PORTLAND — The Buffington Island Memorial Ceremony will return on July 18, commemorating the only significant Civil War battle fought in Ohio.
The upcoming ceremony was recently announced locally by the Cadot-Blessing Camp #126, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW).
The itinerary, which includes performances by Grammy-nominated artist Steve Free, is as follows:
11 a.m., introduction by Commander Jim Oiler from Cadot-Blessing Camp, Commander Paul Warren from Fearing Camp #2, Commander Thomas Galloway From Brooks-Grant Camp #7.
The welcome will then be given by Commander Michael Spaulding from the Ohio Department of the SUVCW, followed by the invocation by Andy Francis from Gen. Benjamin Fearing Camp #2.
Commander Paul Warren from Fearing Camp #2 and Bill McCreedy from Cadot-Blessing Camp, will lead the Pledge of Allegiance.
Musician Steve Free will then perform. According to information provided by the Cadot-Blessing Camp via Free’s website (www.stevefree.com), Free is an internationally acclaimed singer-songwriter and educator, living in southern Ohio. The winner of numerous music industry awards including nine ASCAP awards, a platinum record and Grammy nomination, he has charted over 30 songs on the National and International Americana and Country and Billboard charts including 15 #1 songs. In 2000 he received a lifetime achievement award from Airplay International in Nashville. In 2008 he won the Governor’s Award in Ohio and in 2009 was honored by being named an “Ohio Treasure.”
Next, the laying of wreaths, followed by a history of the battle from Sam Wilson. The benediction will follow by Chaplains Henry Myers and David Carter from Cadot-Blessing Camp #126.
Free will then perform once more.
A firing of salute from the SUVCW Honor Guard will then commence, with Taps played by Dale Colburn and Bill McCreedy from Cadot-Blessing Camp #126.
Then, at noon, the public is invited to lunch after the service at the Portland Community Center.
A history of the battle as provided by Cadot-Blessing Camp #126:
The Battle of Buffington Island on July 19, 1863, was the major engagement during General John Hunt Morgan’s Great Raid into Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio and was the only significant Civil War battle to be fought in Ohio. It was a decisive 2-hour encounter involving approximately 1,800 of John Hunt Morgan’s Confederate cavalrymen and 3,000 Union artillery, cavalry, and infantry supported by navy gunboats on the Ohio River. Morgan’s troopers were poised to cross the Buffington Island ford when a convergence of Union gunboats and troops thwarted the crossing, captured nearly a third of Morgan’s command, and scattered his forces to the north. Morgan was finally captured in Columbiana County on July 26.
The battle is also noteworthy because it included two future presidents of the United States, all with Ohio connections: Rutherford B. Hayes and William McKinley.
The memorial event is sponsored by the Ohio Department Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War and the Ohio History Connection. The program’s organizers also expressed appreciation to: Auxiliary to Ohio Dept. SUVCW, McClellan Camp & Auxiliary, Auxiliary for the John Townsend Camp #108, Sister Anthony O’Connell Auxiliary, Gen. Benjamin Fearing Camp #2, SUVCW, Cadot-Blessing Camp #126, SUVCW, Brooks-Grant Camp #7, Portland Community Center, Buffington Island Battlefield Preservation Foundation.
Information provided by Cadot-Blessing Camp #126, SUVCW.