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The Battle of Corydon


Purpose of Lesson: This lesson may be used as a supplement to teaching students about the Battle of Corydon.

Objectives:At the end of this lesson, students should be able to:

  • Describe the Battle of Corydon
  • Identify Union and Rebel military leaders of the battle
  • Describe the effect of the battle on the town of Corydon

Correlation to Indiana Standards (for Fourth Grade Social Studies and United States History)

Social Studies

4.1.8 Summarize the participation of Indiana citizens in the Civil War. Examples: Indiana's volunteer soldiers, the Twenty-eighth Regiment of the United States Colored Troops, Camp Morton , John Hunt Morgan, The Battle of Corydon, Lew Wallace, resistance movements, and women on the home front.

4.1.15 Using primary source and secondary source materials, generate a question, seek answers, and write brief comments about an event in Indiana history.

Historical and Methodological Context for the Lesson:

During the Civil War, only two battles were fought on northern soil. One was the Battle of Gettysburg. The other was the Battle of Corydon, which occurred on July 9, 1863 when 450 members of the Harrison County Home Guard attempted to delay General John Hunt Morgan's 2,400 Confederate soldiers from advancing through the North.

Using personal memoir(s), this lesson provides a narrative of the events leading up to the battle, the battle itself, and its aftermath. These sources have been organized into a newspaper, the fictional Weekly Democrat, so that students not only get to interact with historical sources in a more entertaining format, but may also engage the means and methods of journalism.



Lesson Activities:

1. Teacher may wish to discuss the following terms with students before beginning the lesson:

    • Notorious
    • Guerrillas
    • Plundering
    • Cavalry
    • Charge
    • Infantry
    • Artillery
    • Indiana Legion/Home Guards
    • Breastworks
    • Plank Road
    • Surrender

2. Teacher should read The Battle of Corydon: An Introduction aloud to students. In addition, teacher may wish to show the included map illustrating the location of Brandenburg, Kentucky and Corydon, Indiana.


1. Students should, as a group, read the Weekly Democrat of July 14, 1863 (as reprinted from the IMH, June 1958) and complete the graphic organizer. The teacher may wish to complete a master version with the students, using the teacher's guide.

2. As an additional reading comprehension activity, the teacher may want to play Bingo with the students, using vocabulary from the reading. A teacher's key with questions (and answers) is included with this lesson, along with a blank Bingo board that the teacher may reproduce and complete (writing in the answers), depending upon the number of students playing. Read each question to the students and have them cover (using buttons or pieces of paper) the correct answer on their Bingo board. The winner is the first student to cover three squares in a row (across, down or diagonally).