PIONEER CHURCHES AND MINISTERS
It would be useless, in the short space of this history to try to enumerate those who preached the word in this old church. The Recording Angel can call their names, although to earthly vision they may not appear on any costly stone or monument of marble.
In 1810 Rev. Dr. Crowe of Hanover came to Corydon and organized a Presbyterian church with Mr. Armstrong and Henry Rice, father of John Rice, as ruling elders. A small church was built in 1819. Its earliest pastor was William W. Martin, known as Father Martin. His sons, D. N., Dr. William A. P. and Dr. Claudius B. H. became ministers, the two former going to China as Missionaries. When W. A. P. Martin was born his father was absent from home at a meeting of Presbytery. Word was sent him and he announced the fact to the assembly and added "Here is a young missionary." His words were prophetic. W. A. P. Martin went to China and is still there an aged missionary. For many years he has been President of the Imperial College at Pekin and was a trusted advisor during the Boxer uprising. Five of the seven daughters of Father Martin married Presbyterian ministers. Three brother-in-laws, Samuel, Thomas and William A. P. Alexander were all ministers, the latter being a missionary in the Sandwich Islands. The first permanent pastor was Alexander Williamson who came to Corydon in 1824 and married Miss Lydia Rice in 1826. Mr. Williamson went in 1822as missionary to Mississippi. He died at Corydon in 1849 and is buried in Cedar Hill Cemetery. Mrs. Eleanor Slemons, now living at the age of eight-six, the oldest surviving member, was baptised in the old Court House before the church was built.
The Catholic Church at Lanesville is one of the finest churches in the State. The congregation dates back to 1843 when Father Opperman on his way to Oldenburg stopped to give services to the few Catholic families there. These services were held in an old dwelling just in front of where the church now stands. At this time three hundred and twenty-five dollars was paid for land on which to build a church. The first church was built in 1849 by Father Neyron. In 1854 Rev. Alphonse Munshina took charge and provided a school and a parsonage for the Sisters of Providence.
The first mission was preached at this place by Father Weninger in 1855. The magnificent church which now stands was begun in 1856 and occupied in 1860. It was dedicated by Bishop de St. Palais in June, 1864. Father Munshina was pastor for thirty-nine years and was succeeded by Rev. A. Peckskamp in 1893 and who is still its pastor. Father Peckskamp was born in Dama Oldenberg, Germany, August twent-ninth, 1849, and emigrated to America in 1860. During Father Peckskamp's pastorate he has spent over five thousand dollars on the interior decoration of the church and built a magnificent brick school building that cost about five thousand dollars more.
EARLY MANNERS AND CUSTOMS
It may not be amiss to recount some of the old time manners and customs and to begin at the foundation: - it was not possible at that early period to keep provided with shoes, hence going barefooted was customary everywhere, even in winter. Dr. G. D. Mitchell, a self made man, went to school barefooted over the snow. He carried a puncheon slab well heated and frequently stopped to stand awhile on this to get his feet warm and would then procedd on his way. The pioneers who worshipped at Goshen Church dressed themselves in their clean clothes and went to church bare-footed. Mr. John Lane, now dead, was heard to say he never had shoes when a boy but ran over the ice and snow as nimbly as if well shod.
The wild grass, mast and roots were so abundant in the woods that hogs, cattle and horses required little other food. The farms consisted mostly of cornfields. Hogs ran wild and had to be marked or they would be shot like other game. These marks were put on record in the courthouse to defend the rights of the owners. It is amusing to read descriptions of some of these marks.
Fires were lighted with a tinder box or two hard substances rubbed together until a spark would be engendered which set fire to inflammable substances. In winter the fires were carefully covered up at night to preserve coals. If there were no coals left it was not unusual to have to go to a neighbor for a shovelful of coals or a burning chunk or brand of fire.
Grain was thrashed with a flail as late as 1840. Salt was hard to get, the nearest market for it being Louisville. It was evaporated in shells or bark of trees by the Indians at the salt licks near Lanesville.
Cooking was done at the fireplaces and once more the writers recollection goes back to a big spare rib suspended in front of the fire which it was her duty to keep turned ever and again to roast both sides while the grease dripped into a pan below, or at other times to keep fresh coals on top of the iron oven lid, inside of which the corn bread was baking.
