Revitalizing History

CONFEDERATE Brig. Gen. John Hunt Morgan, who led his raiders from the South farther north than any other Confederate force, isn’t the only Civil War figure being given special attention during that war’s 150th anniversary.

Activities are planned this year to honor Morgan and his men – sometimes called “Dixie Cavaliers” or “villainous cut-throats and scoundrels” – depending on one’s viewpoint of the 1863 raid.

Signs and markers also are up along the John Hunt Morgan Heritage Trail.

A forward move was taken last week when the statue of U.S. Rep. John Bingham was taken from Cadiz to Louisville, Ohio, for cleaning and restoration work. Work also will be done on the cannons at the Harrison County Courthouse.

Bingham’s statue is only traveling to Stark County, not as far as the actual congressman did when he played a part in prosecuting the assassins of President Abraham Lincoln and working on the 14th amendment in Washington, D.C. Known for its civil rights stance, the amendment, in part, forbids states from denying any person “life, liberty or property, without due process of law.’

As to Bingham’s move, one area resident was tempted to place a sign on the statue – “L.A. or Bust.” It’s doubtful that the graduate of the former Franklin College in New Athens ever traveled that far.

BINGHAM’S statue isn’t the only one receiving work. The Columbus Dispatch recently reported that the 7-foot statue of Union Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman was being fitted for a new head.

Sherman didn’t lose his head because of age. The statue was decapitated by vandals in 1968, according to the Columbus newspaper.

Famed for his March to the Sea, the former Ohioan also is on the move in the Buckeye State. His statue was purchased by a real-estate developer at an auction in Muskingum County, and he plans for it to stand in Fairfield County.

Sherman apparently kept his head about him in a number of ways as he is known for several quotations referring to the fact that war is hell. He also refused to become a presidential candidate, noting, “If nominated I will not run; if elected I will not serve.”

THESE and other anniversary events revitalize our history.