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Title: History of Morgan's Cavalry
Author: Duke, Basil Wilson, 1838-1916
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "History of Morgan's Cavalry" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

by The Kentuckiana Digital Library)






Entered according to Act of Congress in the year eighteen hundred and


In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of Kentucky, at Covington.





To the Noble Women of the South,




The writer presents to the reading public the narrative of an arduous
and adventurous military career, which, commencing at a period but
little subsequent to the outbreak of the late civil war, continued
through the four eventful years.

He has endeavored to make the work a correct and graphic representation
of the kind of warfare of which MORGAN was the author, and in which his
men won so much celebrity. Strict accuracy has been attempted in the
description of the military operations of which the book is a record,
and it is hoped that the incidents related of personal daring and
adventure will be read with some interest.

The author regrets that, for reasons easily understood, the book is far
less complete than he desired to make it. The very activity of the
service performed by MORGAN'S CAVALRY prevented the preservation of data
which would be very valuable, and a full account of many important
operations is therefore impossible. Limited space, also, forbids the
mention of many brave deeds. If many gallant and deserving men were
noticed as they deserve, the book could not be readily finished.

To the friends whose contributions assisted the work, the author returns
his warmest thanks.

To Mr. MEADE WOODSON, to whom he is indebted for the maps which so
perfectly illustrate his narrative, he is especially grateful.

He regrets, too, that many of his old comrades have altogether failed to
render him aid, confidently expected, and which would have been very
valuable. B.W.D.



History of Morgan's Cavalry--Why written--First enlistments--Popularity of
Morgan--Misrepresentation of the press--New uses of cavalry.             9


Early life of General Morgan--His qualities as a commander--His personal
qualities.                                                              18


Political condition of Kentucky in 1861--Bewilderment of the people--Camp
Dick Robinson--First entrance of Confederate troops.                    31


Military situation in the West--Advance to Bowlinggreen--Scarcity of
arms--Organization of the army--Want of discipline--Qualities which
compensated for its absence.                                            57


Morgan leaves Lexington--Roger W. Hanson--Service on Green
River--Scouting--Our first skirmish--Narrow escape--Terry's Rangers.    88


Retreat from Bowlinggreen--Evacuation of Nashville--Our Fourth Ohio
acquaintances--Scouting near Nashville--Morgan holds Murfreesboro'--Dash
on Mitchell--Night attack--Capture of Gallatin--Stampede of our
pickets--Promotion of Morgan--Concentration at Corinth.                110


Battle of Shiloh--Death of Sidney Johnson--Result of the battle--Expedition
into Tennessee--Cotton turning and telegraphing--Defeat at
Lebanon--Expedition to Cave City in Kentucky.                          138


Reorganization at Chattanooga--First raid into Kentucky--Fight at
Tompkinsville--Capture of Lebanon--Telegraphic strategy--Morgan master
of the situation--Fight at Cynthiana--Evade the pursuing troops.       169


Capture of Gallatin--Active service near Nashville--Fights at Gallatin
and Cairo--Destruction of the railroad--Sojourn at Hartsville--The
videttes--Kentuckians running from the draft--"_The Vidette._"         208


Again on the march for Kentucky--Bushwhacking experience--The Confederate
army enters the State--Service in front of Covington--Efforts to embarrass
the retreat of the Federal General Morgan--Fight at Augusta--Retreat of
the army from Kentucky--Morgan captures Lexington.                     229


Morgan's retreat through Southwestern Kentucky--At Gallatin again--Scouting
and ambuscades--Driven from Gallatin--A week's fighting around
Lebanon--Battle of Hartsville.                                         282


December raid into Kentucky--Capture of Elizabethtown--Fighting at the
Rolling Fork--Escape from the toils.                                   317


Service during the winter of '63 and '64--Cluke's raid into
Kentucky--Battle of Milton--Defeat at Snow's Hill.                     344


Service in Tennessee, and on the Cumberland in Kentucky--Fight at
Greasy Creek--Active scouting--The division starts for the Ohio--Crossing
of the Cumberland in the face of the enemy--Fights at Columbia, Green
River and Lebanon--Crossing the Ohio--The militia objecting--Fight with
the gunboats--March through Indiana and Ohio--Detour around
Cincinnati--Defeat at Buffington.                                      388


Life in prison--Escape of Morgan from the Ohio Penitentiary--Exchange at
Charleston.                                                            463


Services of the remnant of Morgan's command while their General was in
prison--Reception of General Morgan by the people of the South--He is
assigned to command in Southwestern Virginia--Fight with Averill--Action
at Dublin Depot--Last raid into Kentucky--Capture of Mt. Sterling--Severe
engagement next day--Capture of Lexington--Success at Cynthiana--Defeat
at Cynthiana--Retreat from Kentucky.                                   507


Death of Morgan--Grief of his men--Subsequent active service of his old
command--Hard fight at Bull's Gap--A battle by moonlight, and a
night-long chase--The Stoneman raid--Disaster at Kingsport--Fighting
the enemy and the elements--Battle of Marion--Winter quarters at
Abingdon--March to Charlotte after Lee's surrender--Escort to Jefferson
Davis after Johnston's surrender--The last Council of War--Surrender
at Woodstock.                                                          529





In undertaking to write the history of General Morgan's services, and of
the command which he created, it is but fair that I shall acknowledge
myself influenced, in a great measure, by the feelings of the friend and
the follower; that I desire, if I can do so by relating facts, of most
of which I am personally cognizant, to perpetuate his fame, and, at the
same time, establish the true character of a body of men, who recruited
and inured to war by him, served bravely and faithfully to the close of
the great struggle. It may be that credence will be given with
hesitation to the statements of one, who thus candidly confesses that
personal regard for his chief, and _esprit-de-corps_ mainly induce him
to attempt the task I propose to myself. To all works of this nature,
nevertheless, the same objection will apply, or the more serious one,
that they owe their production to the inspiration of hatred, and those
who have witnessed and participated in the events which they describe,
must (under this rule), for that very reason, be denied belief.

General Morgan's career during the late war was so remarkable, that it
is not surprising that the public, accustomed to the contradictory
newspaper versions of his exploits, should be disposed to receive all
accounts of it with some incredulity.

It was so rapid, so crowded with exciting incidents, appealed so
strongly to the passions and elicited so constantly the comments of both
sides, that contemporary accounts of his operations were filled with
mistakes and exaggerations, and it is natural that some should be
expected in any history of his campaigns, although written after the
strife is all over.

Convinced, however, that, if properly understood, his reputation will be
greater in history than with his contemporaries, and believing that the
story of his military life will be a contribution not altogether
valueless to that record which the Southern people, in justice to
themselves and their dead, must yet publish, I can permit no minor
consideration to deter me from furnishing correct, and, I deem,
important information, which my relations, personal and official, with
General Morgan enabled me to obtain. A correct representation of a
certain series of events sometimes leads to a correct understanding of
many more, and if the vail which prejudice and deliberate unscrupulous
falsification have thrown over some features of the contest be lifted, a
truer appreciation may perhaps be had of others of greater moment and
interest. I may add that, as no one has been more bitterly assailed, not
only while living but even after death, than General Morgan, so no man's
memory should be more peculiarly the subject of vindication and
protection to his friends.

But there are also other and cogent reasons why this tribute should be
rendered him by some one, who, devoted to the interests of the living
chieftain, is sensitive regarding the reputation he has left. The cruel
ingratitude which embittered the last days of his life, has made his
memory all the dearer to the many who were true and constant in their
love and esteem for him, and they feel that he should be justly
depicted. The fame which he desired will be accorded him; the reward for
which he strove is his already, in the affection of the people by whom
he hoped and deserved that the kindest recollections of him should be
cherished and the warmest eulogies pronounced. In the glory won, in the
tremendous and unequal struggle, in the pride with which they speak the
names of the dead heroes whose martyrdom illustrated it, the Southern
people possess treasures of which no conqueror can deprive them.

A man who, like General Morgan, uninfluenced by the public opinion of
the State in which he resided, yet surrendered fortune, home and friends
to assist the people of the South when embarked in the desperate and
vital strife which their action had provoked, because sharing their
blood and their convictions, he thought that they had an imperative
claim upon his services; who pledged his all to their cause, and
identified his name with every phase of the contest, until his death
became an event of the last and most bitter--such a man can never be
forgotten by them. It is impossible that the memory of his services can
ever fade from their minds.

In the beautiful land for which he fought and died, the traditions which
will indicate the spots where he struck her foes, will also preserve his
name in undying affection and honor. The men of the generation which
knew him can forget him only when they forget the fate from which he
strove to save them; his name belongs to the history of the race, and it
can not die.

A narrative of the operations of a command composed, in great part, of
Kentuckians, must possess some interest for the people of their own
State. So general and intense was the interest which Morgan excited
among the young men of the State, that he obtained recruits from every
county, numbers running every risk to join him, when no other leader
could enlist a man. The whole State was represented in his command. Many
Kentuckians who had enlisted in regiments from other States procured
transfers to his command, and it frequently happened that men, the bulk
of whose regiments were in prison, or who had become irregularly
detached from them by some of the many accidents by which the volunteer,
weary of monotony, is prompt to take advantage, would attach themselves
to and serve temporarily with it. Probably every native citizen of
Kentucky who will read these lines, will think of some relative or
friend who at some time served with Morgan. Men of even the strictest
"Union principles," whose loyalty has always been unimpeachable, and
whose integrity (as disinterested and as well assured as their
patriotism) forbids all suspicion that they were inclined to serve two
masters, have had to furnish aid in this way to the rebellion.
Frequently after these gentlemen had placed in the Federal army
substitutes, white or black, for loyal sons of unmilitary temperaments,
other sons, rebellious, and more enterprising, would elect to represent
the family in some one of Morgan's regiments. It is not unlikely, then,
that a record of these men, written by one who has had every opportunity
of learning the true story of every important and interesting event
which he did not witness, may be favorably received by the people of
Kentucky. The class of readers who will be gratified by an account of
such adventures as will be herein related, will readily forgive any lack
of embellishment. My practical countrymen prefer the recital of
substantial facts, and the description of scenes which their own
experience enables them to appreciate, to all the fictions of which the
Northern war literature has been so prolific.

The popular taste in Kentucky and the South does not require the
fabulous and romantic; less educated and more primitive than that of the
North, it rejects even the beautiful, if also incredible, and is more
readily satisfied with plain statements, supported by evidence, or
intrinsically probable, than with the most fascinating legend, although
illustrated with sketches by special artists.

There rests, too, upon some one identified with this command, the
obligation of denying and disproving the frequent and grave charges of
crime and outrage which have been preferred against General Morgan and
his soldiers. So persistently have these accusations been made, that at
one time an avowal of "belonging to Morgan" was thought, even in
Kentucky, tantamount to a confession of murder and highway robbery. To
this day, doubtless, the same impression prevails in the North, and
yet, when it is considered how it was produced, it is surprising that it
should or could last so long.

The newspapers are of course responsible for it, as for every other
opinion entertained at any time by the Northern public.

It will repay any one who will take the trouble to examine the files of
these papers printed during the war, if he desires a curious
entertainment. Among many willful misrepresentations of Morgan's as well
as of other Confederate commands, many statements palpably false, and
regarding events of which the writers could not possibly have obtained
correct information, will be found under the most astounding captions,
proclaiming the commission of "unheard of atrocities" and "guerrilla
outrages," accounts of Morgan having impressed horses or taken forage
and provisions from Union men, while highly facetious descriptions of
house-burning, jewelry snatching, and a thorough sacking of premises are
chronicled, without one word of condemnation, under the heading of
"frolics of the boys in blue." In thus referring to the manner in which
the Northern newspapers mentioned the respective combatants whose deeds
their reporters pretended to record, I have no wish to provoke a renewal
of the wordy war.

The Southern journals were undoubtedly sufficiently denunciatory,
although they did not always seem to consider a bad deed sanctified
because done by their friends. Nor have I any intention of denying that
inexcusable excesses were committed at various times by men of Morgan's
command. I freely admit that we had men in our ranks whose talents and
achievements could have commanded respect even among the "Bummers."
There were others, too, whose homes had been destroyed and property
"confiscated," whose families had been made to "feel the war," who were
incited by an unholy spirit of revenge to commit acts as well worth
relation, as any of those for which the "weekly" of his native township
has duly lauded the most industrious Federal raider, actuated by a
legitimate desire of pleasure or gain. It will not be difficult to prove
that such practices met with rebuke from General Morgan and his
officers, and that they were not characteristic of his command. There
are other impressions about Morgan and "Morgan's men" which I shall
endeavor to correct, as, although by no means so serious as those just
mentioned, they are not at all just to the reputation of either leader
or followers. It is a prevalent opinion that his troops were totally
undisciplined and unaccustomed to the instruction and restraint which
form the soldier. They were, to be sure, far below the standard of
regular troops in these respects, and doubtless they were inferior in
many particulars of drill and organization to some carefully-trained
bodies of cavalry, Confederate and Federal, which were less constantly
and actively engaged in service on the front.

But these essential requisites to efficiency were by no means neglected
or in a great degree lacking. The utmost care was exercised in the
organization of every regiment to place the best men in office--General
Morgan frequently interfering, for that purpose, in a manner warranted
neither by the regulations nor the acts of congress. No opportunity was
neglected to attain proficiency in the tactics which experience had
induced us to adopt, and among officers and men there was a perfect
appreciation of the necessity of strict subordination, prompt
unquestioning obedience to superiors, and an active, vigilant discharge
of all the duties which devolve upon the soldier in the vicinity or
presence of the enemy.

I do not hesitate to say that "Morgan's Division," in its best days,
would have lost nothing (in points of discipline and instruction) by
comparison with any of the fine cavalry commands, which did constant
service, of the Confederate army, and the testimony of more than one
inspecting officer can be cited to that effect. More credit, too, has
been given General Morgan for qualities and ability which constitute a
good spy, or successful partisan to lead a handful of men, than for the
very decided military talents which he possessed. He is most generally
thought to have been in truth, the "Guerrilla Chief," which the
Northern press entitled and strove to prove him. It will not be
difficult to disabuse the minds of military men (or, indeed, intelligent
men of any class) of this impression. It will be only necessary to
review his campaigns and give the reasons which induced his movements,
to furnish an authentic and thorough statement of facts, and, as far as
practicable, an explanation of attendant circumstances, and it will be
seen that he had in an eminent degree many of the highest and most
necessary qualities of the General.

An even cursory study of Morgan's record will convince the military
reader, that the character he bore with those who served with him was

That while circumspect and neglectful of no precaution to insure success
or avert disaster, he was extremely bold in thought and action. That
using every means to obtain extensive and accurate information
(attempting no enterprise of importance without it), and careful in the
consideration of every contingency, he was yet marvelously quick to
combine and to revolve, and so rapid and sudden in execution, as
frequently to confound both friends and enemies.

And above all, once convinced, he never hesitated to act; he would back
his judgment against every hazard, and with every resource at his

Whatever merit be allowed or denied General Morgan, he is beyond all
question entitled to the credit of having discovered uses for cavalry,
or rather mounted infantry, to which that arm was never applied before.
While other cavalry officers were adhering to the traditions of former
wars, and the systems of the schools, however inapplicable to the
demands of their day and the nature of the struggle, he originated and
perfected, not only a system of tactics, a method of fighting and
handling men in the presence of the enemy, but also a strategy as
effective as it was novel.

Totally ignorant of the art of war as learned from the books and in the
academies; an imitator in nothing; self taught in all that he knew and
did, his success was not more marked than his genius.

The creator and organizer of his own little army--with a force which at
no time reached four thousand--he _killed and wounded_ nearly as many of
the enemy, and captured more than fifteen thousand. The author of the
far-reaching "raid," so different from the mere cavalry dash, he
accomplished with his handful of men results which would otherwise have
required armies and the costly preparations of regular and extensive

I shall endeavor to show the intimate connection between his operations
and those of the main army in each department where he served, and the
strategic importance of even his apparently rashest and most purposeless
raids, when considered with reference to their bearing upon the grand
campaigns of the West. When the means at his disposal, the difficulties
with which he had to contend, and the results he effected are well
understood, it will be conceded that his reputation with the Southern
soldiery was not undeserved, and that to rank with the best of the many
active and excellent cavalry officers of the West, to have had,
confessedly, no equal among them except in Forrest, argues him to have
possessed no common ability. The design of this work may in part fail,
because of the inability of one so little accustomed to the labors of
authorship to present his subject in the manner that it deserves; but
the theme is one sure to be interesting and impressive however treated,
and materials may, in this way be preserved for abler pens and more
extensive works.

The apparent egotism in the constant use of the first person will, I
trust, be excused by the explanation that I write of matters and events
known almost entirely from personal observation, reports of subordinate
officers to myself, or personal knowledge of reports made directly to
General Morgan, and that, serving for a considerable period as his
second in command, it was necessarily my duty to see to the execution of
his plans, and I enjoyed a large share of his confidence.

For the spirit in which it is written, I have only to say that I have
striven to be candid and accurate; to that sort of impartiality which is
acquired at the expense of a total divestiture of natural feeling, I can
lay no claim.

A Southern man, once a Confederate soldier--always thoroughly Southern
in sentiments and feeling, I can, of course, write only a Southern
account of what I saw in the late war, and as such what is herein
written must be received.


John Hunt Morgan was born at Huntsville, Alabama, on the first day of
June, 1825. His father, Calvin C. Morgan, was a native of Virginia, and
a distant relative of Daniel Morgan, the rebel general of revolutionary
fame. In early manhood, Mr. Morgan followed the tide of emigration
flowing from Virginia to the West, and commenced life as a merchant in
Alabama. In 1823, he married the daughter of John W. Hunt, of Lexington,
Kentucky, one of the wealthiest and most successful merchants of the
State, and one whose influence did much to develope the prosperity of
that portion of it in which he resided.

Mr. Morgan is described by all who knew him as a gentleman whom it was
impossible to know and not to respect and esteem. His character was at
once firm and attractive, but he possessed neither the robust
constitution nor the adventurous and impetuous spirit which
characterized other members of his family. He was quiet and studious in
his habits, and although fond of the society of his friends, he shunned
every species of excitement. When failing health, and, perhaps, a
distaste for mercantile pursuits induced him to relinquish them, he
removed with his family to Kentucky (his son John was then four years
old), and purchased a farm near Lexington, upon which he lived until a
few years before his death.

John H. Morgan was reared in Kentucky, and lived in Lexington from his
eighteenth year until the fall of 1861, when he joined the Confederate
army. There was nothing in his boyhood, of which any record has been
preserved, to indicate the distinction he was to win, and neither
friends nor enemies can deduce from anecdotes of his youthful life
arguments of any value in support of the views which they respectively
entertain of his character. In this respect, also, he displayed his
singular originality of character, and he is about the only instance in
modern times (if biographies are to be believed) of a distinguished man
who had not, as a boy, some presentiment of his future, and did not
conduct himself accordingly.

When nineteen he enlisted for the "Mexican War" and was elected First
Lieutenant of Captain Beard's company, in Colonel Marshall's regiment of
cavalry. He served in Mexico for eighteen months, but did not, he used
to say, see much of "war" during that time. He was, however, at the
battle of Buena Vista, in which fight Colonel Marshall's regiment was
hotly engaged, and his company, which was ably led, suffered severely.
Soon after his return home he married Miss Bruce, of Lexington, a sweet
and lovely lady, who, almost from the day of her wedding, was a
confirmed and patient invalid and sufferer. Immediately after his
marriage, he entered energetically into business--was industrious,
enterprising and prosperous, and at the breaking out of the war in 1861,
he was conducting in Lexington two successful manufactories. Every
speculation and business enterprise in which he engaged succeeded, and
he had acquired a very handsome property. This he left, when he went
South, to the mercy of his enemies, making no provision whatever for its
protection, and apparently caring not at all what became of it. As he
left some debts unsettled, his loyal creditors soon disposed of it with
the aid of the catch-rebel attachment law.

When quite a young man he had two or three personal difficulties in
Lexington, in one of which he was severely wounded. To those who
recollect the tone of society in Kentucky at that day, it will be no
matter of astonishment to learn that a young man of spirit became
engaged in such affairs. His antagonists, however, became, subsequently,
his warm friends. The stigmas upon General Morgan's social standing, so
frequent in the Northern press, need not be noticed. Their falsity was
always well known in Kentucky and the South.

The calumnies, so widely circulated regarding his private life, must be
noticed, or the duty of the biographer would be neglected in an
important particular. And yet, except to positively deny every thing
which touched his integrity as a man and his honor as a gentleman, it
would seem that there is nothing for his biographer to do in this
respect. The wealth at the disposal of the Federal Government attracted
into its service all the purchasable villainy of the press--North and
South. It was not even necessary for the Government to bid for
them--they volunteered to perform, gratis, in the hope of future reward.
To undertake a refutation of every slander broached by this gang against
a man, so constantly a theme for all tongues and pens, as was Morgan,
would be an impossible, even if it were a necessary, task. It is enough
to say that he was celebrated, and therefore he was belied. General
Morgan was certainly no "saint"--his friends may claim that he had no
right to that title and not the slightest pretension to it. While he
respected true piety in other men, and, as those who knew him intimately
will well remember, evinced on all occasions a profound and unaffected
veneration for religion, he did not profess, nor did he regulate his
life by religious convictions. Like the great majority of the men of his
class--the gentlemen of the South--he lived freely, and the amusements
he permitted himself would, doubtless, have shocked a New Englander
almost as much as the money he spent in obtaining them. Even had the
manners of the people among whom he lived have made it politic to
conceal carefully every departure from straight-laced morality, he, of
all men, would have been the least likely to do so, for he scorned
hypocrisy as he did every species of meanness. To sum up, General
Morgan, with the virtues, had some of the faults of his Southern blood
and country, and he sought so little to extenuate the latter himself,
that it may be presumed that he cared not the least whether or no they
were recorded.

While no censure can, of course, be directed against those who slandered
him, as they did others, for hire--and it would be as absurd in this
age and country, to gravely denounce the lie-coiners of the press, as to
waste time in impeaching the false witnesses that figure before military
commissions--nevertheless, as justice ought to be done to all, it should
be remarked that among the _respectable_ people who furtively gave
currency to every story to his injury were some who owed their power to
harm him to the generosity of his grandfather, who loved to assist all
sorts of merit, but was particularly partial to manual skill.

The qualities in General Morgan, which would have attracted most
attention in private life, were an exceeding gentleness of disposition
and unbounded generosity. His kindness and goodness of heart were
proverbial. His manner, even after he had become accustomed to command,
was gentle and kind, and no doubt greatly contributed to acquire him the
singular popularity which he enjoyed long before he had made his
military reputation. The strong will and energy which he always
displayed might not have elicited much notice, had not the circumstances
in which the war placed him developed and given them scope for exercise.
But his affection for the members of his family and his friends, the
generosity which prompted him to consult their wishes at the expense of
any sacrifice of his own, his sensitive regard for the feelings of
others, even of those in whom he felt least interest, and his rare
charity for the failings of the weak, made up a character which, even
without an uncommon destiny, would have been illustrious.

His benevolence was so well known in Lexington, that to "go to Captain
Morgan" was the first thought of every one who wished to inaugurate a
charitable enterprise, and his business house was a rendezvous for all
the distressed, and a sort of "intelligence office" for the poor seeking
employment. His temper was cheerful and frequently gay; no man more
relished pleasantry and mirth in the society of his friends, with whom
his manner was free and even at times jovial; but he never himself
indulged in personal jests nor familiarities, nor did he permit them
from his most intimate associates; to attempt them with him gave him
certain and lasting offense. There was never a more sanguine man; with
him to live was to hope and to dare. Yet while rarely feeling
despondency and never despair, he did not deceive himself with false or
impossible expectations. He was quick to perceive the real and the
practical, and while enterprising in the extreme he was not in the least
visionary. His nerve, his powers of discrimination, the readiness with
which he could surrender schemes found to be impracticable, if by chance
he became involved in them, and his energy and close attention to his
affairs, made him very successful in business, and undoubtedly the same
qualities, intensified by the demand that war made upon them,
contributed greatly to his military success.

But it can not be denied that not only the reputation which he won, but
the talent which he displayed, astonished none more than his old
friends. He would, I think, have been regarded as a remarkable man under
any circumstances, by all who would have intimately known him, but he
was born to be great in the career in which he was so successful. It is
true that war fully developed many qualities which had been observed in
him previously, and (surest sign of real capacity) he to the last
continued to _grow_ with every call that was made upon him. But he
manifested an aptitude for the peculiar service in which he acquired so
much distinction, an instinctive appreciation of the requisites for
success, and a genius for command, which made themselves immediately
recognized, but which no one had expected. Nature had certainly endowed
him with some gifts which she very rarely bestows, and which give the
soldier who has them vast advantages; a quickness of perception and of
thought, amounting almost to intuition, an almost unerring sagacity in
foreseeing the operations of an adversary and in calculating the effect
of his own movements upon him, wonderful control over men, as
individuals and in masses, and moral courage and energy almost

He did not seem to reason like other men, at least no one could discover
the logical process, if there was one, by which his conclusions were
reached. His mind worked most accurately when it worked most rapidly,
and sight or sound were scarcely so swift as were its operations in an

This peculiar faculty and habit of thought enabled him to plan with a
rapidity almost inconceivable. Apparently his combinations were
instantaneously commenced and perfected, and, if provided with the
necessary information, he matured on enterprise almost as soon as he
conceived it. His language and manner were often very expressive of this
peculiar constitution of mind. In consultation with those whom he
admitted to his confidence, he never cared to hear arguments, he would
listen only to opinions. In stating his plans, he entered into no
explanations, and his expressions of his views and declaration of his
purposes sounded like predictions. At such times his speech would become
hurried and vehement, and his manner excited but remarkably impressive.

He evidently felt the most thorough and intense conviction himself, and
he seldom failed to convince his hearers. Advice volunteered, even by
those he most liked and relied on, was never well received, and when he
asked counsel of them he required that it should be concise and
definite, and resented hesitation or evasion. Without being in the
ordinary sense of the term an excellent judge of character, he
possessed, in a greater degree than any of his military associates, the
faculty of judging how various circumstances (especially the events and
vicissitudes of war) would affect other men, and of anticipating in all
contingencies their thoughts and action. He seemed, if I may use such
expressions, capable of imagining himself exactly in the situations of
other men, of identifying his own mind with theirs, and thinking what
they thought. He could certainly, with more accuracy than any one,
divine the plans and wishes of an enemy. This was universally remarked,
and he exhibited it, not only in correctly surmising the intentions of
his own immediate opponents, but also in the opinions which he gave
regarding the movements of the grand armies. He sought all the
information which could however remotely affect his interests and
designs with untiring avidity, and the novel and ingenious expedients he
sometimes resorted to in order to obtain it, would perhaps furnish
materials for the most interesting chapter of his history. It was a
common saying among his men, that "no lawyer can cross-examine like
General Morgan," and indeed the skill with which he could elicit
intelligence from the evasive or treacherous answers of men unwilling to
aid, or seeking to deceive him, was only less astonishing than the
confidence with which he would act upon information so acquired. In army
phrase, he was a capital "judge of information," that is, he could
almost infallibly detect the true from the false, and determine the
precise value of all that he heard. His quickness and accuracy, in this
respect, amounted almost to another sense; reports, which to others
appeared meager and unsatisfactory, and circumstances devoid of meaning
to all but himself, frequently afforded him a significant and lively
understanding of the matters which he wished to know.

He had another faculty which is very essential to military success,
indispensably necessary, at any rate, to a cavalry commander who acts
independently and at such distances from any base or support as he
almost constantly did. I believe the English term it, having "a good eye
for a country." It is the faculty of rapidly acquiring a correct idea of
the nature and peculiar features of any country in which military
operations are to be conducted. He neglected nothing that a close study
of maps and careful inquiry could furnish of this sort of knowledge, but
after a brief investigation or experience, he generally had a better
understanding of the subject than either map-makers or natives could
give him.

However imperfect might be his acquaintance with a country, it was
nearly impossible for a guide to deceive him. What he had once learned
in this respect he never forgot. A road once traveled was always
afterward familiar to him, with distances, localities and the adjacent
country. Thus, always having in his mind a perfect idea of the region
where he principally operated, he could move with as much facility and
confidence (when there) without maps and guides as with them. His
favorite strategy, in his important expeditions or "raids," was to place
himself by long and swift marches--moving sometimes for days and nights
without a halt except to feed the horses--in the very heart of the
territory where were the objects of his enterprise. He relied upon this
method to confuse if not to surprise his enemy, and prevent a
concentration of his forces. He would then strike right and left. He
rarely declined upon such expeditions to fight when advancing, for it
was his theory that then, a concentration of superior forces against him
was more difficult, and that the vigor of his enemy was to a certain
extent paralyzed by the celerity of his own movements and the mystery
which involved them. But after commencing his retreat, he would use
every effort and stratagem to avoid battle, fearing that while fighting
one enemy others might also overtake him, and believing that at such
times the morale of his own troops was somewhat impaired. No leader
could make more skillful use of detachments. He would throw them out to
great distances, even when surrounded by superior and active forces, and
yet in no instance was one of them (commanded by a competent officer and
who obeyed instructions) overwhelmed or cut off. It very rarely happened
that they failed to accomplish the purposes for which they were
dispatched, or to rejoin the main body in time to assist in decisive
action. He could widely separate and apparently scatter his forces, and
yet maintain such a disposition of them as to have all well in hand.
When pushing into the enemy's lines he would send these detachments in
every direction, until it was impossible to conjecture his real
intentions--causing, generally, the shifting of troops from point to
point as each was threatened; until the one he wished to attack was
weakened, when he would strike at it like lightning.

He was a better strategist than tactician. He excelled in the arts which
enable a commander to make successful campaigns and gain advantages
without much fighting, rather than in skillful maneuvering on the field.

He knew how to thoroughly confuse and deceive an enemy, and induce in
him (as he desired) false confidence or undue caution; how to isolate
and persuade or compel him to surrender without giving battle; and he
could usually manage, although inferior to the aggregate of the hostile
forces around him, to be stronger or as strong at the point and moment
of encounter.

The tactics he preferred, when he chose to fight, were attempts at
surprise and a concentration of his strength for headlong dashing

To this latter method there were some objections. These attacks were
made with a vigor, and inspired in the men a reckless enthusiasm, which
generally rendered them successful. But if the enemy was too strong, or
holding defensible positions, was resolute and stubborn in resistance,
and the first two or three rushes failed to drive him, the attack was
apt to fail altogether, and the reaction was correspondent to the energy
of the onset.

He did not display so much ability when operating immediately with the
army, as when upon detached service. He would not hesitate to remain for
days closely confronting the main forces of the enemy, keeping his
videttes constantly in sight of his cantonments, observing his every
movement, and attacking every detachment and foraging party which he
could expect to defeat. But when a grand advance of the enemy was
commenced he preferred making a timely and long retreat, followed by a
dash in some quarter where he was not expected, rather than to
stubbornly contest their progress.

He could actively and efficiently harass a retreating army, multiplying
and continuing his assaults until he seemed ubiquitous; but he was not
equally efficient in covering a retreat or retarding an advance in
force. Upon one or two occasions, when the emergency was imminent, he
performed this sort of service cheerfully and well, but he did not like
it, nor was he eminently fitted for it. He had little of that peculiar
skill with which Forrest would so wonderfully embarrass an enemy's
advance, and contesting every inch of his march, and pressing upon him
if he hesitated or receded, convert every mistake that he made into a

In attempting a delineation of General Morgan's character, mention ought
not to be omitted of certain peculiarities, which to some extent,
affected his military and official conduct.

Although by no means a capricious or inconsistent man, for he
entertained profound convictions and adhered to opinions with a tenacity
that often amounted to prejudice, he frequently acted very much like

Not even those who knew him best could calculate how unusual occurrences
would affect him, or induce him to act.

It frequently happened that men for whose understandings and characters
he had little respect, but who were much about his person, obtained a
certain sort of influence with him, but they could keep it only by a
complete acquiescence in his will when it became aroused. He sometimes
permitted and even encouraged suggestions from all around him, listening
to the most contradictory opinions with an air of thorough acquiescence
in all. It was impossible, on such occasions, to determine whether this
was done to flatter the speakers, to mislead as to his real intentions,
or if he was in fact undecided.

He generally ended such moments of doubt by his most original and
unexpected resolutions, which he would declare exactly as if they were
suggestions just made by some one else, almost persuading the parties to
whom they were attributed that they had really advanced them. In his
judgment of the men with whom he had to deal, he showed a strange
mixture of shrewdness and simplicity. He seldom failed to discern and to
take advantage of the ruling characteristics of those who approached
him, and he could subsidize the knowledge and talents of other men with
rare skill. He especially excelled in judging men collectively. He knew
exactly how to appeal to the feelings of his men, to excite their
enthusiasm, and stimulate them to dare any danger and endure any fatigue
and hardship. But he sometimes committed the gravest errors in his
estimation of individual character. He more than once imposed implicit
confidence in men whom no one else would have trusted, and suffered
himself to be deceived by the shallowest imposters. He obtained credit
for profound insight into character by his possession of another and
very different quality. The unbounded influence he at once acquired over
almost every one who approached him, enabled him to make men do the most
uncharacteristic things, and created the impression that he discovered
traits of character hidden from others.

General Morgan had more of those personal qualities which make a man's
friends devoted to him, than any one I have ever known.

He was himself very warm and constant in the friendships which he
formed. It seemed impossible for him to do enough for those to whom he
was attached, or to ever give them up. His manner when he wished,
prepossessed every one in his favor. He was generally more courteous and
attentive to his inferiors than to his equals and superiors. This may
have proceeded in a great measure from his jealousy of dictation and
impatience of restraint, but was the result also of warm and generous
feelings. His greatest faults, arose out of his kindness and easiness of
disposition, which rendered it impossible for him to say or do
unpleasant things, unless when under the influence of strong prejudice
or resentment. This temperament made him a too lax disciplinarian, and
caused him to be frequently imposed upon. He was exceedingly and
unfeignedly modest. For a long time he sought, in every way, to avoid
the applause and ovations which met him every where in the South, and he
never learned to keep a bold countenance when receiving them.

It was distressing to see him called on (as was of course often the
case) for a speech--nature certainly never intended that he should win
either fame or bread by oratory.

When complimented for any achievement he always gave the credit of it to
some favorite officer, or attributed it to the excellence of his troops.
Nothing seemed to give him more sincere pleasure than to publicly
acknowledge meritorious service in a subaltern officer or private, and
he would do it in a manner that made it a life long remembrance with the
recipient of the compliment.

When displeased, he rarely reprimanded, but expressed his displeasure by
satirically complimenting the offender; frequently the only evidence of
dissatisfaction which he would show was a peculiar smile, which was
exceeding significant, and any thing but agreeable to the individual
conscious of having offended him.

His personal appearance and carriage were striking and graceful. His
features were eminently handsome and adapted to the most pleasing
expressions. His eyes were small, of a grayish blue color, and their
glances keen and thoughtful. His figure on foot or on horseback was

He was exactly six feet in hight, and although not at all corpulent,
weighed one hundred and eighty-five pounds.

His form was perfect and the rarest combination of strength, activity
and grace. His constitution seemed impervious to the effects of
privation and exposure, and it was scarcely possible to perceive that he
suffered from fatigue or lack of sleep. After marching for days and
nights without intermission, until the hardiest men in his division were
exhausted, I have known him, as soon as a halt was called, and he could
safely leave his command, ride fifty miles to see his wife. Although a
most practical man in all of his ideas, he irresistibly reminded one of
the heroes of romance. He seemed the _Fra-Moreale_ come to life again,
and, doubtless, was as much feared and as bitterly denounced as was that
distinguished officer.

Men are not often born who can wield such an influence as he exerted,
apparently without an effort--who can so win men's hearts and stir their
blood. He will, at least, be remembered until the Western cavalrymen and
their children have all died. The bold riders who live in the
border-land, whose every acre he made historic, will leave many a story
of his audacity and wily skill. They will name but one man as his equal,
"The wizard of the saddle," the man of revolutionary force and fire,
strong, sagacious, indomitable Forrest, and the two will go down in
tradition together, twin-brothers in arms and in fame.


The position assumed by Kentucky, at the inception of the late struggle,
and her conduct throughout, excited the surprise, and, in no small
degree, incurred for her the dislike of both the contending sections.

But while both North and South, at some time, doubted her good faith and
complained of her action, all such sentiments have been entirely
forgotten by the latter, and have become intensified into bitter and
undisguised animosity upon the part of a large share of the population
of the former.

The reason is patent. It is the same which, during the war, influenced
the Confederates to hope confidently for large assistance from Kentucky,
if once enabled to obtain a foothold upon her territory, and caused the
Federals, on the other hand, to regard even the loudest and most zealous
professors of loyalty as Secessionists in disguise, or, at best,
Unionists only to save their property. It is the instinctive feeling
that the people of Kentucky, on account of kindred blood, common
interests, and identity of ideas in all that relates to political rights
and the objects of political institutions, may be supposed likely to
sympathize and to act with the people of the South. But a variety of
causes and influences combined to prevent Kentucky from taking a decided
stand with either of the combatants, and produced the vacillation and
inconsistency which so notably characterized her councils and paralyzed
her efforts in either direction, and, alas, it may be added, so
seriously affected her fair fame.

Her geographical situation, presenting a frontier accessible for several
hundreds of miles to an assailant coming either from the North or South,
caused her people great apprehension, especially as it was accounted an
absolute certainty that her territory (if she took part with the South)
would be made the battle-ground and subjected to the last horrors and
desolation of war. The political education of the Kentuckians, also,
disposed them to enter upon such a contest with extreme reluctance and

Originally a portion of Virginia, settled chiefly by emigration from
that State, her population partook of the characteristics and were
imbued with the feelings which so strongly prevailed in the mother

From Virginia, the first generation of Kentucky statesmen derived those
opinions which became the political creed of the Southern people, and
were promulgated in the celebrated resolutions of '98, which gave shape
and consistency to the doctrine of States' Rights, and popular
expression to that construction of the relations of the several States
to the General Government (under the Federal Constitution), so earnestly
insisted upon by the master-minds of Virginia. The earlier population of
Kentucky was peculiarly inclined to adopt and cherish such opinions, by
the promptings of that nature which seems common to all men descended
from the stock of the "Old Dominion," that craving for the largest
individual independence, and disposition to assert and maintain in full
_measure_ every personal right, which has always made the people of the
Southern and Western States so jealous of outside interference with
their local affairs. It was natural that a people, animated by such a
spirit, should push their preference for self-government even to
extremes; that they should esteem their most valued franchises only safe
when under their own entire custody and control; that they should prefer
that their peculiar institutions should be submitted only to domestic
regulation, and that the personal liberty, which they prized above all
their possessions, should be restrained only by laws enacted by
legislators chosen from among themselves, and executed by magistrates
equally identified with themselves and appreciative of their instincts.

In short, they were strongly attached to their State Governments, and
were not inclined to regard as beneficent, nor, even exactly legitimate,
any interference with them, upon the part of the General Government, and
desired to see the powers of the latter exercised only for the "common
defense and general welfare."

Without presuming to declare them correct or erroneous, it may be safely
asserted that such were the views which prevailed in Kentucky at a
period a little subsequent to her settlement.

This decided and almost universal sentiment was first shaken, and the
minds of the people began to undergo some change, about the time of, and
doubtless in consequence of, the detection of the Burr conspiracy. Burr
had been identified with the party which advocated the extreme State
Rights doctrines, and his principal confederates were men of the same
political complexion.

The utter uselessness of his scheme, even if successful, and the little
prospect of any benefit accruing from it, unless to the leading
adventurers, had disposed all the more sober minded to regard it with
distrust. And when it became apparent that it had been concocted for the
gratification of one man's ambition, the very people whom it had been
part of the plan to flatter with hopes of the most brilliant advantages,
immediately conceived for it the most intense aversion.

The odium into which Burr and his associates immediately fell, became,
in some measure, attached to the political school to which they had
belonged, and men's minds began to be unsettled upon the very political
tenets, in the propriety and validity of which they had previously so
implicitly believed. The able Federalist leaders in the State, pursued
and improved the advantage thus offered them, and for the first time in
the history of Kentucky, that party showed evidence of ability to cope
with its rival. Doubtless, also, the effect of Mr. Madison's attempt to
explain away the marrow and substance of the famous resolutions, which
told so injuriously against the State Rights party every where,
contributed, at a still later day, to weaken that party in Kentucky; but
the vital change in the political faith of Kentucky, was wrought by
Henry Clay. All previous interruptions to the opinions which she had
acquired as her birthright from Virginia, were but partial, and would
have been ephemeral, but the spell which the great magician cast over
his people was like the glamour of mediæval enchantment. It bound them
in helpless but delighted acquiescence in the will of the master. Their
vision informed them, not of objects as they were, but as he willed that
they should seem, and his patients received, at his pleasure and with
equal confidence, the true or the unreal. In fact, the undoubted
patriotism and spotless integrity of Mr. Clay, so aided the effect of
his haughty will and superb genius, that his influence amounted to
fascination. Although himself, in early life, an advocate of the
principles of (what has been since styled) the Jeffersonian school of
Democracy, he became gradually, but thoroughly, weaned from his first
opinions, and a convert to the dogmas of the school of politics which he
had once so ably combatted. The author of the American System, the
advocate of the United States Bank, the champion of the New England
manufacturing and commercial interests, with their appropriate and
necessary train of protective tariffs, bounties and monopolies, could
have little sympathy with the ideas that the several States could, and
should, protect and develope their own interests without Federal
assistance, that the General Government was the servant of all the
States and not the guardian and dry nurse of a few--the doctrine, in
short, of "State Sovereignty and Federal Agency." Mr. Clay fairly and
emphatically announced his political faith in word and deed. He declared
that he "owed a paramount allegiance to the whole Union: a subordinate
one to his own State," and, throughout the best part of his long
political life, he wrought faithfully for interests distinct from, if
not adverse to, those of his own State and section. His influence,
however, in his own State, has determined, perhaps forever, her
destiny. If he did not educate the people of Kentucky (as has been so
often charged) to "defer principle to expediency," he at least taught
them to study the immediate policy rather than the ultimate effect of
every measure that they were called to consider, and to seek the
material prosperity of the hour at the expense, even, of future safety.
He taught his generation to love the Union, not as an "agency" through
which certain benefits were to be derived, but as an "end" which was to
be adhered to, no matter what results flowed from it.

Mr. Clay sincerely believed that in the union of the States resided the
surest guarantees of the safety, honor, and prosperity of each, and he
contemplated with horror and aversion any thought of disunion. His own
lofty and heroic nature could harbor no feeling which was not manly and
brave, but, in striving to stimulate and fortify in his people the same
love of union which he entertained himself, he taught many Kentuckians
to so dread the evils of war, as to lose all fear of other and as great
evils, and to be willing to purchase exemption from civil strife by
facile and voluntary submission. After the death of Mr. Clay, Kentucky,
no longer subjected to his personal influence, began to forget it.

In 1851, John C. Breckinridge had been elected to Congress from Mr.
Clay's district, while the latter still lived, and beating one of his
warmest friends and supporters. Under the leadership of Mr.
Breckinridge, the Democratic party in Kentucky rallied and rapidly
gained ground. During the "Know-nothing" excitement, the old Whigs, who
had nearly all joined the Know-nothing or American party, seemed about
to regain their ascendency, but that excitement ebbing as suddenly as it
had arisen, left the Democracy in indisputable power. In 1856, Kentucky
cast her Presidential vote for Buchanan and Breckinridge by nearly seven
thousand majority. Mr. Breckinridge's influence had, by this time,
become predominant in the State, and was felt in every election. The
troubles in Kansas and the agitation in Congress had rendered the
Democratic element in Kentucky more determined, and inclined them more
strongly to take a Southern view of all the debated questions. The John
Brown affair exasperated her people in common with that of every other
slaveholding community, and led to the organization of the State-guard.

Created because of the strong belief that similar attempts would be
repeated, and upon a larger scale, and that, quite likely, Kentucky
would be selected as a field of operations, it is not surprising that
the State-guard should have expected an enemy only from the North,
whence, alone, would come the aggressions it was organized to resist,
and that it should have conceived a feeling of antagonism for the
Northern, and an instinctive sympathy for the Southern, people.

These sentiments were intensified by the language of the Northern press
and pulpit, and the commendation and encouragement of such enterprises
as the Harper's Ferry raid, which were to be heard throughout the North.

In the Presidential election of 1860, the Kentucky Democracy divided on
Douglas and Breckinridge, thereby losing the State. After the election
of Mr. Lincoln and the passage of ordinances of secession by several
Southern States, when the most important question which the people of
Kentucky had ever been required to determine, was presented for their
consideration, their sentiments and wishes were so various and
conflicting, as to render its decision by themselves impossible, and it
was finally settled for them by the Federal Government.

The Breckinridge wing of the Democracy was decidedly Southern in
feelings and opinions, and anxious to espouse the Southern cause.

The Douglas wing strongly sympathized with the South, but opposed
secession and disunion.

The Bell-Everett party, composed chiefly of old Clay Whigs, was
decidedly in favor of Union. Such was the attitude of parties, with
occasional individual exceptions. The very young men of the State were
generally intense Southern sympathizers, and were, with few exceptions,
connected with the State-guard. Indeed, divided as were the people of
Kentucky at that time, sympathy with the Southern people was prevalent
among all classes of them, and the conviction seemed to be strong, even
in the most determined opponents of secession, that an attack upon the
Southern people was an attack upon themselves. Among the Union men it
was common to hear such declarations as that "When it becomes a direct
conflict between North and South, we will take part with the South,"
"The Northern troops shall not march over our soil to invade the South,"
"When it becomes apparent that the war is an abolition crusade, and
waged for the destruction of slavery, Kentucky will arm against the
Government," etc.; each man had some saving clause with his Unionism. It
is no hazardous assertion that the Union party, in Kentucky, condemned
the secession of the Southern States, more because it was undertaken
without consultation with them, and because they regarded it as a blow
at Kentucky's dignity and comfort, than because it endangered "the
national life." Certainly not one of the leading politicians of that
party would have dared, in the winter and spring of 1861, to have openly
advocated coercion, no matter what were his secret views of its

Upon the 17th February, 1861, the Legislature met in extra session at
the summons of Governor Magoffin. Seven Southern States had seceded, the
Confederate Government had been inaugurated, and it was time for the
people of Kentucky to understand what they were going to do. The
Governor addressed a message to the Legislature advising the call of a
State Convention. This the Legislature declined to do, but suggested the
propriety of the assembling of a National Convention to revise and
correct the Federal Constitution, and recommended the "Peace
Conference," which was subsequently held at Washington. In certain
resolutions passed by this Legislature, in reference to resolutions
passed by the States of Maine, New York and Massachusetts, this language
occurs: "The Governor of the State of Kentucky is hereby requested to
inform the executives of said States, that it is the opinion of this
General Assembly that whenever the authorities of these States shall
send armed forces to the South for the purpose indicated in said
resolutions, the people of Kentucky, uniting with their brethren of the
South, will as one man, resist such invasion of the soil of the South,
at all hazards and to the last extremity." Rather strong language for
"Union" men and a "loyal" legislature to use. It would seem that
Kentucky, at that time, supposed herself a "sovereign" State addressing
other "sovereign" States, and that she entirely ignored the "Nation."
Her Legislature paid as little attention to the "proper channel of
communication" as a militia Captain would have done. The Union men who
voted for the resolutions in which this language was embodied, would be
justly liable to censure, if it were not positively certain that they
were _insincere_; and that they _were_ insincere is abundantly proven by
their subsequent action, and the fact that many of them held commissions
in the "armed forces" sent to invade the South. On the 11th of February
the Legislature resolved, "That we protest against the use of force or
coercion by the General Government against the seceded States, as unwise
and inexpedient, and tending to the destruction of our common country."

At the Union State Convention, held at Louisville on the 8th of January,
certain amendments to the Constitution of the United States were
"recommended," and it was resolved, "that, if the disorganization of the
present Union is not arrested, that the States agreeing to these
amendments of the Federal Constitution shall form a _separate
Confederacy_, with power to admit new States under our glorious
Constitution thus _amended_;" it was resolved also that it was
"expedient to call a convention of the border free and slave States,"
and that "we deplore the existence of a Union to be held together by the

It almost takes a man's breath away to write such things about the most
loyal men of the loyal State of Kentucky. For a Union Convention to
have passed them, and Union men to have indorsed them, the resolutions
whose substance has been just given, have rather a strange sound. They
ring mightily like secession.

"If the disorganization of the present Union is not arrested," the Union
men of Kentucky would also help it along. A modified phrase much in
vogue with them, "separate State action" expressed their "conservative"
plan of seceding. Unless the proper distinctions are drawn, however, the
action of this class of politicians will always be misunderstood. They
indignantly condemned the secession of South Carolina and Georgia. No
language was strong enough to express their abhorrence and condemnation
of the wickedness of those who would inaugurate "the disorganization of
the present Union." But they did not, with ordinary consistency,

    "Compound for sins they were inclined to
    By damning those they had no mind to!"

They committed the same sin under another name, and advocated the
"separate Confederacy" of "the border free and slave States," under our
glorious Constitution thus amended.

"Orthodoxy," was their "doxy;" "Heterodoxy," was "another man's doxy."
Every candid man, who remembers the political status of Kentucky at that
period, will admit that the Union party propounded no definite and
positive creed, and that its leaders frequently gave formal expression
to views which strangely resembled the "damnable heresies of secession."
Indeed, the neglect of the seceding States to "consult Kentucky,"
previously to having gone out, seemed to be, in the eyes of these
gentlemen, not so much an aggravation of the crime of secession, as, in
itself, a crime infinitely graver. There were many who would condemn
secession, and in the same breath indicate the propriety of
"co-operation." These subtle distinctions, satisfactory, doubtless, to
the intellects which generated them, were not aptly received by common
minds, and their promulgation induced, perhaps very unjustly, a very
general belief that the Union party was actuated not more by a love of
the Union, than by a salutary regard for personal security and comfort.
It seemed that the crime was not in "breaking up the Union," but in
going about it in the wrong way.

The people of Kentucky heard, it is true, from these leaders indignant
and patriotic denunciations of "secession," and, yet, they could listen
to suggestions amounting almost to advocacy, from the same lips, of
"central confederacies" or "co-operations."

Is it surprising, then, that no very holy horror of disunion should have
prevailed in Kentucky?

But any inclination to tax these gentlemen with inconsistency should be
checked by the reflection that they were surrounded by peculiar
circumstances. It appeared to be by no means certain, just then, that an
attempt would be made to coerce the seceding States, or that the
Southern Confederacy would not be established without a war. In that
event, Kentucky would have glided naturally and certainly into it, and
Kentucky politicians who had approved coercion, would have felt
uncomfortable as Confederate citizens. The leaders of the Union party
were men of fine ability, but they were not endowed with prescience, nor
could they in the political chaos then ruling, instinctively detect the
strong side. Let it be remembered that, just so soon as they discerned
it, they enthusiastically embraced it and clave to it, with a few
immaterial oscillations, through much tribulation. As was explained by
one of the most distinguished among them (in the United States Senate),
it was necessary to "educate the people of Kentucky to loyalty." It is
true that in this educational process, which was decidedly novel and
peculiar, many Kentuckians, not clearly seeing the object in view, were
made rebels, and even Confederate soldiers, although not originally
inclined that way.

But it is seldom that a perfectly new and original system works
smoothly, and the "educators" made amends for all their errors by
inflexible severity toward the rebels who staid at home, and by
"expatriating" and confiscating the property of those who fled. A
"States Rights Convention" was called to assemble at Frankfort on the
22nd of March, 1861, but adjourned, having accomplished nothing.

After the fall of Fort Sumpter and the issuing of the proclamation of
April 15, 1861, Governor Magoffin responded to President Lincoln's call
for troops from Kentucky in the following language:

    "FRANKFORT, _April 16, 1861_.

    "_Hon. Simon Cameron, Secretary of War_;

    "Your dispatch is received. In answer, I say, emphatically, that
    Kentucky will furnish no troops for the wicked purpose of subduing
    her sister Southern States.

    "B. MAGOFFIN, _Governor of Kentucky_."

Governor Magoffin then a second time convened the Legislature in extra
session, to consider means for putting the State in a position for
defense. When the Legislature met, it resolved,

"That the act of the Governor in refusing to furnish troops or military
force upon the call of the Executive authority of the United States,
under existing circumstances, is approved." Yeas, eighty-nine; nays,

On the 18th of April a large Union meeting was held at Louisville, at
which the most prominent and influential Union men of the State
assisted. Resolutions were adopted,

"That as the Confederate States have, by overt acts, commenced war
against the United States, _without consultation with Kentucky and their
sister Southern States_, Kentucky reserves to herself the right to
choose her own position; and that while her natural sympathies are with
those who have a common interest in the protection of slavery, she still
acknowledges her loyalty and fealty to the Government of the United
States, which she will cheerfully render until that Government becomes
aggressive, tyrannical, and regardless of our rights in slave
property;" Resolved,

"That the National Government should be tried by its acts, and that the
several States, _as its peers in their appropriate spheres_, will hold
it to a rigid accountability, and require that its acts should be
fraternal in their efforts to bring back the seceded States, and not
sanguinary or coercive."

The Senate resolved, just before the adjournment of the Legislature,
that "Kentucky will not sever her connection with the National
Government, nor take up arms for either belligerent party; but arm
herself for the preservation of peace within her borders."

This was the first authoritative declaration of the policy of
"Neutrality," which, however, had been previously indicated at a Union
meeting held at Louisville on the 10th of April, in the following

"That as we oppose the call of the President for volunteers for the
purpose of coercing the seceded States, so we oppose the raising of
troops in this State to co-operate with the Southern Confederacy."

"That the present duty of Kentucky is to maintain her present
independent position, taking sides, not with the Administration nor with
the seceding States, but with the Union against them both, declaring her
soil to be sacred from the hostile tread of either, and, if necessary,
to make the declaration good with her strong right arm."

In other words, Kentucky would remain in the Union, but would refuse
obedience to the Government of the United States, and would fight its
armies if they came into her territory. Was it much less "criminal" and
"heretical" to do this than to "take sides with the seceding States?"

What is the exact shade of difference between the guilt of a State which
transfers its fealty from the Union to a Confederacy, and that of a
State which declares her positive and absolute independence, entering
into no new compacts, but setting at defiance the old one? Where was the
boasted "loyalty" of the Union men of Kentucky when they indorsed the
above given resolutions?

In May of that year, the _Louisville Journal_, the organ of the Union
party of Kentucky, said, in reference to the response which it was
proper for Kentucky to make to the President's call for troops: "In our
judgment, the people of Kentucky have answered this question in advance,
and the answer expressed in every conceivable form of popular
expression, and finally, clinched by the glorious vote of Saturday, is;
arm Kentucky efficiently, but rightfully, and fairly, with the clear
declaration that the arming is not for offense against either the
Government or the seceding States, but purely for defense against
whatever power sets hostile foot upon the actual soil of the
Commonwealth. In other words, the Legislature, according to the manifest
will of the people, should declare the neutrality of Kentucky in this
unnatural and accursed war of brothers, and equip the State for the
successful maintenance of her position at all hazards?"

It is well known that loyalty means unqualified, unconditional, eternal
devotion and adherence to the Union, with a prompt and decorous
acquiescence in the will and action of the Administration. Although a
definition of the term has been frequently asked, and many have affected
not to understand it, it is positively settled that every man is a
traitor who doubts that this definition is the correct one. It is
impossible, then, to avoid the conviction that in the year 1861, there
was really no loyalty in the State of Kentucky. A good deal was
subsequently contracted for, and a superior article was furnished the
Government a few months later.

Had their been during the winter and spring of 1861, a resolute and
definite purpose upon the part of the Southern men of Kentucky, to take
the State out of the Union; had those men adopted, organized and
determined action, at any time previously to the adjournment of the
Legislature, on the 24th of April, the Union party of Kentucky would
have proven no material obstacle.

The difficulty which was felt to be insuperable by all who approved the
secession of Kentucky, was her isolated position. Not only did the long
hesitation of Virginia and Tennessee effectually abate the ardor and
resolution of the Kentuckians who desired to unite their State to the
Southern Confederacy, but while it lasted it was an insurmountable,
physical barrier in the way of such an undertaking. With those States
antagonistic to the Southern movement, it would have been madness for
Kentucky to have attempted to join it. When at length, Virginia and
Tennessee passed their ordinances of secession, Kentucky had become
infatuated with the policy of "neutrality." With the leaders of the
Union party, it had already been determined upon as part of their system
for the "education" of the people. The Secessionists, who were without
organization and leaders, regarded it as something infinitely better
than unconditional obedience to the orders and coercive policy of the
Federal Government; and the large class of the timid and irresolute of
men, who are by nature "neutral" in times of trouble and danger,
accepted it joyfully, as such men always accept a compromise which
promises to relieve them of immediate responsibility and the necessity
of hazardous decision. Disconnected from the views and intentions of
those who consented to it, this "neutrality" will scarcely admit of
serious discussion. Such a position is certainly little else than
rebellion, and the principle or conditions which will justify it, will
also justify secession. If a State has the legal and constitutional
right to oppose the action, and to refuse compliance with the
requisitions of the Federal Government, to disobey the laws of Congress,
and set at defiance the proclamations of the Executive, to decide for
herself her proper policy in periods of war and insurrection, and levy
armed forces to prevent the occupation of her territory by the forces of
the United States, then she can quit the Union when she pleases, and is
competent to contract any alliance which accords, with her wishes. If,
however, it be a revolutionary right which she may justly exercise in a
certain condition of affairs, then the same condition of affairs will
justify any other phase or manner of revolution.

The practical effects of such a position, had it been stubbornly
maintained, would have been to involve Kentucky in more danger than she
would have incurred by secession and admission into the Confederacy. A
declaration of neutrality in such a contest was almost equivalent to a
declaration of war against both sides; at any rate it was a proclamation
of opposition to the Government, while it discarded the friendship of
the South, and seemed at once to invite every assailant. The Government
of the United States, which was arming to coerce seceded States, would
certainly not permit its designs to be frustrated by this attitude of
Kentucky, and it was not likely that the States, about to be attacked,
would respect a neutrality, which they very well knew would be no
hindrance to their adversary. But few men reason clearly in periods of
great excitement, or, in situations of peril, look steadfastly and
understandingly at the dangers which surround them. Nor, it may be
added, do the few who possess the presence of mind to study and the
faculty of appreciating the signs of such a political tempest, always
honestly interpret them. As has been said, a large class eagerly
welcomed the decision that Kentucky should remain neutral in the great
struggle impending, as a relief, however temporary, from the harassing
consideration of dangers at which they shuddered. Nine men out of ten,
will shrink from making up their minds upon a difficult question, and
yet will accept, with joy, a determination of it, however paltry and
inconclusive, from any one who has the nerve to urge it. A great many
Union men, who would have earnestly opposed a concurrence of Kentucky in
the action of the seceding States, if for no other reason than that they
regarded it as "a trick of the Democratic party," and yet as obstinately
opposed the policy and action of the Government, thought they perceived
in "neutrality" a solution of all the difficulties which embarrassed
them. A few of the more sagacious and resolute of the leaders of the
Union party, who were perhaps not incommoded with a devotion to their
State, their section, or to the "flag," but who realized that they could
get into power only by crushing the Democratic party, and knew that in
the event of Kentucky's going South, the Democratic party would dominate
in the State, these men saw in this policy of neutrality the means of
holding Kentucky quiet, until the Government could prepare and pour into
her midst an overwhelming force. They trusted, and as the sequel showed,
with reason, that they would be able to demoralize their opponents after
having once reduced them to inaction. The Kentuckians who wished that
their State should become a member of the Confederacy, but who saw no
immediate hope of it, consented to neutrality as the best arrangement
that they could make under the circumstances. They knew that if the
neutrality of Kentucky were respected--a vital portion of the
Confederacy, a border of four or five hundred miles would be safe from
attack and invasion--that the forces of the Confederacy could be
concentrated for the defense of the other and threatened lines, and that
individual Kentuckians could flock to the Southern army. They believed
that in such a condition of affairs, more men would leave Kentucky to
take part with the South than to enlist in the service of the

Some time in the early part of the summer, General S.B. Buckner,
commanding the Kentucky State-guard, had an interview with General Geo.
B. McClellan, who commanded a department embracing territory contiguous
to Kentucky--if, indeed, Kentucky was not included by the commission
given him in his department. General Buckner obtained, as he supposed, a
guarantee that the neutrality of Kentucky would be observed by the
military authorities of the United States. He communicated the result of
this interview to Governor Magoffin, and, immediately, it became a
matter of _official_ as well as popular belief that the neutrality of
Kentucky was safe for all time to come.

The dream, however, was a short one, and very soon afterward the Federal
Government commenced to recruit in Kentucky, to establish camps and
organize armed forces in the State.

"Camp Dick Robinson," some twenty-six miles from Lexington, was the
largest, first formed, and most noted of these establishments. For many
weeks the Kentuckians were in a high state of excitement about "Camp
Dick," as it was called. They used the name as if it were synonymous
with the Federal army, and spoke of the rumors that "Camp Dick" was to
be moved from point to point, as glibly as if the ground it occupied had
possessed the properties of the flying carpet of the fairy tale.

The Legislature, notwithstanding its high-sounding resolutions about
neutrality, stood this very quietly, although many citizens (Union men)
endeavored to have these camps broken up and the troops removed. Others,
again, professed to desire that the Federal troops should be removed,
but clandestinely advised President Lincoln to rather increase than
withdraw the forces, and offered their services to introduce into
Kentucky guns for the armament of the loyal Home-guards. These men were
of the class of "Educators." But the game required two to play it. On
the 4th of September, in anticipation of a Federal movement upon that
point, General Polk, of the Confederate army, occupied Columbus, in

In the midst of the excitement created by the information of the
occupation of Columbus, Governor Magoffin sent in the following message:

    "EX. DEP'T, FRANKFORT, _Sept. 9, 1861_.
    "_Gentlemen of the Senate and House of Representatives_:

    "I have received the following dispatches by telegraph from General
    Leonidas Polk, which I deem proper to lay before you,

    "B. MAGOFFIN."

[If any answer were needed to the outcries of those who so strongly
condemned his action, General Polk certainly furnished it. His first
dispatch was a simple intimation to Governor Magoffin of his presence
upon the soil of Kentucky, and of the authority by which he remained.]

    "COLUMBUS, KENTUCKY, _Sept. 9, 1861_.
    "_Governor B. Magoffin_:

    A military necessity having required me to occupy this town, I have
    taken possession of it by the forces under my command. The
    circumstances leading to this act we reported promptly to the President
    of the Confederate States. His reply was, the necessity justified the
    action. A copy of my proclamation I have the honor to transmit you by

    "LEONIDAS POLK, _Major-General Commanding_."

In a letter of the same date, inclosing his proclamation, General Polk
said, after explaining the cause of his delay in writing:

    "It will be sufficient to inform you, which my short address here will
    do, that I had information, on which I could rely, that the Federal
    forces intended, and were preparing, to seize Columbus. I need not
    describe the danger resulting to West Tennessee from such success, nor
    say that I could not permit the loss of so important a position, while
    holding the command intrusted to me by my government. In evidence of
    the information I possessed, I will state that as the Confederate
    forces occupied this place, the Federal troops were formed, in
    formidable numbers, in position upon the opposite bank, with their
    cannon turned upon Columbus. The citizens of the town had fled with
    terror, and not a word of assurance of safety or protection had been
    addressed to them."

General Polk concluded with this language:

    "I am prepared to say that I will agree to withdraw the Confederate
    troops from Kentucky, provided that she will agree that the troops of
    the Federal Government be withdrawn simultaneously; with a guarantee,
    which I will give reciprocally for the Confederate Government, that the
    Federals shall not be allowed to enter, or occupy any point of Kentucky
    in the future.

    "I have the honor to be
    "Your obedient servant, respectfully,
    "LEONIDAS POLK, _Major-Gen, Com._"

General Folk's proclamation was as follows:

    "COLUMBUS, _Sept. 14, 1861_.

    "The Federal Government having in defiance of the wishes of the people
    of Kentucky, disregarded their neutrality, by establishing camps and
    depots of arms, and by organizing military companies within their
    territory, and by constructing a military work, on the Missouri shore,
    immediately opposite, and commanding Columbus, evidently intended to
    cover the landing of troops for the seizure of the town, it has become
    a military necessity, worth the defense of the territory of the
    Confederate States, that the Confederate forces occupy Columbus in
    advance. The Major-General commanding has, therefore, not felt himself
    at liberty to risk the loss of so important a position, but has decided
    to occupy it. In pursuance of this decision, he has thrown a sufficient
    force into the town and ordered fortifying it. It is gratifying to know
    that the presence of his troops is acceptable to the people of
    Columbus, and on this occasion they assure them that every precaution
    will be taken to insure their quiet, the protection of their property,
    with their personal and corporate rights.


Dispatches, concerning the peculiar manner in which Kentucky observed
her neutrality and permitted it to be observed by her Federal friends,
began to pour in on the Governor about this time. He had already
received, on the 7th, a dispatch from Lieutenant Governor Reynolds, of
Missouri, on the subject. Governor Reynolds stated that, "The
Mississippi river below the mouth of the Ohio, is the property of
Kentucky and Missouri conjointly." He then alluded to the "presence of
United States gunboats in the river at Columbus, Kentucky, to protect
the forces engaged in fortifying the Missouri shore immediately
opposite." "This," he went on to say, "appears to me to be a clear
violation of the neutrality Kentucky proposes to observe in the present
war." And then again on the 14th came a dispatch from Knoxville,
Tennessee, as follows:

    "_To his Excellency B. Magoffin_:

    SIR: The safety of Tennessee requiring, I occupy the mountain passes at
    Cumberland, and the three long mountains in Kentucky. For weeks I have
    known that the Federal commander at Hoskin's Cross Roads was
    threatening the invasion of East Tennessee, and ruthlessly urging our
    own people to destroy their own road bridges. I postponed this
    precaution until the despotic Government at Washington, refusing to
    recognize the neutrality of Kentucky, has established formidable camps
    in the center and other parts of the State, with the view first to
    subjugate our gallant sister, then ourselves. Tennessee feels, and has
    ever felt, toward Kentucky as a twin sister; their people, are as our
    people in kindred, sympathy, valor, and patriotism; we have felt and
    still feel a religious respect for Kentucky's neutrality; we will
    respect it as along as our safety will permit. If the Federal forces
    will now withdraw from their menacing positions, the forces under my
    command shall be immediately withdrawn.

    Very respectfully,
    _Brigadier General Commanding_."

It would seem that each one of these communications put the case very
clearly, and that, Kentucky having permitted her neutrality to be
violated by the one side, after her emphatic and definite declaration
that it was meant to be good against both, could consistently take no
action, unless it should be such as Generals Polk and Zollicoffer
suggested, viz: to provide for a simultaneous withdrawal of both Federal
and Confederate forces. Certainly Kentucky meant that neither of the
combatants should occupy her soil--as has been shown, her declarations
upon that head were clear and vigorous. If she intended that troops of
the United States should come into her territory, for any purpose
whatever, while the Confederate forces should be excluded, it is
unnecessary to say that she selected in "neutrality" a word, which very
inaccurately and lamely expressed her meaning. The people of Kentucky
had long since--two months at least, a long time in such a period,
before this correspondence between their Governor and the Confederate
Generals--ceased to do anything but blindly look to certain leaders, and
blindly follow their dictation. The Southern men of the State, and their
peculiar leaders, were sullen and inert; the mass of the people were
bewildered, utterly incompetent to arrive at a decision, and were
implicitly led by the Legislature to which all the politicians, who
aspired to influence, now resorted. In view of the history of this
neutrality, of the professions made, only a few weeks previously, by the
same men who returned an answer from the Capital of Kentucky to the
propositions of the Confederate authorities that Kentucky should act
fairly, and not declare one policy and clandestinely pursue another--in
view of the facts which are fastened in the record--what sort of men
does that answer prove them to have been? This was the answer:

"_Resolved, By the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky that
his Excellency, Governor Magoffin, be, and he is hereby instructed to
inform those concerned, that Kentucky expects the Confederate or
Tennessee troops to be withdrawn from her soil unconditionally._"

This, after a pledge to their own people, and a proclamation to both
sections, of neutrality! After Federal troops, and Federal encampments
had been for weeks upon the soil of Kentucky, and in response to action
(which their own had invited) from men (to whom they had promised
assistance in just such a contingency as was then upon them), when they
resolved the previous January, that Governor Magoffin should inform the
Governors of New York, Maine and Massachusetts, that when Northern
troops should march to invade the South, "the people of Kentucky,
uniting with their brethren of the South, will as one man resist such
invasion of the soil of the South, at all hazards, and to the last
extremity!" The Committee on Federal Relations, to which was referred
the communications addressed to Governor Magoffin, exerted itself to
outdo the resolutions given above, and reported resolutions of which the
substance was, that as Kentucky had been invaded by the Confederate
forces, and the commanders of said forces had "insolently prescribed the
conditions upon which they will withdraw;" "that the invaders must be
expelled, _inasmuch as there are now in Kentucky Federal troops
assembled for the purpose of preserving the tranquillity of the State,
and of defending and preserving the people of Kentucky in the peaceful
enjoyment of their lives and property_." A candid confession, truly, and
one which it required nerve to make! Brave, honorable, consistent
men--fit to be the guardians of a people's honor! Declare neutrality,
and warn both combatants off the soil of their State! proclaim that
Kentucky can and will take care of herself, and then coolly resolve,
when the issue is made, "that as there are now Federal troops in
Kentucky, for the purpose," etc., that the mask shall be thrown off, and
deception no longer practiced. But the cup of shame was not yet full;
this unblushing Legislature passed yet other resolutions, to publish to
the world the duplicity and dissimulation which had characterized their
entire conduct. After going on to set forth the why and wherefore
Kentucky had assumed neutrality, it was resolved, "that when the General
Government occupies our soil for its defense, in pursuance of a
constitutional right, _it neither compromises our assumed neutrality_,
nor gives the right to the Confederate forces to invade our State on
the assumption that our neutrality has been violated, especially _when
they first set foot upon our soil_ upon the plea of military necessity."

"That when the General Government occupies our soil for its defense, it
neither compromises our assumed neutrality," etc. Well! it is useless to
attempt comment on this--"it is impossible to do the subject justice."
We rebels never contended that the Government was bound to respect
Kentucky's neutrality, if it had the right to coerce the seceded States.
We denied the constitutional right and power of coercion--but if the
Government had that power, we conceded that there was the same right and
reason to employ it against Kentucky's neutrality as against South
Carolina's secession. But for the neutrality-mongers to say this--were
they generously striving to fool themselves also? And, then, in hearing,
as they had been for weeks, of the morning and evening guns of "Camp
Dick Robinson," to speak of the Confederates having "_first set foot
upon our soil_." Is it an unfair construction of such conduct, to
suppose that the men guilty of it were, in part, time-servers, who had
striven all the while to get upon the strong and safe side, and believed
that they had succeeded, and, in part, politicians unscrupulous, if in
plan consistent, who had deliberately deceived the people of Kentucky,
and lulled them into a condition in which they would receive the
handcuffs, to be slipped upon them, without resistance?

But now that the men of purpose saw that it was no longer necessary to
conceal it, and the wavering had become satisfied which side it was safe
and politic to adopt, there was no more dallying.

The Legislature prepared to finally crush the State-guard and "an act to
enlarge the powers of the Military Board of this State," was passed. It
was enacted, "That the Military Board created at the last session of the
Legislature, are hereby authorized to order into the custody of said
Board any State arms which may have been given out under the act
creating said Board, or other law of the State, whenever said Board
shall deem it expedient to do so; said Board shall have like power over
the accouterments, camp equipage, equipments, and ammunition of the
State." Willful failure or refusal "to return any of said property for
forty-eight hours after the receipt of the order of the Board to that
effect," was made a high misdemeanor, and punishable by fine of not less
than one nor more than five thousand dollars, and imprisonment until the
fine was paid, and the arms or other property restored. The removal,
concealment, or disposal of any of the property, mentioned in the first
section of the act, was made felony and punishable by not less than one
nor more than two years in the penitentiary. A further resolution in the
spirit of the same kind of neutrality was approved September 23rd, "That
the Military Board be and they are hereby authorized to place any
portion of the arms, accouterments, equipments, camp equipage, baggage
trains, ammunition, and military stores of the State, not in use, under
the control of the commander of the Federal forces in Kentucky," etc.

Having once gotten on the right track (as they were compelled to believe
it, inasmuch as it was clearly the one which conducted to immediate
profit and safety) these gentlemen thought they could not go too fast.
"The people were educated to loyalty," now, and it was high time to
commence the punishment of those who had shown an inaptness to receive
the lessons, or a distaste for the method of instruction. The dignity of
Kentucky had been sacrificed by the avarice and cowardice of her own
sons, who sat in her councils--this is the way in which those
legislative-panders sought to assert it again. They passed an act
entitled "an act to prohibit and prevent rebellion by citizens of
Kentucky and others in this State." By this act it was provided that any
citizen of this State, who as a soldier or officer of the Confederate
army, should, as part of an armed force, enter the State to make war
upon it, should be punished by confinement in the penitentiary. "Making
war upon the State," doubtless meant any attack made upon the "Federal
soldiers assembled" (in the State) "for the purpose of preserving the
tranquillity of the State." And it was farther enacted that, "any person
who shall, within the limits of this State, persuade or induce any
person to enlist or take service in the army of the so-called
Confederate States, and the persons so persuaded or induced does enlist
or take service in the same, shall be deemed guilty of a high
misdemeanor and upon conviction, shall be fined in a sum not exceeding
one thousand dollars, and imprisonment not exceeding six months."
Whether, in passing this act, the Legislature of Kentucky was treating a
question involving belligerent rights, is a matter for lawyers to pass
upon; but that it was disgracing the State is patent. Such action might
have been proper and competent--against both belligerents--had Kentucky
adopted it as a measure necessary to the maintenance of her neutrality.
It would have been, at least, dignified, had she earnestly and
unequivocally declared, from the beginning, an adherence to the
Government, and a resolution to support its policy.

But under all the circumstances, and after the repeated declarations of
its authors that, to resist coercion, the very measures ought to be
taken (for the punishment of which this act was now passed), it is
difficult to stigmatize, with appropriate emphasis, such conduct.

The lapse of time has mitigated the hostility of the actual combatants,
but has only intensified the contempt, and deepened the distrust which
the people of Kentucky feel for these men.

The sincere Union men of Kentucky, and the men who sincerely sympathized
with the Southern movement and the Southern people, can mutually respect
each other. The Kentucky soldiers, who fought against each other in the
contending armies, can appreciate and admire the devotion to the chosen
cause, the gallantry which each displayed. But for the men who showed so
plainly by that they were attached to no cause and no principle, but
were ready to sell and barter each and all, who manifested all through
the struggle, that they were moved by the most groveling ambition,
influenced by the meanest thirst for self-aggrandisement--for them there
is no forgiveness.

All Kentucky has suffered from their duplicity, cowardice and heartless
avarice of gold and power--now they have neither, and none regret it.

But, happily, the past political differences, and the animosity
engendered by the long, bitter strife, are fast being forgotten by the
Kentuckians who confronted each other under hostile banners. The sons of
the same Mother Commonwealth (who in all sincerity gave their blood for
her interests, safety and honor, as each believed they could be best
conserved), are no longer antagonists--and, at no distant day, may find
the respect they have felt for each other as foes, replaced by the
cordial friendship and alliance, which the same blood and the same views
should induce. May Kentucky have learned from her lesson in the past few
years, and may she remember, that safety is never best consulted by
giving heed to the suggestions of timidity, that the manliest and most
consistent course, is also the most truly expedient, and that the
interest and honor of a people go hand-in-hand, and are inseparable.


When General Albert Sidney Johnson came to the command of the great
Western Department, he found but a few thousand troops at his disposal
to defend a territory of immense extent, and vulnerable at a hundred

At that time the Trans-Mississippi Confederate States were included in
the same Department with the States of Tennessee, Alabama, and
Mississippi. Missouri on the Western side of the Mississippi, and
Kentucky on the Eastern--respectively the Northernmost of the Western
and Middle Slaveholding States--were debatable ground, and were already
occupied, the former by both, the latter by one of the contending

General Johnson assumed command about the latter part of August, or
first of September, 1861, and at once commenced his vast labor with a
vigor and wisdom which were neither appreciated by his countrymen, nor
were fruitful of happy results until after his glorious death. Missouri
had become the theater of military operations some months previously.
The people had partially responded to the proclamation of Governor
Jackson, issued June 12, 1861, which called on them to resist the
military authorities appointed in the State by President Lincoln.

Smarting under a sense of the aggressions and the insolence of these
officials, believing that they were the victims of intolerable injustice
and flagrant faithlessness, the Missouri rebels were eager to take the
field, and irregular organizations, partisan, and "State-guard" were
formed in various sections of the State. Several skirmishes, the most
important of which were "Booneville" and "Carthage," occurred between
these organizations and the Federal troops, before any troops regularly
in the Confederate service were sent into the State. After winning the
battle of "Carthage," and forcing Siegel to retreat until he affected a
junction with Lyon, General Price was compelled, in his turn, to retreat
before the then concentrated Federal army of Missouri.

On the 7th of August, Generals Price and McCullough, commanding
respectively such portions of the Missouri State-guard as could be
concentrated at that time, and the Confederate troops destined for
service in the extreme West, making an aggregate, between them, of some
six thousand effective men, established themselves in the vicinity of
Springfield, a small town in Southwestern Missouri, confronting the
Federal army which had pushed on to that point in pursuit of Price. On
the 9th of August, the battle, called by the one side "Oak Hill," and by
the other "Wilson's Creek," was fought. The Federal army made the
attack, was repulsed and routed (with the exception of that portion of
it commanded by Sturges, or protected by him in the retreat), and its
commander, General Lyon, was killed. This victory laid open, and placed
completely at the disposal of the Rebel commanders, the southwestern and
middle portions of the State. Unhappily Generals Price and McCullough
differed totally in opinion regarding the proper policy to be pursued
after the battle, and the result of their disagreement was a separation
of their forces. Price pushed forward into the interior of Missouri,
where he believed that the fruits of the Victory just gained were to be
gleaned. McCullough remained upon the Arkansas border. The campaign
which General Price then made is well known. He captured Lexington,
taking a large number of prisoners, and, what was much more valuable to
him, a considerable quantity of military stores, many stand of small
arms, and some artillery. He placed himself in a position to enable the
scattered detachments of his State-guard to join him, and, encouraging
the people, friendly to the South, by his bold advance into the heart of
the State immediately after they had received the news of the victory he
had helped to win, he obtained recruits and abundant supplies. He was
subsequently compelled to retreat before a vastly superior force, but
not until, taking into consideration the means at his disposal, he had
accomplished wonders. Not only were his men perfectly raw, upon their
first campaign, but no attempt was made to train or form them. Method,
administration, discipline, drill, were utterly unknown in his camps;
the officers knew only how to set a gallant example to their men; the
men were rendered almost invincible by their native courage and the
devotion they felt to their chief and their cause. Upon this campaign
General Price exhibited, perhaps, more strikingly than ever afterward,
his two great qualities as a commander--the faculty of acquiring the
affection and implicit confidence of his men, and his own gallant and
perfect reliance upon them. Without presuming to reflect upon General
McCullough, who was a brave, honest, and zealous officer, it may be
safely assumed that had Price, at this period, been backed by the force
which McCullough commanded (much superior in equipment and organization
to his own), he could have effected results which, in all probability,
would have stamped a very different character upon the subsequent
conduct of the war in the Trans-Mississippi States. The consequence of
another such victory as that of "Oak Hill" gained in the heart of the
State, as by their combined forces might very readily have been done, at
the time when Price was forced to retreat, would have been of
incalculable value to the Confederacy. But the fate, which throughout
the contest, rendered Southern prowess unavailing, had already commenced
to rule. At the date of the battle of "Oak Hill," General Hardee was
advancing through Southeastern Missouri with about thirty-five hundred
effective men.

His base was the little village of Pocahontas, situated, nearly upon the
Missouri and Arkansas border, and at the head of navigation upon the Big
Black river. Here General Hardee had collected all the Arkansas troops
which were available for service upon that line, amounting to perhaps
six or seven thousand men. Various causes contributed to reduce his
effective total to about one half of that number. All of the troops were
indifferently armed, some were entirely unarmed. The sickness always
incidental to a first experience of camp life, in the infantry, had
prostrated hundreds. Change of diet and of habits, and the monotony of
the camp are sufficient of themselves, and rarely fail to induce
diseases among raw troops, but a scourge broke out among the troops
collected at Pocahontas which confounded all, at least of the
non-medical observers. This was nothing more than measles, but in an
intensely aggravated and very dangerous form. It was hard to believe
that there was such a proportion of adult men who had escaped a malady
generally thought one of the affections of childhood. It was so
virulent, at the time and place of which I write, and in so many
instances fatal, that many confidently believed it to be a different
disease from the ordinary measles, although the Surgeons pronounced it
the same. It was called "black measles," and was certainly a most
malignant type of the disease. I have been since informed that it raged
with equal fury and with the same characteristics among the volunteers
just called into the field in many other localities. Its victims at
Pocahontas were counted by the scores.

As the Big Black river is navigable for small craft at all seasons,
General Hardee had no difficulty in supplying the troops stationed at
Pocahontas, but after leaving that point he was compelled to depend for
supplies upon wheel transportation, with which he was very indifferently
provided, and upon the country, which was sterile and sparsely settled.

The only line of advance from Pocahontas which gave promise of important
results, or which, indeed, was practicable, was by Greenville, distant
some fifty-five or sixty miles from Pocahontas, and Frederickton, to
Ironton, and thence along the Iron Mountain Railroad by the most
practicable roads to St. Louis. The country between Pocahontas and
Ironton is rugged and heavily wooded. It is penetrated by few roads,
and, in 1861, by no means abounded in supplies. General Hardee advanced
as far as Greenville, and threatened Ironton.

This latter place, the terminus of the Iron Mountain Railroad, is
ninety-seven miles from St. Louis. It is a place of great natural
strength, and was already, at the time that Hardee advanced toward it,
partially fortified. General Hardee expected when he moved from
Pocahontas to effect a junction with General Pillow at Frederickton, a
small town to the east of north of Greenville, twenty miles from Ironton
and on the line between that place and New Madrid. Pillow's force was
six or eight thousand strong, and the best armed and accoutered of all
the western Confederate commands.

General Pillow could very easily have reached Frederickton from New
Madrid, as soon as Hardee could have gotten to the former place from
Pocahontas, had there been a timely and definite understanding between
them to that effect. And the united strength of the two Generals, with
the addition of some two thousand of the State-guard, which were at hand
under General Jeff. Thompson (as well armed and better organized than
those which had already done such excellent service under Price), would
have enabled them, most probably, to take Ironton. At any rate, by
flanking and threatening to get between that place and St. Louis, they
would certainly have compelled its evacuation, and then, either
defeating the garrison in the open field, or driving it back in disorder
and demoralization upon St. Louis, they would have become masters of the
situation. They would have cut off and destroyed the defeated and routed
army of Lyon, then in full flight for St. Louis.

General Price would have gladly embraced the opportunity of uniting with
them--the whole State would have risen to join them. It is almost
certain, when the number and condition of the Federal troops then in
Missouri are taken into consideration, and the facts that but few troops
were available from the neighboring States for the defense of St. Louis,
and that the city was not fortified--it is almost positively certain,
that St. Louis would have fallen into their hands, and that the entire
State of Missouri, at least all South of the Missouri river, would have
passed securely into their possession. At all events, General Hardee was
extremely desirous of attempting just such a campaign.

It was deemed, however, more important, at that time, to occupy and
fortify Columbus, in Kentucky, situated on the Mississippi river, some
twenty-two miles below the mouth of the Ohio. This measure, it was
thought, would protect the States lying along the Mississippi from
invasion, by enabling the Confederates to hold the river, as it was by
the river, only, that those States could be conveniently reached.
General Pillow's forces were consequently ordered to that point. Finding
that his plans were rendered impossible of execution, on account of the
want of General Pillow's co-operation, Hardee returned to Pocahontas,
and was shortly afterward transferred, with the greater portion of the
troops under his command, to the eastern side of the river, and was
ordered to Bowlinggreen as soon as that place was occupied. Up to the
date of General Johnston's taking command, the chief difficulty in the
way of action and decisive operations in the West (independently of the
inferior number and miserable equipment of the troops) was the lack of
uniformity and concert in the plans and operations of the various
commanders. There was no one in supreme military control from whom the
subordinate Generals could receive definite instructions, and orders
which they felt obliged to obey. While an immense extent of country was
included in one Department, and theoretically under one chief, yet
practically every officer, no matter what was the strength or nature of
his command, who happened not to be troubled with a senior immediately
at his elbow, planned and acted for himself and with a perfect
indifference to the operations of every one else. The President and
Secretary of War were too distant to do any good, if such interference
ever does any good, and a ruling mind was needed at the theater of
events. It is true that General Polk, whose headquarters were at
Memphis, was senior to the others, he being a Major-General, and all the
rest but Brigadiers, and he was ostensibly in chief command and directed
to a certain extent, the movements of all.

But, whether it was that, in a period when nothing was fairly organized,
his authority was not clearly defined, or that he felt some hesitation
in vigorously exercising it, it is certain that each of the Generals,
who have been here mentioned, acted as if he knew himself to be, to all
intents and purposes, in independent command.

This evil was completely remedied by the appointment to the chief
command in the West of General Johnson, and the prompt and decided
measures which he instituted. General Johnson's whole life had been one
of the most thorough military training, and no officer of his years in
the old army of the United States had seen more service; but more than
that, he was a soldier by instinct, and Nature had intended him for
military command.

He felt the full importance of careful preparation, and the
establishment by order and system in every branch and department of the
service. No martinet of the schools was ever more alive to the necessity
of rigid method and exact discipline, for he knew that without their
inauguration and strict observance, it would be impossible to even
partially discharge the duties of his vast commission. But he also saw
clearly the vital necessity of maintaining in tact the spirit which
animated the men of his army, and which had summoned them into the
field. He knew that to impair the ardor which had induced them to become
soldiers was to destroy their morale; that to attempt to make them
machines would result in making them worthless.

Although the troops at his disposal seriously needed instruction and
more perfect organization, he did not waste precious moments in seeking
to impart them then. He did not permit the high spirit of his gallant
army to sink into lethargy, nor the interest which the people felt in
the conduct of military affairs to abate by remaining inactive, and in
a position which would reduce him, under all circumstances, to the
defensive. A concentration of his forces any where upon the Tennessee
border would not only have placed him at great strategic disadvantage,
but would have been instantly accepted by the soldiery and the people as
a signal of his intention to await the pleasure and movements of his
adversary. Almost immediately after his arrival at Nashville, the troops
which had collected at Camp Boone, the rendezvous of the Kentucky
regiments, and the Tennessee troops which were available, were pushed
into Kentucky. Kentucky's neutrality, for a time recognized
provisionally, and so far as a discreet silence upon the subject
amounted to recognition by the Federal Government, had already been
exploded. The Government of the United States, having made the necessary
preparations, was not disposed to abandon a line of invasion which led
right to the vitals of the Confederacy, and promised a successful
reduction of the rebellion in at least three of the seceded States,
because of the partially rebellious attitude assumed by Kentucky.

Camp Dick Robinson had been organized and put into successful operation
in July. General Anderson took command at Louisville on the 20th of
September. The other portions of the state were occupied, and definite
lines were established by the opposing forces, nearly about the same
time. General Johnson advanced as far as Green river, making it his line
of defense for his center, while his right rested on the Cumberland and
the rugged ranges of its hills. His line might be said to extend from
Columbus through Hopkinsville, Munfordsville and Somerset to the
Virginia border somewhere in the vicinity of Pound Gap. The Federal
forces were pushed down, almost simultaneously with General Johnson's
advance to Green river, to Elizabethtown, and in a few days afterward to
Nolin creek. Their line may be described as running almost directly from
Paducah in the West, to Prestonburg in the East. This line gave them
possession of the mouths of the Tennessee, Cumberland and Green
rivers, of the Blue grass region, and of a greater share of the central
and eastern portions of the State.

[Illustration: MAP SHOWING THE Military Situation IN Kentucky and
Tennessee, 1861]

A single glance at the map will show the importance of Bowlinggreen as a
strategic point. It will be seen that it is admirably adapted for a base
of operations, offensive or defensive, in such a campaign as General
Johnson was about to inaugurate at the time of its occupation. Situated
upon the bank of the Barren river, it has that river and the Green river
to protect it against attack from the front. The Barren river empties
into the Green some twenty miles from and northwest of Bowlinggreen, and
the Green flowing in a northwesterly direction, affords an admirable
line of defense for many miles to the left. There are few fords and
ferries of Green river after its junction with the Barren, and those
which it has can be easily held. The danger of attack from the extreme
left flank was guarded against, but as the result showed imperfectly, by
Forts Henry and Donelson constructed respectively upon the Tennessee and
Cumberland rivers. The one just upon, the other about ten miles from,
the Kentucky and Tennessee border. As there was little danger to be
apprehended in that direction, except from forces brought up those
rivers and established in the rear of Bowlinggreen, these forts, whose
strength was overrated, were thought to sufficiently protect that flank.
The Cumberland river rising, in the mountains of Southeastern Kentucky,
flows nearly due East and West and upon the same parallel of latitude on
which Bowlinggreen is situated, until within sixty or seventy miles of
that place, when it inclines to the Southwest. The Green river affords a
line extending eastward, and defensible, beyond the point where the
Cumberland begins to bend to the Southwest. At this point the two rivers
are about thirty miles apart. The country throughout this section of the
State is broken but accessible to the march of large bodies of troops.
It is apparent, however, that an army, with Bowlinggreen for its base,
unless immensely outnumbered, would have it in its power to take
advantage of an opponent advancing upon Bowlinggreen by that route.
Even if pressed in front, it could hold the river with detachments until
with the bulk of its strength it struck the enemy coming from the East.

The line of march of the latter would render its communications, and
concert of action with its friends, very difficult, and liable at any
time to be entirely destroyed; while the General upon the defensive, if
vigilant and active, could know the movements of both advancing columns,
and attack either, with the mass of his army, when he pleased. Moreover,
in the disposition of the Confederate forces, General Zollicoffer with
some two or three thousand men, was stationed at Monticello, about
ninety-five miles from Bowlinggreen, and a little to the south of east.
Monticello is twenty-one miles from the Cumberland; all the neighboring
fords were in Zollicoffer's possession, and his scouts explored the
country for some distance beyond the river. It is plain that any hostile
force moving upon Bowlinggreen by this eastern flank would have exposed
itself to attack by Zollicoffer.

An army strong enough to hold all the approaches to Bowlinggreen might
rest in perfect security regarding its communications. There is the
railroad from Bowlinggreen to Clarksville, running through many
important points, and affording communication with every thing upon that
flank. Excellent roads run from Bowlinggreen to Monticello upon the
south side of the Barren, affording secure communication with the right.
Were both of these lines interrupted, there would remain means of
certain and speedy communication with both flanks, in the railroad and
turnpike running from Bowlinggreen to Nashville, the turnpike from
Glasgow to Nashville, and the Cumberland river navigable to Fort
Donelson on the one side and Burkesville on the other.

The country thus commanded is fertile, and almost exhaustless of
supplies. The railroad from Bowlinggreen to Louisville, and the two
turnpikes, respectively, from Bowlinggreen and from Glasgow to
Louisville, and with which good roads running in every direction are
connected, afford admirable facilities for offensive operations. These
two turnpikes cross Green river within eight miles of each other, but an
army, once on the north side of the river, and in possession of both
roads, could march with perfect ease in any direction. It will scarcely
be denied that if General Johnson had done nothing else to establish his
high reputation as a strategist, his selection of this line would be
enough to sustain it. In this advance into Kentucky, the Kentucky
regiments under Buckner, about thirteen hundred strong in all, took the
lead; the 2nd Kentucky infantry under Colonel Roger W. Hanson, to which
were temporarily attached Byrne's battery of four pieces, and one
company of Tennessee cavalry, was pushed on to Munfordsville on Green
river. The rest of the Kentuckians and two or three thousand
Tennesseeans (and some odds and ends) were stopped at Bowlinggreen.

All the cavalry which were available for that purpose, were sent to
scout the country between the Cumberland and Green rivers, and
subsequently Forrest's regiment was stationed at Hopkinsville, watching
the country in that vicinity. Shortly after he was sent there, Forrest
attacked and defeated at Sacramento, a little village not far from
Hopkinsville, a regiment of Federal cavalry. This was the first cavalry
fight in the west, and the Federals were completely routed.

Zollicoffer was sent to take position at Monticello, as has been
described before, at or nearly about the same time of the advance to
Bowlinggreen. Thus, it will be seen, that all the important points of
the line were almost simultaneously occupied.

Columbus was occupied by General Polk, as has been stated, on the 4th,
some days earlier.

It was generally believed that General Buckner, who, as has been already
stated, led the van, would have had no difficulty in capturing
Louisville had he pressed on. Very little doubt was entertained, then,
of the adequacy of his command, small as it was, to have taken the
place, and, I presume, no one doubts it now. An impression prevailed
that General Buckner was strongly in favor of continuing his advance to
Louisville, and that he urgently solicited permission to do so. But
whether it was suggested or not, it found no favor with General Johnson.
A plan to take and hold Louisville, without any provision for the
occupation of other portions of Kentucky up to the Ohio river, would
have been, to say the least, a very rash one, and at that time captures
with a view only to temporary occupation were not in fashion. To hold
the State, an army would have been required numerous enough to furnish
strong garrisons for Paducah and Smithland, at the mouths of the
Tennessee and Cumberland rivers, for the protection of the mouth of
Green river for Carrollton, at the mouth of Kentucky river, for
Louisville, Covington, and other points farther eastward. General
Johnson could not have held Kentucky two months after he had occupied
her northern territory (if he had taken possession of it) with the
forces which he had at his disposal. He would either have had to
establish the garrisons, which have been indicated, and provide the
supporting force, or he would have been compelled to adopt another plan,
perhaps more advisable, viz: to have organized three separate corps, one
for the western, one for the middle, and the third for the eastern
portion of the State, each charged with the defense of a certain length
of river line, and so disposed as to be readily concentrated, at short
notice, at any point upon it.

To properly carry into effect either plan, many more troops would have
been required than General Johnson had--it would have been folly to have
attempted either with his handful of men.

Another line in advance of that of the Green river, might have been
taken, which would have secured additional and very valuable territory.
General Johnson might have established one half of his army at
Muldraugh's Hill, thirty miles from Louisville, and upon the Louisville
and Nashville railroad, and the other half in the country about
Lexington and Frankfort, and have thus obtained possession of the
greater part of central Kentucky, and the Blue-grass region. The country
between the point indicated upon the Louisville and Nashville railroad,
and Frankfort, and also in front of the line thus drawn, is extremely
rugged and difficult of access The hills of Salt river, the Benson and
Chaplin Hills, and those of the Kentucky, present a barrier not easily
forced. Directly in front, too, of Frankfort and Lexington, at a
distance of from twenty to forty miles stretches a belt of broken and
defensible ground from the Kentucky to the main fork of the Licking
river, and on to the eastward.

A thorough tearing-up of the Louisville and Nashville railroad, which
would deprive the enemy of the use of the Bardstown and Lebanon
junctions, and the destruction of the Lexington and Louisville, and
Lexington and Covington railroads, would have rendered this line secure
against any attack from the front, while the excellent roads traversing
the region lying just south of it, would have made communication easy
between the salient positions. But the left flank and the main line of
retreat and of communication with Nashville, would have been constantly
and dangerously exposed.

