Civil War Trails Convergence

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In Osgood a marker stands in front of the home of James H. Craven, underneath what is now the porch but at the time was a cellar. Cravens was a noted anti-slavery lawyer as well as a former U.S. Congressman who settled in Ripley County.

At age 56 after the Civil War broke out, he volunteered to fight with the 83rd Indiana Volunteers and marched with his unit to Vicksburg before returning because of ill health. Organizing a small militia group to defend Osgood and Versailles again the raid of Confederate John Hunt Morgan who had invaded Indiana and was wreaking destruction, he was captured and interrogated, admitting to Morgan that he was a abolitionist.

Morgan threatened to burn Osgood to the ground and Cravens, still feisty though old and ill, said “Burn it down then, it never was much of a town.”

And Morgan, who would die in 1864 after being captured while Cravens lived in 1876, let the town remain. In an interesting aside, several of the routes on the driving tours intersect with the John Hunt Morgan Trail which traces the Confederates raid through southeastern Indiana.

Osgood was also a stop on the Underground Railroad, one of five trails that lead through Ripley County taking slaves towards Canada and freedom.

Spend the night at the Victorian Garden Bed & Breakfast, an 1895 home with lush beautiful gardens in the downtown. Catch a show at the Damm Theatre, a restored vaudeville house and part of the town’s hub. Order prime rib, seafood or sandwiches at the Osgood Grub Company and check out the iron sculptures there by Dale Laughery.

At A Glance

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