Abe Lincoln's experience of studying by firelight was no new thing to the dwellers in Corydon, who as early as possible advanced to lard lamps and tallow candles and hailed with delight the coming of kerosene with its splendor.
Window glass was a rarity in 1810. Greased paper served the purpose. Governor Jennings was a polititian who beleived in keeping his name before the public and old residents said his name could be seen in the paper sashes of every schoolhouse. He also helped to build log houses and mow in the fields. Mr. Frederick Doll, who came to the county in an early day, has said that he used to haul hay to Corydon for Governor Jennings when the latter was the State Chief Executive. He said that the Governor would assist him in unloading the hay and was quite familiar with him, and frequently would crack a joke or two.
Mr. Giles, "Uncle Jimmie" as everybody called him, used to exhibit an old cherry sideboard which he owned and had at his house. He said that this piece of furniture had been formerly owned by Governor Jennings when he was Governor of the State; that the latter had drunk many a glass of "grog" from the same sideboard. Governor Jennings became intemperate, which greatly impeded his usefulness in later life.
Women used to piece togther quilts and work their samplers. They dressed their own wild turkeys for their wedding dinners and embroidered their own wedding gowns. Bear, fox and coon hunts were a recreation among the men. Wolves were so plentiful that they sat in the open road as children went to school and a bounty was paid for every wolf scalp. At one time a bear was tracked to his den by Henderson Stevens and two neighborhood boys named Foster and Arnold. It was in its cave so far that only the glitter of its eyes could be seen by the light of a lantern. Young Arnold was let down with a rifle in his hand and his feet held by the other two, and in this position he shot the bear.
Another story is of a squirrel hunt in 1825 to which a prize added zest. Capt. William Heth and Captain Isaac Sonner headed each a band of twenty-five men and they were to capture as many squirrels as possible, the prize to go to the band having the greatest number. A difficulty arose over the matter and a fight ensued in which Captain Heth came out second best.
Until the close of the territorial government three-fourths of the state was in possession of the Indians. By treaties with them the hounds of the Vincennes tract were laid so that it's survey might be made. The Delawares and Piankeshaws were the last to cede. The Indian trail running diagonally across the north of harrison County on Indiana maps shows a portion of this boundary. The Indians still roamed around when Corydon was a town of three houses but they were generally friendly. A party of them visited the cabin of Edward Smith and found only the children at home, the parents being on a visit in Lanesville, the nearest neighborhood. The Indians gave the children some ornaments made of shells and departed peacefully. At another time Dr. English, whose sisters had married respectively Dennis and William Pennington, was visiting Mr. Smith. He with his sisters, in their youth, had been held in captivity by the Delaware Indians. It happened that a party of Delawares were camping where Mauck's Mill afterwards stood and by some means heard of Dr. English's presence so near. They threatened his recapture and he became alarmed. With the guidance of some of Mr. Smith's family he went away and never returned.
DEEDS OF VIOLENCE
In 1812 Colonel Posey was Pension Agent. A pensioner named White came to town to draw his pension and stopped at the Spencer House where a stranger named Cooley was staying. In the evening these men went out together for a good time and White got very drunk. In the morning he found his money gone and suspicioun was at once laid on Cooley. Some of the citizens, Tipton, Mefford, Fred Kintner, Vigus and others tried to get him to confess but failed, whereupon they took him out and whipped him. After many stripes to no purpose. Tipton remarked "We will be prosecuted anyhow, so lets wear him out." Some of the crowd started off for more switches and while they were gone the culprit confessed and told where he had secreted the money. It was found and given to the owner and the culprit allowed to depart. This is the first affair of this kind on record.
MURDER OF WILLIAM GRESHAM
In January, 1834, a disturbance arose in the Sipes neighborhood, near Blue River township. Levi Sipes, a young man became enraged over a whipping given his brother in school and grew so unruly that the local authorities were not able to manage him. They sent for the county sherrif, William Gresham, that he might arrest him. Siped shot Mr. Gresham and afterwards slashed him with a knife. The body of Gresham was prepared for burial and brought to Corydon and afterwards taken to his home near Lanesville. Sipes was tried at the April term of Court, 1835, and was defended by Honorable John Rowan, of Louisville, Kentucky, Charles Dewey was prosecuting attorney. The jury returned a verdict of manslaughter and punishment fixed at twent-one years in penitentiary and one thousand dollar fine. Sipes was pardoned by the governor after having served four or five years imprisonment and his fine was remitted.