These were all matters for a military chief to study; but far above all
mere strategic considerations, was the moral effect of these movements,
and that, it is certain, had been profoundly pondered by General
Johnson. The idea of an advance to the Ohio, of occupying the entire
slaveholding territory east of the Mississippi, of subsidizing all of
its resources, of arousing and recruiting from its whole population, was
very fascinating then, and opens a wide field for speculation now. But
then there was the reverse of the picture to be considered. The
unsettled, bewildered condition of the Kentucky mind, has already been
described. There were many who confidently predicted that the
Kentuckians would flock to the Confederate standard as soon as it waved
upon the banks of the Ohio, and innumerable bitter objurgations were
launched against them, because so few resorted to it when it was planted
upon the bluffs of Green river.

The patriotism which inspired, alike, the prophesies and the curses,
can not be called in question. But Albert Sidney Johnson, while he felt
the enthusiasm which was the concomitant of his perfect courage and high
military genius, had trained himself to coolly examine, and carefully
calculate every influence which could affect his plans. He had studied,
and, I believe, he rightly estimated the popular feeling.

Revolutions may be inaugurated and accomplished by the unsworn, unarmed,
unorganized masses; wars, once fairly commenced, must be won by
soldiers. An entire population is frequently ripe for revolution, only a
portion of it is available for, and will enlist for, war. Even had the
most favorable accounts of the unanimity of the people of Kentucky, and
their devotion to the Southern cause, reached General Johnson from
credible sources, he would have been justified in still doubting that he
would derive immediate benefit from it. There are no braver men than the
Tennesseeans, they were then practically unanimous, except in the
eastern portion of the State, they were very ardent, and yet the
Tennesseeans took their time in flocking to the Confederate standard.

The gallantry and patriotism of the Mississippians are as bright as the
light of day; and yet, in September, 1861, thousands of young
Mississippians who afterward bled for the cause, were at home dealing
out fiery denunciations against slaveholding States which would not
secede. The same history is true of every other seceding State--States,
unlike Kentucky, already embarked in and committed to the war. It was
not because the men of these States lacked purpose--throngs of them who
stayed at home until the news of our first disasters came, then
enlisted, and fought and died with the quenchless valor which had
descended to them from unconquered sires, and was traditional in a race
which had believed itself invincible. It was because they knew little of
war at all, and were utterly ignorant of the kind of war that was
coming. The mighty conviction had not yet forced itself upon them. It is
true that the Confederate Government had refused regiments raised and
tendered by these States some time previously. Unable to arm them, it
dismissed them, instead of placing them in camps of instruction until
arms could be procured.

If, among the many errors which have been attributed to the great
patriot, hero and statesman who was at the head of that Government,
there was one really grave and fatal in its consequences, it was that he
himself failed to appreciate the danger, failed to comprehend the
magnitude of the struggle when it began, and failed therefore to arouse
his people to an early and tremendous exertion, which might have
triumphed. The absolute confidence of the Government blinded the people,
and its policy tended rather to quiet, than to excite their enthusiasm.
But whatever may have been the causes, it was for General Johnson to
consider the effect. If, after the war had lasted four months, his
immense department, composed of seceded States, could furnish him only
six thousand troops, when he advanced to Bowlinggreen, with what show of
reason could he count on obtaining from Kentucky--Kentucky that had not
yet seceded, that was divided, distracted by conflicting opinions--the
vast concourse of recruits, which so many professed to expect her to
furnish, and which she was so indignantly denounced for not furnishing?

Could General Johnson have occupied Northern Kentucky without
opposition, and have held it undisturbed for some months, it is highly
probable that all dissensions would have been allayed, that the
revolutionary fever would have spread through Kentucky (perhaps it might
even have been propagated north of the Ohio), and thousands of
Kentuckians would have joined the Confederate army, many of whom were
subsequently its most formidable foes. But it must be remembered that
the Federal Government had not been idle, that the North was on fire
with the war spirit, that a host of sturdy volunteers had been gathered
and organized for the special purpose of holding Kentucky, that, with
the abundant means at its command, the Federal Government had already
efficiently armed its soldiers, and provided all that was necessary for
active and immediate service.

In forty-eight hours after Louisville had fallen, certainly before he
could have brought up the forces to dispute its entrance at any point,
an army from the North, vastly stronger than General Johnson's, could
have been thrown into Kentucky. Could General Johnson have defeated this
army? If defeated himself in such a situation, what would have been the
consequences, not only to his hopes of revolutionizing Kentucky, not
only to the army immediately under his command, but to the Confederate
cause in the West? Would he, then, have been warranted in risking so
much upon this throw? If General Johnson had been constrained to fight
at once, and had been driven back, he would have sustained a disaster,
perhaps fatal. The effect it would have had in Kentucky can easily be
understood, and it would have had some and not a very cheering effect in
more Southern latitudes. The patriotism and integrity of the mass of the
people is undeniable, but for all that, "there is a great deal of human
nature in man." Success is the most eloquent of arguments. He who
appeals to the suffrages of an enlightened community after a victory
will be better received then he who canvasses after a defeat. Again (it
is a truth that will bear repetition) in revolutions, popular
convulsions, political agitations--a method may be safely attempted
which will be hazardous and of doubtful policy after actual war has
commenced. In the former periods, enthusiasm runs higher, patriotism is
more reckless and demonstrative than when the bayonets are about. The
danger then is distant, and with the majority of men, when a general
excitement is prevailing, the remote danger excites no fear. Many a
patriot is willing to be Brigadier General of the peaceful militia, and
to devote himself to a cause, from the stump, who would feel a strong
and very natural reluctance to leave home, wife, children and property,
to accept the hardships of a soldier's life, and be shot at whenever his
officers feel enterprising.

If the sentiment of the people be not unanimous and very decided, the
secret of success in revolutions is to captivate the popular fancy, give
the first direction to the popular current. It is a struggle between the
leaders, and the most audacious, not to say the least scrupulous, are
apt to win.

It is unsafe, in such periods, to rely surely upon any sort of action
from the people--it would be the mistake of supposing that every man,
unshaken by any influence, had made up his mind, and knew what he was
going to do, and that the majority by some instinct, would be
immediately obeyed. A brave, honest, intelligent people will be likely,
once convinced and committed, to abide gallantly by their decision. If
their education has been wholesome, and their traditions unique, they
will be stimulated by ordinary perils and disasters to increased energy
and exertions.

But whether the revolutionary fermentation be in process, or the stand
has been taken--it is easier to induce the masses of a people to vote
for resolutions than to become soldiers.

It doubtless would have proven a successful policy, to have pushed
Buckner instantly to Louisville, and Zollicoffer to Lexington, to stay
as long as they were safe, and return with the recruits and the supplies
that they could have collected, leaving behind them the positive
assurance that the country was not inaccessible to Confederate troops.
But to have taken the army into Northern Kentucky, upon the supposition
that the unarmed population would arise and enable it to remain
there--in the face of the threatening dangers and the almost positive
certainty of instant battle--would have been a blind, unreasoning
daring, which had no place among the qualities of General Johnson. The
wisdom and prescience of the great commander were afterward so
abundantly demonstrated, that we may be pardoned for believing his
judgment right in this instance also.

In establishing his base at Bowlinggreen, he secured, as has been shown,
a line well adapted to enable him to assume the offensive so soon as his
army was sufficiently strong to do so with effect. The very fact of his
moving into Kentucky at all was a pledge and guarantee to the people of
his department, that, if sustained by them, he would keep the war out of
their territory, and encouraged his army to hope for an active, dashing
campaign. He placed himself where the more enterprising and determined
of the Kentucky rebels could join him, and he spared no effort, no
appeal, which could stimulate enlistment in his army among the young men
of Kentucky, or of the States of his department.

That his appeals were neglected was not only his, but the Confederacy's
deadly misfortune. Numerical weakness frustrated in September 1861, his
plan to appear before the people, not only of Northern Kentucky, but of
the Northwestern States, as the victor of a decisive battle, and, in the
following February, forced him to retreat from Kentucky altogether. The
first and most golden opportunity was lost; and the future history of
the war in the West, was a series of terrible reverses to the
Confederate arms, or of victories brilliant indeed, but, in the end,

The condition of the Confederate troops was far better, in many
respects, at this time, than at any subsequent period of the war.

There were, then, facilities and means for providing them with
necessaries and comforts which more latterly did not exist. Provisions
were abundant everywhere, and were regularly supplied.

The railroads, which were then, all in good repair and well provided
with rolling stock, afforded sure means of supplying the troops which
were stationed in those parts of the country through which they ran. The
numerous navigable streams also afforded facilities, and practically
shortened the routes of supply.

In all cases, however, in which neither the railways nor the rivers
could be used to supply them, troops were compelled to depend for
subsistence, in a great measure, upon the country immediately about
their cantonments, and as they exhausted the surplus provisions in
different neighborhoods, they would shift their encampments. This was
owing to the great lack of wheel transportation. It was very difficult
to procure wagons, except by purchase or impressment from the citizens,
and those so gotten were of course inferior. Much less inconvenience was
subsequently experienced on this score, after they began to be
manufactured in the Confederate and were captured in great numbers from
the enemy. At this time, many articles such as sugar, coffee, etc.,
indispensable to the comfort and conducive to the health of troops in
the field, were plentifully furnished--after the first year of the war
they were known among us only by camp-fire traditions. The men rarely
suffered, then, from the want of clothing, blankets, shoes, etc., even
when the quartermasters could not furnish them, for they could obtain
them from home, or purchase them, wherever they happened to be
quartered, at reasonable prices. There was, perhaps, no regiment in the
army which had not its full complement of tents; they were manufactured
at Memphis, and other points, in numbers adequate to the wants of all
the troops.

Cooking utensils, also, could be had in abundance--the marching commands
suffered, not from the want of them, but from the lack of transportation
for them. It is true that those which were furnished us were not of the
kind and pattern which experience has prescribed as most fitting for
military use, but they were capital substitutes for flat stones and
forked twigs.

In the medical department there was an almost total lack of the
necessary material. The supply of medicines in the South at the outbreak
of the war was barely sufficient for the wants of the population at that
time. Some medicines were run through the blockade from the North, in
small quantities, during the spring and summer of 1861. But the supply
thus obtained by no means met the demand. The volunteers collected
together in camps and crowded cantonments, subjected to a sudden change
of diet and mode of living, sickened in great numbers. Diseases which
had never before, or but in rare instances, proven dangerous, now
assumed alarming types. The systems of the patients may have been
relaxed and their vitality partially impaired, during the early period
of camp life, when they were just foregoing their old habits and were
not yet hardened to the new, or it may be that when men are congregated
in great numbers, certain diseases, by transmission from one to another,
may be cultivated into extraordinary malignancy--at any rate a large
proportion of the inmates of every camp sickened and many died. At
Bowlinggreen in the winter of 1861 and 1862, the mortality was dreadful,
measles, typhoid fever, pneumonia and diseases of the bowels, carried
off a host of victims--every sickness, however, seemed fatal at that

There was, consequently, a great and constantly increasing need of
medicines; and, perhaps, some waste of them, when they were collected in
large quantities and shipped from point to point, was unavoidable. But
all these problems, all the difficulties of properly supplying the army,
began to be solved and modified, as the genius of adaptation and
substitution was developed among the troops themselves. If a man could
not get a blanket, he made an old carpet, cut to the proper size and
lined on one side with a piece of strong cotton cloth, serve him
instead. The soldier who lacked shoes bid defiance to the rough roads,
or the weather, in a pair of ox-hide buskins, or with complicated
wrappings of rags about his feet. I have known more than one orderly
sergeant make out his morning report upon a shingle, and the surgeon who
lacked a tourniquet used a twisted handkerchief. Of the most necessary
military material, arms and ordnance stores, there was the greatest
scarcity. Perhaps one half of the entire western army (of all the troops
in the department) were armed (at the time that General Johnson came)
with shot-guns and squirrel rifles, and the majority of the other half
with scarcely as serviceable flint-lock muskets.

The troops under General Bragg at Pensacola were perhaps better armed,
but the rule held good with regard to the others. A few companies
composed of young men from the cities, and of rich planters, were armed
with fancy guns, Maynard rifles, etc., altogether unsuitable for the
armament of infantry. In September of 1861, there were probably not one
thousand Springfield and Enfield rifles in the army which General
Johnson was trying to concentrate in Kentucky, and it was several months
later before these unequaled weapons (the right arms for soldiers who
mean to fight) could be supplied in numbers at all adequate to the need
of them. In the advance to Bowlinggreen, more than three hundred
able-bodied men of the Second Kentucky, and an equal, if not greater
number of the Third Kentucky were left in the rear because arms could
not be gotten for them. In November one or two regiments of the Kentucky
brigade were given the Belgian in place of the flint-lock musket, and in
December flint-lock guns, altered to percussion locks, were given the
other regiments of the brigade. Proper accouterments were as scarce as
guns. Cartridge-boxes, knapsacks, canteens, when they could be gotten at
all, were very inferior. By great industry and effort, a considerable
quantity of ammunition had been prepared and worked up into cartridges,
but there was such a scarcity of lead and powder in the South, and such
inferior facilities for the manufacture of the latter, that apprehension
was felt lest, when the supply on hand was exhausted, it could not be

There was scarcely a percussion cap to be had (in the early part of the
war) in the department, with the exception of some that were
manufactured by an enterprising citizen of Nashville, and zealous
Confederate, Mr. S.D. Morgan, an uncle of the General. But while so few
of the Confederate soldiers were efficiently armed, almost every man of
them, presuming that the Yankees were to be whipped in rough and tumble
style, had his bowie-knife and revolver. The Arkansas and Texas troops,
especially, carried enormous knives, that might have made a Malay's
blood run cold, but in the end those huge weapons did duty far oftener
as cleavers than as bayonets. The organization of the troops first put
in the field was, of course, to some extent, imperfect. A good deal has
been said about the evils of the system of electing officers, and much
just censure has been passed upon it. It has been claimed that it gives
rise to a laxity of discipline, and a disposition on the part of
officers, who owe their positions to the suffrages of the men they
command, to wink at irregularities and pardon gross neglect of duty.

This is undoubtedly true, in a great measure, and what is stranger, but
equally as true, is the fact that troops which have been longest in the
service, which know best what qualities are necessary to constitute a
good officer, which appreciate perfectly the necessity of having good
officers, not only to their efficiency and success in the field, but to
their well-being at all times--just such troops seem least able to
resist the temptation of electing some good-natured fellow, whom they
will never respect, and will, perhaps, grow ashamed of, rather than men
who will enforce their obedience, but promote alike their efficiency and
their comfort. At all times they will look to and rely upon the good
officer, but when they come to elect, the love of doing as they please,
unchecked by the irksome restraints of discipline, is apt to make them
vote for the man who will indulge them. But I believe that all those who
observed these matters carefully will agree, that there was far less of
this sort of feeling among the men who volunteered at the outbreak of
the war than there was later.

The officers elected by the regiments first raised were, generally,
about the best men that could have been selected. The men, at that time,
in good faith, chose those they believed best qualified for the duties
of command, and elected individuals who had manifested, or were thought
to possess, courage, energy, and good sense. Of course some mistakes
were made, and experience disclosed the fact, now well-established, that
many men who figured respectably in times of peace, are unfitted for
military responsibility, and weaken in the ordeal of military life.

No opportunity had been afforded then, for testing and discovering
those qualified for positions of trust and importance--it was all a
matter of experiment. Many injudicious selections were made, but it
quite as often happened that the appointing system (as it was exercised
at the beginning of the war) gave incompetent officers to the army. The
graduates of West Point themselves, and even those officers who had
served for years in the "Old Army," knew little or nothing of actual
war. Their studies at the academy, and the reading appropriate to their
profession, had instructed them in the theory of war.

They had the knowledge which the routine of camp and garrison duty
teaches. Most of them had seen service in expeditions against the
Indians on the Western plains. Some of them had served with distinction
and benefit to themselves in Mexico, but this was an experience which
they shared with many civilians. They had soldierly habits. They were
well acquainted with, and knew the importance of the military etiquette
and ceremonial so conducive to proper subordination and discipline, and
without which neither can be maintained in an army. But beyond the
necessity (permanently impressed upon them, and rendered a constant
influence with them by long training and habit) of strictly obeying all
the rules of discipline themselves, and of exacting the same obedience
from others, they knew nothing which a quick mind, if endowed with a
natural military aptitude and appreciation of military essentials, can
not readily acquire. While the regulations prescribed clear and
excellent rules of organization, the strictest conformity was not always
had to them, and it was sometimes difficult to strictly apply them.
Companies sometimes overran the maximum in a way that rendered them as
embarrassing to the regiments in which they were placed, as they were
painfully unwieldy to the unlearned Captains and Lieutenants who
immediately commanded them.

When it was known that a very popular man was recruiting, the number of
enlistments in his company was limited only by the number of able bodied
men in his district who were inclined to enlist. As each volunteer had
the right to select his Captain and company, and generally objected very
decidedly to being transferred to any other, it was a delicate and
difficult task to reduce these over-grown companies to proper
proportions. Regiments frequently, on account of the popularity of their
Colonels, or from other causes, swelled out of due bounds also. I knew
one regiment, which in the early part of September, 1861, had in it
seventeen companies and numbered, when all answered to roll call, more
than two thousand men. There was at this time a very favorite, and very
anomalous organization, known as the "Legion," which fortunately in a
few months entirely disappeared. It was something between a regiment and
a brigade, with all of a hybrid's vague awkwardness of conformation. It
was the general supposition, too, for little was ever definitely known
about it, that it was to be somewhat of an independent corps, something
like the "Partisan Ranger" regiment of later date. When the army was in
the first process of organization, these "Legions" could be heard of

The idea doubtless originated with some officer who felt that he
deserved a higher grade than that of Colonel, and could not obtain a
Brigadier's commission.

As organization went on, and system prevailed, the "Legions," perhaps
according to the merit of their commanders, or their numerical strength,
sank into companies, were regularly organized as regiments, or were
elevated into brigades. The brigades were from three to seven or eight
thousand strong, and all arms of the service were represented in them;
they included regiments of infantry and cavalry and batteries of
artillery. It was in a measure necessary that this organization should
be adopted, from the fact that for some months, each brigade commander
was entrusted with supervision and defense of a large tract of
territory, and it was impossible to dispense with either of the three
arms. Divisions were not organized until late in the fall of 1861--the
strength of the brigades was then, to some extent, equalized by the
reduction of the larger ones; Army Corps were of still later creation.

A significant custom prevailed of denoting the companies of the first
regiments which were raised, not by letter, but by some company
denomination which they had borne in the militia organization, or had
assumed as soon as mustered as an indispensable _nom-de-guerre_. They
seemed to vie with each other in inventing titles of thrilling interest:
"The Yellow Jackets," "The Dead Shots," "The Earthquakes," "The
Chickasaha Desperadoes," "The Hell-roarers," are a few which made the
newspapers of that day, in recording their movements, read like the
pages of popular romance. So fondly did the professors of these
appellations cling to them, that it was found almost as difficult to
compel their exchange for the proper designations, as to effect far more
harassing and laborious reforms. The spirit which prompted these
particular organizations to adopt this method of distinguishing and
identifying themselves, remained to the last characteristic of the
Southern troops. Regiments, especially in the cavalry service, were
quite as often styled by the names of their commanders, as by the
numbers which they properly bore, and, if the commanders were popular,
the former method was always the most agreeable.

In the latter part of the war, after every effort had been made to do
away with this feeling, it was at length adjudged expedient to enjoin
such a designation of brigades, by the names of their commanders, by
order from the War Department. This peculiar affectation was but one
form in which the temper of the Southern people was manifested--a temper
which revolted against complete loss of individuality, and was prone to
self-assertion. It is a temper which ought to be characteristic of a
free and high spirited people, which, while for prudential reasons it
will consent to severe restraints, seeks to mark the fact that the
restraint is self-imposed. Few will doubt, upon reflection, that this
feeling could have been turned to better account in the Southern army;
that to have allowed commands to win distinctive and honorable
appellations by extraordinary bravery would have elevated the standard
of _morale_, as much as did promotion for personal gallantry and good
conduct. The excellence of a command mentioned in general orders might
be only partially known, but the fame conferred by the title of the
"Stonewall Brigade" is universal. For the first year, there was, in the
true sense of the word, no discipline in the Western army at all. The
good sense and strong feeling of duty which pervaded the entire soldiery
made them obedient, zealous, and tolerably patient. High courage and
natural resolution made them fight well from the first, and, long
exposure to the storms of battle taught them coolness in the midst of
danger, and the comparative indifference to it, which become habitual
with the veteran, and which are usually confounded with the effects of
discipline, although they frequently exist where discipline has never
obtained. A spirit of emulation induced them to readily learn the drill
and all the more ostentatious duties of the soldier. A fortitude which,
until they were put to the test, they were not themselves aware of,
enabled them to endure without diminution of spirit, great hardship and
privation. Pride and patriotism, in the midst of every suffering and
temptation, kept them true and patient to the last. While all these
influences combined to make excellent soldiers of the material of which
that army was composed, it will be nearer the truth to say, that there
was, in the true sense of the word, no discipline in the Western army,
not only in the first year of the war, but at any time during the War.
The rigid method introduced by General Bragg undoubtedly told with good
effect upon the men of least pride and mettle, and kept all such men
nearer the mark, but for the rest, Bragg's discipline improved the army
rather by its operations upon the officers than upon the men.

No man who has intimately known the Southern soldiery can escape the
conviction, that, while capable of acquiring any degree of instruction,
and, if the word may be used, _veteranship_, they can not really be
disciplined, that is, be converted, by the infliction and fear of
punishment, into unreasoning machines. If there were no other proof of
this, the reflection which was invariably shed upon the _morale_ and
tone of every command by the personal character, prowess and skill of
its particular leader, would be sufficient proof of it, and the fact
that the Southern troops almost always read their chances of success or
defeat, not in the odds opposed to them, but in the reputation and
character of their commander--it would be as wide of the truth to call
this discipline, as it would be to speak of the perfect discipline of
the Norman knights, who would insult a cowardly and indolent Prince upon
his throne, and would, yet, obey with "proud humility" an heroic

While no practical soldier will underrate the value of discipline and
the marvels it works--still the experience of the late war will make
many officers believe that it is no match for native intelligence, zeal,
and pride--when those qualities have become trained and used to the
requirements of war. Instruction and skill in military duties, are
indispensable, although discipline is not always so. Give the high
strung young soldier who has brains and good blood, some practice and
knowledge of actual warfare, and the unthinking automaton, formed by
routine and punishment, can no more stand before him than a tree can
resist the stroke of the lightning, than the book general and paper
tactician can resist the genius which throws his plans out of gear, and
his mind into convulsions.

It will be well for those who read Southern histories of the war to keep
in mind that the writers mean, when they use the word "discipline," the
pride which stimulated the soldiers to learn their duties rather than
incur disgrace, and the subordination which proceeded from self respect,
and respect for an officer whom they thought worthy to command them. It
was not the fault of the Southern men who took the field, that the
efforts of the Southern people failed to establish, for themselves, a
separate and independent Government.

Two great mistakes were made at the outset and were never retrieved.
Mistakes which have lost battles and campaigns innumerable, and in this
instance lost a war. The vigor and irresistible audacity which is gained
by "taking the start" was lost to us by the defensive policy, and our
troops were scattered so widely that even an energetic defense could
nowhere be made, except in Virginia. The Government did not mass the
troops for attack upon vulnerable points in the enemy's territory, nor
to fall upon some one of his invading columns. Not only was the
defensive strictly maintained, but an effort was made to defend every
inch of the border. In the face of superior forces concentrating for
invasion at certain points, a skirmish line, which employed all of our
forces, was thrown out to hold all points from Richmond to the Western

But one original and cardinal error gave birth to all the others. The
Confederate Government failed to invoke the only spirit which could have
done its bidding. It ought, with out delay, to have stimulated the ardor
and turned loose the tremendous energies of revolution, and have made
the people drunken with its inspiration. The time was propitious, the
Government was just established and was popular, the people were,
practically, unanimous, and were irretrievably committed to the
movement--they had never seen hostile troops or been daunted by the
sights of war. The presence of formidable armed foes might have aroused
prudence, but when Sumpter fell and war became inevitable, there were no
armies in the field on either side. When the first gun boomed, the
Government ought to have taken advantage of the glow of enthusiasm which
was as yet unchilled by any fear of the yet distant danger. It ought to
have asked for powers which the people in their, then, thorough
confidence in their leaders would have readily granted. They felt, that
if the struggle was really for important principles and vital rights, it
was better to make rulers of their own choice, omnipotent for a short
time, than to run the risk of defeat which would cause them entire, and,
perhaps eternal, loss of liberty. The leaders knew that the temper of
the people could be relied on--that if frankly told that success could
be achieved only by prompt and enormous efforts and sacrifices--the
efforts and sacrifices would be made. They were made later, when instead
of universal hope and enthusiasm, there prevailed a feeling of almost
despair. The strategy of revolution is identical, in principle, with
that of war--the side which masses and marches fast wins. If, while it
was yet a contest of peoples and not yet a conflict of armies, the
entire white population of the South had been aroused, her territory
converted into one vast camp, every male citizen between the ages of
sixteen and sixty made a soldier, leaving to the President the power of
exempting certain classes, and not regulating by law a matter so
essentially discretionary, and every dollar's worth of property had been
pledged to the cause, how different might have been the result? All this
could have been done in the then condition of public sentiment; not a
dissentient voice would have been heard. It would have been far more
popular than the "Conscript Act" was a year later, and that caused
little complaint.

Let any man think of what might have been done in May, 1861, with all
the men, which were subsequently in the Confederate army, arrayed and
pressed on the front. If unarmed, they would have met opponents also
unarmed. Men followed the armies in Missouri and picked up guns on the
battle field, while the Government was rejecting regiments because it
had not arms to give them. Subsequently it found arms easier to be
gotten than men.

If Jefferson Davis had possessed one tithe of the unscrupulous ambition
of which he has been accused, he would not now be the inmate of a
prison. He could have made, with all ease his Government a
dictatorate--or turning off the useless and clamorous Congress, as an
incumbrance to a Government which (until the war was won) was an
experiment, have ruled during the war with a "committee of public

To excite the energies of the people to the utmost, and then direct and
employ them by means of some such machinery, was the way to win. But he
preferred to believe that the danger was not great. He would have died
sooner than assume unconstitutional power. The ardor of the people was
rebuffed, and they sank into an apathy, from which they were awakened by
terrible disasters, to find themselves encompassed by fierce and hostile


In 1857, the company of volunteer militia called the "Lexington Rifles"
was organized with John H. Morgan as Captain, it subsequently, upon the
organization of the State-guard, became incorporated in that body. It
was composed of the finest and most spirited young men of Lexington, and
soon won a high reputation for proficiency in drill, and in all the
duties taught in the camps of the State-guards, as well as for the
intelligence and daring of its members.

From the hour of its organization the men of this company seemed to
entertain the profoundest love and admiration for their Captain, and the
influence and control they accorded him was not too strongly expressed
in the words of their motto, which, written in large letters, framed and
hung up in their armory, caught the eye of every visitor and announced,
"Our laws the commands of our Captain."

It was with the forty-five or fifty men of this company who unhesitating
followed his fortunes when he went to the Southern army, and a few other
kindred spirits who immediately attached themselves to him, before he
had won rank or fame, that Morgan began his career, and around them as a
nucleus he gathered his gallant command. Although thoroughly Southern in
sentiment, and frank to the last degree in its expression, the members
of the company, with one or two exceptions, made no effort to go South
until Captain Morgan signified his readiness to lead them, in this, as
in all else, they awaited his decision and directions. The extreme
illness of his wife, who died in July, 1861, required, during the early
summer, his constant presence in Lexington, and he did not determine to
act until after the troops, posted at Camp Dick Robinson and the Home
guard organizations, began to give unmistakable evidences of hostility
to all persons not "loyal."

When the order was issued for the disarming of the State-guard, Morgan
determined to save his guns at all hazards. The State-guard was by this
time virtually disbanded, many of its officers of high rank, elected
under the impression that they were Southern men, had declared for the
other side, and various other influences tended to cripple and
demoralize it. An officer then, of that body, who decided to resist the
edict, disarming his men and leaving them defenseless, in the reach of
armed and bitter political opponents, could look for little backing from
his comrades. His best chance was to make his way at once to the
Confederate lines in Southern Kentucky. This Morgan resolved to do.

On Friday night, September 20, 1861, he confided to a few of his most
reliable and trusted men his determination and plans, and taking the
guns from the armory, loaded them into two wagons and started them out
of Lexington on the Versailles road under a small guard. The men
composing this guard left on such short notice that few of them had time
to prepare and carry with them even necessary clothing, scarcely time to
take leave of their families. They marched out of town with their
cartridge-boxes belted on, their rifles on their shoulders, loaded, and
their bayonets fixed. A regiment of Federal troops was encamped that
night at the fair ground, about a mile from town, and many of the
officers and men were in town at the time the guns were removed. In
order to deceive as to his movements and lull any suspicion that might
exist of his design to move the guns, Captain Morgan caused twelve or
fifteen men to parade and tramp heavily about the armory for an hour or
two after the wagons had been loaded and started, and so created the
impression that his company was engaged in drilling.

The wagons were not stopped in the town, and only one soldier was
encountered who was made prisoner by the escort, carried off some twenty
miles, and then released.

Morgan accompanied the wagons for a short distance until it was apparent
that there was no immediate danger to be apprehended, and returned to

On the next day when it was ascertained that the guns had been taken
away, and no trace of them could be discovered, a great excitement was
gotten up. That very day had been appointed for their seizure by the
authorities, and the authorities had been completely tricked and

The loyal citizens who had calculated upon witnessing the discomfiture
of the "Rifles," and of all their backers, were disappointed, and had
the farther mortification of learning that the wagons containing the
coveted prizes had passed the night before, in the sight of them all, to
a place where they dared not follow. Of course many taunts were flung at
the fooled spies, and disappointed patriots; and at length the angry
discussions brought on a shooting affray between some of the "Rifles,"
and a part of the troops and Home-guards. The regiment stationed at the
fair grounds, was brought into town to quell this affair, and two pieces
of artillery were planted to sweep the principal streets--and from that
date, for four years, Lexington was under military rule.

Captain Morgan, for whose arrest an order was immediately issued,
communicated during the day with such of his men as desired to follow
him, and at nightfall left Lexington with them and rejoined those who
had gone before. He passed through Anderson county to Nelson, and halted
a few miles from Bardstown. Here he was joined by Captain John Cripps
Wickliffe, subsequently Lieutenant Colonel of the Ninth Kentucky
Infantry, and a very gallant officer. Captain Wickliffe had determined
also to save his guns and take his company, or all that would follow
him, to the Confederate army. The greater portion of his company, one of
the finest in the State-guards, elected to go with him. Desirous, while
about it, of doing a brisk business in guns, he confiscated those of a
neighboring Home-guard company, and brought them to Morgan's camp--they
were immediately placed in the hands of the unarmed men, who, finding
an organized force making for the Confederate lines, attached themselves
to it. Many such men, anxious to go South, but afraid to go without a
leader, came to this camp during the four or five days that it was

On account of the kindness and liberality of the people who lived in
that neighborhood, and who supplied its inmates with provisions of all
kinds, this camp was entitled "Camp Charity," and long will it be

By the common wish and consent, Morgan took command of all the forces,
and when, on Saturday evening, September 28th, he resumed his march, he
was at the head of some two hundred men. He encountered no enemy. The
Home-guards, who mustered strong in the region through which he passed,
thought his force too formidable to attack and kept out of his path.
When he would hear of two bodies of them, likely to give him trouble if
united, he would pass between them and scare both.

After two days and nights hard marching, he reached Green river on
Monday evening, September 30th. He received an enthusiastic welcome from
the Confederate troops stationed there, most of whom were Kentuckians,
and many of them knew him well.

Colonel Roger W. Hanson, the officer in command, was himself from
Lexington, and was a warm personal friend of Morgan.

There were, at Green river, encamped on the Southern side of the stream,
at this date, the Second Kentucky Infantry (Hanson's own regiment), six
or seven hundred strong, Byrne's Battery, and four companies of
Tennessee cavalry.

Colonel Thomas Hunt, an uncle of Captain Morgan, was also there with two
companies of the regiment he was then organizing. Of all the general
officers (he was made a General) which Kentucky gave to the Confederate
service, least justice had been done by fame to Roger Hanson, and it is
strange that such should be the case. Not only was he well known,
constantly talked of, greatly loved, and ardently admired by the
Kentuckians, but his name was familiar in all parts of the army. It is
true that his early death blighted the reputation he was rapidly
winning, but it is hard for those who knew him to understand how such a
man could have failed to attract more general and more lively interest.
While a very young man, he served with distinction in Mexico, returning
home he indulged for a short period in an _erratic_ career which
astonished even the Kentuckians, and suddenly quitted it to beat all
rivals at the bar, and become a leading politician. Friends and
opponents agreed in pronouncing him one of the most effective speakers
in the State. His youth was too much occupied in more agreeable
pursuits, to admit of his employing profitably the educational
advantages which were offered him, but his mind, although unused to the
discipline of study, mastered all that it grappled with. He read less
and comprehended more law than any member of the profession in Kentucky.
His vigorous native intellect and acute sense, were perhaps more
formidable, for this reason. Want of science made his method of attack
more original and irresistible. In the contests of the bar and the
hustings, he was a sort of heavy armed partisan, his irregular, rapid
onslaught crushed opposition. The learning and eloquence of his ablest
antagonists availed little against his manly logic, and often sounded
like the merest folly after having been subjected to his telling
ridicule. All of his ideas seemed clearly defined; his mind was never in
a mist. His insight into character was extraordinary, and he had the
most remarkable faculty of accurate observation and life-like
reproduction, especially of ludicrous traits and scenes. His command of
humorous, graphic, forcible expression was unequaled. He had very many
noble traits of character. He was candid and truthful to bluntness. His
scorn of dissimulation and affectation of any sort, gave his manner and
speech a bluffness, and apparent want of sympathy with the feelings of
other men, which caused him often to be misunderstood. I believe that
he would rather that the whole world should have thought him a
scoundrel, than have seemed for one moment, in his own eyes, a
hypocrite. His will was dauntless, his resolution inflexible, his
courage high. He had little opportunity, during his military life, to
show the stuff that was in him, and to prove that he possessed other
qualities befitting an officer beside courage and the strictest
attention to the instruction, the comfort, and the discipline of his
men. Notwithstanding that he was a very strict disciplinarian--and
Kentucky troops have little love of discipline--he was very popular with
his men. They retaliated by nick-naming him "Bench-leg," or "Old
flint-lock," and admired him all the more intensely, the more frequently
that he showed them that they could never deceive him nor attempt it
with impunity. Once, thinking that the health of his regiment was
getting too bad, and that many cases of illness, reported as severe,
were but ruses to escape doing duty, he published an order that from
that date "there should be but two sick men at the same time in each
company," and caused it to be rigidly enforced. No one who ever saw
Hanson can forget him. In stature he was a little under the medium
hight, and he was powerfully but ungracefully built. His bulky and
ungainly form indicated great but awkward strength. His shoulders were
huge, round, and stooping, and he sat on his horse in the attitude in
which a sick man bends over the fire. His head was large and perfectly
round. His complexion was fair and florid, and his eyes gray and full of
light. His strong and marked features, when he became excited, worked
strangely and apparently without being moved by the same influences, and
the alert movement of his head, at such moments, was in singular
contrast to his otherwise heavy inactive manner. His face, when he was
calm and giving careful attention to any thing said to him, wore a look
of exceeding sternness, enhanced by a peculiar twitch of the muscles of
the mouth and eye. He had a German face with all the Irish expressions.
A wound received in a duel had shortened one leg and gave him a singular
gait, something between a jerk and a roll. His voice was deep and
guttural, and his utterance rapid, decided, abrupt, like that of a man
who meant all that he said, and knew that it would produce an effect. No
one could look him in the eye and fail to perceive that he was every
inch a man--a strong, brave, manly nature looked out in every lineament
of his face. Captain Wickliffe attached his company to the regiment
which Colonel Hunt was organizing. Of the stragglers who had come out
with Captain Morgan, some went one way and some another--only eight or
ten remained with him. Although not yet in the Confederate service, he
at once commenced the active and daring work which laid the foundation
of his celebrity and brought him at once into general notice. The
cavalry which had been stationed there previously to his coming, had
confined themselves to doing picket duty, and had never sought or been
required to do other service. This monotonous work, altogether devoid of
excitement, did not accord with his nature, which demanded the stimulus
of adventure; he, moreover, intuitively understood then, and declared
the fact since so completely demonstrated, that cavalry can be employed
to far better advantage, if kept well out upon the front or flanks of
the army to which it belongs, and close upon the enemy, than by exacting
of it the sort of duty which can just as well be performed by infantry.
The Federal advanced forces were then stationed at Elizabethtown, and
were soon pushed to Nolin Creek, distant about twenty-one or two miles
from Munfordsville. Captain Morgan had at first not more than twenty
mounted men of his own company, but with these and with volunteers from
the other cavalry who were inspired by his example, he made frequent
"scouts," and watched and reported every thing that transpired upon the
front. These "excursions" were undertaken about four or five times in
every week, and would usually occupy twenty-four hours. The scouting
party would set out at or a little before dark; before reaching the
lines of the enemy, some exciting chases would be had after the
countrymen who were in Federal pay or sympathy, and who, always on the
lookout for us, would start at break-neck speed for the camp of their
friends, pursued by our foremost riders. At first they tried to do this
courier duty on horseback, but finding that we were better mounted than
they were, and that, when hard pressed and forced to take to the brush,
their horses were abandoned for ever, they betook themselves to a less
expensive mode of conveying information. They were fleet of foot and
knew the paths through the thickets and hills perfectly, and it was
difficult to follow and impossible to catch them. We, also, had many
friends among the country people living near the enemy's camp, and as we
would prowl all night around and among the Federal pickets and outposts,
seeking to entrap the unwary, many were the secret conferences which we
held in the shade of the woods with faithful informants, who generally
closed their reports with emphatic adjurations that, "For the love of
God," we would never breathe their names.

Once or twice Captain Morgan passed himself as a Federal officer, in
close vicinity to their camps, but this ruse could not be repeated often
with success. Once we were guided safely out of a very dangerous
situation by an intensely "loyal" man who thought he was assisting some
friends who had lost their way. When day returned the scouting party
would take a position on the "line of retreat" at a convenient but safe
distance from the enemy, rest and refresh men and horses, observe
closely if there was any unusual movement in the hostile lines, and as
the day declined and it became evident that all was likely to remain
quiet, it would return to camp. After the first two or three weeks of
this sort of service, and its advantages had become apparent, an order
was given to turn over to Captain Morgan some thirty "condemned"
artillery horses. With a little care and nursing they were rendered
tolerably fit for his purposes, and he was thus enabled to mount, the
better part of his company. I knew a scout to be performed, with most of
the men riding these same rejected horses, of sixty-eight miles in
twenty hours. Although these scouts and expeditions were not nearly so
exciting as were subsequent ones, when the cavalry of both armies had
become more accustomed to them and more enterprising, yet they were very
pleasant episodes in the dull tedious life of the camp, and excellent
preparation for really hard and hazardous service. Morgan himself
derived great benefit from the experience they gave him, for he rarely
if ever missed them. He always knew how to direct and how to estimate
the scouting duty of his command, one of the most important, by the
practical knowledge thus acquired. Nor will it injure any man who is
called upon to exercise the duties of a General to take a few lessons in
this school. The fatigue and discomfort from want of sleep attending
these expeditions to those who went constantly upon them, was almost as
great, as that suffered in later and far more difficult service.

The first skirmish in which Morgan's company or any portion of it was
engaged, was a very insignificant and bloodless one, and served only to
illustrate the character of the apprehensions which are apt to assail
raw troops.

It was upon the second or third scout that Captain Morgan had taken,
that we for the first time met the enemy. Contrary to the usual
practice, the scouting party had started out early in the day; it
consisted of some fifteen of Morgan's own company, twenty-five of the
Tennessee cavalry, and ten or fifteen volunteers, about fifty in all.
After proceeding some twelve miles in the direction of Nolin Creek, the
advance of our party suddenly discovered a body of Federal infantry
moving down the road toward us. Their bayonets glistening and just
perceptible above a little rise three or four hundred yards off notified
the videttes of their vicinity. They did not see us, and we immediately
dismounted and posted ourselves in the thickets on both sides of the
road, sending the horses to the rear under charge of eight or ten men.
No plan of battle was adopted, although many were proposed--the various
suggestions, however, that were thrown out, in the inspiration of the
moment are lost to history. I remember, however, that one man gave it
as his decided opinion, that we ought to charge them immediately on
horseback, and he then rode rapidly back to Green river to report the
situation to Colonel Hanson. Enjoining silence on the talkative, Captain
Morgan went forward on foot to a house, about one hundred and forty or
fifty yards in front of our position, and looked out from a window,
which commanded a full view of their approach, upon the enemy. He saw a
body of sixty or seventy, but this came so close upon him that he was
compelled to leave the house before he could discover whether it was the
advance of another and larger body, or was unsupported. Fortunately he
effected his retreat from the house and rejoined his party without
discovery by the enemy. The latter continued to march on, past the
house, and toward our position, until, within forty or fifty yards of
us, something discovered us to them and they halted. Captain Morgan
immediately stepped out into the road, fired at and shot the officer
riding at the head of the column. Without returning the fire his men
fell back to the house before mentioned, situated on a long low knoll,
through which, to the left of the house as we faced, was a cut of the
railroad. This afforded a pretty good position and one which we should
have taken ourselves. Here they deployed and opened a volley upon us,
which would have been very fatal if we had been in the tops of instead
of behind the trees. Both sides then continued to load and fire rapidly.
With us, every man ought to have behaved well, for each acted upon his
own responsibility. Captain Morgan with a few of the more enterprising,
and one or two personal followers who always kept close to him, worked
his way very nigh to the enemy, and did the only shooting that was
effective. We had neither drill nor any understanding among ourselves.
The fight was much like a camp-meeting, or an election row. After it had
lasted about ten or twelve minutes, an intelligent horse-holder came up
from the rear, breathless, and announced that the enemy was flanking us,
and that he had been largely reinforced. The receipt of this important
intelligence necessitated the withdrawal of the forces, and every man
withdrew after his own fashion and in his own time. Our loss, was one
man slightly wounded and several shot through the clothes. It was as
bloody as an affair between Austrian and Italian outposts.

The horse-bolder who brought the information which led to our retreat,
was evidently one who had carefully studied the military articles in the
newspapers, and spoke from the influence of a sudden recollection of the
"science" he had thus acquired, rather than from accurate observation.
This may be safely asserted, as we were not pursued by the enemy, and
next day, upon returning, learned that they had commenced retreating
about the same time that we did, and that they were but a scouting party
like ourselves. Two or three men who got first to Green river, before
Captain Morgan's report was received there, stated that we had
encountered a strong Federal column advancing to drive our forces away
from Woodsonville; that we had attacked, and after a hard fight checked
it, but that unless Captain Morgan was immediately reinforced it would
probably resume its march. This statement created much excitement at
Woodsonville, and was generally credited. But Colonel Hanson treated the
gentlemen who brought it rather roughly, and said (with an unnecessary
reflection on a gallant arm of the service) that it was a "Cavalry

Several days after this affair, Morgan made his first narrow escape of
capture. Hanson determined to send a force to the Nolin outposts
sufficiently strong to drive them in and create serious confusion and
alarm in the Federal camps. He accordingly ordered the Major commanding
the battalion of Tennessee cavalry, to take his entire force, about two
hundred and forty men, and, conducted by Morgan, who went with twenty of
his men, to make the attack upon the outposts. This force started about
nightfall. Morgan thinking that there were now men enough upon the road
to accomplish some of his most favorite plans, was in high spirits. His
own men, who had never in their lives seen so much cavalry on the
march, believed the column invincible.

The Tennesseeans who had long murmured at the inaction to which they had
been condemned, were anxious for a fight. The Major arranged the plan
with Captain Morgan--the latter was to get, with his twenty men, in the
rear of the pickets on post, and then fire a gun. At this signal, the
Major was to dash down with his battalion, and, picking up the pickets,
charge down upon the base and reserve. In the meantime, Morgan expected
to entertain the latter with an unlooked-for volley. It was proposed to
push the plan as far as possible, even, if the first features were
successfully and quickly executed, to an attack upon the camps.

But it happened that some five miles from Nolin, one of the country
fellows, who was in the habit of running into the Federal lines at our
approach, was surprised and arrested by Captain Morgan who was in the

The women of whom there were several in the house where he was taken,
made a terribly outcry and noise, and would not be pacified.

Captain Morgan moved on, but was shortly afterward informed by one of
the men, that the Tennessee battalion had turned back. He rode to the
Major and urged, but unsuccessfully, that the plan should not be
abandoned. Determined, then, to go forward himself, he proceeded to the
point where the pickets on the extreme front had usually stood, but they
were gone. He halted his detachment here, and taking with him one of his
best and most trusted men (private, afterward Captain John Sisson),
started down the road on foot to reconnoiter. He had been gone but a
short time, when the rear guard of the Tennessee battalion, about twenty
strong, came up; it was commanded by Captain, afterward Colonel, Biffel.
It seemed that the Major had conceived that the shrieks of the women
would notify the enemy of his coming, and prevent his plan of surprising
the picket posts and base from succeeding.

Finding that Morgan had still gone on, Biffel took advantage of his
position in the rear of the returning battalion and came to support him.
As soon as he got up and learned why we were halted, he turned into the
thicket with his detachment, on the side of the road, opposite to that
occupied by Morgan's. Just as he was doing this, a Federal column of
cavalry came up the road, and hearing the noise of horses forcing they
way through the brush, halted about one hundred yards from the point
where we lay. The night was clear, and we could easily distinguish them
in the moonlight. I had been left in command of the detachment, and
would not permit the men to fire, lest it should endanger Captain
Morgan's safety, who, if we were driven off, would probably be captured.
I ordered, therefore, that not a shot should be fired, unless they
resumed their march and came right upon us.

They remained at the spot where they had halted for perhaps twenty
minutes, apparently in consultation, when they countermarched and went
off rapidly. In a few minutes after they had disappeared, Captain Morgan
and Sisson returned and gave an account of what had happened to them.
They had walked along the road for fifteen or twenty minutes, when
suddenly they heard the tramp of cavalry. They were in a stretch of the
road darkened for some distance by the shade of heavy timber. This
column came upon them, and they slipped aside some ten or fifteen paces
into the woods. Captain Morgan estimated it at about one hundred and
twenty men. After it had passed, it occurred to him that his men would
be attacked by it, and he started back rapidly to rejoin them. The
fatigue of running through the woods was soon too much for him and he
was compelled to desist.

As he drew near to the point where he had left us and heard no firing,
he conceived a true idea of the situation. Stealing cautiously along, he
came upon the enemy, who, at the halt, had gone into the woods also. He
was then compelled to lie closely concealed and perfectly still until
the road was left clear by the retreat of the enemy. Fortunately his
proximity was not discovered by the enemy when in this last situation.

Captain Morgan continued actively engaged in this sort of service until
the troops were withdrawn from Woodsonville, when he was also ordered to
Bowlinggreen. There the men were sworn into the service, the company
regularly organized and officers elected. John H. Morgan was of course
elected Captain; I was elected First Lieutenant; James West, Second
Lieutenant; Van Buren Sellers, Third, or, more properly, Brevet Second
Lieutenant. The strength of the company was then a little above the
"minimum" required for organization, numbering sixty-seven privates.

Immediately after reaching Bowlinggreen, excellent horses were purchased
and turned over to the company, by General Buckner's order, and saddles,
bridles, tents, etc., were issued to it. It was already provided with
the best guns and accouterments, and when the fitting up at Bowlinggreen
was completed, no command in the Confederate service was better
equipped, in any respect.

At this period two other companies, one commanded by Captain Thomas
Allen of Shelbyville, Kentucky, and the other by Captain James Bowles of
Louisville, but principally recruited in the neighborhood of Glasgow,
were assigned to Captain Morgan's command at the earnest request of
their officers and men. Bowles' company was not full, and was
consolidated with another fragment of a company commanded by Lieutenant
Churchill--the latter becoming First Lieutenant of the new organization.

The three companies composed "Morgan's Squadron," a popular misnomer by
which, however, the command came, in a short time, to be regularly
designated. Morgan's company became A, of this organization; Allen's, B;
Bowles', C. The squadron remained quietly in camp, at Bowlinggreen, for
two or three weeks after its organization. This time was profitably
spent in instructing the men in drill and teaching them something of
discipline. The first expedition taken after this, was to Grayson
county, on the north side of Green river, to collect and bring to
Bowlinggreen a large drove of cattle which had been purchased, but could
not be brought out without a guard.

The "Home-guards" held this county in strong force; they had long
expected a Confederate inroad, and had sternly determined to punish the
invaders when they came. The squadron reached the ferry, at which it was
directed to cross at night. We found the boats sunken, but raised them,
filled up the holes bored in their bottoms, bailed them out, and by
eight o'clock next morning we had one company across. The day was spent
in crossing the cattle to the southern side of the river.

On the following evening, the entire squadron was transferred to the
north side of the river and passed the night agreeably in chasing the
Home-guards, who did not make a hard fight, but ran off some twenty or
thirty miles to a neighboring county to "rally."

Shortly after his return to Bowlinggreen, from this expedition, Captain
Morgan was ordered to the front again, and reported to Brigadier General
Hindman, who commanded a brigade of infantry and a strong force of
cavalry, in all three thousand or thirty-five hundred men, upon the
extreme front of our line.

General Hindman's headquarters were at Bell's tavern, twenty-five miles
from Bowlinggreen, and thirteen from Woodsonville, then occupied by the
enemy, who had advanced to Green river, ten or fifteen days after we
left there.

It would, perhaps, be more correct to say, that the enemy held
Munfordsville, for although Woodsonville was virtually in his
possession, and completely at his disposal, there were, at that date,
none of his regiments encamped on the southern side of the river.

A few days before Morgan's arrival, had occurred the fight, in which
Colonel Terry, of the Eighth Texas Cavalry (better known then as Terry's
Rangers), was killed, and of which so many contradictory versions have
prevailed. The Northern account has often been published, and if the
many later and more important events have not crowded it out of memory,
is familiar to all who read the Northern newspapers at that time.
Without presuming to give a minute account of the fight, for I did not
witness it, nor have I ever seen a report of it, I can present, in a few
words, the idea which I derived from the description of men who were
present, and which was generally received, just after the fight, in our

General Hindman had received information that a strong body of the enemy
had crossed the river, and desiring to ascertain if this movement was
preliminary to an advance of the entire army, he moved forward with the
greater part of his infantry, some artillery and Terry's regiment of
cavalry, to reconnoiter, and, perhaps, contest an advance, if it were
made. When he arrived at the ground upon which the fight commenced,
about three miles from the river, he discovered the enemy, and,
supposing his force to be not stronger than his own, determined to
engage him.

I am not familiar with the plan or details of the fight, but am under
the impression that, when first seen, the enemy was slowly advancing,
unaware of Hindman's vicinity, and that the latter screened the bulk of
his force behind a large hill, upon the eastern side of the Bowlinggreen
road, the summit of which he occupied with skirmishers, and posted his
artillery some distance farther back, where it was partially concealed,
and could yet sweep the road and the ground over which the enemy was

Terry was instructed to skirmish in the enemy's front, and draw him on,
until his flank should be exposed to the infantry, that was masked
behind the hill. It was the intention then, I have always understood, to
attack vigorously with all the infantry, throw a part of it in the
enemy's rear, and between him and the river, while Terry charged him on
the other flank. One part of Terry's regiment, under his own immediate
command, was on the right of the road at a considerable distance from
any support. Another, commanded by one of his Captains, was posted
nearer the infantry.

Hindman's plan to bring his whole force into action and cut off and
capture a part of the enemy's, if such was his plan, was frustrated by
the impatient ardor of Terry, who, after a very brief retreat before
Willich's regiment of infantry, turned and charged it furiously. The
regiment was deployed in skirmish order, and had barely time to "rally
by fours," when Terry, of whose command they had, up to that moment,
seen only a very few, came down on them. The Texians rode around the
groups of four, shooting the men down with their revolvers and
shot-guns. Seeing his Colonel engaged, the officer commanding the other
portion of the regiment, charged the enemy nighest him with similar
success. Terry and six of his men were killed, and perhaps twice that
number wounded. All the witnesses on the Confederate side concurred in
saying that fifteen or twenty of the Federals were killed, and as many
more, at least, wounded. I passed over the ground shortly afterward as
bearer of a flag of truce, and heard the same account from the citizens
living near the scene of the fight. Willich's regiment was a very fine
one, and its commander a very superior officer.

General Hindman was an officer of great dash and energy, and very
ambitious--he was, therefore, just the man to encourage an enterprising
subordinate, and give him free rein in that sort of service which keeps
up the _morale_ of an army at a time when it must remain inactive,
reflects credit upon the commanding officer who directs it, and which
rank and duty forbid a commanding officer to undertake himself. Although
his imperious and exacting temper made him many enemies, he had other
qualities which gained him devoted friends. One was a disposition
(proceeding either from a desire to attach to himself men whose
friendship he thought would be valuable, or from a real feeling of
regard--perhaps from both) to go all lengths for a friend. He entered
heartily into all of Morgan's plans, encouraged and gave him every
facility to extend his enterprises, and seemed to entertain a peculiar
pride and pleasure in his success. There is no doubt that there was
something in his nature which made him cordially sympathize with every
thing that was daring and adventurous. Morgan became very fond of him,
and always spoke with pleasure of this brief service with him. Although
almost constantly close upon the outposts of the enemy, sometimes in
small detachments, and occasionally with every effective man, the
squadron had no engagement except the picket fights, which were of
constant occurrence. The reason of this was that the Federals never came
outside of their lines, except for very short distances, and then in
bodies so strong that we dared not attack them. The practice of firing
upon and attacking pickets was then much condemned by the Federal
officers, but no valid reason has ever been assigned for this
condemnation. It is true that killing and annoying pickets does not
decide the result of campaigns, neither do the minor skirmishes and
partial battles which so frequently occur in all wars, yet it is the
means of affecting the general result, and assisting to make it
successful as much as any other method of harassing an enemy. If war is
to be confined to sieges, pitched battles, etc., then every method of
wearying, annoying and discouraging an adversary, of keeping him in
doubt, or goading him to desperation, must be equally condemned. All
stratagem must be discarded, and a return may as well be had to the
polite but highly ridiculous practice of lines of battle saluting each
other and refusing to fire first. There are certain rules of war whose
observance humanity and the spirit of the age demand. Prisoners ought
not to be killed or maltreated, unless in retaliation; the terms of
capitulations and surrenders ought to be honorably fulfilled and
observed; war ought not to be made on non-combatants. But the soldier
ought to be content to take his chance. It is more soldierly to teach
pickets to fight when attacked, than to complain of it, and a picket who
will allow himself to be surprised on his post ought to be shot. At the
time of which I write the Federal army at Green river was provided with
no cavalry, or cavalry that was useless. Its commander, therefore,
unless informed by his spies, whose reports were, of course, infrequent,
was ignorant of all that transpired even immediately outside of his
advance videttes, and it was impossible for him to know whether an
attack on his picket line was made by a scouting party, or premised a
serious affair. He was, then, obliged either to prepare for battle every
time any thing of the kind occurred, greatly harassing his troops, or to
take the risk of an attack when unprepared. It was an excellent means,
too, of judging of the strength of an infantry camp and the changes made
from time to time in it, to attack the picket line at various points,
hear the "long rolls" beaten, and see the troops turn out, as
occasionally could be done.

One or two adventures of Captain Morgan at this period attracted a good
deal of notice. One of them, the burning of Bacon creek bridge, took
place before he reported to Hindman. This bridge had been destroyed at
the time our forces fell back from Woodsonville. It was a small
structure and easily replaced, but its reparation was necessary to the
use of the road. The Federal army then lay encamped between Bacon and
Nolin creeks, the advance about three miles from Bacon creek--the
outposts were scarcely half a mile from the bridge. A few days labor
served to erect the wood work of the bridge, and it was ready to receive
the iron rails, when Morgan asked leave to destroy it. It was granted,
and he started from Bowlinggreen on the same night with his entire
command, for he believed that he would find the bridge strongly guarded
and would have to fight for it. Halting at daybreak a short distance
from the river, he waited until night fell again before resuming his
march. He crossed the ford at Woodsonville, which was fortunately not
guarded, and dispersed a party of Home-guards, which, ignorant of his
vicinity, had assembled at Munfordsville to carry off some Southern
sympathizers of that place.

Pressing on vigorously he reached the bridge at midnight, and to his
surprise and satisfaction found it without a guard; that which protected
the workmen during the day, having been withdrawn at night. The bridge
was set on fire and in three hours thoroughly destroyed--no interruption
to the work was attempted by the enemy. The damage inflicted was
trifling, and the delay occasioned of little consequence. The benefit
derived from it by Morgan was two-fold--it increased the hardihood of
his men in that species of service, and gave himself still greater
confidence in his own tactics. Shortly after Woodsonville had been
included within the picket lines of the enemy and occupied with troops,
Captain Morgan with two men went at night to Hewlett's station, on the
railroad, about two hundred yards from the picket line, and found the
small building which was used as a depot in the possession of five or
six stragglers, who were playing cards and making merry, and captured
them. He set fire to the building, and when the troops had been called
out by the bright light, he sent in a message by one of his prisoners to
the effect that in the following week he would come and burn them out of

On the evening of the 20th or 21st of January, Captain Morgan with five
men left his camp at Bell's tavern, crossed the Green river at an
unguarded ferry, and on the following day rode into Lebanon, some sixty
miles from his point of departure. Several hundred troops were encamped
near this place, and a great many stores were in the town and in a large
building between the town and the nearest camp. The soldiers off or on
duty were frequently passing to and fro through the town. Morgan
destroyed the stores, and made all the stragglers prisoners; some of
them he was obliged to release after taking their overcoats, with which
he disguised his own men and was thus enabled to get quietly through
some dangerous situations. He brought back with him nine prisoners, a
large flag and several other trophies. Two companies of cavalry followed
him closely, but he gained the river first, crossed and turned the boat
adrift, just as his pursuers reached the bank. Next day he marched into
Glasgow with his five men and nine prisoners in column, and the United
States flag flying at the front. He scared the citizens of the place and
two or three straggling Confederates, who were there, horribly. The flag
and blue overcoats demoralised them.

When he reached his own camp the prisoners were quartered with different
"messes," but were not placed under regular guard. The inmates of each
tent, in which prisoners were placed, were held responsible for them. On
this occasion it happened that some of the men (by means in which they
were learned and adroit) had obtained several bottles of wine--sparkling
catawba--and the prisoners were assured that this sort of wine was
regularly issued to the Confederate cavalry by their commissaries. They
approved the wine and the practice of including it in soldiers' rations,
and five of them next morning begged, with tears in their eyes, to be
received into the Confederate service. These adventures are not related
because it is thought that they will excite any especial interest, but
because they fairly represent the nature of the service in which Morgan
was constantly engaged during the occupation of Southern Kentucky by the
Confederate army, in the fall of 1861, and the greater part of the
succeeding winter.

Although greatly inferior in dash and execution to the subsequent
cavalry operations of the West, this service of Morgan's was much
superior, in both, to any thing which had, up to that time, been
attempted by either side, and it served to educate Morgan's men and
Morgan himself for the successful conduct of more daring and far more
important enterprises.

A strong and mutual feeling of regard and friendship commenced (during
the period that we served with General Hindman), between the Eighth
Texas (Terry's Rangers), and the squadron, which continued to the close
of the war, growing warmer as Morgan's command grew in numbers, and,
doubtless, it exists, now, in the hearts of the men, who composed the
two organizations. This feeling interfered in some degree with
discipline, for most of the men of both were young and wild, and
inclined, when they could evade the vigilance of camp guards, to rove
nocturnally and extensively, and neither, when on picket, would arrest
or stop their friends from the other command.

The gallant Rangers paid dearly for their proud record, and few of those
who used to roam and fight so recklessly then, are, I fear, living now,
to recall the events which we witnessed together. The squadron remained
with the forces under command of General Hindman until the evacuation of
Bowlinggreen and the retreat from Kentucky. Then we left the scenes and
the region with which we had become so familiar with sad hearts. We had
hoped that when the signal for departure was sounded, it would be also
the order to advance; that we would press on to recover the whole of
Kentucky, and win victories that would give her to us forever, and the
retreat seemed to us like a march to our graves. But a feeling of regret
at leaving the country in which we had passed months of such pleasant
and stirring service, was natural, even without other reasons for it.
Men are apt to become attached to the localities where they have led
free and active lives, and to connect with them agreeable associations.
This country had many such for us, and that part especially between
Bell's tavern on the one side of Green river, and Nolin on the other.
For many miles to the right and left there was scarcely a foot of the
ground which we had not traversed, nor a thicket in which we had not
hidden; from almost every hill we had watched the enemy, and at almost
every turn in the road shot at him. These are not precisely the kind of
reminiscences that the poetical and romantic sigh over, but every man
has a right to be sentimental after his own fashion, and Morgan's men
were always mightily so about the Green river country.


In the latter part of January, 1862, it became evident that General
Johnson, with the inferior force at his disposal, could not hold his
line in Kentucky. Crittenden, upon the right flank, had sustained a
serious disaster at Mill Springs, near Somerset, and had been forced
back across the Cumberland, which he had crossed to attack Thomas. In
this battle General Zollicoffer was killed--his death was in itself an
irreparable loss. Crittenden retreated first upon Monticello and
subsequently to Gainesville in Tennessee. He lost his artillery and
trains, and his troops could be relied on to oppose no effective
resistance--for the time--to the farther advance of the enemy. The
superiority of the latter in numbers had been not more marked than their
superiority in arms and equipment. The fatigue and privation endured by
Crittenden's men upon their retreat had contributed greatly to impair
their efficiency. The expeditions against Forts Henry and Donelson were
vigorously pressed, and scarcely had full confirmation arrived of the
defeat of Crittenden, when we got the first rumors of the fall of Fort
Henry. General Johnson had never been able to collect at all the points
of defense in Kentucky, exclusive of Columbus, more than twenty-four
thousand men. In this force were included sixty-days' men and all the
minor garrisons. He had at Bowlinggreen in January and the first of
February about ten thousand.

Buell had organized, during the period that the two armies lay inactive
and confronting each other, fifty or sixty thousand men, and they were,
at the time when General Johnson commenced his retreat, concentrated,
mobilized, and ready to fall upon him. Therefore, even before it became
evident that Donelson must fall, before the capture of Nashville was
imminent, by an enemy moving from either flank, and before his line of
retreat was endangered, but just so soon as Buell put his army in motion
General Johnson evacuated Bowlinggreen. Then began the campaign, in
which more than in any other of the war, was displayed the profoundest
strategy, the most heroic decision, the highest order of generalship.

General Johnson had long foreseen the storm of difficulties which now
assailed him. His resources were scanty and the emergency was terrible,
but he did not despair of fighting through it to victory. Upon one flank
of his line, he had sustained a crushing defeat, the forces protecting
it had been driven off. Nashville might be taken by the victors. One of
the forts protecting the great water lines which led right into the
heart of his department, and away to the rear of his army, had been
taken. If the other fell the fate of Nashville was sealed, but far
worse, he would be inclosed at Bowlinggreen, should he remain there,
between three armies each much stronger than his own. If he lingered
around Nashville, he could not protect the city, but gave his enemy the
opportunity of cutting him off completely from the only territory whence
he could hope to obtain recruits, and of preventing his junction with
the reinforcements which he had ordered to his assistance. He did not
hesitate a moment.

Price and Van Dorn were ordered from Arkansas, Bragg was ordered from
Pensacola, all the available troops at New Orleans, and every point in
the department where troops were stationed, were called into the field,
and the concentration of all at Corinth, in Northern Mississippi, was
arranged. Here he would have every thing massed and in hand, and in his
rear would be no danger, nor indefensible line by which danger could
menace him. His adversaries on the contrary would be separated from each
other; rivers and all the perils of a hostile population would be
between them and safety, if they were defeated or forced to turn and
retreat; energy and promptness would enable him to strike them heavy
blows before they could unite; if every detail of his plan worked right,
he might hope to outnumber them at every collision.

This plan would require the evacuation of Columbus, even if the
occupation of New Madrid did not; but there was no longer any use of
holding Columbus, after a retreat to Mississippi had been decided upon.
Its garrison would help to swell the ranks of the army for the decisive
battle--and if that battle were won, territory far North of Columbus
would be gained. Therefore, braving censure and remonstrance more
general, energetic, and daring, than was ever encountered by any
Confederate officer, before or since, General Johnson turned his back
upon Kentucky and commenced the retreat which culminated in the battle
of Shiloh. When the dangers from which this retreat extricated him, the
favorable position in which it placed him for offensive operations, the
exact calculation of the proper time to turn retreat into attack, and
the electric rapidity and courage with which the latter was done--when
all the features are considered, is it claiming too much to say that no
conception of the war was more magnificent?

The evacuation of Bowlinggreen was commenced on the 14th of February,
and notwithstanding the discontent of the troops, was accomplished in
perfect order. On the day after it was all over, the enemy arrived upon
the opposite bank of Barren river--the bridges had all, of course, been
burned--and shelled the town which he could not immediately enter.

The weather for the week following the evacuation, was intensely cold,
and the troops accustomed, for the most part, to comfortable quarters
during the winter, and exposed for the first time to real hardships,
suffered severely. Still, after the first murmuring was over, they were
kept in high spirits by the impression, assiduously cultivated by their
officers, that they were marching to surprise and attack Thomas, who was
supposed to have compromised himself by an imprudent pursuit of

The news from Donelson, where the fight was then raging, was very
favorable, and the successful defense of the fort for several days
encouraged even General Johnson to hope that it would be held and the
assailants completely beaten off.

As the army neared Nashville, some doubts of the truth of the programme
which the men had arranged in their imaginations began to intrude, and
they began to believe that the retreat meant in good earnest the giving
up of Kentucky--perhaps something more which they were unwilling to
contemplate. While they were in this state of doubt and anxiety, like a
thunder-clap came the news of the fall of Donelson--the news that seven
thousand Confederate were prisoners in the hands of the enemy.

General Johnson, himself, was thoroughly surprised by the suddenness of
the disaster, for, six hours before he received information of the
surrender, he had been dispatched that the enemy had been signally
repulsed, and were drawing off, and until the intelligence came of the
fate of the garrison, he had learned of no new attack. The depression,
which this information produced, was deepened by the gloom which hung
over Nashville when the troops entered. It is impossible to describe the
scene. Disasters were then new to us, and our people had been taught to
believe them impossible. No subsequent reverse, although fraught with
far more real calamity, ever created the shame, sorrow, and wild
consternation which swept over the South with the news of the surrender
of Donelson. And in Nashville, itself sure to fall next and speedily, an
anguish and terror were felt and expressed, scarcely to be conceived by
those who have not witnessed a similar scene. All the worst evils which
follow in the train of war and subjugation seemed to be anticipated by
the terrified people, and the feeling was quickly communicated to the
troops, and grew with every hour until it assumed almost the proportions
of a panic. The Tennessee troops were naturally most influenced by the
considerations which affected the citizens, but all shared the feeling.
Some wept at the thought of abandoning the city to a fate which they
esteemed as dreadful as utter destruction, and many, infuriated, loudly
advocated burning it to the ground that the enemy might have nothing of
it but its ashes.

During the first night after the army reached Nashville, when the
excitement and fury were at the highest pitch, and officers and privates
were alike influenced by it, it seemed as if the bonds of discipline
would be cast off altogether. Crowds of soldiers were mingled with the
citizens who thronged the streets all night, and yells, curses, shots
rang on all sides. In some houses the women were pale and sobbing, and
in others there was even merriment, as if in defiance of the worst. Very
soon all those who had escaped from Donelson began to arrive.

Forrest had cut his way through the beleaguering lines and brought off
his entire regiment. He reached Nashville on the day after it was
entered by the army. It was impossible for the infantry men who escaped
to make their way from the scene of disaster, except in small
detachments. They were necessarily scattered all over the country, and
those who reached Nashville in time to accompany the army upon its
farther march, came in as stragglers and without any organization.
Neither men nor officers had an idea of how or when they were to do duty
again. The arrival of these disbanded soldiers, among whom it was
difficult to establish and enforce order, because no immediate
disposition could be made of them, increased the confusion already
prevailing. Rumors, too, of the near approach of the enemy were
circulated, and were believed even by officers of high rank.

Buell's army, which was really not far south of Bowlinggreen, was
reported to be within a few miles of the city, and the Federal gunboats,
which had not yet reached Clarksville, were confidently declared to be
within sight of Fort Zollicoffer, only seven miles below Nashville.

Upon the second day matters had arrived at such a state, and the
excitement and disorder were so extreme, that it became necessary to
take other precautions to repress the license that was prevailing,
besides the establishment of guards and sentinels about the camps where
the troops lay, and General Johnson ordered the establishment of a
strong military police in Nashville. The First Missouri infantry, one of
the finest and best disciplined regiments in the service, was detailed
for this duty, and Morgan's squadron was sent to assist it. Our duty was
to patrol the city and suburbs, and we were constantly engaged at it
until the city was evacuated. General John B. Floyd, of Virginia, was
appointed commandant of Nashville, and entrusted with the enforcement of
discipline and with all the details of the evacuation. His task was one
of no ordinary difficulty. It was hard, at such a time, to know how to
begin the work. In such a chaos, with such passions ruling, it seemed
folly to hope for the restoration of order. Those who remember the
event, will recall the feeling of despair which had seized upon the
soldiery--the entire army seemed, for the time, hopeless of any
retrieval of our fortunes, and every man was thoroughly reckless. Few
excesses were committed; but, with such a temper prevailing, the worst
consequences were to be apprehended, if the influence of the officers
should be entirely lost and the minds of the men should be directed to
mischief. General Floyd would have found the demoralization and license
which had grown apace among the troops, and the terrors of the citizens,
serious impediments to his efforts to remove the valuable stores which
had been collected in Nashville, even if he had possessed abundant
facilities for their removal. But of such facilities he was almost
entirely destitute. The trains with the army were needed for
transportation of supplies for immediate use. The scanty wheel
transportation which belonged to captured and disorganized commands, and
had been brought to the city, could scarcely be made available. When it
could be discovered and laid hold of, the wagons and teams were usually
found to be unserviceable. General Floyd's first care (after satisfying
himself by active scouting, that there was no truth in the reports of
the proximity of the enemy, and burning the bridge at Edgefield
junction), was to make arrangements for saving as many of the stores as
was possible, giving the preference to ordnance stores. For this purpose
he ordered an impressment of transportation in Nashville and the
vicinity, making a clean sweep of every thing that ran on wheels. In
this manner some eighty or ninety vehicles were gotten together, with
teams, and as many loads of ordnance stores were saved for the army. He
issued orders that the citizens should be permitted to help themselves
to the remaining stores, and a promiscuous scramble for clothing,
blankets, meat, meal, and all sorts of quartermaster and commissary
stores, commenced and lasted three days. Occasionally, a half-drunken,
straggling soldier, would walk into the midst of the snatchers, with gun
on shoulder and pistol at his belt, and the citizens would stand back,
jackall like, until he had helped himself. Crowds would stand upon the
pavements underneath the tall buildings, upon the Court House Square,
while out of their fourth and fifth-story windows large bales of goods
were pitched, which would have crushed any one upon whom they had
fallen. Yet numbers would rush and fasten upon them, while other bales
were already in the air descending. Excitement and avarice seemed to
stimulate the people to preternatural strength. I saw an old woman,
whose appearance indicated the extremest decrepitude, staggering under a
load of meat which I would have hardly thought a quartermaster's mule
could carry. Twice during the first day of these scenes, orders were
received by a portion of Forrest's regiment, drawn up on the Square, to
stop the appropriation of stores by the citizens, and they accordingly
charged the crowd (deaf to any less forcible reason) with drawn sabers;
several men were wounded and trampled upon, but fortunately none were
killed. Nothing could have been more admirable than the fortitude,
patience and good sense which General Floyd displayed in his arduous and
unenviable task. He had, already, for ten days, endured great and
uninterrupted excitement and fatigue; without respite or rest, he was
called to this responsibility and duty. Those who have never witnessed
nor been placed in such situations, can not understand how they harass
the mind and try the temper.

General Floyd soon found that he could (with no exertion) maintain
perfect order, or rescue more than a fragment from the wreck, and he
bent all his energies to the task of repressing serious disorders,
preventing the worst outrages, and preserving all that was most
absolutely required for the use of the army, and that it was practical
to remove.

It was easy for officers who respectively saw and considered but one
matter, to advise attention to that in particular, and to censure if
their advice was not taken. But the very multiplicity of such
counsellors, embarrassed rather than assisted, and showed the utter
impossibility, in the brief time allowed, of attending to every thing. I
saw a great deal of General Floyd, while he was commanding in Nashville,
and I was remarkably impressed by him. I was required to report to him
almost every hour in the twenty-four, and he was always surrounded by a
crowd of applicants for all sorts of favors, and couriers bringing all
sorts of news. It was impossible in the state of confusion which
prevailed to prohibit or regulate this pressing and noisy attendance, or
to judge, without examination, of what was important to be considered.
Many matters which ordinarily a general officer would not permit himself
to be troubled with, might need attention and action from him at such a
time. Irascible and impetuous as General Floyd seemed to be by
nature--his nerves unstrung, too, by the fatigues of so many busy days
and sleepless nights--and galled as he must have been by the constant
annoyances, he yet showed no sign of impatience. I saw him give way but
once to anger, which was, then, provoked by the most stupid and insolent
pertinacity. It was interesting to watch the struggle which would
sometimes occur between his naturally violent temper and the restraint
he imposed upon it. His eye would glow, his face and his lips turn pale,
and his frame shake with passion; he would be silent for minutes, as if
not daring to trust himself to speak, looking all the while upon the
ground, and he would then address the man, whose brusqueness or
obstinacy had provoked him, in the mildest tone and manner. He was
evidently endowed with no common nerve, will, and judgment.

At last the evacuation was completed, the army was gotten clear of
Nashville, the last straggler driven out, all the stores which could not
be carried off, nor distributed to the citizens, burned, and the capitol
of Tennessee (although we did not know it then) was abandoned finally to
the enemy. Morgan's squadron was the last to leave, as it was required
to remain in the extreme rear of the army and pick up all the stragglers
that evaded the rear guards of the infantry. Our scouts left behind,
when we, in our turn, departed, witnessed the arrival of the Federals
and their occupation of the city.

The army was halted at Murfreesboro', thirty miles from Nashville, where
it remained for nearly a week. Here it was joined by the remnant of
Crittenden's forces. After a few days given to repose, reorganization
and the re-establishment of discipline, General Johnson resumed his
retreat. He concluded it with a battle in which he himself was the
assailant, and which, but for his death, would have advanced our banners
to the Ohio. It was fruitless of apparent and immediate results, but it
checked for more than a year the career of Federal conquest, infused
fresh courage into the Southern people, and gave them breathing time to
rally for farther contest. His death upon the field prevented vast and
triumphant results from following it then--the incompetency of his
successors squandered glorious chances (months afterward) which this
battle directly gave to the Confederacy. When the line of march was
taken up, and the heads of the columns were still turned southward, the
dissatisfaction of the troops broke out into fresh and frequent murmurs.
Discipline, somewhat restored at Murfreesboro', had been too much
relaxed by the scenes witnessed at Nashville, to impose much restraint
upon them. Unjust as it was, officers and men concurred in laying the
whole burden of blame upon General Johnson. Many a voice was then raised
to denounce him, which has since been enthusiastic in his praise, and
many joined in the clamor, then almost universal against him, who, a few
weeks later, when he lay dead upon the field he had so gallantly fought,
would have given their own lives to recall him.

Crossing the Tennessee river at Decatur, Alabama, and destroying the
immense railroad bridge at that point, General Johnson pressed on down
through the valley, through Courtland, Tuscumbia, and Iuca, to Corinth.
This was for a short time, until he could concentrate for battle, the
goal of his march. Here all the reinforcements at his command could
reach him, coming from every direction. He only awaited their arrival to
attack the enemy, which, flushed with the successes at Henry and
Donelson, lay exposed to his blows, ignorant of his vicinity.

The force with which he crossed the Tennessee river was a little over
twenty thousand men. It was composed of the troops which had held the
lines in Kentucky--those which had been stationed at Bowlinggreen, all
that was left of Crittenden's command, all that were left of the
garrisons of Donelson and Henry. The garrisons of minor importance
in Tennessee contributed, as the State was evacuated, to strengthen the
army. He was very soon joined by the forces from Pensacola, about ten
thousand strong, and a splendid body of men. They were superior in arms,
equipment, instruction and dress, to all of the Western troops, and
presented an imposing appearance and striking contrast to their
weather-stained, dusty and travel-worn comrades. Nothing had ever
occurred to them to impair their morale; they seemed animated by the
stern spirit and discipline which characterized their commander, and a
fit reserve with which to turn the tide of fortune. Beauregard brought
with him some troops from New Orleans and other parts of Louisiana.
General Polk came with the troops which had held Columbus. Several
hurriedly raised and organized regiments came from the various States of
the department. Price and Van Dorn, having between them fifteen
thousand veterans, did not arrive in season to participate in the
immediate movements which General Johnson had determined upon. A
knowledge that the retreat had been brought to a close and that a battle
was about to be fought in which we would attack, did more to inspirit
the troops and restore to them soldierly feeling and bearing, than any
efforts in behalf of discipline. The spirit of the men who had come from
Florida and other points not surrendered to the enemy had a favorable
influence upon the remainder, whose pride was aroused by the comparison
and example. The sudden and seemingly magical change from despondency to
highest hope, from a sullen indifference to duty to the most cheerful
alacrity and perfect subordination, showed how wonderfully susceptible
was the material which composed our army to the hopes inspired by a
daring policy. The same men who had dragged themselves reluctantly
along, as if careless of reputation and forgetful of the cause they had
to fight for, were now full of zeal, energy and confidence. Those who
had almost broken out into open mutiny, now rendered the promptest
obedience to every order. The denunciations they had uttered against
General Johnson, were silenced just so soon as they learned that he was
about to lead them to instant battle, and his name was never mentioned
except with becoming respect, and often with praise. In short, every
trace of demoralization disappeared--courage, pride and efficiency,
returned; and, from a condition not much better than that of an armed
mob, the army became again disciplined, valiant and reliable. While the
masterly ability and soldierly vigor and decision of General Johnson
must excite the profoundest admiration, those who remember him may be
pardoned for dwelling quite as much upon the grandeur, the loftiness,
the heroism of his character. In this we may look in vain for his peer,
except to the great Virginian, his immortal comrade, the man whom every
former Southern soldier must feel it is his religious duty to venerate.
Through all that period of sickening doubt, amidst all the reverses, in
the wide spread demoralization which attacked all ranks, General
Johnson towered like a being superior to the fears and fate of other
men. The bitter censure which was cast at him from all sides, could move
him to nothing weak or unworthy of his high nature. He gave way to no
anger or scorn--he deigned no argument or apology. When the President,
his devoted friend and warm admirer, urged him to supersede the officers
who had suffered defeat, he answered that they were brave, although
inexperienced men, and that he preferred to trust them until he could
find better.

He defended unsuccessful generals with his generous warmth, and reposed
in them a confidence, which saved them, but directed all the clamor
against himself. He entertained with courtesy and listened with
patience, to importunate, censorious civilians, while he had in his
pocket copies of dispatches which they had sent to Richmond furiously
denouncing him. Not one word was he ever heard to say in comment or
rebuke, while censure and detraction were most frequent against him, and
his zealous, paternal care for his army was never relaxed. His majestic
presence, calm and noble face and superb dignity, might themselves--it
would seem--have overawed and hushed the cavilers. Surely, there never
suffered a nobler, purer, braver martyr to senseless prejudice and
unjust, inconsiderate reproach.

While the enemy was retreating through Tennessee, Morgan's squadron
remained in the neighborhood of Nashville until all the detachments
which had been left in the rear to protect and ship off by rail the
stores and supplies (which could be hastily collected) at Murfreesboro',
Shelbyville, and other points, had gotten through with their work and
departed after the army. Morgan encamped his command at La Vergne, a
station upon the railroad, about half way between Nashville and
Murfreesboro'. This little place became quite famous in the subsequent
annals of the war. Morgan first brought its name into men's mouths,
Forrest and Wheeler kept it notorious.

Here, for the first time, we met the Fourth Ohio Cavalry--our
acquaintance afterward became more intimate, and lasted as long as that
gallant regiment was in the field. The Fourth was encamped at the
"Lunatic Asylum"--I asked one of the officers of the regiment
(subsequently) why they were sent _there_, but he did not seem to
know--eight miles from Nashville, on the Murfreesboro' pike, and seven
miles from La Vergne. Our respective "bases" were consequently pretty
close to each other. Our pickets used to stand in sight of theirs during
the day, and in hearing distance at night. The videttes treated each
other with respect and consideration, but the scouts were continually
slipping around through the woods and shooting some one. On one occasion
an officer of the Fourth placed some men in ambush in a thicket upon the
side of the road, and then with a small party rode down near to our
pickets, fired, turned and galloped away again, hoping that some of us
would be induced to follow and receive the fire of his ambuscade. The
night was dark, and by an unaccountable mistake the men in ambush fired
into their own friends as they passed--no damage was done, I believe,
except to horses.

One morning our pickets came rushing in with a party of the enemy in
pursuit (no unusual occurrence), and as we stood to arms, we
noticed--they were three or four hundred yards off--one of the pickets
some distance in the rear of the others, and almost in the clutches of
the enemy, who were peppering away at him. It was private Sam Murrill,
of Co. C., (afterward chief of my couriers, and a first rate soldier to
the end of the war), his horse was slow and blown, and the foremost
pursuer had gotten along side of him and presented his pistol at his
head. Murrill, too quick for him, fired first, and as his enemy dropped
dead from the saddle, seized pistol and horse, and, although closely
pushed, until the guns of his comrades drove back his daring pursuers,
brought both in triumph into camp. These small affairs were of daily
occurrence, but at last our opponents became more wary and circumspect,
and to obtain decided advantages, we had to go far into their lines. We
noticed finally that they adopted a practice of withdrawing their
pickets at night, from the points where they stood during the day, some
miles to the rear. Captain Morgan after making this discovery, resolved
to anticipate them at the place where they made their picket base at
night. He remained with a few men demonstrating all day in sight of the
outpost pickets, and just before nightfall made a circuit which carried
him far to their rear, previously to their withdrawal. He reached the
place (where he learned that a party of twenty-five or thirty stood
nightly), about the time that it was fairly dark.

It was a small house, in a yard some eighty or ninety feet square,
surrounded by a picket fence of cedar. He had with him nine men, of
these he detailed five to hold horses, and with the other four; all
armed with shot guns loaded with buck-shot, he lay down behind the low
fence. The horses were sent back some distance into the bushes. Captain
Morgan instructed his party to hold their fire until he gave the signal.
It was his intention to permit the party, which was expected, to pass
and then fire upon the rear--hoping thus to drive it down the road
toward his own camp and, following rapidly, capture it. When it arrived,
however, about twenty-five strong, the officer in command halted it
before it reached the point where we lay, but at a distance of not more
than thirty feet from us, so that we could distinctly hear every word
which was uttered. The officer in command talked with his guide for some
minutes, sending men to reconnoiter upon each side of the road in the
meantime. At length the officer ordered his men to enter the little
yard, and they came right up to the fence, and just upon the opposite
side from our position. Captain Morgan shouted the word "Now," and each
man arose and fired one barrel of his gun. The roar and the flash so
near, must have been terrible to men taken completely by surprise. The
officer fell immediately, and his party, panic stricken, filed toward
their camp. Another volley was delivered upon them as they ran. A chain
picket was established between the point where this happened and the
camp at the asylum; and we could hear shots fired at rapid intervals,
for minutes, as the fleeing party passed the men on post. Several
wounded men fell in the road, after they had fled a short distance.

A short time before he left La Vergne, Captain Morgan selected fifteen
men for an expedition to Nashville. Avoiding the high roads, he made his
way through the woods to the Lebanon pike, which he struck only a mile
from the city.

The vicinity of the city favored rather than endangered him, and he rode
down into the streets without attracting hostile observation. A patrol
of twenty or thirty cavalry, were making the round of the streets, and
he rode in the rear of this party. After reconnoitering for a short
time, he determined on his plan of operations. He sent all but five or
six of his men out into the thickets, a short distance from the city,
and, with those whom he kept, he made his way, dismounted and leading
the horses along the river bank, until he came near the reservoir, about
opposite to which, and a little out in the river, a steamboat was
anchored. This boat was one which was in the employ of the Federal
Government. It was Captain Morgan's desire to set her on fire, and let
her drift down into the midst of a number of other transports, which lay
a few hundred yards below, and were crowded with troops, hoping she
might fire them also. Three gallant young fellows volunteered to do the
work, and boarded the boat in an old canoe, which was found, bottom
upward, on the shore. They fired her, but could not cut her adrift, as
she was made fast at stem and stern, with chain cables, and thus the
best part of the plan was frustrated. The work was done in full view and
notice of the troops on the other transports, and the engineer and
workmen, on board of the boat, were brought to the shore. The names of
the young men, or rather boys, who did this, were Warfield, Garrett and
Buckner--the latter was soon afterward killed at Shiloh. The canoe was
so unmanageable that its crew came near falling into the hands of the
enemy--but accident favored them at the most perilous moment. A long
line of panel fence had drifted out into the river, one end still being
attached to the bank. When their paddles failed them in the swift
current, they fortunately came in reach of this, and they were enabled
to pull in by it to the shore. As soon as the land was gained, all
remounted their horses, watched for a while the rising flames and the
consternation of the fleet, and then, with three cheers for Morgan, rode
rapidly to rejoin their comrades.

Cavalry was sent in pursuit, but was left far behind. Captain Morgan
went straight across the country to the Murfreesboro' pike. As he gained
it he encountered a small body of Federal cavalry, attacked and drove it
into town. He lost only one man, but he was a capital soldier, Peter
Atherton by name.

He got back to La Vergne about twelve at night. After the thorough and
final evacuation of Murfreesboro', Captain Morgan withdrew to that place
with his command. He almost directly afterward sent the bulk of it to
the Shelbyville and Nashville road, with instructions to encamp about
twenty miles from Nashville, and picket and scout the adjacent country,
and all the neighboring roads. He retained with him at Murfreesboro',
about forty of his own men, and some fifty of Colonel Wirt Adams'
regiment of cavalry, under command of Lieutenant Colonel Wood, of that
regiment. This officer was exceedingly fond of the sort of service which
Morgan was performing, and had been with him constantly for ten or
twelve days. He preferred to remain with and report to him, although his
superior in rank, rather than accompany his own regiment on the retreat
of the army, and see no active work.

A day or two after he had made this disposition of this command, Captain
Morgan taking with him thirty-two of the men he had kept at
Murfreesboro', penetrated by bridle paths and traces through the woods,
to the immediate vicinity of the enemy's encampments at the Lunatic

At this time, Mitchell's entire brigade was encamped there. Stationing
his men in the thickets along the road, at various points, Captain
Morgan went systematically to work to catch every thing that should come
into sight. There was, of course, a great deal of passing to and from
the headquarters of the commanding officers and between the various
camps. No one anticipated danger there, and stragglers, couriers,
escorts, and guards, went carelessly and unsuspectingly along, into the
same bag. In the course of an hour or two eighty odd prisoners were
taken. Colonel Wood went off with twenty-eight of them, and, by some
oversight, sixty were started to Murfreesboro', later, guarded by only
ten men. A number of wagons had been also captured and burned. The teams
were used to mount the prisoners. One staff officer was captured and
sent off with the large hatch of prisoners. Captain Morgan remained
behind with one man, after he had sent off all the others. This sort of
service always gave him great pleasure, and he was loth to give it up.
As the number of passengers fell off, he rode down the road with his
companion, dressed like himself in a blue overcoat, to a point where a
guard of ten men were stationed under a Sergeant for some purpose. He
placed himself between them and their guns, made his follower put his
pistol to the head of the Sergeant and began to rate them for neglect of
duty. He represented himself as a Federal officer of high rank and
reminded them sternly and reproachfully that such careless guard as they
were then keeping had enabled Morgan to play all of his tricks. They had
been careless and were overwhelmed with just shame and mortification at
his rebuke. He at length ordered them all under arrest, and taking the
Sergeant's weapons from him and leaving the guns stacked--he could not
have carried them off without entrusting them to the prisoners--he
marched the whole party away. They were under the impression that
they were going to Mitchell's headquarters, but he got them mounted and
carried them to Murfreesboro'. In the meantime the smoke from the wagons
which were burned within half a mile of Mitchell's headquarters,
attracted attention and led to inquiry, and it was not long before what
was going on was discovered. Troops were at once dispatched to put a
stop to the mischief and beat off or follow the perpetrators. The Fourth
Ohio got on the track of the party guarding the sixty prisoners, and, as
its progress was necessarily slow, it was soon overtaken. Nothing could
be done but release the prisoners and run for it, and the whole escort
went off in rapid flight. One prisoner had, by a strange mistake, been
allowed to retain a loaded gun. As one of the guard who had been in the
extreme rear of the column dashed past this man, the latter fired and
grazed his face. The other turned in his saddle, fired and shot his
unexpected assailant dead. The pursuers had gotten close before they had
been perceived, and they pressed the chase vigorously. Over fences and
gulches, through fields and thickets, as hard as their horses could go,
fled the one party and followed the other for ten miles. One of our men
was killed, two or three wounded, and as many captured. Thirty-eight
prisoners were secured by Morgan--twenty-eight brought off by Wood, and
ten captured and escorted by himself. On the evening of the same day a
party of eighteen men were dispatched from the camp on the Shelbyville
road to push as close to Nashville as possible, and learn the position
of the Federal troops in that quarter. I was myself in command of the
party, and had an accurate knowledge of the points at which guards and
pickets had been previously stationed. On arriving in the vicinity of
these points--around which, without creating an alarm, it was desirable
to pass, in order to get near to the encampments and observe them
closely--they were found unoccupied. The party moved some three miles
further down the road without coming upon an enemy, although a day or
two before the picket posts had been thick in this quarter.

It was apparent that some plan for our benefit had caused this change,
and unusual caution became necessary. I had hoped to find some officers
quartered at the houses well in the rear of the reserve pickets, where
they would believe themselves secure, and to capture them, but I now
approached the houses, not with the expectation of making prisoners, but
of getting information. None of the citizens in that neighborhood had
ever seen any man in my party, and they would tell nothing, but their
alarm at seeing us, and evident anxiety to get rid of us, showed plainly
that they knew of the proximity of danger. At length, when in about six
hundred yards of the Cross-roads near "Flat Rock," I think it is called,
four miles from Nashville, and where it was confidently reported by our
informants that McCook's division was encamped, I halted and secreted
men and horses in the thick brush on the right hand side of the road,
and, with the guide, went forward on foot about a quarter of a mile,
until I suddenly heard the challenge of a picket. I judged from the
words I caught that it was the officer of the day making his rounds.
Soon a negro came down the road toward us, whom we caught and
questioned. He answered very glibly, and evinced too little fear, not to
excite suspicion that he came out to be captured with a made-up tale. He
said that there were ten men on picket at the Cross-roads. As a large
encampment was only a few hundred yards on the other side of this point,
his story did not seem credible. However, we had at last found an enemy.

Leaving five men to take care of the horses, in the thicket where they
were already concealed I carried the others through a wide meadow on the
right of the road which we had traveled (the Shelbyville and Nashville
pike) to the road which crossed it at "Flat Rock," striking the latter
about two hundred yards from the point of intersection. I was convinced
that the withdrawal of the pickets was part of a plan to entrap just
such scouting parties as ours, and that a strong force was in ambush at
the Cross-roads. There was little hope of accomplishing the objects of
the expedition, but the trap could, at least, be sprung, and there was a
chance of surprising the ambuscade. My men were armed with shot-guns and
pistols, the proper weapons for such an affair. I ordered them to follow
me in single-file in the direction of the enemy, instructing them to
hold their fire until we were challenged, and to then discharge their
weapons, and, without stopping to reload, make their way back to the
horses. The moon had just gone down as we began to move slowly down the
road. We made little noise, and were soon convinced by a chorus of
coughing, which broke on our ears as we neared them, that a pretty good
crowd was before us. When we had almost reached the point where the
roads cross, a Sergeant, with five or six men at his back, sprang up, so
near to us that I could have touched him by making another step, and
ordered "halt," in a low voice, evidently taking us for friends. Our
answer was a shot, and he fell dead. His comrades returned our fire, and
at once a line of men rose from the fence corners on the opposite side
of the road which we had just descended--we had passed them unseen in
the darkness. Many of them must have been asleep until alarmed by the
firing. The bulk of the force, however, was stationed upon the other
road, and, as they sprang up at the sudden uproar, and aimed at the
blaze of the guns, they endangered their own friends more than us. My
men sank at once upon their knees, and the enemy firing wildly and high,
did not touch one of them. They pointed their shot-guns low, and every
flash was followed by a groan, and, by the quick vivid light, we could
see the men we hit writhing on the ground. The curses and commands of
the officers, shouts of the combatants, and yells of the wounded were
mingled together. The breadth of the road, only, separated us, and the
blaze from the guns met. When our weapons were emptied, we sprang over
the fence and ran at top speed for our horses. A chain picket which had
been posted on the left of the Shelbyville road, a short distance from
it, rushed forward and opened upon us, and the enemy we had just bidden
farewell redoubled his fire. When we regained the horses, we were nearly
surrounded. Parties had come out from the woods behind us, as we passed
down the road, and our retreat by the way we had come was blocked. Our
signals to call in the laggards, as we prepared to leave, were answered
from every direction by the enemy. But the woods befriended us, as they
had often done before, and we escaped under its shelter. On that same
night a similar adventure befell some Confederates (I think of Starne's
command) on the Franklin pike, and some pickets were killed on the side
of Nashville entirely opposite to that into which all of these roads
(which have been mentioned) run. Of course every thing was attributed to
Morgan, and the Federals were puzzled and uncertain, whether to believe
him really _ubiquitous_, or the commander of two or three thousand men.

A day or two after these occurrences, Morgan went with a flag of truce
to Mitchell's encampment to endeavor to exchange some of his prisoners
for his own men who had been captured. Colonel Wood, who was with him,
was asked confidentially how many men Morgan had, and was told that the
mischief he was doing could only be accounted for upon the supposition
that he had control of a large force. Wood answered, also _in
confidence_, that although he had co-operated with Morgan for two or
three weeks, he was entirely ignorant of the strength of his command.
That he knew, only, that Morgan was controlling the motions of men whom
he (Morgan) rarely saw; and that, although he himself was intimately
cognizant of all that occurred under Morgan's immediate supervision, he
was frequently astonished by hearing from the latter, accounts of
enterprises which had been accomplished by his orders in quarters very
remote from where he was in person operating. Wood saw the impression
which prevailed, and shaped his answers to confirm it. In reality, there
were not in the vicinity of Nashville, at that time, on all sides, more
than three hundred Confederate soldiers. Of this number, Morgan could
control only his own three companies and the fifty men with Wood,
although the others, who were stragglers, and furloughed men from the
Texas Rangers, Starne's, McNairy's and other cavalry regiments, often
joined him upon his expeditions.

