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Ohio State Penitentiary

Originally used to house hardened convicts, the Ohio State Pen, in Columbus peacefully sat far away from the war. That is, until July 30th, 1863, when David Todd, governor of Ohio informed Nathaniel Merion (warden) that it would also house Confederate prisoners.

A few of the prison's most popular inmates were John Hunt Morgan, and some of his staff. Deemed not secure enough to handle Morgan, Camp Chase, and all other Ohio prisons could only look towards the Ohio Pen.

Morgan and 30 of his men were confined in the Ohio State Pen. Denied all visitations, and being humiliated by having their hair shaved, only angered Morgan. On te night of November 27th, 1863, Morgan and 6 of his staff officers escaped. It took them 20 days to tunnel out, with only two pocket knives.

The Ohio State Pen's involvement in the war ended on March 18, 1864. All Confederate prisoners were then transferred to Fort Delaware.

******UPDATE*****Last spring ('98), the Ohio State Pen was demolished to make way for a sports arena and parking lot. This should be a wake up call for all of you that call yourselves Civil War buffs or civil war preservationists. Now, yet another peice of Civil War history is gone, lost to the ages.

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