During the September term of court in 1850 St. Clair Young was shot and killed at the Jameson boarding home in Corydon by William C. Marsh. Mr. Young's son had married a daughter of Mr. Marsh and family troubles had followed until the two were bitter enemies. At the dinner table that day the quarrel was renewed and Young threw a fork at Marsh when Marsh drew a revolver and shot him dead.
This case came up for trial April thirteenth, 1852, with W. T. Otto Judge and G. A. Bicknell, Prosecutor. Lawyers for prosecution were Ben Hardin of Kentucky, Charles Dewey, James Collins, Jr. and S. K. Wolfe. For defense were R. Crawford, W. A. Porter, H. P. Thornton, A. P. Willard, S. H. Keene and D. W. Lafollette. Jurors were William Hancock, Jonathan P. Cole, Isaac Pitman, George Wright, Wm. Evans, W. M. Bruce, James Wright, Oliver W. Littell, William Wright, John R. Horner, William Wright and Craven Lynn.
The case was argued for prosecution by Dewey and Hardin and for defense by Porter and Keen. Marsh was acquitted. A few years after, in 1858, during term of court at Brandenburg, Mr. Marsh, was standing on the steps of a hotel in that town when Stanley Young, a son of St. Clair Young, went out on top of a veranda nearby, shot him dead and made his escape. He was never captured and it is supposed he entered the Southern army and was killed.
MURDER AT MAUCKPORT
In the summer of 1854 Reuben Williams killed Benjamin Miller at Mauckport. Williams had, prior to the killing, been employed by Miller to work in his mill. They had a difficulty and Williams was discharged. It was believed that Williams slipped up behind Miller while he was at work and struck him on the head with a hatchet. Williams was tried and acquitted by a jury and made his escape from Mauckport immediately.
The following account of the Indian White Caps is condensed from an article published in a Pennsylvania paper and prepared by George C. Irwin of the Democrat office: The first case of White Capping was the flagellation of James Keen in 1868. He was accused of stealing from his neighbors in Scott township. He returned to Kentucky.
THE "WHITE CAPS"
In 1873 there came into existence a secret organization known as the "Harrison County Regulators", a society which had signs, grips, passwords and binding obligations. The name "White Caps" was suggested by the white hoods worn by them as a disguise. Each council had two officers a captain and a lieutenant, and their place of meeting was in some sequested spot at midnight. At these meetings they heard reports from committees of investigation and decided on the punishment for alleged misdemeanors. The members were then provided with strong hickory switches, and upon command of the captain the company galloped away on its mission of vindicating the offended law.
Within the next few years over twenty cases of White Capping occured. The number of lashed given was usually fifty but sometimes as many as seventy-five were given. It was useless to appeal to the courts for nothing could ever be proved against the accused Regulators.
The first sacrifice of life in these hazardous White Cap operations was in Blue River township on the night of April twenty-sixth, 1880. Henry Long was termed a "jack leg lawyer" and accused of stirring up strife in the neighborhood. He was a man of well known courage and they resorted to a ruse to avert danger to themselves. They had him arrested on a trumped up charge and the trial set at night with a long array of witnesses to prolong it until a late hour.
The trial was proceeding before Squire Archibald Boston when the Regulators appeared. Long had been disarmed but a friend had managed to slip him a revolver. He sprang to the door and shot the first masked man who entered. He lived but a short time and proved to be Louis Henriott, a leading citizen in the township. After the first shot the revolver failed to work or he would no doubt have succeeded in selling his life more dearly. Almost miraculously he escaped the mob, not however, before receiving a shot in the head that resulted in his death a few days later.
THE HANGING OF DEVIN AND TENNYSON
At twelve o' clock at night, June twelfth, 1889, one hundred and fifty horsemen rode into Corydon and a few minutes later James Devin and Charles Tennyson had been taken from the jail and were dangling at the ends of ropes from the girders of the bridge just west of town. The crime for which they expiated their lives was as follows: Friday, June seventh, 1889, James Devin and Charles Tennyson went to the home of James lemay, four miles northeast of Corydon, ostensibly as stockbuyers. They were given supper and while eating they kept looking about the room in a suspicious manner. Mr. Lemay noticed this and armed himself with a revolver.
