Dodged Another Bullet

Pittsburgh dodged another bullet with the end of Morgan’s Calvary raid on July 19th 1863. The net effect of the raid seems small now and history has shown it to have not been planned to coordinate with Lee’s invasion. But it was plenty scary at the time.

“For 46 days as they rode over 1,000 miles (1,600 km), Morgan’s Confederates covered a region from Tennessee to northern Ohio. The raid coincided with the Vicksburg Campaign and the Gettysburg Campaign, although it was not directly related to either campaign. However, it served to draw the attention of tens of thousands of Federal troops away from their normal duties and strike fear in the civilian population of several Northern states. Repeatedly thwarted in his attempts to return to the South by hastily positioned Union forces and state militia, Morgan eventually surrendered what was left of his command in northeastern Ohio.”

It seems like the raiders counted on finding a lot of support along the ride from a region known for Copperheads.

“The Copperheads had numerous important newspapers, but the editors never formed any sort of informal alliance. In Chicago, Wilbur F. Storey made the Chicago Times into Lincoln’s most vituperative enemy. The New York Journal of Commerce, originally abolitionist, was sold to owners who became Copperheads, giving them an important voice in the largest city. A typical editor was Edward G. Roddy, owner of the Uniontown, Pennsylvania Genius of Liberty. He was an intensely partisan Democrat who saw blacks as an inferior race and Abraham Lincoln as a despot and dunce. Although he supported the war effort in 1861, he blamed abolitionists for prolonging the war and denounced the government as increasingly despotic. By 1864 he was calling for peace at any price.”

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