Many of the Federal soldiers killed around Nashville, and whose deaths
were, charged to Morgan's men, were killed by the _independent_
partisans, most of them men who lived in the neighboring country, and
had obtained leave to linger, for a while, about their homes. Great zeal
and activity, however, was displayed by all parties.

When the flag of truce party mentioned above got to the picket line, it
was met by an expedition consisting of cavalry, artillery and infantry,
riding in wagons, _en route_ for Murfreesboro', with the expectation of
capturing Morgan's entire band. General Mitchell was very angry when the
arrival of the flag was announced, and complained that Morgan had taken
that method of defeating his plans, that otherwise would have been
assuredly successful. This charge created a good deal of amusement, when
Morgan told the story later to his brother officers of Johnson's array.
Even if Morgan (as Mitchell thought), had known that an expedition was
on foot for his capture, he still would have had a perfect right to
transact at that time--if listened to--any matter of business which
required to be done under flag of truce. It is legitimate to send them
even while battles are going on.

During the entire war, both sides used to send flags of truce for quite
other purposes than the ostensible ones. Morgan was the commanding
Confederate officer in all that region, and had a right to send flags of
truce for any purpose whatever, so long as he observed the usages which
govern them. The flag of truce need not have stopped the expedition.

It was Mitchell's own fault if it was allowed to go far enough to see
what he wished to conceal. It is the right and positive duty of an
officer in charge of a flag, to go as far as he is permitted. General
Mitchell could have refused to receive it, and have ordered it back.
Morgan's friends somewhat doubted whether this expedition (even if it
had not been met and checked by the flag of truce), would have resulted
in Morgan's capture. General Mitchell was a profound strategist, but he
was going to travel by daylight through a country full of Morgan's
friends, and upon a road constantly watched by his scouts, to surprise
Morgan. At any rate, it may be safely asserted that the fond hope which
General Mitchell cherished, could never have been realized, after Morgan
had gotten such timely information of an expedition intended for his
capture, that he was able to meet it with a flag of truce as it was just
setting out.

The country around Nashville, in which Morgan did the service, which I
have attempted to describe, is one admirably adapted to it. It is one of
the most fertile and wealthy portions of Middle Tennessee, a region
unsurpassed in productiveness. Yet teeming as it is with every crop
which the farmer wishes, one would think, in riding along the fine
turnpikes which enter Nashville upon all sides, that a comparatively
small proportion of the land is cultivated. A dense growth of timber,
principally cedar, stretches, sometimes for miles, along the roads, and
runs back from them, occasionally, to considerable distances. The cedar
glades, are, some of them, of great extent, and are penetrated in all
directions by roads. Springs, and small watercourses, are frequent. It
is indeed a beautiful country, and the paradise of partisan cavalry, who
can find in it, every where, supplies for men and horses, shelter to
hide them, going against and escaping from an enemy, and, stop where
they will, all that makes a camp happy.

The people who live in this country are worthy to possess it. They are
brave, frank, generous and hospitable--true to their friends, kind to
the distressed. They are just and honorable, and uphold through all
trials and evils, the right, as they understand it, and their plighted
word. Come what will upon this country, may God bless the people of
Middle Tennessee.

Two or three days after the flag of truce affair, Morgan determined upon
an expedition to a different quarter from that in which he had been
hitherto employed. It was high time that, in accordance with the
instructions he had received, he followed and rejoined the army, and he
desired to leave an impression upon the enemy of his "ubiquity," which
would be useful, after he himself was gone.

Upon the north side of the Cumberland, and about eight miles from it in
a direct line, is the little town of Gallatin, in Sumner County,
Tennessee. It is situated on the Louisville and Nashville road, about
thirty miles from Nashville. This place was one of no military
importance at that time, but it was right upon the line of communication
between Louisville and Nashville--the roads running from Kentucky, as
well as the railroad, all passing through it--and the line of telegraph.
This place is about fifty miles from Murfreesboro', by the most direct
route. Morgan resolved to hold this place for a day or two, and get the
benefit of the "communication" himself. He left Murfreesboro' about
midday, passed through Lebanon that evening, and encamped for the night
near that place. Crossing the Cumberland next morning at Canoe-branch
ferry, he reached Gallatin about ten o'clock. He found the town
ungarrisoned, two or three clerks to take care of unimportant stores,
and a telegraph operator, constituting all the force there was to oppose
him. The citizens of this place were always strongly attached to the
Confederate cause, and devoted friends of Morgan and his command--for
which they subsequently suffered no little--and they received him
enthusiastically. This neighborhood was always noted for good cheer,
and, on this occasion, dainties of all kinds appeared as if by magic,
and bouquets were showered by the score. Desiring the latest information
from Nashville, Morgan, accompanied by Colonel Wood, went straight to
the telegraph office, where they were kindly received by the operator,
to whom they introduced themselves as Federal officers just from the
interior of Kentucky. The operator immediately placed himself in
communication with Nashville and got the last news for their benefit.
The conversation then turned on Morgan. "The clerk of the lightning"
said that he had not yet disturbed them at Gallatin, but that he might
be expected any day: "However," he continued, "let him come, I, for one,
am ready for him." He told the story of Morgan's coming to Mitchell's
lines with the flag of truce (which, it seems, had raised great
excitement), and declared that he ought to have been shot then and
there. "Had I been there," said he, fiercely, and brandishing his
revolver, "the scoundrel would have never left alive."

"Give me that pistol," Morgan said quietly; and, taking it, much to the
fellow's surprise, "I am Morgan."

The consternation of the operator was extreme, and his apology, when he
found his tongue, polite. It was accepted, and so was he and placed
under guard. He was badly scared, at first, but he was treated kindly,
and in a few days became domesticated and even playful. An engine and a
few cars, found standing at the depot, were taken possession of--the
cars were immediately burned. Morgan got on the engine with two or three
companions, and run some miles up the railroad to visit two or three
points of interest. He desired especially to ascertain if the tunnel
could readily be destroyed, but found that it would be a work of more
time than he had to spare. While he was absent, several Federal officers
and soldiers came into the town and were made prisoners. When he
returned, the engine was run off the track, over a steep bank, and
destroyed. On the next morning he sent the bulk of his command across
the river again, with instructions to remain near and guard the ferry.
He, himself, with ten or fifteen men, remained at Gallatin two days
longer with the hope of catching some of the trains. He was
disappointed, the news got around and none came. Twenty or thirty wagons
which were coming from Scottsville, under a small guard, were also
turned back--the escort getting the alarm after he had made all his
preparations to capture them--so that his expedition was more barren of
the spoils of war than he had hoped. But his main object--to persuade
the enemy that they could never safely count upon his being "gone"--was
perfectly accomplished. While his men on the south side of the river
were waiting for him, six transports, loaded with troops from
Monticello, passed down toward Nashville. The men on the boats did not
know who the cavalry were, and our men were afraid to fire upon them,
lest they might endanger Captain Morgan and their comrades with him, on
the other side. Immediately after his return to Murfreesboro', he set
out to rejoin the army, and met at Shelbyville that portion of his
command which had been encamped on the Shelbyville and Nashville road,
and which, in obedience to his orders, had also repaired to the former

Here we remained for two or three days and then marched on in the track
of the army. While at Shelbyville, the first and only causeless stampede
of our pickets and false alarm to the camps which occurred during our
squadron organization, took place. Ten or fifteen men were posted on
picket some eight miles from the town toward Nashville, near a small
bridge, at the southern end of which the extreme outpost vidette stood.
From tales told by the citizens, these pickets had conceived the idea
that the enemy contemplated an attack to surprise and capture them, and
(perhaps for the very reason that they had so often played the same game
themselves) they became very nervous about it. Late in the night, two
men came down the road from toward Nashville in a buggy, and drove
rapidly upon the bridge without heeding the vidette's challenge--he,
taking them to be the enemy, shot both barrels of his gun at them and
fled to alarm the other videttes and his comrades at the base. The whole
party became so alarmed by his representation of the immense number and
headlong advance of the enemy, that, without stopping to fight or
reconnoiter, they all came in a hand-gallop to camp. The officer in
charge sent the vidette who had given the alarm, in advance, to report
to me. I immediately got the command under arms and then questioned him.
He stated that the enemy's cavalry came on, at the charge, in column of
fours, that they paid no attention to his challenge, and that when he
fired, they dashed at him, making the air ring with their yells and
curses. He said that "the road seemed perfectly blue for more than half
a mile," so great was their number.

It was a moonless night, and a slight rain was falling, making the
darkness intense. I asked him if he might not have been deceived and if
he was not scared. "No, sir," said he, "not a bit, but I was somewhat

Leaving Shelbyville, we marched through Fayetteville to Huntsville;
every where along the route the people flocked to see Morgan, and his
progress was one continual ovation. When we reached Huntsville, the most
beautiful town in Alabama (and now that Columbia is in ashes) perhaps in
the entire South, we were received with the kindness and hospitality
which characterize that generous, warm-hearted population. Huntsville,
the birth-place of Morgan, greeted him like a mother indeed. For ten
days we remained there; every man in the command the recipient of
unwearying attention. It was very injurious to good soldierly habits,
but served, as many other such instances did, to show the men that they
were fighting for a people who loved to be grateful, and to prove
it--and unavailing as the struggle was, it is still a thought of pride
and satisfaction, that the labors and sacrifices were made for a people
worthy of them all.

Crossing the Tennessee river at Decatur and marching just in the track
of the army, we reached Byrnesville, a few miles from Corinth, on the
third of April, and found there the division of General Breckinridge, to
which we were attached. The whole army was then astir, and forming to
march to attack the enemy who lay at Pittsburg Landing on the southern
bank of the Tennessee some twenty miles from Corinth.

Morgan's services were much talked of, and he was complimented by
General Johnson in terms that were very grateful to him. He was given
the commission of Colonel, to take effect from the fourth of April, and
he received (what he valued much more highly) an assurance, or what he
construed to be such, that he would be permitted to act independently
again, and follow his favorite service with a stronger force and upon a
larger scale.

None among the many ardent and high-strung men who went with so much
zeal into that fight, felt more hope and enthusiasm than Morgan, for he
saw beyond it, a career of excitement, success, and glory, that might
satisfy the most energetic and most daring nature.


On the 3rd of April, the army, leaving its cantonments around Corinth,
commenced its advance, and the heads of the columns were directed toward
Pittsburg, on the Tennessee river, where, unconscious of the gathering
storm, lay the Federal host under General Grant, which had conquered at
Donelson. Flushed with that victory and insolent with triumph, the enemy
rested for the long march of invasion which he believed would lead him
(unchecked, even if opposed) to easy, speedy and decisive conquest. No
thought of danger to himself, disturbed these pleasant anticipations.

The suggestion that an attack from the Confederate forces at Corinth was
imminent, would have been dismissed as the idlest and weakest of
apprehensions. The different corps moved from their respective
positions, on the railroads which enter Corinth, by the most direct
roads to the point indicated for their concentration.

General Johnson had declared, some weeks previously, with prophetic
judgment, that upon that very spot, "the great battle of the Southwest
would be fought."

Breckinridge's division, to which Morgan's squadron was now attached,
moved from Byrnesville. The roads were narrow and miry, and were not
improved by a heavy rain which fell during the march, and by the passage
of successive trains of wagons and batteries of artillery. The march was
slow and toilsome. The infantry labored along with mud-clogged feet,
casting sour looks and candid curses at the cavalry and couriers, who
bespattered them. The artillery often stuck fast, and the struggling
horses failed to move the pieces, until the cannoneers applied
themselves and pushed and strained at the heavy wheels.

On the 5th, about three or four in the afternoon, every thing was
concentrated upon the ground, where General Johnson proposed to
establish his line, and the disposition of the forces, in accordance
with the plan of battle, was at once commenced. On account of some
accident, or mistake, this concentration was effected one day later than
had been contemplated, causing a corresponding delay in the attack. It
has frequently been asserted that this was occasioned by the failure of
General Polk's corps to arrive at the appointed time.

General Polk's report demonstrates the injustice of this statement, and
it is probable that the condition of the roads was the sole cause of the

A want of promptness upon the part of General Polk, no doubt would have
produced a suspension of the attack. A corps so strong and efficient,
could have been ill-spared from an army, already inferior in numbers to
the antagonist it was about to assail, and the absence of the brave old
Bishop from the field, would have been, of itself, a serious loss. This
delay was the cause of grave apprehensions to many of the Confederate
Generals, and, as matters were managed, was really unfortunate.

It was known that Buell was marching rapidly to the support of Grant,
and General Johnson wished to crush the latter before their junction was

General Beauregard was of opinion that the attack, having been so long
delayed, ought to be abandoned altogether; that it would now be
extremely hazardous, and that the safety of the army would be
compromised if it did not retire promptly to Corinth.

General Johnson listened courteously to every argument, but was moved by
none to relinquish his plan. His resolution to fight, after placing his
army in front of the enemy, was fixed. He believed, "the offensive once
assumed, ought to be maintained at all hazards." He trusted that vigor
and audacity would enable him to accomplish victory on the first day,
before the fresh troops came, and his designs were too profoundly
considered, his gallant faith in his soldiers, too earnest, for his
purpose to be shaken. In answer to an anxious inquiry from his aide,
Colonel William Preston, he said, quietly, "I would fight them were they
a million."

The ground selected for battle was that inclosed between Owl and Lick
creeks, which run nearly parallel with each other, and empty into the
Tennessee river. The flanks of the two armies rested upon these little
streams, and the front of each was just the distances, at their
respective positions, between the two creeks. The Confederate front was,
consequently, a little more than three miles long. The distance between
the creeks widens somewhat, as they approach the river, and the Federal
army had more ground upon which to deploy. The position which the enemy
occupied next morning, is five or six miles from the river, and his
advance camp was perhaps a mile southward of Shiloh Church. He had, as
yet, established no line; the attack next morning took him completely by
surprise, and he formed after the fight had commenced.

General Johnson's effective strength, including all the forces available
for that battle, was about thirty-five thousand men. That of the enemy
was, perhaps, forty-five thousand men. The advantages of attack and
surprise would, General Johnson thought, more than counterbalance his
numerical inferiority. If Buell brought reinforcements to his opponents,
by forced marches, in advance of his army, he would feel their effect
only in a stronger line, and more stubborn resistance upon the
front--his flanks would be safe in any event. The array of his forces
evinced a resolution to break through and crush, at any cost, whatever
should confront him in the narrow space where the whole conflict would
be crowded.

The troops were bivouacked that night upon the ground which it was
intended that they should occupy in line of battle. No disposition which
could be made that evening was delayed; every precaution was taken to
guard against a further procrastination of the attack. The men laid down
to sleep in the order in which they were to rush upon the enemy.

General Hardee had command of the first line, General Bragg of the
second, and General Polk of the third. General Hardee's line extended
from the one creek to the other, and as his corps (fully deployed) could
not properly occupy the entire distance, he was reinforced by a fine
brigade under Brigadier General Gladden. To Hardee was given the honor
of commencing the battle, and he was ordered to push his whole line
rapidly forward, at early dawn. General Bragg's line was formed
similarly to General Hardee's, and about a quarter of a mile in its
rear. Bragg was ordered to advance simultaneously with Hardee, and to
support him when he needed assistance. Then, at the distance of eight
hundred yards, came General Polk's corps, not deployed, but formed in
column of brigades. General Breckinridge's division (over six thousand
strong) constituted the reserve, and was close in the rear of Polk's
corps. The cavalry was promiscuously disposed--indeed, no one in
authority seemed to think it could win the battle. Morgan's squadron was
formed with the Kentucky troops, and occupied the extreme left of
Breckinridge's division. This disposition of the forces and the
energetic conduct of the Confederate commanders, explain the striking
features of the battle, which have been so often remarked--the
_methodical_ success of the Confederates, upon the first day, the
certainty with which they won their way forward against the most
determined resistance; the "clock-like" regularity of their advance, the
desperate struggle, the Federal retreat, repeated again and again
through the day. Taking into consideration the circumstances under which
the collision occurred, military _savants_ will, some day, demonstrate
that success ought, with mathematical certainty, to have resulted from
the tactics of General Johnson. An army moving to attack (an enemy,
surprised and unprepared), in three lines, supported by a reserve, and
with its flanks perfectly protected, ought to have delivered crushing
and continuous blows. Such a formation, directed by consummate skill and
the finest nerve in a commander, of troops who believed that to fight
would be to win, promised an onset well nigh irresistible.

The afternoon wore away and no sign in the enemy's camps indicated that
he had discovered our presence. The night fell, and, the stern
preparations for the morrow, having been all completed, the army sank to
rest. The forest was soon almost as still as before it had been tenanted
with the hosts of war. But, before the day broke, the army was astir;
the bugles sounded the reveille on all sides, and the long lines began
to form. About five o'clock, the first gun rang on the front--another
and another, succeeding, as our skirmishers pressed on, until the
musketry grew into the crackling, labored sound, which precedes the roar
of real battle. The troops seemed excited to frenzy by the sound. It was
the first fight in which the majority of them had ever been engaged, and
they had, as yet, seen and suffered nothing to abate the ardor with
which the high-spirited young fellows panted for battle. Every one who
witnessed that scene--the marshaling of the Confederate army for attack
upon the morning of the sixth of April--must remember more distinctly
than any thing else, the glowing enthusiasm of the men, their buoyancy
and spirited impatience to close with the enemy. As each regiment formed
upon the ground where it had bivouacked, the voice of its commander
might be heard as he spoke high words of encouragement to his men, and
it would ring clearer as he appealed to their regimental pride, and bade
them think of the fame they might win. When the lines began to advance,
the wild cheers which arose made the woods stir as if with the rush of a
mighty wind. No where was there any thought of fear--every where were
the evidences of impetuous and determined valor.

For some distance the woods were open and clear of undergrowth, and the
troops passed through, preserving their array with little difficulty;
but as the point, where the fight between the pickets had commenced, was
neared, the timber became dwarfed into scrubby brush, and at some places
dense thickets impeded the advance. The ground, too, grew rugged and
difficult of passage in unbroken line. Frequent halts to reform and
dress the ranks became necessary, and at such times General Johnson's
magnificent battle order was read to the regiments, and its manly,
heroic language was listened to with the feeling it was intended to
evoke. The gray, clear morning was, ere long, enlivened with a radiant
sunrise. As the great light burst in full splendor above the horizon,
sending brilliancy over the scene, many a man thought of the great
conqueror's augury and pointed in exultation and hope to the "Sun of
Shiloh." Breckinridge's division went into the fight last, and, of
course, saw or heard a great deal of it, before becoming itself actively
engaged. Not far off, on the left and center, the fight soon grew
earnest, as Hardee dashed resolutely on; the uneasy, broken rattle of
the skirmishers gave way to the sustained volleys of the lines, and the
artillery joined in the clamor, while away on the right, the voice of
the strife swelled hoarser and angrier, like the growl of some wounded
monster--furious and at bay. Hardee's line carried all before it. At the
first encampment it met not even the semblance of a check. Following
close and eager upon the fleeing pickets, it burst upon the startled
inmates as they emerged, half clad, from their tents, giving them no
time to form, driving them in rapid panic, bayoneting the dilatory--on
through the camp swept, together, pursuers and pursued. But now the
alarm was thoroughly given, the "long roll" and the bugle were calling
the Federals to arms; all through their thick encampments they were
hastily forming.

As Hardee, close upon the haunches of the foe he had first started,
broke into another camp, a long line of steel and flame met him,
staggering, and for a little while, stopping his advance. But his
gallant corps was still too fresh for an enemy, not yet recovered from
the enervating effects of surprise, to hold it back long. For a while it
writhed and surged before the stern barrier suddenly erected in its
front, and then, gathering itself, dashed irresistibly forward. The
enemy was beaten back, but the hardy Western men who filled his ranks
(although raw and for the first time under fire) could not be forced to
positive flight. They had once formed, and at this stage of the battle,
they could not be routed. They had little discipline, but plenty of
staunch courage. Soon they turned for another stand, and the
Confederates were, at once, upon them. Again they gave way, but strewed
the path of their stubborn retreat with many a corpse in gray as well as
in blue. At half past seven the first lines began to give signs of
exhaustion, and its march over the rough ground while struggling with
the enemy, had thinned and impaired it. It was time for Bragg's corps to
come to the relief, and that superb line now moved up in serried
strength. The first sign of slackening upon the part of the Confederates
seemed to add vigor to the enemy's resistance. But bravely as they
fought, they never recovered from the stun of the surprise. Their half
of the battle was out of joint at the beginning, and it was never gotten
right during that day. They were making desperate efforts to retrieve
their lost ground when Bragg's disciplined tornado burst upon them. The
shock was met gallantly but in vain. Another bloody grapple was followed
by another retreat of the Federals, and again our line moved on.

Those who were in that battle will remember these successive contests,
followed by short periods of apparent inaction, going on all the day. To
use the illustration of one well acquainted with its plan and incidents:
"It went on like the regular stroke of some tremendous machine." There
would be a rapid charge and fierce fight--the wild yell would announce a
Confederate success--then would ensue a comparative lull, broken again
in a few minutes, and the charge, struggle and horrible din would

About half past ten Polk's corps prepared to take part in the fight. He
had previously, by order personally given by General Johnson (who was
all the time in the front), sent one brigade to reinforce General
Bragg's right, where the second line had been most hotly engaged. He had
also sent, by order of General Beauregard, one brigade to the left. The
fight at this time was joined all along the line, and urged with greater
fury, than at any period of the day. Almost immediately after parting
with these two brigades, General Polk became engaged with the remainder
of his corps. The enemy had, now, disposed his entire force for
resistance--the men fought as if determined not to accept defeat--and
their stern, tenacious leader was not the man to relinquish hope,
although his lines had been repeatedly broken and the ground was piled
with his slain. The corps of Hardee, Bragg and Polk, were now striving
abreast, or mingled with each other.

In reading the reports of the Confederate Generals, frequent allusion
will be found to regiments and brigades fighting without "head or
orders." One commander would sometimes direct the movements of troops
belonging to another. At this phase of the struggle, the narrative
should dwell more upon "the biographies of the regiments than the
history of the battle." But the wise arrangement of the lines and the
instructions given subordinate commanders, ensured harmonious action and
the desired result.

Each brigade commander was ordered (when he became disengaged), to seek
and attack the nearest enemy, to press the flank of every stubborn
hostile force which his neighbors could not move, and at all hazards to
press forward. General Johnson seemed to have adopted the spirit of the
motto, "When fighting in the dark, strike out straight." He more than
once assumed command of brigades which knew not what to do, and led them
to where they could fight with effect. Our successes were not won
without costly sacrifices, and the carnage was lavish upon both sides.

While all this was going on in front, Morgan's squadron moved along with
Breckinridge's division, and we listened to the hideous noise, and
thought how much larger the affair was than the skirmishes on Green
river and around Nashville. We soon learned to distinguish when the
fight was sharp and hotly contested, and when our lines were
triumphantly advancing, and we wondered if those before us would finish
the business before we got in.

We had not marched far, before we saw bloody indications of the fierce
work that had been done upon the ground over which we were passing. The
dead and the wounded were thick in the first camp, and, thence, onward.
Some of the corpses (of men killed by artillery), showed ghastly
mutilation. In getting up our glowing anticipation of the day's
programme, we had left these items out of the account, and we mournfully
recognized the fact, that many who seek military distinction, will
obtain it posthumously, if they get it at all. The actual sight of a
corpse immensely chills an abstract love of glory. The impression soon
wears off, however, and the dead are very little noticed. Toward ten or
eleven o'clock we wandered away from the infantry to which we had been
attached, and getting no orders or instructions, devoted ourselves to an
examination of the many interesting scenes of the field, which we viewed
with keen relish.

The camps whence the enemy had been driven, attracted especial and
admiring attention. There was a profusion of all the necessaries, and
many of the luxuries of military life. How we wondered that an army
could have ever permitted itself to be driven away from them.

While we were curiously inspecting the second or third encampment, and
had gotten closer, than at any time previously, to the scene of the
fighting, a slight incident interrupted, for a moment, the pleasure of
the investigation. Some of the enemy's shells were bursting over our
heads, and as we were practically ignorant of artillery, we were at
first puzzled to know what they were. In the general thunder of the
fight, no special reports could be heard, to lead to a solution of the
particular phenomena. Suddenly a short yell of mingled indignation and
amazement, announced that one of the party had some practical
information on the subject. He had been struck by a fragment on the
shoulder, inflicting a severe gash and bruise. Not knowing how the
missile had reached him, he seemed to think himself a very ill-treated

Just as Breckinridge's division was going into action, about 12 P.M., we
came upon the left of it, where the Kentucky troops were formed. The
bullets were beginning to fly thick about us. Simultaneously, the
squadron and the regiment nearest to us, struck up the favorite song of
the Kentuckians, "Cheer Boys, Cheer"--the effect was animating beyond
all description.

About this time our advance was receiving its first serious check. While
the right and the left were advancing, the left-center was repulsed
before a strong position which the enemy held in force. They were posted
upon an eminence, in front of which were thickets and underbrush. Plenty
of artillery strongly supported, crowned this eminence, and Hardee's
utmost efforts to carry it had been foiled. So furiously played the
batteries of the enemy, that nothing could be seen of the position, but
sheets of flame and clouds of smoke. When an advance was attempted
against it, a shower of minnie balls would be felt. It was finally
taken, after the impetus given the line by the arrival of the reserve
under Breckinridge, had sent our forces forward on both sides so far,
that it was completely flanked. While the advance, at this point, was
thus suspended, the squadron happened to approach, and General Hardee
sent an aide to know "what cavalry that was?" Upon learning that it was
Morgan's, he expressed himself much pleased, and said that he would use
it to "take that battery." When informed of this truly gratifying
compliment, the men bore themselves with becoming sobriety, and as they
formed for the charge, which we were told would be immediately ordered,
they indulged in no unseemly or extravagant expressions of joy. Indeed,
it is an historical fact, that while we were ready enough to go, we were
not so sanguine of the result as General Hardee seemed to be. The
General sat on his horse near Schoup's gallant battery which was
replying, but ineffectually, to the vicious rain of grape and shell
which poured from the hill. He seemed indifferent to the terrible
volleys, and only anxious to capture the guns.

The order, we were expecting, was never given us. At the first
slackening of the fire from the hill, some of the infantry regiments,
which were lying down, dashed forward, but the enemy left the position
because he was in danger of being surrounded. Many of the guns were

The right was now checked, meeting the fiercest resistance. The left and
center bore rapidly forward.

From a passage in General Bragg's report, it would seem that it had been
part of the plan to press more strongly upon our right and drive the
enemy down the river, "leaving the left open for him to escape." But it
was already apparent that he was being hemmed in and forced from all
sides, toward Pittsburg Landing.

General Hardee, at this time, ordered Colonel Morgan to take his command
to the extreme left, and "charge the first enemy he saw." Colonel Morgan
immediately proceeded in the direction indicated as rapidly as his
column could gallop. The left of our line was moving so swiftly to the
front that, leaving to go some distance by a bridle path in the rear,
before turning to overtake it, we did not reach it until nearly one
o'clock in the afternoon. Just as we approached, we saw, on the extreme
left, a body of men dressed in blue uniforms, going through with some
strange evolutions. Their dress was much like that of the enemy, but
there were troops, evidently Confederate, not far from them that were
paying them no attention. Colonel Morgan ordered a platoon of Company A,
to dismount and approach them cautiously, to fire into them if satisfied
that they were the enemy, and it was his intention to then charge them.
We drew very near to them unnoticed. A little man flourishing a
portentous saber, was directing their movements with off-hand eloquence.
We forbore to fire, because, although we did not understand what he
said, we thought from the emphasis of the speaker, his volubility, and
the imprecatory sound of the language, that it was French, and that his
party were Louisianians. This surmise was correct. They were members of
Colonel Mouton's fine regiment, the Eighteenth Louisiana. Their uniform
cost them dearly before the fight was over. They were frequently fired
into by Confederate regiments, and received, in that way, smart loss. At
length they retaliated whenever they received a volley. This caused some
complaint, but it is related that the Louisianians gave sound military
reasons for their conduct, saying: "We fire at any body, what fire at
us--G-d d-m." Shortly after we made this discovery, we saw this regiment
and a portion of the Kentucky brigade, charge across a wide field on the
extreme left of our line. Here a ravine which had protected our left
flank suddenly terminated, and when the line had dashed across this
field and had entered the woods beyond, it was entirely uncovered. A
strong force of the enemy was formed in the middle of this field (where
one of the camps was situated), and the Confederates rushed so closely
upon them, that it seemed as if the bayonets must cross, before they
gave way. The volume of musketry in this charge was tremendous, and
drowned the crash of the artillery. When the Federals turned to retreat
they still preserved their array, and went off in perfect order.

They frequently faced about to fire on their pursuers, who poured
continuous volleys into them, and thus fighting they disappeared in the
woods. Our squadron and the Texian rangers--Eighth Texas--were following
behind the infantry, and had been unable to get past them, or (on
account of the ravine) to the left of them. Now, however, an opportunity
of actively participating in the battle occurred, which we had not
expected. As we were pressing across the field, some Federal skirmishers
appeared in the edge of the woods upon the left of the field, not more
than eighty yards from us. They directed their attention principally to
Byrne's battery, which was also crossing the field, and prevented the
cannoneers from unlimbering the guns. Colonel Morgan at once ordered the
charge, and the squadron dashed at full gallop into the woods. The
skirmishers ran back, but as we forced our way in a crowded mass (all
line lost) through the thickets, we came suddenly upon the infantry
regiment to which these skirmishers belonged. Fortunately for us, this
regiment, in scrambling through the brush, had lost the compactness of
its formation. We came close upon them before the Federals fired--they
delivered one stunning volley, the blaze almost reaching our faces, and
the roar rang in our ears like thunder. The next moment we rode right
through them--some of the men trying to cut them down with the saber,
and making ridiculous failures, others doing real execution with gun and
pistol. We lost only three men killed, but they were noble, gallant
soldiers--Lieutenant James West and privates Samuel Buckner and James
Ghiselin. We lost several others wounded. Twelve of the enemy were
killed and a few made prisoners. The affair was over directly, and the
Federals retreated. The Texians, as we prepared to charge, asked what we
were going to do. "To go in," was the answer, "Then we will go in, too,"
they shouted, and galloping down the rear of our line, until they
reached the right of it, they turned short to the left and charged into
the woods. They struck the rest of the brigade to which the regiment we
had met belonged, and drove it back for some distance. They were never
checked until they reached a high fence, which they could not pass.
Their loss was then severe, and many of their riderless horses came
galloping over the ground where our wounded lay.

Our infantry had pressed on beyond this point, and there was no
Confederate force near except this cavalry. It was impossible to
conjecture how strong the enemy was just here, but Colonel Morgan,
fearing that he might come in force sufficient to endanger this flank,
disposed his command on foot, to make all possible resistance in such an
event. Our skirmishers, thrown forward, could not find him, and the
receding din of the battle seemed to promise perfect safety against all
such dangers. About half-past one or two o'clock, occurred the great
calamity which rendered unavailing all of the sacrifices and successes
of the day. General Johnson was killed. He had exposed himself with
almost culpable recklessness. From the commencement of the fight he had
been in the van--cheering the struggling men--adding fresh spirit to the
charge--stimulating to new energy the battalions that were checked. His
clothing had been torn by balls which were unheeded.

Once he had ridden along the rear of a brave Arkansas Regiment, which
had just recoiled from a terrible fire. "Where now," he said, striking
some of the men encouragingly upon the shoulder, "are the Arkansas boys,
who boasted that they would fight with their bowie knives? You have a
nobler weapon in your grasp--will you dare to use it?" He spoke to men
who could not hear such words in vain--they rushed forward and won the

Statham's magnificent brigade had at length faltered. General Johnson,
bare-headed and with his hand elevated, rode out in front of the
brigade, and called on it to follow. His dress, majestic presence,
imposing gesture and large gray horse, made him a conspicuous mark. A
ball pierced his leg, severing the artery. He paid no notice to the
wound, but continued to follow the troops, who, incited by his example,
had charged successfully. Suddenly he grew faint and reeled in his
saddle. His staff came to his assistance, but too late. They bore him
into a ravine for shelter, and in a few moments he died. I cannot
venture to speak of General Johnson in the ordinary terms of
eulogy--such applied to him would seem frivolous and profane. He was too
great for it in life--and it would little accord with the veneration,
silent, but profound, with which we, his people, cherish his memory. If
he had lived but a few days more! Shortly after this great disaster the
lines were pressed forward rapidly again at all points. Our troops were
still instinct with the spirit of the lost leader. His genius had
prepared effects, accomplished after he was gone. The left had swept far
around--the center, where the latest check had been felt, was a little
behind--the right driving everything before it, when, by hard fighting
the resistance opposed to it at noon had been overcome, was approaching
the river.

Now the word was passed through the army, "Let every order be forward."
In the last determined stand which the enemy made, Major General
Prentice and two thousand of his division were captured. His troops
stood, until the advancing Confederates closed in on two sides, and
escape had become impossible.

Our army was now near the river, and a victory absolutely complete and
decisive, was just within its grasp. The fighting had been hard and our
success blood-bought but brilliant. For many miles (through his
encampments, piled up with rich spoils) we had driven the enemy. His
brave resistance had at length been completely broken, and after immense
losses, he seemed ready to yield. It is an indisputable fact, that for
an hour, at least, before the Confederate advance was checked by order
of the Commanding General, it was meeting with no sort of check from the
enemy. The Northern writers, who shortly after the battle described it,
one and all depicted a scene of utter confusion and consternation as
prevailing in the Federal army, crowded upon the bank of the river.
Scarcely a semblance of resistance (according to these writers), was
maintained--while thousands (all discipline and confidence gone), were
prepared to surrender. Hundreds, unable to force their way upon the
boats, plunged into the river and were drowned.

The head of Buell's column commenced to arrive late in the afternoon,
and the troops were crossed as rapidly as they came up. Nelson's
division crossed first. The leading brigade was compelled to force its
way through the mass of fugitives. On that afternoon, the second chance
which the Confederacy had, to win the war, was thrown away.

All night long, the huge pieces upon the gunboats thundered at
intervals, with a roar which seemed like that of a bursting firmament.
They had been opened during the afternoon, but, on account of the great
elevation necessary to enable them to shoot over the bluffs, the shells
had gone high in the air. These huge missiles came screaming louder than
a steam whistle, striking off the tops of trees, and filling the air
with dense clouds of smoke when they burst, but doing no damage.

During the night little was done to reorganize the Confederate soldiery.
Only Bragg's corps maintained its discipline. Thousands of stragglers
(from the other corps) roamed over the field to plunder and riot. The
Federal Generals strained every nerve to repair their disaster. The
fugitives were collected and placed again in the ranks. The boats plied
steadily, bringing over Buell's fresh and undiscouraged forces, and at
six o'clock next morning the victors were in their turn assailed by an
army larger than the one they had confronted on the day before, and half
of which was fresh and unwearied. General Beauregard disposed his tired
troops to receive this storm--and although his line was thin--weakened
(from the superb array of the day before) by the dead and wounded and
those who had straggled from their colors--it could not be driven.

General Beauregard in his report of the battle, says:

"On his right and center the enemy was repulsed in every effort he made
with his heavy columns in that quarter of the field. On the left, our
line was weakest, and here the enemy drove on line after line of fresh
troops with unremitting fury." Our troops stood firm, but General
Beauregard feared that they must eventually break, and at 12 M. (all of
his scanty reserves having been put in) he ordered a withdrawal of the

After a repulse of a desperate attack the troops began to retire, and
accomplished the movement without trouble. General Beauregard says: "The
lines of troops established to cover this movement had been disposed on
a favorable ridge--commanding the ground of Shiloh Church, from this
position our artillery played upon the woods beyond, but upon no visible
enemy, and without a reply. Soon satisfied that no serious pursuit was,
or would be attempted, this last line was withdrawn, and never did
troops leave a battlefield in better order."

General Breckinridge (whose heroic conduct on both days had almost
repaid the Kentuckians--in their pride in it--for the loss of the
battle) was left as rear guard, just in front of the intersection of the
Pittsburg and Hamburg roads--upon the ground occupied by the army upon
Saturday night. On the next day he was withdrawn three miles to
Mickey's, and remained there undisturbed for five or six days. Our
cavalry occupied the ground several miles further to the north. Morgan's
squadron, and other cavalry commands, were posted for more than a week
upon a portion of the field won from the enemy on the first day, during
which time only two or three trifling skirmishes occurred.

The army marched to Corinth on the 7th and 8th.

It is a point conceded, now, on all sides, that had the Confederate army
pursued its success on the evening of the first day, the army under
General Grant would have been annihilated, and Buell never could have
crossed the river. Had General Johnson survived, the battle would have
been pressed vigorously to that consummation. Then, what would have been
the situation? The army, remaining upon the banks of the Tennessee for a
few days, would have been reorganized and recovered from the exhausting
effects of the battle. The slightly wounded returning to the ranks would
have made the muster-roll full thirty thousand effectives.

Price and Van Dorn coming with about fifteen thousand and the levies
from all quarters, which were hastening to Corinth, would have given
General Johnson nearly sixty thousand infantry. Buell, unable to cross
the river or to use it for obtaining supplies, his communications with
Nashville in constant danger, and hourly interrupted by the five or six
thousand cavalry which General Johnson could have thrown upon them,
would have been suspended without the ability to obtain foothold or prop
anywhere. If nothing else could have made him retreat, a menace to
Nashville, from the troops in East Tennessee, would have served the
purpose. Then General Johnson could have crossed the river, and the
cavalry have been pushed on to operate between Nashville and Louisville.
General Buell would not have halted to fight. With the odds against him,
to do _that_ (in the heart of a hostile population and far from support)
would have been too hazardous. But retreat would have been almost as
disastrous as defeat, and, closely pressed, would have resulted in the
partial disintegration of his army. Military men, who understand the
situation, and the topography of the country, will concur in the opinion
that General Buell could not have halted with safety at Nashville, nor,
indeed, until he had reached Munfordsville.

Gentlemen who were upon General Johnson's staff, and in his confidence,
state that it was his intention to have attempted no march into
Kentucky, but that if Buell retreated beyond the Cumberland river, he
designed (while keeping his cavalry on the railroad between Nashville
and Louisville) to have marched his army, rapidly, along the South bank
of the Cumberland to the Ohio river, and, crossing that stream, to have
pushed into Illinois, and (destroying the great trunk lines of
railroads) have marched to Kentucky by way of Ohio. He could have made
the march in less time than troops could have been organized to oppose
him. The plan appeared daring to rashness, but where were the forces to
endanger such a march? The militia could not have stopped it a moment.
General Johnson believed that, his army would have increased as it
advanced, and that vacillation and disaffection removed from Kentucky
and Missouri, would be transferred to the Northwestern States, and that
negotiations for peace would be entertained by those States separately.

But the battle of Shiloh was, after all, a Confederate success. The army
of invasion was crippled and reduced to a cautious offensive, little
better than inactivity. The Federal arms were stayed and blunted, and
the Southern people, reanimated, prepared for fresh and vigorous

When relieved from duty on the field of Shiloh, Colonel Morgan sought
and obtained permission to dash into Tennessee, with a force adequate to
important results. While the army lay in the entrenchments around
Corinth, which the Federal forces under Halleck were tediously
approaching, he wished to pounce upon the rich prizes in their rear. He
assembled the troops, with which he was about to make the contemplated
expedition at Byrnesville, on or about the twenty-third of April.

His own command, Companies A, B and C, respectively commanded by
Lieutenants Sellers, Chadburn and Churchill, had been augmented by a
fourth company, or rather nucleus of a company, some twenty-five strong,
commanded by Captain Brown--a gallant officer. Detachments from Colonel
Wirt Adams' regiment and McNairy's battalion had, also, been assigned
him. These were commanded by his friend, Lieutenant Colonel Wood, and
Captain Harris. The entire force at his disposal numbered three hundred
and twenty-five effectives. Colonel Morgan was detained at Byrnesville
for several days, having his horses shod, arms put in order, rations
cooked, and other necessary arrangements for the expedition perfected.
When all was ready, the command commenced its march on the 26th. Extra
ammunition and rations were carried on pack mules--one being allowed to
each section, or four to a company.

These mules were led by men, detailed from the section to which they
were attached, and the "train" was placed under charge of private Frank
Leathers--called by courteous reminiscence of his former rank in the
Kentucky militia, and as ex-legislator--Colonel. This gallant gentleman
will pardon me for complimenting the energy and diligence he displayed,
by recording the grumbling acknowledgment of one of those he "put in
motion," who declared that "he made a bigger row in driving his mules
than was necessary to align a division of cavalry for action."

Passing through Iuka, that day, the command encamped six miles from the
Tennessee river, and reaching it early next morning, immediately
commenced to cross. The river was high, and there was nothing with
which to effect the crossing, but one boat--a small horse-ferry, capable
of holding ten or twelve. Efforts were made (unsuccessfully), to cross a
portion of the command at other points. Two days and nights of hard work
were occupied in getting every thing across. One of the men who was
actively engaged in the work, describes an apprehension which rendered
it more disagreeable. "We had," he says, "the gunboat fever very badly,
at that time, and expected every minute to see one come in sight, for
they were patroling the river for some miles above this point."

Leaving the river on the morning of the 30th, Colonel Morgan reached
Lawrenceburg, in Lawrence county, Tennessee, on that afternoon, and
encamped for the night. It was a fertile country, settled by hospitable
people. Rations and forage in abundance were procured, and a good deal
more whisky than was good for the men. Early on the next morning the
march, was resumed, and about 10 A.M. (not far from Pulaski), Colonel
Morgan learned that four hundred Federal troops had just passed through
on the road to Columbia. They were principally convalescents, employed
in putting up a line of telegraph from Columbia to Huntsville, Alabama,
and other "light work." Colonel Morgan determined to relieve them. The
command was pressed on to the town in a gallop. Captain Mitchell (son of
the Federal General of that name), was captured here, and paroled, that
he might effect his exchange for Colonel Morgan's brother--Captain
Charlton Morgan--who had been wounded at Shiloh, and captured at
Huntsville--whither he had gone to convalesce in the smiles of the fair
ladies of that beautiful place. Moving on rapidly, Colonel Morgan
overtook the enemy a short distance beyond the town, and at once
attacked. Learning his approach, the Federals had hastily thrown up some
slight breastworks in a field on the side of the road (in which a part
of them were posted)--others occupied a wood on the left of the road.
Colonel Morgan formed his command, and--the ground permitting--charged
on horseback, carrying the entire line. Many prisoners were captured,
the remnant of the Federal force rallied after retreating about a mile,
leaving wagons. They were flanked by Co. A, and surrendered.

At this juncture, a body of cavalry appeared, approaching from the
direction of Columbia. Not knowing their strength, Colonel Morgan
engaged them with skirmishers. Finding them not strong, he ordered
Captain Brown to charge them, who routed and drove them six or seven
miles. They were about fifty strong. Colonel Morgan's loss in this
affair was slight. A few, only, of the enemy were killed. The prisoners
(nearly four hundred), were taken back to Pulaski. The citizens were
enthusiastic in their reception of Colonel Morgan and his soldiers--the
men were wild with excitement, and the women were in tears. Colonel
Morgan's celebrated mare, "Black Bess"--came in for her share of
admiration and attention. The ladies crowded around to caress and feed
her with dainties (for which she had a weakness), and her glossy tresses
were in great request. It is recorded that upon this occasion, for the
first and only time in his life--Colonel Morgan opposed the wishes of
his lady friends. Fearing that Bess would be completely shorn, he "tore
her away," and sent her to the stable. Guards and pickets were posted,
and the command encamped. Twenty wagons--six loaded with cotton--were
captured, here, and burned. On the next morning--the 2nd--the officer
commanding pickets on the Huntsville road, reported that a train of
wagons was approaching. The command was drawn up to receive them, but
learning that they were escorted by a strong regiment, Colonel Morgan
decided not to attack. Moving on in the direction of Murfreesboro', the
command encamped that night in a loyal neighborhood, and mindful always
of a decorous respect for the opinions of other people, Colonel Morgan
made all of his men "play Union." They were consequently treated with
distinguished consideration, and some were furnished with fresh horses,
for which they gave their kind friends orders (on the disbursing
officers at Nashville), for their back pay.

On the 3rd the column reached Harrington--fifteen miles from
Shelbyville. Some lots of cotton were burned on that day. General
Beauregard (in accordance with the instructions of the War Department)
had issued orders that all cotton (likely to fall into the enemy's
hands) should be burned. The command remained at Harrington during the
night. Over one store the stars and stripes were floating resplendent.
The men were so much pleased with this evidence of patriotism that they
would patronize no other store in the place. Reaching the vicinity of
Murfreesboro', on the night of the 4th, Colonel Morgan drove in all the
pickets (next morning) and made a circuit about the town, striking the
Nashville and Murfreesboro' pike, about five miles from Stone river. The
advance guard captured a few of the enemy's videttes on this road.

Some cotton was burned, and the telegraph wires were cut, after a
dispatch had been sent to Nashville to the effect that Morgan had
captured Shelbyville, and Murfreesboro' wanted reinforcements. Colonel
Morgan (anticipating brilliant feats in that line in the future) carried
a telegraph operator (provided with a pocket instrument) upon this
expedition. That night (at dark) the column reached Lebanon, in Wilson
county. The entire command was quartered in the town. Companies A, B and
C (of the Squadron) were placed at the college. The horses were tied in
the large yard and the men occupied the building. The detachments under
Colonel Wood, Captain Harris and Captain Brown were quartered at the
livery stables. Colonel Morgan's headquarters were at the hotel. Colonel
Wood, who had been left in the vicinity of Murfreesboro', with a small
party, to observe if the enemy followed, came in, some hours after
nightfall, and reported that all was quiet.

It was Colonel Morgan's intention to have moved at an early hour next
morning, and to have crossed the Cumberland river at Canoe-branch ferry,
about ten miles from Lebanon. Orders were issued that the men should
saddle their horses at four o'clock, and that the command should form
immediately afterward. These orders were not communicated to the
company commanders. The night was rainy and bleak. The enemy, advancing
upon the Murfreesboro' road, came to the picket stands a little before

The pickets were all at a house. This criminal neglect of duty was
disastrous. Before the videttes discovered the consequences of their bad
conduct, at least one whole regiment had passed. Then one of them, named
Pleasant Whitlow, a brave and (always before) excellent soldier,
declared that he would retrieve his fault, or die. He was mounted upon a
fleet mare, and dashed at full speed along the road, passing the Federal
column, unstopped. He reached the hotel where Colonel Morgan was
quartered, just as the foremost Federal approached it. As Whitlow called
loudly to alarm the Colonel, the enemy fired and killed him. The men at
the college had just commenced to saddle, when the enemy approached.
They hurriedly formed--Company C, which was quartered in the part of the
grounds nearest where the enemy entered the town, were attacked and
driven pell-mell through the others, before it was fairly aligned. The
three companies became mingled together, and fell back into the town and
upon the road, across which Company A (extricating itself from the
others) formed, under charge of its cool and gallant Orderly Sergeant,
Zelah Bowyer.

Colonel Morgan soon came up, and his presence reinspirited the men. He
desired to join with the other detachments, but the enemy occupied the
intervening space. A strong column was approaching Company A. Colonel
Morgan ordered the men to dismount, reserve their fire, and drive it
back when they did open. When the enemy was close, the order to fire was
given. A good many men and horses fell and the column recoiled. Several
Federal officers in the confusion of this fight rode into the ranks of
Colonel Morgan's command. Colonel Woolford was made a prisoner in this
way. General Dumont, commanding the entire force, was very nearly made

A Chaplain, who made this mistake, asked, upon becoming undeceived,
that he might be permitted to rejoin his command--"to pray for his men."
"The h--ll you say," responded a member of Co. A; "Don't you think
Morgan's men need praying for as well as Woolford's?" The detachments in
the center of the town were completely surrounded. Colonel Morgan made
his way, with about one hundred men, to the Rome and Carthage road, upon
which he commenced his retreat at a steady gait. Suddenly his rear was
attacked. The enemy dashed upon it, sabering the men. In the excitement,
Colonel Morgan's mare broke the curb of her bridle, and he was unable to
restrain her, or reform his men. Two or three taking hold of the reins
strove to hold her in, but uselessly. She went like a tornado. No effort
was made, then, at concerted resistance--a few men turned and fought,
and then resumed their flight. A horse falling near the center of the
column, caused many others to fall, and added--if any thing could
add--to the wild confused rattling hurricane of flight. Colonel Morgan
instructed the men (by courier, for Black Bess would not let him go in
person) to take to the woods when their horses gave out. Many escaped in
this way. The enemy (Kentucky regiments) were mounted on fine horses,
comparatively fresh, which enabled them to press the pursuit so
vigorously. One man gives a graphic account of his part in the race. "I
was riding," he says, "a horse captured from General Dumont, and kept up
with the Colonel until my horse threw his shoes, which put me in the
rear. The men had all passed me with the exception of Ben Drake. When
Ben went by, he said, 'Tom, Dumont will get his horse.' I said, 'Yes,
catch me a horse, Ben.' About a mile from that point, I found Bole
Roberts' horse, with the saddle under his belly, and the stirrups broken
off. As I did not have time to change saddles, I fixed Bole's saddle,
led the horse to the fence, jumped on, used the spurs, and soon passed
Ben again, whose horse was now played out. I overtook Colonel Morgan,
passed him, and found another horse with a saddle on. I stopped and
changed saddles. When we got to Rome, thirteen miles from Lebanon, I
traded horses again, and stayed in the rear with Colonel Morgan, who had
gotten Black Bess pulled up. A short distance from Rome, the Yanks came
within about one hundred yards of us, and told us to stop. I told them
'to go to ----.' The Colonel then told me to ride forward and make the
men push on, as fast as possible. I was the first to reach the ferry,
twenty-one miles from Lebanon. The boat was luckily on our side of the
river. We got into it, as quickly as possible, and left our horses on
the shore. We wanted the Colonel to take Black Bess, but he said no, if
time was allowed he would send for all." This magnificent animal has
never been mentioned, as I am aware, in any official report, and she was
too completely identified with Morgan's early career, to be dismissed
without a description. She was the most perfect beauty I have ever
beheld--even in Kentucky. Not fifteen hands high, the immense power of
her short back, broad tilted loins, and thighs--all muscle--enabled her
to carry Colonel Morgan's one hundred and eighty-five pounds as if he
were a feather-weight. Her head was as beautiful as a "poet's dream"--is
popularly supposed to be. Wide between the eyes, it tapered down, until
her muzzle was small enough to have picked a lady's pocket.

The way it was set on her matchless throttle, might well "haunt the
imagination for years." Her straight superbly proportioned neck, her
shoulder and girth, might have fascinated the eye for ever!--but for her
beautiful hind quarters and the speed and power they indicated! The arch
of her back rib, her flank, her clean legs, with firm, dry muscle, and
tendons like steel wires, her hoofs, almost as small as a clenched fist,
but open and hard as flint, all these utterly baffle description. Her
hide was glossy black, without a hair of white. From her Canadian sire
she had inherited the staunchest constitution, and her thoroughbred dam
dowered her with speed, game, intelligence and grace. An anchorite might
have coveted such an animal. When Colonel Morgan lost her, on this day,
he naturally hoped that she would be subjected to no ignoble use. The
civilized world will scarcely credit that a Yankee subsequently traveled
her about the country, showing her at twenty-five cents a sight. Poor
Bess--her spirit must have been broken, or she would have kicked the
brute's brains out.

Some fifteen men crossed in the ferry-boat. Sergeant Tom Quirk sprang
into a canoe and paddled back to bring the mare over. When about half
way across, the enemy arrived on the shore to which he was returning,
and fired upon him, riddling the canoe with balls. But he escaped

Efforts were made to obtain Colonel Morgan a horse. A fine one was
selected, but an old woman (the owner) stood in the door-way with an
axe, and prevented all attempts "to trade." In vain was it represented
to her that she should certainly be paid--she declared that "unless she
were first shot, the horse should not be taken," and the "assessors"
were compelled to beat a retreat. When Colonel Morgan halted that night,
he had scarcely twenty men with him, and shed tears, as he speculated
upon the probable fate of the rest. Only six men were killed. A number
of others were wounded, and some one hundred and twenty were captured.
The men of the detachments (which were surrounded in Lebanon) were
nearly all made prisoners. Colonel Wood held out for hours, until the
enemy threatened to burn the town, if he did not surrender. Among the
killed was Captain Brown. The enemy lost more in killed and wounded than
did Colonel Morgan.

On the 6th, Colonel Morgan reached Sparta, Tennessee, and remained there
until the 9th. In those three days a good many of his men came in. This
inspirited and decided him to assume the offensive. Shoeing the horses
and equipping the men as he best could (under the circumstances) he left
Sparta on the 9th with nearly one hundred and fifty men--for the most
part badly armed. He directed his march toward the territory of his
former service, the country about Bowlinggreen. He hoped to find points
of importance, slenderly guarded, and the garrisons careless, under the
impression that his severe defeat--four days previously--had finished
him. His forces were miscellaneous. He had not quite fifty of his own
men, but Captains Bledsoe and Hamilton (commanding companies which
operated exclusively in that district) joined him, and Champ Ferguson
reported as guide with four or five men. The men of Hamilton's and
Bledsoe's companies were, either new recruits or had never been
subjected to any sort of discipline. Hamilton's ferry, sixty miles from
Sparta, was reached that night, and the command crossing the river,
encamped on the northern bank.

Colonel Morgan had no difficulty in traveling expeditiously, for every
inch of the ground, for many miles beyond the river, was well known to
his Tennessee guides, and when their knowledge failed, he had reached a
country familiar to many of his own men. Marching by roads unfrequently
traversed, and bridle paths, he would have kept his motions perfectly
secret but for a system of communicating intelligence adopted about this
time, by the Home-guards of Southern Kentucky. Conch shells and horns
were blown, all along his route, by these fellows, the sound of which,
transmitted a long distance, traveled faster than his column.

On the next day, reaching the vicinity of Glasgow, the command was
halted, and John Hines, a clever, daring scout and native of the place,
was sent to Bowlinggreen, to ascertain the strength of the garrison and
condition of affairs there.

Colonel Morgan desired to capture the town and burn the stores.

Hines returned in a few hours with the information that five hundred
fine troops were in the town, and it was determined not to attack.
Colonel Morgan immediately determined then, to strike the Louisville and
Nashville railroad between Bowlinggreen and the river, and attack and
capture, at all hazards, the first train which passed. He was not likely
to encounter one with many troops upon it, and the Bowlinggreen garrison
would not come out to fight him. Traveling all night, he passed through
Glasgow, and early next day reached Cave City, twelve miles
distant--the point elected at which to make his venture. Going in
advance, himself, with five men, he had the good luck to discover a long
train approaching, and immediately took measures to stop it. It seemed
to be loaded with troops, who turned out, upon capture, to be employees
on the road. His entire command soon arrived. Forty freight cars and a
fine engine were captured in this train, and destroyed.

Colonel Morgan was especially hopeful that he would be able to catch the
train conveying his men--captured at Lebanon--to prison, but they had
been sent off by the river.

In a short time the passenger train from Louisville was heard coming. A
cow-gap was filled with upright beams to stop the train, and a party was
detailed to lie in ambush, some distance up the road, and throw
obstructions on the road as soon as the train had passed, to prevent its
return. Some women notified the conductor of his danger, but instead of
backing, he pressed on more rapidly. Suddenly becoming aware of the
blockade in front, he checked his train and tried to return, but there
was already a barrier behind him. Some Federal officers were on the
train, among them Majors Coffee and Helveti, of Woolford's regiment.

"Major Coffee," said an eye witness, "came out upon the platform and
opened upon us with a battery of Colt's pistols. Ben Bigstaff dismounted
and took a shot at him with his minnie rifle; the bullet struck within
an inch of the Major's head and silenced his battery." A great many
women were upon the train, who were naturally much frightened. Colonel
Morgan exerted himself to reassure them. The greatest surprise was
manifested by the passengers when they learned that it was Morgan who
had captured them. It was generally believed that he had been killed,
and his command utterly destroyed.

One officer captured, was accompanied by his wife. The lady approached
Colonel Morgan, weeping, and implored him to spare her husband. "My dear
Madam," he replied, bowing debonairly, and with the arch smile which
none who knew him can forget, "I did not know that you had a husband."
"Yes, sir," she said, "I have. Here he is. Don't kill him." "He is no
longer my prisoner," said the Colonel, "he is yours," and he released
the officer unconditionally, bidding him console his wife. About eight
thousand dollars in greenbacks--Government funds--were captured. The
train was not burned, but Colonel Morgan begged the ladies to "accept it
as a small token," etc.

After all was over, the men sat down to a fine dinner prepared at the
Cave City Hotel, for the passengers.

Colonel Morgan now directed his march toward the Cumberland again. He
had retaliated, in some degree, for the injury he had received, and
could meet his comrades in the South, fresh from a success instead of a
disaster. The column marched steadily and encamped at twelve o'clock at
night, fifteen miles from Glasgow. An incident happened at this place
well illustrative of Colonel Morgan's kindness, and of the manner in
which he could do things which would have been undignified in other
officers and destructive of their authority. It was customary for each
officer of rank, to have his horses attended to by his negro, and the
men were rarely required to perform such duties. Colonel Morgan's groom,
however, had been captured. "When we dismounted," said the man who
related to me the story, "Colonel Morgan gave his horse to Ben Drake,
requesting him to unsaddle and feed him. As Ben had ridden twelve hours
longer than the rest of us, he thought this very unkind, to say the
least, in the Colonel. He, however, paid no attention to Ben's sour
looks, as the latter took the horse and obeyed the order. When Ben
returned to the house, Colonel Morgan had reserved a place by the fire
for him to sleep in. The next morning Ben was awakened by the Colonel,
who told him to get up and eat his breakfast, as the command was ready
to move. "Why did you not have me roused sooner, Colonel?" asked Ben,
"my horse has not been fed." "I wished you to sleep longer," answered
the Colonel, "and fed, curried and saddled your horse, myself." Would
any other Colonel in the army have done the same for a "poor private"?

Major Coffee was paroled, on condition that he would exert himself to
procure his own exchange for Lieutenant-Colonel Wood, and that he would
report again as prisoner if he failed.

Passing through Burkesville on county-court day, capturing a few
Federals, and making many horse trades, the command passed on to a ford
of the Cumberland, twelve miles from the little town, and crossed.
Sparta was reached on the next day, where the Tennessee companies were
left--and Colonel Morgan marched on toward Chattanooga, which place he
reached by easy marches. Some twenty or thirty more refugees and
survivors of the "Lebanon races" soon joined him here. Leaving these men
at Chattanooga--to recruit and refit as well as was possible there, he
immediately set out for Corinth to see what could be effected in the way
of obtaining guns and the necessary equipment for his men, and to obtain
permission to make another expedition into Kentucky--that he might
recruit his regiment. About the middle of May two fine companies of
Texas cavalry, commanded by Captains R.M. Gano and Jno. Huffman, both
native Kentuckians, arrived at Corinth, and requested to be assigned to
Morgan, that they might see service in Kentucky. Their application was
granted, and they at once marched for Chattanooga.

I had been severely wounded at Shiloh, and left behind when the command
started upon the expedition just described. Upon my return to Corinth, I
collected some thirty men of the squadron (who for various reasons had
not accompanied Colonel Morgan into Tennessee), and marched with Captain
Gano to Chattanooga. We marched through a country, where the people were
friendly and hospitable, and had no difficulty in supplying the men and
horses. We had a few skirmishes with Federal troops posted along the
Tennessee river, in one of which Captain Gano took some prisoners, and
burned a good deal of cotton, collected by the Federals for
transportation to Huntsville. The last two days of our march showed us
the grandest and most beautiful scenery. We traversed the ridgy summit
of the mountain range, which runs just along the southern bank of the
Tennessee and connects with the group of bold mountains around
Chattanooga. At one point the view is exceedingly striking. From the
immense hight we occupied, we could see a vast and varied expanse of
country. In our front and to the right, the mountains rose like blue
domes, piled closely together--a tremendous gulf--the bottom of which
eyesight could not fathom--spread between the range (where we were), and
their hazy, azure sides. Directly before us "Lookout"--giant chief of
all--loomed high toward heaven.

Sheer down, hundreds of feet beneath us, flowed the Tennessee--I could
almost believe that my horse could leap from the top of the precipice to
the opposite bank of the river. On the other side the land was low and
nearly level. The green fields ran back from the river's brink, in a
gentle imperceptible ascent, until miles away, the eye lost them in the
horizon. The noisy cavalrymen were hushed by the scene, and the grand
silence was not disturbed.


At Chattanooga we found and were welcomed by Colonel Morgan and our
gallant comrades, and never did brothers meet after separation and
danger, with more hearty joy. For the first time, then, we learned who
had been lost, and as we talked it over, the pleasure and
congratulation, so natural at our reunion, gave way to sadness as we
named the dead and counted up the captives. Although much reduced in
numbers, the squadron was unbroken in spirit and courage; the men who
had safely gone through the dangers of the late expedition, were more
eager than ever for another, and burned to wipe out any stain that might
dim their reputation and to avenge their comrades. They had completely
recovered from the fatigue of the raid, and their first thought (when
they welcomed the accession to the command that we brought), was of
instant march to Kentucky.

Gano and his Texians were greeted with enthusiasm, and were delighted
with the choice they had made of a leader and brothers-in-arms. The work
of reorganization was immediately commenced. The three companies of the
squadron, much depleted, were filled nearly to the maximum by recruits
who came in rapidly--and became (of course), the three first companies
of the regiment which was now formed.

Some three hundred men of the First Kentucky infantry (which had been
just disbanded in Virginia, their term of service having expired), came
to Chattanooga to join Morgan. A good many of them went into the old
companies, and the remainder formed companies under officers known to
them in their original regimental organization. Captain Jacob Cassell
was appointed by Colonel Morgan (who now began to exercise in good
earnest the appointing power), to the command of Company A. Captain
Thomas Allen resigned (on account of extreme ill health), the Captaincy
of Company B. and his brother, John Allen (once Colonel in Nicaragua
under Walker), was appointed to command it. Captain Bowles remained in
command of Company C. John B. Castleman, who had just come out of
Kentucky (fighting as he came) with a number of recruits, was made
Captain of company D. John Hutchinson, formerly Lieutenant in the First
Kentucky infantry, was made Captain of Company E. Captain Thomas B.
Webber, who had served at Pensacola, under General Bragg, during the
past year, brought with him from Mississippi, a company of most gallant
soldiers, many of them his former comrades. This company was admitted
into the regiment as Company F., and glad was Colonel Morgan to welcome
it. Captain McFarland, of Alabama, brought with him a few men, and was
promised that so soon as his company was recruited to the proper
standard, it should take its place in the regiment as Company G.

Thus it will be seen that Morgan's old regiment was composed of the men
of his old squadron, of veterans from Virginia, and men (from nearly all
the Southern States) who had, with few exceptions, seen service. These
six companies, and the fragment of the seventh, numbered in all not
quite four hundred men. The field and staff, were immediately organized.
I became Lieutenant Colonel; G.W. Morgan, formerly of the Third
Tennessee infantry, better known as Major Wash, was appointed Major.
Gordon E. Niles once editor of a New York paper, and a private of
Company A., was appointed Adjutant. He was a gallant soldier, and died,
not long afterward, a soldier's death. Captain Thomas Allen, formerly of
Company B., was appointed Surgeon--Doctor Edelin, the Assistant Surgeon,
performed for many months the duties of both offices, on account of the
illness of the former. D.H. Llewellyn and Hiram Reese, both members of
the old squadron, were appointed respectively, Quartermaster and

While we were at Chattanooga, General Mitchell came to the other side
of the river and shelled and sharpshot at the town. The commandant of
the place General Leadbetter, had two or three guns in battery, and
replied--when the gunners, who were the most independent fellows I ever
saw, chose to work the guns. The defense of the place was left entirely
to the individual efforts of those who chose to defend it; nothing
prevented its capture but the fact that the enemy could not cross the
river. Very little loss was sustained, and the damage done the town by
the shells was immaterial. We tried to keep our men in camp, but some
joined in the fight; one only was hurt. He volunteered to assist in
working one of the guns and had part of his tongue shot off by a
rifleman upon the opposite bank. About five, P.M., the enemy seemed to
be withdrawing. The artillery was still playing on both sides, and the
enemy occupied the hights where their battery was planted, but the
infantry and sharpshooters had disappeared from the low land, just
opposite to the city. Colonel Morgan (desirous to ascertain certainly if
they had gone) crossed the river in a canoe. I was unwilling to see him
go alone, and, after trying in vain to dissuade him, very regretfully
accompanied him. Several shells flew over the canoe and one burst just
above it, some of the fragments falling in it. We landed just opposite
the wharf, and stole cautiously through a straggling thicket to the
position which the enemy had occupied. We stood upon the very ground
which they had held only a short time before, and as nothing could be
seen of them, we concluded that they had drawn off entirely. I was very
much relieved by this reflection. Such a situation--without a horse--and
with no means of escape but a canoe, if indeed we could have gotten back
to the river at all--was not to my taste, and I devoutly thanked
Providence that the enemy had left.

As we returned, we met Jack Wilson (the trustiest soldier that ever
shouldered a rifle) who had paddled us over, on his way to look for us;
unable to endure the suspense, he had left the canoe, over which he had
been posted as guard.

After a week or ten days sojourn at Chattanooga, we set out for
Knoxville. The better-part of the men were mounted, and those, who were
not, had _great hopes_. When we reached Knoxville, the Second Kentucky
(as our regiment was designated in the rolls of the War Department) and
the Texas squadron were encamped in close vicinity, and for two or three
weeks both were drilled strictly, twice a day, and mightily distressed
by guard-mounting and dress-parades. These dress-parades presented a
graceful and pleasing spectacle on account of the variegated appearance
of the ranks.

The men were all comfortably clad, but their clothing was uniform, only,
in its variety. Strange as it may seem to the unexperienced, dress has a
good deal to do with the spirit of soldiers. The morale of troops
depends, in a great measure, upon pride, and personal appearance has
something to do with pride. How awful, for instance, must it be to a
sensitive young fellow, accustomed at home to wear good clothes and
appear confidently before the ladies, when he is marching through a town
and the girls come out to wave their handkerchiefs, to feel that the
rear of his pantaloons has given way in complete disorder. The
cavalryman, in such cases, finds protection in his saddle, but the
soldier on foot is defenseless: and thus the very recognition, which, if
he has a stout pair of breeches, would be his dearest recompense for all
his toils, becomes his most terrible affliction. Many a time, have I
seen a gallant infantryman, who would have faced a battery
double-shotted with grape and canister with comparative indifference,
groan and turn pale in this fearful ordeal. It was a touching sight to
see them seek to dispose their knapsacks in such a manner that they
should serve as fortifications.

[Illustration: MAP SHOWING ROUTE TAKEN BY GEN. MORGAN _In his First Raid
into the_ "Blue Grass Region" Of Kentucky, July, 1862.]

The ideas which the experience of the past eight months had suggested,
regarding the peculiar tactics best adapted to the service and the kind
of fighting we had to do, were now put into practical shape. A specific
drill, different in almost every respect from every other employed for
cavalry, was adopted. It was based upon a drill taught in the old army
for Indian fighting, called "Maury's skirmish tactics for cavalry," I
believe; but as that drill contemplated the employment of but a very few
men, and ours had to provide for the evolutions of regiments, and
eventually brigades, the latter was necessarily much more comprehensive.
The formation of the company, the method of counting off in sets, and of
dismounting and deploying to the front, flanks, or rear, for battle, was
the same as in Maury's tactics; but a great many movements necessary to
the change of front, as the kind of ground or other circumstances
required it to be made in various ways, to the formations from column
into line, and from line into column, the methods of taking ground to
the front, or rear, in establishing or changing line, the various
methods of providing, as circumstances might require, for the employment
of all, or only part of a regiment or brigade, or for the employment of
supports and reserves, all these evolutions had to be added. It would be
uninteresting to all but the practical military reader, and unnecessary,
as well, to enter into a minute explanation of these matters.

If the reader will only imagine a regiment drawn up in single rank, the
flank companies skirmishing, sometimes on horseback, and then thrown out
as skirmishers on foot, and so deployed as to cover the whole front of
the regiment, the rest of the men dismounted (one out of each set of
four and the corporals, remaining to hold horses) and deployed as
circumstances required, and the command indicated, to the front of, on
either flank, or to the rear of the line of horses--the files two yards
apart--and then imagine this line moved forward at a double-quick, or
oftener a half run, he will have an idea of Morgan's style of fighting.

Exactly the same evolutions were applicable for horseback, or foot
fighting, but the latter method was much oftener practiced--we were, in
fact, not cavalry, but mounted riflemen. A small body of mounted men was
usually kept in reserve to act on the flanks, cover a retreat, or press
a victory, but otherwise our men fought very little on horseback, except
on scouting expeditions. Our men were all admirable riders, trained
from childhood to manage the wildest horses with perfect ease; but the
nature of the ground on which we generally fought, covered with dense
woods, or crossed by high fences, and the impossibility of devoting
sufficient time to the training of the horses, rendered the employment
of large bodies of mounted men to any good purpose, very difficult. It
was very easy to charge down a road in column of fours, but very hard to
charge across the country in extended line, and keep any sort of
formation. Then we never used sabers, and long guns were not exactly the
weapons for cavalry evolutions. We found the method of fighting on foot
more effective--we could maneuver with more certainty, and sustain less
and inflict more loss. "The long flexible line curving forward at each
extremity," as an excellent writer described it, was very hard to break;
if forced back at one point, a withering fire from every other would be
poured in on the assailant. It admitted, too, of such facility of
maneuvering, it could be thrown about like a rope, and by simply facing
to the right or left, and double-quicking in the same direction, every
man could be quickly concentrated at any point where it was desirable to
mass them.

It must be remembered that Morgan very rarely fought with the army; he
had to make his command a self-sustaining one. If repulsed, he could not
fall back and reform behind the infantry. He had to fight infantry,
cavalry, artillery; take towns when every house was a garrison, and
attack fortifications with nothing to depend on but his own immediate
command. He was obliged, therefore, to adopt a method which enabled him
to do a great deal in a short time, and to keep his men always in hand,
whether successful or repulsed. With his support from forty to five
hundred miles distant, an officer had better learn to rely on himself.

If General Morgan had ever been enabled to develope his plan of
organization as he wished, he would have made his division of mounted
riflemen a miniature army. With his regiments armed as he wished
them--a battalion of two or three hundred men, appropriately armed, and
attached to each brigade, to be used only as cavalry, and with his
battery of three-inch Parrots, and train of mountain howitzers, he could
have met any contingency. The ease and rapidity with which this simple
drill was learned, and the expedition with which it enabled all
movements to be accomplished, chiefly recommended it to Morgan, I have
seen his division, when numbering over three thousand men, and stretched
out in column, put into line of battle in thirty minutes. Regular
cavalry can no doubt form with much more dispatch, but this was quicker
than it is often done in this country.

The weapon which was always preferred by the officers and men of the
command, was the rifle known as the "medium Enfield." The short Enfield
was very convenient to carry, but was deficient both in length of range
and accuracy. The long Enfield, without any exception the best of all
rifles, was unwieldy either to carry or to use, as sometimes became
necessary, on horseback. The Springfield rifle, nearly equal to the long
Enfield, was liable to the same objections, although in a less degree.
Now that the military world has finally decided in favor of
breech-loading guns, it may seem presumptuous to condemn them; but, so
far as my own experience goes, they are decidedly inferior. When I say
inferior, I mean not so much that they will not carry far, nor
accurately, although a fair trial of every sort I could lay my hands
upon with the Enfield and Springfield, convinced me of the superiority,
in these respects, of the two latter; but that for other reasons they
are not so effective as the muzzle-loading guns. Of the two best
patterns, the Sharp and the Spencer--for the Maynard is a pop-gun, and
the others are so contrived that, generally, after one shot, the shell
of the cartridge sticks in the chamber--of these two, I have seen the
Sharp do the most execution. It has been the verdict of every officer of
the Western Confederate cavalry with whom I have talked upon the
subject, and it certainly has been my experience, that those Federal
cavalry regiments which were armed with breech-loading guns did least
execution. The difference in the rapidity with which men dropped when
exposed to the fire of an infantry regiment, and the loss from that of a
cavalry regiment of equal strength, even when the latter fought well,
ought of itself to go far to settle the question, for the federal
infantry were all armed with muzzle-loading guns.

A close study of the subject will convince any man that the very fact of
having to load his gun will make a soldier comparatively cool and
steady. If he will stay to load at all, and will fix his mind upon what
he is doing, he will become cool enough to take aim. While if he has
only to stick in a cartridge and shoot, or turn a crank and pull
trigger, he will fire fast, but he will fire wildly. I have seen some of
the steadiest soldiers I ever knew, men who were dead shots with an
Enfield, shoot as if they were aiming at the sun with a Spencer. The
Spencer rifle would doubtless be an excellent weapon for a weak line to
hold works with, where the men were accustomed to note the ground
accurately, and would, therefore, be apt to aim low, and it is desirable
to pour in a rapid, continuous fire to stagger an attacking line.

It is perhaps a first-rate gun for small skirmishes on horseback,
although for those, our cavalry decidedly preferred the revolver. But in
battle, when lines and numbers are engaged, accurate and not rapid
firing is desirable. If one fiftieth of the shots from either side were
to take effect in battle, the other would be annihilated. If rapid
firing is so desirable, why do the same critics who advocate it also
recommend that troops shall hold their fire until they can pour in
deadly volleys? Why do they deprecate so much firing, and recommend the
use of the bayonet?

It is folly to talk to men who have seen battles, about the moral effect
of rapid firing, and of "bullets raining around men's heads like hail
stones." That is like the straggler's excuse to General Lee that he was
"stung by a bomb." Any man who has ever heard lines of battle engaged,
knows that, let the men fire fast or slow, the nicest ear can detect no
interval between the shots; the musketry sounds like the incessant,
unintermitted crash of a gong--even cannonading, when one or two hundred
guns are working, sounds like the long roll of a drum--and the hiss of
bullets is perfectly ceaseless. Good troops will fight well with almost
any sort of guns. Mean troops will not win, no matter how they are
armed. If the matter were investigated, it would probably be found that
the regiments which won most distinction, in the late war on this
continent, on both sides, fired the fewest number of rounds.

At one time--when Morgan's command was somewhat demoralized--the men
were loud in describing the terrific effect of the Spencer rifle, when
it was notorious that, at that time, it was an unusual occurrence to
lose a man--they subsequently became ashamed of their panic, and met the
troops carrying Spencer rifles, with more confidence than those armed in
any other way. It would be very convenient to attribute every whipping
we ever got to the use of breech-loading rifles by our antagonists, but
it would be very wide of the truth. It was impossible, however, to
obtain, when we were organizing at Knoxville, the exact description of
guns we wished. One company, was armed with the long Enfield, another
had the medium, and Company A got the short Enfield. Company C was
furnished with Mississippi rifles and Company B retained the shot-guns
which they had used for nearly a year. Company E was provided with a
gun, called from the stamp upon the barrel, the "Tower gun;" it was of
English make, and was a sort of Enfield carbine. Its barrel was rather
short and bore immense; it carried a ball larger than the Belgian. Its
range and accuracy were first rate. The roar of this gun was almost as
loud as that of a field piece and the tremendous bullet it carried would
almost shatter an ordinary wall.

It was some months before each company of the regiment was armed with
the same or similar guns. Nearly every man had a pistol, and some two.
Shortly afterward, when they were captured in sufficient numbers, each
man was provided with a pair. The pistol preferred and usually worn by
the men, was the army Colt furnished to the Federal cavalry
regiments--this patent is far the best and most effective of any I have
ever seen. At this time two mountain howitzers were sent from Richmond
for Morgan's use. It is unnecessary to describe a piece so well known,
but it may be as well to say, that no gun is so well adapted in all
respects to the wants of cavalry, as these little guns. With a large
command, it is always well enough to have two or four pieces of longer
range and yet of light draught, such as the three-inch Parrot--but if I
were required to dispense with one or the other, I would choose to
retain the former. They can be drawn (with a good supply of ammunition
in the limbers), by two horses over any kind of road. They can go over
ravines, up hills, through thickets, almost any where, in short, that a
horseman can go; they can be taken, without attracting attention, in as
close proximity to the enemy as two horsemen can go--they throw shell
with accuracy eight hundred yards, quite as far as there is any
necessity for, generally in cavalry fighting--they throw canister and
grape, two and three hundred yards, as effectively as a twelve
pounder--they can be carried by hand right along with the line, and as
close to the enemy as the line goes--and they make a great deal more
noise than one would suppose from their size and appearance. If the
carriages are well made, they can stand very hard service, and they are
easily repaired, if injured. These little guns were attached to the
Second Kentucky, and the men of that regiment became much attached to
them. They called them familiarly and affectionately, the "bull pups,"
and cheered them whenever they were taken into a fight. They remained
with us, doing excellent service, until just before the Ohio raid; and,
then, when General Bragg's ordnance officer arbitrarily took them away
from us, it came near raising a mutiny in the regiment. I would, myself,
have gladly seen him tied to the muzzle of one of them and shot off.
They were captured by the enemy in two weeks after they were taken from

Just before Morgan left Knoxville to go on the expedition known as "the
First Kentucky raid," he was joined by a gentleman "from abroad," whose
history had been a curious and extraordinary series of exciting
adventures, and who now came to see something of our war. This was
Lieutenant Colonel St. Leger Greenfell, of the English service, and of
all the very remarkable characters who have figured (outside of popular
novels) in this age, he will receive the suffrages of our Western
cavalrymen, for pre-eminence in devil-may-care eccentricity. He had
commenced life (I believe) by running away from his father, because the
latter would not permit him to enter the army, and in doing so, he
showed the good sense that he really possessed, for the army was the
proper place for him--provided they went to war often enough. He served
five years in some French regiment in Algeria, and then quitting the
service, lived for a number of years in Tangiers, where he did a little
business with the Moorish batteries, when the French bombarded the
place. He served four years with Abd-El-Kader, of whom he always spoke
in the highest terms, as having been every thing that he ought to have
been, except a member of the Church of England. Having exhausted life in
Africa, he looked elsewhere for excitement, and passed many years of his
subsequent life in great happiness and contentment, amid the pleasant
scenes of the Crimean war, the Sepoy rebellion, and Garibaldi's South
American service.

When the war broke out over here he came of course--and taking a fancy
to Morgan, from what he had heard of him, came to join him. He was very
fond of discussing military matters, but did not like to talk about
himself, and although I talked with him daily, it was months before he
told any thing of his history. He was a thorough and very accomplished
soldier--and may have encountered something in early life that he
feared, but if so, it had ceased to exist.

He became Morgan's Adjutant General and was of great assistance to him,
but sometimes gave trouble by his impracticable temper--he persisted,
among other things, in making out all papers in the style he had learned
in the English service, the regulations and orders of the War Department
"to the contrary notwithstanding."

He was always in a good temper when matters were active--I never saw him
hilarious but once--and that was the day after the battle of Hartsville;
he had just thrashed his landlord, and doubled up a brother Englishman,
in a "set-to" about a mule, and was contemplating an expedition on the
morrow, with General Morgan to Nashville. He was the only gentleman, I
ever knew, who liked to fight with his fists, and he was always cheerful
and contented when he could shoot and be shot at.

After he left Morgan he was made Chief Inspector of Cavalry, and became
the terror of the entire "front." He would have been invaluable as
commander of a brigade of cavalry, composed of men who (unlike our
volunteers) appreciated the "military necessity" of occasionally having
an officer to knock them in the head. If permitted to form, discipline,
and drill such a brigade of regular cavalry after his own fashion, he
would have made gaps in many lines of battle, or have gotten his
"blackguards well peppered" in trying.

Sometime in the latter part of June, Colonel Hunt of Georgia arrived at
Knoxville with a "Partisan Ranger" regiment between three and four
hundred strong, to accompany Morgan upon his contemplated raid.

When the entire force of able bodied and mounted men was estimated, it
was found eight hundred and seventy-six strong. Hunt's regiment
numbering about three hundred and fifty; mine, the Second Kentucky,
about three hundred and seventy, and Gano's squadron making up the

Fifty or sixty men, from all the commands, were left at Knoxville for
lack of horses. Perhaps two hundred men of this force, with which Morgan
commenced the expedition, were unarmed, and a much larger number were
badly mounted and provided with the most indifferent saddles and

The command set out from Knoxville on the morning of the 4th of July,
1862, and took the road to Sparta (a little place on the confines of the
rugged mountainous country which separates Middle Tennessee from the
rich valley of East Tennessee) in which Knoxville is situated. Sparta is
one hundred and four miles from Knoxville. We reached it, after
tolerably hard marching, for the road was terribly rough, on the evening
of the third day, and encamped five miles beyond it on the road to

While traversing the region between Knoxville and Sparta, we were
repeatedly fired upon by bushwhackers, but had only one man killed by
them--a Texian of Gano's squadron. We made many unsuccessful attempts to
capture them, but they always chose the most inaccessible points to fire
from and we could never get to them. Frequently they would shoot at us
from a ledge of rocks not forty feet above our heads, and yet to get to
it we would have had to go hundreds of yards--they consequently always

At Sparta, Champ Ferguson reported himself as a guide, and I, for the
first time, saw him, although I had often heard of him before. He had
the reputation of never giving quarter, and, no doubt, deserved it (when
upon his own private expeditions), although when with Morgan he
attempted no interference with prisoners. This redoubted personage was a
native of Clinton county, Kentucky, and was a fair specimen of the kind
of characters which the wild mountain country produces. He was a man of
strong sense, although totally uneducated, and of the intense will and
energy, which, in men of his stamp and mode of life, have such a
tendency to develope into ferocity, when they are in the least injured
or opposed. He was grateful for kindness, and instinctively attached to
friends, and vindictive to his enemies. He was known as a desperate man
before the war, and ill-treatment of his wife and daughter, by some
soldiers and Home-guards enlisted in his own neighborhood, made him
relentless in his hatred of all Union men; he killed all the parties
concerned in the outrage upon his family, and, becoming then an outlaw,
kept up that style of warfare. It is probable that, at the close of the
war, he did not himself know how many men he had killed. He had a
brother, of the same character as himself, in the Union army, and they
sought each other persistently, mutually bent on fratricide. Champ
became more widely known than any of them, but the mountains of Kentucky
and Tennessee were filled with such men, who murdered every prisoner
that they took, and they took part, as their politics inclined them,
with either side. For a long time Ferguson hunted, or was hunted by, a
man of his own order and nearly as notorious on the other side, namely,
"Tinker Dave Beattie." On the evening of the 7th, we encamped in the
vicinity of Livingston. Leaving early next morning, by midday we reached
the Cumberland river at the ford near the small village of Selina. Here
Colonel Morgan received positive information of the strength and
position of the enemy at Tompkinsville, eighteen miles from Selina. He
had learned at Knoxville that a Federal garrison was at this place, and
had determined to attack it. One battalion of the 9th Pennsylvania,
under command of Major Jordan, about three hundred and fifty strong,
constituted the entire force. It was Morgan's object to surprise and
capture the whole of it. He accordingly sent forward scouts to watch and
report every thing going on at their camp, while he halted the bulk of
the command until nightfall. The men employed the interval of rest in
attention to their horses, and in bathing in the river. At eleven
o'clock the March was resumed; the road was rough and incumbered at some
points with fallen timber, so that the column made slow progress. When
within four or five miles of Tompkinsville, Gano's squadron and
Hamilton's company of Tennessee Partisan Rangers, which had joined us
the evening before, were sent by a road which led to the right to get in
the rear of the enemy and upon his line of retreat toward Glasgow. The
rest of the command reached Tompkinsville at five o'clock. It was
consequently broad daylight, and the enemy had information of our
approach in time to form to receive us. Colonel Hunt was formed upon the
left, and my regiment upon the right, with the howitzers in the center.
It was altogether unnecessary to form any reserve, and as our numbers
were so superior, our only care was to "lap around" far enough on the
flanks to encircle the game.

The enemy were posted on a thickly wooded hill, to reach which we had to
cross open fields. They fired, therefore, three or four volleys while we
were closing on them. The Second Kentucky did not fire until within
about sixty yards of them, and one volley was then enough. The fight did
not last ten minutes. The enemy lost about twenty killed and twenty or
thirty wounded. Thirty prisoners, only, were taken on the ground, but
Gano and Hamilton intercepted and captured a good many more, including
the commander, Major Jordan. Our force was too much superior in strength
for them to have made much resistance, as we outnumbered them more than
two to one.

Our loss was only in wounded, we had none killed. But a severe loss was
sustained in Colonel Hunt, whose leg was shattered and it was necessary
to leave him; he died in a few days of the wound. Three of the Texians
also were wounded in their chase after the fugitives. The tents, stores,
and camp equipage were destroyed. A wagon train of twenty wagons and
fifty mules were captured and a number of cavalry horses. Abundant
supplies of coffee, sugar, etc., etc., were found in the camp. The guns
captured were useless breech-loading carbines, which were thrown away.

Leaving Tompkinsville at three o'clock in the afternoon, after paroling
the prisoners, we reached Glasgow about one o'clock that night. This
town was unoccupied by any garrison, and its people were very friendly
to us. Company C, of the old squadron had been principally recruited
here. The command rested at Glasgow until 9 A.M. next day; during the
time, the ladies busied themselves in preparing breakfast for us, and
before we left, every man had taken in a three days' supply. A straggler
captured at Glasgow gave us some "grape vine" intelligence which annoyed
us no little. He stated that McClellan had taken Richmond. When we left
Knoxville, the battle of the seven days was going on, and we had, of
course, heard nothing after we started. Our prisoner, however, was
gravely assured, just before he was paroled, that a courier had just
reached us with the information that McClellan was in Richmond, but as a
prisoner, and with half his army in the same condition. This fellow, who
represented himself to be an officer, turned out to be one of the
buglers of the Ninth Pennsylvania, and all the information he gave was
as reliable as the McClellan story. A halt of two or three hours was
made at Bear Wallow, to enable Mr. Ellsworth (popularly known as
"Lightning"), the telegraphic operator on Colonel Morgan's staff, to tap
the line between Louisville and Nashville, and obtain the necessary
information regarding the position of the Federal forces in Kentucky.
Connecting his own instrument and wire with the line, Ellsworth began to
take off the dispatches. Finding the news come slow he entered into a
conversation with Louisville and obtained much of what was wanted. He in
return communicated such information as Colonel Morgan desired to have
the enemy act upon. One statement, made at hap hazard, and with no other
knowledge to support it, except that Forrest was in Middle Tennessee,
was singularly verified. Morgan caused Ellsworth to telegraph that
Forrest had taken Murfreesboro' and had captured the entire garrison.
Forrest did exactly what was attributed to him on that or the next day.
A heavy storm coming on caused them, after several fruitless efforts to
continue, to desist telegraphing.

The column was put in motion again immediately upon Colonel Morgan's
return, and marching all night got within about fifteen miles of Lebanon
by 11 A.M. next morning. Here Company B was detached, to push rapidly to
the railroad between Lebanon and Lebanon junction, and ordered to
destroy it, so that troops might not be thrown into Lebanon in time to
oppose us. The march was not resumed until three or four in the
afternoon, so that when we reached Rolling Fork river, six miles from
Lebanon, it was dark. Colonel Morgan, who was riding with his staff in
front of the advance guard, was fired upon as he entered the small
covered bridge across the stream, by a party of the enemy stationed at
the other end of it. His hat was shot from his head, but neither he nor
any of his staff were touched. One of the howitzers was immediately run
up and a shell was thrown into the bridge. A platoon of the leading
company was dismounted and carried at a double-quick to clear it. When
they reached it, the enemy, alarmed by the shell, which had killed one
man, had retreated, the bottom of the bridge was found to have been torn
up, and a short time was spent in repairing it. This was a strong
position and one which the enemy ought, by all means, to have occupied
with his entire force.

There was no ford for six or eight miles above or below; the bridge was
the only means of crossing without a wide detour; and not twenty yards
from the mouth of the bridge (on the side held by the enemy), and
perfectly commanding it, was a steep bluff (not too high) covered with
timber, and affording an admirable natural fortification. As soon as the
bridge was repaired, the column crossed and pressed on to Lebanon.
Within a mile of the town, skirmishing commenced with the force which
held it. Two companies (E and C of the Second Kentucky) were thrown out
on foot, and advanced at a brisk pace, driving the enemy before them.
Two or three of the enemy were killed; our loss was nothing. The town
was surrendered by its commandant about ten o'clock; some two hundred
prisoners were taken.

Pickets were immediately posted on every road, and the whole command
encamped in such a manner that it could be immediately established in
line. It was necessary to remain at Lebanon until the large quantity of
stores of all kinds, which were there, were disposed of, and, as we
were now in the midst of enemies, no precaution could be omitted.
Captain Allen, who, as has been mentioned, was detached with Company B
of the Second Kentucky to prevent the train from bringing reinforcements
to Lebanon, struck the railroad at New Hope Church and had just
commenced to destroy it, when a train came with a large number of troops
on board for Lebanon. He attacked it, and a skirmish of a few minutes
resulted in the train going back. The night was very dark, and little
loss, if any, was inflicted on either side.

On the next day, an examination of the stores showed an abundance of
every description. A sufficient number of excellent guns were gotten to
arm every man efficiently, and some thousands were destroyed. A large
building was found to be filled with cartridges and fixed ammunition. An
abundant supply of ammunition for small arms was thus obtained, and a
fresh supply of ammunition was also gotten for the howitzers. After
taking what was needed, all this was destroyed. There was also a stone
magazine not far from the depot, which was full of powder. The powder
was all taken out of it, and thrown into the stream near by.

Very large supplies of provisions were found--meat, flour, sugar,
coffee, etc.--which were turned over to the citizens, and when they had
helped themselves, the remainder was burned. A great deal of clothing
had also been collected here, and the men were enabled to provide
themselves with every thing which they needed in the way of
under-clothing. While at Lebanon, copies of a flaming proclamation,
written and published at Glasgow, were circulated.

After the destruction of the stores had been completed, and Ellsworth
had closed his business at the telegraph office, the command was again
put in motion. It left the town about two P.M., on the Springfield road.
Before leaving Knoxville, Colonel Morgan, appreciating the necessity of
having an advance-guard which could be thoroughly relied on, and
disinclined to trust to details, changed every day, for that duty, had
organized a body of twenty-five men, selected with great care from the
entire force under his command, to constitute an advance-guard for the
expedition. So well did this body perform the service assigned it, that
the men composing it, with some additions to make up the tale as others
were taken out, were permanently detailed for that duty, and it became
an honor eagerly sought, and a reward for gallantry and good conduct
second only to promotion, to be enrolled in "the advance." The
non-commissioned officers were chosen with the same care, and First
Lieutenant Charles W. Rogers of Company E, formerly of the First
Kentucky Infantry, was appointed to command it. This officer possessed
in an eminent degree the cool judgment, perfect fearlessness, command of
men, and shrewdness of perception requisite for such an office.

This guard habitually marched at a distance of four hundred yards in
front of the column; three videttes were posted at intervals of one
hundred yards between it and the column. Their duties were to transmit
information and orders between the column and the guard, and to regulate
the gait of the former, so that it would not press too close on the
latter, and, also, to prevent any straggling between the two. Six
videttes were thrown out in front of the guard--four at intervals of
fifty yards, and with another interval of the same distance from the
fourth of these, two rode together in the extreme front. These two were
consequently at a distance of two hundred and fifty yards in front of
the body of the guard. At first these videttes were regularly relieved,
but it was afterward judged best to keep the same men always on the same
duty. The advance videttes were required to examine carefully on all
sides, and report to the officer of the guard the slightest indication
which seemed suspicious. When they came to by-roads or cross-roads one
or both, as the case might require, immediately galloped some two or
three hundred yards down them, and remained until relieved by men sent
for that purpose from the head of the column, when they returned to
their posts.

As soon as they notified the officer of the guard (by calling to the
videttes next behind them), that they were about to leave their posts,
he took measures to supply their places. The two videttes next to them
in the chain galloped to the front, the other two, also moved up,
respectively, fifty yards, and two men were sent from the guard to fill
the places of the last.

When the videttes, regularly in advance returned, the original
disposition was resumed. If an enemy was encountered, men were
dispatched from the guard to the assistance of the videttes, or the
latter fell back on the guard, as circumstances dictated. If the enemy
was too strong to be driven by the advance, the latter endeavored to
hold him in check (and was reinforced if necessary), until the command
could be formed for attack or defense. Scouting parties were of course
thrown out on the front and flanks, as well as to the rear, but as these
parties were often miles away in search of information, a vigilant
advance guard was always necessary. During an engagement, the advance
was generally kept mounted and held in reserve.

Passing through Springfield without a halt, the column marched in the
direction of Harrodsburg. Late in the evening, some of the scouts had an
engagement at a little place called Macksville, with a Home-guard
organization, in which two or three were wounded and two captured.
During the night, finding that it would be impossible to ferret out the
captors, we negotiated an exchange of prisoners. On the next morning,
about nine o'clock we entered Harrodsburg, another stronghold of our
friends, and were warmly welcomed.

It was Sunday, and a large concourse of people were in town. We found
that the ladies, in anticipation of our coming, had prepared the most
inviting rations, and the men after attending to their horses and
supplying them with forage, a "superabundance of which," to use the old
forage-master's expression, was stacked close by, fell to themselves,
and most of them were eating, with short intervals employed in
sleeping, until the hour of departure. Harrodsburg is twenty-eight miles
from Lexington, the headquarters then of the Federal forces of the
region. Gano, with his squadron, was detached at Harrodsburg to go
around Lexington and burn the bridges on the Kentucky Central Railroad,
in order to prevent troops from being thrown into Lexington from
Cincinnati. Captain Allen was sent to destroy the bridges over Benson
and other small streams on the Louisville and Lexington road, to prevent
the transmission of troops by that road, and also to induce the
impression that the command was making for Louisville. About dark the
column moved from Harrodsburg on the Frankfort pike. It was Morgan's
wish to induce the belief that he intended to attack Frankfort, but to
suddenly turn to the right and make for Lexington, capture that place if
he could, and if he could not, at least enjoy the fine country in its

At one P.M. that night we encamped at Lawrenceburg, the county seat of
Anderson county, twenty miles from Harrodsburg and about fifteen from
Frankfort. A scouting party was sent immediately on in the direction of
Frankfort, with instructions to drive in the pickets after daybreak, and
to rejoin us at Versailles. The command had now marched three hundred
and odd miles in eight days, but the men, despite the fatigue usually
resulting from night marching, were comparatively fresh, and in the most
exultant spirits. So far, every thing had gone well; although
encompassed by superior forces, celerity of movement, and skillful
selection of route, had enabled us to elude them; a good many little
affairs had occurred with the Home-guards, which I have not mentioned,
but they had been expected, and the damage from them was trifling.
Leaving Lawrenceburg next morning at daybreak, the column took the road
to Versailles, but was compelled to halt at Shryock's ferry, seven miles
from Versailles. On account of the ferry-boat having been sunk, it was
necessary to raise and repair it, so that the howitzers might be
crossed. This delay prevented us from reaching Versailles before night
fell. It was now deemed good policy to march more slowly, obtain
perfectly accurate information, and increase the confusion already
prevailing by threatening all points of importance. This policy was not
a hazardous one, under the circumstances, for although the forces
surrounding the point where we now were, were each a superior to our
own, yet by getting between them and preventing their concentration, and
industriously creating the impression to which the people were, at any
rate disposed, that our force was four or five thousand strong, Morgan
had demoralized them, and they were afraid to come out and meet him. The
ease with which he had, hitherto, pressed right on, without a momentary
check, confirmed the belief that he was very strong.

