Tuesday, July 4, 2017

"God Bless the Union": Lucasville, Jasper, Morgan's Raiders, and the Heroic Joseph McDougal

 Joseph McDougal

Most local residents know Jasper, Ohio as a small community north of Lucasville. It lies at the intersection of State Routes 32, 104, and 124 along the banks of the Scioto River. But, how many folks know the history of Jasper as it pertains to early Lucasville settlers like Robert Lucas and to Civil War history like the infamous raids of General Morgan? Have you ever heard of Joseph McDougal?

Jasper gets its name from Sergeant William Jasper, famed Revolutionary hero, who was mortally wounded on October 9, 1779, in the ill-fated attack of the American and French forces on the British defenses around Savannah, GA. Three episodes in Sergeant Jasper's Revolutionary career made him famous: are at the ramparts of Fort Sullivan near Charleston where He, under heavy fire, bravely replaced the flag; the liberation of Patriot prisoners by Jasper and a companion at what is now called Jasper Spring near Savannah; and the dying hero’s last moments after the attack of October 9, 1779. I'm unsure of Jasper, Ohio's connection to the heroic sergeant.

Jasper was laid out by Robert Lucas – a resident of Scioto and later Pike County, speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives, and a future governor – about 3 years after the opening of the canal on lands he owned. Thus established a Lucasville area connection. 


John Hunt Morgan

Morgan's Raid was a highly publicized incursion by Confederate cavalry into the northern U.S. states of Indiana and Ohio during the American Civil War. The raid took place from June 11–July 26, 1863, and is named for the commander of the Confederates, Brig. Gen. John Hunt Morgan.

Morgan eventually surrendered at Salineville, Ohio, the northernmost point ever reached by uniformed Confederates. The legendary Morgan's Raid, which had been carried out against orders, gained no tactical advantage for the Confederacy, while the loss of his regiment proved a serious setback.

Morgan escaped from his Union prison but his credibility was low, and he was restricted to minor operations. He was killed at Greeneville, Tennessee in September 1864. Morgan was the brother-in-law of Confederate general A.P. Hill.

Morgan's Raid

Some historians believe the main purpose of the Morgan's Raid was to divert the attention of Union General Ambrose Burnside's Army of the Ohio away from eastern Tennessee. It was threatening Confederate forces and preparing to join with General William Rosecrans' Army of the Cumberland, in an advance on Chattanooga.

Also relying on numerous reports received concerning public sentiment in southern Indiana, as well as information that large bodies of men were organized and ready to do battle for the South as soon as an opportunity presented itself, General Morgan planned the raid across the Ohio and up into the state as far as practical, recruiting his forces as he went along.

Others say Morgan's original objective was to scour Indiana and Ohio, capturing horses, carriages, etc., destroying railroad bridges, and mills.

However, due to the vigorous action of the Indiana and Ohio home guards and the United States troops sent in pursuit, his intention was changed to that of getting across the Ohio as rapidly as possible with his tired out men and their plunder.

Morgan had been ordered not to cross the Ohio River. However, he crossed the river at Brandenburg, Kentucky, on July 8, 1863. This Ohio River community was a well-known shipping and trading center throughout much of the nineteenth century. At Brandenburg, on the Ohio River, they commandeered two steamboats and crossed the river into Indiana. His force consisting of some 4,000 men. They carried along with them three rifled twenty-four pound parrots and two twelve-pound howitzers.

Some hold that Morgan and his men kept mainly to the businesses and left personal homes, property and farmland alone, but historical reports in the Historical Review of Meigs and Gallia Counties paint a vicious picture of the raiders:

“But these outrages only proved Morgan to be the leader of a band of thieves, robbers and incendiaries. To the disgrace of human nature, and as if to place the gang in its true light before the world, they committed numerous coldblooded murders, and attempted to commit many more by shooting at unarmed and peaceable citizens, many of whom escaped as if by miracle, having their clothes perforated by the balls of their murderous weapons. We give a few instances which occurred in our immediate neighborhood.