The men were told their room was ready and they could retire when they wished, one of them drew a revolver and ordered the family, consisting of Mr. Lemay and his wife, his two neices and a hired man, into a room and shut the doors. When the doors were closed Mr. Lemay reached for his revolver and the man nearest him commenced shooting. A continuous firing was kept up between them.
Mr. Lemay fired three shots and was wounded five times, and Miss Lucy Lemay was wounded in the arm. After emptying his revolver Devin ran out the door and Tennyson went headforemost out of the window. Miss Matilda Lemay ran out and rang the farm bell for help, but the men had escaped. They were captured at New Albany and brought to Corydon and placed in jail. Their punishment followed as above described.
THE "WHITE CAP" DRAMA ENDS
The closing scene in this White Cap drama was enacted in "Conrad's Hollow" near the source of Mosquito Creek in Boone township, Saturday night, August fifth, 1893. In a cabin in this hollow, Sam and Bill Conrad lived with their mother and sister. Their father, Edward Conrad, had been found in a dying condition a few hundred yards from his door some months prior to the above date and suspicion of murdering him rested on the two sons. They were tried in Corydon but no proof being found against them they were discharged from custody.
George K. Gwartney was their attorney and received from them two shot guns in payment of his fee. Certain men upbraided Mr. Gwartney for being instrumental in their release and intimated that justice would be given them by some other method. Mr. Gwartney replied he had only done his duty as an attorney and was now going to do his duty as a citizen of Harrison County - he was going to return their guns to the Conrads.
Shouldering their guns the Conrads returned home. It was not long until they heard the clatter of horsehoofs and the barking of dogs at night which betokened that the White Caps were holding councils. When their own dog was mysteriously poisoned they realized that something would soon occur in their hollow and they moved their beds to a secreted place in the hillside three hundred yards distant from the cabin. They were fully awake and ready for the fray when the White Caps appeared.
Secreting themselves behind a picket fence within ten feet of the house, they awaited the coming of the Regulators. Their opportunity came when, after they had thoroughly searched the house, a large body of White Caps appeared on the porch facing the position occupied by the two vigilant brothers. There were gun shots in quick succession and five men fell mortally wounded. The other White Caps precipitately fled.
It was not until eight o' clock Sunday morning that anyone could br induced to go into the hollow and make investigation of the tragedy. In the meantime the Conrad's had crossed the river at a point four miles distant and disappeared in Kentucky.
The Coroner returned a verdict that Edward Huston, Lewis Wiseman, William May, John Timberlake and Alfred N. Howe came to their death by gunshot wounds inflicted by Samuel and William Conrad.
This is the last attempt at White Capping in Harrison County. It is not at all probable that there will ever be a repitition of the brutal acts that made the county so notorious.
On Sunday, July tenth, 1864, John H. Lohmeyer shot and killed Colonel John Timberlake at a church near Mauckport. Lohmeyer was cleared on a plea of self defense.
Claiborne Shuck, Sheriff of the county, shot and killed Gideon Heth, Marshall of Corydon on Market Street Novemeber second, 1892. Shuck was tried before Justice R. S. Kirkham and acquitted on plea of self defense.
Martin Alexander (colored) attacked and shot William H. Brown (colored ) in Brown's own homeon January twent-second, 1894. Alexander was tried in court and sentenced to life imprisonment. He died in the northern prison in Michigan City.
September twenty-sixth, 1896, Andrew White (colored ) killed James Yeager on the street in Corydon. White was sent to the reformatory and afterwards paroled.
A DARING RESCUE
Horace Bell was born in New Albany, December eleventh, 1830, of Revolutionary stock on his mother's side. When he was two years old the family moved to Harrison County just above Mauckport. He attended a private school in Kentucky, his last teacher being Norman J. Coleman, our first Secretary of Agriculture.
