Civil War Comes to Bergholz on Saturday

BERGHOLZ – The story of John Hunt Morgan, the Confederate general who crossed the Ohio River in defiance of orders to stay in Kentucky and attempt the capture of Louisville, involves many southern Ohio residents and their relatives.

The Civil War Comes to Bergholz, celebrating 150 years since his surrender on July 26, 1863, will be paying tribute to those connected and those who were unwilling participants as the Army was on the run.

Mike, Jodi and Jason Carson are among those will be acknowledged. Jodi Carson and her son, Jason, are related to Cristina Kelly Hess, a Nebo resident who baked bread and cooked all day on July 26, 1863, to feed the Confederate soldiers.

The Carsons lived in the Kelly house when Jason was a boy. Hearing stories about Hess, who lived there, he wanted to learn about his relative and her part in the raid. The family did research all over the state and a large poster was made.

There are pictures mounted on a large map showing people who were forced to house, feed and provide horses to Morgan’s men. Jason learned about a time when the area was in the news and it made an interesting class project.

Relatives of Morgan or any person who met the Confederate general in circumstances beyond their control will be recognized at the 11 a.m. program at the Bergholz Fire Department. There will be a covered dish dinner, co-sponsored by the Bergholz Civil War Committee and the Ruritan Club.

Re-enactors of Morgan and his wife will be present, along with Lester Horowitz, Civil War author; historian Jeff Evans; and Roger Micker, a member of the Ohio Sesquicentennial Civil War Committee. The Bergholz Historical Museum will have displays.

A drive-it-anytime tour follows the activities commemorating Morgan’s Raid. Tour signs have been installed by the Ohio Historical Society.

Another event will be the open house held at Two Ridge Church starting at 8 a.m. Saturday. A commemoration by Evans will be held at 7 p.m. to honor the Union soldier buried at the Two Ridge Cemetery. The cannon from Union Cemetery will be on display and Evans will relate the story of the skirmish and involvement of the cannon by the Steubenville militia.

Lyle Zerla, an area historian, and the Friends of Smithfield group will be sponsoring a tour starting at 9 a.m. in Harrisville, with parking at the restaurant across from LKQ Auto Recycling.

The tour will go through Dillonvale; Smithfield, where a coffee and doughnut refreshment time will be held at the Smithfield Historical Society, with displays in the museum there; Wintersville, Richmond, Bergholz and to the surrender site at West Point.

On Sunday, Riley’s Church, located at the end of Bergholz in Carroll County, will feature a Civil War -era church service at 9:30 a.m..

This will feature Stumpy Boggs, portraying an itinerant preacher from the 1860s.

There will be a covered dish dinner after the service.

The Wellsville River Museum will have a program at 3 p.m. Sunday. Morgan’s brothers and his lieutenant were housed in the Whitacre House Hotel before being shipped to the Ohio State Penitentiary. There will be a ceremonial sword skit with Bill Nordan, living historian, portraying Morgan and narrated by Horwitz. An ice cream social will follow the program.