The command remained encamped at Versailles during the night. Scouts
were sent in every direction, and upon their return next day reported
that a very general consternation prevailed, as well as uncertainty
regarding our movements. The Home-guards and little detachments of
troops were running, on the one side for Lexington, and on the other for
Frankfort. Leaving Versailles next day about 10 A.M., the column moved
toward Georgetown.

Before leaving Versailles, the scouting parties which had been
dispatched to Frankfort rejoined the command. Frankfort was by this time
relieved of all fear of immediate attack, and Colonel Morgan became
apprehensive that the troops there might be marched out after him, or
that communication might be opened with Lexington which might lead to a
simultaneous attack upon him by the forces of the two points. He hoped
that the detachment under Captain Allen returning, after the destruction
of the bridge between Frankfort and Louisville, and necessarily marching
close to the former (in doing so), would produce the impression there,
that an attack was again imminent. We reached Midway (about 12 M.), a
little town on the railroad, and equi-distant from Lexington and
Frankfort. What took place at Midway is best described in Ellsworth's
language. He says, "At this place I surprised the operator, who was
quietly sitting on the platform in front of his office, enjoying himself
hugely. Little did he suspect that the much-dreaded Morgan was in his
vicinity. I demanded of him to call Lexington and inquire the time of
day, which he did. This I did for the purpose of getting his style of
handling the 'key' in writing dispatches. My first impression of his
style, from noting the paper in the instrument, was confirmed. He was,
to use a telegraphic term, a 'plug' operator. I adopted his style of
telegraphing, and commenced operations. In this office I found a signal
book, which proved very useful. It contained the calls of all the
offices. Dispatch after dispatch was going to and from Lexington,
Georgetown, Paris and Frankfort, all containing something in reference
to Morgan. On commencing operations, I discovered that there were two
wires on the line along this railroad. One was what we term a 'through
wire,' running direct from Lexington to Frankfort, and not entering any
of the way offices. I found that all military messages were sent over
that line. As it did not enter Midway office I ordered it to be cut,
thus forcing Lexington on to the wire that did run through the office. I
tested the line and found, by applying the ground wire, it made no
difference with the circuit; and, as Lexington was Head-Quarters, I cut
Frankfort off. Midway was called, I answered, and received the

    'LEXINGTON, _July 15, 1862_.

    '_To J.W. Woolums, operator, Midway_:

    'Will there be any danger in coming to Midway? Is every thing right?


"I inquired of my prisoner (the operator) if he knew a man by the
name of Taylor. He said Taylor was the conductor. I immediately gave
Taylor the following reply:

    'MIDWAY, _July 15, 1862_.

    '_To Taylor, Lexington_:

    'All right; come on. No sign of any rebels here.


"The operator in Cincinnati then called Frankfort. I answered and
received about a dozen unimportant dispatches. He had no sooner finished
than Lexington called Frankfort. Again I answered, and received the
following message:

    'LEXINGTON, _July 15, 1862_.
    '_To General Finnell, Frankfort_:

    'I wish you to move the forces at Frankfort, on the line of the
    Lexington railroad, immediately, and have the cars follow and take them
    up as soon as possible. Further orders will await them at Midway. I
    will, in three or four hours, move forward on the Georgetown pike; will
    have most of my men mounted. Morgan left Versailles this morning with
    eight hundred and fifty men, on the Midway road, moving in the
    direction of Georgetown. 'BRIGADIER-GENERAL WARD.'

"This being our position and intention exactly, it was thought proper to
throw General Ward on some other track. So, in the course of half an
hour, I manufactured and sent the following dispatch, which was approved
by General Morgan:

    'MIDWAY, _July 15, 1862_.
    '_To Brigadier-General Ward, Lexington_:

    'Morgan, with upward of one thousand men, came within a mile of here,
    and took the old Frankfort road, marching, we suppose, for Frankfort.
    This is reliable.


"In about ten minutes Lexington again called Frankfort, when I received
the following:

    'LEXINGTON, _July 15, 1862_.
    '_To General Finnell, Frankfort_;

    'Morgan, with more than one thousand men, came within a mile of here,
    and took the old Frankfort road. This dispatch received from Midway,
    and is reliable. The regiment from Frankfort had better be recalled.


"I receipted for this message, and again manufactured a message to
confirm the information General Ward received from Midway, and not
knowing the tariff from Frankfort to Lexington, I could not send a
formal message; so, appearing greatly agitated, I waited until the
circuit was occupied, and broke in, telling them to wait a minute, and
commenced calling Lexington. He answered with as much gusto as I called
him. I telegraphed as follows:

    '_Frankfort to Lexington_:

    'Tell General Ward our pickets are just driven in. Great excitement.
    Pickets say the force of enemy must be two thousand.    'OPERATOR.'

It was now two P.M., and General Morgan wished to be off for Georgetown.
I ran a secret ground connection, and opened the circuit on the
Lexington end. This was to leave the impression that the Frankfort
operator was skedaddling, or that Morgan's men had destroyed the

While at Midway, dispositions were made for the capture of the trains
coming from both ends of the road; but they were not sent. The command
reached Georgetown just at sundown. A small force of Home-guards had
mustered there to oppose us. Morgan sent them word to surrender, and
they should not be hurt. The leader of this band is said to have made
his men a speech of singular eloquence and stirring effect. If he was
reported correctly, he told them that "Morgan, the marauder and
murderer--the accursed of the Union men of Kentucky," was coming upon
them. That, in "his track every where prevailed terror and desolation.
In his rear, the smoke of burning towns was ascending, the blood of
martyred patriots was streaming, the wails of widowed women and orphan
children were resounding. In his front, Home-guards and soldiers were
flying." That "Tom Long reported him just outside of town, with ten or
twelve thousand men, armed with long beards and butcher-knives;" and the
orator thought that they "had better scatter and take care of
themselves." They accordingly "scattered" at full speed. Several
prisoners (Southern sympathizers) were confined in the court-house;
among them, a man whom many Kentuckians have a lively recollection
of--poor Will Webb. He, upon seeing the Home-guards flee, thrust his
body half out of a window, and pointing to the stars and stripes still
flying, apostrophized the fugitives in terms that ought to have made a
sutler fight. "Are you going to desert your flag?" he said. "Remain, and
perform the pleasing duty of dying under its glorious folds, and afford
us the agreeable spectacle that you will thus present." This touching
appeal was of no avail.

The geographical situation of Georgetown with relation to the towns of
that portion of Kentucky--especially those occupied by Federal
troops--made it an excellent point for Colonel Morgan's purposes. He was
in a central position here, nearly equi-distant from all points of
importance, and could observe and checkmate movements made from any of
them. Georgetown is twelve miles from Lexington, and eighteen from
Frankfort, the two points from which he had chiefly to anticipate
attacks. Although not directly between these two places, Georgetown is
so nearly on a line with them, that its possession enabled him to
prevent communication of any kind between the troops occupying them.

As the command greatly needed rest, Colonel Morgan remained here (where
he felt more secure, for the reasons I have mentioned) during two days.
He was not entirely idle, however, during that time. He sent Captain
Hamilton, with one company, to disperse a Home-guard organization at the
Stamping Ground, thirteen miles from Georgetown. Hamilton accomplished
his mission, and burned the tents, and destroyed the guns. Detachments
were kept constantly at or near Midway, to prevent any communication by
the railroad between Lexington and Frankfort. Captain Castleman was sent
to destroy the bridges on the Kentucky Central Railroad between
Lexington and Paris--which he did; and was instructed to rejoin the
command in three or four days at Winchester, in Clark county. For other
than strategic reasons, Georgetown was an admirable selection as a
resting point. The large majority of the people throughout this region
were, even at that time, strongly Southern in sentiment and sympathy,
and their native inclination to hospitality was much enhanced by the
knowledge that they were feeding their friends, when we would suddenly
descend upon them. There was a drawback in the apprehension of a visit
from some provost-guards, to investigate the circumstances of this
profuse and practical sympathy with armed rebels. But they hit upon an
expedient which they thought would obviate all the unpleasant
after-claps. They _would give nothing of their own free will and
accord_; but forced us to "impress" every thing that we needed. Many a
time have I seen an old farmer unlock all the closets and presses in his
house--press the keys of his meat-house into the hands of the
Commissary, point out to the Quartermaster where forage could be
obtained, muster his negroes to cook and make themselves generally
useful, protesting all the time that he was acting under the cruelest
compulsion, and then stand by, rubbing his hands and chuckling to think
how well he had reconciled the indulgence of his private sympathies with
his public repute for loyalty. The old ladies, however, were serious
obstacles to the establishment of these decorous records. They wished
not only to give but to talk freely, and the more the husband wisely
preached "policy" and an astute prudence, the more certainly were his
cob-webs of caution torn into shreds by the trenchant tongue of his

Of all the points which we could have reached just at that time,
Georgetown was the one where this sympathy for us was strongest. There
were only a very few Union men living in the town, and these had run
away; and the county (Scott) was the very hot-bed of Southern feeling.
To Owen and Boone we did not contemplate paying a visit. We had not yet
reached Harrison; but in halting in Scott county and at Georgetown, we
felt that our situation would not need to be improved. A good many
recruits had been obtained at various points in the State, and at
Georgetown a full company was raised, of which W.C.P. Breckinridge, a
young lawyer of Lexington, was elected Captain. He had just run the
blockade established around the latter town.

While lying at Georgetown the command was encamped in line of battle,
day and night, and scouting parties were sent three or four times a day
toward Lexington--which were instructed to clear the road of the enemy's
pickets and reconnoitering parties. While here, Gano and Allen rejoined
the column, having accomplished their respective missions.

Gano (in making a detour around Lexington) had driven in the pickets on
every road--creating a fearful amount of confusion in the place among
its gallant defenders, and causing the order that all rebel
sympathizers, seen on the streets should be shot, to be emphatically
reiterated. As Gano had approached Georgetown, after leaving Lexington
and on his way to burn the bridges below Paris, an assemblage of a
strange character occurred. He had formerly lived near Georgetown and
knew nearly every man in the county. He stopped at the house of an
intimate personal friend, who was also a notorious "sympathizer," who
lived four or five miles from Georgetown, and "forced" him to feed his
men and horses. While there, two or three of the Southern citizens of
Scott, among them Stoddard Johnston (afterward Lieutenant Colonel on
General Breckinridge's staff) came to the house, and were immediately
and with great solemnity, placed under arrest.

Shortly afterward the assistant provost marshal of Georgetown (who was a
very clever fellow), came out to protect the house and grounds from any
disorder that the troops might be inclined to indulge in--thinking (in
his simplicity) when he heard that troops were quartered there, that
they must be "Union." The owner of the house (of course) interceded for
him, and Gano pleased with the motive which had actuated him, promised
to detain him, only until he himself moved again. In a short time
another arrival was announced. The most determined, deeply-pitted,
high-colored and uncompromising Union man in Georgetown, came galloping
up the road to the house, and asked in a loud and authoritative tone for
the commander of the detachment. Gano walked forth and greeted him. "Why
how are you, Dick," said the new comer, "I didn't know that you were in
the Union army; I've got something for you to do, old fellow." Gano
assured him that he was delighted to hear it. "Where is the commander of
these men," continued the "dauntless patriot." "I am their commander,"
said Gano. "Well then here's an order for you," said the bearer of
dispatches handing him a communication from the Home-guard headquarters,
in Georgetown. Gano read it. "Oliver," he then said, slowly and very
impressively, "I should be truly sorry to see you injured, we were
school mates, and I remember our early friendship." Oliver's jaw fell,
and his intelligent eye grew glassy with a "wild and maddening"
apprehension, but his feelings would not permit him to speak. "Oliver,"
continued Gano after a pause (and keeping his countenance remarkably)
"isn't it possible that you may be mistaken in these troops. To which
army do you think they belong?" "Why," gasped Oliver; "ain't they
Union?" "Union!" echoed Gano with a groan of horror, "don't let them
hear you say so, I mightn't be able to control them. They are Morgan's
Texas Rangers." He then led the half fainting Oliver, who under the
influence of this last speech had become "even as a little child," to
the house, and placed him with the other prisoners.

Saddest and most inconsolable of these were the sympathizers who had
come purposely to be captured. When the hour drew near for Gano's
departure, he held a brief conference with the "secesh," and then
paroled the whole batch, including his host, binding them not to divulge
any thing which they had seen or heard. All were impressed with the
solemn nature of this obligation, but the melancholy gravity of Johnston
(who had suggested it) was even awful.

Colonel Morgan finding how strongly Lexington was garrisoned, gave up
all thought of attacking it, but it was high time that he made his
arrangements to return to Dixie. He determined to make a dash at
Cynthiana, the county seat of Harrison county, situated on the Kentucky
Central Railroad, thirty-two miles from Lexington, and about twenty-two
by turnpike from Georgetown. By moving in this direction, and striking a
blow at this point, he hoped to induce the impression that he was aiming
at Cincinnati, and at the same time thoroughly bewilder the officer in
command at Lexington regarding his real intentions. When he reached
Cynthiana he would be master of three or four routes, by either of which
he could leave Kentucky, completely eluding his pursuers, and he did not
doubt that he could defeat whatever force might be collected there.

He left Georgetown on the morning of the 18th, having first dispatched
parts of two companies to drive all scouts and detachments of every kind
into Lexington. While moving rapidly with the bulk of his command toward
Cynthiana, these detachments protected his march and prevented it from
being discovered too soon. Cynthiana was occupied by three or four
hundred men of Metcalfe's regiment of cavalry, and about the same number
of Home-guards, all under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Landrum, of
Metcalfe's regiment. There was but one piece of artillery in the town, a
brass twelve-pound howitzer. This was under charge of a company of
firemen from Cincinnati, under command of "Captain Billy Glass of the
Fourth Ward," and they went to work when the fight opened as if they
were "putting out a fire." We struck the pickets a mile or two from the
town, and the advance guard chased them in, capturing three or four.
General Morgan had previously determined upon his dispositions for the
attack, well knowing the country, and they were made immediately after
the alarm to the pickets. Between us and the town was the Licking river,
crossed at the Georgetown pike, which we were traveling, by a narrow,
covered bridge. Just by the side of the bridge, there was a ford about
waist-deep. Nowhere else, in the then stage of water, was the river
fordable in that immediate vicinity. But above and below about a mile,
respectively, from the bridge, were fords, and to these were sent, Gano
above, and the Georgians below, with instructions to cross and attack
the town upon the respective quarters by which they approached it. The
Second Kentucky was ordered to attack upon the road by which we had

The enemy held all the houses upon the opposite bank of the river, which
runs close to the town, and opened a smart fire of musketry upon the
regiment as it advanced. Companies A and B were deployed upon the right
of the road, E and F upon the left, and C was held in reserve, mounted;
the advance-guard had been sent with Gano. The recruits, most of whom
were unarmed, were also, of course, kept in the rear. The howitzers were
planted near the road, about three hundred and fifty yards from the
bridge, and were opened at once upon the houses, evidently filled with
the enemy.

The enemy's single piece of artillery swept the bridge and road, and
commanded the position where the howitzers were stationed. Companies E
and F advanced to the river's edge and poured such a fire across the
narrow stream that they compelled the troops exposed to it to throw down
their guns and surrender. They were then made to swim the river in order
to join their captors. In the meantime, Company A, after having been
repulsed two or three times in attempting to rush across the bridge,
plunged into the river and, holding their guns and ammunition above
their heads, crossed at the ford above-mentioned, and effected a
lodgment on the other side. For awhile those first over were compelled
to take shelter behind a long warehouse near the bridge, and even when
the entire company had gotten over, and assistance had been sent to it,
it seemed that the enemy, who concentrated to oppose us here, and
redoubled his fire, would drive all back. The adjacent houses and yards
were filled with sharpshooters, who poured in telling volleys as the men
sought to close with them.

The lines were at this point not more than forty yards apart, and most
of our loss was sustained here, and by Company A.

The howitzers were brought up, and posted on the corner, but the close
fire drove the gunners away from them. One gunner named Talbot loaded
and fired his piece two or three times by himself, while the balls were
actually striking it. He was afterward made a Lieutenant. The team of
one of the pieces, smarting with wounds, ran away with the limber, and
carried it into the midst of the enemy. This check did not last more
than three or four minutes. Company C charged across the bridge and up
the principal street, on horseback, losing three or four men only, and
distracting the enemy's attention. Company B got a position on the other
bank where they could shoot right into the party which was holding
Company A in check. The latter made a determined rush, at the head of
which were Sergeants Drake and Quirk and private James Moore, of
Louisiana, a little fellow, not yet sixteen years old, who fell with two
severe wounds, but recovered, to make one of the most gallant officers
of our command. In this dash, Sergeant Quirk, out of ammunition, and
seeing his friend, Drake, in imminent peril, knocked down his assailant
with a stone. The enemy then gave way; the other companies were, in the
mean time, brought up to press them.

Gano came in on the one side, and the Georgians on the other, each
driving all opponents before them. The Texians, Georgians, and
Kentuckians arrived simultaneously at the piece of artillery, which the
enemy had kept busily employed all the time. It was immediately taken,
each claiming its capture.

The enemy immediately evacuated the town, and retreated eastwardly, but
were closely pressed, and the better part captured. Greenfell headed a
charge upon the depot, in which some of them took refuge. He received
eleven bullets through his horse, person, and clothes, but was only
slightly hurt. A curious little scarlet skull cap, which he used to
wear, was perforated. It fitted so tight upon his head that I
previously thought a ball could not go through it without blowing his
brains out.

Colonel Landrum was chased eight or ten miles. Little Billy Peyton, a
mere boy (Colonel Morgan's Orderly), but perfectly fearless, followed
him closely, and exhausted two pistols without hitting him. The Colonel
was riding a superb horse, which attracted attention to him, but which
saved him. The enemy's loss was about ninety in killed and wounded; ours
was about forty. Four hundred and twenty prisoners were taken.

It would be an unfair description of this fight if mention were omitted
of the gallant conduct of the recruits. Although the most of them, as
has been stated, were unarmed, they all "went in" like game cocks.
Plenty of fine guns, with ammunition, were captured; also a large
quantity of stores, and two or three hundred horses.

Cynthiana, like Georgetown and Versailles, was full of our devoted
friends, and we felt satisfied that the wounded we were obliged to leave
behind us would be well taken care of. Two men who subsequently died of
their wounds, privates George Arnold and ---- Clarke, behaved with such
conspicuous gallantry, and were always so noted for good conduct, that
their loss caused universal regret. Arnold was a member of the
advance-guard, and volunteered to accompany Company C in the charge
through the town. He fell with an arm and a thigh broken. Clarke
undertook to carry an order through the enemy's line to Gano, who was in
their rear, and fell pierced through the body with five balls. The best
men were among the killed. Private Wm. Craig, of Company A, first to
cross the river, was killed as he mounted the bank. All of the other
officers having been wounded, the command of Company A devolved upon the
Third Lieutenant, S.D. Morgan.

Leaving Cynthiana at one or two P.M., the command marched for Paris.
About five miles from that place, we encountered a deputation of
citizens, coming out to surrender the town. We reached Paris about
sundown, and rested there during the night. I have omitted to mention
that at Georgetown, Lieutenant Niles was appointed by Colonel Morgan
upon his staff, and P.H. Thorpe, formerly Captain in the First Kentucky
Infantry, was made Adjutant in his stead. I mention these appointments
as if they were regular and valid, because they were all so in the end.
The War Department made some trouble about them, as was expected, and
perfectly proper, but as the appointees were borne on the muster and pay
rolls as officers, there was nothing to be done but recognize them.

R.A. Alston, formerly a member of a South Carolina regiment of cavalry,
but a member and private at the time of Company A, Second Kentucky, had
been selected at Knoxville by Colonel Morgan to perform the duties of
Adjutant-General, on account of his superior fitness for that position.
He was permitted to recruit a company during the raid, in order that he
might obtain the rank of Captain. He got his commission, and his company
was divided between some others, and he was continued upon staff duty,
although Greenfell, immediately after the conclusion of this raid became

The next morning after our arrival at Paris, a large force came down the
Lexington road, and about eight A.M. gave us strong reasons for resuming
our march. This force, about twenty-five hundred or three thousand men,
was commanded by General G. Clay Smith. Our scouts had notified us of
its approach the previous night, and as the command was encamped on the
Winchester road, the one which we wished to travel, there was no danger
of its cutting us off. It came on very slowly, and there was at no time
any determined effort made to engage us. If a dash had been made at us
when we prepared to leave, we could have been compelled to fight, for
although the prisoners had all been paroled, we were very much
incumbered with carriages containing wounded men, brought off from
Cynthiana and other points.

Morgan always made it a point to carry off every wounded man who could
be safely moved; in this way he prevented much of the demoralization
attending the fear the men felt of falling, when wounded, into the hands
of the enemy. I was once seriously told that a belief prevailed with
some people, that Morgan killed his own wounded to prevent the enemy
from making them prisoners.

The command reached Winchester about 12 P.M. and remained there until 4
P.M., when the march was taken up again and we crossed the Kentucky
river just before dark. Marching on, we reached Richmond at 4 the next
morning. Here we met with another very kind reception, and were joined
by a company of recruits under Captain Jennings. It was admitted into
the Second Kentucky as Company K. Leaving Richmond at 4 P.M. that day we
marched toward Crab Orchard, and reached that place about day break next

It had, at first, been Colonel Morgan's intention to make a stand at
Richmond, as the whole population seemed inclined to join him, but his
real strength was now known to the enemy, and they were collecting to
attack him in such numbers, that he concluded that it was too hazardous.
He would have had to have fought three battles at least, against
superior forces, and have won all before he would have been safe.

Clay Smith was following him, Woolford was collecting forces to the
southward to intercept him, and troops were coming from Louisville and
other points to push after him. In the march from Paris to Crab Orchard,
a good many wagons and a large number of guns were captured, and
all--wagons and guns--that were not needed were burned. The horses
captured with the twelve pounder at Cynthiana gave out and died before
we reached the Kentucky river.

Leaving Crab Orchard at 11 A.M., the command moved toward Somerset and
reached that place about sundown. The telegraph was again taken
possession of, and Colonel Morgan instructed Ellsworth to countermand
all of General Boyle's orders for pursuit. At Crab Orchard and Somerset
one hundred and thirty Government wagons were captured and burned. At
Somerset a great many stores of all kinds, blankets, shoes, etc., were
found. Several wagons were loaded with as much as could be conveniently
carried away, and the rest were destroyed. Arms, and ammunition for
small arms and artillery, were also found in abundance, and were

From Somerset the column marched to Stagall's ferry on the Cumberland
river, and crossed there. We reached Monticello twenty-one miles from
the river that night, but all danger was over when we had gotten safely
across the river. The next day we proceeded leisurely toward Livingston,
having a little excitement with the bushwhackers, but suffering no loss.

For several days after leaving Somerset, and indeed after reaching
Livingston, we suffered greatly for want of rations, as this country was
almost bare of provisions. Colonel Morgan's objects in making this raid,
viz; to obtain recruits and horses, to thoroughly equip and arm his men,
to reconnoiter for the grand invasion in the fall, and to teach the
enemy that we could reciprocate the compliment of invasion, were pretty
well accomplished. Enough of spare horses and more than enough of extra
guns, saddles, etc., were brought out, to supply all the men who had
been left behind. A great many prisoners were taken, of whom I have made
no mention. But the results of the expedition are best summed up in the
words of Colonel Morgan's report--

"I left Knoxville on the 4th day of this month, with about nine hundred
men, and returned to Livingston on the 28th inst. with nearly twelve
hundred, having been absent just twenty-four days, during which time I
have traveled over a thousand miles, captured seventeen towns, destroyed
all the Government supplies and arms in them, dispersed about fifteen
hundred Home-guards and paroled nearly twelve hundred regular troops. I
lost in killed, wounded and missing of the number that I carried into
Kentucky, about ninety."

One practice was habitually pursued, on this raid, that may be
remembered by some of our friends in the state for whose benefit it was
done. Great pains were always taken to capture the most bitter Union man
in each town and neighborhood--the one who was most inclined to bear
down on Southern men--especially if he were provost marshal. He would be
kept, sometimes a day or two, and thoroughly frightened. Colonel Morgan,
who derived infinite amusement from such scenes, would gravely assure
each one, when brought into his presence, that one of the chief objects
of his raid was to catch him. It was a curious sight to see the mixed
terror and vanity this declaration would generally excite--even in the
agonies of anticipated death, the prisoner would be sensibly touched by
the compliment. After awhile, however, a compromise would be effected;
the prisoner would be released upon the implied condition that he was,
in the future, to exert himself to protect Southern people. It was
thought better to turn all the captured provost marshals loose and let
them resume their functions, than to carry them off, and let new men be
appointed, with whom no understanding could be had.

Ellsworth wound up his operations at Somerset, with complimentary
dispatches from Colonel Morgan to General Jerry Boyle, Prentice, and
others, and concluded with the following general order on his own part
to the Kentucky telegraphic operators:


    '_General Order No. 1._

    'When an operator is positively informed that the enemy is marching
    on his station, he will immediately proceed to destroy the
    telegraphic instruments and all material in his charge. Such
    instances of carelessness, as were exhibited on the part of the
    operators at Lebanon, Midway, and Georgetown, will be severely dealt
    with. By order of

    _General Military Supt. C.S. Telegraphic Dept._'

At Livingston Colonel Morgan left the Second Kentucky and proceeded to
Knoxville, taking with him the Georgians, Gano's squadron, and the
howitzers--which needed some repairs. After remaining at Livingston
three days, I marched the regiment to Sparta, where more abundant
supplies could be obtained, and facilities for shoeing horses could be
had. While at Livingston, the men suffered extremely with hunger, and
one man declared his wish to quit a service in which he was subjected to
such privations. He was deprived of his horse, arms, and equipments, and
"blown out" of the regiment; that is, upon dress parade, he was marched
down the front of the regiment (after his offense and the nature of the
punishment had been read by the Adjutant), with the bugler blowing the
"Skedaddle" behind him amid the hisses of the men, who were thoroughly
disgusted with him; he was then driven away from the camp. At Sparta we
found a better country and the kindest and most hospitable people.


As soon as the Second Kentucky was placed in camp at Sparta, a much
stricter system was adopted than had ever prevailed before. Camp-guards
were regularly posted in order to keep the men in camp; and as staying
in camp closely was something they particularly disliked, the guard had
to be doubled, until finally nearly one half of the regiment had to be
put on to watch the rest. Guard-mounting, dress-parades, and drills
(company and regimental, on foot and on horseback), were had daily, much
to the edification and improvement of the recruits, who rapidly acquired
instruction, and quite as much to the disgust of the old hands, who
thought that they "knew it all." In one respect, however, they were all
equally assiduous and diligent that was in the care of their horses and
attention to their arms and accouterments--no man had ever to be
reproved or punished for neglect of these duties. The regiment now
numbered about seven hundred men, nearly all of the recruits obtained in
Kentucky having joined it.

It was then in the flush of hope and confidence, composed of the best
material Kentucky could afford, and looked forward to a career of
certain success and of glory. The officers were (with scarcely an
exception), very young men; almost every one of them had won his
promotion by energy and gallantry, and all aspired to yet further
preferment. The men were of just such staff as the officers, and all
relied upon (in their turn), winning promotion.

The character of Kentucky troops was never better illustrated than in
this regiment and at that time. Give them officers that they love,
respect, and rely on, and any thing can be accomplished with them. While
almost irrepressibly fond of whisky, and incorrigible, when not on
active service, about straggling through the country and running out of
camp, they, nevertheless, stick to work at the time when it is
necessary, and answer to the roll-call in an emergency unfailingly, no
matter what may be the prospect before them. Aware too that (in quiet
times), they are always behaving badly, they will cheerfully submit to
the severest punishment--provided, always, that it is not of a degrading
nature. They can not endure harsh and insulting language, or any thing
that is humiliating. In this respect they show the traits which
characterize all of their Southern brethren--the Irish are of a similar
disposition. I have frequently known the efficiency of fine companies
greatly impaired by officers who were offensive in their language to
them, and yet rarely punished, while other officers, who never indulged
in such language, but were accustomed to punish severely, were not only
more promptly obeyed, but were infinitely more liked. While the regiment
was at Sparta, Colonel Jno. Scott also came with his own fine regiment
the First Louisiana, and a portion of our old friends, the Eighth Texas.

Colonel Scott was one of the most active, efficient, and daring cavalry
officers in the Western Confederate army. He had performed very
successful and brilliant service, during the spring, in North Alabama,
and had lately served with Forrest in the latter's dashing operations in
Middle Tennessee. While we were all at Sparta together, Buell's army
began to commence to concentrate, and a large part of it under Nelson
came to McMinnville.

McMinnville is twenty-eight miles from Sparta, and a force of infantry,
preceded by two or three hundred cavalry, came one day to the bridge
over Calf Killer creek, on the McMinnville road, within five miles of
Sparta. Colonel Scott sent Major Harrison (afterward Brigadier General),
of the Eighth Texas, with two or three companies of the First Louisiana,
and as many of the Eighth Texas, to drive them back. Harrison fell on
them in his usual style, and they went back immediately. One or two of
them were killed, and a few prisoners were taken. I sent Lieutenant
Manly, of my regiment, about this time, to ascertain the disposition of
Buell's forces. He reported, in a few days, that there were three
thousand and six hundred men at Nashville, a great many of them
convalescents, four thousand at Columbia, three thousand at Pulaski, and
three thousand at Shelbyville. At McMinnville twelve thousand. At points
on the Tennessee river, in Alabama, about two thousand. Generals Bragg
and Smith were then preparing for the invasion of Kentucky. Bragg lay at
Chattanooga with about thirty thousand men. We confidently expected that
he would dash across the river, while Buell's army was thus scattered,
break through it and take Nashville, and pick up the fragments at his
leisure. He gave Buell a little time, and the latter concentrated with a
quickness that seemed magical, protected Nashville, and was ready for
the race into Kentucky. Buell's own friends have damned him pretty
thoroughly, but that one exhibition of energy and skill, satisfied his
enemies (that is, the Confederates) of his caliber, and we welcomed his
removal with gratification. Manly also reported, that rolling stock was
being collected, from all the roads, at Nashville, and that wagon trains
were being gotten together at convenient points. This indicated pretty
clearly that a concentration was contemplated for some purpose. After
remaining a few days at Sparta, Colonel Scott received orders to report
with his command to General Kirby Smith, whose Headquarters were at
Knoxville. Shortly afterward, Colonel Morgan reached Sparta, bringing
with him Gano's squadron and Company G. Gano's two companies, numbered
now, however, only one hundred and ten effectives; he had left a good
many sick at Knoxville, who did not rejoin us for some time. The
howitzers, to our great regret, were left behind. A day or two after
Colonel Morgan's arrival, we set out to surprise the Federal garrison at
Gallatin, distant about seventy or eighty miles. Morgan had received
instructions to break the railroad between Louisville and Nashville, in
order to retard Buell's retreat to Louisville as greatly as possible,
also to occupy the Federal cavalry, and prevent them from paying
attention to what was going on in other quarters. Gallatin seemed to him
an excellent point at which to commence operations with all these views.
On the way, he was joined by Captain Joseph Desha (formerly of the First
Kentucky infantry), with twenty or thirty men. Captain Desha's small
detachment was received into the Second Kentucky, and he was promised
recruits enough to make him a full company. He soon got them, and his
company was duly lettered L of the regiment. Crossing the Cumberland at
Sand Shoals ford, three miles from Carthage, on the day after we left
Sparta, we reached Dixon Springs, about eight miles from Gallatin, about
2 or 3 P.M., and, as our coming had been announced by couriers sent on
in advance, we found that the friendly and hospitable citizens had
provided abundant supplies for men and horses. Crowds of them met to
welcome us, bringing every delicacy. It was a convincing proof of the
unanimity of sentiment in that region, that while hundreds knew of our
march and destination, not one was found to carry the information to the
enemy. Just before dark the march was resumed, and we reached
Hartsville, sixteen miles from Gallatin, about 11 o'clock at night.
Pressing on through Hartsville without halting, the column turned off
from the turnpike a few miles from Gallatin, entirely avoiding the
pickets, which were captured by scouts sent after we had gained their
rear. As we entered Gallatin, Captain Desha was sent forward with a
small party to capture Colonel Boone, the Federal commander, who, as we
had learned, was in the habit of sleeping in town. Desha reached the
house where he was quartered, and found him dressed and just about to
start to camp. It was now about daybreak. Colonel Morgan immediately saw
Boone and represented to him that he had better write to the officer in
command at the camp, advising him to surrender, in order to spare the
"effusion of blood," etc. This Boone consented to do, and his letter was
at once dispatched to the camp under flag of truce. It had the desired
effect, and the garrison fell into our hands without firing a shot. Two
companies had been sent off for some purpose, and escaped capture. About
two hundred prisoners were taken, including a good many officers. As
these troops were infantry, no horses were captured with them, but
during the forenoon, a train arrived with some eighty very fine ones,
_en route_ for Nashville. Two or three hundred excellent Springfield
rifles were captured, with which all the inferior guns were replaced.
Some valuable stores were also captured, and wagoned off to Hartsville.

The prisoners were paroled and sent off Northward, during that and the
following day. The Government freight train seized, numbered nineteen
cars, laden with forage for the cavalry at Nashville. Efforts were made
to decoy the train from Nashville into our possession, but
unsuccessfully. Ellsworth was immediately put in possession of the
telegraph office, and went to work with even more than his ordinary
ingenuity. It was the peculiarity of this "great man" to be successful
only in his own department; if he attempted any thing else he was almost
sure to fail. At Crab Orchard, for instance, on the late raid, he had
taken it into his head to go after a notorious and desperate
bushwhacker, whom our best scouts had tried in vain to capture.

Telling no one of his intention, he took Colonel Greenfell's horse, upon
which was strapped a saddle that the owner valued very highly, and
behind the saddle was tied a buff coat equally as much prized, and in
the coat was all the gold the Colonel had brought from Richmond, when he
came to join us--and thus equipped he sallied out with one companion, to
take the formidable "Captain King."

He went boldly to that worthy's house, who, seeing only two men coming,
scorned to take to the brush. To Ellsworth's demand to surrender, he
answered with volleys from shot gun and revolver, severely wounding the
friend and putting Ellsworth himself to flight. King pressed the
retreat, and Ellsworth, although he brought off his wounded companion,
lost horse, saddle, coat and gold. St. Leger was like an excited
volcano, and sought Ellsworth to slay him instantly.

Three days were required to pacify him, during which time, the great
"operator" had to be carefully kept out of his sight. But when Ellsworth
was seated in the telegraph office he was always "master of the
situation." No man could watch him at work, see him catch, without a
boggle, "signals," "tariff," and all the rest, fool the regular
operators, baffle with calm confidence their efforts to detect him, and
turn to his own advantage their very suspicions, and not unhesitatingly
pronounce him a genius. As if to demonstrate incontestably his own
superiority, he has (since the war closed) invented a plan to prevent
just such tricks, as he used to practice at way stations, from being

When he "took the chair" at Gallatin, he first, in accordance with
Colonel Morgan's instructions, telegraphed in Colonel Boone's name, to
the commandant at Bowlinggreen to send him reinforcements, as he
expected to be attacked. But this generous plan to capture and parole
soldiers, who wished to go home and see their friends, miscarried. Then
he turned his attention to Nashville. The operator there was suspicious
and put a good many questions, all of which were successfully answered.

At length the train he wished sent, was started, but when it got within
six miles of Gallatin, a negro signaled it and gave the alarm. A
railroad bridge between Gallatin and Nashville, was then at once
destroyed, and the fine tunnel, six miles above, was rendered impassable
for months. The roof of the tunnel was of a peculiar rock which was
liable at all times to disintegrate and tumble down; to remedy this,
huge beams, supported by strong uprights, had been stretched
horizontally across the tunnel, and a sort of scaffolding have been
built upon these beams. A good deal of wood work was consequently put
up. Some of the freight cars were also run into the tunnel and set on
fire when the wood work was kindled. This fire smouldered on, after it
had ceased to burn fiercely, for a long time, and it was weeks before
any repairs could be attempted, on account of the intense heat and the
huge masses of rock which were constantly falling. This tunnel is eight
hundred feet long.

In the "History of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad during the
war," the Superintendent, Mr. Albert Fink, whose energy to repair, was
equal to Morgan's to destroy, says of the year commencing July 1, 1862,
and ending July 1, 1863, "the road has been operated for its entire
length only seven months and twelve days." He says, moreover, "All the
bridges and trestlework on the main stem and branches, with the
exception of the bridge over Barren river and four small bridges, were
destroyed and rebuilt during the year; some of the structures were
destroyed twice, and some three times. In addition to this, most of the
water stations, several depots, and a large number of cars were burnt, a
number of engines badly damaged, and a tunnel in Tennessee nearly filled
up for a distance of eight hundred feet." This shows a great activity to
destroy, but wonderful patience and industry to repair. It was by this
road that the Federal army in Tennessee got its supplies and
reinforcements, almost altogether, during the greater part of the year.
In the same report the writer goes on to say: "General Morgan took
possession of the Louisville and Nashville road at Gallatin, in August,
1862, and this, with other causes, forced General Buell's retreat to

Before giving up the wires, and after Colonel Morgan permitted him to
reveal himself, Ellsworth told some first-class romances. He made
Morgan's force out about four thousand, and did it with a skill that
carried conviction. He would speak, in dispatches to various well-known
Federals, of certain imaginary commands, under men whom they well knew.
He telegraphed Prentice that Wash. Morgan was at Gallatin, with four
hundred Indians, raised especially to seek for his (Prentice's) scalp.

Lieutenant Manly, and a few men, were left at Gallatin to burn the
amphitheater at the fair-grounds, where Boone's regiment had been
quartered. The command left Gallatin about 12 o'clock at night, and
returned to Hartsville. Gallatin was taken on the 12th of August. We
remained encamped at Hartsville until the 19th. During that time, men
and horses were entirely recruited. The citizens supplied all the
rations and forage that we needed, and frequently we would have whole
stacks of hams, turkeys, chickens, etc. (all cooked) piled up in our

On the 13th of August, the day after we left Gallatin, a Federal force
of about twelve hundred men, with four pieces of artillery, came there,
and drove Lieutenant Manly and his party away. Manly was killed, and, we
learned, after he had surrendered. Sergeant Quirk, of Company A, was
sent, with fifteen men, on a scout to Gallatin, next day. He found, when
he got there, that this force had left, on the way to Nashville again.
He followed, and overtook it, about three miles from Gallatin, as it was
preparing to get on the cars. He attacked it immediately, and killed two
or three, and captured a few prisoners. The artillery was opened upon
him, with canister, but did him no damage. He brought his fifteen men
upon them through a cornfield, and got close before he fired. John
Donnellan, a soldier who was always in the extreme front in every fight,
exerted a powerful voice, in issuing orders to the "Texians" to go one
way, the "Indians" another, and "Duke's regiment" to fall on their rear,
until he had ostensibly and vociferously disposed in line enough troops
to have frightened the "heroes of Marengo."

On the 19th, Colonel Morgan received information that a force of some
three hundred infantry had come to Gallatin, and on that evening he
started out in pursuit. He had hoped to surprise them in the town, but
learned, on the road, that they had left at midnight, and were on their
way back to Nashville. Captain Hutchinson, of Company E, of the Second
Kentucky, was sent, with his company, to intercept them, if possible, at
a point seven miles below Gallatin, where a bridge had been burned, on
the railroad, and where it was thought that, probably, a train would be
waiting to take them back. The rest of the command pushed on to
Gallatin, and reached that place about 8 o'clock on the morning of the
20th. We found that the enemy had taken off nearly every male inhabitant
of the place above the age of twelve, and the women were all in terrible
distress when we came in. This had been done on account of the kind
reception which had been given us in the place, on the 12th. We also
found the corpse of one of our men, killed the night before, and the
citizens told us that he had been kicked and cuffed after he was shot.
As we passed out of town, on the Nashville pike, we saw on the bridge
the stain of Manly's blood. The men became very much excited, and could
scarcely be kept in the ranks. As we pressed on down the road, we
reached the point where Hutchinson had been directed to intercept the
party which had been to Gallatin. He had failed to do this, but had
captured a stockade garrisoned by forty or fifty men. He came upon the
party after which he started, but they had passed the point at which he
could have checked them.

Another garrison of fifty men was captured at a stockade still lower
down, and we came soon after upon the men we were looking for. We could
not prevent the escape of the greater portion, who got on hand cars and
ran down the road, but we killed some forty, and released all the
prisoners. At Edgefield junction, First Lieutenant Jas. Smith who
reached that point first, with a part of his Company (A of the Second
Kentucky), attacked the stockade, there, supported by Captain
Breckinridge who shortly afterward arrived. The inmates of the stockade
made fight, and Smith lost three of his men, and was himself shot
through the head, of which wound he soon died. Lieutenant Niles, of
Morgan's staff, was also killed at this point, shot through the body
with five or six balls. I came up at the time that these officers were
shot and ordered the men back. I saw no chance of reducing the work,
even with great loss, in the time that would be allowed us.

These stockades were built with heavy upright timber, ten or twelve feet
high. They were surrounded by ditches and pierced for musketry.
Assailants when right at this bases, were as far from taking them as
ever. There was a plan, which I am satisfied would have been successful
against them, but I never saw it tried, viz.: to construct bundles of
bushwood large enough to shelter a man and compact enough to stop a
musket ball, and place a sufficient number of them in the hands of the
men, who holding them in front, should advance and press them against
the loop-holes--of course riflemen would have to be posted in range, to
prevent a sally on the bundle-carriers. The fire from the stockade
having been thus stopped, the walls could be chopped down with axes, or
brush, in large quantities, could be set on fire and tossed over among
the defenders, until they concluded to surrender. This plan, however,
would require plenty of time, and that is just what partisan cavalry
have least of on such occasions.

Colonel Morgan was much attached to both Smith and Niles, and it was
with great difficulty that he could be dissuaded from continuing to
attack until the stockade was taken. Lieutenant Smith had been one of
the best soldiers in the squadron, and had given universal satisfaction
by his conduct as an officer. He was more than ordinarily brave,
intelligent and zealous, and would certainly have been made a
field-officer if he had lived a few months longer. His men were
devotedly attached to him. The repulse at this stockade made us more
than ever regret the absence of the howitzers. With them we could have
battered it down directly. It was lucky that Hutchinson had caught the
garrison of the first one captured, outside of its walls, and as they
attempted to enter, his men rushed in with them. The other stockade
taken, surrendered without firing a shot. This was a very exciting day;
the chase and succession of skirmishes made the whole affair very

Returning to Gallatin, we met the people of the adjacent country coming
with vehicles of every description to convey their recaptured friends
back home. The latter weary and footsore, were plodding along as best
they might, except when our men would take them behind them or dismount
and let them ride their horses. There was a scene of wild
congratulation in town, that evening, when they all got in. That night
the entire command encamped in the fair grounds. About 12 o'clock,
Colonel Morgan received information that a formidable Federal force had
passed through Hartsville on the previous afternoon, and was encamped at
Castalian Springs, ten miles from Gallatin. He ordered the pickets to be
strengthened in that direction, and shrewd scouts were put out to watch
their movements closely, but he did not disturb the command, wishing
that it should be rested for the next day's work. He had been informed
that infantry and artillery composed this force, as well as cavalry, and
he knew that if the latter waited on the former, he was in no danger of
being forced into a fight that it might be imprudent to make. In the
morning the scouts came in, saying that the enemy were rapidly
advancing. The column was immediately put in motion, moving toward the
enemy, but it was Colonel Morgan's intention to decline battle until
more positively informed of the enemy's strength, and when he reached
the junction of the Hartsville and Scottsville turnpikes, at the eastern
edge of the town, he turned off on the Scottsville pike, which runs
nearly at right angles to the other, and northeast.

The enemy, in the meantime, were pressing on vigorously, driving in the
scouts and pickets. Colonel Morgan and myself had taken position at the
junction of the two roads, as the column filed past, and fearing that we
would be taken in flank, or that our rear would be attacked after the
entire command had taken the Scottsville road, I advised him to form and
fight, saying that I believed we could whip them. He answered that he
could "get fights enough, but could not easily get such a command again,
if he lost this one." Immediately afterward, seeing the enemy come
galloping down the road, he added, with a half smile, "We will have to
whip these fellows, sure enough. Form your men, and, as soon as you
check them, attack. Gano, who was in the extreme rear, was ordered, as
soon as his squadron arrived at the junction of the roads, to charge
and drive back the enemy's advance. He did so in his usual dashing,
impetuous style. The enemy's advance guard was strong and determined,
and met Gano's charge gallantly. As he led on his men, the enemy
directed their fire principally at him, but with the good fortune which
attended him during four years of dangerous and incessant service, he
escaped unhurt, losing, by the shots aimed at him, only his hat and a
few locks of hair, which latter was a loss he could well stand, although
the other was a serious matter. After a brief struggle, Gano drove back
the advance, killing and wounding several. Our entire force, deducting
one hundred men used as a guard for the prisoners taken the day before,
and other details, was about seven hundred strong. That of the enemy was
about the same. On the right of the Hartsville road, as our line faced,
was a cornfield. This was immediately occupied by Companies I and K. On
the left of the Hartsville pike, and just east of the Scottsville road,
was a woodland of some twenty acres. Company D was deployed in this, and
immediately cleared it of the enemy, who had entered it, and kept it
until the line advanced. To the left of this woodland was a long meadow,
five or six hundred yards in extent, and some three hundred broad; to
the left of this, again, was another cornfield. The column had gotten
some distance upon the Scottsville pike before the command to halt and
face toward the enemy had been transmitted to its head, and when these
companies mentioned had been formed, there was a gap of nearly two
hundred yards opened between them and the others that were further to
the front. Toward this gap the enemy immediately darted. Believing that
we were seeking to escape upon the Scottsville road, he had thrown the
bulk of his force in that direction, at any rate, and it was formed and
advanced rapidly and gallantly. Throwing down the eastern fence of the
meadow, some three hundred poured into it, formed a long line, and
dashed across it, with sabers drawn, toward the line of horses which
they saw in the road beyond. Companies B, C, E and F were by this time
dismounted, and had dropped on their knees behind the low fence on the
road-side, as the enemy came rushing on. They held their fire until the
enemy were within thirty yards, when they opened. Then was seen the
effect of a volley from that long thin line, which looked so easy to
break, and, yet, whose fire was so deadly. Every man had elbow-room and
took dead aim at an individual foe, and, as the blaze left the guns, two
thirds of the riders and horses seemed to go down. The cavalry was at
once broken, and recoiled. Our men sprang over the fence and ran close
up to them, as they endeavored to retreat rapidly through the gaps in
the fence, by which they had entered, and poured in such another volley
that the rout was completed. However, they reformed and came back, but
only to be repulsed again. By this time the companies on the right had
driven off their opponents in that direction, and had gotten a position
where they could enfilade the enemy's line as it strove to advance, and
in a little while it was forced back at all points. Gano charged again,
and pressed them closely. After retreating about half a mile, the enemy
halted and reformed upon a hill which ran for some hundreds of yards
parallel with their former line, and on the crest of which were high
fences and timber.

As we had repulsed them the last time, some interesting incidents
occurred. Captain Leabo, of the Second Indiana, dashed down upon our
line, and, coming on himself after his men turned back, was made
prisoner. Another individual was made prisoner in the same way, although
he did not come with the same intent which inspired the gallant Captain.
The wildest looking fellow perhaps in the Federal army came rattling
down the pike on a big sorrel horse, which he could not hold, his hair
standing on end, his mouth wide open, his shirt collar flying by one end
like a flag of truce, and his eyes glazed. He was caught by the greatest
wag in the command, and perhaps in the Western Army--the celebrated
Jeff. Sterritt. With a look of appalling ferocity, the captor exclaimed:
"I don't know whether to kill you now, or to wait until the fight's
over." "For God's sake," said the captive, "don't kill me at all. I'm a
dissipated character, and not prepared to die."

Company A and the advance-guard had been held until this time in reserve
on the extreme left. When our whole line was pressed forward after the
retreating enemy, I carried them rapidly in advance of the rest of the
line, and through a woods which concealed the movement upon the flank of
the enemy's new line just as it was formed. The effect of their fire,
then delivered at short range, was decisive, and the enemy instantly
broke again, and this time made, at full speed, for the road, and went
off in full retreat. The bulk of the command was too far from the line
of horses to mount and pursue promptly, but Gano pressed them closely
again. Adjutant Wyncoop, son of the Colonel of that name, was killed in
this retreat, as he was trying to rally his men. His body was removed to
the side of the road, and lay there as we passed, with a coat thrown
over his face as if he were unwilling to look upon the rout of his

The enemy fell back about three miles, and halted again. Their loss had
been very heavy, and perhaps two hundred horses had been killed for
them. Nearly all of the men thus dismounted were made prisoners. Colonel
Morgan now learned that the officer in command of the troops he had been
fighting, was Brigadier-General Johnson, and became satisfied that the
infantry and artillery with which the force had been at first provided
was not in supporting distance. We subsequently learned that it had been
sent back to McMinnville a day or two before.

Just as the horses were brought up and the men were mounted, a flag of
truce came from General Johnson proposing an armistice in order that he
might bury his dead. Colonel Morgan answered that he could entertain no
proposition except unconditional surrender, but shortly afterward sent
offering to parole officers and men if a surrender were made. General
Johnson replied that "catching came before hanging." Colonel Morgan
resolved upon immediate and vigorous pursuit, and believing that in the
broken and demoralized condition of the enemy he could safely attempt
such a plan, he divided his force into three columns, directing each in
a special direction, in order to more certainly encounter the enemy, who
had now more than three miles the start of us. Five companies were
placed upon the left of the road under Major Morgan. Colonel Morgan
himself kept the road with Gano's squadron, while I had the right, with
Companies A, B, and E, and the advance-guard, in all about two hundred
and twenty-five men. The road bends to the left at about the point where
General Johnson had last halted, and as he turned off just there, in
order to make for the river, the other two columns missed him
altogether, and mine, pressing on rapidly in the direction indicated,
was so fortunate as to soon overtake him.

The three companies were formed in parallel columns of fours, with full
distance between them, and the advance-guard, thrown out as skirmishers
in front. When the enemy was neared, the whole force was thrown into
line, and advanced at a gallop. We were not more than fifty yards from
the enemy when this was done, but there was a high stone wall between
us, which our horses could not leap. This prevented us from closing with
them, and enabled them to get some distance ahead of us. As we passed
the wall, the original formation was resumed, and we followed at good
speed. Soon the advance guard, sent on again in front, reported that the
enemy had halted and formed for a fight.

A short reconnoisance showed that they were dismounted and drawn up
under a long hill, and about forty yards from its crest, but their
formation was defective, in that, instead of presenting a straight,
uniform line, so that their numbers could tell, they were formed in the
shape of a V, perhaps to meet any movement to flank them. The hill was
one of those gentle undulations of the blue-grass pastures, which
present perfectly smooth surfaces on either side, and yet rise enough to
conceal from those on the one side what is being done on the other.

The three companies and the advance were immediately brought into line
and dismounted under cover of the brow of the hill, and moved to a
position which would bring the apex of the enemy's formation about
opposite the center of our line. When we, then, charged over the hill,
although the enemy had some advantage in firing upward, it was more than
counterbalanced by the fact that the men upon their flanks could not
fire at us at all, while our whole line could fire without difficulty
upon any portion of their formation. After a short but sharp fight they
gave way again. Our loss in this skirmish was two killed. We captured
General Johnson, his Adjutant General, Major Winfrey and several other
officers and twenty or thirty privates. In the two engagements the enemy
left sixty-four dead on the field, and a number of wounded. About two
hundred prisoners were taken.

This force had been selected with great care from all the cavalry of
Buell's army, and placed under General Johnson, regarded as one of their
best and most dashing officers, for the express purpose of hunting
Morgan. It was completely disorganized and shattered by this defeat. A
great deal of censure was cast at the time upon these men, and they were
accused of arrant cowardice by the Northern press. Nothing could have
been more unjust, and many who joined in denouncing them, afterward
behaved much more badly. They attacked with spirit and without
hesitation, and were unable to close with us on account of their heavy
loss in men and horses. They returned two or three times to the attack
until they found their efforts unavailing. They could not use their
sabers, and they found their breech-loading carbines only incumbrances.
They may have shown trepidation and panic toward the last, but, to an
enemy (while they were evidently trying to get away) they appeared
resolute although dispirited. I have seen troops much more highly
boasted than these were before their defeat, behave not nearly so well.
Johnson had been very confident. He had boasted as he passed through
Hartsville, that he would "catch Morgan and bring him back in a

Hearing the day before the fight that Forrest was in his rear, he had,
very properly, pressed on to fight Morgan before the former came up. His
attack was made promptly and in splendid style, his dispositions
throughout the first fight were good, and he exhibited fine personal
courage and energy. I could never understand his reason for giving
battle the second time, without fresh troops, when his men were already
dispirited by defeat, and pressed by an enemy flushed with recent
victory. He could have gotten off without a fight by a prompt retreat,
immediately after his last message to Morgan, and protected, by a
judicious use of detachments composed of his best men as rear guards. He
was evidently a fine officer, but seemed not to comprehend the "new
style of cavalry," at all.

Our loss, in both engagements, was seven killed and eighteen wounded.
The conduct of men and officers was unexceptionable. Captains Cassell
and Hutchinson and Lieutenant White, of the Second Kentucky, and
Lieutenant Rogers of the advance guard, were especially mentioned.
Nothing could have exceeded the dash and gallantry of the officers and
men of Gano's squadron. The junior Captain Huffman had his arm shattered
early in the action, but went through it all, despite the suffering he
endured, at the head of his men.

Colonel Morgan in his address to his men, thus summed up the results of
the last two days:

"All communications cut off between Gallatin and Nashville; a body of
infantry, three hundred strong, totally cut to pieces or taken prisoners
the liberation of those kind friends arrested by our revengeful foes,
for no other reason than their compassionate care of our sick and
wounded, would have been laurels sufficient for your brows. But
soldiers, the utter annihilation of General Jonson's brigade, composed
of twenty-four picked companies, sent on purpose to take us, raises your
reputation as soldiers, and strikes fear into the craven hearts of your
enemies. General Johnson and his staff, with two hundred men taken
prisoners, sixty-four killed, and one hundred wounded, attests the
resistance made, and bears testimony to your valor."

Having burned all the bridges the day before that were under his then
immediate supervision, and preferring Hartsville as a place for a
somewhat lengthened encampment, he returned to that place on the evening
of the 21st. A good writer and excellent officer of Morgan's old command
very truly says, in reference to the choice of Hartsville in this

"The selection of this little unknown village was a proof of Morgan's
consummate strategic ability." It was a point where it was literally
impossible to entrap him. While here, a deserter taken in arms and
fighting, was tried by court-martial, sentenced and shot in presence of
the command. Forrest reached Hartsville on the 22nd with a portion of
his command. He had hurried on to reinforce Morgan before the latter
fought Johnson, fearing that the entire original force of infantry,
artillery and cavalry, which had left McMinnville with Johnson, would be
too much for us. Learning that he was no longer needed in Sumner county,
he crossed the river without delay, and in a day or two we heard of his
sweeping every thing clean around Nashville. So demoralizing was the
effect of the system of immediately paroling prisoners, and sending them
off by routes which prevented them from meeting troops of their own
army, which had been instituted and practiced, for some time previously
to this date, that General Buell found it necessary to issue an order on
the subject.

Morgan and Forrest inaugurated the system, and hundreds of prisoners
were induced to fall into their hands, by the facilities thus offered
them of getting home, who, otherwise, would never have been captured. A
man, thus paroled, was lost to the Federal army for months at least,
for, even if not inclined to respect his parole, it was hard for the
authorities to find him. His gun and equipments, also, became ours. In
his order, General Buell said: "The system of paroles as practiced in
this army has run into an intolerable abuse. Hereafter no officer or
soldier belonging to the forces in this district will give his parole
not to take up arms, for the purpose of leaving the enemy's lines,
without the sanction of the General commanding this army, except when by
reason of wounds or disease, he could not be removed without endangering
his life. Any parole given in violation of this order will not be
recognized, and the person giving it will be required to perform
military duty, and take the risks prescribed by the laws of war," etc.

This order was issued on the 8th of August, before the surrender of
Boone. While we were at Hartsville a case of types and printing press
had been found in the deserted room once occupied as a printing office,
and were immediately put to use. Poor Niles, who had once been an
editor, went to work and organized a corps of assistants from among the
practical printers, of whom there were several in the Second Kentucky,
and issued a small sheet which he called the _Vidette_. It was printed
on any sort of paper that could be procured, and consequently, although
perfectly consistent in its politics, it appeared at different times in
different colors. Sometimes it would be a drab, sometimes a pale rose
color, and, my recollection is, that Boone's surrender was recorded upon
a page of delicate pea-green. Colonel Morgan finding the pleasure that
it gave the men, took great pains to promote the enterprise. The
_Vidette_ was expected with as much interest by the soldiers of the
command, and country people, as the _Tribune_ or _News_, by the reading
people of New York. General orders were published in it, promotions
announced, and complimentary notices made by Colonel Morgan of the
deserving. Full accounts of all our operations were published, and the
reports of the various scouting parties filled up the column devoted to
"local news." The editors indulged in the most profound and brilliant
speculations on the political future, and got off the ablest critiques
upon the conduct of the war. As every thing "good" was published, some
tremendous and overwhelmingly decisive Confederate victories, of which
the official records make no mention, even by name, were described in
the _Vidette_, and the horrors of Federal invasion were depicted in
terms which made the citizen reader's blood freeze in his veins.

Contemporary papers were encouraged, or rebuked, as the case might
require, with becoming zeal, and the "pestilent opposition sheets" were
attacked with that felicitous but inexorable sarcasm which distinguishes
editorial contests. The rhetorical expression of contempt or
indignation, and the large share which these passions had in the leading
articles, justly entitled the "_Vidette_" to an eminent place among the
journals of the period.

About this time there had recently been another call for some hundreds
of thousands of men by the Federal Government, and Morgan hoped to avail
himself of the disinclination of the Kentuckians to be drafted, to
increase his own force. He had dispatched many recruiting agents into
the counties of Southern Kentucky, and had instructed them to inform all
young men who wished to avoid the draft, that the best way to do it
effectually, was to join him. As a great many preferred (of the two
armies) the Confederate, they came, when forced to a decision, to the
latter. Many, too, had long hesitatingly contemplated "joining Morgan,"
and the imminent danger of being placed, forcibly, in the other army,
quickened their wits and resolution, and they came.

Adam R. Johnson and Woodward, who were at this time operating very
successfully in Southwestern Kentucky, got a large number of recruits
seeking to avoid the draft. A great many came to Morgan--enough to fill
up Desha's company, and, besides increasing all the old companies, to
add another company to the regiment. This one was lettered M, and was
commanded by Captain W.H. Jones, who became a fine officer, although he
had then seen no service. To remedy all trouble from the inexperience of
the Captain, Colonel Morgan, in accordance with his usual policy,
appointed, as First and Second Lieutenants, Sergeants Thomas Quirk and
Ben Drake of Company A. Both had previously distinguished themselves,
and both made their mark as officers. Henry Hukill, another Sergeant of
Company A, and an excellent soldier, was appointed First Lieutenant of
Company L. Gano, also, recruited another company for his squadron at
this time. It was a large and fine one, and was commanded by Captain
Theophilus Steele, formerly Surgeon of the Second Kentucky infantry, but
he was one of that kind of Surgeons, who, in war, prefer inflicting
wounds to curing them.

A short repose at Hartsville was interrupted by the most welcome and
stirring summons we had ever received. This was an order from General
Kirby Smith to Colonel Morgan, to meet him at Lexington, Kentucky, on
the 2nd of the coming month (September).

It will be impossible for the men, whose history I am writing, to ever
forget this period of their lives. The beautiful country in which it was
passed, the blue-grass pastures and the noble trees, the encampments in
the shady forests, through which ran the clear cool Tennessee waters,
the lazy enjoyments of the green bivouacs, changing abruptly to the
excitement of the chase and the action, the midnight moonlit rides
amidst the lovely scenery, cause the recollections which crowd our
minds, when we think of Gallatin and Hartsville, to mingle almost
inseparably with the descriptions of romance. In this country live a
people worthy of it. In all the qualities which win respect and love, in
generosity, honesty, devoted friendship, zealous adherence to what they
deem the right, unflinching support of those who labor for it, in
hospitality and kindliness, the Creator never made a people to excel
them. May God bless and prosper them, and may they and their children,
only, at the judgment day, "arise from that corner of the earth, to
answer for the sins of the brave."


Bidding our friends at Hartsville farewell, we set out for the heart of
Kentucky on the morning of the 29th. Never were men in higher and more
exultant spirits, and cheer after cheer rang from the front to the rear
of the column, and when these evidences of enthusiastic joy at length
ceased the way was enlivened with laugh, jest, and song. Passing by the
Red Sulphur Springs, we reached Scottsville, in Allen county, Kentucky,
on that night and encamped at 12 o'clock a few miles beyond. Stokes' and
Haggard's regiments of Federal cavalry were reported to be in that
section of the country, and the necessity for somewhat careful scouting
could not be ignored. We saw nothing of them, however, and resuming our
march early the next morning, reached Glasgow about 10 A.M.

At Glasgow we found rumors prevailing, as yet undefined and crude, of
Kirby Smith's advance through Southeastern Kentucky. Our friends in
Glasgow welcomed us with their usual kindness and after enjoying their
hospitality for some hours, we marched off on the Columbia road.
Encamping that night at Green river, we reached Columbia, in Adair
county, on the next day about 12 P.M., and remained there until the next

The reason for the slow marching of the last two days, had been Colonel
Morgan's anxiety to obtain some information of the two howitzers, which
were being escorted from Knoxville, under charge of his brother and
Aide-Campe Captain C.H. Morgan, with an escort of seventy-five men. This
escort was composed of men who had been granted furloughs, and of
convalescent sick and wounded men, returning to the command. These men
were all well armed, and were under the immediate command of Captain
Allen, who was assisted by several excellent officers. When this party
reached Sparta, it marched, in accordance with instructions sent there
for its guidance, to Carthage, and thence to Red Sulphur Springs,
following, then, directly in the track of the column. Stokes' cavalry
heard of them, and pursued. Once, this regiment came very near falling
foul of them. The party had encamped late at night, and as a measure of
precaution, the horses were taken back some distance into the woods, and
the men were made to lie down in line, concealed by the brush--the
howitzers were planted to sweep the road. No fires were lighted. Shortly
afterward, the regiment in pursuit of them passed by, moving not more
than twenty yards from the line, without discovering it; whether a
discovery would have benefited the said regiment, will never be known,
although there are many private opinions about the matter.

When the party reached Glasgow--it was in the middle of the
night--Captain Morgan could get no information about the whereabouts of
the command for some time. He was supposed to be a Federal officer. At
last he was recognized and, at once, got the necessary information.

On the same occasion, an incident occurred, which illustrated well the
coolness and self-possession which characterized the men of Morgan's
command, in the peculiar service to which they were inured. A party of
some twenty men had been sent, before Colonel Morgan left Hartsville, to
carry dispatches to Johnson and Woodward, inviting them to co-operate
with Morgan. In returning, this party learned that Colonel Morgan was on
the march for Central Kentucky, and immediately changed route to join
him the more speedily, and this change brought them to Glasgow at this
time. Neither of these parties knew of the other's presence, or
anticipated any such meeting, until they suddenly encountered in the
streets of Glasgow. Fortunately, the party coming from the West was
under the command of a young officer of more than ordinary coolness and
shrewdness, as well as daring--Lieutenant Houston Hopkins. Each of these
detachments had every reason to believe that the other was an enemy.
The bulk of the command had long passed this point, so long that the
rear-guard, scouts, every thing of the kind, ought to have been gone,
and the enemy in considerable numbers was not far off. Yet, with a sort
of instinct, each forbore to fire, until more positively assured of what
the other was. They came within twenty yards of each other--so close
that the officers of each, could hear the muttered speculations of the
others as to their probable character.

The larger detachment, under Captain Allen, immediately formed across
the road, and advanced slowly, with guns at a "ready." The other wheeled
rapidly, and fell back about two hundred yards, halted, and also formed.
Lieutenant Hopkins then rode back to within a short distance of Captain
Allen, and entered into a parley with him, which, of course, soon ended
in recognition. When it is remembered that the first wish and impulse of
both parties, when two hostile detachments meet, is, generally, to get
the first fire, and make the quickest dash, it will be conceded that on
this occasion there was exhibited rare coolness and discretion.

Captain Morgan had dispatched a courier to his brother, informing him of
his line of march, which courier reached Columbia soon after the command
had gone into camp there. Gano's squadron was immediately sent back to
reinforce the escort, and met it shortly after it had left Glasgow. The
necessary delay for the arrival of the guns caused us to remain at
Columbia for two days. Resuming the march on the day after they came, at
an early hour the command moved in the direction of Liberty, in Casey
County. In the vicinity of this place, we saw, in the brief time that we
remained, more active and business-like bushwhacking than ever before in
our entire service. The hills along the road seemed alive with them, and
from behind every fourth or fifth tree apparently, they were blazing
away at us. Every Southern reader will understand at once what sort of
individual is meant by a "bushwhacker"--that he is a gentleman of
leisure, who lives in a wild and, generally, a mountainous country,
does not join the army, but shoots, from the tops of hills, or from
behind trees and rocks, at those who are so unfortunate as to differ
with him in politics. It is his way of expressing his opinions. His
style of fighting is very similar to that of the outlying scouts of
partisan cavalry, except that he esteems it a weakness and an
unnecessary inconvenience to take prisoners, and generally kills his
captives. Sometimes, and especially toward the latter part of the war,
these fellows would band together in considerable numbers, make certain
portions of the country impassable, except to strong detachments, and
even undertake expeditions into neighboring sections.

There were "Union bushwhackers" and "Southern bushwhackers;" in
Kentucky, the former were more numerous. "It is a gratifying
reflection," to use the language of one of Colonel Clarence Prentice's
official reports, "that many of them will 'whack' no more." In the
Northern mind, bushwhackers and guerrillas are confounded together, an
egregious error in classification. It is probable that the bushwhacker
of this country would answer exactly to the guerrilla of European
warfare; but the guerrilla of North America is, or rather was (for
happily he is almost, if not quite extinct), an animal entirely distinct
from either. Formerly the Northern press styled all the Southern cavalry
guerrillas, because they traveled about the country freely, and gave
their enemies some trouble. This, however, was when the Federal cavalry
used to still ride with pillows on their saddles, were put to bed
carefully every night by the General commanding, and encamped on the
march in the midst of infantry regiments, who were instructed to see
that their horses did not hurt them, etc. When the hardy, dashing
regiments of the latter part of the war--after, indeed, the first
eighteen months--began to do real service, the Northern writers found
that they would be called on to record as cavalry operations the very
kind of affairs which they had been accustomed to chronicle as guerrilla

A guerrilla was, properly speaking, a man who had belonged to some
army, and had deserted and gone to making war on his private account. He
was necessarily a marauder, sometimes spared his former friend, and was
much admired by weak young women who were afflicted with a tendency
toward shoddy romance.

On this march through Casey county, the bushwhackers were unusually
officious. The advance-guard, which for some reason had gone on some
distance in front, reached Liberty about two hours before the column,
and during that time were fairly besieged in the place. Colonel Morgan
himself made a narrow escape. One fellow, more daring than the others,
had come down from the hills, and had approached within seventy yards of
the road. He fired at Morgan, missing him, but wounded a little negro
boy, his servant, who was riding by his side, receiving some order. The
man, who fired, at once ran back to the hill, followed by one or two of
our fellows from the head of the column. He was killed by private,
afterward Captain Thomas Franks, who made an excellent shot, hitting the
bushwhacker in the head while he was running at top speed, and Franks
himself was going at a rapid gallop.

That night we reached Houstonville, about fourteen miles from Danville,
and learned there of General Smith's complete victory at Richmond, and
of the probability that he was already at Lexington. This news excited
the men very much, and sleep was banished from the camp that night.
Early on the next morning we started for a good day's march, and reached
Danville about ten A.M., halted there some three hours, and, resuming
the march, reached Nicholasville, twenty-three miles distant, and twelve
from Lexington, at dusk.

On the next day, the 4th of September, the command entered Lexington
about 10 A.M., amid the most enthusiastic shouts, plaudits, and
congratulations. Colonel Morgan (as has been said) and many of his
officers and men, were formerly citizens of Lexington, and many others
came from the vicinity of the place; relations and friends, therefore,
by the score, were in the crowd which thronged the streets of the town.

The people of this particular section of Kentucky, known as the
Blue-grass region, had always been strongly Southern in their views and
sympathies, and this occasion, except that of General Smith's entrance a
day or two before, was the first chance they had ever had to manifest
their political proclivities. Some of them shortly afterward were very
sorry, doubtless, that they had been so candid. The command, at this
time, numbered about eleven hundred men. The Second Kentucky had been
greatly increased, and, after deducting all losses, was nearly, if not
quite nine hundred strong. Gano's squadron numbered about two hundred
effectives. The rapidity with which recruits came to Morgan was
astonishing. Captain Breckinridge was immediately granted authority, by
General Smith, to raise a battalion of four companies, to serve in
Morgan's brigade. He was permitted to take his own company (I) out of
the Second Kentucky, as a nucleus for his battalion organization, and in
a very short time he had gotten three other large and fine companies,
and he could (if he had been permitted) have recruited a regiment with
as little trouble.

Gano was granted authority to raise a regiment, and in a very short time
had recruited three companies. Active service, which necessitated rapid
and continuous marching, interfered for a time with the organization of
his regiment, but it was eventually completed. Second Lieutenant
Alexander, of Company E, Second Kentucky, was given permission to raise
a company, in the vicinity of Harrodsburg, Mercer county, and in four or
five days returned with a company of over sixty men, which was admitted
into the Second Kentucky, and lettered H, a letter which had been in
disuse in the regiment, since the partition of the company which bore
Alston into a Captaincy. Lieutenant S.D. Morgan, of Company A, was also
authorized to recruit a company, and soon did it. It was admitted into
the Second Kentucky as Company I, in place of Breckinridge's. The Second
Kentucky now numbered twelve companies, and nearly eleven hundred
effective men. Almost immediately, upon arriving at Lexington, Captain
Desha resigned the Captaincy of Company L. He was a very fine officer,
and we all regretted to part with him. He received authority to recruit
a regiment of infantry, and had partially succeeded, when the retreat
from Kentucky commenced. He then entered Colonel Thomas Hunt's regiment,
the Fifth Kentucky infantry. In the last year of the war he was offered
a Brigadier's commission, but declined it upon the ground that
ill-health would not permit him to exercise the duties required of him,
in such a station, without delay. Private John Cooper, of Company A, was
appointed Captain in his stead--he had previously been elected
color-bearer of the regiment, when Colonel Morgan had directed the
officers to choose the best man in the regiment to bear a flag presented
to him by the ladies of the State.

Every company of the Second Kentucky was increased by recruits, during
the first week after our arrival. Two gentlemen, Colonels Cluke and
Chenault, were authorized to recruit regiments for Morgan's brigade, and
immediately went to work to do so.

As soon as the first greetings had been passed with our friends, every
man was curious to learn the particulars of General Smith's march
through Southeastern Kentucky, and of the fight at Richmond. General
Smith had collected at Knoxville, and other points in East Tennessee,
some twenty thousand men, and leaving eight thousand, under General
Stephenson, in front of Cumberland Gap, then occupied by the Federal
General G.W. Morgan, with eight or nine thousand men, he, with twelve
thousand men, and thirty or forty pieces of artillery, pressed through
the Big Creek and Rogers gaps (of the Cumberland mountains), and marched
rapidly for the Blue-grass country. Master of Lexington, he would have
the terminus of the two railroads, and, indeed, one half of the State of
Kentucky. A complete defeat of the forces, then in that region, would
clear his path to Louisville, in the one direction, and to Covington in
the other. He would be in no danger, until forces were collected and
organized in sufficient strength at Cincinnati, to march against and
push him away. As for Buell's army, it was General Bragg's duty to take
care of that. General Smith had with his army about one thousand
cavalry. This force, under Colonel John Scott, advancing some distance
in his front, fell upon Metcalfe's regiment, eleven or twelve hundred
strong, on the Bighill, fifteen miles from Richmond, and thoroughly
defeated and dispersed it. Even after this affair, the Federal commander
remained in ignorance of any force, besides the cavalry under Scott,
having approached in that direction, until General Smith, having pressed
on with wonderful celerity and secrecy, had gotten within a few miles of

Then every available man was concentrated at Richmond and pushed out to
meet the invading column. The collision occurred on the 29th of August.
General Smith had marched so rapidly, his men had fared so badly (having
subsisted for ten days on green corn), and their badly shod feet were so
cut by the rough stony way, that his column was necessarily somewhat
prolonged, although there was little of what might be called straggling.
Consequently, he could put into the fight only about six thousand men.
Heath was some distance in the rear. He attacked as soon as he came upon
the enemy, drove them, and although three several stands were made, his
advance was never seriously checked. The last stand, and hardest fight,
was made in the outskirts of the little town of Richmond itself, and
when the enemy was driven from the town, his route was complete. The
Federal commander General Nelson was wounded. The enemy's loss was over
one thousand in killed and wounded, and six thousand prisoners were
taken and paroled. General Smith's loss was nine hundred in killed and

Scott with the cavalry, pressed the fugitives for many miles. The route
and disintegration of the Federal army was such, that perhaps not a
single command maintained its organization, and the stream of fugitives
poured through Lexington all Saturday night and Sunday, toward
Louisville and Cincinnati. This decisive victory finished General
Smith's part of the programme, and closed his campaign, for the time,
with the possession of all that part of Kentucky. On the 1st of
September, General Smith took possession of Lexington, and on the 2nd or
3rd he dispatched General Heath with five or six thousand men toward
Covington. General Smith issued the strictest orders for the maintenance
of order and discipline, and the prevention of excesses or mal-conduct
among his troops, of any description. Such was the state of discipline
that he had brought his army to before, that these orders were little
needed. He also went energetically to work to encourage enlistments in
his ranks, to organize every department, necessary to the subsistence
and equipment of his army, and to collect supplies.

Notwithstanding the efforts that were made to induce the Kentuckians to
enlist as infantry, very few would do so, and those who did, joined
regiments which came in with General Smith; not a single infantry
regiment was raised during the time that the Confederate army was in the
State. All of the Kentuckians who joined at that time, wanted to ride.
As a people, they are fond of horses, and if they went to war at all,
they thought it a too great tax upon them to make them walk.

A brigadier's commission was given to Captain Abram Buford (formerly of
the regular army), a man well known and very popular in this portion of
Kentucky, and he was authorized to recruit a mixed brigade of infantry
and cavalry. He got three fine regiments of cavalry, under Colonels
Butler, Smith and Grigsby, without any trouble, but not an infantryman.
The two last of the above named regiments, were subsequently assigned to
Morgan. One reason why so many enlisted in cavalry (independently of the
decided preference of the Kentuckians for that branch of the service),
was the fact, that companies and regiments had, in many instances, their
men bespoken and ready to enlist with them as soon as a favorable
opportunity should occur. Many (also), had made up their minds to join
Morgan when he next came through the country. Men who expected to become
soldiers (under such circumstances), would of course wish to join the
cavalry, and made all their preparations to enlist in that arm of the

Had a decisive battle been fought and won by General Bragg, there is
little doubt but that the majority of that class of men, who were
waiting for that event before they enlisted, would then have enlisted as
infantry. Two or three days after we reached Lexington, four companies
of the Second Kentucky were sent with the two howitzers, to capture the
stockade at the bridge over Salt river, on the Louisville and Nashville
Railroad, and burn the bridge. The expedition was under command of
Captain Hutchinson. This officer had some days previously been made, at
my request, Acting Lieutenant Colonel of my regiment (the Second
Kentucky), and he was always afterward addressed by that title, and was
subsequently given the position. Hutchinson was a singularly active and
energetic officer, and possessed the shrewdness as well as daring which
eminently qualified him for the command of detachments. He made a
tremendous march, and arrived at his destination, before any Federal
force, which could have intercepted him or have marched to prevent his
purpose, heard of his coming.

The garrison of the stockade was some one hundred and fifty strong. He
placed his men in position around it, and planted his howitzers to
command it. He then sent Captain Bowles to demand the surrender of the
garrison, telling him that he would allow but twenty minutes for the

Captain Bowles approached under flag of truce and entered into a parley
with the enemy. They were quite willing to surrender in less than twenty
minutes, provided that one strange stipulation should be conceded, viz:
that the bridge would not be burned. While Bowles was endeavoring to
prove to them the folly of such a proposition, the twenty minutes
expired. Hutchinson, who was very literal in observing all that he
said, immediately caused his artillery to open without waiting for the
return of his envoy, and two shells were bursted just above the
stockade, wounding one of the inmates. This might have caused the death
of the bearer of the flag, as the garrison had, then, a perfect right to
shoot him. The effect of it on Bowles, however, who was one of the very
few men I have known, who, I believe, never felt fear, was to render him
indignant that his embassy should be interrupted, just as he thought
that it was about to be successful, and he came galloping back at full
speed, waving his flag at his own friends, and shouting at the top of
his voice, "don't shoot any more, they'll be all right directly."

The inmates of the stockade at the same time poured out, without regard
to rank, waiving pocket handkerchiefs, portions of their nether garments
hastily torn off, and whatever else, they could lay hold of, that would
serve the purpose. As soon, however, as the howitzers opened, the
skirmishers advanced, in accordance with Hutchinson's previous
instructions, firing also, and their fire drove the enemy back into the

Soon, however, all mistakes were rectified and an amicable adjustment of
the difficulty arrived at. The prisoners were immediately paroled, the
bridge thoroughly destroyed, and the detachment returned. It was absent
only a few days. The bridge destroyed was four hundred and fifty feet
long, and forty-six feet high.

Almost immediately after Colonel Hutchinson returned to Lexington, he
was sent with Companies B, C, D, E, L and M to report to General Heath,
who had advanced to within five miles of Covington, and withdrawing,
needed cavalry. The utmost consternation prevailed in Cincinnati during
the time that Heath was in the vicinity of Covington; the city was
placed under martial law, and every citizen was required to report
himself for military duty. So persistent were the detectives in their
search for treason, that all the business houses in the town had to be
shut up, and it became so frequent a matter to construe thoughtless
words into expressions of disloyal sentiment, that it was unsafe to
speak any other language than Dutch. Thousands of respectable citizens,
nightly left their comfortable homes, to cross the river, and shiver and
ache with apprehension and fatigue, in the ditches around Covington.
Many a tradesman torn from his shop, got the manual mixed up with his
accounts, and lost the run of both; and as he sat in a rifle-pit, with
only one pontoon bridge (and that narrow) connecting him with
Cincinnati, he had to console him--the reflection that he was performing
a patriotic, duty, and letting his business go to the devil.

The most telling maneuver against such an army, would have been to send
emissaries to stir up the street boys in Cincinnati to an attack on the
ungarrisoned shops; in such an event a precipitate retreat would most
probably have occurred from the Kentucky side of the river.

For several days after Heath was close enough to have made a dash at
Covington, at any hour, there were no other defenders in the works
around the place than these extempore soldiers. A very few only of their
guns mounted were in a condition to be worked, and the ammunition first
provided was not of the proper caliber. On the first, Gen. Heath came
within sight of the works, that he had prepared to attack, and just
before he moved upon them, received dispatches from Gen. Smith,
instructing him not to do so, but to be prepared to return at short
notice. General Smith expected to be soon called, to reinforce General
Bragg, with his whole force to fight Buell's army before it reached
Louisville; he therefore wished every thing kept well in hand, and
esteemed the maintenance of the mobility of the troops under Heath as of
more importance than the capture of Cincinnati. In the course of a few
days, however, regular troops began to arrive at Cincinnati, and they
came in rapidly. When Heath fell back, there was a formidable veteran
force, there, of perhaps twelve or fifteen thousand men. Hutchinson
reported to him at Walton twenty-five miles from Covington, and was at
once ordered to duty on the front. For some days he was very actively
engaged immediately upon the ground which Heath had just left. He was
engaged in scouting for some distance above and below Covington, to
ascertain if there was any movement by the river, as well as having to
carefully watch all roads leading out of the place. His various
detachments had several skirmishes, the most successful of which was
made by a party under command of Lieutenant Allensworth, who routed a
much larger body of the enemy and captured a number of prisoners.

Just before General Heath came down into that country, fifteen young men
of Boone county who had long wished to join Morgan, hearing that
Confederate troops might shortly be expected in their neighborhood,
banded together and attacked a train of twenty-seven wagons guarded by
fifty-one Federal soldiers, dispersed the guard and burned the wagons.
This party with some twenty-five of their friends then equipped
themselves and set out to join us.

They were placed in the new Company I. In the service done at this time,
Hutchinson's loss was slight, and he inflicted a good deal upon the
enemy. He took a number of prisoners. The railroad was destroyed--track
torn up and bridges burned--for a good many miles. General Heath
continued to fall back toward Georgetown. After Hutchinson had been in
command upon the Covington front six or seven days, I sent him Company
A, and the next day followed myself with Company I. Colonel Morgan was
ordered to go to Eastern Kentucky and intercept the Federal General Geo.
W. Morgan on his march from Cumberland Gap to the Ohio river. General
Morgan had evacuated the gap and gained two days march on the force
watching it on the other side. It was General Smith's desire that
Colonel Morgan should blockade the roads in his front, and use every
exertion to retard his progress. By uniting with General Marshall's
forces, it was hoped that Colonel Morgan, in the rugged, almost
impassable country, through which the Federal column had to march, might
stop it altogether, until another body of troops could be thrown upon
its rear, and thus literally starve it into surrender. As it was,
Marshall remained inactive, and Morgan after felling trees across the
road, climbing up and down mountains, and sticking close to the front of
the column for six days, was compelled to suffer the mortification of
seeing it get away triumphantly.

While Colonel Morgan was employed in the mountains, General Smith
directed me to annoy the enemy as much as possible in the direction of
Covington. On the evening that I arrived at Walton, where Hutchinson had
been encamped, I found him in retreat, pressed by a superior force of
the enemy. We soon found that we could not efficiently check the enemy's
advance, and accordingly fell back to Crittenden, a little place seven
miles from Walton. The enemy encamped five miles from the place. On the
next morning we were driven out of Crittenden, and as the enemy
continued to advance, I dispatched General Heath that I believed it was
an advance upon Lexington. The enemy's force consisted, as we afterward
ascertained, of about seven thousand infantry, one thousand cavalry, or,
perhaps a little more, and eight pieces of artillery. Skirmishers were
thrown out, in strong lines, for a mile or more on each side of the
road. The country was open and easily traversed by troops, enabling them
to strengthen any part of the line that might need it. We could
therefore hope to effect little; and after carefully reconnoitering,
without finding a convenient opening, we recontented to move slowly in
their front, forcing them to keep up their troublesome precautions.

About 1 or 2 P.M., leaving scouts to observe them, I marched rapidly to
Williamstown. This place is just upon the northern edge of the rugged
Eagle hills. Thence I moved eastwardly to Falmouth, a small town on the
Central Kentucky Railroad, about forty miles from Covington, and twenty
miles from Williamstown--indeed nearly equi-distant from the Dry-ridge
road, or Cincinnati and Lexington pike (upon which the enemy were
moving), and the Maysville and Lexington pike, which also needed some
watching. I was then in a position to observe every movement upon the
entire front, and was, so to speak, in the center of the web commanding
all the avenues which should be guarded. If the enemy continued upon the
road upon which he was then advancing, he would have to force his way
through General Heath's forces, advantageously posted amid the hills of
the Eagle creek. If he turned to the left to seek a road not so well
defended, he would have to come by Falmouth, and therefore Falmouth was
the point where the cavalry watching him should be.

On the road, however, and before I reached Falmouth, scouts brought the
information that the enemy had fallen back to Walton, and also informed
me of what his strength apparently was. It was plain that no force of
that size would attempt to march on Lexington. Shortly afterward, other
scouts, which had been sent to watch the Ohio river, came from Warsaw, a
little town on its banks, and reported that a number of boats laden with
troops had gone down the river toward Louisville. This information
explained every thing. Finding that Heath had withdrawn, and Cincinnati
was no longer threatened, this force, which had driven us away from
Walton, had been sent to clear the country of troublesome detachments,
and also to attract attention in that direction, and conceal the
concentration of troops at Louisville. Walton is twenty-five miles from
Falmouth. On the day after reaching the latter, I sent a flag of truce
to Walton, with dispatches, which General Smith had instructed me to
forward to Cincinnati. The flag was borne by Captain S.D. Morgan, who
betted with the Aide of the commanding General, that he (Morgan), would
drive in his pickets within forty-eight hours--he won the wager. The
entire strength of the six companies, which Colonel Hutchinson had taken
to this country, was not quite five hundred men--the two additional
companies A and I, did not swell the total effective to six hundred men.
All of those were large ones, but many men (from four or five of them)
were on furlough. When the flag of truce returned, Captain Morgan gave
me such an account of the enemy that a desire, previously conceived, to
visit him was greatly increased. Morgan could, of course, see but
little; he was, however, vigilant and shrewd, and drew accurate
inferences from what he saw. He was satisfied that, while careful and
systematic guard was kept, the troops were all green and could be easily
surprised. He said that so far as he could learn, there was no attempt
made at scouting, and that a total ignorance prevailed among them of
what was going on, a few hundred yards even, beyond the outposts. This
latter information was confirmed by the reports of all my scouts, and
was in accordance with the habits of raw men and officers. He thought,
moreover, from something he had heard, that cavalry were encamped a mile
or two from the infantry, and the country people, some of whom from that
neighborhood visited us, stated that the cavalry were encamped a mile
and a half from the main body, and nearer Walton. We had tried in vain
to get hold of the cavalry on the day we were driven away from Walton;
it kept carefully behind the infantry.

Moving from Falmouth late in the afternoon, with nearly the entire
command, I marched until about twelve o'clock at night, and halted at a
point on the Independence road, about ten miles from the enemy's
encampment. Scouts were immediately sent out to ascertain as nearly as
possible the exact location of the pickets, and the condition of every
thing about the encampments. They were instructed not to fire upon, or
in anywise alarm the pickets, or do anything which might make them
suspect our vicinity.

The scouts observed their instructions closely, and did not see the
pickets at all, but inquired of the people who lived near the
encampment, and were told that no change had occurred in the last day or
two, in any respect, in the posts on the different roads. After this
information I was satisfied that I would be able to get upon the
Georgetown and Covington pike, upon which the enemy was encamped, by a
country road which runs into it from the Independence pike, without
alarming the main body. I could then move rapidly to the point where
the cavalry was encamped, and defeat it before the infantry came to the
rescue. The infantry encampment was about two miles north of Walton, and
this by-road comes into the pike about one thousand yards from the site
of the encampment, and between it and Walton.

The column was accordingly put in motion again at daybreak, and marched
rapidly. Just at sunrise we reached the Georgetown and Covington pike,
and saw standing, in sight of the point where we would enter, ten
cavalry pickets. The column was at once halted, and arrangements made to
capture them. They had not yet seen us. A brief reconnoisance showed an
infantry regiment on post, some three hundred yards further down the
road. There was now no hope of passing this point without discovery by
the main body, and it only remained to make the most out of the

Lieutenant Messick, of Company A, was sent with ten men to take in the
cavalry videttes, and Lieutenant Roberts, commanding the advance-guard,
was sent with a portion of it to try the same game with the infantry. He
went right into the midst of it. The column was moved forward at a
gallop, as soon as the pickets were disturbed, and turned in the
direction of Walton; the rear company, however, being carried at full
speed to the assistance of Lieutenant Roberts. One of the howitzers
which had been brought along, was planted at the point where we entered
the pike, to cover our retreat, if it were pressed. When I reached the
little squad of Lieutenant Roberts with the company which I took to
assist it, I found it, or rather a fragment of it, in a situation which
perhaps was never paralleled daring the war.

Lieutenant Roberts was still further down the road, and toward the
encampment, with a portion of the detachment, picking up stragglers.
Sergeant Will Hays stood with six men in the midst of a company of
sixty-nine Federal infantry. The infantry seemed sullen and bewildered,
and stood with their rifles cocked and at a ready. Hays had his rifle
at the head of the Lieutenant commanding, demanding that he should order
his men to surrender, and threatening to blow his brains out if he
encouraged them to resist. Hays' six men were grouped around him, ready
to shoot down any man who should raise a gun against him. I thought it
the finest sight I had ever seen. The arrival of the company decided the
infantry to surrender, and the caps and bayonets having been taken off
of their guns, they were sent off, guarded by the men which had been
brought up to complete their capture. Lieutenant Roberts had gone, with
his mere corporal's guard, into the infantry regiment, had captured one
company, and run the balance back into camp.

The men of this regiment were very raw and green. Hays had persuaded
them for some time, that he was an officer of their own cavalry, and it
was only when he peremptorily ordered them to follow him to Walton, that
they suspected him. After sending off the prisoners, four or five of us
rode on down the road to join Lieutenant Roberts, and soon found him,
bringing back more prisoners. We were now farther in toward the
encampment, than the regiment on picket had stood, and had a fair view
of it. We saw the whole force form, and it was a very pretty sight. The
regiments first formed on their respective campgrounds, and then took
their positions in line of battle, at a double-quick. They were finely
drilled, although very raw. The artillery was run into position, and
behind every thing, peeping over the shoulders of the infantry, were our
friends the cavalry, that we had taken so much pains to see.

While we were looking on, a staff officer came galloping toward us,
evidently not knowing who we were, and taking us for some of his pickets
not yet driven in. He came right up to us; thinking his capture certain,
Captain Morgan, who thought that he recognized in him, the officer with
whom he had made the bet two days previously, rode forward, saluted him,
and told him he was a prisoner. He, however, did not seem to be of that
opinion for he wheeled his horse, coming so close to us in doing so as
to almost brush the foremost man, and dashed back at full speed, despite
the shots that were fired at him.

The skirmishers, who were not more than two hundred yards off, soon
induced us to leave, and we galloped after the column. Eighty or ninety
prisoners were taken, and were sent on to Lexington, as soon as we got
back to Falmouth. The enemy did not know for some hours, that we were
entirely gone, and indeed rather expected during that time to be
attacked in force. I perhaps ought to have attacked, but the disparity
of forces, and the knowledge that the enemy could detect it as I
advanced, deterred me.

On the next day I sent Captain Castleman with Company D, to Foster's
landing on the Ohio river. He fired upon a Government transport loaded
with troops, but could not bring her to with his rifles. He captured the
regular packet, and was shelled by one of the river gun boats, suffering
no loss.

At this period the Home-guard organizations were disbanding, or being
incorporated into the Federal army. At Augusta, a town in Bracken
county, about twenty-five miles from Falmouth, and situated on the
river, forty odd miles above Cincinnati, there was a regiment being
formed out of some Home-guard companies. This organization had already
begun to give trouble, and one or two of its scouting parties had even
ventured within a short distance of Falmouth. I was also informed that
all sorts of men, whether willing or not, were being placed in its
ranks. I determined therefore to break it up, before it became
formidable. There was a ford, moreover, just below Augusta, by which the
river could be crossed at that season without difficulty. I wished to
take the town, if possible, with little loss, and cross into Ohio, and
marching toward Cincinnati, so threaten the city that the troops at
Walton would be hurried back to protect it.

Leaving Falmouth in the morning of one day, I could (if allowed to cross
the river without opposition) have been in the vicinity of Cincinnati at
daylight of the next day. Two days, therefore, after the expedition to
Walton, I started from Falmouth with about four hundred and fifty
men--leaving Company D and some details behind to observe the enemy at
Walton and for other purposes.

On the way to Augusta, I came upon a large scouting party from that
place but it dispersed before I could attack--it was cut off, however,
from Augusta and prevented from taking part in the fight there. We
marched through Brookville and about 7 A.M. reached the high ground in
the rear of Augusta and which perfectly commanded the town. Two small
stern wheel boats lay at the wharf, to assist in the defense of the
place. A twelve pounder was mounted on each of them; their sides were
protected by hay bales and they were manned by sharpshooters in addition
to the gunners. These boats commanded the turnpike which led into the
town from Brookville (by which road we were advancing) but about a mile
from the town I turned the column from the road and approached the hill
(upon which I took position) through the fields. The crest of this hill
is perhaps two hundred feet above the level of the river (at low water)
and about six hundred yards from its bank. The town runs back to the
foot of the hill. From our position on the summit of this hill we could
distinctly see the Home-guards going into the houses and preparing for
fight, but a portion of them were already ensconced in the houses near
the head of the street by which we entered the town a little while
afterward. These latter kept themselves concealed while we remained on
the hill and our ignorance of their location cost us dearly. Seeing that
the boats commanded the street by which I wished to enter the town, I
determined to drive them away before moving the bulk of the command from
the hill.

Accordingly, having dismounted and formed Companies B, C, E, I and M,
and planted the howitzers on the highest point I could find, where they
could probably chuck every shell into the boats, I ordered Company A,
and the advance-guard to cross the Germantown pike and take position
near the bank of the river in the eastern end of the town. Here they
would be enabled to annoy the troops on the boats very greatly with
their rifles and would also be in position to assist in reducing the
garrisoned houses, when the fight in town commenced. In that part of the
town there were no houses occupied by the enemy. Captain Cassell of
Company A, was instructed to dispose of his own company and the
advance-guard in accordance with these views and to take command of
both. I especially charged him to let no man approach that part of the
town where I expected to have to fight on horseback, but to bring the
men on foot when he heard firing.

As soon as Cassell had gotten into position, the howitzers were opened
upon the boats. Several shells burst near them and one penetrated the
hull of the "Flag Ship," as I suppose I may term the boat upon which the
Captain commanding both of them had his quarters. Cassell's riflemen,
also made themselves very disagreeable, and after firing only three
shots, the "fleet" withdrew. As long as the boats were in range the
"Bull pups" kept after them and they steamed up the river and out of
sight. Having driven off these gun boats, upon which I knew the officer
commanding in the town chiefly relied for the defense of the place, I
believed that I would have no more trouble and that the garrison would
surrender without more fighting. I immediately entered by the principal
street with Companies B and C. After these two companies had gotten well
into the town and in front of the houses into which the defenders of the
place had gone unseen by us, a sharp fire was suddenly opened upon them,
killing and wounding several. I at once ordered the men to gather on the
right hand side of the street, although the fire came from both sides,
and to take shelter as they best could.

