical company.  Lily formed the 18th Independent Battery Indiana Light Artillery.  The unit’s action included the Battle of Chickamauga and Major General William T. Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign.  After the 18th Battery’s enlistment term expired, Lilly reenlisted and joined the 9th Indiana Cavalry.

Writer Ambrose Bierce served in the 9th Indiana Infantry.  His Civil War experiences were the basis of his grim Civil War short stories.  Another soldier/writer from Indiana was General Lew Wallace, author of the novel Ben Hur.

Indiana was the site of one relatively small Civil War battle. On July 8th, 1863 Confederate Brigadier General John Hunt Morgan crossed the Ohio River from Kentucky into Indiana on a raid that would take him into Ohio before his cavalry force was finally stopped.  Morgan’s 1800 cavalrymen engaged about 400 Indiana militiamen at Corydon, Indiana.  There were a few casualties in the fighting before Morgan captured most of the militiamen and continued on with his raid.

On May 13th, 1865 Private John J. Williams of the 34th Indiana Infantry was the last man killed in the war’s last land action at the Battle of Palmito Ranch near Brownsville, Texas.

Indiana’s Civil War Sesquicentennial Website has a sesquicentennial calendar of events and links to resources and information about Indiana’s role in the Civil War.

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