Strife in the Hoosier State: The Civil War in Indiana

Tour curated by: Indiana Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology

The Civil War was a defining moment in our country’s history, and its ripple effects were undoubtedly felt in Indiana. Countless Hoosiers participated in the Underground Railroad. Numerous fought on battlefields throughout the country (one of which was down in southern Indiana). Indiana’s substantial ties to the Civil War are undeniable.

This tour highlights sites that are central to Indiana’s narrative from this era, specifically pertaining to the Civil War, the Underground Railroad, and even Abraham Lincoln. From memorials to house museums, going on this tour will expose you to locations and the rich 19th century narratives associated with them. Discover Indiana invites you to take a journey across the 19th state and learn how the explosive events of the mid-1800’s manifested in Indiana!

Please keep in mind that each tour is by no means a comprehensive list of sites in Indiana related to each theme. Please be respectful of private property lines when visiting each of these sites.

Locations for Tour

On July 8, 1863, Confederate Brigadier General John Hunt Morgan and approximately 1,800 cavalrymen commandeered two steamboats and crossed into Indiana, with the intentions of distracting Union forces from Confederate actions in Tennessee. After a…

Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1965, the Levi Coffin House in Fountain City is a significant property in the Underground Railroad. Built in 1827, the two-story brick Federal style house was the home of Levi and Catharine Coffin and their…

Built on the site where Thomas Lincoln’s family lived from 1816 to 1830, the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial commemorates President Abraham Lincoln’s formative years in Indiana. While Lincoln was born in 1809 in Kentucky and established his…

Eleutherian College was one of the first Indiana schools to admit students without regards to race or gender. Eleutherian was also the first school in Indiana to offer advanced educational opportunities to African-American students. The three-story…

Confederate soldiers who perished in the Battle of Corydon were interred at Cedar Hill Cemetery, the town’s main burial ground since Corydon’s founding in 1808. The cemetery, donated to Corydon for burials by Col. Thomas L. Posey, contains…

The home of Lyman and Asenath Hoyt was constructed circa 1850 of Indiana limestone in the Greek Revival style. The Hoyts lived in the house with their seven children until 1857 and were active in the anti-slavery movement and the Underground…

James F.D. Lanier, one of Madison’s most prominent residents, made a fortune from banking and railroad interests during the first half of the nineteenth century. Lanier pursued railroad development after Indiana passed the Mammoth Internal…

The Carnegie Center is housed in the former Carnegie Free Public Library (constructed in 1902) and is a division of the New Albany-Floyd County Public Library. Staff at the Center have developed a permanent interactive exhibit about the Underground…

The Cannelton Cotton Mill, built between 1849 and 1851 on the banks of the Ohio River, was designed to rival the famous mills of Lowell, Massachusetts and bring together northern industrialists and southern cotton growers. At the time of its…

John Allen Speed, a native of Scotland, immigrated to the United States in 1821. Speed and his family moved to Crawfordsville in 1834 and bought land at the southeast corner of North and Grant Streets to build their log cabin. An ardent abolitionist,…

Lew Wallace is probably best known as the author of Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ, but his long and storied life goes far beyond his literary work. Wallace also served as a first lieutenant in the Mexican War in 1846 prior to being admitted to the…

Located in what was the center of Indianapolis’ black community, the Bethel AME church is the oldest African American congregation in the state. The congregation, founded in 1836, met in a small frame house and was also known as Indianapolis…

Downtown Indianapolis has two markers commemorating the February 11, 1861 speech President-elect Abraham Lincoln gave to Hoosiers en route to Washington D.C. from his Springfield, Illinois home. Before assuming the presidency, Lincoln addressed…

Located on the south lawn of the Indiana State House, the 2009 Indiana Historical Bureau marker remembers the funeral train, which brought the body of assassinated President Abraham Lincoln through Indianapolis on its way to Springfield, Illinois. …

Governor Oliver Perry Morton established Indiana’s first military arsenal in 1861 to provide Union troops with munitions. Originally located at Colonel Herman Strum’s gunpowder factory near the State House in downtown Indianapolis, the location…

Crown Hill Cemetery has served the Indianapolis area for more than 150 years as both a place of interment and a peaceful green space within the city. The burial ground sees more than 25,000 visitors annually; beyond those attending services, many use…

In November 1863, the United States Department of War gave Indiana Governor Oliver P. Morton authority to raise an African-American infantry regiment to reach federal troop quotas. Reverend Willis Revels of Indianapolis’ Bethel African Methodist…

At the start of the Civil War, 10,000 soldiers from Indiana volunteered to serve in the Union military. With Hoosiers needing to prepare for war, Governor Morton declared the new Indiana State Fairgrounds, located on the Old North Side of…

Benjamin Harrison was born into a politically active family. His father, John, was a United States Representative. William Henry Harrison, the ninth President of the United States, was his grandfather. He was named after his great-grandfather,…

This is the home of Alexander Rankin, a known abolitionist, who built the house in 1841. He lived in the house for two years while he was the pastor of the First Presbyterian Church. His brother was John Rankin, the most well-known conductor along…

The Lincoln Pioneer Village was created in 1935 to promote the life and legacy of Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln lived in southern Indiana during his childhood and adolescence. George Honig, a Lincoln expert in Rockport, suggested the idea of recreating a…