In 1849, in quest of gold and adventure, he went with many others to California. In January, 1856, he joined the Walker army of occupation in Nicaraugua and when the war ended in 1857 he was in command of a battalion and one of eighteen left of the original three hundred and eighty-five. In 1858 his father and brother Charles were thrown into prison in Brandednburg, Kentucky on a charge of attempting to run off some slaves. Under existing conditions between North and South there was no hope for their release. Horace and his brother John were called home from California. They planned a daring scheme of delivery. On a day when most citizens of Brandenburg were absent at a picnic, they crossed the river, entered the jail and demanded the keys of the cells where the father and brother were confined. Liberating and arming them, all four passed quickly to their boat and were half way across to indiana before the escape was discovered and themselves hailed. Horace stood up in the boat, a revolver in each hand, and fired at his pursuers, some of the balls burying themselves in an old blacksmith shop on the shore.
In the fall, while visiting the Fair at New Albany, he was captured by officers and taken to Brandenburg to jail. Two boat loads of citizens of New Albany and vicinity followed, determined on his rescue. Excitement ran high in those days and trouble was only avoided by the wise cousels New Albany lawyers.
He returned to California in 1860, but almost immediately came back to Indiana in time to join the Sixth Indiana Regiment at Camp Morton. He was mustered out as Major, April eighteenth, 1866. In December 1862, Major Bell was married to Miss Georgia Herrick, a girl of seventeen who went with him to his field in the very storm belt of the Rebellion in and around New Orleans. After the war he went overland to Los Angeles and took up the practice of Law. He now lives with two unmarried daughters in a handsome home in Berkeley, California.
THE CORYDON BAR
In the early days of the territory and State when there was much litigation, there gathered about Corydon, the capital, a brilliant galaxy of legal talent that has perhaps not been equaled since. The names of many who then practiced at the bar have come down to us as the brightest lights the State has ever known. After Corydon lost the capital to Indianapolis the attorneys practiced in both places and at many other points in the State, going the rounds of the large curcuit on horseback, through tangled thickets and over muddy roads and swollen streams with "leggings" on and saddle bags beneath them. The writer of this remembers being aroused at night from childish slumbers by the arrival of her father and his friends after weeks of absence, and the subsequent aroma that arose from frying bacon and eggs as the women of the household prepared a midnight supper for the belated travelers.
Benjamin Parke, afterwards United States District Judge under President Madison, seems to have been ubiquitous. His first case was a trial of a young man for stealing a twenty-five cent pocket knife. He rode all the way to Wayne County to try this case, the only one on the docket. The Judge sat on a log, the court being held in a forest.
Other names are Ratliff Boon, General W. Johnson, Thomas Randolph, Attorney General of the Territory, Harbin H. Moore, Reuben W. Nelson and Henry H. Coburn. The first session of the Supreme Court was held at Corydon May fifth, 1817, and was composed of three judges, namely, James Scott, John Johnson, and Jesse L. Holman.
Judge Dewey, a bosom friend of Benjamin Parke, sat on the Supreme bench eleven years. He was in the front rank of Indiana judges. He moved to New Albany and as late as the fifties he argued cases in the old Corydon courthouse.
Robert A. New, first Secretary of State, George F. Pope, first Clerk of Curcuit Court, Henry P. Thornton, A.P. Willard, W. T. Otto, Judges Bicknell, Porter and Slaughter, John W. Payne, W. Q. Gresham, Samuel Keen, S. M. Stockslager, S. K. Wolfe, W. N. Tracewell, R. J. Tracewell, Geo. W. Self, are only a few names among many on the long illustrations roll. At present C. W. Cook is on the bench, associated with the following attorneys: William Ridley, Major W. Funk, Henry Richards, William Roose, Congressman W. T. Zenor, Clay Hays, Emery H. Breeden, Abner Hunter, Frank Self, T. S. Jones, E. D. Mitchell, Clarence Jordan, T. J. Wilson, R. S. Kirkham, George Gwartney, and Lewis O'Bannon.
HARRISON COUNTY BANKS
In 1814 the general assembly of Indiana granted charters for two banking institutions. The Farmer's and Mechanic's Bank of Madison and the Bank of Vincennes. The latter was authorized to raise a capital of five hundred thousand dollars. The bank had a branch at Corydon in 1821.