A fierce fight at once began. I sent for Companies E, I, and portions of
L and M, leaving three sections of each to guard the road in our rear. I
made the men force their way into the houses, whence they were fired
upon. Captain Cassell came to join me as soon as he heard the firing,
but unfortunately Lieutenant Roberts forgot, in his ardor, the order
that no men should enter the town mounted, and he dashed up to the scene
of the fight with his men on horseback, greatly increasing the
confusion. The Sergeant, who had charge of the howitzers, opened upon
the town, when he heard the firing, and his shots did us as much harm as
they did the enemy. Lieutenant Roberts was killed almost instantly, two
or three men and several horses of his guard were also shot, and the
crowding of horses into the street added to the disorder. In a few
minutes, however, some method was restored. Details of men were posted
in the middle of the street in front of every house, to fire at the
inmates when they showed themselves, and prevent them from maintaining
an accurate and effective fire. Other details were made to break in the
doors of the houses and enter them. The artillery was brought into the
town and turned upon the houses in which the most stubborn resistance
was kept up. Planted about ten paces from a house, aimed to strike about
a yard below the sills of the windows, beneath which the defenders were
crouched (except when taking aim), and double-shotted with grape and
canister, the howitzers tore great gaps in the walls. Two or three
houses from which sharp volleys were kept up were set on fire. Flags of
truce, about this time, were hung out from several windows, and
believing that a general surrender was meant, I ordered the fires to be
extinguished. But only those who shook the white flags meant to give up,
and the others continued to fight. One or two men putting out the fires
were shot. I immediately ordered that every house from which shots came
should be burned. A good many were soon in flames, and even then the
fighting continued in some of them. My men were infuriated by what they
esteemed bad faith, in a continuance of the fight after the flags of
truce were displayed, and by the loss of their comrades and of some
favorite officers. I never saw them fight with such ferocity. Few lives
were spared in the houses into which they forced their way. Several
savage hand-to-hand fights occurred. As private James March, of Company
A, was about to enter a house after battering down the door with the
butt of his rifle, a Home-guard, armed with musket and bayonet, sprang
out and lunged at him. March avoided his thrust, knocked him down with
his clubbed gun, and then seizing the other's musket, pinned him to the
ground with the bayonet. A somewhat similar affair happened to a private
of Company B. whose name I have forgotten. As he, also, was forcing his
way into a house, a strong, active fellow bounded out and cut at him
with a large heavy knife, made from a blacksmith's file, such as were
formerly often seen in Kentucky. He closed quickly with his assailant,
whose blow consequently missed him, and in a moment they were locked in
each other's arms. The Home-guard could not use his knife, for his right
arm was stretched over the other's shoulder in the position in which it
had fallen with the blow. The other wore one of the largest sized,
heaviest, army pistols. He had dropped his gun, and as he drew his
pistol, his enemy clasped the lock with his left hand, and he could not
cock it. Both were powerful men, and fighting for life, because quarter
was not thought of by either. At length the Confederate raised the
pistol to a level with the other's head, and although he could strike
only by the inflection of the wrist, inflicted blows with the heavy
barrel upon his enemy's temple, which stunned him. Then dashing him to
the ground, the Confederate beat in his skull with the butt of his
pistol. The fighting lasted about fifteen or twenty minutes, when
Colonel Bradford, the commander of the organization, surrendered. It was
with great difficulty that his life, or the lives of his men, could be
saved. Fighting in narrow streets, close to their opponents, the loss in
my command was, of course, severe, and a great many wounds proved
mortal, on account of the balls coming from above, ranging downward.

My loss was twenty-one killed, and eighteen wounded. I had about three
hundred and fifty men engaged. Among the killed were some matchless
officers. Captain Samuel D. Morgan (a cousin of Colonel Morgan) killed
several men with his own hand before he fell. He had been a good
soldier, and gave promise of unusual merit as an officer. His gallantry
and devotion were superb, and he was always urgent to be placed on
perilous service. He was a mere boy. Lieutenant Greenberry Roberts had
been made First Lieutenant of Company A after Lieutenant Smith's death.
He much resembled his predecessor. He had been placed in command of the
advance-guard when Lieutenant Rogers was compelled to return to his
company (E) upon the promotion of Captain Hutchinson. He was nineteen
years old when killed; gay, handsome, and a universal favorite. His
courage was untempered by any discretion or calculation, and unless
bound by positive instructions, he would go at any thing. Lieutenant
Rogers was a model officer and gentleman. He was killed while exerting
himself to save the inmates of a house from which the shot which killed
him came.

Lieutenant King, a gallant boy, brevet Second Lieutenant of Company E,
fell dead the moment afterward across Rogers' body, and, a rather
singular circumstance, an old man of that company, devotedly attached to
both these officers, private Puckett (one of the few old men in the
regiment) rushed to raise them and was instantaneously killed, falling
upon them. Captain Kennett, of Company B, just made Captain in the place
of Captain Allen, who was elected Lieutenant-Colonel of Butler's
regiment, and Lieutenant George White, of the same company, were
mortally wounded, and died very soon. Both were veterans of the old
squadron, and very brave men.

Most of the casualties occurred in the first few minutes of the street
fight, before proper dispositions were made to reduce the garrisons of
the houses, and while the latter were taking deadly aim.

Captain Cassell's bold attack on the gunboats saved us much greater
loss. Some of the women came (while the fight was raging) from the part
of the town where they had retired for safety, to the most dangerous
positions, and waited upon the wounded, while the balls were striking
around them. The majority of the people of this town, or a large
proportion at least, were Southern sympathizers. The regular members of
the Home-guard regiment were collected from the country for miles
around. A number of the Southern men were also pressed into the service.

The last house set on fire was that of James Armstrong. After the
garrison in it were disposed of, efforts were made to save it. The owner
bade me "let it burn," but urged me to collect and destroy all the arms
of the Home-guards, that they might not give trouble again. During the
fight a boat, coming from Cincinnati, hove in sight of the town, but did
not come on. It was reported, but incorrectly, that she carried troops.

This fight prevented the excursion into Ohio. All of the ammunition for
the howitzers was shot away. I was anxious to remove my wounded and
dead, and had two hundred prisoners whom I wanted to carry off. About
four P.M., employing all the carriages and light wagons that I could
find about the town and neighborhood to carry the wounded, who could
stand transportation, and the dead bodies, which were not too much
mutilated, I went back toward Falmouth. That night we reached Brookville
after dark, and passed the night there, the gloomiest and saddest that
any man among us had ever known.

Brookville is a little hamlet, nine miles from Augusta, and eighteen
from Maysville. This latter place had been taken by Gano, a week or two
before, without a shot. He left next day, and the Union men there became
belligerent, sent for regular troops, collected Home-guards, "resolved"
that they would fight, bleed, and die, if they got another chance, and
distinguished themselves very much in that way. News reached Maysville
of the fight at Augusta on the same evening that it occurred, and about
four o'clock next morning troops left there to march to the relief of
Augusta. At seven A.M. of that morning, I sent off the train of dead and
wounded, and all of the prisoners, except about eighty, whom I intended,
to parole. As soon as they were fairly started, I ordered Colonel
Hutchinson to follow with the command. I retained Sergeant Hays and ten
men of the advance-guard with me. Most of the prisoners left were
Southern men, who had been forced to fight, and a few others were men
paroled at Armstrong's request.

About 9 or 10 A.M., while engaged in writing out paroles, I was informed
by my orderly that a force of Federals was coming into town on the
Maysville pike. I had placed no pickets after the regular detail had
been withdrawn upon the march of the column, and nearly all of the ten
men left with me were in the court-house at the time by my side. We
immediately passed out and mounted our horses. Sargeant Hays formed
seven men and we dashed through the enemy. There were perhaps fifty or
sixty cavalry in the town--they were scattered about, and had no chance
to stop us. Several shots were fired upon both sides. None of my party
were hurt. One of the enemy was killed and three seized by the bridle
reins, as we went through them, and carried off prisoners. A few men
were still unparoled when the alarm was given. Private Conrade remained
and paroled them all, then followed us through the enemy. He was
subsequently promoted for other instances of the coolest daring. A
recruiting officer had been captured that morning and placed in charge
of Privates Franks and McVae. They were eating breakfast when the enemy
entered the town and were nearly captured. They placed their prisoner on
a bare-backed horse and carried him off across the country, taking
fences and every thing else at a gallop.

We lost one man taken prisoner, he could not get to his horse. The
enemy's force was composed of the cavalry which first entered and about
four hundred infantry, with two pieces of artillery. After we had gotten
out of the town, we turned and galloped back to it again, to create, if
possible, a diversion in favor of the three men I supposed to be still
there. The infantry, however, immediately drove us off. As we then moved
rapidly after the command, we met the rear-guard, which always marched
a good distance in the rear of the column, coming back at a gallop to
reinforce us. The officer in charge of it, one of the very best in the
regiment--Lieutenant Ash Welsh, had returned as soon as he heard the
firing. His men and himself were dressed in dark clothing, and I thought
when they first came in sight, that they were a part of the enemy which
had cut us off. They also mistook us for the enemy, and we charged each
other at full speed. When within about fifty yards of each other and
just about to fire, a mutual recognition fortunately prevented it.

Soon afterward, I met Hutchinson coming with the command, but I turned
him again. The enemy shelled the road after we were all gone. Learning
that Captain Castleman had fallen back from Falmouth (in anticipation of
an advance from Walton), to Cynthiana, I went to that place also. It
turned out that the rumor of the intended attack upon Falmouth was
altogether unfounded. I placed the command in camp at Cynthiana, and
sent the prisoners and all of the wounded who were not too much
exhausted to travel, to Lexington.

On the next day the funeral of Lieutenant Rogers was celebrated. He was
a native of Cynthiana, and the citizens of that place had loved him and
were proud of his record. They came, the true, warm-hearted yeomanry, to
witness his soldier-burial, and sympathize in the sorrow of his aged and
heart-broken father. The men remained in camp at Cynthiana from the 30th
of September until the night of the 4th of October. During that time I
made several promotions which were confirmed by an exercise of General
Morgan's appointing power.

Thomas Franks, private in the Mississippi company and "member in high
standing" of the advance guard, was made Captain of Company I. He was a
worthy successor of Captain Morgan. By a series of gallant acts and
uniform good conduct and assiduous and thorough discharge of his duty,
he had well won his preferment. Brevet Second Lieutenant William Messick
(of whom a great deal remains to be said), was made First Lieutenant of
Company A. Privates Parks and Ashbrook were made respectively First and
Second Lieutenants of Company E. They were gallant, and had fought in
the front of every fight since the organization of the regiment.
Sergeant Wm. Hays was offered his choice of Captaincy of Company B, or
the First Lieutenancy of the same company, with the privilege of
commanding the advance-guard. He choose the latter--like the gallant man
that he was, loving danger honestly encountered and honor fairly won.

General Morgan unhesitatingly approved all of these
appointments--complimenting the appointees and declared that he had
contemplated their promotion earlier. In pure, unflinching courage,
soldierly desire for personal distinction, devotion to the interests of
the service, pride in the reputation of their own corps, respect for and
zealous obedience to their own commanders, energy and intelligence--these
officers had no superiors.

I have already said that Colonel Morgan had been sent to Eastern
Kentucky, to intercept the Federal General Morgan on his march to the
Ohio river--I can not do better than copy _verbatim_ a description,
given of his operations by an excellent writer. "Succeeded in collecting
about a thousand cavalrymen, all recruits except Gano's Texians, Company
F, of Duke's regiment, and such of our battalion (Breckinridge's) as had
seen service--many insufficiently armed and not well organized. We
reached Richmond on the morning of the 20th, and received information
that the Federals were moving from Manchester, via Booneville to Mt.
Sterling, so as to strike the Ohio at Maysville. Morgan concentrated at
Irvine on the 21st and moved toward Proctor, turned to the right, and,
the head of his column was at Campton, Wolfe county. It became necessary
to make a detour, and by rapid marches head them near Hazel Green.
Colonel Ashby and General Stephenson were to press them in rear; General
Humphrey Marshall was to move to Mt. Sterling, and either stop their
march or strike them in flank. Our part was merely to delay them until
Stephenson or Marshall could strike. The enemy beat us to Hazel Green;
another detour and night march and we headed them near West Liberty.

"On the afternoon of the 26th, Morgan sent two companies under Captain
Will Jones to strike the flank of the marching column. He knew that the
column must be stretched out, for some miles; that a vigorous attack
would cause the halt of the leading command, so that the column might
close; this delay would help us. Jones attacked on foot, striking the
rear-guard of the second advance brigade, and utterly surprising them;
killed several, captured some dozen prisoners, scattered a drove of
cattle through the woods, and gave warning of our presence. Morgan and
his staff and Major Breckinridge had ridden along to see Jones' fight,
though Jones had complete command, and is entitled to the credit.

"After this little brush was over, Morgan rode with some others, to the
main road to get some information. Doctor Tom Allen had the wounded (all
Federals) moved to a church near by, to dress their wounds. Morgan,
Breckinridge, Alston, and others rode a few hundred yards forward to
where a beautiful creek crossed the road, and beyond the creek was a
short, steep, wooded hill. With culpable carelessness the whole party
stopped to water the horses, and one or two dismounted, and kneeling
upon rocks were drinking, when suddenly a regiment in line of battle,
made its appearance upon the crest of the hill, not a hundred yards
distant, and fired a full volley at us. Fortunately the hill was so
steep they overshot us. Behind was a long lane with high fences and
cleared fields on each side. Death or capture seemed inevitable. But
with perfect coolness Morgan shouted. 'Tell Colonel Breckinridge to
advance; Major Jones, open your guns.' The regiment fell back over the
hill, and we in greater hurry evacuated those premises. The country
being Union, it was very difficult to get reliable information, which
General Morgan said must be had.

"While we were talking we saw some mountaineers with guns approaching:
Morgan said instantly, 'I'll pass for Colonel De Courcey' (a Federal
Colonel about Morgan's size). When the men came up they asked who we
were; Alston said 'That's Colonel De Courcey.' 'Why, the boys told us De
Courcey's brigade was behind, and we were mighty glad to see you.' It
had been raining, and we had on gum cloths, which assisted the plan.
Morgan asked, 'Wouldn't you like to join us?' 'Oh no,' answered one of
the scoundrels, 'We can do you more good at home, killing the d----d
secesh.' With a sweet approving smile, Morgan said, 'Oh, have you killed
many secesh?' 'I reckon we have. You'd have laughed if you had seen us
make Bill (I have forgotten the last name) kill his brother.' 'What did
you do it for?' 'Why you see Bill went South, and we burned his house,
and he deserted; we arrested him, and said we were going to hang him as
a spy: he said he'd do any thing if we let him off, that his family
would starve if we hung him. Last Wednesday we took him, and made him
kill his brother Jack. He didn't want to do it, but we told him we'd
kill them both if he didn't, and we made him do it.'

"Morgan kept his face unchanged, and drew from these murderers full
accounts of other crimes; and from one of them, who had watched our
column, a pretty fair account of our own strength. They gave us all they
knew of the Federal strength, of the politics of the citizens on the
road, and of the roads and country. After getting from them all he
wanted, he said, 'I am John Morgan, and I'm going to have you hung.'
Unfortunately, however, General Morgan's leniency, which always got the
better of him when he paused to think, induced him to spare them."

The writer goes on--"Upon the 27th, another skirmish, and captured a few
prisoners; the enemy evidently waiting for the column to close up. On
the 28th, through the treachery of a guide, we were led into an ambush,
out of which we extricated ourselves with small loss. Upon the 29th,
Company A, Breckinridge's battalion, and Company F, Duke's regiment,
under Major Breckinridge, ambushed the enemy from the side of a
semicircular bluff, around which the road runs. The column came to
within twenty yards of the line of ambush, and its head was nearly
beyond the extreme flank of the two companies; in advance were seventeen
cavalrymen, some sitting with, their legs thrown over the pommels of the
saddle, some eating pawpaws; the _insignia_ of rank upon their shoulders
could be easily distinguished. Suddenly over a hundred rifles belched
forth death and fire--again their volley echoed through the mountains;
when the smoke cleared away, the head of the column had disappeared like
a wave broken upon a rock, and before a line could be formed or a gun
unlimbered, we were gone, and laughed as we marched to the music of
their guns shelling the innocent woods over the mountain from us.

"After this they changed their tactics, and marched with a heavy line of
skirmishers in front and upon both flanks. After shelling the woods for
hours, we fought vigorously with the axe and torch, felling trees,
barricading the road, destroying bridges, and making every barricade
cost a skirmish and time, for with us time was every thing. The country
was not fit for cavalry operations. The 30th passed away; the 1st of
October was half gone. From the morning of the 26th to noon of the 1st,
over five days, the Federals had marched not over thirty miles, less
than six miles a day. We had done our work, but where was Marshall or
Stephenson? Since the morning of the 29th, we had been anxiously looking
for news from them. Couriers had been constantly sent to both, and to
General Smith. We knew that the enemy were living on meat alone, for we,
in their front, went without bread for over three days, living on fresh
beef, without salt, half-ripe corn, and the luscious pawpaws. If
Marshall or Stephenson had attacked, the army of the gap would have been
prisoners. Whoever was to blame, let him be censured. Morgan, with raw
recruits, badly armed, accomplished his part of the task. About noon,
October 1st, Morgan received an order from General Smith to withdraw
from George Morgan's front, not to attempt further to impede his
progress, but rather assist him to leave the State, and rejoin the main
army at Lexington, or _wherever it might be_."

This writer tells well the story of the campaign in the mountains, and
the reader can derive from it a vivid idea of what it was like. Toward
the latter part of the expedition, the bushwhackers became very
troublesome, and wounded several men. Little Billy Peyton, the Colonel's
orderly, once rode down on one of them and tried to scare him into
surrender with an empty pistol. The fellow had two guns--he had just
fired one at Peyton, and the other was loaded. He answered Peyton's
demand to surrender with a shot from the latter. Throwing himself along
his horse's side, Billy escaped being killed, but was slightly wounded.
His chief regret, however, was that his assailant escaped.

On the afternoon of the 4th, Colonel Morgan reached Lexington. Before he
got in, he became satisfied that an immediate evacuation was imminent,
and he was induced to believe that the enemy were nearer than was
actually the case. Anxious to get his command together again, and
learning where I was, he, with characteristic promptitude, dispatched me
a courier, bidding me keep a careful lookout, and if "cut off, come by
way of Richmond and Lancaster." He knew that I would be mightily
exercised by such a dispatch. I had heard nothing of the meditated
evacuation of Lexington, and without waiting for orders from General
Smith, I at once moved with my command, and marched all night. When I
reached Lexington, I found that preparations were being made for its
evacuation. I hoped, as did thousands of others, that it would be only a
temporary one, and that we could return after a decisive victory, which
should give us fast possession of Kentucky. I mentioned this hope to
Colonel Morgan, and I shall never forget his laugh, and the bitter
sarcasm with which he spoke of the retreat, which he seemed to certainly
expect. As he rapidly mentioned the indications which convinced him that
we were going to give up the stakes without an effort to win them, my
faith, too, gave way, and my heart sank. He generously defended General
Bragg, however, saying, that his course was perfectly consistent,
inasmuch as he had come into Kentucky to escape a fight, and was now
about to go out for the same reason, and that, moreover, a
commander-in-chief always did well to avoid battle, no matter what was
the spirit of his troops, when he felt demoralized himself.

On the 6th of October, Colonel Morgan left Lexington on the track of
General Smith's infantry forces, with Cluke, Gano and the Second
Kentucky. It was thought probable that the enemy would advance from the
direction of Frankfort, and an engagement in the vicinity of Versailles,
where a portion of General Smith's infantry were stationed, was
anticipated. Morgan, whose entire force amounted to some fifteen hundred
effective men, was ordered to take position between Versailles and
Frankfort, and attack the enemy if he made his appearance. The bulk of
General Smith's command was eight or ten miles farther to the southwest,
in the vicinity of Lawrenceburg.

Breckinridge's battalion had been detached on the 4th, and was ordered
to report first to Buford, then to Wharton, and finally to Ashby. It was
engaged in the skirmishing which the two latter officers successfully
conducted with the enemy, on the road between Lawrenceburg and
Harrodsburg, and Harrodsburg and Perryville. The movements of Buell had
completely mystified General Bragg, and the latter was not only reduced
to the defensive, but to a state of mind pitiable in the extreme. He
acted like a man whose nerves by some accident or disorder, had been
crazed; he was the victim of every rumor; he was alternately exhilarated
and dejected. If the enemy dallied, or the distance between them
_happened_ to be increased, he became bold and confident; when a
collision was imminent, he could contemplate nothing but defeat and
disaster. Of that kind of fear which induces provision against dangers
which are far in the future, he knew nothing, and he was equally as
ignorant of the courage which kindles highest when the hour of final
issue has arrived. General Bragg, had, as a subordinate, no superior in
bravery--he had, as a commander, no bravery at all. While I shall make
no sort of comment upon General Bragg's character or his conduct, which
I do not thoroughly believe to be correct, and just and warranted by the
record and by the circumstances of that time and of this--I yet deem it
my duty to candidly warn my readers to receive with due allowance every
line written about Bragg by a Kentuckian.

The wrongs he did Kentucky and Kentuckians, the malignity with which he
bore down on his Kentucky troops, his hatred and bitter active
antagonism to all prominent Kentucky officers, have made an abhorrence
of him part of a Kentuckian's creed. There is no reason why any
expression of natural feeling toward him should be now suppressed--he is
not dead, nor a prisoner, nor an exile.

General Bragg came to the western army with a most enviable reputation.
He had already displayed those qualities as an organizer, a
disciplinarian, and a military administrator, in which he was unrivaled.
His dashing conduct at Shiloh, and the courage and ability (there
exhibited in perfection), in which (as a corps commander), no man
excelled him, had made him a great and universal favorite. The admirable
method which (when second in command at Corinth, and really at the head
of affairs), he introduced into all departments; the marvelous skill in
discipline, with which he made of the "mob" at Corinth a splendidly
ordered, formidable army, and his masterly evacuation of the place
(totally deceiving Halleck in doing so), caused him to be regarded,
almost universally, as the fit successor of Albert Sydney Johnson, and
the coming man of the West.

The plan of retiring altogether from Mississippi, and of suddenly moving
the army, by the Southern railroads, away around into Tennessee
again--losing the slow, dull-scented Halleck--if conceived by a
subordinate, was, at least, attributed to him. It was brilliant in
itself, and was successfully executed. Men waited, in breathless
interest, the consummation of such a career. But right there he began
to fail, and soon he gave way entirely. It is almost impossible now to
realize that the Bragg of the spring and the Bragg of the autumn of
1862, are identical. When he reached Chattanooga, he showed for the
first time vacillation and a disposition to delay. He crossed the river
on the 28th of August with twenty-five thousand infantry, beside
artillery and cavalry. He moved over Waldron's ridge, up the Sequatchy
valley, through Sparta, into Kentucky, seeking to beat Buell to
Munfordsville. The disposition of Buell's forces has already been given
in a former chapter. His army, about forty or forty-five thousand
strong, was scattered over a wide extent of territory, in small
detachments (with the exception of the forces at Battle creek and at
McMinnville--each about twelve or fourteen thousand strong).

This disposition was rendered necessary by the difficulty of obtaining
supplies--it was also requisite to a thorough garrisoning of the
country. Had General Bragg, as soon as he crossed the river, marched
straight on Nashville, General Buell could not possibly have met him
with more than twenty thousand men. General Buell did not issue orders
for the concentration of his troops until the 30th of August, although
preparations had been made for it before. This concentration was
effected at Murfreesboro'. It then became apparent to him that General
Bragg was pushing for central Kentucky, and it became necessary that
Buell, to save his communication, should march into Kentucky also.
General Bragg had the start and the short route, and reached Glasgow on
the 13th of September; then taking position on the main roads at Cave
City, while Buell, with all the expedition he could use, had gotten only
so far as Bowlinggreen, he cut the latter off from Louisville and the
reinforcements awaiting him there.

General Buell's army had been decreased by the detachment of a garrison
for Nashville. After an unsuccessful attack (with the loss of two or
three hundred men), by a small Confederate force upon Munfordsville--the
garrison of that place, over four thousand strong, subsequently
surrendered on the 17th. What now was to hinder General Bragg, holding
the strong position of Munfordsville, from stopping Buell, calling Kirby
Smith, with his whole force, to his assistance, and out-numbering, crush
his adversary? This question has been asked very often. How long would
the raw troops at Louisville have withstood the attack of Bragg's
veterans when their turn came? General Bragg discovered that the country
was barren of supplies--that one of the richest, most fertile regions of
Kentucky, could not support his army for a week, and he withdrew to
Bardstown. Buell finding the road clear, marched on to Louisville. His
immense wagon train, more than twenty miles long and the flank of his
army were exposed, and with impunity by this movement.

It was certainly not expecting too much of General Bragg, as
commander-in-chief of the Confederate forces in Kentucky, to expect that
he would (after this was done) make up his mind whether he was going to
fight or not, without farther delay. If he did not intend to fight,
would it not have been wiser to have marched back on Nashville, while
Buell was marching on Louisville, to have taken that place and to have
established himself on the banks of the Cumberland with less of loss,
fatigue, and discontent among his troops, than existed when after his
long, harassing, wearying marches through the mountains, he halted at
Murfreesboro' much later? Kirby Smith could have remained in Kentucky
long enough to collect and secure all the supplies--he had demonstrated
that he could take care of himself, and if he had been hard-pressed, he
could have retreated more rapidly than any pursuer could follow. If
General Bragg did intend to fight, why did he not concentrate his army
and fight hard?

After Buell marched to Louisville (which he reached on the 29th of
September), Bragg took position at and about Bardstown. Our line,
including General Smith's forces, may be described as running from
Bardstown, on the extreme left, through Frankfort and Lexington, to
Mount Sterling on the right flank. It was an admirable one. However
threatened on front or flanks, the troops could be marched to the
threatened points, by excellent roads. The base at Bryantsville was
perfectly secure--roads ran from it in every direction--and it was a
place of immense natural strength. The force available, for the defense
of this line, was quite forty-nine thousand infantry, General Bragg's
Staff officers represent the force of infantry (which entered the State
with General Bragg) to have been twenty-five thousand. General Smith's
infantry forces (including Marshall) numbered twenty-four thousand [so
estimated by General Smith himself]. There were perhaps one hundred and
thirty pieces of artillery in all. The cavalry, all told, was about six
thousand Strong (including Morgan and Buford), making a grand total of
about fifty-six thousand men.

Buell moved out from Louisville on the 1st of October. His advance was
made just as might have been anticipated, and as many had predicted. Not
caring to involve his whole army in the rough Chaplin and Benson hills,
he sent detachments toward Frankfort and Lawrenceburg, to guard against
any movement on Louisville, and to distract Bragg's attention from his
(Buell's) main design, and make him divide his army. In this latter
intention he perfectly succeeded. The bulk of his army marched through
Bardstown and Springfield to Perryville, to get in Bragg's rear and upon
his line of retreat. The force sent to Frankfort, five or six thousand
strong, under Dumont, broke up the inaugural ceremonies of the
Provisional Government, which General Bragg, as if in mockery of the
promises he had so lavishly and so confidently made to his own
Government, and to the people of Kentucky, and of the hopes he had
excited, had instituted. He made one of the first and best men of the
State, a man of venerable years and character, held in universal respect
for a long life of unblemished integrity, beloved for his kind, open,
manly nature, and especially honored by the Southern people of Kentucky
for his devotion to the cause--General Bragg made this old man, who had
been unanimously indicated as the proper man for Provisional Governor
of Kentucky, tell the people, who crowded to listen to his inaugural
address, that the State would be held by the Confederate army, cost what
it might. At the very time that General Bragg so deceived Governor
Hawes, and made him unwillingly deceive his people, the Confederate army
had already commenced to retreat.

This force, which came to Frankfort, was the same which General Smith
was prepared to fight at Versailles, its real strength not being at
first known. A day or two afterward it came out upon the Versailles
road, and was ambushed by Colonel John Scott, and driven back with smart
loss. General Smith, hearing that the enemy were advancing in force to
Lawrenceburg, and that they had occupied that place with an advance
guard, ordered Buford to drive them out with his cavalry, and followed
with his whole force. The establishment of the enemy at Lawrenceburg,
and upon the road thence to Harrodsburg, would have completely cut off
General Smith from General Bragg. The force advancing toward
Lawrenceburg, was Sill's division, perhaps six or seven thousand strong
in effectives. This division had diverged from the main army at the same
time with Dumont's.

General Smith's forces were arranged at Lawrenceburg (which was not
occupied by the enemy) and on the road thence to Harrodsburg on the 6th.
Sill's division fell back across Salt river and into the rugged Chaplin
hills, pressed by a portion of General Smith's infantry, Colonel Thomas
Taylor's brigade in advance. Several hundred prisoners were taken. The
position of General Smith's forces was not materially changed during
that day and the next, although they continued to draw nearer to
Harrodsburg. The main body of the enemy had in the mean time
concentrated its marching columns and moved to the vicinity of
Perryville, 58,000 strong, on the evening of the 7th.

The detachments which advanced to Frankfort and toward Lawrenceburg,
were not more than 12,000 strong in all. So rugged and difficult of
passage is the country through which these detachments had to pass,
that a comparatively small force could have prevented their junction at
Lawrenceburg and held both at bay, leaving the bulk of the Confederate
army free to concentrate at Perryville. Even had their junction been
permitted, three thousand such cavalry as Bragg had at his disposal
could have retarded their march to Harrodsburg for several days. They
could not have forced their way along the road in less than two or three
days, and as many would have been required to make a detour and join
Buell. In that time the battle of Perryville could have been decided.
But so completely was General Bragg in the dark about Buell's movements
that, when he first heard of the advance from Louisville, he supposed it
was a movement of the whole Federal army upon Frankfort, and he ordered
General Polk "to move from Bardstown, by way of Bloomfield, toward
Frankfort, to strike the enemy in flank and rear," while General Smith
should take him in front. This order was evidently issued under an
unaccountable and entire misapprehension of the true state of affairs,
but showed a nerve and purpose which promised well. General Bragg must
certainly, when he issued it, have supposed that General Buell's whole
army was coming from that direction. How strange is it that a commander
who could thus resolve to fight his foes, when he believed them to be
united, should fear to encounter them separately. Whatever may be the
verdict upon General Polk's disobedience of orders, whether it was one
of those cases in which a subordinate can rightfully exercise this
discretion or not, the fact of General Bragg's incompetency looms up in
unmistakable proportions.

The most remarkable feature of General Bragg's conduct was this strange,
unexampled vacillation. There was perhaps never afforded such an
instance of perfect infirmity and fickleness of purpose. He had, there
can be little doubt, resolved to retreat without delivering battle
before the 1st of October. He nevertheless sought to fight at Frankfort
(as has been seen) a few days afterward. Again, immediately afterward,
he did his best to avoid battle when it could have been delivered (as
all but himself thought) under far more favorable circumstances. No one
now doubts, I presume, that General Bragg fought at Perryville with a
fragment of his army, not to win a victory, but to check the enemy and
cover his retreat.

After General Polk moved to Perryville, General Bragg, of course,
learned of the advance of the enemy in that direction, and must have
known that it was in strong column, or he would not have permitted
sixteen thousand troops to collect there to oppose it. He was still in
error regarding the other movements, and left the larger part of his
army to confront the forces maneuvering about Lawrenceburg and
Frankfort. One glance at the map will show the reader that, if the enemy
was really advancing in heavy columns by these different routes, it was
clearly General Bragg's best policy to have struck and crushed (if he
could) that body threatening him from the south. If he crushed that his
line of retreat would be safe, and he could have fought the other at his
leisure, or not at all, as he chose. He could have fought (if it had
continued to advance) at Bryantsville, or gone after and attacked it.
If, on the contrary, he had concentrated to fight at Frankfort or
Lawrenceburg, defeat, with this other force on his line of retreat,
would have been ruinous. Even complete and decisive victory would have
left him still in danger, having still another army to defeat or drive
away. He would have been, in either case, between his foes, preventing
their junction, and in a situation to strike them in succession; but in
the one case his rear was safe, and in the other it was threatened.

With the true trimming instinct, he elected to take a middle course; he
divided his army, and sought to meet both dangers at the same time. Is
it saying too much that he was saved from utter destruction by the
heroic courage, against vast odds, of that fragment of his army which
fought at Perryville? It is the popular idea that a commander is
out-generaled when he is deceived. Military phraseology can mystify the
popular mind, but it can not eradicate from it this idea. Buell
certainly deceived Bragg, and by sending detachments, numbering in all
not more than twelve thousand, through a country from which a mere
handful of men could have prevented them from debouching, he kept thirty
thousand men, the bulk of General Bragg's army, idle, and rendered them
useless until the game was decided.

After the battle of Perryville (where he certainly got the better of the
forces opposed to him)--an earnest of what might have been done if the
whole army had been concentrated--and after an accurate knowledge had
been obtained, of how Sill's and Dumont's detachments had deceived him
into the belief that they were the whole Federal army--General Bragg had
his entire army concentrated at Harrodsburg. The two armies then fairly
confronted each other, neither had any strategic experiments to fear, on
flank or rear, for Sill's division was making a wide and prudent circuit
to get to Buell, and Dumont was stationary at Frankfort. It would have
been a fair, square, stand up fight. It is, now, well known that there
was not the disparity in numbers which General Bragg and his friends
claimed to have existed. There was less numerical inequality, between
the armies, than there has been on many battlefields--where the
Confederate arms have been indisputably victorious. Buell's strength was
less than at any other period of the eight or ten days that a battle was
imminent. Sill had not gotten up--the Federal army was fifty-eight
thousand strong--minus the four thousand killed and wounded at
Perryville, and the stragglers. Buell had in his army, regiments and
brigades, of raw troops, thirty-three thousand in all. Bragg had not
more than five thousand; most of them distributed among veteran
regiments. There were no full regiments, nor even full companies of
recruits in Bragg's army, except in the Kentucky cavalry commands. The
two armies faced each other, not more than three miles apart. The belief
was almost universal, in each army, that next morning we would fight.
The troops thought so, and, despite the pouring rain, and their
uncomfortable bivouacs, were in high and exultant spirits. I know, for I
saw them late in the night, that some officers of high rank confidently
looked for battle, and were cheerful, and sanguine of victory.

What General Bragg really intended to do that night--perhaps he himself
only knows--and it is quite as probable that even he does not know. He
retreated on the next morning to Bryantsville. There was no undignified
haste about this movement--the troops moved off deliberately, and in
such order, that they could have been thrown quickly, if it had become
necessary, into line of battle. General Bragg manifested no great
anxiety to get away from the vicinity of his enemy, and Buell certainly
manifested no strong desire to detain him.

On the next day (the 12th), the army remained at Bryantsville, and took
up its march for Lancaster about ten o'clock of that night. It reached
Lancaster on the morning of the 13th, and divided. General Smith going
to Richmond, and over the Big hill, to Cumberland Gap, General Bragg
with the troops which had come into Kentucky under his immediate
command, passing through Crab Orchard.

It was hoped, and thought probable, that Buell would overtake and force
Bragg to fight at Crab Orchard. He did, indeed, come very near doing so.
Sending one division to Lancaster, he moved with the bulk of his army
toward Crab Orchard. He failed, however, to intercept Bragg, and the
latter moved on out of Kentucky.

Thus ended a campaign from which so much was expected, and which, had it
been successful, would have incalculably benefited the Confederate
cause. Able writers have exerted all their skill in apologies for this
campaign, but time has developed into a certainty, that opinion then
instinctively held by so many, that with the failure to hold Kentucky,
our best and last chance to win the war was thrown away.

Let the historian recall the situation, and reflect upon the influences
which in the, then, condition of affairs were likely to control the
destinies at stake, and he will declare, that with this retreat the pall
fell upon the fortunes of the Confederacy.

All the subsequent tremendous struggle, was but the dying agony of a
great cause, and a gallant people. At that period the veteran Federal
army of the West was numerically much inferior to what it ever was
again; and even after the accession of the recruits hastily collected at
Louisville, it was much less formidable than it subsequently became.

The Confederate army was composed of the veterans of Shiloh, and the
soldiers formed in the ordeal of Corinth. It was as nearly equal to the
Federal army, in numerical strength, as there was any chance of it ever
being, and the character of its material more than made up for any
inequality in this respect. No man, who saw it in Kentucky, will doubt
that it would have fought up to its full capacity. Never was there a
more fiery ardor, a more intense resolution pervading an army, than that
one felt, when expecting a battle which should decide whether they were
to hold Kentucky, or march back again, carrying the war once more with
them to their homes and firesides. Not even on the first day of Shiloh,
when it seemed that they could have charged the rooted hills from their
bases, were those troops in a temper to make so desperate a fight. But a
doting Æolus held the keys which confined the storm. It will be
difficult for any one who will carefully study the history of this
period, to avoid the conclusion that it was the crisis of the war. First
let the military situation be considered. While at almost every point of
subordinate importance the Confederates were holding their own, they
were at those points, where the war assumed its grand proportions, and
the issue was vital, carrying every thing before them.

The Confederate Government had at length adopted the policy of massing
its troops, and the effect was instantly seen. In Virginia, General
Lee's onset was irresistible. His army burst from the entrenchments
around Richmond, like the lava from the volcano, and the host of
McClellan, shrank withered, from its path. Driving McClellan to his new
base, and leaving him to make explanations to his soldiery, "Uncle
Robert" fell headlong upon Pope, and Pope boasted no more. Forcing the
immense Federal masses disintegrated and demoralized back to Washington,
General Lee crossed the Potomac and pushed into Maryland. Jackson took
Harper's Ferry, while General Lee fought the battle of Antietam with
forty thousand men, and again crippled McClellan.

Although the Confederate army recrossed the Potomac on the 18th of
September, McClellan did not follow, but remained inactive and by no
means certain (as his dispatches show) that his great adversary would
not return to attack him. It was not until late in October, that the
Federal army again advanced, and its march was then slow and irresolute.
It will be seen then, that on the 17th, the day on which Bragg took
Munfordsville, General Lee was fighting in Maryland. Ought not General
Bragg to have risked a battle (with his superior force) in Kentucky,
which (if successful), would have ruined the army opposed to him and
have laid the whole Northwest open to him, unless McClellan had
furnished the troops to oppose him, and have placed himself at the mercy
of Lee?

General Bragg did not (of course) know, on the 17th of September, 1862,
that the battle of Antietam was being fought, but he knew that General
Lee had achieved great successes, and that he was marching into
Maryland. Again, what effect are we at liberty to suppose that a
decisive victory won by General Bragg, at Perryville, on the 6th of
October, would have had upon the general result. General Buell, pressed
by Bragg's entire army, would have had some trouble to cross the Ohio
river, after reaching Louisville; and the defense of the Western States
would have been then intrusted with many misgivings to his shattered
army. And yet the West would have been left with no other defense,
unless the army of the Potomac had (in the event of such a necessity)
been weakened and endangered, that reinforcements might go to Buell. It
may be said that all this is hypothetical. Of course it is. But what
General ever yet inaugurated and conducted a campaign, or planned and
fought a battle, and banished such hypotheses altogether from his
calculations? Why then should they be forbidden in the criticism of
campaigns and battles? It is not infallibly certain that General Bragg
could have defeated Buell. Nothing is positively certain in a military
sense, not even the impregnability of a work built by a West Pointer,
and pronounced so by a committee of his classmates. War is a game of
various and varying chances. What I mean to urge, is, that General Bragg
should, under all the circumstances, have, by all the rules of the game,
risked the chances of a battle. But if there were strong military
reasons why an effort should have been made to accomplish decisive
results in this campaign, there were other and even stronger reasons for
it, to be found in the political condition, North and South. The
Confederacy, alarmed by the reverses of the winter and spring, had just
put forth tremendous and almost incredible efforts. The South had done
all that she could be made to do by the stimulus of fear. Increased,
aye, even sustained exertion could have been elicited from her people,
only by the intoxication of unwonted and dazzling success. No additional
inducement could have been offered to the soldiers, whom pride and
patriotism had sent into the field, to remain with their colors, but the
attraction of brilliant victories and popular campaigns. No incentive
could have lured into the ranks the young men who had evaded the
conscription and held out against the sentiment of their people, but the
prospect of a speedy and successful termination of the war. But there
are few among those who were acquainted with the people of Tennessee,
Alabama, and Mississippi, and their temper at that time, who will not
agree with me, that a great victory in Kentucky, and the prospect of
holding the State, perhaps of crossing the Ohio, would have brought to
Bragg's army more Tennesseeans, Alabamians and Mississippians, than were
ever gotten into the Confederate service, during the remaining two years
and a half of the war. Such a victory would have undoubtedly added more
than twenty thousand Kentuckians to the army, for accurate computation
has been made of that many who were ready to enlist, as soon as Bragg
had won his fight. Five thousand did enlist while it was still uncertain
whether the Confederate army would remain in the State. It is not
perfectly certain that more than five thousand volunteers were ever
obtained, in the same length of time, in any seceded State. All of these
men, too, followed the army away from Kentucky. Some of General Bragg's
friends have assigned, as one reason, why he left Kentucky without an
effort to hold her, that he was disappointed in not receiving more
recruits from the State. It is highly probable that such was the case.
If an able General had marched into his enemy's territory, depending
upon fighting an early and hardly contested battle against a veteran
army, with the assistance of recruits just obtained, and whom he could
not have yet armed, his friends would have concealed (if possible) his
design, or if unable to do so, would have confessed it a weakness
unworthy of their chief, for which they blushed. But it is not difficult
to believe that General Bragg entertained just such a plan. The
Kentuckians had not the confidence in the ultimate success of the
Confederate cause, to induce them to enlist in the Confederate service,
risking every thing, immediately sacrificing much, as they did so, when
they saw a magnificent Confederate army decline battle with a Federal
force, certainly not its superior. General Bragg was not only a very
shrewd judge of human nature, but even he might have known that the
irresolution and timidity he showed from the first day he put foot in
Kentucky, was not the way to inspire confidence in any people--it
certainly was the worst method he could have adopted to win the people
of Kentucky.

And now, to consider the effect which such a Confederate success would
have in the North: I do not allude to the effect it would have had upon
the wishes and plans of President and Cabinet, upon the views of the
Congress, nor upon the arrangements of politicians and the patch work
of their conventions, but to the direction it might have given the
popular mind and the popular feeling. Men who were then serving in the
Confederate army, know little, of course, of the temper of the Northern
people, at that time, but many were impressed with the idea, then,
strengthened by conversation with Northern men since, that, if ever the
Northern people doubted of subjugating the South, it was at that period.

Immense efforts had been made, immense sums had been expended, immense
armies had been sent against them, and still the Southern people were
unconquered, defiant, and apparently stronger than ever. Would it have
been possible to strengthen this doubt into a conviction that the
attempt to subdue the Southern people was hopeless, and the war had
better be stopped? Volunteering was no longer filling the Federal
armies. Now, if the Confederate arms had been incontestably triumphant,
from the Potomac to the Ohio, if Northern territory had been in turn
threatened with general invasion, and if the option of continuing a war,
thus going against them, or making peace, had been submitted at the
critical moment to the Northern people, how would they have decided?
Would they have encouraged their Government to draft them--or would they
have forced the Government to make peace? The matter was, at any rate,
sufficiently doubtful to make it worth while to try the experiment. When
that scare passed off, it is the firm conviction of more than one man
who "saw the war out" that the last chance of Confederate independence
passed away.

The Northern people then learned, for the first time, their real
strength; they found that bounties, and the draft, and the freedmen, and
importations from the recruiting markets of the whole world, would keep
their armies full, and nothing could have made them despond again. The
war then became merely a comparison of national resources. Something was
undoubtedly gained by the march into Kentucky, but how little in
comparison with the golden opportunity which was thrown away. Had the
combatants been equally matched, the result of this campaign might have
been a matter for congratulation; but when the Confederacy was
compelled, in order to cope with its formidable antagonist, to deal
mortal blows in every encounter, or come out of each one the loser, the
prisoners, artillery, and small arms taken, the recovery of Cumberland
Gap and a portion of Tennessee, and the supplies secured for the army,
scarcely repaid for the loss of prestige to Confederate generalship, and
the renewal of confidence in the war party of the North.

When Bragg moved out of Kentucky, he left behind him, uncrippled, a
Federal army which soon (having become more formidable than ever before)
bore down upon him in Tennessee. The inquest of history will cause a
verdict to be rendered, that the Confederacy "came to its death" from
too much technical science. It is singular, too, that the maxims which
were always on the lips of the military _savants_, were often neglected
by themselves and applied by the unlettered "irregulars." The academic
magnates declared in sonorous phrase that struck admiration into the
very popular marrow, the propriety of a General "marching by interior
lines, and striking the fragments of his enemy's forces with the masses
of his own;" while Forrest, perhaps, after doing that very thing, would
make it appear a very ordinary performance, by describing it as "taking
the short cut, and getting there first with the most men."

It was a great misfortune to the Confederacy, too, that Fabius ever
lived, or, at least, that his strategy ever became famous. Every
Confederate General who retreated, when he might have fought
successfully, and who failed to improve an opportunity to punish the
enemy, had only to compare his policy to that of Fabius, and criticism
was silenced. Perhaps, if history had preserved the reports of Hannibal,
the "Fabian policy" would not have become so reputable. At any rate, it
is safe to assume that, had Rome been situated on the same side of the
Mediterranean as Carthage, and had she been a seceded state, inferior
in wealth, numbers, and resources, which the latter was trying to
"coerce," Fabius would have been a most injudicious selection as
commander-in-chief. Historians are agreed, I believe, that if the advice
of this classic "Micawber," to the consuls Livius and Nero, had been
followed by them, the battle of "The Metaurus" would not have been
fought, the two sons of the "Thunder-bolt" would have effected their
junction, and would, in all probability, have forced the legions to
another and final "change of base."

This campaign demonstrated conclusively the immense importance to the
Confederacy of the possession of East Tennessee, and the strategic
advantage (especially for offenso-defensive operations) which that vast
natural fortress afforded us. While that region was firmly in the
Confederate grasp, one half of the South was safe, and the conquests of
the Federal armies of the rest were insecure. It is apparent at a glance
that so long as we held it, communication between the armies of Northern
Virginia and of Tennessee would be rapid and direct; co-operation,
therefore, between them would be secure whenever necessary. While these
two armies could thus practically be handled almost as if they were one
and the same, communication between the Federal army of the Potomac and
that of the Ohio was circuitous, dilatory, and public. No advance of the
enemy through Tennessee into Georgia or Alabama could permanently
endanger the integrity of the Confederate territory, while the flank and
rear of his army was constantly exposed to sudden attack by formidable
forces poured upon it from this citadel of the Confederacy.

Not only would the safety of invading armies be compromised, and their
communications (even if confined to the Tennessee rivers), be liable at
any time to be destroyed, but a sudden irruption from East Tennessee
might (unless an army was always ready to meet it), place the most
fertile portions of Kentucky, perhaps, even a portion of the territory
of Ohio, in the hands of the Confederates. The success clearly attending
the Confederate strategy in the first part of this campaign, would
seem, too, to establish the fact, that, until the concentration for
decisive battle becomes necessary, an army may (under certain
circumstances), be moved in two or more columns, upon lines entirely
independent of each other, and even widely apart, but which lead to a
common goal--and its operations will be more efficient--than if it be
marched _en masse_, by one route.

The advantages to be derived from such a disposition (as regards
freedom, and rapidity of movement, and facility of obtaining supplies),
are at once apparent, but certain strategic advantages besides, may, in
some cases, be thus secured. To attempt it, in moving against a strong
enemy, already posted at the objective point, would be to give him the
opportunity of attacking and crushing the columns separately. But when,
as was the case in this campaign of General Bragg, two armies make a
race for the occupation of a certain territory which is to be fought
for, the army which is divided, while on the march, if the columns are
all kept on the same flank of the enemy, can be worked most actively and
as safely. More can be accomplished by such a disposition of forces, in
the partial engagements and lighter work of the campaign, and the morale
of the troops will be all the better when the detachments are again
combined. Such campaigns might be made more frequently than they are,
and with success.

When the army was concentrated at Harrodsburg, on the night of the 10th
of October, Colonel Morgan was ordered to take position about six miles
from the town, on the Danville pike, and picket the extreme left flank.
Desirous of ascertaining what was before him--as he could see the
camp-fires of the enemy stretching in a great semi-circle, in front of
Harrodsburg--Colonel Morgan during the night, sent Captain Cassell to
reconnoiter the ground in his front. The night was rainy and very dark.
The position of both armies, of the main body of each, at least, was
distinctly marked by the long lines of fires which glared through the
gloom, but we had not lighted fires, and Morgan thought that any body
of the enemy which might be confronting him, and detailed upon similar
duty, would exercise the same prudence. Cassell returned about daylight,
and reported that he had discovered, exactly in front of our position,
and about a mile and a quarter from it, a small body of cavalry on
picket, and a few hundred yards to their rear, a force of infantry,
perhaps of one regiment. He stated positively, also, that one piece of
artillery had passed along a narrow lane, which connected the point
where the cavalry was stationed with the position of the infantry. The
intense darkness prevented his seeing the tracks made by the wheels, but
he had satisfied himself, by feeling, that, from the width of the tire,
and the depth to which the wheels had sunk into the soft earth, they
could only have been made by artillery. This report was verified on the
next day, in every particular.

Colonel Morgan, at an early hour, attacked the cavalry, with a portion
of his command, drove them back to the point indicated by Captain
Cassell, as that one where he had seen the infantry, and sure enough, as
he rode down upon it, he received a volley from a regiment of infantry
posted behind a stone fence, and was opened upon by a single piece of
artillery. The perfect accuracy with which Captain Cassell, under
circumstances peculiarly unfavorable, noted every detail of the enemy's
strength, position, etc., elicited the admiration of all of his
comrades, and among them, were perhaps, as shrewd, practiced, and daring
scouts as ever lived.

About 1 or 2 P.M., learning that General Bragg was falling back to
Bryantsville, Colonel Morgan sent pickets to Harrodsburg; these soon
sent word that the enemy had entered that place. About the same time our
scouts brought us information that the enemy were in Danville
also--about four miles from our position. Having an enemy, now, upon
three sides of him, and finding that General Bragg's rear was
unmolested, Colonel Morgan concluded, in the absence of instructions to
fall back also. He accordingly struck across the country to Shakertown,
reaching that place, about 4 P.M. Colonel Morgan had always respected
the peaceful and hospitable "Shakers," and had afforded them, whenever
it became necessary, protection, strictly forbidding all members of his
command to trespass upon them in any way. We were consequently great
favorites in Shakertown, and on this occasion derived great benefit from
the perfect rectitude of conduct which we had always observed--"in that
part of the country." The entire community resolved itself into a
culinary committee, and cooked the most magnificent meal for the
command. It was with deep regret that we tore ourselves away on the next

Colonel Morgan received orders, on the 12th, to proceed to Nicholasville
and remain there until the next day. On the 13th we followed the army
and reached Lancaster about midday. In the afternoon the enemy, with
whom General Wheeler had been skirmishing all day, advanced upon
Lancaster, and opened upon the troops, collected about the place, with
artillery. A little sharp shooting was also done upon both sides. Two
guns belonging to Rain's brigade of infantry, which was General Smith's
rear-guard, were brought back and replied to the enemy's fire. One man
of this section killed, was the only loss sustained upon our side. The
cannonading was kept up until dark. We held the town during the night.
Only one division of Buell's army (as has already been stated), was sent
to Lancaster.

On the morning of the 14th, we moved slowly away from Lancaster, our
command forming (with Colonel Ashby's) the extreme rear-guard of General
Smith's corps. We were not at all pressed by the enemy, and on the 15th
halted at Gum Springs twenty-five miles from Richmond. Colonel Morgan
obtained permission from General Smith to select his own "line of
retreat" from Kentucky, with the understanding, however, that he should
protect the rear of the infantry until all danger was manifestly over.
He represented to General Smith that he could feed his men and horses,
and have them in good condition at the end of the retreat, by taking a
different route from that pursued by the army, which would consume
every thing. He explained, moreover, how in the route he proposed to
take, he would cross Buell's rear, taking prisoners, capturing trains,
and seriously annoying the enemy, and that establishing himself in the
vicinity of Gallatin again, he could, before he was driven away, so tear
up the railroad, once more, as to greatly retard the concentration of
the Federal army at Nashville. It was perfectly apparent to General
Smith, that all this could be done, and that, when Morgan reached the
portion of Tennessee which he indicated, he would be in exactly the
proper position to guard one flank of the line, which Bragg's army would
probably establish. He accorded him, therefore, the desired permission,
and on the 17th, when the infantry had gotten beyond Big Hill and were
more than thirty miles from an enemy, Colonel Morgan turned over to
Colonel Ashby the care of "the rear" and prepared to leave Kentucky in
his own way. Colonel Ashby had proven himself competent to the
successful discharge of even more important duty.

Colonel Morgan's force consisted at this time, counting troops actually
with him, of the Second Kentucky (with the exception of one company),
Gano's regiment (the Third Kentucky), and Breckinridge's battalion which
had rejoined us at Lancaster--in all about eighteen hundred men. Cluke's
and Chenault's regiments had gone with General Smith. The time and
situation were both propitious to such an expedition as he contemplated.
No such dash was looked for by the enemy who believed that every
Confederate was anxious to get away as rapidly as possible by the
shortest route. The interior of Kentucky and the route Morgan proposed
to take were clear of Federal troops, excepting detachments not strong
enough or sufficiently enterprising to give him much cause for


On the 17th of October, Colonel Morgan marched from Gum Springs in the
direction of Lexington. The command was put in motion about 1 P.M. Gano
and Breckinridge were sent to the Richmond pike, by which it was
intended that they should approach the town, and full instructions
regarding the time and manner of attack, were given them. Information
had been received that a body of Federal cavalry had occupied Lexington
a day or two previously, and Lieutenant Tom Quirk had been sent to
ascertain some thing about them; he returned on the evening of the 17th,
bringing accurate information of the strength and position of the enemy.
Colonel Morgan accompanied my regiment (the Second Kentucky), which
crossed the river below Clay's ferry, and moved by country roads toward

The immediate region was not familiar to any man in the regiment, nor to
Morgan himself, and, as it was strongly Union, some difficulty was at
first anticipated about getting guides or information regarding the
routes. This was obviated by Colonel Morgan's address. It was quite dark
by the time the column was fairly across the river, and he rode to the
nearest house, where, representing himself as Colonel Frank Woolford, of
the Federal service, a great favorite in that neighborhood, he expressed
his wish to procure a guide to Lexington. The man of the house declared
his joy at seeing Colonel Woolford, and expressed his perfect
willingness to act as guide himself. His loyal spirit was warmly
applauded, and his offer cordially accepted. Under his guidance we
threaded the country safely, and reached the Tates-creek pike, at a
point about ten miles from Lexington, a little after midnight. About two
o'clock we had gotten within three miles of the town, and were not much
more than a mile from the enemy's encampment. We halted here, for, in
accordance with the plan previously arranged, a simultaneous attack was
to be made just at daylight, and Gano and Breckinridge had been
instructed to that effect.

The guide, now, for the first time, learned the mistake under which he
had been laboring, and his amazement was only equaled by his horror. All
during the night he had been saying many hard things (to Woolford as he
thought), about Morgan, at which the so-called Woolford had seemed,
greatly amused, and had encouraged him to indulge himself in that way.
All at once, the merry, good-humored "Woolford" turned out to be Morgan,
and Morgan, seemed for a few moments, to be in a temper which made the
guide's flesh creep. He expected to be shot, and scalped perhaps,
without delay. Soon finding, however, that he was not going to be hurt,
he grew bolder, and actually assumed the offensive. "General Morgan," he
said, "I hope you wont take my horse under the circumstances, although I
did make this here little mistake?" He was turned loose, horse and all,
after having been strongly advised to be careful in future how he
confided in soldiers.

The force encamped near Lexington, which we were about to attack, was
the Fourth Ohio cavalry--our old friends. The main body was at Ashland,
about two miles from the town, encamped in the eastern extremity of the
woods, in which the Clay mansion stands, on the southern side of the
Richmond pike. One or two companies were in town, quartered at the
court-house. As daylight approached, I put my regiment in motion
again, detaching two companies to enter the town, under command of
Captain Cassell, and capture the provost-guard, and to also picket the
road toward Paris. Two other companies, under Captain Bowles, were sent
to take position on the Richmond pike, at a point between the town and
the camp, and about equi-distant from them. This detachment was intended
to intercept the enemy if they attempted to retreat from Ashland to the
town before we could surround the encampment, also to maintain
communication between the detachment sent into town and the bulk of the
regiment, in the event of our having to engage other forces than those
we had bargained for.

Quirk had furnished very full and positive information, as has already
been mentioned, but he had also stated that the Federal General Granger
was at Paris (eighteen miles from Lexington), and it was not impossible
that he might have been marching to Lexington within the past fifteen
hours. Colonel Morgan instructed me to move with the remainder of my
regiment, upon the enemy's encampment. Just as we entered the woods, and
were within some five hundred yards of the enemy, a smart firing was
heard upon the Richmond pike. It turned out to be a volley let off at a
picket, whom Gano had failed to capture, and who ran into the camp. We
thought, however, that the fight had begun, and instantly advanced at a
gallop. In accordance with the plan previously arranged, Breckinridge
was to attack on foot, and Gano was to support him, mounted, keeping his
column on the pike. Breckinridge was in line and advancing (when this
firing occurred), directly upon the enemy's front, and he opened fire
just as my men formed in column of platoons, came charging upon the
rear. I was upon elevated ground, about one hundred yards from the
enemy's position on one side; Breckinridge was about the same distance
off on the other side, and the enemy were in a slight depression between
us. Consequently, I got the benefit of Breckinridge's fire--in great
part at least. I saw a great cloud of white smoke suddenly puff out and
rise like a wall pierced by flashes of flame, and the next instant the
balls came whizzing through my column, fortunately killing no one. This
volley settled the enemy and repulsed me!

Not caring to fight both Yankees and Rebels, I wheeled and took position
further back, contenting myself with catching the stragglers who sought
to escape. Breckinridge, however, did not enjoy his double triumph long.
The howitzers had been sent to take position on the right of the
enemy--to be used only in case of a stubborn resistance; they happened,
on that occasion, to be under command of Sergeant, afterward First
Lieutenant Corbett, a capital officer, but one constitutionally unable
to avoid taking part in every fight that he was in hearing of. About the
time that Breckinridge's men were taking victorious possession of the
encampment, Corbett opened upon it, and shelled them away. The chapter
of accidents was not yet concluded. While my regiment was watching a lot
of prisoners, and was drawn up in line parallel to the pike, the men
sitting carelessly on their horses, it was suddenly and unaccountably
fired into by Gano's, which moved down and confronted it. Again, and
this time almost miraculously, we escaped without loss. Unfortunately,
however, one prisoner was shot. Colonel Morgan rushed in front of the
prisoners, and narrowly escaped being killed in trying to stop the
firing. His coat was pierced by several balls.

The Second Kentucky began to think that their friends were tired of
them, and were plotting to put them out of the way. Gano's men stated,
however, that shots were first fired at them from some quarter. My
Adjutant, Captain Pat Thorpe, as gallant a man as ever breathed, came to
me after this affair was over, with a serious complaint against Gano.
Thorpe always dressed with some taste, and great brilliancy, and on this
occasion he was wearing a beautiful Zouave jacket, thickly studded, upon
the sleeves, with red coral buttons. He justly believed that every man
in the brigade was well acquainted with that jacket. He stated with
considerable heat that, while he was standing in front of the regiment
calling, gesticulating, and trying in every way to stop the firing,
Colonel Gano, "an officer for whom he entertained the most profound
respect and the warmest friendship," had deliberately shot twice at him.
I bade him not to think hard of it--that it was barely light at the
time, and that, of course, Gano did not know him. "Ah, Colonel," he
answered, "I held up my arms full in his sight, and although he might
not have recognized my face, he couldn't have failed to know these
buttons." Just before this occurred, Major Wash Morgan was mortally
wounded by the last shot fired by the enemy. The man who hit him, was
galloping toward town, and fired when within a few paces of him. This
man was killed by one of the Second Kentucky, immediately afterward. All
of the enemy who made their escape from the camp were intercepted by
Bowles. The provost-guard made some show of fight, but were soon induced
to surrender. Our force was too superior, and our attack, on all sides,
too sudden, for much resistance to be offered, either at the camp or in
the town. Between five and six hundred prisoners were taken, very few
were killed or wounded. The most valuable capture was of army Colt's
pistols, of which a large supply was obtained. Our horses were so much
better than those which were captured, that few of the latter were
carried off. Such of the men who had not good saddles, and blankets,
provided themselves with both, in the camp.

Lexington was thrown by this affair into a state of extreme excitement
and equal bewilderment; no one could exactly understand what it meant.
The Union people feared, and our people hoped that it portended the
return of the Confederate army. There lived (and still lives) in
Lexington, an old gentleman, who was Union and loyal in his politics,
but who, to use his own expression, "never saw any use in quarreling
with either side which held the town." His kindness and benevolence made
him very popular with people of both sides. As Colonel Morgan rode into
town, this old gentleman stopped him, and said, with the strong lisp
which those who know him can supply, "Well, John, you are a curious
fellow! How are Kirby Smith and Gracie? Well, John, when we don't look
for you, it's the very time you come."

The previous evening, the loyal people had decorated their houses with
flags and many pretty ornaments, in honor of the arrival of the Federal
troops; and had met them as gayly as the mythological young women used
to dance before Bacchus. On the morning of the 18th, all of these
symbols of joy were taken in. The Southern people, in their turn, were
jubilant--"which they afterward wished they hadn't."

Resuming our march at 1 P.M., on that day, the brigade passed through
Versailles, and went into camp at Shryock's ferry. Gano and Breckinridge
crossed the river and encamped on the southern side; my regiment
remained on the other side. About 1 o'clock at night we were awakened by
the bursting of two or three shells in my camp. Dumont had learned that
we had passed through Versailles, and had started out in pursuit. He
sent his cavalry on the road which we had taken, and pressed his
infantry out from Frankfort to Lawrenceburg. Shryock's ferry is four
miles from Lawrenceburg; the country between the two points is very
broken and difficult of passage.

Had every thing been kept quiet until the infantry had occupied
Lawrenceburg, our situation would have been critical indeed. With this
disposition in our front, and the road closed behind us, we would have
been forced to take across the country, and that would have been
something like climbing over the houses to get out of a street. Colonel
Morgan had hesitated to halt there in the first instance, and was
induced to do so only by the fatigue of men and horses after a march of
over sixty miles, and the knowledge that no fit ground for camping was
within some miles. It was a generous act of the officer, who came in our
rear, to shell us, and it saved us a vast deal of trouble, if nothing
worse. He had not even disturbed our pickets, but turning off of the
road, planted his guns on the high cliff which overlooks the ferry on
that side, and sent us an intimation that we had better leave. Colonel
Morgan comprehended his danger at once, and as he sprang to his feet,
instructed one of the little orderlies, who always slept near him, to
gallop to Colonel Gano and Major Breckinridge, and direct them to move
at once to Lawrenceburg; the one, who formed first, taking the front,
and picketing and holding the road to Frankfort, as soon as the town was
reached. The boys, who were his orderlies, were intelligent little
fellows, well known, and it was our habit to obey orders brought by
them, as promptly as if delivered by a staff officer. The officers to
whom the orders were sent, were the promptest of men, and although my
regiment formed rapidly, the others were marching by the time that it
was ready to move. The howitzers were sent across the river first
(fortunately it was shallow fording at that season), and the regiment
immediately followed. The pickets on the road to Versailles were
withdrawn as soon as the regiment was fairly across, and the officer in
charge of them was instructed to make a rear-guard of his detail. The
entire brigade was hurrying to Lawrenceburg, in less than twenty minutes
after the first shell awakened us. We reached Lawrenceburg a little
after 2 o'clock, and passed through without halting, taking the
Bloomfield road. I have heard since, but do not know if it be true, that
General Dumont reached Lawrenceburg about half an hour after our
rear-guard quitted it. Marching on steadily until 12 or 1 o'clock of the
next day, we reached Bloomfield, a little place whose every citizen was
a warm friend of "Morgan's men." They met us with the utmost kindness,
and at once provided supplies of forage and provisions. We halted only
about an hour to enjoy their hospitality, and then moved on toward

Colonel Morgan, at this time, received information that there was at
Bardstown a force of infantry strong enough to give a good deal of
trouble, if they chose to ensconce themselves in the houses. They were
stationed there to protect sick and wounded men, and hospital stores. As
there was nothing in prospect of their capture to repay for the delay,
and probable loss it would cost, he determined to make a circuit around
the town. This was done, the column moving within about a mile of the
town (the pickets having been previously driven in), and crossing the
Louisville road, two miles from the town.

We encamped that night not far from the Elizabethtown road, and some
five or six miles from Bardstown. During the night Lieutenant Sales,
with Company E, of the 2nd Kentucky, was sent some miles down the
Louisville road, and captured one hundred and fifty wagons, the escort
and many stragglers. The wagons were laden with supplies for Buell's
army. They were burned, with the exception of two sutlers' wagons, which
Sales brought in next morning. These wagons contained every thing to
gladden a rebel's heart, from cavalry boots to ginger-bread. The brigade
moved again at 10 A.M., the next day, the 20th, and reached
Elizabethtown that evening. Here the prisoners picked up around
Bardstown, and upon the march, who had not been paroled during the day,
were given their free papers. The command went into camp on the
Litchfield road, two miles from Elizabethtown. About 3 o'clock of the
next morning a train of cars came down the railroad, and troops were
disembarked from them. A culvert, three miles from town, had been burned
the night before, in anticipation of such a visit and the train
necessarily stopped at that spot. Our pickets were stationed there, and
the troops were furnished a lively greeting as they got off of the cars.
After a good deal of fussing with the pickets, these troops entered the
town about 5 A.M., and at 6 A.M., we moved off on the Litchfield road.

The brigade encamped at Litchfield on the night of the 21st, and on the
next day "crossed Green river at Morganton and Woodbury," almost in the
face of the garrison of Bowlinggreen, "who pretended to try to catch us,
and who would have been very much grieved if they had," as has been
truthfully written. My regiment was in the rear on the morning of the
23rd, when we marched away from Morganton, and I placed it in ambush on
the western side of the road, upon which the enemy were "figuring," for
they could not be said to be advancing.

The road which the rest of the brigade had taken ran at right angles to
this one, and my left flank rested upon it. To my astonishment, about
half an hour afterward, the enemy, also, went into ambush on the same
side of the road, and a few hundred yards from the right of my line.
After they had gotten snug and warm, I moved off quietly after the
column, leaving them "still vigilant." We crossed Mud river that night
at Rochester, on a bridge constructed of three flat boats, laid endwise,
tightly bound together, and propped, where the water was deep, by beams
passing under the bottoms of each one and resting on the end of the
next; each receiving this sort of support they mutually braced each
other. A planking, some five feet wide, was then laid, and the horses,
wagons, and artillery were crossed without trouble. The bridge was built
in about two hours.

On the 24th we reached Greenville; that night a tremendous snow
fell--tremendous, at least, for the latitude and season. After crossing
Mud river, there was no longer cause for apprehension, and we marched
leisurely. Colonel Morgan had found the country through which he had
just passed filled, as he had expected, with detachments which he could
master or evade, and with trains, which it was pleasant and profitable
to catch. He and his followers felt that they had acquitted themselves
well, and had wittingly left nothing undone. If there was any thing
which they could have "gone for" and had not "gone for," they did not
know it. A very strong disposition was felt, therefore, to halt for a
few days at Hopkinsville, situated in a rich and beautiful country, the
people of which were nearly all friendly to us. We knew that we would
receive a hospitality which our mouths watered to think of. Colonel
Morgan felt the more inclined to humor his command in this wish, because
he himself fully appreciated how agreeable as well as beneficial this
rest would be.

Before commencing the long and rapid march from Gum Spring to
Hopkinsville, we had all been engaged in very arduous and constant
service. This last mentioned march was by no means an easy one, and both
men and horses began to show that fatigue was telling upon them. Many of
the men were then comparatively young soldiers, and were not able to
endure fatigue, want of sleep, and exposure, as they could do
subsequently, when they had become as hardy and untiring as wild beasts.
On this march I saw more ingenious culinary expedients devised than I
had ever witnessed before. Soldiers, it is well known, never have any
trouble about cooking meat; they can broil it on the coals, or, fixing
it on a forked stick, roast it before a camp fire with perfect ease. So,
no matter whether the meat issued them be bacon, or beef, or pork
freshly slaughtered, they can speedily prepare it. An old campaigner
will always contend that meat cooked in this way is the most palatable.
Indeed it is hard to conceive of how to impart a more delicious flavor
to fresh beef than, after a hard day's ride, by broiling it on a long
stick before the right kind of a fire, taking care to pin pieces of fat
upon it to make gravy; then with pepper and salt, which can be easily
carried, a magnificent meal can be made, if enough is issued to keep a
man cooking and eating half the night. Four or five pounds of fresh
beef, thus prepared, will be mightily relished by a hungry man, but as
it is easily digested he will soon become hungry again. It is the bread
about which there is the trouble. Cavalry, doing such service as
Morgan's did, can not carry hard tack about with them very well, nor was
bread ready cooked generally found in any neighborhood (south of the
Ohio) in sufficient quantities to supply a brigade of soldiers. Houses
were not always conveniently near to the camps where they could have
bread cooked, and as they would have it, or would not do without it many
days in succession, they were thrown upon their own resources, and
compelled to make it themselves, notwithstanding their lack of proper
utensils. I had often seen bread baked upon a flat rock, or a board, or
by twisting it around a ramrod or stick, and holding it to the fire, but
one method of baking corn bread was practiced successfully upon this
march which I had never witnessed before. It was invented, I believe, in
Breckinridge's battalion. The men would take meal dough and fit it into
a corn-shuck, tying the shucks tightly. It would then be placed among
the hot embers, and in a short time would come out beautifully browned.
This method was something like the Old Virginia way of making "ash
cake," but was far preferable, and the bread so made was much sweeter.
The trouble of making up bread (without a tray) was very readily gotten
over. Every man carried an oil-cloth (as they were issued to all of the
Federal cavalry), and wheaten bread was made up on one of these. Corn
meal was worked up into dough in the half of a pumpkin, thoroughly
scooped out. When we were in a country where meat, meal, and flour were
readily obtained, and we were not compelled to march at night, but could
go regularly into camp, we never had trouble in feeding the men,
although on our long marches and raids we never carried cooking

At Hopkinsville, Colonel Woodward came to see Morgan; his command was
encamped not far off. He had been doing excellent service in this
section of the State for several months, and Colonel Morgan was very
anxious to have him attached to his brigade. We remained at Hopkinsville
three days, and then resumed our march.

At "Camp Coleman" we were the guests of Woodward's regiment, and their
friends, in that neighborhood, brought in whole wagon loads of
provisions, ready cooked--hams, turkeys, saddles-of-mutton were too
common to excite remark--we realized that we were returning to "Dixie,"
and were not far off from Sumner county, Tennessee. We reached
Springfield, Robertson county, Tennessee, on the 1st or 2nd of November.

We remained here two days. During this stay, a printing press, type,
etc., having been found in the town, the "_Vidette_" made its appearance
again. A full account of the Kentucky campaign was published, telling
what everybody did, and hinting what was going to be done next time.
Prentice and Horace Greely were properly reprimanded, and the "_London
Times_" was commended and encouraged. A heavy mail had been captured, on
the march through Kentucky, containing many letters denunciatory of
Buell--all these were published. We were glad to do any thing which
might push out of the way, the man we thought the ablest General in the
Federal service.

While at Springfield, Gano's regiment was increased by the accessions
of two full companies under Captains Dorch and Page. Captain Walter
McLean, of Logan county, Kentucky, also joined us with some thirty or
forty men. This fragment was consolidated with Company B, of the Second
Kentucky, and McLean was made Captain. He was junior Captain of the
regiment until Lieutenant Ralph Sheldon was promoted to the Captaincy of
Company C, vice Captain Bowles promoted to the Majority, after Major
Morgan's death.

On the 4th of November, we arrived at Gallatin, and were received by our
friends there with the warmest welcome. We had been absent two months
and a half, and we were now to perform the same work to retard the
return of the Federal army into Tennessee, as we had previously done to
embarrass its march into Kentucky. While at Hopkinsville, Colonel Gano
had been sent with his regiment to destroy the railroad between
Louisville and Nashville, and also on the Russellville branch. The
bridges over Whippoorwill and Elk Fork, and the bridge between
Russellville and Bowlinggreen, three miles and a half from Russellville,
were burned. Captain Garth of Woodward's command joined Gano and was of
great assistance to him. Some portion of the road between Bowlinggreen
and Gallatin was destroyed. Lieutenant Colonel Hutchinson burned the
trestle near Springfield, and the two long trestles between Springfield
and Clarksville which finished the work on that end of the road. On the
31st the trestle at the ridge, and the three small bridges between the
ridge and Goodletsville were destroyed. So it will be seen that the road
was scarcely in running condition when Morgan got through with it. I
have thus far neglected to mention a circumstance, which should by no
means be omitted from the narration of this period of Morgan's history.

A courier came from General Smith, while we were at Lexington, on the
18th of October, countermanding his permission previously given Colonel
Morgan to go out of Kentucky by the Western route, on account of an
order received from General Bragg instructing him to send Morgan to
guard the salt works in Virginia. General Smith regretted it, but he
ordered Colonel Morgan to proceed at once to that point. A staff officer
who saw the order before the courier could deliver it to Colonel Morgan,
pocketed it and dismissed the courier. The officer reasoned that the
salt works were in no danger, that if they were, it was Marshall's
peculiar province to guard them. That it was more important to operate
upon the railroads, in front of Nashville, than to look after salt
works, and that therefore it was better not to mention the matter.

Whether it was General Bragg's intention or not, it is certain that if
we had gotten into Western Virginia, at that time, there would have been
an end to all enterprise upon our part and no more reputation would have
been won by us. We got there soon enough as it was. No evil consequences
followed this breach of discipline. The salt works were undisturbed
until a much later period.

Colonel Morgan captured nearly five hundred prisoners after he left
Lexington. The railroads were destroyed, as I have related, and when he
reached Gallatin, he was in a position to picket the right flank of
Bragg's army, then slowly creeping around to Murfreesboro'.

When we left Hartsville the previous summer, a regiment was organizing
there for Morgan's brigade, composed principally of men from Sumner
county. This regiment, the Ninth Tennessee cavalry, became subsequently
one of the very best in Morgan's command, and won a high reputation, but
it met with many mishaps in the process of organization. It had few
arms, and the enemy would come sometimes and "practice" on it. It was
several times chased all over that country. When we reached Gallatin,
this regiment joined the brigade; it was still in an inchoate state, but
it was anxious to revenge the trouble it had been occasioned. It was
organized with James Bennett as Colonel, W.W. Ward, Lieutenant Colonel,
and R.A. Alston, formerly Morgan's Adjutant General, as Major. The
senior captain--the famous Dick McCann--was scouting around Nashville,
holding high carnival, and behaving himself much as Morgan had formerly
done on the same ground.

Captain McCann had served for some time in infantry, but found it too
slow for him. He accompanied our command in our first raid into
Kentucky, and served with distinction as a volunteer in our
advance-guard, in the operations around Gallatin, of the summer of 1862.
It would be impossible to recount all of his numerous adventures. He
kept himself so busy prowling around night and day, and so rarely
permitted an enemy to venture beyond the fortifications of Nashville,
without some token of his thoughtful attention, that, in all probability
he could not remember his own history. Just before we arrived at
Gallatin, however, his useful (if not innocent), existence had come very
near being terminated. He had gone on a scout one night with two men,
and Dr. Robert Williams (who frequently accompanied him upon those
"visits," as he used to term his raids around Nashville, "to the scenes
of his happy childhood)," also went with him. Not far from the city,
they came upon a picket stand, and McCann sent his two men around to get
between the two outpost videttes and the base, intending then to charge
down on them, with the Doctor, and capture them, as he had taken many
such before. The moon was shining brightly, and, as he stole closer than
was prudent upon the videttes, they discovered him and fired. One ball
struck him upon the brass buckle of his saber belt, which happened to be
stout enough to save his life by glancing the ball, but the blow brought
him from his horse and convinced him that a mortal wound was inflicted.

"Dick," said the Doctor, "are you hurt?" "Yes," groaned Dick,
"killed--deader than a corpse--shot right through the bowels--Quick,
Bob--pass me the bottle before I die."

Although the men had been accustomed to look forward to the time of
their arrival at Gallatin, as a period when they would enjoy profound
rest, they were not long left quiet after quitting there. General John
C. Breckinridge had just gotten to Murfreesboro' with a small force. He
was desirous of impressing the enemy at Nashville with an exaggerated
idea of his strength, so that the army of Buell (or of Rosecrans it was
then), might not be in any too great haste to drive him away from
Murfreesboro', when it reached Nashville. General Bragg was limping on
so slowly, that it was by no means certain that a swinging march would
not put the enemy in possession of the whole of Middle Tennessee (with
scarcely a skirmish), and shut Bragg up in East Tennessee. With the
instinct, too, which he felt in common with all men who are born
generals, Breckinridge wished to press upon the enemy and strike him if
he discovered a vulnerable point.

He learned that a large lot of rolling-stock (of the Louisville and
Nashville Railroad), had been collected in Edgefield. There were,
perhaps, three hundred cars in all. If these were burned, the damage
done the enemy, and the delay occasioned him, would be very great. The
cars were collected at a locality commanded by the batteries on the
Capitol hill, and so near the river, that all the forces in the city
could be readily used to protect them. Breckinridge depended upon Morgan
to burn them, but planned a diversion on the south side of the river,
which he hoped would attract the enemy's attention strongly, and long
enough, to enable Morgan to do his work.

The day after we arrived at Gallatin, a dispatch was received from
General Breckinridge, communicating his plan. Forrest was to move on the
southeastern side of Nashville, supported by the Kentucky infantry
brigade, and Morgan was instructed to dash into Edgefield and burn the
cars, while Forrest was making all the racket he could. There was one
flaw in this plan, which no one perceived until all was over. Morgan
could not hope to succeed, unless, by moving all night, he got close
enough to Edgefield, to dash in early in the morning, before his
presence was even suspected. If he marched in the day time, or remained
after daylight in the vicinity of the place, his presence would
certainly be discovered, and preparations would be made to receive him.
But if he attacked at daylight, he scarcely allowed time for the troops
on the other side to commence their work, or at any rate, was likely to
attack simultaneously with them; when their attack, rousing every thing,
would, perhaps, do more harm than good. It so turned out.

Our brigade moved all night (of the 5th), and striking through the woods
came upon the northern side of Edgefield. Just as we struck the pickets,
we heard Forrest's guns on the other side of the river. The Second
Kentucky was in advance, and as the head of the column was struggling
over a very rough place in the railroad, it was opened upon by a company
of infantry pickets, who came out from behind a small house, about sixty
yards off. I never saw men fight better than these fellows did. They
were forty or fifty strong, and had to retreat about half a mile, to
reach their lines. The timber of the ground over which they had to
retreat had been cut down to leave the way clear for the play of
artillery and we could not charge them. Few men beside those in the
advance guard got a chance at them. They turned and fought at every
step. At least eight or ten were killed, and only three captured.

I lost three of my advance guard. Conrad of the guard was riding a large
gray horse, which saved his life. He rode close upon the enemy, and one
of them, presenting his gun within a few feet of his breast, fired;
Conrad reined his horse tightly, making him rear and receive the ball in
his chest. The horse fell dead, pinning his rider to the ground. We
pressed on to within a hundred yards of the railroad embankment, in the
bottom near the river, and quite through Edgefield. Some little time was
required to get all the regiment up, and Hutchinson and I had just
formed it, and the line was advancing, when Colonel Morgan ordered us
back. He had reconnoitered, and had seen a strong force of infantry
behind the embankment; and the fire slackening on the other side,
induced him to suppose that more infantry, which we could see
double-quicking across the pontoon bridge, was the entire garrison of
that side coming to oppose him. It turned out that this force coming
over the bridge, was small; but the Sixteenth Illinois and part of
another regiment, were stationed behind the embankment, and among the
cars we wished to burn. We succeeded in burning a few--Lieutenants Drake
and Quirk (who generally hunted together) superintended the work. A good
deal of firing was kept up by the enemy upon the detail engaged in the
work of destruction, but without effect. So little attention was paid to
what Forrest was doing, that when we drew off altogether, the enemy
followed us a mile or two. As the column filed off from the by-road (by
which it had approached Edgefield) on the Gallatin pike, the enemy drove
back the pickets which had been sent down the pike.

The point at which we entered the pike is about a mile and a quarter
from Nashville. For a while there seemed to be great danger that the
enemy would take us in flank, but the column got fairly out upon the
pike before the blue-coats hove in sight. A few of us remained behind
after the rear guard passed to ascertain the truth of a report the
pickets brought, that the enemy were moving up artillery. The head of an
infantry column had made its appearance on the pike, but halted about
three hundred yards from where we were, and no firing had as yet
occurred on either side. They seemed disposed to reconnoiter, and we
were not anxious to draw their fire.

Hutchinson soon determined to see them closer, and called to one of the
advance guard, whom he had kept with him, to accompany him. This man was
celebrated, not only for his cool, unflinching courage, but also as the
best shot in the Second Kentucky. Every old "Morgan man" will remember,
if he has not already recognized, Billy Cooper. Breckinridge and I
remonstrated with Hutchinson, and urged that his action would only
precipitate the enemy's attack and our retreat--that we would be driven
away before we had witnessed all that we wished to see. There were only
seven or eight men in our party; Gano encouraged him to go--and he
declared that he would go--unless I positively ordered him to remain. He
accordingly started--Cooper with him. There was a considerable
depression in the pike between our position and that of the enemy. Just
as our enterprising friends got down into this hollow, and about half of
the distance they were going, the enemy, having completed the necessary
dispositions, commenced moving forward. I shouted to Hutchinson,
informing him of it, but the noise of his horse's hoofs drowned my
voice; before he discovered the enemy, he was in thirty paces of their
column. He fired his pistol, and Cooper, rising in his stirrups,
discharged his gun killing a man; both then wheeled and spurred away at
full speed. They got back into the hollow in time to save themselves,
but while we were admiring their rapid retreat and particularly noticing
Hutchinson, who came back in great glee, whipping his horse with his hat
as was his custom when in a tight place, a volley, intended for them,
came rattling into us. Two or three citizens who had collected to see
the fun fled like deer, although one of them was a cripple--and, to tell
the truth, we left as rapidly.

I shall never forget this occasion, because it was the first and only
time that I ever saw Colonel Richard M. Gano frightened. He was sitting
on his horse, complacently eyeing Hutchinson's brisk retreat, and,
apparently, not even remotely supposing that the enemy were likely to
fire. One ball pierced a Mexican blanket which was wrapped around him,
sending the red stuff with which it was lined flying about his head. I
thought, and so did he, that it was his blood. If I had been mortally
wounded, I could not have helped laughing at the injured look he at once
drew on; it was the look of a man who had confided, and had been
deceived. "Why, Duke," he said, "they're shooting at us." Some one told
Major Alston that something was going on in the rear, "that would do to
go in the papers," and he joined us, as the enemy fired a second volley,
just in time to get his best horse shot. Although we burned a few cars,
the expedition was a failure--we went to burn all. Returning to Gallatin
that night (the 6th), we found that we were not yet to be permitted
rest. Our scouts soon began to bring in news of the approach of
Rosecrans' army, which was marching by the Louisville and Nashville
pike, and the Scottsville and Gallatin pike, to Nashville. Crittenden's
corps was in advance, a portion on each road. Colonel Morgan determined
to ambuscade the division marching on the Louisville and Nashville road,
at a point near Tyree Springs. He selected two hundred men for the
expedition. So much excitement was anticipated upon it, that all of his
field officers begged to go. After a good deal of solicitation, he
permitted Gano and myself to accompany him, leaving Hutchinson in
command of the remainder of the brigade at Gallatin. The party detailed
for this expedition, reached the neighborhood of the proposed scene of
ambush late at night, and on the next morning (the 8th), at daybreak,
took position.

The Federal troops had encamped at Tyree Springs the night before. First
one or two sutlers' wagons passed, which were not molested, although
when we saw one fellow stop, and deliberately kill and skin a sheep and
throw it into his wagon, a general desire was felt to rob him in his
turn. After a little while, an advance guard of cavalry came, and then
the infantry rolled along in steady column, laughing and singing in the
fresh morning air. As soon as the head of the column approached our
position, our line arose and fired. We were within seventy-five yards of
the road, on a hill, which told against our chances of doing execution,
but the men had been cautioned to aim low. The column, unprepared for
such an entertainment, recoiled, but soon rallied and charged the hill.
Artillery was brought up and opened upon us. We did not stay long. Our
loss was one man killed. I have never been able to learn satisfactorily
what was the enemy's loss. Many reports were received about it, some of
which must have been greatly exaggerated. Colonel Morgan immediately
moved rapidly to get in the rear of this column. He accordingly struck
the road again, some three miles north of Tyree Springs. Posting the
bulk of his force in a woods on the side of the road, he, himself, with
Lieutenant Quirk and two or three others, went some distance up the
pike, and occupied themselves in picking up stragglers, which he would
send back to the main body, where they would be placed under guard. In
this way some forty or fifty prisoners were taken. Suddenly Stokes'
regiment came up the road from toward Tyree Springs, and drove the
detachment immediately upon the road, consisting of about fifty men,
back to the main body, thus cutting off Colonel Morgan and his party.
Couriers were immediately sent to Colonel Morgan to warn him of his
danger, but they did not reach him. He was returning, however, about
that time, and quickened his pace when he heard a few shots fired. He
was bringing back some ten or twelve prisoners. He, Lieutenant Quirk,
and one or two men, forming the head of a column, of which the prisoners
composed the body. Suddenly he rode right into this Federal regiment. He
was, of course, halted and questioned. He stated that he was a Federal
Colonel, that his regiment was only a short distance off, and that the
prisoners with him were men he had arrested for straggling. His
questioners strongly doubted his story, and said that his dress was a
very strange one for a Federal Colonel, that rebels often wore blue
clothes, but they had never heard of their officers wearing gray. The
prisoners, who knew him, and never doubted that he would be now captured
in his turn, listened, grinning, to the conversation, but said nothing.
He suddenly pretended to grow angry, said that he would bring his
regiment to convince them who he was, and galloped away. Quirk followed
him. Before an effort could be made to stop them, they leaped their
horses over the fence, and struck, at full speed, across the country. In
the course of an hour they rejoined the rest of us, and relieved our
minds of very grave apprehensions.

It is probable that no other man than Colonel Morgan would have escaped
(in such a situation) death or capture. But his presence of mind and
address, in the midst of a great and imminent danger, were literally
perfect. I have known many similar escapes, where the chances were not
so desperate; but in each case but this, there was some circumstance to
intimidate, or to contribute to mystify the enemy. On this occasion
every circumstance was adverse to him. He could expect no rescue from
his friends, for we had managed so badly, that the enemy had gotten
between him and us. He was dressed in full Confederate uniform. The
enemy knew that the Confederate forces were near by, and it was
reasonable to suppose that he was attached to them. The prisoners were
there to tell on him. He had nothing to depend upon but the audacity and
address which never failed him, and a quality even higher than
courage--I can describe it only as the faculty of subjecting every one
to his will, whom he tried to influence; it was almost mesmeric. The
prisoners fifty or sixty in number, were paroled in the course of the
day and started back to Kentucky by a route which would enable them to
avoid meeting detachments of their own army. Our party encamped that
night about seven miles from Gallatin. Colonel Morgan when he started
upon this expedition, knew that Wood's and Van Cleve's divisions were
marching toward Gallatin, and he cautioned Hutchinson not to make a
fight, if during his absence the enemy approached the town,
simultaneously, upon more than two roads. He knew that Hutchinson would
be vigilant, but he feared that his indisposition to avoid fighting
would induce him to engage a larger force of the enemy than he could
repulse. Early in the morning of the day succeeding that on which the
events I have just described occurred, the enemy marched into Gallatin.
They had threatened the place on three sides during the night, but
Hutchinson hoping to repulse them, would not retire.

In the morning, however, they demonstrated in such strength, as to
convince him that he had better not fight--and so, sending the brigade
on the Lebanon road to cross the Cumberland, he retained only the
advance-guard of the Second Kentucky, and the howitzers, to salute the
enemy as they entered. His guns were planted upon the eminence on the
Lebanon road, just outside of town, and, as the head of a column of
infantry turned into that road, they were opened, causing it to recoil.
Several good shots were made, but as the little pieces were limbered up
to move off, a line of infantry was discovered drawn up across the road
in the rear of the party--it had taken position very quietly, while they
were amusing themselves cannonading the troops in town.

Hutchinson, Breckinridge, Alston, and nearly every field and staff
officer of the brigade, were in the trap. They tried to escape upon
another road, and found that also blockaded. Finally, sending the
howitzers and the advance-guard across a pasture into the Springfield
road, Hutchinson, with the numerous "officials" in his train, made the
best of his way across the country, and rejoined the brigade. The
advance-guard and the howitzers dashed gallantly past a large body of
the enemy, but were neither checked nor injured. The retreat of the
others, diverted (as was intended) attention from them to some extent,
and they rattled on down the pike at a brisk canter, confident, now
(that they were not surrounded), that they could whip a moderate sized

About three miles from town, they met our detachment of two hundred men;
at first (thinking us a party of the enemy sent to enter the town by
that road), they prepared to attack and route us, but finding out who we
were, let us off with the scare. We had already learned that the enemy
had entered Gallatin, and I was especially rejoiced to find the "bull
pups," and my advance-guard--the flower of my regiment--all safe.
Colonel Morgan learned directly from the officer in command of this
party, the particulars of the affair, and was satisfied that all had
gotten away. We at once turned toward the river, and marching, until we
reached it, through the woods and fields, crossed at a ford, some miles
lower down than that which the brigade had crossed. We reached Lebanon
on the same afternoon, and found our fugitive friends there. Colonel
Morgan formally congratulated Hutchinson upon his "improved method of
holding a town."

This was the 9th, and the bulk of the brigade went into camp, four miles
from Lebanon, on the Murfreesboro' pike. As Rosecrans' army came pouring
into Nashville, the commandant there manifested a strong disposition to
learn how matters stood outside. On the night of the 9th, a force of the
enemy came down the Nashville and Lebanon pike to Silver Springs, seven
miles from Lebanon. Scouts were sent to examine this force, and
returned, reporting that it manifested no disposition to move. Almost
immediately after the scouts came back to Lebanon, the enemy came, too,
having moved just behind the scouts. There was no force in Lebanon to
meet them, and they held the place until Hine's company, of
Breckinridge's battalion, was sent to drive them out. That night
Breckinridge's entire battalion was sent to the town, supported by
Bennett's regiment. On the evening of the 11th, they were both driven
away, by a heavy force of infantry and cavalry, but, reinforced by Gano,
checked the enemy a short distance from the town. When the enemy
retreated, Gano pressed them, taking one hundred and fifty-eight
prisoners, and a number of guns. On the 13th or 14th, the enemy
returned, and Breckinridge drove them away, following them eleven miles
on the Hartsville pike. On this occasion a very handsome feat was
performed by a scouting party under command of Sergeant McCormick, of
Breckinridge's battalion. Billy Peyton, who had killed an officer and
brought off his horse and pistol, a day or two before, went with him as
"military adviser." Major Breckinridge sent this scouting party to find
where the enemy halted. It went through the woods and found the enemy
encamped on the river bank, fifteen miles from Lebanon. Returning by the
road, the party stumbled upon a _vidette_, stationed about a half mile
from the camp, and between it and a picket base, which he said was a
short distance off. He also informed them that all the pickets had been
notified that a scouting party would shortly leave camp, and pass
through them on that road. The idea at once occurred to McCormick to
represent that scouting party with his; so, carrying the prisoner with
him, he rode through the pickets at the head of his men, receiving and
returning their salutes. John Haps, of Company F, Second Kentucky,
tightly gripping the prisoner's throat, meanwhile, to prevent
inopportune disclosures. Just as the party got clear of the base, they
were discovered, and one man's horse falling, he was made prisoner. On
the 15th, Breckinridge and Bennett were sent to Baird's mill, eight
miles from Lebanon, and eleven from Murfreesboro', where the Second
Kentucky had been encamped since the 10th. During that time it had been
operating in the direction of Nashville, the most successful expedition
having been made by Major Bowles, who defeated a body of the enemy
superior in numbers to his own detachment, killing several and taking
some prisoners. About this time a large force of the enemy took position
at Jefferson, seven miles from Baird's mill. This force required
constant watching, and scouts were kept in sight of the encampment at
all hours of the twenty-four, with instructions to fire upon the pickets
as often as each detail was relieved. Spence's battery was sent from
Murfreesboro' to Baird's mill, to reinforce us. On the 16th, Gano, who
had remained at Lebanon, was driven away by a large force of cavalry and
two brigades of infantry. One of the latter got in his rear, and gave
him a good deal of trouble. After making a gallant fight, he fell back
to Baird's mill; and then carried Breckinridge, Bennett, and the Second
Kentucky, back to Lebanon to attack the enemy there. Colonel Morgan had
been at Black's shop, four miles nearer to Murfreesboro', for several
days, and I had gone to Murfreesboro' on that day, the 16th. When I
returned to Baird's mill, I found every thing gone, but a few pickets,
and the scouts reported indications of an advance from Jefferson. When I
reached Gano, I found him just taking position to fight (he thought),
and planting his battery (Spence's) to shell the camp, the fires of
which we could plainly see. I dissuaded him from opening with
artillery, for I did not wish to fight at Lebanon, when there seemed
such an imminent prospect of an attack upon Baird's mill. Gano was not
satisfied to return until an examination showed the camp deserted. The
enemy had moved off, leaving their fires burning. Gano had hurried from
Baird's mill, with his reinforcements, so rapidly, that he had not given
his scouts time to reconnoiter. I immediately carried the brigade back
to Baird's mill. The saddles were kept upon the horses all night, and
the men lay down in line of battle, but the enemy did not attack. Two or
three days after this, Hutchinson was sent, with a portion of the Second
Kentucky, to watch the Nashville and Lebanon pike, between Stone river
and Silver Springs, at which latter place a strong force of the enemy
was encamped. Information had been received that foraging parties of the
enemy had been habitually resorting to that particular neighborhood, and
it was thought that some of them could be caught. Hutchinson missed the
foragers, but captured a picket detail thirty or forty strong, at Stone
river, and brought his prisoners and their horses into camp. A little
later Major Steele, with a detachment from his regiment, went on an
expedition to Hartsville. Just as his column had crossed the river, and
ascended the bank, it was attacked by a portion of Woolford's regiment.
Major Steele was forced to recross the river and return, but before
doing so, beat off his first assailants. On the 23rd, Hutchinson, with
Company A, of Breckinridge's battalion, and a detail from the Second
Kentucky, in all, two hundred men, and the howitzers, attacked the enemy
encamped at Gallatin, landing on the southern side, and drove them out
of their encampment and across the river. A good many other scouts and
expeditions were made, replete with personal adventures, the details of
which have escaped my memory.

It was a very busy season, and a good many prisoners were taken; they
were brought in from some quarter every day. Our own loss was slight.
Colonel Morgan believed that, with enemies so near him, in so many
quarters, he could defend himself only by assuming the offensive.

General Bragg's army did not get to Murfreesboro' until the 20th or
21st. During that time, General Breckinridge had some four thousand
infantry. Rosecrans' army must have been concentrated in Nashville by
the 12th. Two days' marching would have brought them to Murfreesboro'.
General Breckinridge could not have repulsed it; of course it could have
been subsisted for a week off of the country, or its foragers had lost
their cunning. In that time General Bragg would have been forced, in all
probability, to return to East Tennessee, without a chance to deliver
battle with a rational hope of success. His army was footsore, weary,
and could not have been readily concentrated. Buell was removed because
he was thought to be "slow," and dull to perceive and seize favorable
opportunities. There will always be a difference of opinion about which
opportunities were the safest to seize. A very prevalent opinion
obtained in "Morgan's cavalry" (who thought that they appreciated
Buell), that had he been in command at Nashville, on the 12th of
November, 1862, he would have marched without delay on Murfreesboro'. It
is not too much to claim that Morgan's destruction of the railroads
delayed, not only the concentration at Nashville, but the movement
thence to Murfreesboro'. The activity of Morgan, Forrest and the other
Confederate cavalry commanders, in November, and the firm attitude of
Breckinridge, also contributed to prevent it.

