Skip to main content

John Coburn, "Two Military Picnics" reminiscences

 Collection — Folder: S1778
Identifier: S1778

Scope and Contents

This collection includes a typewritten copy of the U.S. Civil War reminiscences of General John Coburn titled, "Two Military Picnics: The Bloodless Battle of Pogue's Run and the Expected Massacre at New Abany and Jeffersonville, Ind." circa 1880s. Coburn begins his story with the following sentence: "I propose to relate some incidents that came under my observation while a soldier, and with which I had a personal connection." Though potentially serious, he refers to the events as "picnics" because they did not involve "fierce struggles of armed men" and were "not marked by the shadow of wounds and death." The first part of his story describes the political events that took place in Indianapolis on May 20, 1863 that came to be referred to as the "Battle of Pogue's Run." The second part of his story discusses the preparations made to protect New Albany and Jeffersonville during "Morgan's Raid," the invasion into Indiana by a group of Confederate cavalry under the command of General John Hunt Morgan in the summer of 1863.


  • circa 1880s


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Biographical Note

John Coburn was born October 27, 1825 in Indianapolis, Indiana to Henry P. and Sarah (Mallott) Coburn. He graduated from Wabash College in 1846 and studied law in his father's office before being admitted to the bar in 1849. He married Caroline Test in 1852 and they had one adopted son, Charles. He practiced law in Indianapolis and served as a judge of the court of common pleas from 1859 to 1861. Following the outbreak of the U.S. Civil War, he joined the Union Army and was appointed colonel of the 33rd Indiana in September 1861. He mustered out in September 1864 and was brevetted a brigadier general of volunteers in March 1865. In politics, Coburn was a Whig and then a Republican and served one term in the Indiana House of Representatives (1850-1851) and served four terms as a member U.S. House of Representatives (1867-1875). He later served as a justice of the Montana Territory Supreme Court (1884-1885) then returned to Indianapolis and resumed his law practice. Coburn died at the age of 82 on January 28, 1908.


"Gen. John Coburn Dies Suddenly." Indianapolis Star, January 29, 1908.

United States Congress. "Coburn, John (1825-1908)." Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774-Present. Accessed May 24, 2021.


0.01 Cubic Feet (1 folder)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged by subject.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation.


No further additions are expected.

Related Materials

Materials relating to this collection may be found in the following collections in Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN:

L034: John L. Coburn collection

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2021/05/24 by Laura Eliason. EAD finding aid created 2021/05/24 by Laura Eliason.
John Coburn, "Two Military Picnics" reminiscences
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.