There is no record of any other bank in Corydon until 1857. On the first Monday of August of that year the Bank of Corydon went into operation with a capital stock of fifty thousand dollars, divided into five hundred shares. W. C. Depauw held three hundred and ninety-nine of these shares. Thomas Posey was President of this bank and B. P. Douglas, Cashier. Other stockholders were Arthur Vance, Edward C. Powers, Benjamin Wendell, G. A. Harbaugh, J. L. Menaugh, S. W. Douglas, Joseph Pollock, George W. Denbo, and John L. Bates.
In November 1860, another Bank of Corydon commenced business. Samuel J. Wright, Robert Leffler and T. C. Slaughter of Corydon and James R. Shields of New Albany were stockholders and directors. T. C. Slaughter was President and James H. Shields was Cashier when it was opened. The county was disturbed with political and war excitement and this bank never did much business. In 1862 James Shields resigned as Cashier and was succeeded by his father, Henry B. Shields. The Morgan Raid occured and the bank office was visited by one of the rebel officers, but as its funds had been taken temporarily to New Albany for security against capture, he got nothing out of it. Such a troublous state of affairs led to a conclusion to wind up the Bank of Corydon, which was done in the latter part of 1864 or first of 1865. Nearly every dollar was presented and redeemed.
George W. Applegate established the Bank of Corydon in August, 1880. W. B. Slemons, Cashier. This was merged into the Corydon National Bank, July first, 1905, with the same officers.
The First National Bank was established April second, 1903, with J. M. Andrews, President, and V. J. Bulleit Cashier.
THE MORGAN RAID
During the war the tide of battle surged up close to the Ohio River, and often the old court house bell rang out an alarm and people gathered on the street corners, believing the foe was right upon us. We were thus somewhat prepared when on Tuesday, the seventh of July, 1863, the dreaded John Morgan appeared at Brandenburg with his face turned toward Indiana.
What follows in this account is taken very largely from the article in the Corydon Democrat of July fourteenth, 1863, written by its editor, S. K. Wolfe, and furnished to the writer by Mrs. Agnes M. Jordan. It is mixed with personal recollections from various sources which might be multiplied indefinitely if space permitted.
The steamboat T. J. McCombs landed at brandenburg and was immediately captured by Morgan's advance guard then in possession of the town. The McCombs was taken by the rebels to the middle of the river and there she hoisted the sign of distress. Soon after, the Alice Dean coming up was hailed to give relief. For that purpose she approached the McCombs and was thus also captured by the rebels. The news of the capture of these boats was communicated by some Union men of Brandenburg to Lieutenant Colonel William J. Irvin of the Indiana Legion, then at Mauckport.
A short time after receiving this intelligence, the Lady Pike coming up was hailed by Colonel Irvin at Mauckport and turned back to Leavenworth for a six pound gun and assistance; a dispatch was also sent to Colonel Jordan for reinforcements. At midnight the Lady pike returned with the leavenworth gun and a small company to man it under command of Captain Lyons and Colonel Woodbury.
The fog prevented any action until Wednesday morning, the eighth. A confusion of orders here occured which has never been satisfactorily explained. Colonel Irvin gave orders to fire on the boilers of the boats, which orders he says were countermanded by Provost Marshal Timberlake, who claimed precedence and who ordered the gunners to fire on the rebel cavalry on the bank. Soon, however, two rebel batteries, one at the Court House in Brandenburg and the other toward the lower part of town, began to play with terrific force upon our guns with shells, making it too hot for our boys to hold their position.
Under the cover of those batteries the enemy began to cross their forces to the Indiana side. About one hundred men under Captains Farquar, Hays and Huffman met them and opened up fire briskly, holding their ground as long as it was prudent to do so in face of such a superior force. When they fell back they left Jeremiah Nance of Laconia dead on the field and James Current mortally wounded, to whom Capt. S. M. Stockslager was carrying water in his hat.
The only thing that could be done was to hinder the march of the rebels as much as possible until reinforcement could arrive on general Hobson, who was in pursuit, could come up. No help came from New Albany where government troops with artillery were stationed, although dispatches were repeatedly sent there for help.