In the latter part of November, Colonels Cluke and Chenault rejoined the
brigade. Their regiments were not improved by the trip through the
mountains, and the list of absentees from each was large. Major Stoner
also brought a battalion to Morgan, transferred from Marshall's brigade.
About the same time, the men of the "Old Squadron," who had been
captured at Lebanon, came to us. They had been exchanged a month or two
previously, but had been unable to get to the brigade sooner. We were
glad to welcome them back. They had been only seven months away, and
they returned to find the command they had last seen as less than half a
regiment, now grown to a brigade of five regiments and two battalions.

These men were organized by Colonel Morgan, into a company of scouts, to
be attached to no regiment. Lieutenant Thomas Quirk was appointed to
command them, and Lieutenant Owens, who had been captured and exchanged
with them, was made their First Lieutenant. Lieutenant Sellers, who had
been also captured at Lebanon, was assigned to one of Bennett's
companies; the scouts were at once armed, equipped and mounted--the
company numbered about sixty, total effective, and was a very fine one.
On the 24th, the Second Kentucky, under command of Hutchinson, and
Breckinridge's battalion, were sent to Fayetteville, Lincoln county,
Tennessee, to rest men and horses; and the other regiments of the
brigade were less severely worked than during the past two or three

Rosecrans seemed extremely anxious to shut us out from the country
around Gallatin and Hartsville--perhaps on account of the supplies of
meat which could be obtained there, and which the sympathy of the people
enabled us to obtain, if we could readily communicate with them. Strong
garrisons were established at Gallatin and Castalian Springs, about six
or eight miles from Hartsville, and at the latter place. The fact that
any force of Confederates marching to attack these garrisons, unless
they made a wide detour eastward, would expose its flank and rear to
attack from Nashville--not to consider the resistance of the garrisons
themselves--seemed to insure that country from Confederate intrusion.

But it was right hard to keep Morgan out of Sumner county--he had a
great affection for it. He persistently applied for permission to attack
the force stationed at Hartsville, and it was at length granted him. He
was allowed to select two regiments from the Kentucky infantry brigade,
and to take also Cobb's battery, a very fine one, attached to that
brigade. The "Kentucky brigade" was commanded by Colonel Roger W.
Hanson, who had been only a short time before exchanged, with his
gallant regiment, the Second Kentucky infantry, which had been captured
at Donelson. One of the colonels of the brigade, was Thomas H. Hunt, a
very superior officer, who, with his regiment, the Ninth Kentucky, one
of the best in the Confederate service, had seen arduous and hazardous
service at Shiloh, Corinth and Baton Rouge. Colonel Morgan asked that
this officer (his uncle) should command the infantry regiments, which
were to form part of his force for the expedition; and Colonel Hunt
selected his own regiment and the Second Kentucky (infantry).

On the morning of the 7th of December, Colonel Morgan set out on this
expedition. The cavalry force was placed under my command, and consisted
of Gano's, Bennett's, Cluke's and Chenault's regiments, and Stoner's
battalion--in all numbering about fifteen hundred men. Hanson's brigade
was encamped at Baird's mill. Here the infantry detachment joined us,
seven hundred strong; the full strength of neither regiment was taken.
Quirk's "scouts" and other scouting parties were sent to reconnoiter in
the direction of Hartsville, to watch the enemy at Castalian Springs,
and the fords of the river, and to picket the Nashville and Lebanon
pike. The "combined forces" left Baird's mill about 11 A.M., and passed
through Lebanon about 2 P.M., taking the Lebanon and Hartsville pike.
The snow lay upon the ground and the cold was intense.

The infantry had been promised that they should ride part of the way,
and, accordingly, a few miles beyond Lebanon a portion of the cavalry
gave up the horses to them. This, however, was an injudicious measure.
The infantry had gotten their feet wet in trudging through the snow,
and, after riding a short time, were nearly frozen and clamored to
dismount. The cavalrymen had now gotten their feet saturated with
moisture, and when they remounted, suffered greatly in their turn. There
was some trouble, too, in returning the horses to the proper parties (as
this last exchange was effected after dark), and the infantrymen damned
the cavalry service with all the resources of a soldier's vocabulary.

The infantry and Cobb's battery reached the ferry where it was intended
that they should cross, about ten o'clock at night, and were put across
in two small leaky boats, a difficult and tedious job. When the cavalry
reached the ford, where Colonel Morgan had directed me to cross, I found
that the river had risen so much since the last reconnoisance that it
was past fording at that point, and I had to seek a crossing further
down. The ford (where I decided to cross) was so difficult to come at,
that the operation of crossing was made very slow. The men could reach
the river bank only by a narrow bridle path which admitted only one man
at a time. They were then compelled to gather their horses and leap into
the river, over the bluff about four feet high. Horse and man would
generally be submerged by the plunge--a cold bath very unpleasant in
such weather. The ascent on the other side was nearly as difficult. In a
little while the passage of the horses rendered the approach to the
river even more difficult. The ford was not often used, and the unbeaten
path became cut up and muddy. It grew worse and worse. The cold (after
the ducking in the river) affected the men horribly; those who got
across first built fires, at which they partially warmed themselves
while the others were crossing. Only fifteen, however, were frozen so
stiff that they had to be left.

Finding, as the night wore on, that day would appear before all got
across, and fearing that I would detain Colonel Morgan, I moved (with
those already on the northern bank) about three o'clock, leaving a great
part of my column still on the southern side of the river. I posted
pickets to watch the roads by which they could be attacked, and
instructed the officers to hurry on to Hartsville as soon as
practicable. I had about five miles to march to rejoin Colonel Morgan,
and found him at the point he had designated, some three miles from
Hartsville. He decided not to wait for the remainder of the cavalry,
fearing that information would be taken to Castalian Springs (where six
thousand Federal troops were encamped), and he would be himself
attacked. He, therefore, moved forward at once. Just at daylight the
cavalry, who were marching in front, came upon a strong picket force,
about half a mile from the encampment, who fired and retreated. We were
thus prevented from surprising the enemy before they formed. Colonel
Morgan did not, however, expect to do so, for he had no certain plan of
capturing the pickets without giving the alarm.

Bennett's regiment was immediately sent around the encampment, and into
the town of Hartsville. Colonel Morgan ordered me to form Cluke's and
Chenault's regiments opposite the right flank of the line the enemy were
establishing, and partially outflanking it. The enemy was encamped in
wooded ground, slightly elevated above the surrounding fields. The left
flank of the line they formed rested upon open ground near the river.
Opposite their right flank and center was a large meadow, between which
and the woods was a slight depression, which gradually deepened toward
the southward, until from a valley it became a ravine, and when it
approached the river was perhaps ten feet deep, and its banks were
almost precipitous. Colonel Morgan had intended to let the infantry of
his command form in this ravine and attack from it, but the enemy's line
was established so near to it that this was not attempted.

When we came in sight of the enemy and saw them forming, it was at once
plain that the force there was much stronger than it had been
represented to be. Instead of fifteen hundred men, as Colonel Morgan had
estimated it to be from the reports of his spies, it was more than
twenty-five hundred strong. I said to him, "You have more work cut out
for you, than you bargained for." "Yes," he answered, "you gentleman
must whip and catch these fellows, and cross the river in two hours and
a half, or we'll have six thousand more on our backs." Cluke's and
Chenault's regiments after deducting horse-holders, numbered four
hundred and fifty men, between them. I formed Cluke opposite the One
Hundred and Fourth Ohio Infantry, eight hundred strong, and formed
Chenault obtusely to Cluke (on the latter's left), with his (Chenault's)
left flank inclining toward the enemy, and outflanking him. The infantry
were shortly afterward formed opposite the center of the enemy--Cobb's
battery confronted the enemy's left flank. Our entire force in the fight
(Bennett having been sent to Hartsville to prevent the escape of the
enemy in that direction) was twelve hundred and fifty men. I have
neglected to state that Stoner's battalion had been sent, with the "Bull
pups," down the Hartsville and Lebanon pike to take position opposite
the enemy's encampment. Stoner was instructed to maneuver in sight of
the enemy, and shell away at them briskly. Colonel Morgan knew that the
little pieces could not reach the encampment, but he wished the enemy's
attention attracted to that quarter.

Stoner succeeded so well that the two Parrot guns which the enemy had
were engaged with him, when we took position, and we were spared the
annoyance they could have inflicted while we were forming. As I have
said we failed to surprise the Federal force in its camp--and the only
advantage which our sudden appearance gave us, was the partial
demoralization which is apt to assail all troops, when unexpectedly and
promptly attacked. The enemy naturally thought that we were in
overwhelming force, or that we would not have incurred such risks.

One good sign was, that, as we formed in sight of each other, our
ringing shouts were answered by the feeblest of cheers. Cluke and
Chenault having formed at a gallop, immediately dismounted their men and
advanced. The enemy's line was about four hundred yards distant. A line
of skirmishers occupied the hollow, posted behind a fence, whose fire
did us some little damage. These two regiments had never been under fire
before (with the exception of a slight skirmish which Cluke's had
witnessed in Kentucky) and I was not at first certain that they would
drive their part of the line. But they moved on with perfect steadiness,
halting (after having advanced about a hundred yards) to discharge a
volley which dislodged the skirmishers, and then, after reloading,
pressed on at a swift run. The enemy fired by rank, each volley passing
over our heads, for the men had reached the hollow. No time was given
them to reload. When within sixty yards our fellows opened, Cluke
pressing right upon the front, and Chenault having swept so far round,
and then closed in, that the two regiments were firing almost into each
other's faces.

The open cavalry formation not only enabled us with a smaller force, to
cover the entire front of the enemy opposed to us, but while exposing us
to less loss, made our fire more deadly. The One Hundred and Fourth Ohio
backed about twenty steps, the men striving to reload their guns, and it
then broke and ran in perfect disorder. Cluke and Chenault moved on,
swinging around to the right, until they were formed at right angles to
the original direction of their line, and the force confronting them was
lapped back upon the rest of the enemy's line. This lasted about twenty
minutes. By that time Colonel Hunt had formed his infantry, and he sent
them in, in echelon, the Second Kentucky in advance. Cobb's battery had
not been idle, and had gotten one caisson blown up by a shell from one
of the enemy's Parrots.

The infantry had marched quite thirty miles, over slippery roads, and
through the chilling cold, and I saw some of them stumble (as they
charged), with fatigue and numbness, but the brave boys rushed in as if
they were going to a frolic. The Second Kentucky dashed over the ravine,
and as they emerged in some disorder, an unfortunate order was given
them, to halt and "dress." There was no necessity for it--the regiment
was within fifty yards of the enemy, who were recoiling and dropping
before their fire. Several officers sprang to the front and
countermanded the order--it was a matter of doubt who gave it--and
Captain Joyes, seizing the colors, shouted to the men to follow him.

The regiment rushed on again, but in that brief halt, sustained nearly
all of its loss. Just then, the Ninth Kentucky came to its support--the
men yelling and gliding over the ground like panthers. The enemy gave
way in confusion, and were pressed again on their right and rear by
Cluke and Chenault, who were at this juncture reinforced by seventy-five
men of Gano's regiment, who came up under Lieutenant Colonel Huffman,
commanding the regiment in Gano's absence, and Major Steele, and at once
went into the fight. A few minutes then sufficed to finish the affair.
The enemy were crowded together in a narrow space, and were dropping
like sheep. The white flag was hoisted in an hour after the first shot
was fired. Our loss in killed and wounded was one hundred and
twenty-five, of which the Second Kentucky lost sixty-five, the Ninth,
eighteen; the cavalry thirty-two, and Cobb's battery, ten. Lieutenant
Colonel Coleman, a gallant and accomplished officer, was seriously
wounded. His regiment, the Eighth Kentucky (Cluke's), was devotedly
attached to him, and could ill afford to lose his valuable services.
Some fine officers were lost by the infantry regiments. A loss which was
deeply regretted by Morgan's entire command, was that of little Craven
Peyton. Colonel Morgan invariably selected as his orderlies bright,
intelligent, gentlemanly little fellows from among the boys of his
command. They were not required to perform the ordinary services of an
orderly, but were treated more like staff officers, and were assigned
such duties, as are usually required of an aide.

This was an excellent method of spoiling young soldiers--but Colonel
Morgan permitted himself such luxuries. Of all these, Craven Peyton was
the most celebrated and popular. His integrity and sense was such, that
officers of the command would not hesitate to act upon an order which he
bore, although unwritten, and he possessed the most remarkable daring
and determination. Exposing himself in this fight with his usual
recklessness, he received a wound, which disabled him so much that he
could not be removed. He was made prisoner, and in a few days fretted
himself to death. The enemy's loss, in killed and wounded, was over
four hundred, and two thousand and four prisoners were carried off to
Murfreesboro'. If there ever was a fight to which the time honored
phrase, so frequent in official reports, was applicable, viz.: "That
where all behaved so well," etc.,--it was this one. It would indeed be
difficult to assign the palm. Every officer and man seemed inspired with
the most perfect confidence and the most dauntless resolution. Every
regiment and company rushed recklessly and irresistibly upon every thing
confronting it, and the sudden discovery, at the beginning of the fight,
that the enemy were so much stronger than we had supposed them to be,
seemed only to increase their courage. They had literally made up their
minds not to be beaten, and I firmly believe, that five thousand more
could not have beaten them. The tents, and every thing which could not
be carried off, were burned; a number of captured wagons were loaded
with arms and portable stores, and hurried over the river--four or five
wagons which did not cross the river, were driven into the woods and
their contents secreted. Some of the most valuable captures, were in
boots and shoes--for many of the men (especially of Cluke's and
Chenault's regiments) had no other covering for their feet than old

The prisoners were gotten across the river as rapidly as possible--and
the infantry were taken over behind the cavalrymen. Some of the
prisoners were made to wade the river, as the enemy from Castalian
Springs began to press upon us so closely that we could not "stand upon
the order of transportation." Cluke's regiment was posted upon the
Gallatin road to hold the enemy in check--Quirk's scouts having already
retarded their advance. Gano's regiment was sent as soon as it got up to
support Cluke. Nothing but the rapid style in which the fight had been
conducted and finished saved us. We had no sooner evacuated the ground
than the enemy occupied it, and our guns which opened upon them from the
southern shore, were answered by their batteries.

No pursuit was attempted, and we marched leisurely back through
Lebanon, regaining our camps late in the night. Two splendid pieces of
artillery were among the trophies--which did good service in our hands,
until they were recaptured upon the "Ohio raid." This expedition was
justly esteemed the most brilliant thing that Morgan had ever done, and
was referred to with pride by every man who was in it.

General Bragg in his congratulatory order issued to the army on account
of it, spoke in the highest terms of the conduct of the
troops--especially of the remarkable march of the infantry, and he says:
"To Brigadier General Morgan and to Colonel Hunt the General tenders his
thanks, and assures them of the admiration of his army. The
intelligence, zeal and gallantry displayed by them will serve as an
example and an incentive to still more honorable deeds. To the other
brave officers and men composing the expedition the General tenders his
cordial thanks and congratulations. He is proud of them and hails the
success achieved by their valor as but the precursor of still greater
victories. Each corps engaged in the action will in future bear upon its
colors the name of the memorable field."


The victory of Hartsville brought Colonel Morgan his long-expected and
long-delayed commission of Brigadier-General. He had long been styled
General by his men, and had been of late habitually so addressed in
official communications from array headquarters. Many and urgent
applications had been made by influential parties and officers of high
rank for his promotion. General Smith had strongly urged it, General
Bragg concurring, but while Brigadiers were being uttered as rapidly
almost as Confederate money, he remained a simple Colonel. President
Davis happened to visit Murfreesboro' a few days after the Hartsville
affair, and gave him his commission, making Hanson, also, a Brigadier of
even date. This promotion of my chief made me a Colonel, and Hutchinson
a Lieutenant-Colonel, thus illustrating that many felicitous
consequences will sometimes flow from one good act. The latter had
occupied a very anomalous position; while really a Captain, he had acted
us, and been styled Lieutenant-Colonel. Being a most excellent officer,
who had seen a great deal of service, and acting as second in command of
an unusually large regiment, he was placed frequently upon detached
service, and in very responsible situations, and frequently commanded
Lieutenant-Colonels of legitimate manufacture, just as Morgan, while
only a General "by courtesy," commanded floating Brigadiers who came
within his vortex. It proved more agreeable to men, who were really
modest, to take rank by the virtue of commissions rather than by the
force of impudence, and the example was better. General Hardee urged
that the commission should be made out as Major-General, but Mr. Davis
said, "I do not wish to give my boys all of their sugar plums at once."

At Bryantsville, in Kentucky, Colonel Joseph Wheeler had been appointed
Chief of Cavalry, and Morgan, Scott, Ashby--all of the cavalry
commanders had been ordered to report to him. Colonel Wheeler was a very
dashing officer, and had done excellent service, but he had neither the
experience nor the record of Morgan, and the latter did not fancy having
to serve under him. He was with Wheeler so little, however, in Kentucky,
that he found not much inconvenience from having a "Chief of cavalry" to
superintend him. Morgan was, of course, perfectly independent upon his
retreat out of Kentucky, and in his operations afterward in North Middle
Tennessee--indeed, with the exception of having to report to General
Breckinridge, while the latter was in command at Murfreesboro', and
afterward to the Commander-in-chief, he was perfectly independent until
a period even later than that of his promotion. But this is a subject
for a later chapter. A great many injudicious friends of Morgan were
inclined to attribute the delay of his promotion to prejudice upon the
part of Mr. Davis, against him in particular, and Kentuckians in

There is no doubt but that General Morgan's free and easy way of
appointing his own officers and of conducting all of his military
affairs, as well as his intense aversion to subordinate positions, had
excited much official disapprobation and some indignation against him at
Richmond. He had been careless and dilatory, too, in making out and
forwarding the muster-rolls of his regiment, an omission which was
undoubtedly censurable, and unpardonable in the eyes of the _Pundits_ of
the War Department, with whom such papers were the gospels of military
government. General Morgan paid too little attention to matters of this
kind, essential to the transaction of military business, and the proper
conduct of the affairs of the army, and the authorities resented a
neglect that looked a good deal like contumacious disrespect. He was,
however, unlucky in this respect, to some extent, for when he
appreciated, which was not until after he had raised the greater portion
of his brigade, the necessity and the propriety of making full, formal,
and prompt returns, he met with delays and accidents in transmitting
them to Richmond, which were frequent and extraordinary. The officers,
who acted as his Adjutant Generals at different periods previously to
his promotion, will remember and can affirm, that returns and rolls of
his regiments and battalions composing his brigade, were sent into them,
and forwarded by them to Richmond. Officers were especially detailed to
go to Richmond and look after these papers. And, yet, to every
application made for the appointment of bonded officers (or rather for
their commissions, for Morgan could manage appointments), by commanders
of the oldest regiments in his brigade, the Secretary of War would
politely inform the Colonel that his regiment was unknown "in the
records of this office." Judging from the frequency of this reply, and
the nature of some promotions that were made for that quarter, it would
appear that the War Department at Richmond, and the cavalry on the
western front, had no acquaintance in common. That all the evil might be
cured, papers of formidable size and appearance, nearly square (I should
say an acre by an arpent), were carefully made out, and forwarded to
Richmond, showing the date of the organization of each regiment, the
officers originally upon its rolls, all changes, and how they occurred,
up to the date of the making out of the compendious document, the names
of the officers serving in it at the time, and the manner in which they
obtained their rank, whether by appointment, election, or promotion, and
by whom appointed, when such was their status.

Notwithstanding the work expended upon the accursed things, and the
perspiration, and, I regret to say, blasphemy, which they elicited from
some of our officers, they did no good in the world; and after more
labor and tribulation, ten to one, than an advance of the whole Federal
army would have cost us, we found ourselves as much outsiders as ever.
It must be distinctly understood, that nothing here written is intended
as an insinuation against Mr. Davis; I will not do _that_ which I would
join in condemning in another man, whose antecedents are like my own.
The profound respect I feel for him, prevents any attempt, upon my part,
at even such criticism of his action as may seem legitimate; and unkind
and carping reflections upon him are more becoming in the mouths of
non-combatant rebels, than from ex-Confederate soldiers, whom
self-respect should restrain from any thing of the kind. But there were
certain officers at Richmond, who, if their souls had been tied up with
red tape, indorsed in accordance with the latest orders, and stuffed
into pigeon holes, would have preferred it to a guarantee of salvation.
I honestly believe that these gentlemen thought, that when an officer
made out a muster-roll, and forwarded it to them, he had done his full
duty to his country, had gotten through with his part of the war, and
might go to sleep without putting out pickets. It was said of a certain
Confederate General, of high rank, that he would rather have from his
subordinates "a neat and formal report of a defeat, than a slovenly
account of a victory." It might have been said of the war office gentry,
with equal propriety, that they would have preferred an army composed of
Fallstaffian regiments, all duly recorded, to a magnificent soldiery
unticketed at Richmond.

With this class Morgan was always unpopular; not that a stronger
personal dislike was felt for him, in the official bosom, than for other
men of the same stamp and style, but all such men were gravely disliked
by this class. Such men were developing new ideas, not to be found in
the books which the others had studied, and were in the habit of
consulting. They were managing cavalry and winning fights in a
thoroughly irregular and revolutionary manner; there was grave cause for
apprehension that, if they were given high rank and corresponding
command, they would innovate upon established infantry _tactique_, in
the same unprecedented and demoralizing style. Mr. Davis did not dislike
Morgan, but simply entertained no particular fancy for him, and did not
believe that he was really a superior, although a successful officer;
in fact, he knew very little about him.

To say Mr. Davis disliked Kentuckians, is absurd. The Kentucky vanity is
as irritable, although not as radical, as the Virginian, and sees a
slight in every thing short of a caress. He appointed some fifteen
general officers from Kentucky, and he permitted the Kentucky loafers to
secure their full share of "soft places." General Bragg, doubtless, was
entirely free from any blinding affection for Kentuckians, and few of
them felt a tenderness for him. Despite the terrors of his stern rule,
they let few occasions escape of evincing their feeling toward him. It
was said, I know not how truly, that at a later date General Bragg told
Mr. Davis that "General Morgan was an officer who had few superiors,
none, perhaps, in his own line, but that he was a _dangerous man_, on
account of his intense desire to act independently."

When Morgan received this rank, his brigade was quite strong, and
composed of seven regiments, Breckinridge's and Stoner's battalions were
consolidated, and formed a regiment above the minimum strength.
Breckinridge became Colonel, and Stoner Lieutenant Colonel. Shortly
after the Hartsville fight, Colonel Adam R. Johnson reached
Murfreesboro' with his regiment. It had been raised in Western Kentucky,
and was very strong upon the rolls, but from losses by capture, and
other causes, had been reduced to less than four hundred effective men.
It was a fine body of men, and splendidly officered. Martin, the
Lieutenant Colonel, was a man of extraordinary dash and resolution, and
very shrewd in partisan warfare. Owens, the Major, was a very gallant
man, and the disciplinarian of the regiment.

On the 14th of December, an event occurred which was thought by many to
have materially affected General Morgan's temper, and subsequent
fortunes. He was married to Miss Ready, of Murfreesboro', a lady to whom
he was devotedly attached, and who certainly deserved to exercise over
him the great influence which she was thought to have possessed. The
marriage ceremony was performed by General Polk, by virtue of his
commission as Bishop, but in full Lieutenant General's uniform. The
residence of the Honorable Charles Ready, father of the bride, held a
happy assembly that night--it was one of a very few scenes of happiness
which that house was destined to witness, before its olden memories of
joy and gayety were to give place to heavy sorrow and the harsh
insolence of the invader. The bridegroom's friends and brothers-in-arms,
and the Commander-in-Chief, and Generals Hardee, Cheatham and
Breckinridge felt called upon to stand by him on this occasion.

Greenfell was in a high state of delight; although he had regretted
General Morgan's marriage--thinking that it would render him less
enterprising--he declared, that a wedding, at which an Episcopal
bishop-militant, clad in general's uniform officiated, and the chief of
an army and his corps commanders were guests, certainly ought not to
soften a soldier's temper. On his way home that night he sang Moorish
songs, with a French accent, to English airs, and was as mild and
agreeable as if some one was going to be killed.

The seven regiments which composed the brigade, represented an aggregate
force of over four thousand in camp--when they were gotten together,
which was about the 18th, the Second Kentucky returning then from
Fayetteville. Several hundred men, however, were dismounted, and totally
unarmed and unequipped. This force was so unwieldy, as one brigade, that
General Morgan determined to divide it into two parts, which should be
organized in all respects as two brigades, and should lack but the
sanction of the General commanding (which he hoped to obtain), to be
such in reality. He accordingly indicated as the commanders of the two
brigades (as I shall call them for the sake of convenience), Colonel
Breckinridge and myself. There was no doubt of Colonel A.R. Johnson's
seniority to all the other colonels, but, for some reason, he positively
declined to accept the command of either brigade, and signified his
willingness to serve in a subordinate capacity.

Instances of senior officers waiving rank, and consenting to serve under
their juniors, were not unfrequent at that period, and continued to
occur in Morgan's command. Such conduct was generous, and prompted by
the manliest and most patriotic motives; but I can not help thinking
that it is an unsafe practice, and one that may lead to very great
injuries to the service in which it commonly obtains. The spirit which
prompted many officers (for instance, who outranked General Morgan), to
serve subordinately to him, because of the influence upon the troops of
his high reputation, and because of his recognized skill, was perhaps, a
proper as well as a chivalric one. But, except where the talent,
character and influence of the junior, are as rare as acknowledged, and
as commanding as in the case of Morgan or of Forrest, it is better for
the senior to assume his legal position. No bad effects ever resulted
from this practice in our command, partly, because it was one which had
a "genius and constitution" of its own, but, chiefly because (I do not
think I am speaking too highly of my old comrades), it was officered by
a class of men of remarkable intelligence, and singular directness as
well as strength of character. But, supposing this custom to prevail,
generally, how apparent are the results prejudicial to discipline and
efficiency, which may be naturally expected to flow from it.

The senior officer who "waives his rank," may do it in perfect good
faith, and believing that the junior whom he consents to serve under,
is, for certain reasons, the most proper man to command--and yet, if
things go wrong, he may not unnaturally complain or advise with an
emphasis and a freedom that may embarrass the commander to whom it is
addressed, and create the most improper feeling among other subordinates
and the men. Or if matters do not go so far as this, there may yet arise
a regret, in the mind of the officer who has relinquished his right to
command, when he sees, or thinks he sees, evidences of incompetency in
the conduct of the other--and a corresponding jealousy may be thus
awakened in the mind of the junior commanding--and that harmony which is
so necessary to efficiency may become impaired. Independently of these
considerations, there is the fact that this condition is abnormal and
highly irregular. The men and subaltern officers will recognize it to be
so, and it may become more difficult to maintain the requisite
subordination and respect for rank. It is a great deal better than to
follow this practice--to adopt and run almost to extremes, the system of
rapid promotion for merit and distinguished conduct. The probable evils
of the one practice, which have been indicated, can prevail under no
system where every man fills his legitimate place. There was some
discussion as to whether Cluke or Breckinridge should command one of the
brigades, after Johnson declined. It was a mooted question, whether
Cluke's rank as Colonel dated from the period at which he received his
commission to raise a regiment, or from the period at which his regiment
became filled. In the former case, he would rank Breckinridge; in the
latter, he would not. None of us, then, (with the exception of Johnson),
had received our commissions, although our rank was recognized.

There was no wrangle for the position, however, between these officers,
as might be inferred from my language. On the contrary, each at first
declined, and urged the appointment of the other. General Morgan settled
the matter by appointing Breckinridge.

The first brigade (mine) was composed of the Second Kentucky,
Lieut.-Colonel Hutchinson, commanding; Gano's regiment, the Third
Kentucky, Lieut.-Colonel Huffman commanding (Gano was absent on
furlough); Cluke's regiment, the Eighth Kentucky, Colonel Leroy S. Cluke
commanding; Palmer's battery of four pieces (two twelve-pounder
howitzers, and two six-pounder guns,) was attached to this brigade. The
second brigade (Breckinridge's) was composed of his own regiment, the
Ninth Kentucky, Lieutenant-Colonel Stoner commanding; Johnson's
regiment, the Tenth Kentucky, Colonel Johnson commanding; Chenault's
regiment, the Eleventh Kentucky, Colonel Chenault commanding; and
Bennett's regiment, the Fourteenth Tennessee, Colonel Bennett
commanding. To this brigade was attached one three-inch Parrot,
commanded by Captain White, and the two mountain howitzers under
Lieutenant Corbett.

On the 21st of December, the division was in camp at and around
Alexandria. The first brigade was reviewed on that day, and numbered, of
cavalry, eighteen hundred effective men. There were in its ranks more
men than that number. The Second Kentucky mustered seven hundred and
forty, and the other two regiments about six hundred each. There were in
this brigade, however, nearly two hundred men unarmed but mounted. The
entire strength of the brigade, of armed and unarmed men, including
Palmer's battery, was very little short of two thousand and one hundred
men. The second brigade was, including artillerists, about eighteen
hundred strong, but it, too, had some unarmed men in its ranks. These
fellows without guns were not so useless as might be imagined, for (when
it was satisfactorily ascertained that it was not their own fault that
they were unarmed, and that they could be trusted) they were employed as
horse-holders. The division, therefore, including Quirk's "scouts,"
reporting to division headquarters, numbered quite three thousand and
nine hundred. In General Morgan's report of the expedition undertaken
into Kentucky immediately after this organization, the strength of the
division is estimated at thirty-one hundred armed men. This was a
mistake upon the part of his Adjutant-General, which I sought to correct
at the time. The proportion of men without guns was nothing like so
large. Just before the march was taken up for Kentucky from Alexandria,
Colonel Greenfell, still acting as General Morgan's Adjutant-General up
to that date, resigned his position and declined to accompany him upon
the expedition. The cause of his dissatisfaction was the appointment of
Breckinridge to the command of the second brigade. A great many believed
and said that he was disappointed at not obtaining command of the
brigade himself, but I am satisfied that such was not the case. It is
difficult to understand how a practical man can behave as he did on that
occasion, unless his own interests, or those of a friend, are involved,
and there is, consequently, a general disposition to attribute such
conduct to interested motives. I talked to Greenfell, and believe that
he had, from some cause, conceived a violent dislike for Breckinridge,
and, moreover, he had come to regard an interference in the affairs of
the command as his right. At any rate when General Morgan declined to
accept his suggestions upon the subject, and requested him to desist
from agitating it, he became so thoroughly disgusted that he declined to
act longer with the command. As he was not regularly in the Confederate
service, there was nothing to be done but let him go when and where he

Captain W.M. Maginis, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General of the second
brigade, was immediately appointed in his stead. This officer was very
young, but had seen a great deal of arduous service. He had served in
the infantry for more than a year; he had seen Belmont, Shiloh,
Farmington, and Perryville, had behaved with the greatest gallantry, and
had won the encomiums of his chiefs. He had been assigned to staff duty
just before he came to us, and had acted in the capacity of ordnance
officer, I believe, for General Walthall, an officer who, of the first
class himself, would have only the same sort about him. He had been
assigned upon General Morgan's application (at my urgent request) to his
command, and, as has been stated, was on duty with the first brigade,
when General Morgan suddenly stood in need of an Assistant
Adjutant-General, and took him, intending to keep him temporarily. He
was so much pleased with him that, upon his return from this expedition,
he procured his commission in the Adjutant and Inspector General's
Department, and his assignment to him. He remained with General Morgan
until his death.

On the morning of December 22nd, the division took up its march for
Kentucky. General Bragg desired that the roads which Rosecrans had
repaired in rear should again be broken, and the latter's communications
with Louisville destroyed. The service was an important one; it was meet
that, for many reasons, the expedition, the first Confederate movement
into Kentucky since Bragg's retreat, should be a brilliant one. General
Morgan had under his command at that time the largest force he ever
handled, previously or afterward, and he would not have permitted them
to have stopped him. A writer from whom I have frequently had occasion
to quote, gives a description of the commencement of the march, so
spirited and so graphic, that it will serve my purpose better than any
that I can write myself. He says:

"The regiments had been carefully inspected by the Surgeons and
Inspectors, and every sick soldier and disabled horse had been taken
from their regiments, and the stout men and serviceable horses only were
permitted to accompany the expedition. The men were never in higher
spirits or more joyous humor; well armed, well mounted, in good
discipline, with perfect confidence in their commander, and with hearts
longing for the hills and valleys, the blue-grass and woods of dear old
Kentucky; they made the air vocal with their cheers and laughter and
songs and sallies of wit. The division had never operated together
before the brigades had first been organized, therefore every regiment
was filled with the spirit of emulation, and every man was determined to
make his the crack regiment of Morgan's cavalry. It was a magnificent
body of men--the pick of the youth of Kentucky. No commander ever led a
nobler corps--no corps was ever more nobly led. It was splendidly
officered by gallant, dashing, skillful men in the flush of early
manhood; for of the seven Colonels who commanded those seven regiments,
five became brigade commanders--the other two gave their lives to the
cause--Colonel Bennett dying early in January, 1863, of a disease
contracted while in the army, and Colonel Chenault being killed on July
4, 1863, gallantly leading his men in a fruitless charge upon
breastworks at Green river bridge. This December morning was a mild,
beautiful fall day; clear, cloudless sky; bright sun; the camps in cedar
evergreens, where the birds chirped and twittered; it felt and looked
like spring. The reveille sounded before daybreak; the horses were fed,
breakfast gotten. Very early came the orders from General Morgan
announcing the organization of the brigades, intimating the objects of
the expedition, and ordering the column to move at nine o'clock. Duke in
advance. As the order was read to a regiment the utmost deathless
silence of disciplined soldiers standing at attention was broken only by
the clear voice of the Adjutant reading the precise but stirring words
of the beloved hero-chieftain; then came the sharp word of command
dismissing the parade; and the woods trembled with the wild hurrahs of
the half crazy men, and regiment answered regiment, cheer re-echoed
cheer, over the wide encampment. Soon came Duke, and his staff, and his
column--his own old gallant regiment at the head--and slowly regiment
after regiment filed out of the woods into the road, lengthening the
long column.

"After some two hours march, a cheer began in the extreme rear and
rapidly came forward, increasing in volume and enthusiasm, and soon
General Morgan dashed by, with his hat in his hand, bowing and smiling
his thanks for these flattering cheers, followed by a large and well
mounted staff. Did you ever see Morgan on horseback? If not, you missed
one of the most impressive figures of the war. Perhaps no General in
either army surpassed him in the striking proportion and grace of his
person, and the ease and grace of his horsemanship. Over six feet in
hight, straight as an Indian, exquisitely proportioned, with the air and
manner of a cultivated and polished gentleman, and the bearing of a
soldier, always handsomely and tastefully dressed, and elegantly
mounted, he was the picture of the superb cavalry officer. Just now he
was in the hight of his fame and happiness; married only ten days before
to an accomplished lady, made Brigadier justly but very tardily; in
command of the finest cavalry division in the Southern army; beloved
almost to idolatry by his men, and returning their devotion by an
extravagant confidence in their valor and prowess; conscious of his own
great powers, yet wearing his honors with the most admirable modesty,
and just starting upon a carefully conceived but daring expedition, he
was perhaps in the zenith of his fame, and though he added many a green
leaf to his chaplet, many a bright page to his history, yet his future
was embittered by the envy, jealously, and hatred that then were not

Marching all day the column reached Sand Shoals ford on the Cumberland
just before dark. The first brigade crossed, and encamped for the night
on the northern bank of the river. The second brigade encamped between
the Caney Fork and the Cumberland.

On the next day, moving at daylight, a march of some thirty miles was
accomplished; it was impossible to march faster than this, and keep the
guns up. On the 24th, the division went into camp within five miles of
Glasgow. Breckinridge sent Captain Jones of Company A, Ninth Kentucky to
discover if all was clear in Glasgow, and I received instructions to
support him with two companies under Major Steele of the Third Kentucky
who was given one of the little howitzers. Jones reached the town after
dark, and just as he entered it a Michigan battalion came into it also
from the other side. Captain Jones encountered this battalion in the
center of the town, and in the skirmish which ensued he was mortally
wounded. He was an excellent officer and as brave as steel. Poor Will
Webb was also mortally wounded--only a private soldier, but a cultivated
and a thorough gentleman; brave, and kindly, and genial. A truer heart
never beat in a soldier's bosom, and a nobler soul was never released by
a soldier's death. First Lieutenant Samuel O. Peyton was severely
wounded--shot in the arm and in the thigh. He was surrounded by foes who
pressed him hard, after he was wounded, to capture him. He shot one
assailant, and grappling with another, brought him to the ground and
cut his throat with a pocket knife. Lieutenant Peyton was by birth,
education, and character a thorough gentleman. Perfectly good natured
and inoffensive--except when provoked or attacked--and then--he
dispatched his affair and his man in a quiet, expeditious and thorough
manner. The Federal cavalry retreated from the town by the Louisville

On the next morning--Christmas--the division moved by the Louisville
pike. Captain Quirk, supported by Lieutenant Hays with the advance-guard
of the first brigade, fifty strong, cleared the road of some Federal
cavalry, which tried to contest our advance, driving it so rapidly, that
the column had neither to delay its march, nor make any formation for
fight. In the course of the day, Quirk charged a battalion, dismounted,
and formed across the road. He went through them, and as he dashed back
again, with his head bent low, he caught two balls on the top of it,
which, singularly (coming from different directions), traced a neat and
accurate angle upon his scalp.

Although the wounds were not serious at all, they would have stunned
most men; but a head built in County Kerry, with especial reference to
shillelagh practice, scorned to be affected by such trifles.
Breckinridge sent Johnson's regiment during the day toward
Munfordsville, to induce the belief that we were going to attack that
place. Colonel Johnson executed his mission with perfect success. That
night we crossed Green river. The first brigade being in advance had
little trouble comparatively, although Captain Palmer had to exert
energy and skill to get his battery promptly across; but the second
brigade reaching the bank of the river late at night had great
difficulty in getting across.

The division encamped in the latter part of the night at Hammondsville.
A day before, just upon the bank of the river, the most enormous wagon,
perhaps, ever seen in the State of Kentucky, was captured. It was loaded
with an almost fabulous amount and variety of Christmas nicknacks; some
enterprising settler had prepared it for the Glasgow market, intending
to make his fortune with it. It was emptied at an earlier date, in
shorter time, and by customers who proposed to themselves a much longer
credit than he anticipated. There was enough in it to furnish every mess
in the division something to eke out a Christmas supper with.

On the next day the column resumed its march amid the steadily pouring
rain, and moved through mud which threatened to ingulf every thing,
toward the Louisville and Nashville railroad. Hutchinson was sent, with
several companies of the Second Kentucky, and the Third Kentucky, to
destroy the bridge at Bacon creek. There was not more than one hundred
men, at the most, in the stockade which protected the bridges, and he
was expected to reduce the stockade with the two pieces of artillery,
which he carried with him, but there was a large force at Munfordsville,
only eight miles from Bacon creek, and General Morgan gave him troops
enough to repulse any movement of the enemy from Munfordsville to save
the bridge. A battalion of cavalry came out from Munfordsville, but was
easily driven back by Companies B and D, of the Second Kentucky, under
Captain Castleman. Although severely shelled, the garrison held out
stubbornly, rejecting every demand for their surrender. Hutchinson
became impatient, which was his only fault as an officer, and ordered
the bridge to be fired at all hazards--it was within less than a hundred
yards of the stockade, and commanded by the rifles of the garrison. It
was partially set on fire, but the rain would extinguish it unless
constantly supplied with fuel. Several were wounded in the attempt, and
Captain Wolfe, of the Third Kentucky, who boldly mounted the bridge, was
shot in the head, and lay unconscious for two hours, every one thinking
him dead, until the beating rain reviving him, he returned to duty,
suffering no further inconvenience. Some of the men got behind the
abutment of the bridge, and thrust lighted pieces of wood upon it, which
the men in the stockade frequently shot away. At length General Morgan
arrived upon the ground, and sent a message to the garrison in his own
name, offering them liberal terms if they would surrender. As soon as
they were satisfied that it was indeed Morgan who confronted them, they
surrendered. This was a very obstinate defense. A number of shells burst
within the stockade. Some shots penetrated the walls and an old barn,
which had been foolishly included within the work, was knocked to
pieces, the falling timbers stunning some of the men.

The stockade at Nolin surrendered to me without a fight. The commandant
agreed to surrender if I would show him a certain number of pieces of
artillery. They were shown him, but when I pressed him to comply with
his part of the bargain, he hesitated, and said he would return and
consult his officers. I think that (as two of the pieces shown him were
the little howitzers, which I happened to have temporarily) he thought
he could hold out for a while, and gild his surrender with a fight. He
was permitted to return, but not until, in his presence, the artillery
was planted close to the work, and the riflemen posted to command, as
well as possible, the loop-holes. He came to us again, in a few minutes,
with a surrender. The Nolin bridge was at once destroyed, and also
several culverts and cow-gaps within three or four miles of that point.

The division encamped that night within six miles of Elizabethtown. On
the morning of the 27th, the division moved upon Elizabethtown. This
place was held by about six hundred men, under a Lieutenant Colonel
Smith. As we neared the town, a note was brought to General Morgan, from
Colonel Smith, who stated that he accurately knew his (Morgan's)
strength, had him surrounded, and could compel his surrender, and that
he (Smith) trusted that a prompt capitulation would spare him the
disagreeable necessity of using force. The missive containing this
proposal--the most sublimely audacious I ever knew to emanate from a
Federal officer, who, as a class, rarely trusted to audacity and bluff,
but to odds and the _concours_ of force--this admirable document was
brought by a Dutch Corporal, who spoke very uncertain English, but was
positive on the point of surrender. General Morgan admired the spirit
which dictated this bold effort at bluffing, but returned for answer an
assurance that he knew exactly the strength of the Federal force in the
town, and that Lieutenant Colonel Smith was in error, in supposing that
he (Smith) had him (Morgan) surrounded; that, on the contrary, he had
the honor to state, the position of the respective forces was exactly
the reverse. He concluded by demanding him to surrender. Colonel Smith
replied that it was "the business of an United States officer to fight,
and not to surrender." During the parley, the troops had been placed in
position. Breckinridge was given the left of the road, and the first
brigade the right. I dismounted Cluke's regiment, and moved it upon the
town, with its left flank keeping close to the road. I threw several
companies, mounted, to the extreme right of my line, and the rear of the
town. Breckinridge deployed his own regiment, under Lieutenant Colonel
Stoner, immediately on the left of the road, stretching mounted
companies also to his left, and around the town.

The bulk of both brigades was held in reserve. The Parrot gun was placed
in the pike; it was opened as soon as the last message from Colonel
Smith was received; and, as suddenly as if its flash had ignited them,
Palmer's four guns roared out from the hill on the left of the road,
about six hundred yards from the town, where General Morgan himself was
superintending their fire. Cluke moved warily, as two or three stockades
were just in his front, which were thought to be occupied. When he
entered the town, he had little fighting to do, and that on the extreme
right. Stoner dashed in on the left with the Ninth Kentucky, at a swift
run. He burst into the houses occupied by the enemy at the edge of the
town, and with slight loss, compelled the inmates to surrender. The
enemy had no artillery, and ours was battering the bricks about their
heads in fine style. Palmer, who was a capital officer--cool and
clearheaded--concentrated his fire upon the building where the flag
floated, and the enemy seemed thickest, and moved his six pounders into
the very edge of the town. I sent for one of the howitzers, and when it
came under Lieutenant Corbett, it was posted upon the railroad
embankment, where it crossed the road. Here it played like a fire engine
upon the headquarters building. Breckinridge posted Company A, of his
regiment, to protect the howitzer, making the men lie down behind the

The enemy could not well fire upon the gunners from the windows, on
account of the situation of the piece, but after each discharge would
rush out into the street and open upon them. Then the company lying
behind the embankment would retaliate on the enemy in a style which took
away their appetite for the game. It happened, however, that a staff
officer of General Morgan, passed that way, and conceiving that this
company was doing no good, ordered it, with more zeal than discretion,
to charge. The men instinctively obeyed. As they ran forward, they came
within fair view of the windows, and a heavy volley was opened upon
them, fortunately doing little damage. Their officers, knowing that the
man who gave the order, had no right to give it, called them back, and
they returned in some confusion, the enemy seized the moment, and
flocking out of the houses poured a sweeping fire down the street. The
gunners were driven away from the howitzers, and two or three hit.
Lieutenant Corbett, however, maintained his place, seated on the
carriage, while the bullets were actually hopping from the reinforce of
the piece. He soon called his men back, and resumed his fire.

It was as fine an exhibition of courage as I ever saw. Shortly after
this, there seemed to be a commotion among the garrison, and the white
flag was shown from one of the houses. Major Llewellyn, Division
Quartermaster, immediately galloped into the town, reckless of the
firing, waving a white handkerchief. Colonel Smith was not ready to
surrender, but his men did not wait on him and poured out of the houses
and threw down their arms. Among the fruits of this victory, were, six
hundred fine rifles, more than enough to arm all of our men who were
without guns. The entire garrison was captured. Some valuable stores
were also taken. On the next day, the 28th, the command moved leisurely
along the railroad, destroying it thoroughly. The principal objects of
the expedition, were the great trestle works at Muldraugh's hill, only a
short distance apart. The second brigade captured the garrison defending
the lower trestle six hundred strong; the first brigade captured the
garrison of the upper trestle two hundred strong. Both of the immense
structures were destroyed and hours were required to thoroughly burn
them. These trestles were, respectively, eighty or ninety feet high--and
each, five hundred feet long.

Cane Run bridge, within twenty-eight miles of Louisville, was destroyed
by a scouting party. Two bridges on the Lebanon branch, recently
reconstructed, were also burned. Altogether, General Morgan destroyed on
this expedition, two thousand two hundred and fifty feet of bridging,
three depots, three water stations, and a number of culverts and
cattle-guards. The impression which prevails in some quarters, that
General Morgan left the road on account of the pursuit of Colonel
Harlan, is entirely erroneous. With the destruction of the great
trestles at Muldraugh's hill, his contract with the road expired and he
prepared to return. He would have liked to have paid the region about
Lexington another visit, but General Bragg had urged him not to delay
his return. Harlan was moving slowly after us; but for the delay
consequent upon the destruction of the road, he would never have gotten
near us and, but for an accident, he would never have caught up with any
portion of the column, after we had quitted work on the railroad.

On the night of the 28th, the division had encamped on the southern bank
of the Rolling fork. On the morning of the 29th, it commenced crossing
that stream, which was much swollen. The bulk of the troops and the
artillery were crossed at a ford a mile or two above the point at which
the road from Elizabethtown to Bardstown along which we had been
encamped, crosses the Rolling fork. The pickets, rear-guard, and some
detachments, left in the rear for various purposes, in all about three
hundred men, were collected to cross at two fords--deep and difficult to
approach and to emerge from. Cluke's regiment, with two pieces of
artillery, had been sent under Major Bullock to burn the railroad bridge
over the Rolling fork, five miles below the point where we were. A
court-martial had been in session for several days, trying Lieutenant
Colonel Huffman, for alleged violations of the terms granted by General
Morgan to the prisoners at the surrender of the Bacon creek stockade.

Both brigade commanders, and three regimental commanders, Cluke,
Hutchinson, and Stoner, were officers or members of this court. Just
after the court had finally adjourned, acquitting Colonel Huffman, and
we were leaving a brick house, on the southern side of the river and
about six hundred yards from its bank, where our last session had been
held, the bursting of a shell a mile or two in the rear caught our ears.
A few videttes had been left there until every thing should have gotten
fairly across. Some of them were captured; others brought the
information that the enemy was approaching. This was about eleven A.M.
We knew that a force of infantry and cavalry was cautiously following
us, but did not know that it was so near. It was at once decided to
throw into line the men who had not yet crossed, and hold the fords, if
possible, until Cluke's regiment could be brought back. If we crossed
the river leaving that regiment on the southern side, and it did not
succeed in crossing, or if it crossed immediately and yet the enemy
pressed on vigorously after us, beating it to Bardstown--in either event
it would be cut off from us, and its capture even would be probable. No
one knew whether there was a ford lower down at which it could cross,
and all feared that if we retreated promptly the enemy would closely
follow us. I, therefore, sent a message to General Morgan, informing him
of what was decided upon, and also sent a courier to Major Bullock,
directing him to return with the regiment as soon as possible.

The ground on which we were posted was favorable to the kind of game we
were going to play. Upon each flank were thick woods extending for more
than a mile back from the river. Between these woods was a large meadow,
some three hundred yards wide, and stretching from the river bank for
six or eight hundred yards to a woods again in the back ground, and
which almost united the other two. In this meadow and some two hundred
yards from the river was a singular and sudden depression like a
terrace, running straight across it. Behind this the men who were posted
in the meadow were as well protected as if they had been behind an
earthwork. On the left the ground was so rugged as well as so wooded
that the position there was almost impregnable. There was, however, no
adequate protection for the horses afforded at any point of the line
except the extreme left.

The Federal force advancing upon us consisted of nearly five thousand
infantry, two thousand cavalry, and several pieces of artillery. This
force, which, if handled vigorously and skillfully, if its march had
even been steadily kept up, would have, in spite of every effort we
could have made, swept us into the turbid river at our backs, approached
cautiously and very slowly. Fortunate as this was for us--indeed, it was
all that saved us--the suspense yet became so sickening, as their long
line tediously crept upon us and all around us, that I would almost have
preferred, after an hour of it had elapsed, that Harlan had made a
fierce attack.

We were not idle during this advance, but the skirmishers were keeping
busy in the edges of the woods on our flanks, and the men in the meadow
were showing themselves with the most careful regard to an exaggerated
idea being formed of their numbers. When the enemy reached the edge of
the woods which fringed the southern extremity of the meadow, and had
pressed our skirmishers out of it and away from the brick-house and its
out-buildings, the artillery was brought up and four or five guns were
opened upon us. Just after this fire commenced, the six-pounders sent
with Bullock galloped upon the ground, and a defiant yell a short
distance to the right told that Cluke's regiment, "The war-dogs," were
near at hand. I was disinclined to use the six-pounders after they came,
because I know that they could not effectively answer the fire of the
enemy's Parrots, and I wished to avoid every thing which might warm the
affair up into a hot fight, feeling pretty certain that when that
occurred, we would all, guns and men, "go up" together. Major Austin,
Captain Logan, and Captain Pendleton, commanding respectively
detachments from the Ninth, Third, and Eighth Kentucky, had conducted
the operations of our line up to this time with admirable coolness and

The guns were sent across the meadow rapidly, purposely attracting the
attention of the enemy as much as possible, to the upper ford. A road
was cut through the rough ground for them, and they were crossed with
all possible expedition. Cluke threw five companies of his regiment into
line; the rest were sent over the river. We now wished to cross with the
entire force that was on the southern side, but this was likely to prove
a hazardous undertaking with an enemy so greatly out-numbering us lying
just in our front. A courier arrived just about that time from General
Morgan with an order to me to withdraw. In common with quite a number of
others, I devoutly wished I could. The enemy's guns--the best served of
any, I think, that I ever saw in action--were playing havoc with the
horses (four were killed by one shell), and actually bursting shells in
the lower ford with such frequency as to render the crossing at it by a
column out of the question.

Our line was strengthened by Cluke's five companies to nearly eight
hundred men, but when the enemy moved upon us again, his infantry
deployed in a long line, strongly supported, with a skirmish line in
front, all coming on with bayonets glistening, the guns redoubling their
fire, and the cavalry column on the right flank (of their line)
apparently ready to pounce on us too, and then the river surging at our
backs, my blood, I confess, ran cold.

The final moment seemed at hand when that gallant rear-guard must give
way and be driven into the stream, or be bayoneted on its banks. But not
one fear or doubt seemed to trouble for a moment our splendid fellows.
They welcomed the coming attack with a glad and defiant cheer and could
scarcely be restrained from rushing to meet it. But we were saved by the
action of the enemy.

The advancing line was withdrawn (unaccountably to us) as soon as it had
come under our fire. It did not recoil--it perhaps had not lost a man.
It was at once decided that a show of attack, upon our part, should be
made on the center, and I ordered Captain Pendleton to charge upon our
left, with three companies, and silence a battery which was annoying us
very greatly; under cover of these demonstrations we had determined to
withdraw. Just after this arrangement was made, I was wounded in the
head by the explosion of a shell, which burst in a group of us true to
its aim. The horse of my acting Aide-de-camp, Lieutenant Moreland, was
killed by a fragment of it. Colonel Breckinridge at once assumed
command, and energetically and skillfully effected the safe withdrawal
of the entire force. Pendleton accomplished by his charge all that was
expected. He killed several cannoneers and drove all from the guns,
silencing them for a quarter of an hour. He, himself, was badly wounded
by the fragment of a shell which burst short.

Aided by this diversion and the one made upon the front, every thing was
suddenly thrown into columns and dashed across the river, leaving the
army on the other side cheated of its prey which it ought to have
secured. The troops were gotten across the more readily because of the
discovery of a third ford in the rear of Cluke's position. It was
accidentally found at the last moment. Our loss was very slight, except
in horses. The enemy did not attempt pursuit. No eulogium could do
justice to the conduct of the men engaged in this affair--nothing but
their perfect steadiness would have enabled any skill to have rescued
them from the danger. Captains Pendleton, Logan, Page, and Hines, and
Major Austin, deserved the warmest praise. Cluke acted, as he did always
where courage and soldierly conduct were required, in a manner that
added to his reputation. Breckinridge's skill and vigor, however, were
the chief themes of conversation and praise.

On that night the division encamped at Bardstown. Colonel Chenault, on
the same day, destroyed the stockade at Boston, and marched on after the
division at Bardstown.

Leaving that place on the 30th, the column reached Springfield at 3 P.M.
"Adam Johnson had been ordered to move rapidly in advance, and attack
the pickets in front of Lebanon; which he had executed with such vigor
as to make Colonel Hoskins believe he intended to attack him, and he
called in a regiment of cavalry stationed near New Market, thereby
opening the way for us to get out without a fight."

At Springfield General Morgan learned that his situation was hazardous,
and one that would elicit all of his great powers of strategy and
audacity. The enemy had withdrawn the bulk of his troops from the
Southern part of the State, and had concentrated them at Lebanon, only
eight miles distant from his then position, and right in his path. This
force was nearly eight thousand strong and well supplied with artillery.
He had also received intelligence that a large force was marching from
Glasgow to intercept him at Columbia, should he succeed in evading the
force at Lebanon. Harlan was not so far in his rear that he could afford
to dally. "In this emergency," he said, "I determined to make a detour
to the right of Lebanon, and by a night march to conceal my movements
from the enemy, outstrip the column moving from Glasgow to Columbia, and
cross the Cumberland before it came within striking distance." Shortly
before midnight, therefore, on the night of the 30th, the column moved
from Springfield, turning off from the pike on to a little, rarely
traveled, by-road, which passes between Lebanon and St. Mary's. Numerous
fires were built in front of Lebanon, and kept up all night to induce
the belief that the division was encamped there and would attack in the
morning. The night was intensely dark and bitterly cold, the guides were
inefficient, and the column floundered along blindly; the men worn out
and half frozen, the horses stumbling at every step--nothing preserved
organization and carried the column along but the will of the great
Captain in the front and the unerring sagacity which guided him. It is
common to hear men who served in Morgan's cavalry through all of its
career of trial and hardship, refer to the night march around Lebanon as
the most trying scene of their entire experience.

Morning found the column only eight miles from Springfield, and two and
a half from Lebanon. At that place, however, the garrison were drawn up,
confidently expecting attack from another direction. By 1 P.M., of the
31st, the column reached the top of Muldraugh's hill, on the Lebanon and
Columbia road, and soon after nightfall was in Campbellsville.

Just after the column had crossed the hill, a hand-to-hand fight
occurred between Captain Alexander Treble and Lieutenant George Eastin,
on the one side, and Colonel Halisey, of the Federal cavalry, and one of
the latter's Lieutenants, on the other. Treble and Eastin had, for some
purpose, fallen behind the rear-guard and were chased by Halisey's
regiment, which was following us to pick up stragglers. Being both well
mounted, they easily kept ahead of their pursuers, until, looking back
as they cantered down a long straight stretch in the road, they saw
within three hundred yards, perhaps, of them, four men who were far in
advance of the rest of the pursuers.

Treble and Eastin were both high-strung men and they did not like to
continue to run from that number of enemies. So as soon as they reached
a point in the road where it suddenly turned, they halted a few yards
from the turn. They expected to shoot two of the enemy as soon as they
came in sight and thought that they would then have little trouble with
the others. But it so happened that only two, Halisey and his
Lieutenant, made their appearance; the other two, for some reason,
halted; and what was stranger, Treble and Eastin, although both
practiced shots, missed their men. Their antagonists dashed at them and
several shots were fired without effect. The combatants soon grappled,
man to man, and fell from their horses. Treble forced the head of his
man into a pool of water just by the side of the road and, having half
drowned him, accepted his surrender. Eastin mastered Halisey and,
putting his pistol to his head, bade him surrender. Halisey did so, but,
still retaining his pistol, as Eastin let him arise, he fired, grazing
the latter's cheek, who immediately killed him. Eastin brought off his
saber, which he kept as a trophy.

In Campbellsville, luckily, there was a large supply of commissary
stores, which were immediately issued to the division. Leaving early on
the next morning, the 1st of January, 1863, the column reached Columbia
at three P.M. All that day the roaring of artillery was distinctly heard
by many men in the column. There was no cannonading going on--at least,
in the volume which they declared that they heard--except at
Murfreesboro', far distant, where the battle between the armies of Bragg
and Rosecrans was raging; but it seems incredible that even heavy guns
could have been heard at that distance.

Just before night fall, the column moved from Columbia and marched all
night--a dark, bitter night and a terrible march--to Burkesville. The
Cumberland was crossed on the 2nd and the danger was over. The division
then moved leisurely along, through Livingston, crossing Caney Fork at
Sligo Ferry, and reached Smithville on the 5th. Here it halted for
several days to rest and recruit men and horses, both terribly used up
by the raid.

The results of this expedition were the destruction of the railroads
which has been described, the capture of eighteen hundred and
seventy-seven prisoners, of a large number of stores, arms, and
government property of every description. Our loss was only twenty-six
in killed and wounded (only two killed), and sixty-four missing.

During our absence, the sanguinary battle of Murfreesboro' was fought,
ending in the withdrawal of Bragg to Tullahoma, much, it is claimed, to
the surprise of his adversary. General Bragg had sent officers to Morgan
(who never reached him until it was too late) with instructions to him
to hasten back, and attack the enemy in the rear. It was unfortunate
that these orders were not received. To do General Bragg justice, he
managed better than almost any commander of the Confederate armies to
usefully employ his cavalry, both in campaigns and battles. In the
battle of Murfreesboro', he made excellent use of the cavalry on the
field. Wharton and Buford, under command of Wheeler, three times made
the circuit of the Federal army and were splendidly efficient; at one
time Wheeler was master of all between the immediate rear of Rosecrans
and Nashville.

Perhaps Morgan's raid was delayed a little too long, as well as that of
Forrest into Western Tennessee (undertaken about the same time, and in
prisoners, captures of all sorts, and interruption of the enemy's
communications, as successful as Morgan's); but these expeditions drew
off and kept employed a large number of troops whose presence in the
great battle would have vastly aided Rosecrans.

The Confederate Congress thought this expedition worthy of recognition
and compliment, and passed a joint resolution of thanks, as follows:

    "_Resolved by the Congress of the Confederate States of America_:
    That the thanks of Congress are due, and are hereby tendered to Gen.
    John H. Morgan, and the officers and men of his command, for their
    varied, heroic, and invaluable services in Tennessee and Kentucky,
    immediately preceding the battle before Murfreesboro'--services
    which have conferred upon their authors fame as enduring as the
    records of the struggle which they have so brilliantly illustrated.
    Approved May 17, 1863."


After the battle of Murfreesboro', and the retreat of the arms to
Tullahoma, at which place General Bragg's headquarters were established,
the infantry went into winter quarters, and General Bragg protected the
front and flanks of his army with the fine cavalry corps of Van Dorn and
Wheeler. The former was assigned to the left, making headquarters at
Columbia, and guarding the lines far to the west, while Wheeler had the
right. This latter corps was composed of the divisions of Morgan,
Wharton, and Martin.

Although the armies were idle for months after this disposition was
made, the cavalry was never so. General Wheeler had been placed in
command of his corps by General Bragg, probably more on account of the
dislike entertained by the latter to certain other officers, than
because of the partiality he felt for him. The reputation of this
officer, although deservedly high, hardly entitled him to command some
of the men who were ordered to report to him. He became subsequently a
much abler commander than he was at the time of his preferment, but he
always exhibited some very high qualities. He was vigilant and
energetic, thoroughly instructed in the duties of his profession, and
perfectly conversant with the elaborate details of organization and
military business. While he did not display the originality and the
instinctive strategical sagacity which characterized Morgan and Forrest,
he was perhaps better fitted than either for the duties which devolve
upon the commander of large bodies of cavalry, permanently attached to
the army and required to conform, in all respects, to its movements and


Thus, it was often said of him, that "he is not a good raider, but
there is no better man to watch the front of the army." General Wheeler
possessed in an eminent degree, all of the attributes of the gentleman.
He was brave as a Paladin, just, high-toned, and exceedingly courteous.
He was full of fire and enterprise, but, while thoroughly impressed with
the necessity of order and discipline, was singularly unfortunate in
maintaining them--perhaps, because he did not keep strict enough rule
with his officers immediately next him in rank. He labored under great
disadvantages, on account of the violent and unjust prejudices excited
against him by General Bragg's preference for him and his rapid
promotion. General Morgan said to him, when first ordered to report to
him, that he (Morgan), had wished to be left free, acting independently
of all orders except from the Commander-in-Chief, but that since he was
to be subordinate to a corps commander, he would prefer him to any
other. General Morgan always entertained this opinion, and I have reason
to believe that General Wheeler reluctantly assumed command of his

The history of the command, for the winter of 1863, properly commences
at the date of the return from the raid into Kentucky, described in the
last chapter. The entire division reached Smithville upon the 4th of
January, and remained in the vicinity of that little town and at Sligo
ferry until the 14th. Upon the 14th, the division was marched to
McMinnville, and encamped around that place--where General Morgan's
headquarters were then established. The first brigade lay between
McMinnville and Woodbury, at which latter point Lieutenant Colonel
Hutchinson was stationed with the Second Kentucky. The weather was
intensely cold, and all of the men who were unprovided with the means of
adequately sheltering themselves, suffered severely. Their ingenuity was
taxed to the utmost to supply the lack of cooking utensils, and it
frequently happened that they had very little to cook.

Fortunately, a great many blankets had been obtained upon the last raid,
and almost every man had gotten a gum cloth. These latter were
stretched over the rail shanties which each mess would put up; and thus
covered the sloping, shed-like structures (built of the fence rails),
made very tolerable substitutes for tents, and with the help of the
rousing fires, which were built at the front of them, were by no means
uncomfortable. Very little system was observed in the "laying out" of
the encampment--men and horses were all huddled together, for the men
did not fancy any arrangement which separated them by the slightest
distance from their horses, and the latter were always tied close to the
lairs of their masters.

Notwithstanding the lack of method and the apparently inextricable
confusion of these camps, their inmates could be gotten under arms and
formed in line of battle, with a celerity that would have appeared
marvelous to the uninitiated.

Colonel Chenault was ordered, in the latter part of January, to Clinton
county, Kentucky, to picket against a dash of the enemy from that
direction. On the 23rd of January, Colonel Breckinridge was ordered to
move to Liberty, eleven miles from Smithville and about thirty from
McMinnville, with three regiments--the Third Kentucky, under Lieutenant
Colonel Huffman, the Ninth Kentucky, under Lieutenant Colonel Stoner,
and the Ninth Tennessee, under Colonel Ward, who had come to the command
of it after Colonel Bennett's death, Colonel Adam R. Johnson was already
in the vicinity of that place with his regiment, the Tenth Kentucky.
Captain Quirk preceded these regiments with his company, and shortly
after his arrival at Liberty and before he could be supported, he, was
driven away by the enemy. He returned next morning, the enemy having
retreated. The three regiments, under Colonel Breckinridge, occupied the
country immediately in front of Liberty, picketing all of the roads
thoroughly. The enemy were in the habit of sending out strong foraging
parties from Readyville toward Woodbury, and frequent skirmishes
occurred between them and Hutchinson's scouts.

Upon one occasion, Hutchinson, with less than one hundred men, attacked
one of these parties, defeating it with smart loss, and taking nearly
two hundred prisoners and forty or fifty wagons. For this he was
complimented in general orders from army headquarters. It led, however,
in all probability, to disastrous consequences, by inducing the enemy to
employ many more troops in that quarter than he would otherwise have
sent there. This affair occurred a short time previously to the
occupation of Liberty by the force under Colonel Breckinridge, and a
much brisker condition of affairs began to prevail all along the line.
Rosecrans was determined to make his superior numbers tell, at least, in
the immediate vicinity of his army. He inaugurated a system, about this
time, which resulted in the decided improvement of his cavalry. He would
send out a body of cavalry, stronger than any thing it was likely to
encounter, and that it might never be demoralized by a complete
whipping, he would back it by an infantry force, never far in the rear,
and always ready to finish the fight which the cavalry begun. This
method benefited the latter greatly. On the 24th, the Second Kentucky
was attacked at Woodbury by a heavy force of the enemy, and a gallant
fight ensued, ending by an unhappy loss for us, in the death of
Lieutenant Colonel Hutchinson.

From various causes the regiment had become much depleted, and on this
day it was reduced (by the sending off of detachments for necessary
duties), to less than four hundred men. The enemy advanced, over three
thousand strong, principally infantry, but Hutchinson determined not to
give up his position without a hard fight. He posted his men
advantageously upon the brow of a hill in front of the village,
sheltering a portion of his line behind a stone wall. The enemy preceded
his attack with a smart fire of artillery, to which Hutchinson could
make no reply, but was forced to take it patiently. But when the
infantry moved up and came within range of our riflemen, the tables were
(for a little while) completely turned, and they fell fast under a fire
that rarely failed to do deadly execution. The unequal contest lasted
more than an hour; during that time the stone wall was carried by the
enemy, but was retaken by Captain Treble and Lieutenant Lea, charging at
the head of their gallant companies. Much as he needed men, Hutchinson
kept one of his companies idle and out of the fight, but, nevertheless,
producing an effect upon the enemy. He caused Captain Cooper to show the
head of his company, just upon the brow of the hill, so that the enemy
could see it but could not judge correctly of its strength, and might
possibly think it a strong reserve.

Constantly exposed to the fire of artillery and small arms throughout
the fight, this company never flinched, nor moved from its position
until it was ordered to cover the retreat. Then it filed to the left, as
if moving to take the enemy in flank, and when the column had passed,
wheeled into the rear, under cover of the hill. Colonel Hutchinson, at
length, yielded to the conviction that he could not hold his ground
against such odds. The arrival of a fresh company enabled him to retreat
with greater security, and he ordered the line to retire. A portion of
it was pressed hard as it did so, and he rode to the point of danger to
encourage the men by his presence. He had exposed himself during the
action with even more than his usual recklessness, but with impunity.
Just as all seemed over, however, and he was laughing gleefully at his
successful withdrawal, a ball struck him upon the temple, and he fell
dead from his horse. Lieutenant Charles Allen, the gallant acting
Adjutant of the regiment, and Charles Haddox (his orderly), threw his
body upon his horse and carried it off under the hot fire.

Captain Castleman at once assumed command, and successfully conducted
the retreat. The supply of ammunition entirely gave out just after the
retreat was commenced.

Lieutenant Colonel Hutchinson was, beyond all comparison, the best field
officer in Morgan's division, and indeed that I ever saw. Had he lived
and been placed in situations favorable to the development of his
talent, he would, I firmly believe, have become competent to any
command. He had more natural military aptitude, was more instinctively
the soldier; than any man I have ever known. He did not exhibit a
marked partiality and gift for a particular class of military duties, so
much as a capacity and fitness for all. He could make himself thorough
in every thing which the service required. All that a soldier ought to
know, he seemed to learn easily--all the proper feelings of a soldier
seemed his natural impulses. General Morgan felt a warm and manly
admiration for him, and reposed an implicit confidence in his character
and ability. His brother officers loved to enhance his reputation, his
men idolized him. Hutchinson had the frank generous temper, and straight
forward, although shrewd, disposition which wins popularity with
soldiers. While watchful and strict in his discipline, he was kind to
his men, careful of their wants, and invariably shared their fare,
whatever it might be. He was born to be a soldier and to rank high among
soldiers. He loved the excitement of the game of war. He loved honor, as
a western man loves the free air of the prairies--it was his natural
element. It may seem to the general reader that I have extravagantly
eulogized him, but his old-comrades will, perhaps, think that I have
said too little. When killed he was barely twenty-four, but the effects
of exposure and the thoughtful expression of his eye made him appear
several years older. His great size and erect, soldierly bearing made
him a conspicuous figure at all times, and in battle he was superb.
Taller than all around him, his form, of immense muscular power, dilated
with stern excitement--always in the van--he looked, as he sat upon his
colossal gray charger, like some champion of an age when one man could
stay the march of armies. There was some thing in his look which told
his daring nature. His aquiline features, dark glittering eye, close
cropped black hair, and head like a hawk's, erect and alert, indicated
intense energy and invincible courage. Hutchinson's death cast a deep
gloom over his regiment and (as Major Bowles, who then became Lieutenant
Colonel, was absent when it occurred) an unfortunate quarrel broke out
between two of the officers respecting seniority and the right to
command it. This quarrel was espoused by their respective friends, and
a state of feeling was induced which greatly impaired the efficiency of
the regiment, until it was settled by the appointment of Captain Webber
to the Majority. Webber had nothing to do with the dispute, but a
committee appointed by General Morgan to investigate and decide the
claims of all the Captains to seniority, pronounced him senior to both
the contestants.

On the 14th of February, Colonel Cluke was sent into Eastern and Central
Kentucky, for purposes which will be explained in the account which will
be given of his operations. He took with him his own regiment, two
companies under Major Steele--Company A, of the Second, and Companies C
and I of the Third Kentucky--and about seventy men of the Ninth Kentucky
under Lieutenant Colonel Stoner.

These detachments weakened the effective strength of the command at a
time when it was engaged in service which tasked its energies to the
utmost. That portion of "the front" which General Morgan was expected to
protect, may be described as extending from Woodbury, in Tennessee, to
Wayne county, in Kentucky, in an irregular curved line more than one
hundred and twenty miles in length. It was exceedingly important that
this entire line should be well picketed and closely watched, but it was
necessary to give especial attention to that section of it in Tennessee
(which was immediately confronted by formidable numbers of the enemy)
and here, consequently, the greater part of the division was employed.

While it was necessary to keep strict ward at Woodbury, upon the left
flank of this line, and a force adequate to the thorough picketing and
scouting of that region was always kept there--the chief interest
centered at Liberty, for here the efforts of the enemy to break the line
and drive back the forces guarding it, were most frequently and
energetically directed. This little hamlet is situated twenty-nine miles
from Murfreesboro', by the turnpike, and almost due Northeast of it. A
line drawn from Carthage to Woodbury would pass through Liberty, and
the latter is distant some eighteen miles from each. Carthage is a
little east of north, Woodbury a little west of south, from Liberty.
About twenty-one or two miles from Liberty, and west of south, is
Readyville--where was stationed at the time of which I write, a strong
Federal force. Readyville is ten miles from Murfreesboro', and about the
same distance northwest of Woodbury. Lebanon, twenty-six miles from
Liberty by the turnpike which runs through Alexandria, and northwest of
it, was at this time, permanently occupied by neither side, but both
Federal and Confederate troops occasionally held it. Carthage, far upon
the flank and virtually in the rear of the forces at Liberty, was
occupied by a Federal garrison, which varied in strength, as the plans
of the Federal Generals required. It could be reinforced and supplied
from Nashville by the river, upon which it is situated, and it was well

A direct advance upon Liberty from Murfreesboro' promised nothing to the
attacking-party but a fight in which superior numbers might enable it to
dislodge the Confederates, and force them to retreat to Smithville;
thence, if pressed, to McMinnville or Sparta. If such a movement were
seconded by a cooperative one from Carthage, the effect would be only to
hasten the retreat, for the country between Carthage and Smithville is
too rugged for troops to traverse it with ease and dispatch, and they
would necessarily have to march directly to Liberty, or to a point but a
very short distance to the east of it. It may be stated generally that
the result would be the same were an advance made upon Liberty by any or
all of the routes coming in upon the front, and the enemy at Carthage
was dangerous only when the Confederates exposed their rear by an
imprudent advance. A rapid march through Woodbury upon McMinnville might
bring the enemy at any time entirely between Liberty and the army at
Tullahoma, or if he turned and marched through Mechanicsville, dash and
celerity might enable him to cut off the force at Liberty entirely.

When it is remembered that about the only point of importance outside
of Murfreesboro' and Nashville, and short of the line I have described
(with the exception of Lebanon), whether north or south of the river,
was occupied by a Federal garrison large enough to undertake the
offensive, and that the country was traced in every direction by
innumerable practicable roads, it will be clear that sleepless vigilance
and the soundest judgment were necessary to the protection of the
Confederate forces stationed in it. The three regiments encamped in the
vicinity of Liberty numbered about one thousand effectives, and the
other regiments under Colonel Gano, including all which were not
detached in Kentucky, under Colonels Cluke and Chenault, were posted in
the neighborhood of Woodbury and McMinnville, and were about the same
aggregate strength.

During the latter part of January and in February and March, the entire
command was kept constantly and busily employed. Scouts and expeditions
of all kinds--dashes at the enemy and fights between reconnoitering
parties were of almost daily occurrence, and when Colonels Gano and
Breckinridge were not harassing the enemy, they were recipients of like
attention from him. Perhaps no period in the history of Morgan's cavalry
of equal duration can be cited, in which more exciting and arduous
service was performed. I regret that my absence from it at that time,
and consequent want of familiarity with these events, renders it
impossible that I shall describe them with the minuteness and accuracy
which belong only to the personal observer. It has been said, in
allusion to this period and the action then of Morgan's command, "If all
the events of that winter could be told, it would form a book of daring
personal adventures, of patient endurance, of great and continued
hardship, and heroic resistance against fearful odds." The narration of
these scenes in the simple language of the men who were actors in them,
the description by the private soldiers of what they dared then, and
endured, the recital of men (unconsciously telling their own heroism)
would be the proper record of these stirring and memorable months. They
could tell how, worn out with days and nights of toil, the brief repose
was at length welcome with so much joy. Frequently the rain and sleet
would beat in their faces as they slept, and the ice would thicken in
their very beds. Happy were the men who had blankets in which to wrap
their limbs, other than those which protected their horses' backs from
the saddle. Thrice lucky those who could find something to eat when they
lay down, and another meal when they arose. It oftenest happened that
before the chill, bleak winter's day had broken, the bugle aroused them
from comfortless bivouacs, to mount, half frozen and shivering, upon
their stiff and tired horses and, faint and hungry, ride miles to attack
a foe, or contest against ten-fold odds every foot of his advance.

Some of the personal adventures, so frequent at that time, will perhaps
be found interesting. An expedition undertaken by General Morgan
himself, but, unlike most of those in which he personally commanded,
unsuccessful, is thus related: "Upon January 29th, General Morgan,
accompanied by Major Steele, Captain Cassell, and a few men, came to
Liberty to execute a dangerous plan. It was to take fifty picked men,
dressed in blue coats, into Nashville, burn the commissary stores there,
and in the confusion of the fire, make their escape. He had an order
written, purporting to be from General Rosecrans, to Captain Johnson,
Fifth Kentucky cavalry, to proceed from Murfreesboro' to Lebanon, thence
to Nashville, arrest all stragglers, make all discoveries, etc. I can
not recollect now from what commands the fifty men were selected, but
know that Steele, Cassell, and Quirk went along. The plan was frustrated
by an accident. As General Morgan rode up to Stewart's ferry, over Stone
river, a Captain of a Michigan regiment, with some twenty men, rode up
to the other side. Morgan immediately advanced a few feet in front of
his command, touched his hat, and said, "Captain, what is the news in

Federal Captain--"Who are you?"

"Captain Johnson, Fifth Kentucky Cavalry, just from Murfreesboro',
_via_ Lebanon, going to Nashville by General Rosecrans' order--what is
your regiment?" "---- Michigan." Morgan then asked: "Are you going
further?"--"No." "Have you any news of Morgan?" With perfect self
possession Morgan answered: "His cavalry are at Liberty--none closer."
He then said to Quirk: "Sergeant, carry as many men over at a load as
possible, and we will swim the horses. It is too late to attempt to
ferry them over."

"The Michigan Captain started to move on when Morgan asked him to wait
and they would ride to Nashville together. When he consented, most of
his men got down and tried to warm themselves by walking, jumping, etc.
Quirk pushed across with about a dozen men, reached the bank, and
started the boat back; unfortunately, as his men climbed the bank, their
gray pants showed, the Michiganders became alarmed, and Quirk had to
attack forthwith. The Captain and some fifteen men surrendered
immediately; the remainder escaped and ran to Nashville, giving the
alarm. Morgan declared that if he had succeeded in capturing them all,
he would have gone immediately into Nashville. Those who knew him best,
will most readily believe it."

A short time after the fight at Woodbury, Lieutenant Colonel Bowles,
with the greater part of the Second Kentucky, and supported by a
battalion under Lieutenant Colonel Malone (Alabama), engaged a large
force of the enemy at Bradyville. Attacking the advance-guard of this
force (before he became aware of the strength of the main body), Colonel
Bowles drove it in confusion and rout, into the town, and even forced
back for some distance (so impetuous was his charge), the regiments sent
to its support.

In reckless, crushing attack, Colonel Bowles had no superior among the
officers of the division. His dauntless and rash bravery gave great
weight to a charge, but, unluckily, he was perfectly indifferent about
the strength of the enemy whom he charged. On this occasion greatly
superior forces closed in on both flanks of his command, and a part of
the enemy driving away Malone's battalion, gained his rear before he
could disentangle himself. Quick fighting and fast running alone saved
the regiment, but it was a "hard party" to capture, and it got away with
a very slight loss in prisoners. Several men in the extreme rear were
sabered, but, of course, not killed. One man of Company K, who had an
axe strapped on his back, was collared by a Federal Captain, who struck
him on the head with his saber. The "old regular" deliberately
unstrapped his axe, and with one fierce blow shivered his assailant's

The sloughs and mud holes were frequent and deep. Some of the men
declared that they would "dive out of sight at one end of them and come
up at the other." Lieutenant Colonels Huffman and Martin were especially
enterprising during the early part of February, in the favorite feat of
wagon catching, and each attacked with success and profit large foraging
parties of the enemy. They some times ran into more difficult situations
than they had bargained for, and it must be recorded that each had, on
more than one occasion, to beat a hasty and not altogether orderly
retreat. But these mishaps, invariably repaired by increased vigor and
daring, served only to show that officers and men possessed one of the
rarest of soldierly qualities, the capacity to receive a beating and
suffer no demoralization from it. I have heard an incident of one of
these dashes of Martin, related and vouched for by reliable men who
witnessed it, which ought to be preserved. Martin had penetrated with a
small force into the neighborhood of Murfreesboro', and upon his return
was forced to cut his way through a body of the enemy's cavalry. He
charged vigorously, and a melee ensued, in which the combatants were
mixed all together. In this confused hand-to-hand fight, Captain Bennett
(a dashing young officer, whose coolness, great strength and quickness
had made him very successful and celebrated in such encounters), was
confronted by an opponent who leveled a pistol at his head, and at the
same time Bennett saw one of the men of his company just about to be
shot or sabered by another one of the enemy. Bending low in his saddle
to avoid the shot aimed at himself, Captain Bennett _first_ shot the
assailant of his follower and then killed his own foe. Upon one
occasion, Captain Quirk in one of his many daring scouts got into a
"tight place," which is thus briefly narrated by one familiar with the

"On the same day, Captains Quirk and Davis (the latter of South
Carolina), Colonel Breckinridge's aide, started for a sort of fancy trip
toward Black's shop. Below Auburn they met Federal cavalry and charged;
the enemy had prepared an ambuscade, which Quirk's men saw in time to
avoid--but not so Quirk, Davis and Tom Murphy, who being splendidly
mounted, were ahead. Into it, through it they went. Quirk unhurt--Davis
wounded and captured, and Tom Murphy escaping with what he described 'a
hell of a jolt,' with the butt of a musket in the stomach. Davis some
how managed to escape, and reached our lines in safety, but with a
severe flesh wound in the thigh." Captain Davis became afterward
Assistant Adjutant General of the first brigade.

The following report of what was justly entitled "one of the most
dashing and brilliant scouts of the war," will give an idea of how this
force, so small and so constantly pressed, yet managed to assume the
offensive, and of how far it would strike:


    _Liberty, Tennessee_, March 3, 1863.

    Colonel William C.P. Breckinridge, commanding 2nd Brigade, General
    Morgan's Division, Sir: Having been detailed with a detachment of
    thirteen men and one Lieutenant, J.M. Porter, of my company, to proceed
    to Kentucky, south of Barren river, for the purpose of destroying the
    Federal transports from plying between Bowlinggreen, Kentucky, and
    Evansville, Indiana, I have the honor of submitting my report. The
    detachment left this point at twelve o'clock, February 7th; on the
    evening of the 8th, crossed the Cumberland river at Granville,
    Tennessee. The night of the 11th, reached the vicinity of Bowlinggreen,
    but unfortunately our presence, force and design becoming known to the
    Federal authorities by the capture of Doctor Samuel Garvin, who had
    volunteered to accompany us, we were under the necessity of altering
    materially the plan of operations. We disbanded to meet on the night of
    the 20th, twelve miles south of Bowlinggreen. On the morning of the
    21st, we burned the depot and three cars at South Union, on the
    Louisville and Memphis railroad, all stored with Federal property. At
    12 o'clock, P.M., on the 25th, captured the steamer "Hettie Gilmore,"
    in the employ of the Federal Government, and heavily laden with stores
    for the Army of the Cumberland, all of which we destroyed, paroling the
    boat. Made a circuit of forty miles, destroyed a train of twenty-one
    cars and an engine at Woodburn, on the Louisville and Nashville
    railroad, at 6 o'clock, P.M., February 26th. The whole amount of
    Federal property destroyed on the 21st, 25th and 26th, inclusive, can
    not fall short of half a million of dollars. In conclusion, Colonel, we
    have been twenty-one days, one hundred and fifty miles within the
    enemy's lines, traveled in thirty-six hours one hundred miles, injured
    the Federal Government half a million dollars, caused him to collect
    troops at points heretofore unprotected, thereby weakening his force in
    front of our army. After destroying the train at Woodburn, and being
    closely pursued by the enemy, we swam an angry little stream known as
    Drake's creek, in which attempt Corporal L.H. McKinney was washed from
    his horse and drowned. He was indeed a gallant soldier and much beloved
    by his comrades. Too much praise can not be given to Lieutenant Porter
    and the brave, true men who accompanied me on this trip, bearing all
    the fatigue and danger incident to such a scout without a murmur. I
    have the honor to be with great respect, Your obedient servant,

    T. HENRY HINES, Capt. Comd'g Scouts.

       *       *       *       *       *

Sometime during February two fine regiments, the Fifth and Sixth
Kentucky were added to the division. These regiments were commanded
respectively, by Colonels D.H. Smith and Warren Grigsby. They had been
recruited while General Bragg occupied Kentucky, for Buford's brigade,
but upon the dissolution of that organization they were assigned at the
request of their Colonels, to General Morgan's command. The material
composing them was of the first order and their officers were zealous
and efficient.

Sometime in the same month an order was issued from army headquarters,
regularly brigading Morgan's command. The Second, Fifth, Sixth and Ninth
Kentucky and Ninth Tennessee, were placed in one brigade, the first. The
Third, Eighth, Eleventh and Tenth Kentucky, composed the second brigade.
Colonels Smith and Grigsby were both the seniors of the other Colonels
of the first brigade, but each refused to take command, on account of
their recent attachment to the command, and Colonel Breckinridge was
assigned to the temporary command of it. Colonel Adam Johnson was senior
Colonel of the division, but was absent during the greater part of the
winter, and Colonel Gano took command of the second brigade. The
regiments, however, were so disposed and scattered, that the brigades
were not practically organized for some time after the order was issued.

The history of the Ninth Tennessee regiment illustrates how much can be
done by the efforts of an intelligent, zealous and firm officer, however
discouraging may appear the prospect when he undertakes reforms. The men
of this regiment, recruited principally in Sumner and Smith counties of
Middle Tennessee, were capable, as the result showed, of being made
excellent soldiers, but their training had commenced under the most
inauspicious circumstances. They were collected together (as has been
previously related) in August, 1862, in a camp at Hartsville, and their
organization was partially effected in the neighborhood of a strong
enemy, while they were entirely without arms or any support and
protecting force. Several times during this period, they were attacked
by the enemy and scattered in all directions--the fact that they always
reassembled promptly demonstrating their excellent character.

When General Morgan returned from Kentucky, this regiment joined him at
Gallatin. Its commander, Colonel Bennett, was deservedly popular for
many genial and noble qualities. He was high minded, brave and generous,
but neglected to enforce discipline among his men, and his regiment was
utterly without it. Upon his death, Colonel William Ward succeeded to
the command, and a marked change and improvement was at once
perceptible. He instituted a far stricter discipline, and enforced it
rigidly; he constantly drilled and instructed his men, and requiring a
higher standard of efficiency in the officers, greatly improved them. At
the same time he exercised the utmost care and industry in providing for
all the wants of his regiment. In a very short time, the Ninth became,
in all respects, the equal of any regiment in Morgan's division.

Colonel Ward's first exploit, with his regiment thus reformed, was to
attack and completely defeat a foraging party, capturing several wagons
and seventy-five prisoners. He then performed, with great ability, a
very important duty, that of harassing General Crook's command, which
had been stationed opposite Carthage, on the south side of the
Cumberland. Colonel Ward, avoiding close battle, annoyed and skirmished
with this force so constantly, that it never did any damage, and finally
recrossed the river. From this time, the Ninth Tennessee did its fair
share of dashing and successful service.

But some account should be given of the operations of Colonel Chenault,
in Clinton and Wayne counties, Kentucky, and of Colonel Cluke, in the
interior of the State. I can best describe the service of the first
named of these commands by copying, _verbatim_, from the diary of a
gallant field officer of the regiment. He says: "The regiment started"
(January 15th) "in a pelting rain for Albany, Kentucky--we marched
through mud, rain and snow for five days, swimming both Collins and Obie
rivers, and reached Albany on the morning of the 22nd of January, 1863,
all much exhausted, and many men dismounted. We find Albany a deserted
village. It was once a flourishing village of five hundred inhabitants,
and is the county seat of Clinton county. It is now tenantless and
deserted, store houses, hotel, lawyers' offices, churches, dwelling
houses and court house unoccupied and going to decay. Where was once
joy, peace, prosperity and busy bustling trade, wicked war has left
nought but desolation, ruin and solitude. We camped in the town, and
were surrounded with a country teeming with good rations and abundance
of forage.

"January 24th. With one hundred men I went on a scout to Monticello,
distant twenty-five miles from Albany, drove a Yankee company, commanded
by Captain Hare, out of Monticello and across the Cumberland
river--captured two prisoners. From this date until the 15th February,
we scouted and picketed the roads in every direction, and had good
rations and forage, with comfortable quarters, but heavy duty, the whole
regiment being on duty every two days. 'Tinker Dave' annoyed us so much
that we had to establish a chain picket every night around the entire
town. Colonel Jacob's Yankee regiment is at Creelsboro', twelve miles
distant, and Woolford's brigade is at Burkesville, fourteen miles
distant. Our little regiment is one hundred and twenty miles from
support, and it is only by vigilance and activity that we can save
ourselves. An order was received yesterday from the War Department
forever fixing our destiny with Morgan.

"Learning from newspapers, that our Scouts brought in, that Woolford
would make a speech in Burkesville on the 12th day of February, I
started from Albany, with two companies, early that morning, and forming
my men behind a hill, I watched from the bushes near the river the
assembling of the crowd at the court house. At 1 o'clock the bell rang.
A short time before that, the guard at the ferry, in four hundred yards
of the court house, composed almost entirely of soldiers, and after
speaking commenced I charged on foot to a school house immediately on
the banks of the river, and from there drove the pickets, that had
dismounted, away from their horses, and also broke up the speaking in
tremendous disorder. We killed a number of horses, and the killed and
wounded among the Yankees were seven. The boys christened the school
house Fort McCreary, but it did not last long, for the night after we
left the Yankees crossed the river and burned it.

"February 19th. Colonel Cluke passed within a few miles of us, and sent
an order from General Morgan for two companies. Companies D and E,
Captains Dickens and Terrill, were sent him.

"March 4th. By order of General Morgan I moved with three companies from
Albany to Monticello to-day; am camping in the town. The citizens are
hospitable and polite. Woolford, with a very large force, is around
Somerset. I am kept very busy picketing and scouting; it is General
Morgan's object to occupy all the country this side of the Cumberland
until Cluke's return from Kentucky.

"March 10th. To-day the balance of the regiment under Colonel Chenault
arrived at Monticello. We have raised one company of new recruits since
coming to Kentucky.

"March 20th. I crossed Cumberland river with twenty-six men last night
in a horse trough, and then marched on foot two miles to capture a
Yankee picket. The force at the picket base fled, but I captured two
_videttes_ stationed at the river. The trip was very severe. I lost one

"April 1st. General Pegram's brigade arrived to-day _en route_ for
Kentucky on a raid. The brain fever has killed seventeen of our regiment
up to this date, among them Captain Sparr and Lieutenant Covington.

"April 11th. Pegram captured Somerset, and moved on to Danville, and
thence commenced his retreat; was compelled to fight at Somerset and was
defeated; Colonel Chenault moved our regiment to the river and helped
him to cross. His forces were much scattered, and many were captured.

"April 8th. Cluke returned to-day from Kentucky; the two companies that
went from this regiment were much injured. What is left reported to-day.
Captain Terrill and Lieutenant Maupin both severely wounded at the Mt.
Sterling fight, and left behind.

"April 29th. River being fordable, the enemy crossed in heavy force both
at Mill Springs and mouth of Greasy Creek. Tucker met them on Mill
Spring road, and I met them on Greasy Creek road; Chenault with part of
the regiment remained at Monticello. The enemy was in large force, and
we were compelled to evacuate Monticello at eleven o'clock to-night, and
fell back in the direction of Travisville. Finding on the 1st day of May
that the enemy was not pressing us, we returned to Monticello, and
skirmished heavily with him; reinforcements to the enemy having arrived,
we were compelled to fall back to the Obie River."

The "brain fever," to which the writer alluded, was a very singular
disease. The patient attacked with it suffered with a terrible pain in
the back of the head and along the spine; the extremities soon became
cold, and the patient sank into torpor. It was generally fatal in a few
hours. I recollect to have heard of no recovery from it.

As has already been mentioned, Colonel Cluke was dispatched to Central
Kentucky on the 4th of February. The force under his command, in all
seven hundred and fifty effectives, was his own regiment, the Eighth
Kentucky, under the immediate command of Major Robert S. Bullock,
seventy-eight men of the Ninth Kentucky and two companies of the
Eleventh, under command of Lieut. Colonel Robert G. Stoner--entitled the
First Battalion; and two Companies C and I, of the Third Kentucky, and
Company A, of the Second Kentucky, under command of Major Theophilus
Steele--styled the Second Battalion. The two mountain howitzers ("Bull
Pups") were also attached to his command, under charge of Lieutenant
C.C. Corbett. This force was ably officered, every company having
excellent commanders. Colonel Cluke was supplied also with an efficient
staff, Captains C.C. and C.H. Morgan (of the General's own staff)
accompanied him. Lieutenant Moreland (a staff officer of the first
brigade) attended him as aide, and was eminently fitted (on account of
his earnest and serious turn of mind) to act as adviser in an expedition
wherein so many delicate and difficult questions might arise for
solution, although his extreme gravity of temper and taciturn manner
made the younger and more mercurial officers of the staff somewhat
impatient of his society.

Colonel Cluke had no officer regularly detailed as A.A.A. General.
Sergeant Lawrence Dickerson, clerk of the Adjutant's office of the first
brigade, and thoroughly competent, performed all the duties of one.

The advance guard was commanded by Lieutenant Shuck of the Eighth
Kentucky, and the scouts were commanded by Lieutenant Hopkins, of the
Second, and Lieutenant S.P. Cunningham, of the Eighth. One hundred
rounds of ammunition and six days' rations were issued to the men upon
the morning that the command marched. The weather was inclement and
intensely cold, when this expedition was commenced. A march through
sleet, rain, and snow, and over terrible roads, brought Colonel Cluke to
the Cumberland river on the evening of the 18th. Lieut.-Colonel Stoner
and Lieutenant Hopkins crossed the river, with a few men, in a canoe,
surprised and captured the Federal pickets posted to guard the ferry, at
which Colonel Cluke wished to cross, and brought over flatboats and a
coal barge, by means of which the entire command was crossed, the horses
being made to swim. So bitter was the cold that eight horses chilled to
death immediately upon emerging from the stream.

On the 19th the column reached Somerset. A strong force of the enemy had
been stationed there, but fell back to Danville on learning of Colonel
Cluke's approach. The greater part of the stores collected there fell
into Cluke's hands. Pressing on, Cluke compelled the surrender of a
detachment of Federal troops at Mt. Vernon, and did not halt until
within fifteen miles of Richmond. Wretched roads and a blinding snow
storm rendered this march harassing and tedious. The scouts moved to
within ten miles of Richmond, and Lieutenant Hopkins halting with a
portion of them, Lieutenant Cunningham went on three miles further with
eight men. He found a picket post of the enemy, where four videttes were
stationed. He answered their challenge by declaring himself and party
friends, and, advancing to the post, persuaded the Federals that they
were an advance party of Woolford's regiment, which they represented to
be returning from Tennessee to Kentucky to assist in repelling an
anticipated raid. Lieutenant Cunningham stated that all the various
Federal forces in that region were to be immediately concentrated at
Lexington, as certain information had been obtained that General
Breckinridge had entered the State at the head of ten thousand infantry.
The sergeant of the post then gave Lieutenant Cunningham a statement of
the location and strength of all the Federal commands in the vicinity,
and invited him to go to a house a short distance off, where the picket
detail to which he belonged made base. Cunningham, finding this detail
twenty-four strong, made an excuse to send back two of his own men and
one of the Federals, thus calling Hopkins to his aid, who, in an hour or
two, arrived with the other eight men of the scouts.

A skirmish immediately ensued between the parties. One Federal was
killed and two wounded--the rest were made prisoners. They were
completely deceived and surprised. The whole affair was as clever a
piece of strategy as can be found in the annals of partisan service.
Learning that two hundred and fifty of the enemy were at Richmond, Cluke
broke camp at an early hour and marched rapidly in hopes to capture
them. They started to Lexington, however, before he got to Richmond. The
rumor (which had been industriously circulated) that Breckinridge had
entered the State, was accomplishing its work. Major Steele was
immediately dispatched, with three companies under his command. He
overtook the rear-guard at Comb's ferry, and drove it in upon the
column--a brisk skirmish and chase ensuing--Steele driving them into
Lexington. He came very near being killed shortly afterward. Leaving his
command halted, he rode to a picket post some distance off, with one or
two men, and essayed to capture the videttes. One of them (after
signifying that he would surrender) suddenly placed his rifle to the
Major's breast and fired. A thick Mexican blanket wrapped tightly in
many folds about his body, saved his life; yet the bullet pierced the
blanket and entered his breast, breaking a rib. This wound disabled him,
at a time when his services were most needed, for several days.

