Indiana’s Civil War governor, Oliver P. Morton, played a vital role in the War of the Rebellion, as he worked tirelessly to support the Union. His efforts at recruiting and cooperating with national authorities made him invaluable to the Lincoln administration and the U.S. Army. Morton labored to train, equip, and supply Hoosier troops and his concern for their well-being in camp and for the care of the wounded after battles won him the nickname, “The Soldiers’ Friend.” He also worked closely with military intelligence officers to investigate and root out the Copperhead conspiracies in the Midwest. These traitorous organizations threatened the Union from within and Morton shrewdly manipulated the situation to not only
stop the secret societies of terrorists, but also to help the Republican Party win the 1864 elections. As a skilled and energetic state executive, Governor Morton earned the respect of his enemies as well as his friends and went on to become a national leader of the Radical Republicans during the Reconstruction period that he saw as a continuation of war.
A. James Fuller, Ph.D., is a Professor of History at the University of Indianapolis. Primarily a historical biographer, he is a historian of 19th Century America, especially the Civil War Era. Among his many publications are six books as an author, co-author, editor, and co-editor, including Chaplain to the Confederacy: Basil Manly and Baptist Life in the Old South (2000); America, War and Power: Defining the State, 1775-2005 (2007); and The Election of 1860 Reconsidered (2013). His latest book is a biography of Indiana’s Civil War governor and Reconstruction senator entitled, Oliver P. Morton and the Politics of the Civil War and Reconstruction (2017).