“Holiday Hysell, an old man, seventy years of age, living four miles from town, "hazzahed!" for the Union. For this they shot him dead!

“Dr. Hudson, known to all our citizens, also over seventy years of age, universally repected by all who knew him, lived neighbor to Hysell and started to go to him, when the dastardly murderers shot him, inflicting a mortal wound, from which he died the next day. In the murder of Hysell, they had the 'traitor's plea' that a word spoken for the 'Union' maddened them in their mission for its destruction. But for the murder of Dr. Hudson, they had not even that pretense of an excuse. He was simply on a mission of mercy; he taunted them with no word of patriotism or otherwise; his murder was simply cold-blooded, ferocious, brutal, devilish!”
Jasper, Ohio

On July 16, 1863 at 8:15 a.m., the raiders entered Poplar Grove riding down Chenoweth Fork Road, crossing the bridge over Chenoweth Fork Creek. Reports confirm they were lined for several miles, as they brought wagons and buggies carrying their sick and wounded and their canons.

Evidently starving, they ordered Mrs. Kendall, a local woman, to start baking bread. It is said they were so hungry “that the bread was snatched out of the hot oven and they began eating the half-baked bread.”

A few of the raiders stopped at the Lewis Beekman property and when they left, Mr. Beekman was without a horse and 20 pounds of honey. They burned the 12 foot long wooden bridge across Sunfish Creek and, it is told, “what the Raiders didn't eat, they destroyed.”

Near Jasper, Morgan had his telegrapher, "Lightning" Ellsworth, tap the wires between Piketon and Chillicothe to listen to the news of the Morgan raid. After he had learned what he wanted to know, Morgan sent several well planned, deceptive messages to confuse the Ohio operators.

Despite all of this, a crew of axemen laid a huge barricade of timber across the road to Jasper. It took Morgan six hours to get past this defended obstacle. He made prisoners of the culprits who had caused this delay and marched them on the “double quick” to Jasper in Pike County.


Joseph McDougal

Among the prisoners was a young school teacher named Joseph McDougal(l) (some contradiction in spelling of last name) who had seriously offended Captain Mitchell of Morgan's staff. The prisoners were lined up and paroled, excepting for McDougal.

Here is a written account:

"Money was taken from the prisoner and Joseph only had ten cents. He stated that was ten cents more than he wanted them to have. He was asked to step out of line and was taken to another area and questioned. Next, two men placed Joseph into a boat (a canoe set in the nearby Scioto River) and the two men (rebel marksmen) were asked to aim and fire. He was hit below the right eye and the other shot hit his chest.”

The canoe drifted along down the river, with the bloody corpse of McDougal as a warning to those who planned to resist the raiders. His body was later recovered and buried in Jasper United Methodist Church Cemetery.

The Lucasville/Jasper connection of Joseph McDougal is recorded in the annals of the Lucasville Area Historical Society.

Joseph's Father, Richard, was born in Hagerstown, Maryland. He died in 1841 in Vinton, Ohio. Richard's parents were Joseph (1753-1839) and Nancy McDougal(l) (1753-1818).

Joseph's Mother, Mary Atherton McDougal(l), was born in Pennsylvania. She died in 1844 in Ohio.

Joseph had six siblings. Richard and Mary's children were John, Amy (1817-1909), Margaret (1823-1880), Harriet (1825-1909, Richard, (1827-1854), Joseph (1832-1863), Thomas (1835-Unknown), and Mary Ellen (1837-Unknown). 

Joseph McDougal(l) was born December 7, 1832, in Vinton County, Ohio. He married Elizabeth Johnson(1820-1900) and they had six children: Thomas H., Richard Thompson McDougall, John Coston McDougall, Russell B. McDougall, Washington Clark McDougall, and Harriet Ellen McDougall.

As well as being a schoolmaster, Joseph was an active community leader, a devoted Christian, a Sunday School Superintendent, and a deacon of the Methodist Church. He was married to Elizabeth and had five children. He died on the aforementioned date of July 16, 1863, in Pike County.