On the same night, Captain C.H. Morgan and Lieutenant Corbett, while
reconnoitering near Lexington and seeking highly important information,
were captured. Colonel Cluke moved on the night of the 22nd (crossing
the Kentucky river at Boonsboro') to Winchester, reaching that place on
the 23rd. He then sent detachments in various directions to excite and
bewilder the enemy as thoroughly as possible. Major Bullock advancing
toward Lexington, Lieutenant Colonel Stoner was sent to Mt. Sterling,
and Lieutenant Cunningham was sent toward Paris. The most intense
excitement prevailed and reports were rife and believed that rebels were
flocking into the State from all directions. Cluke finding that he had
reduced the enemy to inaction, and could do so safely, permitted men who
lived in the neighboring counties to visit their homes and thus gave
greater currency to these rumors. This had been one of the objects of
the expedition. The other ends had in view, in undertaking it, to-wit:
to obtain and keep a thorough understanding of the condition of affairs
in Kentucky during the winter, and to enable the men to procure horses
and clothing, were perfectly accomplished. Lieutenant Cunningham
demonstrated successfully in the direction of Paris, confining the
troops there to the town. Lieut. Colonel Stoner moved rapidly on Mt.
Sterling and found the enemy, which had been stationed there under
Colonel Wadsworth, just evacuating the town. Stoner immediately attacked
and completely routed his enemy. The road by which the latter retreated,
was strewn for miles with overcoats, guns, wrecked wagons, and all the
debris of routed and fleeing troops. Stoner captured many prisoners and
several wagons.

On the 24th, the entire command was concentrated at Mt. Sterling, and
the day was spent in collecting and distributing horses, equipments,
etc. The enemy at Lexington having recovered by this time from the
fright given them on the 21st, by Major Steele, and learning the falsity
of the rumors of a heavy Confederate advance, now came out in search of
Cluke. On the morning of the 25th, a brigade dashed into Mt. Sterling.
The command was much weakened, not only by the detachments which had
again been sent out, but by furloughs allowed men who lived in the
immediate vicinity. It was at once driven out of the town but retreated,
unpursued, only a short distance. It has been said that the men came in
so quickly, that the command was increased from two hundred to six
hundred, before "the echoes of the enemy's artillery had died away."
This brigade which had driven out Cluke, established itself at Mt.
Sterling. Cluke now successfully inaugurated a strategy which has been
greatly and justly admired by his comrades. Lieutenant Cunningham was
sent with a few picked men to the vicinity of Lexington and directed to
spy thoroughly upon the officials there. Ascertaining enough to make the
project feasible, the Lieutenant sent a shrewd fellow (disguised in
Federal uniform) to the headquarters of the officer commanding, upon
some pretended business which enabled him to hang about the office.
While there this man purloined some printed blanks and brought them out
with him. One of these was filled up with an order (purporting to come
from Lexington to the officer in command at Mt. Sterling), instructing
him to march at once to Paris to repel a raid threatening the Kentucky
Central railroad. He was directed to leave his baggage under a small
garrison at Mt. Sterling. A courier properly dressed bore this order to
Mt. Sterling, and dashed in with horse reeking with sweat and every
indication of excited haste. He played his part so well that the order
was not criticized and induced no suspicion. This courier's name was
Clark Lyle--an excellent and daring scout.

As soon as the necessary preparations were made, the Federals marched to
Paris and Cluke re-entered the town, capturing the garrison and stores.
He remained until the 8th of March, his scouts harassing the enemy and
keeping him informed of their every movement.

Another heavy advance of the enemy induced Colonel Cluke to retreat
beyond Slate into the hills about Howard's mill.

Three companies were left in the vicinity of Mount Sterling, under
Captain Cassell. One stationed upon the North Middletown pike, was so
closely pressed by the enemy, that it was forced to cross Slate, below
Howard's mill. The other two were also hotly attacked and driven back to
Colonel Cluke's encampment, sustaining, however, but slight loss.
Falling back to Ficklin's tan yard, where it was posted in ambush, and
failing to entice the enemy into the snare, Colonel Cluke marched to
Hazelgreen, determining to await there the arrival of General Humphrey
Marshall, who was reported to be approaching (from Abingdon), with three
thousand men.

Captain Calvin Morgan volunteered to carry a message to Marshall, and
traveled (alone), the wild country between Hazelgreen and Pound Gap, a
country infested with a crowd of ferocious bushwhackers. About this
time, Cluke's whole force must have been badly off, if the language of
one of his officers be not exaggerated, who (in an account of the
encampment at Hazelgreen) declares that, "the entire command was
prostrated by a severe attack of erisipelas."

After the effects of this "attack" had somewhat worn off, Lieutenant
Colonel Stoner was sent back to Montgomery, and maintained himself there
for several days, with skill and gallantry. Threatening demonstrations
from the enemy induced Cluke to retreat from Hazelgreen and still
further into the mountains. He established himself on the middle fork of
Licking, near Saliersville. On the 19th, he found himself completely
surrounded. Fifteen hundred of the enemy had gained his rear, ten
hundred advancing from Louisa, were on his right, and eight hundred were
at Proctor, on his left. In his front was the garrison of Mt. Sterling,
five hundred strong, but likely at any time to be reinforced by the
forces then in Central Kentucky. The roads in all directions were so
well observed that he could not hope to escape without a fight.

His command was reduced to about three hundred effectives--the rest were
suffering from the erisipelas. In this emergency, Colonel Cluke
conceived a determination at once bold, and exceedingly judicious. He
resolved to march straight on Mount Sterling and attack it, at any
hazard. He trusted that the enemy would send no more troops there, but
would rather (anticipating that he would seek to escape southward), send
all that could be collected to intercept him in that quarter.

A tremendous march of sixty miles in twenty-four hours, over mountains
and across swollen streams, brought him to McIntyre's ferry of the
Licking, thirty miles from Mt. Sterling. Crossing on the night of the
20th and morning of the 21st, Major Steele was sent with his battalion
_via_, Owingsville (in Bath county), to take position on the Winchester
pike, beyond Mount Sterling, that he might give timely information of
the approach of reinforcements to the garrison. Colonel Cluke moved with
the rest of his command through Mud Lick Spring, directly to Mount
Sterling. Colonel Cluke at the head of a body of men entered the town
from the east, while Lieutenant Colonel Stoner with the two companies
from the Eleventh Kentucky, the men of the Ninth under Captain
McCormick, and Hopkins' scouts, charged in from the northwest.

The enemy fell back and shut themselves up in the court-house. Stoner
charged them, but was driven back by a terrible fire from the
windows--the garrison was stronger than the force he led against them. A
detachment of thirty men were then ordered to advance on the street into
which the Winchester pike leads, and burn the houses in which the
Federals had ensconced themselves. With torch, axe and sledge hammer
these men under McCormick and Cunningham forced their way into the heart
of the town. As they reached the "Old Hotel," which was occupied by a
body of the Federals, and used also as a hospital, a flag of truce was
displayed. McCormick, Cunningham, and six others entered, and were
coolly informed by some forty or fifty soldiers that the sick had
surrendered, but they (the soldier) had not, and threatened to fire upon
them, from the upper rooms, if they tried to escape from the building.
At the suggestion of Lieutenant Saunders, the eight Confederates forced
the sick men to leave the house with them, in a mingled crowd, thus
rendering it impossible for the Federals to fire without endangering the
lives of their comrades. Before quitting the house, they set it on fire.
In a short time the entire Federal force in the town surrendered, and
victors and vanquished went to work together to extinguish the flames.

Colonel Cluke took four hundred and twenty-eight prisoners, two hundred
and twenty wagons laden with valuable stores, five hundred mules, and
nearly one thousand stand of arms. Captain Virgil Pendleton, a most
gallant and valuable officer was killed in this affair. Captain Ferrill
and Lieutenant Maupin were seriously wounded. Cluke's loss was three
killed, and a few wounded. The enemy's but little greater.

The Union men of Mount Sterling were much mortified by this last capture
of their town. The previous evening bets were running high that Cluke
would be made prisoner. Cluke immediately evacuated the town, and was
attacked some five miles to the eastward of it, by a force of Federal
cavalry, preceding a body of infantry which were approaching to relieve
the place. An insignificant skirmish resulted, and Cluke marched to
Owingsville unpursued. On the next day he encamped at McIntyre's ferry,
and collected his entire command, now convalescent. Marshall marching
from Pound Gap, about this time, dispersed the forces which had gone to
capture Cluke at Saliersville. On the 25th, Major Steele was sent across
the Kentucky river to join General Pegram, who had advanced with a
brigade of Confederate cavalry to Danville. Major Steele reached him
much further south. As he was retreating from the State, General Pegram
halted near Somerset to fight a strong force of the enemy which was
following him and was defeated. Major Steele's battalion was highly
complimented for the part it took in the action, and in covering the
subsequent retreat. On the 26th, Colonel Cluke again advanced, and
encamped in the vicinity of Mount Sterling. He received orders soon
after from General Morgan to return, and marched southward accordingly.
Colonel Cluke had good right to be proud of this expedition. He had
penetrated into the heart of Kentucky, and maintained himself, for more
than a month, with inferior forces--always fighting and never defeated,
the enemy at last did not drive him out. He recrossed the Cumberland at
the same point, and was stationed with Colonel Chenault, in the vicinity
of Albany. Colonel Cluke's command was stronger by eighteen men when he
returned than when he set out upon his raid.

In order to trace properly the history of the division, during this
period, it is necessary that I disregard chronological arrangement, and
return to the winter in Tennessee. In the latter part of February a new
regiment was formed of Major Hamilton's battalion and some loose
companies which had long been unattached, and some which had recently
been recruited for General Morgan. Colonel R.C. Morgan (brother of the
General), was assigned to the command of this regiment, and Major
Hamilton became Lieutenant Colonel. A month or two later, a valuable
addition was made to it in Quirk's scouts. Colonel Morgan was an
excellent officer and had acted as Assistant Adjutant General to
Lieutenant General A.P. Hill through all the stern battles and glorious
campaigns, in which his chief had figured so conspicuously. Becoming
tired of staff duty, and anxious to exchange the infantry service for
the less monotonous life in the cavalry, he naturally chose his
brother's command, and obtained a transfer to it. He became a dashing
cavalry officer, and as an essential preliminary relaxed the rigidity of
some of his military notions acquired while serving on the staff. He
soon gave in to the prevalent cavalry opinion that horses were, or at
least ought to be, "common carriers." During this winter, more prisoners
were taken than there were effective men in the division, or men
actively at work. The loss in killed and wounded which it inflicted was
also severe, and the captures of stores, munitions, etc., were valuable
and heavy.

The exertions made to equip and supply the command, by the division
Quartermaster and Commissary of Subsistence, Majors Llewellyn and
Elliott, ought to be mentioned, if for no other reason than the
injustice which has been done them and the unmerited censures which have
been showered upon them. Even now, there are, doubtless, few officers or
men of the former Confederate army who can so far overcome the prejudice
deeply rooted against men who served in those departments, that they can
speak with any sort of commendation of Quartermasters and Commissaries.
It has rarely happened that even the most industrious, efficient and
honest of these officers have escaped the severest denunciation. I can
testify that both of these gentlemen strove hard to provide for the
wants of the division, although the tender attention they paid to their
own, prevented them getting credit for it. They might have done better
it is true, and the same can be said of all of us--but they certainly
did a great deal. Major Elliott was never himself except when
encompassed by difficulties--when there was really some excuse for
failure, when supplies were really hard to obtain, then he became great.
The avalanche of curses which invariably descend upon a Commissary, at
all times, never disturbed his equanimity, except when he was in a
barren country--then he would display Napoleonic resources.

Once a large lot of meat stored at Smithville took fire. He issued
cooked hams to the troops, and the loss was scarcely felt. Once he lost
all of his papers, accounts, receipts; vouchers, memoranda all went down
on abstract, L., as the Quartermaster said of himself, who was picked
off by a sharpshooter. The loss did not disturb him for a moment. He
declared he could supply every paper from memory, and produced an
entirely new set, which he claimed to be identical in substance with the
originals. Of course every one laughed at him, but in the course of
time, the old papers turned up, and, sure enough, there was not a
dollar's difference between them and the new.

The great lack of supplies necessary to the comfort of troops, required
to do constant and severe duty in such weather, told injuriously upon
the discipline of the command. It was impossible to obtain clothing,
shoes, etc., in quantities at all adequate to the demand and the
greatest efforts of energy and enterprise upon the part of the subaltern
officers, never make up for the deficiency in the regular supply of
these articles from the proper sources.

Pay was something the men scarcely expected, and it benefited them very
little when they received it. If the Confederate Government could have
made some provision, by which its soldiers would have been regularly
paid, the men would have been far better satisfied, for there is
something gratifying to human nature in the receipt of money even when
it is smartly depreciated. Certainly, if comfortable clothing and good
serviceable boots and shoes had been issued, as they were needed, and
the rations had been occasionally improved by the issue of coffee, or
something which would have been esteemed a delicacy, the discipline and
efficiency of all the troops would have been vastly promoted. It is hard
to maintain discipline, when men are required to perform the most
arduous and harassing duties without being clothed, shod, paid or fed.
If they work and fight they will have little time to provide for
themselves. But they certainly will not starve, and they object,
decidedly, to doing without clothing if by any means and exertions they
can obtain it. Then the converse of the proposition becomes equally
true, and if they provide for themselves, they will have little time to
work and fight. With cavalry, for instance, the trouble of keeping men
in camp who were hungry and half frozen, and who felt that they had done
good service, was very great. The infantryman, even if equally
destitute, could not well straggle, but the cavalry soldier had his
horse to take him, although the distance was great and the road was

When men once commenced running about, they became incorrigible in the
habit. Hunger might draw them out at first, but whisky would then become
an allurement, and a multitude of seductive inducements would cause them
to persist in the practice. In nine cases out of ten, when a man became
an inveterate straggler, he was no loss if he were shot. These seem
truisms, too palpable to need mention, but for three years they were
dinned into the ears of certain officials, and not the slightest
impression was made. These gentlemen preferred to attribute all evils,
of the peculiar class which have just been mentioned, to the inherent
and wicked antipathy to discipline, which the cavalry (they declared)
entertained. They declared, moreover, that these articles could not be
procured. This excuse passed current until the latter part of the war,
when Federal raids and dashes disclosed the fact (by destroying or
cutting them off from our use) unknown to all but the officials and
employees, that hoarded and stored them away, at the very time that the
Confederate armies were melting away for the lack of them.

It is no answer to the charge of incompetency or malfeasance upon the
part of men charged with their distribution to say, that there was not
enough to supply the demand. They should have been made to go as far as
they would. It is difficult for one unfamiliar with the workings of
these departments and the obstacles in the way of procuring supplies, to
suggest a remedy for these shortcomings, but it is certain that the
Confederacy owned cotton and tobacco and could have gotten more; that
blockade running was active and could have been stimulated. An
abstinence from certain luxurious but costly experiments might have
enabled the Confederacy to buy more clothing, shoes, and meat. The
opinion is hazarded with diffidence, and is that of one who was
naturally prone to attach more importance to the sustenance of the
military than of the naval power of the Confederacy, but would it not
have been better to have expended upon the army the money paid for the
construction of those fine and high-priced iron-clads, which steamed
sportively about for a day or two after they left the stocks, and were
then inevitably scuttled?

The winter wore away, and the condition of affairs in Tennessee, as
described in the first part of this chapter, continued unchanged. Three
times the enemy advanced in heavy force (cavalry, infantry, and
artillery) to Liberty. Upon each occasion, the regiments stationed there
under Colonel Breckinridge, after skillfully and courageously contesting
his advance for many miles to the front of Liberty, fell back to Snow's
Hill, three miles to the east of it, and returned to press hard upon the
enemy's rear when he retired. At length, upon the 19th of March, when
Colonel Ward was absent with his regiment reconnoitering in the
direction of Carthage, and the force at Liberty was weakened by other
detachments, until it was scarcely more than six hundred strong,
information was received that the enemy were advancing and were near
Milton, a small village about eighteen miles from Liberty. General
Morgan had, the day before, notified Colonel Breckinridge of his
intention to be at Liberty on the 19th. Colonel Breckinridge, when it
became clear that the enemy was certainly pressing, posted his command
in a good position upon the Murfreesboro' pike, and sent a courier to
Gano with a request that the latter would promptly join him with his
entire effective force. Colonel Breckinridge says of this disposition of
his command: "To delay the enemy and give Gano time to come up, the
pickets were strengthened and thrown forward. The enemy, being infantry,
came on slowly but gradually drove our pickets nearly in. The peculiar
formation of the ground gave the brigade great advantage, and admirably
concealed its weakness. The enemy made demonstrations, but made no
attack, and before nightfall bivouacked in line in sight of our
skirmishers. Just at dark Morgan rode upon the ground, and was received
with deafening cheers; and soon afterward Colonel Gano came up. Under
cover of night the enemy withdrew to Auburn."

General Morgan, in his official report of the fight which ensued on the
next day at Milton, says: "On the evening of the 19th inst. I reached
Liberty, Tenn., and learned that the Federals were moving upon that
place from Murfreesboro', their numbers being variously reported at from
two thousand to four thousand infantry, and two hundred cavalry, with
one section of artillery. At the time I reached my videttes on the
Milton road, the enemy was within five miles of Liberty; it being near
night, they fell back to Auburn, and encamped. Determining to attack
them next morning, I ordered Colonels Breckinridge and Gano, who were in
command of brigades, to move within four miles of the enemy, and hold
themselves in readiness to move at any moment. In the meantime, I sent
the 'scouts' to watch the movements of the enemy and to report, and to
see if any reinforcements came up; also, to send me information when the
enemy moved, for I was determined not to make the attack at Auburn, as
they held a very strong position, and I was desirous they should move
beyond a gorge in the mountains before the attack was commenced; for, if
they had been permitted to take position there, it would have been
impossible to dislodge them. After daylight, one of the scouts returned,
bringing intelligence that the enemy was moving. Captain Quirk was
ordered to move forward with his company, and attack the enemy's rear
when they passed the mountain, and retard their progress until the main
column arrived. When within a mile of Milton, Captain Quirk came up with
their rear guard and commenced a vigorous attack upon them. The enemy
immediately halted, deploying their skirmishers to the rear, and,
bringing their pieces into position, commenced shelling Captain Quirk's
men and the road upon which they had advanced. In a short time I arrived
upon the ground. Finding that the main column of the enemy was still
falling back, and their artillery was unsupported by any troops (with
the exception of their skirmishers) I determined, if possible, to
capture it. I, therefore, ordered Lieutenant Colonel Martin to move to
the left with his regiment, and Colonel Breckinridge to send one to the
right--to go forward rapidly and when within striking distance, to move
in and cut off the pieces. Having two pieces of artillery, I ordered
them to go forward on the road, supported by Colonel Ward's regiment,
dismounted, and the remainder of the command to move in column in
supporting distance.

"Just before the two regiments which had moved to the right and left
reached the proper place to move upon the artillery, the enemy's
skirmishers and artillery fell back rapidly upon their main column,
which occupied a steep hill covered with cedars. They placed their
battery on a line, with their column on the road immediately upon their
right. To reach this position we would have to pass through a cedar
brake, the ground being very rough and broken. A few of the enemy's
skirmishers were thrown forward to that point. I ordered my two pieces
of artillery to move upon the left of the road until they reached a
point within four hundred yards of the enemy's artillery and then to
silence their guns.

"They went forward gallantly, supported by a part of Ward's regiment.
Lieutenant Colonel Martin who still occupied his position on the left
was ordered forward to threaten the right of the enemy. At the same
time, I ordered the command under Colonel Gano to move up, dismount and
attack the enemy, vigorously, immediately in the front. Colonel
Breckinridge was ordered to move to the right with his command and
attack their extreme left. Captain Quirk, in the meantime, had been
ordered to get upon the pike, immediately in the rear of the enemy,
which he did in a most satisfactory manner, capturing fifteen or twenty

"He remained in the rear of the enemy until reinforcements came to them
from Murfreesboro' (being only thirteen miles distant), when he was
driven back. When our artillery opened, the whole command moved forward.
Colonel Martin charged up in most gallant style, and had a number of his
horses killed with canister, as the guns of the enemy were turned upon
him. The remainder of the command was moved up to within one hundred
yards of the main column of the Federals and dismounted. Moving rapidly
to the front, they drove in the enemy's skirmishers, and pushed forward
in the most gallant manner upon the hill occupied by the enemy, which
was about sixty yards from the cedar brake alluded to. Colonel
Breckinridge who commanded our extreme right, had his men dismounted,
and went boldly up, the enemy's artillery being at this time moved from
the pike to a position upon the top of the hill immediately in their
center; but this was not accomplished until it came near being captured
by Colonel Grigsby, who was within fifty yards of it and moving rapidly
upon it, when his ammunition giving completely out, he was forced to
halt, and the battery was saved. It was near this point that Colonel
Napier was severely wounded while cheering and leading his men up.
Colonel Grigsby was also wounded while in front of his command and
encouraging his men. At the same time the firing from the center of the
line nearly ceased; a few scattering shots, now and then, gave evidence
that nearly all of the ammunition was exhausted. Two more rounds would
have made our victory complete, and two thousand Federals would have
been the result of the day's fighting."

Finding his ammunition completely gone, General Morgan ordered a
withdrawal, and his forces fell back to Milton, the enemy neither firing
upon nor pursuing them. Here he found an ordnance train and four pieces
of artillery which had been sent from McMinnville. He was encouraged to
renew the attack, hoping to capture the entire opposing force. "Martin
was placed in the same position which he had previously occupied, and
Gano, whose entire command had by this time arrived, was sent to the

The artillery took position in about eight hundred yards of the enemy's
battery, and commenced a rapid and severe fire upon them. They had again
taken position upon the pike, from which they were soon driven by
Lieutenant Lawrence, who was in command of my battery. Our pieces were
served with the greatest precision and coolness, and the men stood by
their guns like veterans. Although they had but few men in the fight,
the casualties were two killed and eighteen wounded, showing the
determination with which they held their position. Too much praise can
not be awarded to Lieutenant Lawrence. Three times the enemy had to
change the position of their battery, and were silenced until reinforced
by additional guns. While this artillery duel was progressing, my men
were moving to the front and were about dismounting, when Captain Quirk
was driven from the rear by a large force of the enemy which had just
arrived in time to save the force in our front. I immediately ordered my
entire command to fall back to Milton, and from thence to Liberty. The
enemy did not follow."

General Morgan expressed his perfect satisfaction with the conduct of
the officers and men in this fight, and complimented his brigade
commanders and his personal staff.

One reason of the want of success in the first onset was the fatigue of
men and horses by the long and rapid ride to Auburn, and thence to the
position taken by the enemy. In the stretching gallop down the road,
which General Morgan ordered in his impatience to overtake the enemy,
and apprehensive lest they should get away, the column necessarily
became prolonged, the men scattered, and many (their horses falling)
dropped out entirely. But few men, consequently, were available when the
attack commenced. As the detached portions of regiments, divided by this
speedy march, came up, there was, necessarily, some confusion, and some
difficulty in putting them, at once, promptly and smoothly into the

For these reasons, and on account of the usual details for horse
holders, perhaps not more than one thousand men were engaged on our
side, and these (as has been just explained) could not be handled as
effectively as was necessary to force a strong position, held by
superior numbers. Colonel Ward's regiment is frequently alluded to in
General Morgan's report, but it should be stated that the bulk of that
regiment was absent, only sixty men (one of its companies), under
Captain Cates, were present. The scanty supply of ammunition, however,
and its failure at the critical moment, was the principal cause of the
repulse, or rather withdrawal of our troops. All who have given any
account of this battle concur in praising the conduct of the combatants.
It was fought with the utmost determination, and with no flinching on
either side.

One incident is thus described by an eye-witness:

"Just here Martin performed one of those acts of heroic, but useless
courage, too common among our officers. When his regiment wavered and
commenced to fall back, he halted until he was left alone; then at a
slow walk, rode to the pike, and with his hat off rode slowly out of
fire. He was splendidly mounted, wore in his hat a long black plume, was
himself a large and striking figure, and I have often thought that it
was the handsomest picture of cool and desperate courage I saw in the

Our loss in this fight was very heavy, especially in officers. The list
of wounded officers was large. Captains Sale, Marr, Cooper and Cossett,
and a number of other officers, were killed. Captain Sale was the third
Captain of Company E, Second Kentucky, who was killed. Captain Cossett,
of the Ninth Tennessee, was under arrest at the time, for charges of
which he was acquitted after death. He was killed, fighting with his
musket, as a volunteer. General Morgan's clothing was torn with balls.

About this time an impression prevailed at General Bragg's Headquarters,
that the enemy was about to evacuate Murfreesboro' and, perhaps,
Nashville. General Morgan had come to Liberty on the 19th, in order to
reconnoiter with reference to ascertaining the truth of this rumor.

Upon the day before, Colonel Breckinridge had been ordered to move to
Lebanon with his brigade, and a section of Byrne's battery, and was
informed that he would be supported by Gano. In the order he was told:
"The object of these demonstrations is to discover, if possible, whether
the rumored evacuation of Murfreesboro' by the Federals is true, and if
so, to what point they are moving their forces. In the event that they
are falling back to Nashville, the command will move from Lebanon, cross
the river and attack and harass them. At Lebanon, or within twenty-four
hours after your arrival at that point, certain information can be
obtained as to what is taking place on the enemy's lines. In the event
your pickets or scouts report an advance from Readyville or
Murfreesboro', you will not leave your present position."

Upon the 19th the following dispatch came from General Bragg's
Headquarters to Wheeler:

    "_To Major General James Wheeler, McMinnville, Tennessee:_

    "Ascertain what direction the enemy takes after leaving Gallatin.

    [Signed] "GEO. WM. BRENT, _A.A. Gen'l_."

This proved conclusively that General Bragg believed that Nashville and
the whole of Middle Tennessee was about to be evacuated by the Federal

General Morgan did not believe so, nor did Colonel Breckinridge, who was
charged with the scouting of all the extreme right flank. The latter
officer says: "It is true, that, at this time, General Rosecrans ordered
back his sick, his surplus baggage, camp followers, increased his guard
at every station in his rear, displayed greater vigilance at his
pickets, vailed his movements in greater secrecy, and became stringent
in his rules about passes to and from his camps and lines. All our
scouts reported these movements, and our Generals concluded he meant a
retreat. Morgan believed otherwise," etc.

General Morgan, in reality, believed that these were all the indications
of an advance rather than of retreat, and he confidently anticipated the
former in the early part of April. On the 3rd of April there _was_ an
advance, which, although not of the entire Federal army, yet
comprehended so large a part of it, as to completely rid the country, in
which our command had been wintering, of their presence for a short

This force approached Liberty on the 2nd of April, causing the
concentration there of both brigades, with the exception of the
detachments necessarily sent to observe different important points. The
entire command, after some skirmishing, took position near Liberty, but
to the east of it, and encamped in line of battle, on the night of the

The enemy retreated about a mile and bivouacked. Scouts were sent
through his camp that night and discovered that behind the cavalry, was
a heavy infantry force. Other scouts also reported that Hazen was
advancing from Readyville and Crook from Carthage. Colonel Ward was sent
to watch the Carthage roads, and all the rest were disposed to resist
the advance of the enemy directly in front. Colonel Gano was senior
officer and leaving Breckinridge to conduct the retreat to "Snow's
hill," he took charge of the preparations for defense there.

"Snow's hill" was regarded by the majority of the officers (who had
served about Liberty) as a very strong position, but, I believe, that
they all agreed subsequently that the opinion was a mistaken one. As a
defensive position against attack from an enemy who came through
Liberty, it possessed no strong features at all--in reality the
advantages were all on the side of the attacking party if he possessed a
numerical strength which would enable him to occupy all the approaches
to the position and maintain a connected line. It is a long slope, or
rather collection of sloping ridges, which, beginning at the table land
eastward of the valley in which Liberty is situated, point due westward.

The road from Liberty to Smithville runs through the center of the
position upon Snow's hill, which was selected for defense, but bends and
curves according to the necessities of the grade. The ridges all point
toward Liberty and are parallel to the general direction of the road.
They can not be called rugged and inaccessible, for although their
northern and southern sides are somewhat precipitous, the back-bone of
each is comparatively smooth and the ascent is by no means abrupt or
difficult from the points where they subside into the valley to their
summit at the eastern ends. The ravines between these ridges can be
readily traversed by troops and the bluffs at the eastern extremity of
each, or where they "head," can be easily climbed. It is true, that the
conformation of the ground presents at one side, a serious obstacle to
an attacking force. The base of these ridges, which have been described,
or the parent hill, of which they seem to be offshoots, is separated
from the level ground to the eastward by a singular and deep gulf, some
two or three hundred yards wide and I know not how long. This abyss (it
may be called) is crossed by a sort of natural wall, or what would be
termed in railroad parlance, "fill," the sides of which are very abrupt
and steep. It is not more than thirty or forty feet wide, and the road
runs along it. To the southward of this deep, long chasm, is a gap in
the hill through which ran a road by which the rear of the entire
position could be gained. If this gap had been occupied and the narrow
road across the wide, deep chasm had been adequately commanded by
earthworks which could protect the defenders from artillery planted on
the tops of the hills, the position would have been impregnable,
perhaps, from attack against its front, and the enemy could have carried
it only by marching far around upon one or the other flank. But the
position always selected by our forces, stationed there, for fight, was
about half way down the ridges toward Liberty. Here the enemy's
artillery had full play at them, his infantry marching up the ravines
and ridges had an equal chance with them, for there was no cover and all
were equally exposed; the regiments defending the position were
necessarily separated from each other and could not act in concert,
their horses embarrassed them, unless carried a long distance to the
rear, and their every movement was completely apparent to the enemy. The
left flank was, also, always in danger, and if turned by cavalry, the
retreat would be necessarily compromised.

During the night of the 2nd, the Sixth Kentucky and Quirk's scouts were
posted to watch the enemy, and the rest of the command was withdrawn to
the eastward of Liberty and took position upon the hill. Two guns of
Byrne's battery were planted, to sweep the road, a few hundred yards
from the town. At daylight the enemy's cavalry charged the force in
front of the town and drove it back. Major Bullitt, commanding Sixth
Kentucky, held them back for a while, but their numbers and the dash
with which they came told, and they forced him to rapid retreat. Soon
their close pursuit brought the enemy within the range of the guns, and
their fire made them call a halt, and Bullitt and Quirk charged in their
turn. The Confederates, however, were borne steadily backward.

To the eastward of Liberty the enemy met with another check at the long
covered bridge over Dry creek about a mile from the town. The guns were
planted to command the bridge and masked; when the enemy had crowded it
full, Byrnes opened and burst his shells right in their midst. In a
short time answering artillery drove the Confederates away.

Established on Snow's hilt, the line was not able to remain long in
position under the heavy fire of artillery and the attack of the
infantry. A long column of cavalry moved up Dry creek, and turning upon
the left flank, came through the gap which has been mentioned.
Lieutenant Colonel Huffman was sent with the Third Kentucky, to check
them, but, unluckily, did not reach the gap in time. He prevented,
however, their further advance until the troops under Colonel
Breckinridge (which about the same time began to retreat) had passed the
point where this force could have cut them off.

I came up to the rear, about this time, in company with Colonel
Smith--we had ridden from McMinnville together and had heard
cannonading, and learned that there was a fight going on. We saw nothing
of it, however, but it's effects upon the stragglers and "bummers," who
seemed to have unaccountably increased. I had been absent from the
command for more than two months, but knew of the gallant service it had
done, and took for granted that its _morale_ was unimpaired. Colonel
Smith, who had left Liberty only two or three days before, was more
surprised than myself at the stream of stragglers which we met. The
moral condition of the men was the most singular I ever witnessed. There
was no panic, no running, jostling, wild fear. They rode along quietly,
talked rationally, seemed utterly free from any lively and immediate
apprehension, but "just couldn't be made to fight," and yet quiet and
"serene" as seemed to be their timidity, it made some of them go clear
off, swim unfordable streams, and stay away for days. We were unprovided
with a guard, and although we could stop these fellows, until the road
was packed and jammed with them, it was utterly impossible to make them
turn back. At length, in disgust, we gave up the attempt, and rode on to
see what was the condition of affairs nearer the scene of actual
fighting. Colonel Smith hastened to his regiment, and I went in quest of
Colonels Gano and Breckinridge, and kept a watch for the Second

I met the column of Colonel Breckinridge retreating, but in excellent
order; the ranks were depleted by the stragglers, but the men who were
left were as firm and cool as ever. The same was true of that portion of
Colonel Gano's brigade which I saw. The men were occasionally cheering,
and seemed perfectly ready to return, if necessary, to fight. When
Lieutenant Colonel Huffman, in accordance with orders sent him by
Colonel Gano, undertook to withdraw from his position upon the left,
his men became crowded and confused, on account of the peculiar
conformation of the ground. The enemy, taking advantage of this
confusion, charged him. The Fourth Regulars came vigorously upon his
rear, and did smart damage. The regiment recoiled in disorder for some
distance. At length, Gano, with some thirty or forty men, charged the
Fourth Regulars, and checked them. Quirk dashed to his assistance with
about the same number of men, and the enemy was driven completely away.
No further pursuit was attempted, and the column retreated toward
Smithville. On the way Lieutenant Colonel Martin was sent with a few men
to watch the roads leading from the ground in possession of the enemy,
to the Smithville and McMinnville road, in order to prevent any effort
of the enemy to surprise us upon that road. The wagon train had been
previously ordered to move through Smithville to McMinnville by this
same road. Some of Martin's men (dressed in blue overcoats) came out
upon the road, suddenly, in front of the train. The teamsters took them
to be Yankees, and the wildest stampede ensued. The teamsters and wagon
attachees ran in every direction, crazy with fright. Some turned their
teams and put back to Smithville, others floundered off of the road and
tried to drive through thickets that a child's toy cart could scarcely
have been hauled through. Many wagons were, consequently, smashed up
before the panic could be abated.

That night we encamped some fourteen miles from McMinnville. At this
date Colonel Gano's connection with the command ceased, and we lost the
benefit of his character as an officer and man. No officer had won more
and better merited distinction, and his popularity was justly very
great. Functional disease of the heart, brought about by exposure, hard
work and intense excitement, compelled him to withdraw, for a time, from
active service, and when he returned, with re-established health, to the
field, it was to win new laurels and accomplish brilliant work in the

The division received more injury from this affair than I would have
supposed a hard fight and serious defeat would have done it. Nearly two
weeks were required to collect the fugitives.

General Morgan, on his way to join us on the night of the 3rd, met a
straggler, wandering loosely about, and demanded sternly why he was
absent from his regiment, "Well, General," answered the fellow,
ingenuously, "I'm scattered."


On the 5th, the command under General Morgan, in person, moved to
Liberty, which the enemy had by this time evacuated. Scouts and pickets
were thrown out, but although the enemy were reported to be still at
Alexandria in large force, there was no collision even with his
videttes. After remaining at Liberty a few hours, General Morgan
withdrew, moving about ten o'clock at night, to Smithville again. He had
no desire to attack the enemy, if in any such force as he was
represented to be, nor was he willing to await an attack in the then
condition of his command. A report, too, had reached him, which turned
out to be unfounded, that McMinnville had been taken, that afternoon, by
another expedition from Murfreesboro'.

We remained at Smithville until the 7th, and then returned to Liberty,
in accordance with orders from General Wheeler, who had reached
Alexandria on the same evening, with Wharton's division. Two or three
days subsequently, General Wheeler proceeded to Lebanon with all of the
troops at his disposal, and sending, thence, five hundred men to La
Vergne, under Lieutenant Colonel Ferril, of the Eighth Texas, to
intercept and capture railroad trains, he moved with the remainder of
his forces to the "Hermitage," on the Nashville and Lebanon pike, twelve
miles from Nashville. Here he left all of his command, except one
regiment, to repel any advance from Nashville--and proceeded with that
regiment and two or three pieces of artillery to the river--distant
about four miles--and fired across it with artillery at a train of cars,
knocking the engine off the track. No movement was made by the enemy
from Nashville, and on the same evening General Wheeler returned to
Lebanon. The next day, the party sent to La Vergne returned also.
Colonel Ferril had captured a train, taking a number of prisoners,
released some men of our division captured at Snow's hill and on their
way to Nashville, and he had gotten, besides, nearly forty thousand
dollars in greenbacks--Quartermaster's funds. This money, General
Wheeler appropriated to buying fresh horses for the men who had captured

General Wheeler remained at Lebanon three days. During that time, the
enemy advanced once from Murfreesboro', but retreated before reaching
our pickets. Upon our return from Lebanon, a portion of the forces,
only, were sent to Alexandria; more than half, under command of General
Wheeler, passed through Rome, to the immediate vicinity of Carthage.
Remaining here during the night, General Wheeler, just at daylight, fell
back toward Alexandria, reaching that place about 1 or 2 P.M. Wharton's
division was again encamped here, and Morgan's division, under my
command, was sent to Liberty, except Smith's regiment which was
stationed near Alexandria.

General Morgan on the night of the 5th, had returned to McMinnville, and
had not since rejoined us. Two or three days after this, the enemy moved
out from Carthage, so far as New Middleton, ten miles from Alexandria,
where General Wheeler attacked them and drove them back to Carthage. On
the 19th or 20th, the enemy advanced upon McMinnville with a strong
force of infantry, cavalry and artillery. There was no cavalry force at
the place at all, except General Morgan's escort (forty or fifty
strong), but there was some ninety infantry, under command of Major
Wickliffe of the Ninth Kentucky infantry, stationed there. After a good
deal of preliminary reconnoitering and some skirmishing with the men of
the escort, the enemy's cavalry dashed into the town, eight abreast,
driving out General Morgan and several officers, who happened to be
collected at McMinnville upon sick leave, or on special duty of some
sort. Among them were Colonel Cluke, Lieutenant Colonel Martin, and
Major McCann. Exchanging a few shots with the cavalry, this party
retreated upon the Sparta road--McCann's horse was shot in the melee
and fell, bringing him to the ground. He sprang to his feet and standing
in front of the charging column, shouted "You have got the old chief at
last," seeking to produce the impression that he was General Morgan and
so favor the latter's escape. He was ridden over, severely sabered, and
captured; but having been placed in an old stable, and allowed a canteen
of apple brandy, he got the guard drunk and dug out under the logs,
during the night, effecting his escape. Lieutenant Colonel Martin
received a bad wound through the lungs, but sat on his horse and
escaped. All of the others escaped uninjured. The infantry retreated, in
perfect order, to the mountains two or three miles distant. The enemy
pursued, but were driven back by the volleys given them whenever they
pressed closely.

When the news of this affair reached General Wheeler's headquarters,
General Wharton urged that the entire force should be withdrawn from
Alexandria and Liberty, and concentrated at Smithville. He believed that
the enemy, in withdrawing from McMinnville, would come by Liberty--the
infantry moving through Mechanicsville, and the cavalry through
Smithville. This route, they might calculate, would remove them from all
danger of molestation by any infantry force sent after them from our
army, and would bring them right upon the flank of our cavalry, which
could annoy their rear if they retreated through Woodbury, but would,
perhaps, be driven off by the movement upon Liberty. Then, a good pike
conducted them to Murfreesboro', and their cavalry, coming on from
Smithville, protected their rear.

A concentration of our whole force at Smithville, would not only make us
secure, but would enable us to punish the cavalry severely, if the
movement was made as Wharton anticipated. We remained, however, in the
same positions, picketing and scouting vigilantly. The enemy moved
exactly as Wharton had foreseen that they would do, and the troops at
Liberty fell back to Alexandria, whence, both divisions retreated across
Caney Fork, to Buffalo valley.

The road by which we moved was a rough and bad one, and the ford at
which we crossed, execrable, making it a tedious affair. A demonstration
was made, on the same day, from Carthage, but too late to interfere with
our retreat. Morgan's division, during these operations, on account of
heavy detachments having been made from it, and pretty heavy straggling,
was very much reduced.

During a week or ten days' stay in Buffalo valley, the stragglers were
collected and the regiments were gotten into pretty good order again.
Cluke's, Chenault's, and Morgan's regiments were still stationed upon
the Cumberland, in Wayne, Clinton and Cumberland counties. The latter
regiment was driven away from Celina, some time in the early part of
May; it had been posted there to protect the collection of commissary
stores for Wheeler's corps. After taking the town of Celina, the Federal
forces burned it and took position along the Cumberland, on the northern
side, confronting our forces on the southern. Pegram's brigade was also
stationed at Monticello, in Wayne county, Kentucky. It was attacked and
driven away on the 28th of May. General Morgan after these affairs
occurred, was ordered to move with his division to Wayne county, and
drive the enemy from the region south of the Cumberland; or if he found
him too strong to be driven, and he manifested an intention (which was
somewhat feared) of pressing into East Tennessee, to at least retard his

When General Morgan reached Monticello, which the enemy had evacuated
shortly after the affair with Pegram, he found Cluke, with his own
regiment and Chenault's, lying in front of a superior Federal force in
Horseshoe bottom on Greasy creek, in the western end of Wayne county.
Cluke had been skirmishing with them for two or three days. General
Morgan sent couriers to hasten the march of his other regiments--the
Second, Third, Fifth and Sixth Kentucky, and Ninth Tennessee, and of his

Notwithstanding that the utmost expedition was used, we did not arrive
upon the ground until after 3 P.M., although the order arrived at 9 or
10 A.M. During the day, Cluke and Chenault were fighting with the enemy,
at intervals, neither losing nor gaining ground. When we arrived, these
regiments had almost entirely expended their ammunition, and averaged
but two cartridges per man. The rough road over which we had marched,
and the rapidity with which the march was made, had not only caused the
Artillery to be left far in the rear, but had told severely on the
column. Several horses dropped dead. Many gave out so completely that
they had to be left. The strength of the five regiments was reduced to
eight hundred men, when they arrived upon the field.

One instance of uncommon gallantry, upon the part of a private
soldier--Theodore Bybee of Company C, Second Kentucky--ought to be
related. His horse fell dead beneath him, and he caught the stirrup of a
comrade, and ran thus eight or ten miles to the scene of the fighting.
As soon as we arrived, General Morgan ordered us to form for attack. No
one in the command was familiar with the ground, and the disposition of
the line was made with reference only to what could be seen.

On the left of our position, was a deep ravine, with which the road ran
parallel, and about one hundred yards distant. The whole ground was
covered, in every direction, with thick timber, except for perhaps ten
or fifteen acres directly in front of the line formed by Cluke's and
Chenault's regiments. In this open space, which was an old field and
orchard, and nearly square, was situated a small house. Just on the
other side of it, and in the edge of the woods, the enemy were posted.
The road ran through the center of it, and, immediately after entering
the woods at the northern extremity, turned to the left, crossing the

The mistake General Morgan made in supposing that the road continued to
run straight, and thus inducing him to make no inflection of his line on
the right of the road, toward the enemy's left flank, prevented his
capturing a good many prisoners, and perhaps the enemy's artillery.
Cluke's and Chenault's regiments were, together, not more than three
hundred and fifty strong, upon the field. The Fifth Kentucky, and Ninth
Tennessee were formed about one hundred yards in the rear of Cluke and
Chenault, and were placed under command of Colonel Smith. The Third and
Sixth Kentucky, were formed about two hundred yards in the rear of
Colonel Smith's line and a little further to the right. The Second
Kentucky, and Colonel Morgan's regiment, which had also arrived, were
held in reserve, the former on foot, the latter mounted. All of the
horses were placed on the left of the road. Just as these dispositions
were completed, the enemy opened upon us with two pieces of artillery,
which did no damage, except to the horses, several of which were killed.
As no artillery had been used previously, General Morgan thought that
its appearance upon the field betokened the arrival of reinforcements to
the enemy, perhaps in considerable numbers, and he thought, for a
moment, of withdrawing his troops. In this view, every officer about him
at the time, concurred, except Colonel Morgan.

A few seconds of time elapsing, it was demonstrated that before we could
retreat, we would be forced to repulse the enemy. At the roar of the
guns, they came charging across the open ground, yelling like devils, or
rebels. The crash of musketry, for a minute, in the limited space, was
quite heavy. Cluke's line quickly discharged all of its ammunition, and
then gave back before the enemy's determined rush, without, however,
losing its formation, or any of the men turning their faces from the
enemy. These two regiments were exceedingly reliable in battle.

After this line had _backed_ some twenty-five paces, Smith's line came
to its support, and the men in the latter, passing through the intervals
between the files of the former, poured into the faces of the Federals,
at that time almost mingled with the men of Cluke's and Chenault's
regiments, a volley which amazed and sent them back. As our line pressed
after them across the open ground, the artillery, only a short distance
off, told severely on it and continued its fire until our foremost were
close upon the guns.

The enemy made a stand at the point where the road crosses the ravine,
to enable the guns to escape, but the Third and Sixth Kentucky coming
up, they were again driven. So dense was the woods, that pursuit was
almost impossible. Colonel Morgan dashed down the road, but secured only
a few prisoners. The enemy conducted the retreat with the most perfect
coolness. About three hundred yards from the point where the last stand
was made, one company halted and picketed the road, while all the rest
(as we afterward ascertained) continued to rapidly retreat to the river.
Our loss in this skirmish, which lasted about half an hour, was, in the
first brigade, ten killed and sixteen wounded, and in the second five or
six killed and wounded. The enemy lost, I believe, twenty-one killed,
and a smaller number of wounded. His loss was in all, as nearly as I
remember, thirty-one or two. Very few prisoners were taken. General
Morgan, despairing of being able to surround or rush over the enemy, in
the rugged, wooded country, sent a flag of truce, proposing a surrender.
Captain Davis, Assistant Adjutant General of the first brigade (who bore
the flag), was detained until communication could be had with Colonel
Jacobs, who commanded all the United States forces in that immediate
region. Colonel Jacobs was some distance off, on the other side of the
river, and it was growing dark. General Morgan sent another message,
demanding the release of Captain Davis, and declaring his intention of
advancing as soon as that was done. Immediately upon the return of
Captain Davis, the column was moved forward. The pickets saluted the
advance guard with a volley, and gracefully fell back, and although we
pressed on close to the river, we saw nothing more of them. As late as
the close of the war, no answer had been received from Colonel Jacobs,
although that officer was distinguished for his courtesy as well as

The division remained on the line of the Cumberland, picketing from
Stagall's ferry to Celina for nearly three weeks. The headquarters of
the first brigade was at Albany, county seat of Clinton county, that of
the second at Monticello, county seat of Wayne. In that time the ranks
filled up again, nearly all absentees, with or without leave, returning.
The horses were grazed on the rich grass and carefully attended to, and
got in excellent condition again. Several scouting expeditions were
undertaken, during this period, against the enemy on the north side of
the river, the most successful of which were under command of Captain
Davis and Captain Thomas Franks, of the Second Kentucky. Each of these
officers, with two companies, penetrated far into the enemy's lines, and
attacking and routing the forces that they met, with small loss to
themselves, brought off prisoners, horses, and captured property of
various kinds. These expeditions were not only of essential use in
annoying the enemy, but were absolutely necessary to the maintenance of
a proper spirit and energy among our men, whose _morale_ and discipline
were, invariably, sensibly impaired by an indolent and monotonous life.

This period of the history of Morgan's cavalry has been generally
esteemed one of entire inaction, upon the part of both leader and men.
It is true that nothing was done in all this period, which would at all
compare with the dashing, enterprising career of the previous year. But
a great deal of useful, if not brilliant service, was performed, and a
vast deal of hard work was cheerfully gone through with. The public had
become so accustomed to expect "raids" and "dashes" from Morgan, that
they thought his command idle and useless, when engaged in the
performance of regular routine duty. It should be remembered that, at
the very time when Morgan's division was thought to be so inactive, it
was constantly occupied with exactly the kind of service at which the
other cavalry, except Forrest's, were always engaged.

During the winter and spring of 1863, and until nearly the middle of
the summer, our command was guarding and picketing a long front, and
scouting thoroughly a great extent of country besides. For six months
the country about Liberty, Alexandria and Lebanon, and that about
Monticello and Albany, was in a great measure committed to Morgan's
care. This gave him a front of quite one hundred and fifty miles to
watch and guard, and at least half of the time he had to do it
single-handed. Then there was a great portion of Middle Tennessee, and
of Southern, Central and Eastern Kentucky, which his scouts constantly
traversed. It is fair to say that from January to July 1863, inclusive,
the period of the supposed inaction, during which time Morgan made no
"raid," nor achieved any very brilliant success, that in all that time,
our division was as constantly serving, fought and won as many
skirmishes, guarded and scouted as great an extent of country, captured
as many prisoners, and gave the Confederate Government as little trouble
on the subject of supplies, as any other cavalry division in the
Confederate army.

But, in this year, the glory and the _prestige_ began to pass away from
the Southern cavalry. It was not that their opponents became their
superiors in soldiership, any more than in individual prowess. Although
the Federal cavalry had greatly improved, had become formidable for its
enterprise and fighting capacity, it can yet be said that the
Confederate cavalry, when in proper condition, still asserted its
superiority upon every field where there was an equality of forces. But
it was daily becoming more and more difficult to keep the Confederate
cavalry in good condition. An impression prevailed, no doubt a correct
one, that as for the great efforts of war, the infantry was so much more
useful and necessary, a far greater care ought to be taken of it than of
the cavalry; and, then, an idea obtained that, inasmuch as our cavalry
supplied itself so often, and occasionally so well, by its own captures,
it ought to do so all the time. A corollary resulted from these two
propositions, which played the wild with the cavalry, viz: that it was
highly improper to issue anything which the Government had to furnish
to that arm of the service. So it happened that, while to the cavalry
were entrusted the most responsible and important duties, scarcely any
encouragement or assistance was afforded it; and, on the contrary, a
tone and conduct were adopted toward it apparently expressly intended to
disgust it. I speak in reference to Western cavalry and Western affairs
altogether, for I served at no time with the Army of Northern Virginia,
and know nothing of it but the bare outline of its glorious and
unequaled record. Cavalry officers, after long and arduous service, and
a thorough initiation into all the mysteries of their craft, were
rewarded and encouraged by having some staff officer, or officer
educated to shoot heavy artillery, run steamships, or mix chemical
preparations, promoted over their heads; and were expected to be
delighted with him, although he might not practically know whether a
horse-shoe was put on with nails or with hooks and eyes, and whether
pickets were posted to look out for an enemy, or to show
Brigadier-Generals the way to their headquarters when they were lost.

Cavalry which was expected to be constantly engaging the enemy, and upon
whose efficiency and success a vast deal depended, were grudgingly
provided with or altogether denied arms and ammunition, unless they
could be captured from the enemy. Hard and constant as was the service
the cavalryman performed, exposed as he was to the severity of all sorts
of climate, without shelter, and often without the means of building the
fire which stood him in stead of tent, and sometimes had to furnish him
the strength and cheer of the food he lacked, he was yet snubbed
mercilessly, and Generals commanding stared aghast if he presumed to ask
for anything. The infantryman, lying snug and idle in camp, was given
his blanket and his tent, good clothing (if it could possibly be had)
and stout shoes (I speak, of course, in a Confederate sense); all was
done for him to get him in condition for the day of battle; they
fattened him for the sacrifice. But the cavalryman, had it not been for
his own exertions, and the energy with which he indemnified himself for
his Government's neglect of him, would not have been worth killing. When
I reflect upon the privations I have seen the men endure, and remember
that they well knew that there was no escape from them, except by taking
what they wanted wherever they found it; and remember, further, the
chances that were offered, I am lost in astonishment at their honesty
and forbearance. I am aware that our "distant brethren" of the North, or
those, rather, who will be our brethren, it is inferred, when an
amendment to the Constitution decides who and what we are--it is a
matter perfectly well understood that they will concede no such honesty
to us, and naturally enough. It is a stale, but all the more
certain-on-that-account fact, that they have discovered that "the earth
belongs to the saints," and that they "are the saints." Therefore, to
take anything (upon this continent, at least), in any manner, is to rob
the "saints;" and, while a man may pardon a fellow who robs his
neighbor, it is not in reason that he should forgive the rogue who robs

One special cause of the degeneracy of the Southern cavalry, in the
latter part of the war, was the great scarcity of horses and the great
difficulty of obtaining forage within the Confederate lines, and
consequently, of keeping the horses which we had in good condition.
Morgan's men had the reputation, and not unjustly, of procuring horses
with great facility and economy. Adepts as we were, in the art of
"horse-pressing," there was this fact nevertheless to be said in favor
of the system which we adopted: while making very free with the
horse-flesh of the country into which we would raid, there was never any
wanton waste of the article. We did not kill our tired stock, as did the
Federal commanders on their "raids," when we got fresh ones. The men of
our command were not permitted to impress horses in a friendly country.
It is true that horses were sometimes stolen from people who were most
devoted to our cause, and who lived within our lines, but such thefts
did not often occur, and the perpetrators were severely punished. The
witty editors of Yankee-land would doubtless have explained our rebuke
of this practice, by an application of the old saying that "there is
honor among thieves," which would have been very just and apposite. The
difference between our thieves and those on the other side was, that the
latter were entirely destitute of every sort of honor. General Morgan
took fresh horses to enable his command to make the tremendous marches
which ensured so much of his success, and to prevent his men from
falling into the hands of the enemy, but he hedged around the practice
with limitations which somewhat protected the citizen. He required that,
in every instance where a man desired to exchange his tired horse for a
fresh one, he should have his horse inspected by his company commander,
who should certify to the condition of the horse and the necessity of
the exchange. If the company commander certified that his horse was
unfit for service, the man obtained from his regimental commander
permission to obtain a fresh one, which had also, before it was valid,
to be approved by the brigade commander. Whenever it was practicable,
the exchange was required to be made in the presence of a commissioned
officer, and, in every case, a horse, if the soldier had it, was ordered
to be left in the place of the one impressed. When a man was without a
horse, altogether, his company commander could impress one for him. No
doubt, this seems to the unmilitary reader, only systematic robbery--but
is not _that_ going on all the time, all over the world? Is it not, too,
a great comfort to the citizen, to know that (when he is robbed), there
are laws and the "proper papers" for it!

When men or officers were detected with led horses, they were punished,
and the horses were taken away from them, unless they could prove that
they were entitled to them. Morgan's men were habitually styled
"horse-thieves" by their enemies, and they did not disclaim the title--I
should like to see a statistical report showing the number of horses
stolen in Kentucky by the respective belligerents--we would lose some
laurels. The Confederate Government could not, and did not attempt to
supply the cavalry of its armies with horses. The cavalry soldier
furnished his own horse, and (if he lost him), had to make the best
shift he could for another. The cavalryman was not subjected to the
rigid discipline of the infantryman, for the reason that he was harder
to catch. It is more difficult to regulate six legs than two. For the
very reason that it was outside of the pale of regular discipline and
the highest military civilization, it was more necessary to give to the
cavalry officers who practically understood that sort of service, as
well as were men of controlling character. Such men could make of the
cavalryman, a soldier--with an inferior officer or one who was awkward
at cavalry business over him, he became an Ishmael.

There existed among the infantry, not exactly a prejudice against
cavalry (for they all wanted to join it), but that sort of feeling
against it, which is perhaps natural upon the part of the man who walks
against the man who rides. When the "web-feet" called us "buttermilk
rangers," we did not get angry with them, for we knew that they were
gallant fellows and that much walking tries the temper--but we did not
admire the official prejudice against us, and thought an affected
contempt of our arm in very bad taste, upon the part of Generals who not
only never won battles but who never tried to win them.

In the spring and summer of 1863, supplies could be obtained for neither
men nor horses of the cavalry of Bragg's army, without the greatest
difficulty and great oppression of the citizens. It was not the custom
to issue (out of army supplies), rations to the men, or forage to the
horses of the cavalry commands--they were required to provide for
themselves in these respects. It was impracticable, too, to supply them
from the stores collected for army use. Certain regions, therefore, in
which, for the proper protection of the lines, it was absolutely
necessary to keep large bodies of cavalry--sections of country not
fertile and at no time abounding in supplies--were literally stripped of
meat, grain and every thing edible. All that would feed man or horse
disappeared, as if a cloud of Titanic and omniverous locusts had
settled upon the land--and after the citizens were reduced to the
extremity of destitution and distress, the soldiers and their horses
suffered, also, with slow famine.

One instance of the kind will serve to show how destructive of the
efficiency of cavalry was service under such circumstances. When the
division was ordered to Wayne and Clinton counties, Kentucky, the Ninth
Kentucky, one of the best regiments in the cavalry of the West, was sent
to Woodbury to picket that immediate section of country. For many miles
around this little place, the country had been exhausted of provisions
and forage by the constant requisition upon it during the winter and
spring. The men of the Ninth Kentucky suffered severely for want of
rations, but they esteemed their own sufferings lightly, compared with
those of their horses. Long forage (oats, fodder, etc.) could not be
procured at all; and corn had to be hauled a distance of over thirty
miles, from a region whence other cavalry commands were also drawing
supplies of forage, or else it could only be gotten from Tullahoma out
of the forage stored there for army consumption. Consequently, corn was
rare at that time at Woodbury; two or three ears per day to each horse
was the usual issue. Upon some days none was issued. Every blade of
grass in the vicinity of the camp was eaten, and the trees were barked
by the poor animals as high as they could reach.

The men stood picket on foot; all of the stock was rendered utterly
unserviceable, and one fourth of it died. By such usage (necessary,
however,) this regiment was made unfit for active and efficient service
for months, and its discipline and morale were seriously, although only
temporarily, impaired. More than half--at any rate, a large proportion
of the cavalry of General Bragg's army were suffering, at that time,
precisely as this regiment was. In this condition of things is to be
found the explanation of the apparent degeneracy of the Confederate
cavalry, in the latter part of the war.

Another fact, too, should not be lost sight of. In common with every
other arm of the service, our cavalry became very greatly reduced in
numbers as the war wore on. We could not fill up our regiments as easily
as the Federals could fill their wasted organizations. Those who wonder
why well known Confederate regiments, brigades, and divisions did not
accomplish as much in the latter as in the early part of the war, do not
know, or do not reflect, that it was because they were reduced to a
fourth or a fifth of their original strength. This, however, was not the
case at the period of which I write. It was, too, in the summer of 1863
that serious doubt of the successful establishment of Southern
independence began to gain ground among the masses of the Southern
people; and a lukewarmness first, and next a feeling almost of
disaffection to the Confederate Government and cause widely prevailed.
This indifference was very unlike the strange absence of anxiety and
solicitude about the result of the war, which characterized its early
stages. The latter feeling proceeded from a blind and overweening
confidence, and those who entertained it were not the less intensely
patriotic and devoted to the cause. Nor was this species of
disaffection, which began to influence so many, characterized by the
slightest tendency toward treachery or renegadeism. Hundreds of
citizens, who were fiercely opposed to the administration, and cordially
disliked Mr. Davis, who had even lost much of their interest in the
Confederate army and its fortunes, nevertheless hated the Northern
people, the Federal Government, and the invading army, with a hatred
immeasureably more thorough, rabid, and ineradicable, than at the
beginning of the war, ere they knew practically what invasion was like.
With a strange inconsistency, these men would have done any thing to
have injured the enemy, even when averse to making further sacrifices
for the benefit of the Confederacy. So far from renegading and pandering
to Federal rule and success, the large majority of this class would have
pawned their souls for power to crush the Federal arms. This is why the
Southern renegade is regarded by the Southern people with loathing,
scorn, and hatred, burning and inextinguishable. Although destitution
and suffering were not general, at this time, in the South, they had
prevailed, and to a fearful extent, in many sections; and everywhere a
solemn and well-founded apprehension was felt upon the subject. Still it
took two years more of disaster--of an invasion which probed every nook
and corner of the South, and a condition of almost famine, to finally
break the spirit of the Southern people, and make them, in the
abjectness of their agony, actually welcome a peace which heralded
subjugation as a relief from the horrors of war. It was the submission
of the people which took the steel out of the army.

It is the fashion, with a certain class of Southern writers, to denounce
Mr. Davis as the author of this condition of things, and to revile the
Southern people because of their ultimate despair and surrender. Many
and great blunders were committed in the conduct of the civil and
military affairs of the Confederacy, and doubtless Mr. Davis was
responsible for some of them.

In an affair of such magnitude, as was the Southern movement and the
consequent war, errors would have characterized, in all probability, the
administration of the most practiced and skillful military and political
chiefs--how then could the administration of men, unschooled in the
practical arts of managing revolutions and wars, be free from them? The
wonder is, not that blunders were made, but that the bad effect of so
many was partially repaired. The faults, which marred our fortunes, were
the natural concomitants of a state of prolonged and constant warfare,
and the latter weakening of our people was the inevitable result of a
struggle against adverse circumstances and superior numbers and
resources. The only way to have lessened the number of the former, and
to have prevented the latter, would have been to fight, not a waiting,
but a quick war.

On the 26th, the division was ordered back to Liberty and Alexandria.
That country had been occupied and picketed, just before our return
from Albany and Monticello, by a brigade of Wharton's division,
commanded by Colonel (afterward Brigadier General) Harrison, of the
Eighth Texas, a gallant and highly esteemed officer. Breckinridge's
regiment (the Ninth Kentucky) was still kept at Woodbury. About this
time Colonel A.R. Johnson returned from Texas, and was immediately
assigned, by General Morgan, to the command of the second brigade--his
rank entitled him to be second in command. This brigade had been ably
commanded, since Gano's absence, by Cluke. Colonel Johnson retained none
of the former brigade staff, except Lieutenant Sidney Cunningham, a
brave and efficient officer, who was afterward Lieutenant Colonel of the
Fifteenth Kentucky. The effective strength of the division, at this
time, was twenty-eight hundred men. The horses were in better condition,
and the men were better provided for in every respect, than at any
period since the "December raid." New and excellent clothing had been
issued them while on the Cumberland--a thing unprecedented in the
history of the command--and their general equipment was much superior to
what it had been at the close of the winter. All were well armed, and
with the kind of guns which were always preferred in Morgan's cavalry.
The Second Kentucky had managed to get rid of a great many guns, during
the latter part of the winter and early part of the spring. The men of
this regiment were styled by General Morgan his "Regulars," on account
of their veteranship and proficiency in drill, etc., and, yet,
notwithstanding its excellent reputation, this unsoldierly practice of
losing and throwing away guns, had prevailed to such an extent in the
regiment, that, at one time, nearly one half of its members were
unarmed. The men did not seem to do it, to escape duty, or going into
battle, for they all remained in camp and answered to the bugle--it
seemed to be a fashion which they had suddenly adopted. This practice is
one of the few, for which officers, inclined to be lenient in most
particulars, may well be willing to have their men shot. Except that I
have seen it prevail, at times, among troops of unquestionable bravery
and fidelity, I would say that the most cowardly and treacherous spirit
induces it. The Second Kentucky was a regiment which never had its
superior--it possessed, not only courage and steadiness, but the highest
"dash" and inflexible constancy, and yet, at one period, the practice
which has been mentioned, prevailed in it to an extraordinary extent.
Major Webber, commanding it at the time, made every man lacking a gun,
after punishment in other ways, carry a heavy fence rail upon his
shoulder, until he procured an Enfield or Springfield rifle. The
facility with which the men found the required arms at the country
houses, induced a suspicion that many of them had previously deposited
the same guns where they subsequently got them. They were also
threatened with being left behind on the next expedition to Kentucky,
and with being sent to the infantry, if they did not speedily arm
themselves, both of which intimations had an excellent effect.

The first brigade made headquarters at Alexandria. The regiments
composing it, and Morgan's regiment (ordered to temporarily report to
it) were encamped on the Lebanon pike, and the roads to Carthage and
Statesville. The second brigade, with its headquarters at Auburn, was
disposed upon the road to Murfreesboro', and between Auburn and
Statesville. One regiment was posted at Statesville, which little place
was nearly equi-distant from Auburn and Alexandria. The country around
was picketed and scouted thoroughly in every direction, and the
disposition of the regiments gave us such command of all the roads, that
we could have concentrated without difficulty, and as the exigency might
require, at Auburn, Alexandria, or Liberty. The period that we remained
here was passed in assiduous and diligent instruction of the troops.
Drills, dress-parades, inspections, etc., were constantly had--we had
never before had so much time for those duties, when the division was so
nearly concentrated. The strictest vigilance was maintained in our
camps, to prevent the passage through them of Federal spies, who, at
this period and at this quarter of our lines, were unusually numerous,
cunning, and audacious. The strict guard and watch maintained to
frustrate and detect these parties, operated favorably upon our own men,
who were necessarily restricted, by the unusual precautions adopted, of
much of the liberty they had previously enjoyed. The division was,
perhaps, never in as high and salutary a state of discipline as at this

The enemy came near us but once during this, our last sojourn in this
country. Colonel Morgan had been sent to Baird's mill, and returning,
halted all night at Lebanon. The enemy advanced upon him at Lebanon, and
as he fell back slowly toward Alexandria, followed him. I reinforced him
with the Second Kentucky, and believing that it was a large force,
formed my brigade in front of Alexandria, and requested Colonel Johnson
to reinforce me with his brigade. He immediately set out to do so,
leaving pickets to watch the Murfreesboro' pike. While we were awaiting
his arrival, Colonel Morgan, Major Brent, (whom I should have stated was
with him, in command of a small detachment of the Fifth Kentucky), and a
portion of the Second Kentucky under Captain Franks, were skirmishing
with the enemy, who continued slowly but steadily to advance, until
reaching a locality called Watertown, he halted. Nothing had been
learned definitely of his strength, but we believed it to be large,
simply because every force previously sent against us, in this quarter,
had greatly outnumbered us. When Colonel Johnson arrived (about 1 P.M.,)
we at once moved forward to attack, but had proceeded only a short
distance, when Colonel Morgan reported that the enemy were again in
motion, pressing briskly upon him, and apparently determined to fight.
This information induced me to return to the position I had just
left--an admirable one, both to receive and return an attack--it was
about three quarters of a mile to the rear of the head of the column,
which had not yet gotten clear of it. This was a mistake greatly to be
regretted, and prevented the fight. The enemy came within a mile of the
position, maneuvered a little while, and fell back. By this time it was
getting late. We followed him with two companies and two pieces of
artillery, skirmished with and shelled him.

That night, while we still doubted their strength and intentions--they
went off entirely. I learned, then, that they were not more than
eighteen hundred strong, while we were at least twenty-five hundred.
This affair would not be worth mentioning, except that it illustrated
how a lack of enterprise, and a too great fancy for "good positions"
will sometimes prevent excellent opportunities from being improved. If I
had attacked, promptly, the whole force, in all likelihood, would have
been captured. The enemy for some reason conceived a very exaggerated
idea of our strength. Shortly after this, it was reported in
Murfreesboro', if the papers we captured spoke truth, that Wheeler's
entire corps and some infantry were stationed at Alexandria and Liberty,
harvesting the magnificent wheat crop, with which the adjacent country

On the 10th of June, General Morgan arrived at Alexandria, and orders
were at once issued to prepare the division to march on the next day. It
soon became known to all the officers at least, that he was about to
undertake an expedition which he had long contemplated, and which he had
often solicited permission to make. This was the greatest of all his
"raids," the one known as the "Ohio raid." Although it resulted
disastrously to his own command, it had a great influence upon the
pending campaign between Bragg and Rosecrans, and greatly assisted the
former. It was beyond all comparison the grandest enterprise he ever
planned, and the one which did most honor to his genius.

The military situation in Tennessee, at that time, may be briefly

General Bragg's army lay around Tullahoma, his cavalry covering his
front and stretching far out upon both wings. General Buckner was in
East Tennessee, with a force entirely inadequate to the defense of that
important region. General Bragg, confronted by Rosecrans with a vastly
superior force, dared not detach troops to strengthen Buckner. The
latter could not still further weaken his small force by sending aid to
General Bragg--if the latter should need it. General Burnside was
preparing (in Kentucky), a force, variously estimated, at from fifteen
to more than thirty thousand men, for the invasion of East Tennessee.
With this force he could easily drive out Buckner. It was estimated that
at various points in Southern Kentucky, Bowlinggreen, Glasgow, and along
the Cumberland river--and at Carthage in Tennessee, and other points in
that vicinity, there were from eight to twelve thousand Federal
troops--the greater part of them under the command of a General Judah,
whose headquarters were at Glasgow. Of these forces, some five thousand
were excellent cavalry. General Judah's official papers (captured on the
Ohio raid), gave the exact strength of his forces, but I have forgotten

There was perfect unanimity of opinion (among the Confederate officers),
about the plan and method of the anticipated Federal movement. Rosecrans
(all believed), would press hard upon General Bragg--Burnside,
simultaneously, or as soon afterward as was practicable, would move
against Buckner. Judah's force could be used to keep open direct
communication between these two armies, and also as a reserve. When the
advance was fairly inaugurated, Judah, who in the meantime might guard
against the raids of our cavalry, could be concentrated and moved
through Burkesville, Livingston and Sparta--turning then, if General
Bragg staid to fight, upon the right flank of the army at Tallahoma--or,
if General Bragg retreated, pressing down through the Sequatchie valley
to Chattanooga. A junction of all these forces, it was thought, would be
made, and the Confederate army would then confront a host too formidable
to be beaten.

This was the belief which prevailed in our army regarding the intentions
of the enemy. It may have been incorrect--the feature, which we of
Morgan's cavalry especially dwelt upon, to-wit, the part, in the
supposed programme, to be played by Judah, may have been altogether
uncontemplated--perhaps he was not a man capable of having executed it.
But whatever may have been the Federal plan of the campaign, it is
certain that terrible dangers menaced the army of General Bragg, and all
the salient points of his department.

General Bragg regarded the peril with just apprehension--he took in its
full proportions. He decided and (as was conceded by all who understood
the situation), with good and sufficient reasons, to retreat beyond the
Tennessee river, and then somewhere near Chattanooga, turning upon his
foes, fight the battle which had to be delivered for the protection of
his department. But that retreat would be very hazardous. He was right
in the path of the avalanche, and the least movement upon his part might
precipitate it upon him. The difficulty and danger of crossing the
Tennessee, with Rosecrans hard upon his rear, would be greatly
augmented, if these other Federal forces were poured down upon his

General Bragg, it may be repeated, knew how to use, and invariably used,
his cavalry to good purpose, and in this emergency he resolved to employ
some of it to divert from his own hazardous movement, and fasten upon
some other quarter, the attention of a portion of the opposing forces.
He hoped, not only to give them enough to do, to prevent them from
annoying and endangering his retreat, but, also, to draw off a part of
their forces from the great battle which he expected to fight. He
selected Morgan as the officer who should accomplish this design.

In the conference between them, General Morgan expressed a perfect
confidence in his ability to effect all that was desired of him, but
dissented from General Bragg in one important particular. The latter
wished him to confine himself to Kentucky--giving him _carte blanche_ to
go wherever he pleased in that State, and urging him to attempt the
capture of Louisville. General Morgan declared, that, while he could by
a dash into Kentucky and a march through that State, protect General
Bragg's withdrawal from the position his army then held, he could not
thus accomplish the other equally important feature of the plan, and
draw off troops which would otherwise strengthen Rosecrans for the
decisive battle.

A raid into Kentucky would keep Judah busy, and hold Burnside fast until
it was decided, but, he contended it would be decided very soon, and he
would be driven out or cut to pieces in a few days, leaving the Federal
forces so disposed that they could readily commence their previously
determined operations. A raid into Indiana and Ohio, on the contrary, he
contended, would draw all the troops in Kentucky after him, and keep
them employed for weeks. Although there might be sound military reasons
why Judah and Burnside should not follow him, but should stick to what
the Confederate officers deemed the original programme of Rosecrans,
General Morgan urged, that the scare and the clamor in the States he
proposed to invade, would be so great, that the military leaders and the
administration would be compelled to furnish the troops that would be
called for. He thought that, even if he lost his command, he could
greatly benefit General Bragg by crossing the Ohio river and only in
that way.

General Bragg refused him permission to make the raid as he desired to
make it and ordered him to confine himself to Kentucky. I was not
present at the interview between them, but General Morgan told me that
General Bragg had ordered him to operate in Kentucky, and further stated
that he intended, notwithstanding his orders, to cross the Ohio. I do
not mean to justify his disobedience of orders, but simply to narrate
the facts as I learned them, and to explain General Morgan's ideas
regarding the movement, which were definite and fixed. This expedition
into the Northwestern States had long been a favorite idea with him and
was but the practical development of his theory of the proper way to
make war, to-wit: by going deep into the country of the enemy. He had
for several weeks foreseen the necessity of some such diversion in
General Bragg's behalf, and believed that the period for the
accomplishment of his great desire was at hand.

He had ordered me, three weeks previously, to send intelligent men to
examine the fords of the upper Ohio--that at Buffington among them--and
it is a fact, of which others, as well as myself, are cognizant, that he
intended--long before he crossed the Ohio--to make no effort to recross
it, except at some of these fords, unless he found it more expedient,
when he reached that region, to join General Lee, if the latter should
still be in Pennsylvania.

Never had I been so impressed with General Morgan's remarkable
genius--his wonderful faculty of anticipating the exact effect his
action would have upon all other men and of calculating their
action--his singular power of arriving at a correct estimate of the
nature and capacities of a country, which he knew only by maps and the
most general description--and the perfect accuracy with which he could
foretell the main incidents of a march and campaign--as when he would
briefly sketch his plan of that raid. All who heard him felt that he was
right in the main, and although some of us were filled with a grave
apprehension, from the first, we felt an inconsistent confidence when
listening to him. He did not disguise from himself the great dangers he
encountered, but was sanguine of success. As it turned out, only the
unprecedented rise in the Ohio caused his capture--he had avoided or had
cut his way through all other dangers.

On the 11th of June, the division marched from Alexandria to the
Cumberland and crossed the river not far from the little town of Rome.
General Morgan desired to attack the Federal force stationed at
Carthage, and strongly fortified. General Bragg had authorized him to do

The division encamped two or three miles from the northern bank of the
river, and not far from the turnpike which runs from Carthage to
Hartsville. Information had been received that the mail passed on this
road twice or three times a week, guarded by a small escort, and that
comfortably lined sutlers' wagons sometimes accompanied the cavalcade
for the benefit of the protection the escort afforded. Colonel Ward was
sent, with two or three companies of his regiment, to a point on the
pike some eight miles from Carthage, and two or three from our
encampment. He reached it just before sundown, and shortly afterward the
mail train, accompanied by several sutlers' wagons, and under charge of
an escort eighty or a hundred strong, came by, no one apparently
suspecting the slightest danger, and all keeping careless watch. When
the procession came opposite to where Colonel Ward had posted his men
(some seventy yards from the road), the Colonel gave the order to fire
in a loud voice. At the unexpected command, which so suddenly indicated
danger, mail-carriers, sutlers, and guard halted in amazement, and when
the answering volley broke upon them, they went in every direction in
the wildest confusion. Not a shot was fired in return, but the escort
manifested plainly that it felt a very inferior degree of interest in
the integrity of postal affairs.

Few prisoners were taken, but the mail and the wagons were secured. In
one of the latter, a corpulent sutler was found, wedged in a corner, and
much alarmed. He was past speaking when drawn out, but faintly signed
that a bottle he had in his pocket should be placed to his lips.

That evening a staff officer arrived from General Bragg with orders to
General Morgan. He was instructed to make no attack upon Carthage, but
to march as rapidly as possible to Monticello, and strive to intercept a
Federal raiding party which had broken into East Tennessee, under
Brigadier General Saunders, and was threatening Knoxville. Upon the next
morning, consequently, we recrossed the Cumberland and marched in the
direction ordered. After passing through Gainesboro', we got into a very
rugged country and upon the very worst roads. At Livingston we were
overtaken by a tremendous rain, which lasted for two or three days, and
rendered the road almost impassable for artillery. This retarded our
march very greatly, and we arrived at Albany three days later than we
would otherwise have done, to learn that the enemy had already passed
out of East Tennessee by way of Jamestown.

and Indiana JULY, 1863.]

The second brigade was encamped in Turkey-neck Bend of the Cumberland
river, some fifteen miles in direct line from Burkesville. The first
brigade was encamped along the river, from a point opposite Burkesville
to Irish Bottom. The division remained here for three or four days,
awaiting the return of General Morgan, who had left us at the recrossing
of the Cumberland to go to McMinnville and hurry forward some supplies
and ammunition. These stores were hauled to our camp in six wagons,
which had nearly not gotten to us at all. The heavy rains which had so
retarded the march of the division to Albany, had made the roads which
these wagons had traveled perfect quagmires. When they reached the Obie
and Wolf rivers, which are six miles apart at the points where the road
from Sparta to Monticello crosses them, they met with a very
discouraging sight. These little rushing mountain streams were much
swollen and too deep for any kind of fording. General Morgan instructed
his Acting Inspector, Captain D.R. Williams, an officer of great energy,
to have the wagons taken to pieces, and stowed, with their contents, in
canoes, and so ferried across. In this manner, all were crossed in a
single night. The mules were made to swim.

On the 2nd of July, the crossing of the Cumberland began, the first
brigade crossing at Burkesville and Scott's ferry, two miles above, and
the second crossing at Turkey-neck Bend. The river was out of its banks,
and running like a mill-race. The first brigade had, with which to cross
the men and their accouterments, and artillery, only two crazy little
flats, that seemed ready to sink under the weight of a single man, and
two or three canoes. Colonel Johnson was not even so well provided. The
horses were made to swim.

Just twelve miles distant upon the other side, at Marrowbone, lay
Judah's cavalry, which had moved to that point from Glasgow, in
anticipation of some such movement upon Morgan's part as he was now
making. Our entire strength was twenty-four hundred and sixty effective
men--the first brigade numbering fourteen hundred and sixty, the second
one thousand. This, however, was exclusive of artillery, of which we had
four pieces--a section of three-inch Parrots attached to the first
brigade, and a section of twelve-pound howitzers attached to the second.
Videttes, posted at intervals along the river bank, would have given
General Judah timely information of this bold crossing, and he would
have been enabled to strike and crush or capture the whole force. But he
depended on the swollen river to deter Morgan, forgetting that Morgan
invariably did that which was least expected of him. As soon as the
latter learned of the strange supineness and lack of vigilance of his
foe, he commenced and hastened the work of crossing the river. About two
or three P.M., the enemy began to threaten both brigades, but did not
advance with determination. The Sixth Kentucky and Ninth Tennessee had
all been gotten across at Burkesville by this time, and portions of the
other regiments were also across, as well as two pieces of artillery.
General Morgan formed this entire force, and led it to attack the enemy
threatening Burkesville. He placed a portion of it in ambush at a point
about a mile from the town, and, when the head of the enemy's column
approached, fired such a volley into it as made it at once recoil. Then
charging, he drove the enemy back in confusion and at full speed, never
letting them halt until they reached the encampment at Marrowbone. He
pursued the force which he had routed into the camp, but was repulsed in
an attack upon the latter by the artillery and reserve forces there.

The effect of this bold dash, was to draw back the force threatening
Johnson, also, and allow him to cross without molestation. Our loss was
very slight--among other gallant fellows who were hurt, Captain Quirk
was so severely wounded in the arm that he could go no further upon the
expedition. Several prisoners were taken. The enemy, after this hint
not to interfere, remained shut up in his encampment until we were no
longer in any danger.

The division encamped that night about ten miles from the river, on the
road to Columbia. A large party of Commissaries of Subsistence were with
us, sent by General Bragg to collect supplies north of the Cumberland
and bring them to Tullahoma, escorted by one of Morgan's regiments. A
variety of causes conspired to prevent these gentlemen from returning at
the time, and in the manner contemplated by General Bragg. In the first
place, we learned, immediately after we had crossed the Cumberland, by
men who came from the rear, that General Bragg had already commenced his
retreat--this would considerably lengthen the distance which the
Commissaries would have to drive their cattle. Secondly, General Morgan
came to the conclusion that he had use for all of his troops, and that
he would not detach the regiment which was to have guarded the cattle.
This resolution not only prevented the cattle from being driven to
General Bragg, but also decided the Commissaries not to return
immediately. The country through which they would have had to pass, was
infested by a set of bushwhackers, in comparison with whose relentless
ferocity, that of Bluebeard and the Welch giants sinks into
insignificance. Chief among them was "Tinker Dave Beattie," the great
opponent of Champ Ferguson. This patriarchal old man lived in a cove, or
valley surrounded by high hills, at the back of which was a narrow path
leading to the mountain. Here, surrounded by his clan, he led a
pastoral, simple life, which must have been very fascinating, for many
who ventured into the cove never came away again. Sometimes Champ
Ferguson, with his band, would enter the cove, harry old Dave's stock
and goods, and drive him to his retreat in the mountain, to which no man
ever followed him. Then, again, when he was strong enough, he would lead
his henchmen against Champ, and slay all who did not escape. But it must
not be understood that he confined his hostility to Captain Ferguson and
the latter's men: on the contrary, he could have had, had he so chosen,
as many scalps drying in his cabin as ever rattled in the lodge of a
Camanche war-chief, and taken with promiscuous impartiality. There were
not related of Beattie so many stories, illustrative of his personal
strength and bull-dog courage, as of Champ Ferguson. I have heard of the
latter having gone, on one occasion, into a room where two of his bitter
enemies lay before the fire, both strong men and armed, and, throwing
himself upon them, he killed both (after a hard struggle) with his
knife. But Beattie possessed a cunning and subtlety which the other, in
great measure, lacked. Perhaps he was more nearly civilized. Both of
these men were known to have spared life on some rare occasions, and
perhaps none were so much astonished, thereat, as themselves. On one
occasion, Ferguson was called upon to express an opinion regarding the
character of a man who had been arrested near a spot where bushwhackers
had just fired upon the party he (Ferguson) was with, and, from several
suspicious indications, this man was thought to be one of them. By way
of giving him a chance, it was decided that Ferguson, who knew every man
in that country, should declare his doom, influenced by his previous
knowledge of him. Ferguson, somewhat to the astonishment of the
tribunal, begged that he should be released, saying, that he knew he was
a Union man, but did not believe that he was a bushwhacker. The man was
released. Subsequently, Ferguson said, after a long fit of silence, "I
have a great notion to go back and hunt that man. I am afraid I have
done wrong, for he is the best shot in this part of the State, and, if
he does turn bushwhacker, he will kill a man at every shot." Such
extreme nicety of conscience was not attributed to Beattie, nor was he
said to be as faithful to his friends as was Ferguson.

Such were the kind of men whom our friends, of the Subsistence
Department, would have had to encounter, if they had gone back. There
were, at the time, no Confederate troops in that country, and Champ
Ferguson was resting in inglorious ease at Sparta. Dave Beattie had
broken out of his cove, and was ready to hold "bloody assizes" as soon
as he secured his victims. Our friends were not accustomed to "raiding"
and to cavalry habits, but, after thorough reflection, they resolved,
with a heroism that would have done honor to the heavy artillery
service, not to return, but to face all the hardships and dangers of the
expedition. They were gallant men, and endured the tremendous fatigue,
and shared the hardships as cheerfully as if they had come legitimately
by them.

The chief of this party, Major Highley (from Mobile), was as full of
dash and as fond of adventure, as a man could be. He sought the front on
all occasions, and soon became a thorough cavalryman in all respects.
General Morgan placed him upon his staff and he proved a very efficient
officer, and seemed much gratified that his commissaries had been cut

There was one case of almost abduction, however, which excited universal
regret and commiseration:

An old gentleman, from Sparta, had come with the division to Burkesville
to get a barrel of salt--as there was none to be had at Sparta. His
benevolent virtues had endeared him to all who knew him, and, so, when
it became apparent that he must go back, leaving behind him his
purchase, and at the risk of fearful dangers, or follow us through the
whole raid, he received much and unaffected condolence. He perfectly
realized his situation. He knew that, if he fell into "Tinker Dave's"
hands, he would be pickled without salt, and he had not the slightest
idea of trying it on. And yet he felt a natural sorrow at going so far
away from home. Some two weeks later, when we were in Ohio, and being
peppered by the militia, he said to an officer of the first brigade with
tears in his eyes, and a touching pathos in his voice: "Captain, I would
give my farm in White county, Tennessee, and all the salt in Kentucky
(if I had it), to stand once more--safe and sound--on the banks of the
Calf-killer creek."

On the morning of the 3rd, the division resumed its march, pushing on to
Columbia. Colonel Morgan's regiment, although included in the field
return of the first brigade, was detached and used as an advance-guard
for the column. In the afternoon, as we neared Columbia, this regiment
came upon the enemy moving out from the town. In the skirmish which
ensued, Colonel Morgan lost a few wounded--among the number Captain J.T.
Cassell, who was shot in the thigh as he was charging with his
accustomed gallantry. He was placed in an ambulance and went, in that
way, through the raid, and escaped capture. Captain Cassell had been
ordered to report to Colonel Morgan with his Company, a few weeks
previously, and was acting as second in command of the advance-guard.
Captain Franks of the Second Kentucky was ordered to report to Colonel
Morgan, to fill the position left vacant by the disabling of Captain
Cassell. After this skirmish had lasted a short time, the Second
Kentucky was ordered up to support Colonel Morgan. Major Webber
dismounted his men and attacked with great vigor. The enemy did not
stand a moment--were driven back into the town, fought a short time from
the houses, and were soon dislodged and driven pell-mell out of the
town. Major Webber lost two men killed. The enemy's loss was also
slight. It was a detachment of Woolford's regiment, and retreated toward
Jimtown. Some disgraceful scenes occurred in Columbia as the troops were
passing through. One or two stores were broken into and plundered.
General Morgan immediately went to the spot, arrested the marauders,
punished them, and compelled the restitution of the goods.

On that evening the division encamped six or eight miles from Columbia.
A regiment of Federal infantry was stationed at Green river bridge,
where the road from Columbia to Campbellsville and Lebanon crosses the
Green river. General Morgan sent Captain Franks to watch them, who
reported that, during the entire night, he heard the ringing of axes and
the crash of falling timber. The next morning we learned what it meant.
Early on the 4th the column was put in motion, and the second brigade
(marching in front), soon came upon the enemy. Colonel Moore, the
officer commanding the Federal force (a Michigan regiment), had selected
the strongest natural position, I ever saw, and had fortified it with a
skill equal to his judgment in the selection. The Green river makes here
a tremendous and sweeping bend, not unlike in its shape to the bowl of
an immense spoon. The bridge is located at the tip of the bowl, and
about a mile and a half to the southward, where the river returns so
nearly to itself that the peninsula (at this point) is not more than one
hundred yards wide--at what, in short, may be termed the insertion of
the handle--Colonel Moore had constructed an earthwork, crossing the
narrow neck of land, and protected in front by an abattis. The road upon
which we were advancing, runs through this position. The peninsula
widens again, abruptly, to the southward of this extremely narrow neck,
and just in front of the skirt of woods, in which the work and abattis
was situated, is an open glade, about two hundred yards in extent in
every direction. Just in front of, or south of this plateau of cleared
ground, runs a ravine deep and rugged, rendering access to it difficult,
except by the road. The road runs not directly through, but to the left
of this cleared place. All around it are thick woods, and upon the east
and west the river banks are as steep and impassable as precipices. At
the southern extremity of the open ground, and facing and commanding the
road, a rifle-pit had been dug, about one hundred and twenty feet
long--capable of containing fifty or sixty men, and about that number
were posted in it. When Colonel Johnson's brigade neared the enemy, he
sent Cluke with his own regiment and the Tenth Kentucky, then greatly
reduced in numbers, to cross the river at a ford upon the left of the
road, and take position on the northern side of the river, and
commanding the bridge.

This was intended to prevent the retreat of the enemy and keep off
reinforcements that might approach from the northward. A flag of truce
was then sent to Colonel Moore, demanding the surrender of his command.
He answered, "It is a bad day for surrenders, and I would rather not."
Captain Byrnes had planted one of the Parrots, about six hundred yards
from the rifle-pit, and skirmishers had been thrown out in front of it.
As soon as the bearer of the flag returned, Byrnes opened with the gun.
He fired a round shot into the parapet thrown up in front of the trench,
knocking the fence rails, with which it was riveted, into splinters, and
probing the work. One man in the trench was killed, by this shot, and
the rest ran (just as our skirmishers dashed forward) and retreated
across the open ground to the work in the woods beyond. Now the serious
business commenced. Artillery could not be used to dislodge them from
the position which was meant to be defended in earnest. This open
ground, between the points where were constructed the rifle-pit (which
was only a blind) and the strong work where Moore intended to fight, is
the flat summit (for crest, properly speaking, it has none) of a hill,
or rather swell of land, which slopes gently away on both the northern
and southern sides. Guns planted anywhere, except upon this plateau, and
near its center, could not have borne upon the enemy's position at
all--and, if they had been planted there, every cannoneer would have
been killed before a shot could have been fired. The only way to take
the work was by a straight forward attack upon it, and Colonel Johnson
moved against it his brigade, or rather the two regiments of it, left on
the southern side of the river. The men, gallantly led, dashed across
the open ground and plunged into the woods beyond.

The Federal force, some four hundred strong, was disposed behind the
work and abattis, holding a line not much more than a hundred yards
long. The first rush carried the men close to the work, but they were
stopped by the fallen timber, and dropped fast under the close fire of
the enemy. Colonel Chenault was killed in the midst of the abattis--his
brains blown out as he was firing his pistol into the earthwork and
calling on his men to follow. The second brigade had started with an
inadequate supply of ammunition, and the fire of the attacking party
soon slackened on that account. General Morgan ordered me to send a
regiment to Colonel Johnson's assistance, and I sent the Fifth Kentucky.
Colonel Smith led his men at a double-quick to the abattis, where they
were stopped as the others had been, and suffered severely. The rush
through a hundred yards of undergrowth, succeeded by a jam and crowding
of a regiment into the narrow neck, and confronted by the tangled mass
of prostrate timber and the guns of the hidden foe--was more than the
men could stand. They would give way, rally in the thick woods, try it
again, but unsuccessfully. The fire did not seem, to those of us who
were not immediately engaged, to be heavy. There were no sustained
volleys. It was a common remark that the shots could almost be
counted--but almost every shot must have taken effect.

Our loss in less than half an hour's fighting, and with not over six
hundred men engaged, for only portions of the regiments, sent into the
fight, were engaged, was thirty-six killed, and forty-five or six
wounded. Twenty, or more of the wounded were able to ride, and in a few
days returned to duty. The loss of the enemy (according to the most
authoritative account) was nine killed, and twenty-six wounded.

Many fine officers were included in our list of casualties. Colonel
Chenault, whose death has been described--an officer who had no superior
in bravery and devotion to the cause he fought for--was a noble
gentleman. Major Brent, of the Fifth Kentucky, was killed. He was an
officer who was rapidly taking--in reputation and popularity--the place
among the field officers of the division which Hutchinson had held. He
was recklessly brave, and possessed a natural military aptitude, and a
resolution in exacting duty from his subordinate officers and men, which
made him invaluable to his regiment. Captain Treble, who a short time
previously had been transferred from the Second to the Eleventh Kentucky
(Chenault's regiment) was also killed. He displayed, in this his last
battle, the same high courage which ever animated him. Lieutenant Cowan,
of the Third Kentucky, and Lieutenants Holloway and Ferguson, of the
Fifth Kentucky--all very fine officers were also among the killed. Among
the wounded officers, of the Fifth Kentucky, was the gallant and
efficient Adjutant, Lieutenant Joseph Bowmar.

When General Morgan learned that the men were falling fast, and that no
impression was being made upon the enemy, he ordered their withdrawal.
He had not been fully aware, when the attack commenced, of the exceeding
strength of the position, although he knew it to be formidable, and he
thought it probable that the garrison would surrender to a bold attack.
It was his practice to attack and seek to capture all, but the
strongest, of the forces which opposed his advance upon his raids, and
this was the only instance in which he ever failed of success in this
policy. He believed that the position could have been eventually
carried, but (as the defenders were resolute) at a cost of time and life
which he could not afford. Colonel Moore ought to have been able to
defend his position, against direct attacks, had an army been hurled
against him. But this does not detract from the credit of his defense.
His selection of ground showed admirable judgment; and, in a brief time,
he fortified it with singular skill. He deliberately quitted a strong
stockade, near the bridge (in which other officers would, probably have
staid) and which our artillery would have battered about his ears
directly, to assume the far better position; and his resolute defense,
showed he appreciated and meant to hold it to the last. We expected to
hear of his promotion--men had been promoted for beatings received from

Crossing the river at the same ford at which Cluke had previously
crossed, the division marched toward Campbellsville. Our wounded and
dead were left under the charge of Surgeons and Chaplains, who received
every assistance, that he could furnish, from Colonel Moore, who proved
himself as humane as he was skillful and gallant. We passed through
Campbellsville without halting. On that evening a horrible affair
occurred. A certain Captain Murphy took a watch from a citizen who was
being held, for a short time, under guard, to prevent his giving
information of our approach and strength to the garrison at Lebanon.
Captain Magenis, Assistant Adjutant General of the division, discovered
that this theft had been perpetrated, and reported it to General Morgan,
who ordered Murphy to be arrested. Murphy learned that Magenis had
caused his arrest, and persuaded the guard (who had not disarmed him) to
permit him to approach Magenis. When near him, Murphy drew and cocked a
pistol, and denounced the other furiously, at the same time striking
him. Captain Magenis attempted to draw his saber, and Murphy fired,
severing the carotid artery and producing almost instant death. Murphy
made his escape on the night that General Morgan had ordered a
court-martial to try him--the night before we crossed the Ohio. The
wretch ought to have been butchered in his tracks, immediately after the
murder had been committed. There was no officer in the entire
Confederate army, perhaps, so young as he was, who had evinced more
intelligence, aptitude and zeal, than had Captain Magenis. Certainly,
there was not among them all a more true-hearted, gallant, honorable
gentleman. General Morgan deeply regretted him. His successor, Captain
Hart Gibson, was in every way qualified to discharge, with ability and
success, the duties of the position, doubly difficult in such a command
and under such circumstances.

On the night of the 4th, the division encamped five miles from Lebanon,
upon the ground whence we drove the enemy's pickets. Lebanon was
garrisoned by Colonel Hanson's regiment, the Twentieth Kentucky, and not
far off, on the road to Harrodsburg, two Michigan regiments were
stationed. On the morning of the 5th, the division approached the town,
and a demand for its surrender was made, which was declined. The first
brigade was formed on the right of the road, with two regiments in
reserve. The second was assigned the left of the road. The artillery was
planted in the center, and at once opened upon the slight works which
were thrown up, south of the town. As the regiments in the front line
advanced, the enemy retreated into the town. Both brigades lost slightly
in effecting this, and succeeded, immediately afterward, in dislodging
the enemy from the houses in the edge of the town, both on the left and
on the right. The enemy, then, mainly concentrated in the large depot
building upon the railroad; a few sought shelter in other houses.
Grigsby's and Ward's regiments, of the first brigade, held the right of
the town and the houses looking upon the depot in that quarter. From
these houses they kept up a constant fire upon the windows of the depot.
Cluke's and Chenault's regiments, the latter under command of Lieutenant
Colonel Tucker, were as effectively located and employed upon the left.
Our artillery, although under able officers, proved of little use to us
in this affair. On account of the situation of the depot in low ground,
the shots took effect in the upper part of the building (when they
struck at all), doing the occupants little damage. Lieutenant Lawrence,
however, at length posted one of his guns--the Parrots--on a hill
immediately overlooking the building, and, greatly depressing it,
prepared to fire into it at an angle which threatened mischief. But the
sharpshooters prevented his men from working the guns effectively. This
state of affairs lasted for two or three hours. The Michigan regiments,
before mentioned, drew near and threatened interference, and General
Morgan, who had sought to reduce the garrison without storming their
stronghold, in order to save his own men, at length ordered it to be
carried by assault. Smith's regiment, at first held in reserve in the
first brigade, had, previously to this determination upon the part of
the General, been engaged, but the Second Kentucky was still in reserve.
Major Webber was now ordered to bring that regiment forward, enter the
town and storm the buildings occupied by the enemy. The Second Kentucky
had tried that sort of work before, and advanced with serious mien, but
boldly and confidently. Major Webber skillfully aligned it and moved it
forward. The heavy volley it poured into the windows of the depot, drove
the defenders away from them before the regiment reached the building,
and Colonel Hanson surrendered. The other houses occupied by the enemy
were surrendered shortly afterward.