Nothing daunted, the Home Guards, with Colonel Jordan at their head, gathered a force of three hundred men on Wednesday evening and marched as far as Peter Glenn's, four miles south on the Mauckport road. Several small skirmishes occured between these troops and the enemy. A body of rebel cavalry dismounted at Glenn's house and shot John Glenn, who appeared on the porch with his gun in his hand. They decoyed his father, Peter Glenn, to the house by a white flag. Mr. Glenn before the war was accustomed to preach at many points in Kentucky. In some of these sermons he took accasion to bitterly denounce the institution of slavery, and for this reason incurred the displeasure of many of the slave owners of that section in Kentucky. It is reported that some of these men were with Morgan and that they had Mr. Glenn marked, and decided to kill him.
As the Home Guards came upthe rebels rushed for their horses. One man could not loosen the halter of his horse quick enough, and Mr. Glenn, who saw his son lying wounded and his barn burning, took down his gun and shot this man, thus sounding his own death knell. The rebels killed him and burned the nice farm house in which he lived. They had previously burned Peter Lopp's mills on Buck Creek.
Corydon was a scene of excitement that Wednesday night. Everybody expected the town to be sacked and burned. The few remaining men were busy hunting supplies and ammunition for the Home Guards already out on duty, and spiriting away valuable horses. The women flitted everywhere, hiding valuables and rendering such assistance as was in their power. The night was moonlight but foggy and weird looking, and through this shadowy atmosphere the figures of men and women looked like ghosts. The writer remembers forming one in a procession which bore a small box containing watches, silver spoons, and family heirlooms, to the far off garden and there, under the widest spreading current bush burying the box deep from mortal eye. The few sick people were moved to places of safety and none but children slept.
About half past eleven o' clock Thursday morning scouts brought the report that the enemy was approaching in strong force up the Mauckport road, toward Corydon. Our forces, consisting of four hundred and fifty Home Guards and citizens under command of Colonel Lewis Jordan of the Legion, assisted by Provost Marshal Timberlake (late Colonel of the Eighty-first Indiana Regiment) and Major J. S. Pfrimmer, who up to this time had been engaged with the cavalry in scouting, formed a line of battle on the hill one mile south of town, the extreme right wing resting at the Amsterdam road and the left near the Laconia road, making the Mauckport road one-third of the distance from the right wing. Temporary breastworks composed of logs and fence rails were hastily thrown up, which did good service in impeding the charge of the enemy.
About an hour later the enemy made an appearance in small force in front of the Home Guards and were bravely repulsed by the infantry, under the command of Captain G. W. Lahue. In that fight Mr. Steepleton was killed. The rebels had several killed and six or seven wounded. Before this skirmish was fairly over the enemy appeared in front of our main line along the Mauckport road, in strong force. They completely filled the road for nearly one mile. The "Henry Rifles", under command of Major Thomas McGrain, opened fire and did good work, the enemy being in full view. Soon the fire became general along the entire right wing, which checked the advancing columns and compelled them to flank both our wings at the same time. Their greater numbers enabled them to do this easily.
The rebels then opened up with three pieces of artillery, which made it necessary for our men to fall back. The fight then became a series of skirmishes in which each man seemed to fight on his own hook. In the meantime the enemy had taken possession of the plank road one mile east of town. On the right wing a large flanking force was sent against our lines and the fighting was very sharp for the space of twenty minutes in the quarter; twelve Henry Rifles and a squad of thirty or forty, a hundred yards to their left, armed with the ordinary rifle musket, holding a heavy body of flankers in check for ten or fifteen minutes and compelling them to dismount.
THE MORGAN RAID
Being completely overpowered by numbers our forces gradually fell back to Corydon and most of the cavalry and mounted infantry made their escape. The rebels planted a battery on the hill south of town and threw two shells into town, both of them striking near Market Street. One exploded but did no damage. Seeing the contest was hopeless, and that a continuance of the fight would only result in unnecessary loss of life and the destruction of the town. Colonel Jordan wisely hoisted the white flag and surrendered.
"General Basil Duke, in his history of Morgan's Cavalry, places the number of militia at four thousand and says 'they defended their rail piles manfully'. The defense must have been very creditable indeed, if a brave, veteran officer like Duke could see four thousand men where only four hundred stood. The War Department recognized the importance of this engagement by inserting the name of "Corydon" in the official list of battles of the Civil War." - (Henry Jordan.)
More to come soon...