Morgan's horde proceeded to sack Jasper and the surrounding countryside.

The rebels burned a steam mill owned by Charles Miller located between the canal and the Scioto River including all the mill tools and the stacked lumber. They stole his corn and provisions, burnt his canal boat and tried to burn the bridge he had built over the canal.

A group of raiders entered Andrew Kilgore's store and took or destroyed $5,400 worth of goods.

William F. Truesdell's store took a hit for a loss of $3,300 inside; plus his stable and out buildings were burned.

Samuel Cutler operator of the third store in town lost $200 in clothes and provisions and the barn he rented was burned, destroying his buggy.

Jonathan Gray had a new canal boat still sitting on its stocks. He had outfitted it with tools and provisions and was preparing to put it in service. It was quickly engulfed in flames.

C.W. Marquis and Co. suffered damage to two steam engines and other machinery when the shed covering them was burned.

Other residents had horses and valuables taken including Mrs. Joseph McDougal, now a widow, had her horse taken. All this took place in about an hour.

At 3 p.m. on the 16th, the rebel horde crossed the Scioto River bridge and then burned it, to delay anyone who may want to follow them. The column of smoke at Jasper gave folks the grim warning that Morgan was back in the Ohio Valley.

Morgan then headed for Piketon, where the raiders also did lots of damage. The guerrillas did considerable looting there and were thought to have buried the heavier stolen items. 
After burning the bridge built by James Emmitt at Piketon the Raiders headed toward Beaver and on to Jackson County.

The number of Ohio militia called into service during the Morgan raid was roughly fifty thousand. Pike Co. furnished 9 companies with a total of 782 men at a cost of $3,254.51.

As a civilian, Joseph McDougal was a hero of the Civil War. While attempting to protect his home and family from Morgan's Raiders, he gave the full measure of devotion. Losing his life for his bravery, he became a martyr of the Union cause. Such bold resistance must be duly noted in the struggle that eventually preserved our nation. Without McDougal and many other brave Southern Ohio militiamen, Morgan may have done much more damage during his intrusion into Ohio.

Phyllis Kirkendall. Pike County Messenger

Illustrated historical and business review of Meigs and Gallia counties, Ohio. originally published in 1891. Transcribed and furnished by Sharon Rickerson. 
"Morgan's Raid in Butler County.” BC Civil War History. A History and Biographical Cyclopaedia of Butler County Ohio.1882.

Confederate Bullet Found In Southern Ohio

Genealogy Courtesy Lucasville Area Historical Society

Richard McDougall

Born on 10 May 1827 to Richard McDougall and Mary Atherton. Richard married Julia Ann Noel and had 2 children. He passed away on 17 May 1854 in Scioto, Ohio, USA.

Family Members


Julia Ann Noel


Margaret McDougal

Family Members


Samuel S Hard


Amy McDougal

Born in Vinton, Ohio, USA on Mar 1817 to Richard McDougall and Mary Atherton. Amy married Andrew Curry and had 4 children. She passed away on Dec 1909 in Vinton, Ohio, USA.

Family Members


Andrew Curry


Harriet McDougall

Born in Jackson Oh Liberty Delaware, Ohio, USA on 30 Jan 1825 to Richard McDougall and Mary Atherton. Harriet married William Pierce Lilly and had a child. She passed away on 11 Mar 1909 in Delaware, Ohio, USA.

Family Members

William Pierce Lilly


Joseph McDougall

Born in Vinton, Ohio, USA on 7 Dec 1832 to Richard McDougall and Mary Atherton. Joseph married Elizabeth Johnson and had 6 children. He passed away on 16 Jul 1863 in Pike, Ohio, USA.

Family Members


Elizabeth Johnson


Richard Thompson McDougall

Born in Vinton, Ohio, USA on 29 Jun 1846 to Joseph McDougall and Elizabeth Johnson. Richard Thompson married Frances Little. He passed away on 6 Dec 1937 in Missouri, USA.

Family Members



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