At the last moment of the fight, a sad loss befell us. Lieutenant Thomas
Morgan, younger brother of the General, was killed just before the enemy
surrendered. He was first Lieutenant of Company I, of the Second
Kentucky, but was serving at the time of his death upon my staff. He
habitually sought and exposed himself to danger, seeming to delight in
the excitement it afforded him. He had repeatedly been remonstrated with
on that day, regarding his reckless exposure of his person, and General
Morgan had once ordered him to leave the front. He was stricken by the
fate which his friends feared for him. When the Second Kentucky
advanced, he rushed in front of it, and, while firing his pistol at the
windows of the depot, was shot through the heart. He exclaimed to his
brother Calvin, that he was killed, and fell (a corpse) into the
latter's arms. He was but nineteen when killed, but was a veteran in
service and experience. The first of six brothers to join the
Confederate army, he had displayed his devotion to the cause he had
espoused in the field and the prison. I have never known a boy of so
much genius, and of so bright and winning a temper. His handsome, joyous
face and gallant, courteous bearing made him very popular. He was the
pet and idol of the Second Kentucky. General Morgan (whose love for the
members of his family was of the most devoted character) was compelled
to forego the indulgence of his own grief to restrain the Second
Kentucky, furious at the death of their favorite. When his death became
generally known, there was not a dry eye in the command.

Although our loss in killed and wounded was not heavy in numbers, it
included some valuable officers and some of our best men. We lost eight
or nine killed, and twenty-five or thirty wounded. In the early part of
the fight, Captain Franks led a party of the advance guard to the
southern end of the depot, and set it on fire. He was severely wounded
in doing this, making the third officer, occupying the position of
second in command of the advance guard, wounded in four days. The loss
in the guard fell principally upon members of the "Old Squadron." Of
these were killed Lieutenant Gardner and private Worsham; and Sergeant
William Jones and privates Logwood and Hawkins were badly wounded, all
very brave men and excellent soldiers. A gallant deed was performed, on
that day, by private Walter Ferguson, one of the bravest men I ever
knew; poor fellow, he was hung by Burbridge afterward. His friend and
messmate Logwood lay helpless not far from the depot, and Ferguson
approached him under the galling fire from the windows, lifted and bore
him off. Several men were lost out of the Second Kentucky; among them
Sergeant Franklin, formerly Captain of a Mississippi company in the Army
of Northern Virginia.

A large quantity of ammunition, many fine rifles, an abundant supply of
medicines, and a field full of ambulances and wagons were the fruits of
this victory. The prisoners were double-quicked to Springfield, eight
miles distant, for the dilatory Michiganders had at length began to
move, and there was no reason for fighting, although we could have
whipped them. At Springfield the prisoners were paroled. Company H, of
the Second Kentucky, was detached here, and a company of the Sixth
Kentucky went off without leave or orders. Company H was sent to
Harrodsburg to occupy the attention of Burnside's cavalry. The division
marched all night, reaching Bardstown at 4 o'clock on the morning of the
6th. During the night Lieut.-Colonel Alston (acting chief of staff to
General Morgan) lay down to sleep in the porch of a house, and awakened
to find himself in the hands of the enemy.

At Bardstown, Captain Sheldon, of Company C, Second Kentucky, detached
at Muldraugh's hill to reconnoiter toward Louisville, and rejoin us at
Bardstown, was patiently watching a party of twenty Federal soldiers,
whom he had penned up in a stable. The tramp of the column marching
through the town alarmed them, and they surrendered. Leaving Bardstown
at ten A.M. on the 6th, the division marched steadily all day. Just at
dark the train from Nashville was captured at a point some thirty miles
from Louisville. A little of Ellsworth's art applied here discovered for
us the fact that Morgan was expected at Louisville, confidently and
anxiously, but that an impression prevailed that he would meet with a
warm reception. He had no idea of going to receive it.

We marched during the entire night, and on the next morning, after
crossing the bridge over Salt river, halted for two or three hours.
Captains Taylor and Merriwether, of the Tenth Kentucky, were sent
forward to capture boats to enable us to cross the Ohio, and went about
their errand in good earnest. On the afternoon of that day, Captain
Davis, A.A. General of the first brigade, was selected by General Morgan
to undertake a service very important to the success of the expedition.
He was directed to proceed, with Company D of the Second Kentucky, and
Company A, of Cluke's regiment, to cross the river at Twelve Mile
Island, seize boats and cross the river, keep the militia of lower
Indiana employed in watching their own "firesides," chicken coops, and
stables, so that the column might be comparatively free from
molestation, in at least one direction, and to rejoin the division at
Salem, Indiana. These two companies, the two detached at Springfield--or
rather one detached there; the other marched off without leave--and
Captain Salter's company detached near Columbia, to attract Burnside's
attention to the country around Crab Orchard, Stanford, etc., (whither
he at once hastened and did splendid service, keeping the enemy as
busily employed as an ordinary-sized brigade might have done), these
companies made five, in all, which were permanently detached from the

On the afternoon of the 7th, the column halted at Garnettsville, in
Hardin county, and went into camp. It has been frequently surmised, in
the North, that Morgan crossed the Ohio river to escape from Hobson. Of
all the many wildly and utterly absurd ideas which have prevailed
regarding the late war, this is, perhaps, the most preposterous. It is
difficult to understand how, even the people whose ideas of military
operations are derived from a vague rendition of the newspaper phrases
of "bagging" armies, "dispositions made to capture," "deriving material
advantages," when the derivers were running like scared deer, it is hard
to comprehend how even such people, if they ever look upon maps, or
reflect for a moment upon what they read, can receive, as correct, such
assertions as the one under consideration. Hobson was from twenty-four
to thirty-six hours behind us. He was pursuing us, it should be stated,
with the cavalry of Judah's corps--he was, at any rate, a good fifty
miles in our rear, and could learn our track only by following it
closely. General Morgan, if anxious to escape Hobson, and actuated by no
other motive, would have turned at Bardstown, and gone out of Kentucky
through the western part of the State, where he would have encountered
no hostile force that he could not have easily repulsed. It was not too
late to pursue the same general route when we were at Garnettsville.
Roads, traversable by artillery and excellent for cavalry, ran thence in
every direction. Hobson would have had as little chance to intercept us,
as a single hunter has to corner a wild horse in an open prairie. To
rush across the Ohio river, as a means of escape, would have been the
choice of an idiot, and yet such conduct has been ascribed to the
shrewdest, most wide-awake, most far-seeing Captain (in his own chosen
method of warfare), the greatest master of "cavalry strategy," that ever
lived. That military men in the North should have entertained this
opinion, proves, only, that in armies so vast, as that which the United
States put into the field, there must necessarily be many men of very
small capacity. General Morgan certainly believed that he could, with
energy and care, preserve his command from capture after crossing the
Ohio, but he no more believed that it would be safer, after having
gained the Northern side of the river, than he believed that it was
safer in Kentucky than south of the Cumberland.

The division marched from Garnettsville, shortly after midnight, and by
9 or 10 A.M. we were in Brandenburg, upon the banks of the river. Here
we found Captains Samuel Taylor and Clay Merriwether, awaiting our
arrival. They had succeeded in capturing two fine steamers; one had been
taken at the wharf, and, manning her strongly, they cruised about the
river until they found and caught the other. We were rejoined here by
another officer, whose course had been somewhat eccentric, and his
adventure very romantic. This was Captain Thomas Hines, of the Ninth
Kentucky, then enjoying a high reputation in our command for skill,
shrewdness, and exceeding gallantry, but destined to become much more
widely celebrated. While the division was lying along the Cumberland in
May, Captain Hines had been sent to Clinton county, with the men of the
Ninth Kentucky, whose horses were especially unserviceable, to place
them where, with good feeding, rest and attention, the stock might be
recruited--to establish, in other words, what was technically known as a
"convalescent camp," and in regimental "slang," a "dead horse camp."
Captain Hines established his camp and put it into successful operation,
but then sought permission to undertake more active and exciting work.
He was not exactly the style of man to stay quiet at a "convalescent
camp;" it would have been as difficult to keep him there, as to confine
Napoleon to Elba, or force the "Wandering Jew" to remain on a cobbler's
bench. He obtained from General Morgan an order to take such of his men
as were best mounted, and scout "north of the Cumberland." He,
therefore, selected thirty or forty of his "convalescents," whose horses
were able to hobble, and crossed the river with them. Immediately
exchanging his crippled horses for good, sound ones, he commenced a very
pleasant and adventurous career, which lasted for some weeks. He
attacked and harassed the marching columns of the enemy, and kept the
smaller garrisons constantly in fear, and moved about with such
celerity that there was no getting at him, occasionally interluding his
other occupations by catching and burning a railroad train. He once came
very near being entirely destroyed. The enemy succeeded, on one
occasion, in eluding his vigilance and surprising him. While he and his
men were peacefully bathing in a creek, molesting no one, they were
suddenly attacked. Several were captured and the rest were dispersed,
but Hines collected them, again, in a day or two.

After a while, finding Kentucky grow warm for him, and not wishing to
return to the command to be remanded to the "convalescent camp," he
determined to cross over into Indiana and try and stir up the
"copperheads." He thought that (according to the tenor of his
instructions), he had the right to do so. The order did not specify when
he should return from his scout, and Indiana was certainly "north of the
Cumberland." He accordingly crossed into Indiana--made his presence
known to the people of the State in various ways--and penetrated as far
into the interior of the State, as Seymour, at the junction of the Ohio
and Mississippi and Cincinnati and Indianapolis Railroads. He here
effected a junction with a greatly more numerous body of militia, which
induced him to retrace his steps rapidly to the Ohio (which he
recrossed), and arrived at Brandenburg on the very day that we got
there. We found him leaning against the side of the wharf-boat, with
sleepy, melancholy look--apparently the most listless, inoffensive youth
that was ever imposed upon. I do not know what explanation he made
General Morgan (of the lively manner in which he had acted under his
order), but it seemed to be perfectly satisfactory, and he was ordered
to report to Colonel Morgan to assume the position left vacant by the
wounding of Captain Franks.

Just before the crossing of the river was commenced, an unexpected
fusillade was delivered, from the Indiana shore, upon the men who showed
themselves in the little town and upon the boats, which was soon
followed by the sharp report of a rifled-cannon. The river at this
point is some eight hundred or a thousand yards wide--and the musketry
produced no effect. The shell, however, from the piece of artillery
pitched into a group on the river bank, scattering it, and wounding
Captain Wilson, Quartermaster of the First Brigade. The mist, hanging
thick over the river, had prevented us from seeing the parties who
directed this firing, take position. Soon the mist lifted or was
dispersed by the bright sun, and disclosed a squad of combatants posted
behind one or two small houses, a clump of hay stacks, and along the
brink of the river on the other side. Apparently, from the mixture of
uniforms and plain clothes, which could be discovered by the glass, this
force was composed of militia and some regular troops. Several shots
were fired from the gun while we were getting our pieces in readiness to
reply--but as soon as Lawrence opened upon them with his Parrots, a
manifest disposition to retire was seen among our friends who had shown
themselves so anxious to give us a warm and early welcome. They
attempted to carry the piece of artillery off with them, but were
induced by Lawrence to relinquish it. It was mounted upon the wheels of
a wagon from which the body had been removed, and, as they moved it by
hand, its transportation was difficult and tedious and very disagreeable
under fire.

Leaving the piece, they fell back to a wooded ridge five or six hundred
yards from the river bank and parallel with it. The Second Kentucky and
Ninth Tennessee were immediately put across the river, leaving their
horses on the Kentucky shore, and were formed under the bluff bank. As
they ascended the bank they were greeted by a volley from the enemy
which did no damage, and Colonel Ward and Major Webber at once pressed
them on toward the ridge. Scarcely had the boats returned, and while yet
the two regiments on the other side were moving across the open fields
between the river and the ridge, when a small boat which had for some
minutes been in sight, steaming rapidly down the river, began to take a
part in the affair. We had watched her with great interest, and were
inclined to think, from her bold unhesitating advance, that she was a
river gunboat, and when she came within a mile of the town all doubts
upon the subject were dispelled. Suddenly checking her way, she tossed
her snub nose defiantly, like an angry beauty of the coal-pits, sidled a
little toward the town, and commenced to scold. A bluish-white,
funnel-shaped cloud spouted out from her left-hand bow and a shot flew
at the town, and then changing front forward, she snapped a shell at the
men on the other side. The ridge was soon gained by the regiments,
however, the enemy not remaining to contest it, and they were sheltered
by it from the gunboat's fire. I wish I were sufficiently master of
nautical phraseology to do justice to this little vixen's style of
fighting, but she was so unlike a horse, or a piece of light artillery,
even, that I can not venture to attempt it. She was boarded up tightly
with tiers of heavy oak planking, in which embrasures were cut for the
guns, of which she carried three bronze twelve-pounder howitzers,
apparently. Captain Byrnes transferred the two Parrots to an eminence
just upon the river and above the town, and answered her fire. His solid
shot skipped about her, in close proximity, and his shells burst close
to her, but none seemed to touch her--although it was occasionally hard
to tell whether she was hit or not. This duel was watched with the most
breathless interest by the whole division; the men crowded in intense
excitement upon the bluffs, near the town, to witness it, and General
Morgan exhibited an emotion he rarely permitted to be seen.

Two of his best regiments were separated from him by the broad river,
and were dismounted, a condition which always appeals to a cavalryman's
strongest sympathies; they might at any moment, he feared, be attacked
by overwhelming forces, for he did not know what was upon the other
side, or how large a swarm Hines had stirred up in the hornet's nest. He
himself might be attacked, if delayed too long, by the enemy that he
well knew must be following his track. Independently of all
considerations of immediate danger, he was impatient at delay and
anxious to try his fortune in the new field he had selected. There were
many with him who could appreciate his feelings. Behind us two broad
States separated us from our friends--a multitude of foes, although we
thought little of them, were gathering in our rear.

On the other side of the great river were our comrades needing our aid,
perhaps never to be received. When we, too, were across, we would stand
face to face with the hostile and angry North--an immense and infuriated
population, and a soldiery out-numbering us twenty to one, would
confront us. Telegraph lines, tracing the country in every direction,
would tell constantly of our movements; railways would bring assailants
against us from every quarter, and we would have to run this gauntlet,
night and day, without rest or one moment of safety, for six hundred
miles. As we looked on the river, rolling before us, we felt that it
divided us from a momentous future, and we were eager to learn our fate.
After an hour perhaps had elapsed, but which seemed a dozen, the gunboat
backed out and steamed up the river. Her shells had nearly all burst
short, doing no damage. The boats were put to work again without a
moment's delay, to ferry the command over. First, the horses of the men
on the other side were carried to them, affording them exquisite
gratification. Although no time was lost, and the boats were of good
capacity, it was nearly dark before the first brigade was all across.
The gunboat returned about five P.M., accompanied by a consort, but a
few shots from the Parrots, which had been kept in position, drove them
away without any intermission having occurred in the ferriage. The
second brigade and the artillery were gotten across by midnight. One of
the boats, which was in Government employ, was burned; the other was

The first brigade encamped that night about six miles from the river. "A
great fear" had fallen upon the inhabitants of that part of the State of
Indiana. They had left their houses, with open doors and unlocked
larders, and had fled to the thickets and "caves of the hills." At the
houses at which I stopped, every thing was just in the condition in
which the fugitive owners had left it, an hour or two before. A bright
fire was blazing upon the kitchen hearth, bread half made up was in the
tray, and many indications convinced us that we had interrupted
preparations for supper. The chickens were strolling before the door
with a confidence that was touching, but misplaced. General Morgan rode
by soon afterward, and was induced to "stop all night." We completed the
preparations, so suddenly abandoned, and made the best show for Indiana
hospitality that was possible under the disturbing circumstances.

On the next day, the 9th, the division marched at an early hour, the
second brigade in advance. At the little town of Corydon, Colonel
Morgan's advance guard found a body of militia posted behind rail
barricades. He charged them, but they resolutely defended their rail
piles, killing and wounding several men, among the latter Lieutenant
Thorpe, of Company A, Second Kentucky, Colonel Morgan's acting Adjutant,
and a very fine young officer. A demonstration was made upon the flank
of the enemy, by one regiment of the second brigade, and Colonel Morgan
again advanced upon their front, when, not understanding such a fashion
of fighting upon two or three sides at once, the militia broke and ran,
with great rapidity, into the town, their progress accelerated (as they
got fairly into the streets) by a shot dropped among them from one of
the pieces.

Passing through Corydon, we took the Salem road, and encamped some
sixteen or eighteen miles from the latter place. On the morning of the
10th, we set out for Salem. Major Webber was ordered to take the
advance, and let nothing stop him. He accordingly put his regiment at
the head of the column, and struck out briskly. Lieutenant Welsh, of
Company K, had the extreme advance with twelve men. As he neared Salem,
he saw the enemy forming to receive him, and, without hesitation, dashed
in among them. The party he attacked was about one hundred and fifty
strong, but badly armed and perfectly raw, and he quickly routed them.
He pursued as they fled, and soon, supported by Captain W.J. Jones'
company, drove them pell-mell into the town. Here some two or three
hundred were collected, but, as the Second Kentucky came pouring upon
them, they fled in haste, scattering their guns in the streets. A small
swivel, used by the younger population of Salem to celebrate Christmas
and the Fourth of July, had been planted to receive us: about eighteen
inches long, it was loaded to the muzzle, and mounted in the public
square by being propped against a stick of fire wood. It was not fired,
however, for the man deputed to perform that important duty, somewhat
astounded by the sudden dash into the town, dropped the coal of fire
with which he should have touched it off, and before he could get
another the rebels captured the piece. The shuddering imagination
refuses to contemplate the consequences had that swivel been touched
off. Major Webber might have had some trouble with this force, which was
being rapidly augmented, but for the promptness and vigor of his attack.
He made favorable mention of Captain Cooper, of Company K, and
Lieutenant West, of Company I, for gallant and judicious conduct.

A short halt was made in Salem to feed men and horses, and during that
time several railroad bridges were burned. The Provost guard had great
difficulty in restraining the men from pillaging, and was unsuccessful
in some instances, Major Steele, of the Third Kentucky, had been
appointed Provost Marshal of the division, and was assisted by picked
officers and men from each of the brigades. Major Steele was a most
resolute, vigilant, energetic officer, and yet he found it impossible to
stop a practice which neither company nor regimental officers were able
to aid him in suppressing. This disposition for wholesale plunder
exceeded any thing that any of us had ever seen before. The men seemed
actuated by a desire to "pay off" in the "enemy's country" all scores
that the Federal army had chalked up in the South. The great cause for
apprehension, which our situation might have inspired, seemed only to
make them reckless. Calico was the staple article of appropriation--each
man (who could get one) tied a bolt of it to his saddle, only to throw
it away and get a fresh one at the first opportunity. They did not
pillage with any sort of method or reason--it seemed to be a mania,
senseless and purposeless. One man carried a bird-cage, with three
canaries in it, for two days. Another rode with a chafing-dish, which
looked like a small metallic coffin, on the pummel of his saddle, until
an officer forced him to throw it away. Although the weather was
intensely warm, another, still, slung seven pairs of skates around his
neck, and chuckled over his acquisition. I saw very few articles of real
value taken--they pillaged like boys robbing an orchard. I would not
have believed that such a passion could have been developed, so
ludicrously, among any body of civilized men. At Piketon, Ohio, some
days later, one man broke through the guard posted at a store, rushed in
(trembling with excitement and avarice), and filled his pockets with
horn buttons. They would (with few exceptions) throw away their plunder
after awhile, like children tired of their toys.

Leaving Salem at one or two o'clock, we marched rapidly and steadily. At
nightfall we reached Vienna, on the Indianapolis and Jeffersonville
railroad. General Morgan placed Ellsworth in the telegraph office here,
the operator having been captured before he could give the alarm.
Ellsworth soon learned all the news to be had from Louisville and
Indianapolis, some of it valuable to us. General Morgan ascertained also
that orders had been issued to the militia to fell timber and blockade
all of the roads we would be likely to travel--our rapid marching had,
hitherto, saved us this annoyance. That night we went into camp near
Lexington, a little place six or seven miles from Vienna. General Morgan
slept in the town with a small escort, and during the night a party of
Federal cavalry entered the town and advanced as far as the house in
which he slept, but retired as suddenly as they came. We moved at an
early hour on the road to Paris--Colonel Smith was detached to feint
against Madison, in order to hold there troops who might prove
troublesome if they came out. The division moved quietly through Paris,
and in the afternoon arrived in sight of Vernon. Here Colonel Smith
rejoined us. A strong force was posted in Vernon, which General Morgan
did not care to attack. Fortunately, there were men in the command who
knew the country, and the General was enabled to carry the division
around the place to the Dupont road. Skirmishers were thrown out on the
road, leading into the town which we had left, and also upon the other
road, while this movement was being executed. General Morgan sent a
demand for the surrender of the place, which was declined, but the
officer commanding asked two hours to remove the non-combatants, which
reasonable request General Morgan granted. Humane considerations are
never inopportune. By the time that the non-combatants were safely
removed, the column had become straightened out on the new road, and the
skirmishers, after they had burned a bridge or two, were withdrawn.

We encamped that night at 12 P.M., and moved next morning at 3. The
fatigue of the marches, from the date of the crossing of the Ohio to the
period of the close of the raid, was tremendous. We had marched hard in
Kentucky, but we now averaged twenty-one hours in the saddle. Passing
through Dupont a little after daylight, a new feature in the practice of
appropriation was developed. A large meat packing establishment was in
this town, and each man had a ham slung at his saddle. There was no
difficulty at any time in supplying men and horses, in either Indiana or
Ohio--forage and provisions were to be had in abundance, stop where we
would. There is a custom prevailing in those States, which is of
admirable assistance to soldiery, and should be encouraged--a practice
of baking bread once a week in large quantities. Every house is full of
it. The people were still laboring under vast apprehensions regarding
us, and it was a rare thing to see an entire family remaining at home.
The men met us oftener in their capacity of militia than at their
houses, and the "Copperheads" and "Vallandighammers" fought harder than
the others. Wherever we passed, bridges and depots, water-tanks, etc.,
were burned and the railroads torn up, but I knew of but one private
dwelling being burned upon the entire raid, and we were fired upon from
that one. The country, for the most part, was in a high state of
cultivation, and magnificent crops of wheat, especially, attracted our
notice on all sides.

What was peculiarly noticeable, however, to men who were fighting
against these people, and just from thinned out "Dixie," was the dense
population, apparently untouched by the demands of the war. The country
was full, the towns were full, and the ranks of the militia were full. I
am satisfied that we saw often as many as ten thousand militia in one
day, posted at different points. They would frequently fight, if
attacked in strong position, but could be dispersed by maneuvering. Had
they come upon us as the fierce Kentucky Home-guards would have done, if
collected in such numbers, we could not have forced our way through

In this immediate country had been recruited the regiment which burned
the homes of Company F, the Mississippi company of the Second Kentucky.
Colonel Grigsby was detached with his regiment to press on and burn the
bridges near Versailles. He dashed into the town, where several hundred
militia were collected devising the best means of defending the place,
and broke up the council. He captured a large number of horses, rather
better stock than had hitherto been procured in Indiana. Marching on
steadily all day and the greater part of the next night, we reached a
point on the Ohio and Mississippi road, twenty-five miles from Harrison,
called Summansville. Here twenty-five hundred militia lay loaded into
box cars. We halted to rest, and, unconscious of our presence, although
we were close upon them, they moved off in the morning toward
Cincinnati. Moving at 5 A.M., we reached Harrison by one o'clock of the
13th. Here General Morgan began to maneuver for the benefit of the
commanding officer, at Cincinnati. He took it for granted (for it was
utterly impossible moving as rapidly as we were forced to do, and in the
midst of a strange and hostile population, to get positive information
regarding any matter), that there was a strong force of regular troops
in Cincinnati. Burnside had them not far off, and General Morgan
supposed that they would, of course, be brought there. If we could get
past Cincinnati safely, the danger of the expedition, he thought, would
be more than half over. Here he expected to be confronted by the
concentrated forces of Judah and Burnside, and he anticipated great
difficulty in eluding or cutting his way through them. Once safely
through this peril, his escape would be certain, unless the river
remained so high that the transports could carry troops to intercept him
at the upper crossings. The cavalry following in his rear could not
overtake him as long as he kept in motion, and the infantry could not be
transported so rapidly by rail to the eastern part of the State that it
could be concentrated in sufficient strength to stop him. His object,
therefore, entertaining these views and believing that the great effort
to capture him would be made as he crossed the Hamilton and Dayton
railroad, was to deceive the enemy as to the exact point where he would
cross this road, and denude that point as much as possible of troops. He
sent detachments in various directions, seeking, however, to create the
impression that he was marching to Hamilton.

After two or three hours' halt at Harrison, the division moved directly
toward Cincinnati, the detachment coming in in the course of that
afternoon. Hoping that his previous demonstrations would induce the
sending of the bulk of the troops up the road, and that if any were left
at Cincinnati his subsequent threatening movements would cause them to
draw into the city, remain on the defensive, and permit him to pass
around it without attacking him, he sought to approach the city as
nearly as possible without actually entering it and involving his
command in a fight with any garrison which might be there. He has been
sometimes accused of a lack of enterprise in not capturing Cincinnati.
It must be remembered that Cincinnati was not the objective point of
this raid; it was not undertaken to capture that city. General Morgan
knew nothing, and, in the nature of things, could know nothing of the
condition of affairs in the city, or whether it was weakly or strongly

JULY, 1863.]

Starting that morning from a point fifty miles distant from Cincinnati,
and reaching the vicinity of the city after nightfall, he must have
possessed more than human means of obtaining information, had he known
these things then, and he did not have a rapping medium on his staff.
Moreover, of the twenty-four hundred and sixty effectives with which he
had started, he had not two thousand left. He could get fights enough to
employ this force handsomely, without running into a labyrinth of
streets, and among houses (each one of which might be made a
fortification), with the hope that the town might be unoccupied with
troops, or that it might be surrendered. Our "Copperhead friends," who
could have given us the necessary information, were too loyal, or too
busy dodging Burnside's Dutch corporals to come out.

The men in our ranks were worn down and demoralized with the tremendous
fatigue, which no man can realize or form the faintest conception of
until he has experienced it. It is as different from the fatigue of an
ordinary long march, followed by some rest, as the pain given by an
hour's deprivation of water is unlike the burning, rabid thirst of
fever. Had the city been given up to us, and had the least delay
occurred in getting boats with which to cross the river, the men would
have scattered to all quarters of the city, and twenty-four hours might
have been required to collect them. In that time the net would have been
drawn around us. But it must be borne in mind (independently of all
these considerations) that General Morgan had given himself a particular
work to accomplish. He determined, as has been stated, to traverse Ohio.

To have recrossed the river at Cincinnati, would have shortened the
raid by many days, have released the troops pursuing us, and have
abandoned the principal benefits expected to be derived from the

In this night march around Cincinnati, we met with the greatest
difficulty in keeping the column together. The guides were all in front
with General Morgan, who rode at the head of the second brigade then
marching in advance. This brigade had no trouble consequently. But the
first brigade was embarrassed beyond measure. Cluke's regiment was
marching in the rear of the second brigade, and if it had kept closed
up, we would have had no trouble, for the entire column would have been
directed by the guides. But this regiment, although composed of superb
material, and unsurpassed in fighting qualities, had, from the period of
its organization, been under lax and careless discipline, and the effect
of it was now observable. The rear companies straggled, halted, delayed
the first brigade, for it was impossible to ascertain immediately,
whether the halt was that of the brigade in advance, or only of these
stragglers, and when forced to move on, they would go off at a gallop. A
great gap would be thus opened between the rear of one brigade and the
advance of the other, and we who were behind were forced to grope our
way as we best could. When we would come to one of the many junctions of
roads which occur in the suburbs of a large city, we would be compelled
to consult all sorts of indications in order to hit upon the right road.
The night was intensely dark, and we would set on fire large bundles of
paper, or splinters of wood to afford a light. The horses' tracks (on
roads so much traveled), would give us no clue to the route which the
other brigade had taken, at such points, but we could trace it by
noticing the direction in which the dust "settled," or floated. When the
night is calm, the dust kicked up by the passage of a large number of
horses will remain suspended in the air for a considerable length of
time, and it will also move slowly in the same direction that the horses
which have disturbed it have traveled. We could also trace the column by
the slaver dropped from the horses' mouths. It was a terrible, trying
march. Strong men fell out of their saddles, and at every halt the
officers were compelled to move continually about in their respective
companies and pull and haul the men who would drop asleep in the
road--it was the only way to keep them awake. Quite a number crept off
into the fields and slept until they were awakened by the enemy. The
rear of the first brigade was prevented from going to pieces,
principally by the energetic exertions of Colonel Grigsby. Major Steele
was sent in the extreme advance to drive pickets, scouts, and all
parties of the enemy which might be abroad from the road. He was given a
picked body of men, and executed the mission in fine style.

At length day appeared, just as we reached the last point where we had
to anticipate danger. We had passed through Glendale and across all of
the principal suburban roads, and were near the Little Miami Railroad.
Those who have marched much at night, will remember that the fresh air
of morning almost invariably has a cheering effect upon the tired and
drowsy, and awakens and invigorates them. It had this effect upon our
men on this occasion, and relieved us also from the necessity of groping
our way.

We crossed the railroad without meeting with opposition, and halted to
feed the horses in sight of Camp Dennison. After a short rest here, and
a picket skirmish, we resumed our march, burning in this neighborhood a
park of Government wagons. That evening at 4 P.M. we were at
Williamsburg, twenty-eight miles east of Cincinnati, having marched,
since leaving Summansville, in Indiana, in a period of about thirty-five
hours, more than ninety miles--the greatest march that even Morgan had
ever made.

Feeling comparatively safe here, General Morgan permitted the division
to go into camp and remain during the night. One great drawback upon our
marches, was the inferiority of the Indiana and Ohio horses for such
service. After parting with our Kentucky stock, the men were compelled
to exchange constantly. Sometimes three or four times in twenty four
hours. The horses obtained were, not only unable to endure the hard
riding for a reasonable length of time, but they were also unshod and
grew lame directly. After leaving Williamsburg, we marched through
Piketon (Colonel Morgan was sent with his regiment by way of
Georgetown), Jackson, Vinton and Berlin (at which latter place we had a
skirmish with the militia), and several towns whose names I have
forgotten, as well as the order in which they came. In the skirmish at
Berlin, Tom Murphy, popularly known as the "Wild Irishman," and
technically described by his officers as the "goingest man" (in the
advance-guard), was severely wounded. Small fights with the militia were
of daily occurrence. They hung around the column, wounding two or three
men every day and sometimes killing one. We captured hundreds of them
daily, but could only turn them loose again after destroying their guns.

On one occasion a very gallant fellow of the Second Kentucky, Charlie
Haddox, came upon five of them, who had made some of the command
prisoners. He captured them, in turn, and brought them in. The prisoners
who could be taken by such men hardly deserved to be released. Two men
distinguished themselves very much as advance videttes, privates Carneal
Warfield and Burks. The latter frequently caused the capture of parties
of militia, without blood-shed on either side, by boldly riding up to
them, representing himself as one of the advance guard of a body of
Federal cavalry, and detaining them in conversation until the column
arrived. But it is impossible to recount the one tenth part of the
incidents of this nature which occurred. At Wilkesville we halted again
before nightfall, and remained until 3 o'clock next morning. The
militia, about this time, turned their attention seriously to felling
trees, tearing up bridges, and impeding our progress in every
conceivable way. The advance guard was forced to carry axes to cut away
the frequent blockades. In passing near Pomeroy, on the 18th, there was
one continual fight, but, now, not with the militia only, for some
regular troops made their appearance and took part in the programme. The
road we were traveling runs for several miles at no great distance from
the town of Pomeroy, which is situated on the Ohio river. Many by-roads
run from the main one into the town, and at the mouths of these roads we
always found the enemy. The road runs, also, for nearly five miles
through a ravine, and steep hills upon each side of it. These hills were
occupied, at various points, by the enemy, and we had to run the
gauntlet. Colonel Grigsby took the lead with the Sixth Kentucky, and
dashed through at a gallop, halting when fired on, dismounting his men
and dislodging the enemy, and again resuming his rapid march. Major
Webber brought up the rear of the division and held back the enemy, who
closed eagerly upon our track.

About 1 o'clock of that day we reached Chester and halted, for an hour
and a half, to enable the column to close up, to breathe the horses, and
also to obtain a guide, if possible (General Morgan declaring that he
would no longer march without one). That halt proved disastrous--it
brought us to Buffington ford after night had fallen, and delayed our
attempt at crossing until the next morning.

Before quitting Ohio, it is but just to acknowledge the kind hospitality
of these last two days. At every house that we approached, the dwellers
thereof, themselves absent, perhaps unable to endure a meeting that
would have been painful, had left warm pies, freshly baked, upon the
tables. This touching attention to our tastes was appreciated. Some
individuals were indelicate enough to hint that the pies were intended
to propitiate us and prevent the plunder of the houses.

We reached Portland, a little village upon the bank of the river, and a
short distance above Buffington Island, about 8 P.M., and the night was
one of solid darkness. General Morgan consulted one or two of his
officers upon the propriety of at once attacking an earthwork, thrown up
to guard the ford. From all the information he could gather, this work
was manned with about three hundred infantry--regular troops--and two
heavy guns were mounted in it. Our arrival at this place after dark had
involved us in a dilemma. If we did not cross the river that night,
there was every chance of our being attacked on the next day by heavy
odds. The troops we had seen at Pomeroy were, we at once and correctly
conjectured, a portion of the infantry which had been sent after us from
Kentucky, and they had been brought by the river, which had risen
several feet in the previous week, to intercept us. If transports could
pass Pomeroy, the General knew that they could also run up to the bar at
Buffington Island. The transports would certainly be accompanied by
gunboats, and our crossing could have been prevented by the latter
alone, because our artillery ammunition was nearly exhausted--there was
not more than three cartridges to the piece, and we could not have
driven off gunboats with small arms. Moreover, if it was necessary, the
troops could march from Pomeroy to Buffington by an excellent road, and
reach the latter place in the morning. This they did. General Morgan
fully appreciated these reasons for getting across the river that night,
as did those with whom he advised, but there were, also, very strong
reasons against attacking the work at night; and without the capture of
the work, which commanded the ford, it would be impossible to cross. The
night, as I have stated, was thoroughly dark. Attacks in the dark are
always hazardous experiments--in this case it would have been doubly so.
We knew nothing of the ground, and could not procure guides. Our choice
of the direction in which to move to the attack would have been purely
guess work. The defenders of the work had only to lie still and fire
with artillery and musketry directly to their front, but the assailants
would have had a line to preserve, and would have had to exercise great
care lest they should fall foul of each other in the obscurity. If this
is a difficult business at all times, how much is the danger and trouble
increased when it is attempted with broken-down and partially
demoralized men?

General Morgan feared, too, that if the attacking party was repulsed, it
would come back in such disorder and panic that the whole division would
be seriously and injuriously affected. He determined, therefore, to take
the work at early dawn and instantly commence the crossing, trusting
that it would be effected rapidly and before the enemy arrived. By
abandoning the long train of wagons which had been collected, the
wounded men, and the artillery, a crossing might have been made, with
little difficulty, higher up the river at deeper fords, which we could
have reached by a rapid march before the enemy came near them. But
General Morgan was determined (after having already hazarded so much) to
save all if possible, at the risk of losing all. He ordered me to place
two regiments of my brigade in position, as near the earthwork as I
thought proper, and attack it at daybreak. I accordingly selected the
Fifth and Sixth Kentucky, and formed them about four hundred yards from
the work, or from the point where I judged it to be located. Lieutenant
Lawrence was also directed to place his Parrots upon a tongue of land
projecting northward from a range of hills running parallel with the
river. It was intended that he should assist the attacking party, if,
for any reason, artillery should be needed. Many efforts were made,
during the night, to find other fords, but unsuccessfully.

As soon as the day dawned, the Fifth and Sixth Kentucky were moved
against the work, but found it unoccupied. It had been evacuated during
the night. Had our scouts, posted to observe it, been vigilant, and had
this evacuation, which occurred about two P.M., been discovered and
reported, we could have gotten almost the entire division across before
the troops coming from Pomeroy arrived. The guns in the work had been
dismounted and rolled over the bluff. I immediately sent Gen. Morgan
information of the evacuation of the work, and instructed Colonel Smith
to take command of the two regiments and move some four or five hundred
yards further on the Pomeroy road, by which I supposed that the garrison
had retreated. In a few minutes I heard the rattle of musketry in the
direction that the regiments had moved, and riding forward to ascertain
what occasioned it, found that Colonel Smith had unexpectedly come upon
a Federal force advancing upon this road. He attacked and dispersed it,
taking forty or fifty prisoners and a piece of artillery, and killing
and wounding several. This force turned out to be General Judah's
advance guard, and his command was reported to be eight or ten thousand
strong, and not far off. Among the wounded was one of his staff, and his
Adjutant-General was captured. I instructed Colonel Smith to bring the
men back to the ground where they had been formed to attack the work,
and rode myself to consult General Morgan and receive his orders. He
instructed me to hold the enemy in check, and call for such troops as I
might need for that purpose. This valley which we had entered the night
before, and had bivouacked in, was about a mile long, and perhaps eight
hundred yards wide at the southern extremity (the river runs here nearly
due north and south), and gradually narrows toward the other end, until
the ridge, which is its western boundary, runs to the water's edge. This
ridge is parallel with the river at the southern end of the valley, but
a few hundred yards further to the northward both river and ridge
incline toward each other. About half way of the valley (equi-distant
from either end) the road, by which we had marched from Chester, comes

Colonel Smith had posted his men, in accordance with directions given
him, at the southern extremity of the valley, with the ridge upon his
right flank. At this point the ridge, I should also state, bends almost
at right angles to the westward. As I returned from consultation with
General Morgan, I found both of the regiments under Colonel Smith in
full retreat. When the main body of the enemy (which was now close upon
us) appeared, an order had been issued by some one to "rally to horses."
While doing this, the line was charged by the enemy's cavalry, of which
they had three regiments, two of them, the Seventh and Eighth Michigan,
were very fine ones. A detachment of the Fifth Indiana (led by a very
gallant officer, Lieutenant O'Neil) headed this charge. The men rallied
and turned, as soon as called on to do so, and had no difficulty in
driving back the cavalry, but a portion of the Fifth Kentucky was cut
off by this charge, and did not take part in the fight which succeeded.
These two regiments were not more than two hundred and fifty strong
each, and they were dismounted again, and formed across the valley. The
Parrot guns had been captured, and, although our line was formed close
to them, they were not again in our possession. I sent several couriers
to General Morgan, asking for the Second Kentucky, a portion of which I
wished to post upon the ridge, and I desired to strengthen the thin,
weak line with the remainder. Colonel's Johnson's rear videttes (still
kept during the night upon the Chester road) had a short time previously
been driven in, and he had formed his brigade to receive the enemy
coming from that direction. Colonel Johnson offered me a detachment of
his own brigade with which to occupy the part of the ridge immediately
upon my right--the necessity of holding it was immediately apparent to
him. Believing that the Second Kentucky would soon arrive, I declined
his offer.

The force advancing upon the Chester road was General Hobson's, which
our late delays had permitted to overtake us. Neither Judah nor Hobson
was aware of the other's vicinity, until apprised of it by the sound of
their respective guns. We could not have defeated either alone, for
Judah was several thousand strong, and Hobson three thousand. We were
scarcely nineteen hundred strong, and our ammunition was nearly
exhausted--either shot away or worn out in the pouches or
cartridge-boxes. The men, had on an average, not more than five rounds
in their boxes. If, however, either Judah or Hobson had attacked us
singly, we could have made good our retreat, in order, and with little

The attack commenced from both directions, almost simultaneously, and at
the same time the gunboats steamed up and commented shelling us without
fear or favor. I heartily wished that _their_ fierce ardor, the result
of a feeling of perfect security, could have been subjected to the test
of two or three shots through their hulls. They were working, as well as
I could judge, five or six guns, Hobson two, and Judah five or six. The
shells coming thus from three different directions, seemed to fill the
air with their fragments. Colonel Johnson's line, confronting Hobson,
was formed at right angles to mine, and upon the level and unsheltered
surface of the valley, each was equally exposed to shots aimed at the
other. In addition to the infantry deployed in front of my line, the
ridge upon the right of it was soon occupied by one of the Michigan
regiments, dismounted and deployed as skirmishers. The peculiar
formation we were forced to adopt, exposed our entire force engaged to a
severe cross fire of musketry. The Second Kentucky and Ninth Tennessee,
of the first brigade, were not engaged at all--nor the Eight and
Eleventh Kentucky, of the second brigade. These regiments, however, were
as completely under fire, in the commencement of the action, as were the
others which were protecting the retreat.

The scene in the rear of the lines engaged, was one of indescribable
confusion. While the bulk of the regiments, which General Morgan was
drawing off, were moving from the field in perfect order, there were
many stragglers from each, who were circling about the valley in a
delirium of fright, clinging instinctively, in all their terror, to
bolts of calico and holding on to led horses, but changing the direction
in which they galloped, with every shell which whizzed or burst near
them. The long train of wagons and ambulances dashed wildly in the only
direction which promised escape, and becoming locked and entangled with
each other in their flight, many were upset, and terrified horses broke
lose from them and plunged wildly through the mass. Some of them in
striving to make their way out of the valley, at the northern end, ran
foul of the section of howitzers attached to the second brigade, and
guns and wagons were rolled headlong into the steep ravine. Occasionally
a solid shot or shell would strike one and bowl it over like a tumbled
ten-pin. All this shelling did little damage, and only some twenty-odd
men were killed by the musketry--the enemy lost quite as many--but the
display of force against us, the cross fire, and our lack of ammunition,
seriously disheartened the men, already partially demoralized by the
great and unremitted fatigue.

The left flank of my line, between which and the river there was an
interval of at least three hundred yards, was completely turned, and the
Sixth Kentucky was almost surrounded. This regiment (under the command
of Major William Bullitt, an officer of the calmest and most perfect
bravery), behaved nobly. It stood the heavy attack of the enemy like a
bastion. At length seeing that General Morgan had gotten out of the
valley with the rest of the division, Colonel Johnson and myself, upon
consultation, determined to withdraw simultaneously. We had checked this
superior force for more than half an hour--which, as much as our
assailants boasted of their victory, was quite as good as an equal
number of the best of them could have done against such odds.

The men were remounted without confusion, and retreated in column of
fours from right of companies, and for quite a mile in perfect order.
The Sixth Kentucky formed to the "rear into line" three times, and with
empty guns, kept the pursuing cavalry at bay. But when we neared the
other end of the valley and saw that there were but two avenues of
escape from it--the men broke ranks and rushed for them. In a moment,
each was blocked. The gunboats sought to rake these roads with
grape--and although they aimed too high to inflict much injury, the hiss
of the dreaded missiles increased the panic. The Seventh Michigan soon
came up and dashed pell-mell into the crowd of fugitives. Colonel Smith,
Captain Campbell, Captain Thorpe, and myself, and some fifty other
officers and men, were forced by the charge of this regiment into a
ravine on the left of the road and soon afterward captured. Captain
Thorpe saved me from capture at an earlier date, only to ultimately
share my fate. He had acted as Adjutant General of the First Brigade,
since the detachment of Captain Davis, and had performed all of his
duties with untiring assiduity and perfect efficiency. On this day,
there was allowed opportunity for the display of courage only, and for
that he was ever distinguished.

About seven hundred prisoners were taken from us in this fight. Among
the officers captured were Colonels Ward and Morgan, Lieutenant Colonel
Huffman, who was also severely wounded, and Majors Bullock and Bullitt.

On the next day, the 20th, we were marched down the river bank some ten
miles to the transport which was to take us to Cincinnati, and she
steamed off as soon as we were aboard of her. A portion of the Ninth
Tennessee had been put across the river, in a small flat, before the
fight fairly commenced, and these men, under command of Captain
Kirkpatrick, pressed horses and made their escape. Colonel Grigsby and
Captain Byrnes also crossed the river here, and succeeded in escaping.
Between eleven and twelve hundred men retreated with General Morgan,
closely pursued by Hobson's cavalry--the indefatigable Woolford, as
usual, in the lead. Some three hundred of the command crossed the river
at a point about twenty miles above Buffington. Colonel Johnson and his
staff swam the river here and got safely ashore, with the exception of
two or three of the latter, who were drowned in the attempt.

The arrival of the gun boats prevented the entire force from crossing.
General Morgan had gained the middle of the river, and, having a strong
horse, could have gained the other shore without difficulty, but seeing
that the bulk of his command would be forced to remain on the Ohio side,
he returned to it. At this point, a negro boy named Box, a great
favorite in the Second Kentucky, thorough rebel and deeply impressed
with a sense of his own importance, entered the river and started
across; General Morgan called to him to return, fearing that he would be
drowned. "Marse John," said Box, "If dey catches you, dey may parole
you, but if dis nigger is cotched in a free State he ain't a gwine to
git away while de war lasts." He swam the river safely although nearly
run down by a gun boat. From this time, for six days, it was a continual
race and scramble. That men could have endured it, after the previous
exhausting marches, is almost incredible.

The brigades were reorganized. Colonel Cluke was placed in command of
the second, Major Webber of the first, each was a little more than four
hundred strong. "The bold Cluke" had need of all of his audacity and
vigor during these six days of trial. It is impossible for the reader to
appreciate the true condition in which these brave men were placed. Worn
down by tremendous and long sustained exertion, encompassed by a
multitude of foes, and fresh ones springing up in their path at every
mile, allowed no rest, but driven on night and day; attacked, harassed,
intercepted at every moment, disheartened by the disasters already
suffered--how magnificent was the nerve, energy and resolution which
enabled them to bear up against all this and struggle so gallantly to
the very last against capture. Major Webber had long been suffering from
a painful and exhausting disease, and when he started upon the raid he
could not climb into his saddle without assistance. But he could not
endure the thought of being absent from such an expedition. He was one
of the very best officers in the Confederate cavalry, and his ideas of
duty were almost fanatical. All through the long march to Buffington, he
rode at the head of the "old regulars," without a murmur escaping his
lips to tell of the pain which paled his brave, manly face, but could
not bend his erect form. Of his conduct after the Buffington disaster,
General Morgan, and his comrades spoke in enthusiastic praise--one
officer in describing his unflinching steadiness called him the "Iron
man." No description could do justice to these six days, and I will not
attempt one. One incident will serve to show how constantly the enemy
pressed the command. Once, when there seemed leisure for it, General
Morgan called a council of his officers. While it was in session, the
enemy were skirmishing with the advance and rear-guards of the column,
and were upon both flanks. A bullet struck within two inches of the
General's head, while he was courteously listening to an opinion. When
the council was closed, General Morgan moved the column back toward
"Blennerhassett's Island," where he had previously attempted to cross
the river. Clouds of dust marked his march (although he quitted the main
road) and also the track of his enemies, and in that way the exact
position of all the columns was known to each. That night he halted with
a bold mountain upon one side of him and the enemy on the other three.
His pursuers evidently thought that the morning would witness his
surrender, for they made no effort to force him to yield that evening.
But when night had fairly fallen and the camp fires of his foes were
burning brightly, he formed his men, partially ascended the mountain,
stole noiselessly and in single file along its rough slope and by
midnight was out of the trap, and again working hard for safety.

Here is a description from Major Webber's diary, of how General Morgan
eluded the enemy posted to ensnare him when he should cross the
Muskingum. He had been compelled to drive off a strong force in order to
obtain a crossing; after he had crossed he found himself thus situated.
"The enemy had fallen back on all of the roads--guarding each one with a
force in ambush much larger than ours--and to make our way through
seemed utterly impossible; while Hobson had made his appearance with a
large force on the opposite bank of the Muskingham so that to retrace
our steps would be ruin. Finding every road strongly guarded, and every
hill covered with troops, it would have been impossible for any one
except Morgan to have led a column out of such a place, and he did it by
what the citizens tell us, is the only place which a horse can go; and
that down a narrow pass leading up a narrow spring branch hundreds of
feet below the tops of the hills, the perpendicular sides of which
pressed closely on our horses as we passed in single file. And then we
went up another hill, or rather mountain side, up which nobody but a
Morgan man could have carried a horse. Up that hill, for at least one
thousand feet, we led our tired horses, where it seemed that a goat
couldn't climb, until we reached the plain, and were soon in the rear of
the enemy and on our road again. Colonel Cluke who was in the rear lost
two men killed.

In looking around for a place to carry the column, Adjutant S.F. McKee
and two of our men ran into an ambuscade, and were fired on, about
thirty yards distant, by three hundred men, without striking either of
them or their horses." But all this brave, persistent effort, was
unavailing. General Morgan maintained his high spirit to the last, and
seemed untouched by the weariness which bore down every one else, but he
was forced at last to turn at bay, and a fresh disaster on the 26th,
reducing his command to two hundred and fifty men, and a fresh swarm of
enemies gathering around this remnant, left him no alternative (in
justice to his men) but surrender. I may be permitted to mention (with
natural pride), that the last charge made upon this expedition, was made
by Company C, of my old regiment, the Second Kentucky, the "Regulars."
This company had maintained its organization and discipline without any
deterioration, although greatly reduced in numbers. In this last fight,
it was ordered to charge a body of Federal cavalry, who were dismounted
and lay behind a worm fence, firing upon the column with their Spencer
rifles. Led by its gallant Captain, Ralph Sheldon, one of the best of
our _best_, officers, this company dashed down upon the enemy. The tired
horses breasted the fence, without being able to clear it, knocking off
the top rails. But with their deadly revolvers our boys soon
accomplished the mission upon which they were sent.

General Morgan surrendered in a very peculiar manner. He had, many days
before, heard of the retreat of General Lee, after Gettysburg, from
Pennsylvania, and of the fall of Vicksburg. In at least twenty towns
through which we had passed, in Indiana and Ohio, we had witnessed the
evidences of the illuminations in honor of these events. He feared
that, in consequence of the great excess of prisoners thus coming in
Federal possession, the cartel (providing for the exchange of prisoners
and the paroling of the excess upon either side, within a short period
after their capture) would be broken. He was anxious, therefore, to
surrender "upon terms." Aware that he was not likely to get such terms
as he wished, from any officer of the regular troops that were pursuing
him, unless he might happen to hit upon Woolford, who was as noted for
generosity to prisoners (if he respected their prowess) as for vigor and
gallantry in the field, he looked around for some militia officer who
might serve his turn. In the extreme eastern part of Ohio (where he now
was), he came into the "district" of a Captain Burbeck, who had his
militia under arms. General Morgan sent a message to Captain Burbeck,
under flag of truce, requesting an interview with him. Burbeck consented
to meet him, and, after a short conference, General Morgan concluded a
treaty with him, by which he (Morgan) engaged to take and disturb
nothing, and do no sort of damage in Burbeck's district, and Burbeck, on
his part, covenanted to guide and escort Morgan to the Pennsylvania
line. After riding a few miles, side by side, with his host, General
Morgan, espying a long cloud of dust rolling rapidly upon a course
parallel with his own (about a mile distant), and gaining his front,
thought it was time to act. So he interrupted a pleasant conversation,
by suddenly asking Burbeck how he would like to receive his (Morgan's)
surrender. Burbeck answered that it would afford him inexpressible
satisfaction to do so. "But," said Morgan, "perhaps you would not give
me such terms as I wish." "General Morgan," replied Burbeck, "you might
write your own terms, and I would grant them." "Very well, then," said
Morgan; "it is a bargain. I will surrender to you." He, accordingly,
formally surrendered to Captain Burbeck, of the Ohio militia, upon
condition that officers and men were to be paroled, the latter retaining
their horses, and the former horses and side-arms. When General
Shackleford (Hobson's second in command, and the officer who was
conducting the pursuit in that immediate region) arrived, he at once
disapproved this arrangement, and took measures to prevent its being
carried into effect. Some officers who had once been Morgan's prisoners,
were anxious that it should be observed, and Woolford generously
interested himself to have it done. The terms of this surrender were not
carried out. The cartel (as Morgan had anticipated) had been repudiated,
and the terms for which he had stipulated, under that apprehension, were
repudiated also.

Although this expedition resulted disastrously, it was, even as a
failure, incomparably the most brilliant raid of the entire war. The
purposes sought to be achieved by it were grander and more important,
the conception of the plan which should regulate it, was more masterly,
and the skill with which it was conducted is unparalleled in the history
of such affairs. It was no ride across a country stripped of troops,
with a force larger than any it should chance to encounter.

It was not an expedition started from a point impregnably garrisoned, to
dash by a well marked path to another point occupied by a friendly army.
It differed from even the boldest of Confederate raids, not only in that
it was vastly more extended, but also in the nerve with which the great
natural obstacles were placed between the little band with which it was
undertaken and home, and the unshrinking audacity with which that slight
force penetrated into a populous and intensely hostile territory, and
confidently exposed itself to such tremendous odds, and such
overwhelming disadvantages. Over one hundred thousand men were in arms
to catch Morgan (although not all employed at one time and place), and
every advantage in the way of transporting troops, obtaining
information, and disposing forces to intercept or oppose him, was
possessed by his enemy, and yet his wily strategy enabled him to make
his way to the river, at the very point where he had contemplated
recrossing it when he started from, Tennessee; and he was prevented from
recrossing and effecting his escape (which would then have been
certain) only by the river having risen at a season at which it had not
risen for more than twenty years before.

[Illustration: MAP SHOWING ROUTE THROUGH VIRGINIA _Of those who made_
THEIR ESCAPE FROM OHIO, _July and August 1863_.]

The objects of the raid were accomplished. General Bragg's retreat was
unmolested by any flanking forces of the enemy, and I think that
military men, who will review all the facts, will pronounce that this
expedition delayed for weeks the fall of East Tennessee, and prevented
the timely reinforcement of Rosecrans by troops that would otherwise
have participated in the battle of Chickamauga. It destroyed Morgan's
division, however, and left but a remnant of the Morgan cavalry. The
companies in Kentucky became disintegrated--the men were either captured
or so dispersed that few were ever again available. Captain Davis
crossed into Indiana, with the two companies assigned him, but failed to
rejoin the division, and was surrounded by overwhelming numbers, and
himself and the greater part of his command captured. Some of the men in
those companies escaped--the majority of them returned to the South,
others remained in Kentucky to "guerrilla." Two fine companies of the
Ninth Tennessee, under Captains Kirkpatrick and Sisson, crossed the
river at Buffington; two companies of the Second Kentucky, under
Captains Lea and Cooper, effected a crossing a day or two later. Besides
these organized bodies of men, there were stragglers from all the
regiments to the number of three or four hundred, who escaped. These men
were collected by Colonels Johnson and Grigsby, and marched through
Western Virginia to Morristown, in East Tennessee, where all that was
left of Morgan's command was rendezvoused.

Although the consequences were so disastrous, although upon the greater
part of those who followed Morgan in this raid was visited a long,
cruel, wearisome imprisonment, there are few, I imagine, among them who
ever regretted it. It was a sad infliction upon a soldier, especially
upon one accustomed to the life the "Morgan men" had led, to eat his
heart in the tedious, dreary prison existence, while the fight which he
should have shared was daily growing deadlier. But to have, in our turn,
been invaders, to have carried the war north of the Ohio, to have taught
the people, who for long months had been pouring invading hosts into the
South, something of the agony and terror of invasion--to have made them
fly in fear from their homes, although they returned to find those homes
not laid in ashes; to have scared them with the sound of hostile bugles,
although no signals were sounded for flames and destruction--these
luxuries were cheap at almost any price. It would have been an
inexpiable shame if, in all the Confederate army, there had been no body
of men found to carry the war, however briefly, across the Ohio, and
Morgan by this raid saved us, at least, that disgrace.

One of the many articles which filled the Northern papers, upon the
disastrous termination of this expedition, prophetically declared the
true misfortune which would result to Morgan himself from his
ill-success to-wit: the loss of his unexampled prestige--hitherto of
itself a power adequate to ensure him victories, but never to be
recovered. This writer more sagacious, as well as more fair than others
of his class, said:

"The raid through Indiana and Ohio has proved an unfortunate business to
him and his command. His career, hitherto has been dashing and
brilliant, and but few rebel commanders had won a higher reputation
throughout the South. He had been glorified by rebels in arms
everywhere, but this last reckless adventure will doubtless rob his name
of half its potency. The prestige of success is all powerful, while a
failure is death to military reputation. It would now be a difficult
matter to rally to his standard as many enthusiastic and promising young
men, who infatuated and misguided, joined him during the period of his
success. Many of them blindly seemed to entertain the opinion that no
reverse could befall him, and all he had to do was to march along, and
victory after victory would perch upon his banner. They couldn't even
dream of a disaster or an end to his triumphs. Many of them have already
sadly and dearly paid for their infatuation, while others are doomed to
a similar fate. This remarkable raid, certainly the most daring of the
war, is about at an end. Morgan is trapped at last and his forces
scattered, and if he escapes himself it will only be as a fugitive. The
race he has run since crossing the Cumberland river, eluding the
thousands of troops which have been put upon his track, proved him a
leader of extraordinary ability. The object of the raid is yet a
mystery. Time alone will develop the plan, if plan there was. Moving on
with such a force, far from all support--at the very time, too, that
Bragg's army was falling back and scattering--makes the affair look like
one of simple bravado, as if the leader was willing to be captured,
provided he could end his career in a blaze of excitement created by his
dash and daring. But it is useless to speculate now. Broken into squads,
some few of his men will doubtless escape across the river, and make
their way singly to the Confederacy, to tell the story of their long
ride through Indiana and Ohio; but the power of the noted partisan
chieftain and his bold riders is a thing of the past."


The prisoners taken at Buffington were carried to Cincinnati as rapidly
as the low stage of water, and the speed of the little boat, upon which
we were placed, would permit. We were some three days in making the
trip. Fortunately for us, the officers and men appointed to guard us,
were disposed to ameliorate our condition as much as possible. Our
private soldiers, crowded on the hurricane decks, were, of course,
subjected to inconvenience, but the wish of the guards was evidently to
remedy it as much as possible. This crowding enabled a number of them to
make their escape by leaping into the river at night, as the sentries
could not possibly detect or prevent their efforts at escape. Captain
Day, General Judah's inspector, who was in immediate charge of us, while
he was rigidly careful to guard against escape, showed us the most manly
and soldierly courtesy. As the only acknowledgment we could make him,
the officers united in requesting him to accept a letter which we
severally signed, declaring our appreciation of his kindness. We trusted
that, if he should ever be so unfortunate as to become a prisoner
himself, this evidence of his consideration for our situation would
benefit him.

It was habitually remarked that, in the first two years of the war at
least, there was a prevalent disposition among the men of both armies
who served in "the front," to show courtesy to prisoners. The soldiers
who guarded us from Buffington to Cincinnati were characterized by this
spirit in an unusual degree, and carried out this practice, which even
those who neglect it, approve, more thoroughly, I must say, than any
troops I had ever seen. We met with treatment so different, afterward,
that we had occasion to remember and compare. For my own part, I was
more than once compelled, during my long and chequered imprisonment, to
express my sense of courteous and considerate treatment; and, as I
believe, that a gentleman ought not to say, at any time or in any event,
that which he can not unhesitatingly confirm, however changed may be the
circumstances (every legitimate _ruse-de-guerre_, being, of course, an
exception), I shall take great pains, in the course of this chapter, to
specify wherein and by whom such treatment was accorded me, or my
comrades. I am aware that this is not customary, and the contrary habit,
may have become an established canon of this sort of literature, the
violation of which will occasion grave criticism. But my own people will
appreciate my explanation. I should have accepted no kindness at the
hands of my captors; I ought to have repelled every courtesy offered me,
if clearly prompted by a generous and manly spirit; if I were capable of
altogether omitting mention of such acts, in a description, purporting
to be truthful and accurate, of my prison experience.

In all else, my readers may rest assured that the rule shall be
observed. He would be a poor-spirited prisoner, who would not tell all
the mean things he knows about his jailors, and since Wirtz was hung, at
any rate, such gentry have become fair game.

When we arrived at Cincinnati, we met with a grand ovation. The fact
that none of the citizens had come out to meet us, when we marched
around the city, had caused us to conceive a very erroneous impression
regarding them. They pressed closely upon the guard of soldiers who were
drawn up around us, as we were marched through the streets to the city
prison, and attempted many demonstrations of their feeling toward us.
There seemed to be little sympathy between the soldiers and the
populace. The former muttered pretty strong expressions of disgust for
the previous tameness and present boldness of the latter, and once or
twice when jostled, plied their bayonets. The privates were immediately
sent to camps Morton and Douglass. The officers were kept at the city
prison in Cincinnati for three days. During that time, we were
reinforced by a good many others, taken in the two or three days which,
succeeded Buffington fight.

On the last day of our sojourn here, we learned of General Morgan's
capture. We had hoped and almost felt confident, that he would escape.

We were removed from this prison on the second of July (or within a day
or two of that date), and taken to Johnson's Island. At every station on
the railroad, from Cincinnati to Sandusky, large and enthusiastic crowds
assembled to greet us. The enthusiasm, however, was scarcely of a nature
to excite agreeable emotions in our bosoms. There seemed to be
"universal suffrage" for our instant and collective execution, and its
propriety was promulgated with much heat and emphasis. A change seemed
to have come over the people of Ohio in the past two weeks. In our
progress through the State, before our capture, the people left their
homes--apparently from a modest disinclination to see us. But, now, they
crowded to stare at us.

When we reached Sandusky, we were transferred to a small steam tug, and,
in twenty minutes, were put across the arm of the lake which separates
Johnson's Island from the main land. We were marched, as soon as landed,
to the adjutant's office, and after roll-call, and a preliminary
scrutiny to ascertain if we had money or weapons upon our persons,
although it was, perhaps, the strict rule to search--the word of each
man in our party was taken--we were introduced into the prison
inclosure. It was the custom, in those days, in the various prisons for
the older inmates to collect about the gates of the "Bull-pen" when
"Fresh fish," as every lot of prisoners just arrived were termed, were
brought in, and inspect them. We, consequently, met a large crowd of
unfortunate rebels, when we entered, in which were not a few
acquaintances, and some of our own immediate comrades. The first man I
saw, or, at least, the first one to whom my attention was attracted, was
First Lieutenant Charles Donegan, of the Second Kentucky. He had been a
private in the heroic Fourth Alabama, and, when his term of service had
expired in that regiment, he "joined Morgan," becoming a private in
Company A, of the "old squadron." When the Second Kentucky was
organized, he was made a non-commissioned officer, and was shortly
afterward promoted to First Lieutenant for gallantry, excellent conduct,
and strict attention to duty. In the prison he met with his old comrades
of the Army of Northern Virginia, and was prompt to welcome all of the
"Morgan men" who "happened in," and to initiate them in the art of
making life in a prison endurable. A few months before, I had visited
his father, one of the most hospitable men in Huntsville, famed for that
virtue, and he charged me with a message to "Charlie," which I delivered
in the barracks at Johnson's Island. Lieutenant Donegan remained in
prison more than twenty months--one of those men whose patient heroism
will never be justly appreciated.

It is only by citing personal instances of this kind, that the history
of the Southern soldiery can be written so that it will be understood.

The Gettysburg prisoners had arrived, only a few days before, and from
them we heard the first intelligible account of the great battle. Not a
whit was the courage and fire of these gallant representatives of the
army of heroes abated. They seemed to have perfect faith in the
invincibility of their comrades, and they looked for the millenium to
arrive, much sooner, than for serious discomfiture to befall "Uncle

Johnson's Island was the most agreeable prison I ever saw--which is much
as if a man were to allude to the pleasantest dose of castor oil he ever
swallowed. However, there is little doubt but that it _would_ have been
pleasant (for a short time), if it had not been a prison. The climate in
the summer is delightful, and the prospect highly gratifying--except to
a man who would like to escape and can not swim. The winters, there, are
said to have been very severe--but then the barracks were open and airy.
We, who were shortly afterward transferred to the Ohio Penitentiary,
thought and spoke of Johnson's Island as (under the circumstances), a
very "desirable location." The rations were good, and we were permitted
to purchase any thing we wished from the sutler. As we were there only
four days, however, it is possible that some others who remained nearly
two years, may be right in contending that the regime (in process of
time), underwent some change.

It was not uncommon to hear men say, that they would rather be sent to
that locality which is conceded by all sects to be exceedingly
uncomfortable, than go again to Johnson's Island--but a shuddering
recollection of the bitter winter weather, evidently induced the
preference. After remaining at Johnson's Island four days, some forty of
us were called for one morning, and bidden to prepare for
departure--whither we were not informed. But our worst fears were
realized, when we were taken off of the cars at Columbus and marched to
the penitentiary. The State of Ohio claimed Morgan and his officers, as
her peculiar property--because we had been captured on her soil by
Michiganders, Kentuckians, etc., and demanded us, that we might be
subjected to the same treatment which she inflicted upon her felons. It
was rumored, also, that Colonel Streight, an Ohio officer, captured by
Forrest, had been placed in the penitentiary in Georgia, and we were
told that we were being penitentiaried in retaliation. It turned out
subsequently that Colonel Streight was treated precisely as the other
prisoners in the South, but the Governor of Ohio having gotten hold of a
batch of Confederate soldiers, captured for him by troops from other
States, was disposed to make the most of them, and would not consent to
let them out of his hands.

Two men figured in the "Ohio raid" and the subsequent treatment of the
raiders, with a peculiar eclat. The Commander-in-Chief of the
department, who prepared to flee from the city where his headquarters
were established, upon the approach of two thousand wearied men, whom
with an army of fine troops he could not stop--was one of them. The
other was the Governor of a State he could not defend; but who could
torture if he could not fight. Burnside turned us over to Todd--but
instructed that, "these men shall be subjected to the usual prison
discipline." He could part with his prisoners and enjoin, in doing so,
that they be treated as convicted felons. But his name would blister the
tongue of a brave man, and I should apologize for writing it.

When we entered this gloomy mansion of "crime and woe," it was with
misery in our hearts, although an affected gaiety of manner. We could
not escape the conviction, struggle against it as we would, that we were
placed there to remain while the war lasted, and most of as believed
that the war would outlast the generation. We were told, when we went
in, that we "were there to stay," and there was something infernal in
the gloom and the massive strength of the place, which seemed to bid us
"leave all hope behind." While we were waiting in the hall, to which we
were assigned, before being placed in our cells, a convict, as I
supposed, spoke to me in a low voice from the grated door of one of the
cells already occupied. I made some remark about the familiarity of our
new friends on short acquaintance, when by the speaker's peculiar laugh
I recognized General Morgan. He was so shaven and shorn, that his voice
alone was recognizable, for I could not readily distinguish his figure.
We were soon placed in our respective cells and the iron barred doors
locked. Some of the officers declared subsequently, that when left
alone, and the eyes of the keepers were taken off of them, they came
near swooning. It was not the apprehension of hardship or harsh
treatment that was so horrible; it was the stifling sense of close
cramped confinement. The dead weight of the huge stone prison seemed
resting on our breasts. On the next day we were taken out to undergo
some of the "usual prison discipline," and were subjected to a sort of
dress-parade. We were first placed man by man, in big hogsheads filled
with water (of which there were two), and solemnly scrubbed by a couple
of negro convicts. This they said was done for sanitary reasons. The
baths in the lake at Johnson's Island were much pleasanter, and the
twentieth man who was ordered into either tub, looked ruefully at the
water, as if he thought it had already done enough for health. Then we
were seated in barber chairs, our beards were taken off, and the
officiating artists were ordered to give each man's hair "a decent cut."
We found that according to the penitentiary code, the decent way of
wearing the hair was to cut it all off--if the same rule had been
adopted with regard to clothing, the Digger Indians would have been
superfluously clad in comparison with (what would have been), our
disheveled condition. Some young men lost beards and moustaches on this
occasion, which they had assiduously cultivated with scanty returns, for
years. Colonel Smith had a magnificent beard sweeping down to his waist,
patriarchal in all save color--it gave him a leonine aspect that might
have awed even a barber. He was placed in the chair, and in less time,
perhaps, than Absalom staid on his mule after his hair brought him to
grief, he was reduced to ordinary humanity. He felt his loss keenly. I
ventured to compliment him on features which I had never seen till then,
and he answered, with asperity, that it was "no jesting matter."

When we returned to the hall, we met General Morgan, Colonel Cluke,
Calvin Morgan, Captain Gibson, and some twenty-six others--our party
numbered sixty-eight in all. General Morgan and most of the officers who
surrendered with him, had been taken to Cincinnati and lodged in the
city prison (as we had been), with the difference, that we had been
placed in the upper apartments (which were clean), and he and his party
were confined in the lower rooms, in comparison with which the stalls of
the Augean stables were boudoirs. After great efforts, General Morgan
obtained an interview with Burnside, and urged that the terms upon which
he had surrendered should be observed, but with no avail. He and the
officers with him, were taken directly from Cincinnati to the Ohio
Penitentiary, and had been there several days when we (who came from
Johnson's Island), arrived. It is a difficult thing to describe, so
that it will be clearly understood, the interior conformation of any
large building, and I will have to trust that my readers will either
catch a just idea of the subject from a very partial and inadequate
description, or that they will regard it as a matter of little
importance whether or no they shall understand the internal plan and
structure of the Ohio State Prison. For my purpose, it is only necessary
that the architecture of one part of it shall be understood. Let the
reader imagine a large room (or rather wing of a building), four hundred
feet in length, forty-odd in width, and with a ceiling forty-odd feet in
hight. One half of this wing, although separated from the other by no
traverse wall, is called the "East Hall."

In the walls of this hall are cut great windows, looking out upon one of
the prison yards. If the reader will further imagine a building erected
in the interior of this hall and reaching to the ceiling, upon each side
of which, and between its walls and the walls of the hall, are alleys
eleven feet wide and running the entire length of the hall, and at
either extremity of this building, spaces twenty feet in width--he will
have conceived a just idea of that part of the prison in which General
Morgan and his officers were confined. In the interior building the
cells are constructed--each about three feet and a half wide and seven
feet long. The doors of the cells--a certain number of which are
constructed in each side of this building--open upon the alleys which
have been described. At the back of each, and of course separating the
ranges of cells upon the opposite sides of the building, is a hollow
space reaching from the floor to the ceiling, running the whole length
of the building, and three or four feet wide. This space is left for the
purpose of obtaining more thorough ventillation, and the back wall of
every cell is perforated with a hole, three or four inches in diameter,
to admit the air from this passage.

We were placed in the cells constructed in that face of the building
which looks toward the town. No convicts were quartered in the cells on
that side, except on the extreme upper tiers, but the cells on the other
side of the building were all occupied by them. The cells are some seven
feet in hight, and are built in ranges, or tiers, one above the other.
They are numbered, range first, second, third, and so on--commencing
at the lower one. The doors are grates of iron--the bars of which are
about an inch and a quarter wide, and half an inch thick, and are,
perhaps, two inches apart, leaving, as they are placed upright and
athwart, open spaces of two inches square between them. In front of each
range of cells were balconies three feet wide, and ladders led from each
one of these to the other just above it.

We were permitted to exercise, during the day, in the alley in front of
our cells, although prohibited from looking out of the windows. Twice a
day we were taken to meals, crossing (when we went to breakfast) a
portion of the yard, before mentioned, and passing through the kitchen
into the large dining-hall of the institution. Here, seated at tables
about two feet wide and the same distance apart, a great many prisoners
could be fed at the same time. We were not allowed to breakfast and dine
with the convicts, or they were not allowed to eat with us--I could
never learn exactly how it was. We crossed the yard, on the way to
breakfast, for the purpose of washing our faces, which was permitted by
the prison regulations, but a certain method of doing it was prescribed.
Two long troughs were erected and filled with water. The inhabitants of
the First Range washed in one trough, and those of the Second Range used
the other. We soon obtained permission to buy and keep our own towels.
In returning from breakfast, and in going to and returning from dinner,
we never quitted the prison building, but marched through a wing of the
dining-room back to the long wing, in one end of which was our hall.

At seven P.M. in summer (earlier afterward), we were required to go to
our respective cells at the tap of the turnkey's key on the stove, and
he passed along the ranges and locked us in for the night. In a little
while, then, we would hear the steady, rolling tramp of the convicts,
who slept in the hall at the other end of the wing, as they marched in
with military step and precision, changing after awhile from the sharp
clatter of many feet simultaneously striking the stone floor to the
hurried, muffled rattle of their ascent (in a trot) of the stairways.
Then when each had gained his cell, and the locking-in commenced, the
most infernal clash and clang, as huge bolts were fastened, would be
heard that ever startled the ear of a sane man. When Satan receives a
fresh lot of prisoners, he certainly must torture each half by
compelling it to hear the other locked into cells with iron doors.

The rations furnished us for the first ten days were inferior to those
subsequently issued. The food allowed us, although exceedingly coarse,
was always sufficiently abundant. After about ten days the restriction,
previously imposed, preventing us from purchasing or receiving from our
friends articles edible, or of any other description, was repealed, and
we were allowed to receive every thing sent us. Our Kentucky friends had
been awaiting this opportunity, and for fear that the privilege would be
soon withdrawn, hastened to send cargoes of all sorts of food and all
kinds of dainties. For a few days we were almost surfeited with good
things, and then the trap fell. When piles of delicacies were stacked up
in his office, the Warden of the prison, Captain Merion, confiscated all
to his own use, forbade our receiving any thing more, and rather than
the provisions should be wasted, furnished his own table with them.

For several weeks one or two soldiers were habitually kept in the hall
with us, during the day. The turnkey, who was the presiding imp in that
wing--the ghoul of our part of the catacombs--was rarely absent, but
passed back and forth, prying and suspicious. Scott (familiarly Scotty)
was the name of the interesting creature who officiated as our immediate
keeper, for the first four months of our confinement in this place. He
was on duty only during the day. At night a special guard went the
rounds. The gas-burners, with which each cell was furnished, were put
into use as soon as we were locked up, and we were allowed (for a time)
to burn candles for an hour after the hour for which the gas was turned
on had expired. We were permitted to buy books and keep them in our
cells, and for some weeks were not restricted in the number of letters
which we might write. Indeed for a period of nearly three months our
condition was uncomfortable only on account of the constant confinement
within the walls of the prison--the lack of exercise, and sun-light, and
free air, and the penning up at night in the close cells. To a man who
has never been placed in such a situation, no words can convey the
slightest idea of its irksomeness. There was not one of us who would not
have eagerly exchanged for the most comfortless of all the prisons,
where he could have spent the days in the open air, and some part of the
time have felt that the eyes of the gaolers were not upon him. Every
conceivable method of killing time, and every practical recreation was
resorted to. Marbles were held in high estimation for many days, and the
games were played first, and discussed subsequently with keen interest.
A long ladder, which had been left in the hall, leaning against the
wall, was a perfect treasure to those who most craved active exercise.
They practiced all sorts of gymnastics on this ladder, and cooled the
fever in their blood with fatigue. Chess finally became the standard
amusement, and those who did not understand the game watched it
nevertheless with as much apparent relish as if they understood it.
Chess books were bought and studied as carefully as any work on tactics
had ever been by the same men, and groups would spend hours in
discussing this gambit and that, and an admiring audience could always
be collected at one end of the hall to hear how Cicero Coleman had just
checkmated an antagonist at the other, by a judicious flank movement
with his "knight," or some other active and effective piece.

In spite, however, of every effort to sustain health and spirits, both
suffered. The most robust could not endure the life to which we were
condemned, without injury. I am satisfied that hard labor--furnishing at
once occupation and exercise--alone prevents the inmates of these
prisons (sentenced to remain so many years, as some of them are) from
dying early. The effect of this confinement is strange, and will
doubtless appear inconsistent. It affected every man of our party with
(at the same time) a lethargy and a nervousness. While we were
physically and mentally impaired by it--and every faculty was dulled,
and all energy was sapped--every man was restless without aim or
purpose, and irritable without cause or reason. These effects of
imprisonment became far more apparent and difficult to repress, after a
few months had elapsed.

The method adopted in the Ohio Penitentiary, for punishing the
refractory and disobedient, was to confine them in cells called the
"dungeons"--and dungeons indeed they were. Captain Foster Cheatham was
the first man, of our party, who explored their recesses. His private
negotiations, with one of the military guard, for liquids of stimulating
properties (which he thought would benefit his health) were not only
unsuccessful, but were discovered by the "Head-devil," and the Captain
was dragged to a "loathsome dungeon." He remained twenty-four hours and
came out wiser, on the subject of prison discipline, and infinitely
sadder than when he went in. The next victim was Major Higley. One of
the keepers was rough to him, and Higley used strong language in return.
Disrespectful language to, or about, officials was not tolerated in the
institution, and Higley "came to grief." He also remained in the dungeon
for the space of a solar day. He was a man of lean habit and excitable
temperament, when in his best state of health--and he returned from the
place of punishment, looking like a ghost of dissipated habits and
shattered nervous system. Pale and shaking--he gave us a spirited and
humorous account of his interview with the superior gaolers, and his
experience in the dark stifling cell.

It was claimed that while punishment was invariably inflicted for
violation of the rules, those rules were clearly defined. That no man
need infringe the regulations--that every one could (if he chose) avoid
punishment. An incident happened which did not strongly corroborate this
beautiful theory. Shortly after Major Higley's misfortune, Captain
Cheatham was again honored with an invitation to inspect the dungeons,
and take up his quarters in one of them. He, with great modesty,
protested that he had done nothing to deserve such a distinction, but
his scruples were overruled and he was induced to go. The offense
charged was this: An anonymous letter had been picked up in the hall--in
which the prison officials were ridiculed. Merion fancied that the
handwriting of this letter resembled Cheatham's--there was no other
evidence. So far as the proof went, there was as much right to attribute
it to one of the prison corps as to one of the prisoners, and to any
other one of the prisoners as to Cheatham. After he was placed in the
dungeon, where he remained forty-eight hours, and it became known upon
what charge, and that he denied it, General Morgan first, and soon many
others, demanded that, if another prisoner had written the letter, he
should own it and suffer for it. There was not a man in the sixty-eight
of our party (with four exceptions) who would have permitted a comrade
to be punished for an offense committed by himself.

It was never known who wrote the letter. Captain Cheatham always denied
having done so. So justice was not always so impartially administered in
the sacrificial temple of the Ohio law, and the governed had it not
always in their power to escape punishment.

After we had been in the penitentiary some three or four weeks, Colonel
Cluke and another officer were taken out and sent to McLean barracks, to
be tried by court-martial upon the charge of having violated some oath,
taken before they entered the Confederate service. They were acquitted
and Colonel Cluke was sent to Johnson's Island, where during the
ensuing winter he died of diphtheria. He was exceedingly popular in the
division, and was a man of the most frank, generous and high-toned
nature. But he possessed some high soldierly qualities. In the field, he
was extremely bold and tenacious--and when threatened by a dangerous
opponent, no one was more vigilant and wary. He displayed great vigor
and judgment on many occasions, both as a regimental and brigade
commander. The news of his death excited universal sorrow among his

Shortly before Colonel Cluke's removal, Major Webber and Captains
Sheldon and McCann had been brought to the penitentiary from Camp Chase.
They, of course, declined the tonsorial ceremonies and were remanded to
Camp Chase. In the course of two or three weeks Captains Bennett and
Merriwether, of the Tenth Kentucky, were sent from Camp Chase to the
penitentiary, for having attempted to make their escape, and with them
came Captain Sheldon again, for the same offense. This time no questions
were asked, but hair and beards came off.

Somewhat later, Major Webber was sent back also. He was placed in
solitary confinement, in a cell in a remote part of the prison, and
permitted to hold no intercourse with the rest of us. The reason of his
receiving this treatment, was that he had written a letter in which
occurred the following passage: "I can't say how long I will be a
prisoner. Until the end of time; yes, until eternity has run its last
round, rather than that our Government shall acknowledge the doctrine of
negro equality, by an exchange of negro soldiers. I wish that all
negroes, and their officers captured with them, will be hung, I am
willing to risk the consequences." Webber unhesitatingly confirmed this
language, stating that he had, from the commencement of the war,
entertained such sentiments, and that he felt his right to express them
as a prisoner of war, as well as in any other condition. He claimed that
the very fact that the letters of all prisoners were examined, and
suppressed if disapproved by the officer appointed to examine them,
gave the prisoners a right to use such language as they chose. If the
language was thought improper, the letter could be burned, and no one
but the examiner would be any the wiser. This would seem to be the
correct and manly view to take of the matter. If a prisoner were
detected in clandestine correspondence, it was, perhaps, right and fair
that he should be punished, but I do not believe that in any army whose
officers are, for the most part gentlemen, a man would be countenanced,
who would cause prisoners to send letters to his office for perusal,
with the understanding that they should be suppressed if disapproved,
and would then punish the prisoner who wrote sentiments which did not
accord with his own.

There were officers in position at Camp Chase, when I was sent there
some months afterward, who, I believe, could have been induced by no
combination of influences to do such a thing, or to tolerate the man who
would do it.

Major Webber's description of his initiation into prison usages is very
graphic, and as many of my readers know him, it will be highly amusing
to them, although any thing but amusing to the Major. He says: "In the
office of the penitentiary, I was stripped of my clothing and closely
searched. Everything in the way of papers, knife, money, toothpick, and
even an old buckeye, which I had carried in my pocket all through the
war, at the request of a friend, were taken from me. I was then marched
to the wash-room, stripped again, and placed in a tub of warm water,
about waist deep, where a convict scrubbed me with a large, rough, horse
brush and soap; while a hang-dog looking scoundrel, and the
deputy-warden Dean, urged the convict to 'scrub the d--d horse-thief,'
and indulged in various demoniacal grins and gesticulations of
exultation at my sufferings and embarrassment." The Major describes "his
feelings," in the strong language of which he never lacked command; but
it is unnecessary to quote from him farther--there is no man, so devoid
of imagination, that he can not divine what the patients' feeling must
have been under such treatment.

When two or three months had elapsed, General Morgan's impatience of the
galling confinement and perpetual espionage amounted almost to frenzy.
He restrained all exhibition of his feelings remarkably, but it was
apparent to his fellow prisoners that he was chafing terribly under the
restraint, more irksome to him than to any one of the others.

The difficulty of getting letters from our families and friends in the
South, was one of the worst evils of this imprisonment; and if a letter
came containing anything in the least objectionable, it was, as likely
as not, destroyed, and the envelope only was delivered to the man to
whom it was written. Generally, the portion of its contents, which
incurred Merion's censure, having been erased, it was graciously
delivered, but more than once a letter which would have been valued
beyond all price, was altogether withheld, and the prisoner anxiously
expecting it, was mocked, as I have stated, with being given the
envelope in which it came, as evidence that he was robbed of it. The
reader can imagine the feelings of a man, whose wife and children were
in far off "Dixie," while he lay in prison tortured with anxiety to hear
from them, and who, when the letter which told of them at last came,
should be deprived of it because it contained some womanly outburst of
feeling, and should be tantalized with the evidence of his loss.

The introduction of newspapers was strictly forbidden, except when
Merion, as a great favor, would send in some outrageously abusive sheet,
in which was published some particularly offensive lie. If the
newspapers, which the convicts who occasionally passed through our hall
in the transaction of their duties, some times smuggled into us, were
discovered in any man's hands or cell, woe be unto him--a first class
sinner could be easier prayed out of purgatory, than he could avoid the

Captain Calvin Morgan was once reading a newspaper, that had "run the
blockade," in his cell at night, and had become deeply interested in
it, when the "night guard," stealing along with noiseless step, detected

The customary taps (by the occupants of the other cells who discovered
his approach and thus telegraphed it along the range) had been (this
time) neglected. "What paper is that," said the guard. "Come in and
see," said Morgan. "No," said the guard, "you must pass it to me through
the bars." "I'll do nothing of the kind," was the answer. "If you think
that I have a paper which was smuggled into me, why unlock the door,
come in, and get it." The fellow apparently did not like to trust
himself in the cell with Captain Morgan, who was much the more powerful
man of the two, and he hastened off for reinforcements. During his
absence Morgan rolled the paper up into a small compass, and, baring his
arm, thrust it far up into the ventillator at the back part of the cell.
Fortunately there was in the cell a newspaper given him that day by one
of the sub-wardens named Hevay--a very kind old man. Morgan unfolded
this paper and was seated in the same attitude (as when first
discovered) reading it, when the guard returned. The latter brought
Scott with him and unlocked the door. "Now give me that paper," he said.
"There it is," said Morgan handing it to him, "Old man Hevay gave it to
me to-day." The guard inspected it closely and seemed satisfied. "Why
did you not give it to me before," he asked. "Because," returned Captain
Morgan, "I thought you had no right to ask it, and I had, moreover no
assurance that you would return it." With a parting injunction to do so
no more, or the dungeon would reveal him its secrets, the guard after a
thorough search to find another paper (if there should have been a
deception practiced upon him) left the cell. He examined the
ventillator, but Morgan's arm being the longer the paper was beyond his
reach. Captain Morgan's literary pursuits were suspended, however, for
that night.

When the news of the battle of Chickamauga was coming in, and we were
half wild with excitement and eagerness to learn the true aversion of
the reports that prevailed--for every thing told us by the prison
officials was garbled--we by good luck got in two or three newspapers
containing full accounts of the battle. I shall never forget listening
to them read, in General Morgan's cell, while four or five pickets
(regularly relieved) were posted to guard against surprise. These papers
were read to the whole party in detachments--while one listened, the
succeeding one awaited its turn in nervous impatience. As I have said,
General Morgan grew more restless under his imprisonment, every day, and
finally resolved to effect his escape, at any hazard, or labor.

Several plans were resolved and abandoned, and at length one devised by
Captain Hines was adopted. This was to "tunnel" out of the prison--as
the mode of escape by digging a trench, to lead from the interior to the
outside of the prisons, was technically called. But to "tunnel" through
the stone pavement and immense walls of the penitentiary--concealing the
tremendous work as it progressed--it required a bold imagination to
conceive such an idea. Hines had heard, in some way, a hint of an air
chamber, constructed under the lower range of cells--that range
immediately upon the ground floor. He thought it probable that there was
such a chamber, for he could account in no other way for the dryness of
the cells in that range. At the first opportunity he entered into
conversation with Old Hevay, the deputy-warden mentioned before. This
old man was very kind-hearted, and was also an enthusiast upon the
subject of the architectural grandeur of that penitentiary. Hines led
the conversation into that channel, and finally learned that his surmise
was correct. If, then, he could cut through the floor of his cell and
reach this air chamber, without detection, he would have, he saw, an
excellent base for future operations. He communicated his plan to
General Morgan, who at once approved it. Five other men were selected
(whose cells were on the first range) as assistants.

The work was commenced with knives abstracted from the table. These
knives--square at the end of the blade instead of pointed--made
excellent chisels, and were the very best tools for the inauguration of
the labor. Putting out pickets to prevent surprise, they pecked and
chiseled away at the hard floor, which was eighteen inches thick of
stone cement and brick--concealing the rubbish in their handkerchiefs
and then throwing part of it into the stoves, and hiding the rest in
their beds. They soon dug a hole in the floor large enough to permit the
body of a man to pass. The iron bedsteads, which stood in each cell,
could be lifted up or let down at pleasure. Hines would prop his up,
each morning, sweep out his cell (in which the aperture had been cut)
and throw a carpet sack carelessly over the mouth of the shaft he had
sunk, and when the guard would come and look in, every thing would
appear so neat and innocent, that he would not examine further. One kick
given that hypocritical carpet bag (with its careless appearance) would
have disclosed the plot, at any time from the date of the inception of
the work to its close. After the air chamber was reached, a good many
others were taken into the secret, in order that the work might go
constantly on.

The method adopted, then, was for two or three to descend and go to
work, while the others kept watch; in an hour or two a fresh relief
would be put on, and the work would be kept up in this way throughout
the day, until the hour of locking up arrived, except at dinner time,
when every man who was absent from the table had to give a reason for
his absence. The work, conducted underground, was tedious and difficult,
but all labored with a will. The candles which had been purchased and
hoarded away, now did good service. Without them it would have been
almost impossible to finish the task. A code of signals was invented to
meet every possible contingency. By pounding a bar of wood upon the
stone floor, those above communicated to those underneath information of
every danger which threatened, and called on them to come forth, if
necessary. The walls of the air chamber were two or three feet thick,
and built of huge stones. Two or three of these stones were removed, and
a tunnel was run straight to the outer wall of the hall. Fortune
favored the workmen, at this juncture, and threw in their way an
adequate tool with which to accomplish this part of their work. Some one
had discovered lying in the yard through which we passed on our way to
breakfast, an old rusty spade with a broken handle. It was at once
determined that the said spade must be secured. Accordingly men were
detailed and instructed in their proper parts, and at the first
opportunity the spade was transferred to the air chamber, and put to
work in digging the tunnel. This is the manner in which that valuable,
that priceless, old, rusty, broken spade was gotten: One man was
selected to secrete the spade about his person--him I will call No. 1.
He wore, for the occasion, a long, loose sack coat. Six or seven other
men were his accomplices. It was a usual occurrence for those who were
awaiting their turns at the washing troughs, to romp and scuffle with
each other in the yard. The conspirators were, this morning, exceedingly
frolicsome. At length No. 1 fell, apparently by an accident, upon the
spade, his accomplices tumbled in a heap upon him. No. 1 dexterously
slipped the spade under his coat, and buttoned it up. He went into
breakfast with it, and sat wonderfully straight, and carried it safely
into the hall and down into the air chamber.

When the main wall of the hall was reached, the heavy stones of its
foundation were removed in sufficient number to admit of the passage of
a man. But it was then discovered that the tunnel led right under an
immense coal pile. It was necessary that this difficulty should be
remedied; but how? Without a view of the ground just outside of the
wall, no one could calculate how far, or in what direction to run the
tunnel, so that when it was conducted to the surface, all obstructions
might be avoided. In this emergency, General Morgan engaged Scott in
conversation about the remarkable escape of some convicts, which had
occurred a year or two previously, and which Scott was very fond of
describing. These convicts had climbed by the balconies, in front of the
ranges of cells, to the ceiling, and had passed out through the
skylight to the roof of the prison. Scott declared his belief that there
were no two other men on the continent who could perform the feat of
ascending by the balconies.

"Why," says General Morgan, "Captain Sam. Taylor, small as he is, can do

Thereupon a discussion ensued, ending by Scott's giving Taylor
permission to attempt it. Taylor, who, although very small, was as
active as a squirrel, immediately commenced the ascent, and sprang from
one to the other of the balconies, until he reached the top one. He was
one of the men who had been selected to escape with General Morgan, and
comprehended immediately the latter's object in having him attempt this
feat. It would afford him a chance to glance out of the windows at the
ground just beyond the wall. As he leisurely swung himself down, he
studied "the position" carefully, and his observations enabled them to
direct the tunnel aright. Once during the tunneling, while Captain
Hockersmith (another of the projectors of the plan) was at work
underground, Scott called for him and seemed anxious to find him at
once. General Morgan's presence of mind prevented a discovery, or, at
least, a strong suspicion of the plot from at once resulting from
Hockersmith's absence. The General said to Scott, "Hockersmith is lying
down in my cell; he is sick," and he requested Scott to examine and give
his opinion upon a memorial which he (the General) held in his hand, and
which he proposed forwarding to Washington. It was something regarding
our removal to a military prison. Scott (highly flattered by this
tribute to his judgment) took the memorial, looked at it attentively for
some minutes, and returned it, saying, "I think it will do first rate."
It _did do_. In the mean time, Hockersmith had been signaled, and had
"come up," and he made his appearance complaining of a serious

While the work was going on, General Morgan and those who were to escape
with him habitually slept with their faces covered and their hands
concealed. This was done to accustom the night guard to take their
presence in the cells for granted, by the appearance of the bulk upon
the beds, without actually seeing them. This guard went the rounds at
the expiration of every two hours during the night, and he would place
his lantern close to each cell door, in order that the light should fill
the cell and show the occupant. General Morgan used to say that a
peculiar shuddering and creeping of the flesh would assail him whenever
this man approached. He would frequently creep about with list slippers
on his feet, and he moved then without the slightest noise. He used to
remind me of a sly, cruel, bloated, auspicious, night-prowling spider.

When the tunneling approached its completion, all the other necessary
preparations were made. The prison yard, into which they would emerge
from the tunnel, was surrounded by a wall twenty-five feet high, and
means for scaling that had to be provided. There was an inner wall
running from the corner of the "East Hall" to a smaller building, in
which some of the female convicts were imprisoned, but it was
comparatively low, and they anticipated little difficulty in getting
over it. The coverlids of several beds were torn into strips, and the
strips were plaited into a strong rope nearly thirty feet in length. A
strong iron rod, used for stirring the fires in the stoves, was
converted into a hook, and the rope was attached to it. Rope and hook
were taken down into the air-chamber, where all the "valuables" were

General Morgan had managed to get a suit of citizen's clothing, and the
six men who were going to escape with him, were similarly provided. The
Warden had prohibited the introduction into the prison of uniform
clothing, but occasionally allowed plain suits to be received. The
General had also gotten a card of the schedule time on the Little Miami
Railroad, and knew when the train left Columbus, and when it arrived in
Cincinnati--for this he paid fifteen dollars, the only money used in
effecting his escape.

Despite the strict search instituted, when we first entered the
penitentiary, several of the party had managed to secrete money so that
it was not found. This was now divided among the seven who were to
escape. These were, besides General Morgan, Captains Thomas H. Hines,
Ralph Sheldon, Sam Taylor, Jacob Bennett, James Hockersmith, and
Gustavus McGee. It is plain that, as each man was locked in a separate
cell, and could not get out of it by the door, without an interview with
the night-guard, it was necessary to cut an opening into the
air-chamber, through the floor of each cell, from which each one of the
seven would escape. If these apertures were cut from the top of the
floors of the cells, the risk of detection would be proportionally
increased; so an accurate measurement of the distance between the cells
was taken, and with Hines' cell as a point of departure, it was easy to
calculate where to commence cutting from _underneath_, in order that the
floors of all these particular cells should be perforated. A thin crust,
only, of the cement was left, but to all outward appearance, the floor
was as sound as ever.

By means of an arrangement which had been perfected for obtaining all
absolutely necessary articles, each one of the party about to escape had
procured a stout, sharp knife--very effective weapons in case of
surprise and an attempt to stop their escape. When every thing was
ready, they waited several nights for rain--trusting to elude the
vigilance of the guards more easily in the obscurity of such a
night--and taking the chance, also, that the dogs which were turned
loose every night in the yard, would be driven by the rain into their
kennels, which were situated on the other side of the yard from that
where they would emerge. Two or three days before the effort was made,
General Morgan received a letter from an Irishwoman in Kentucky, warning
him not to attempt to make his escape, from which, she predicted, great
evils to him would result. She alluded to his kindness to the poor in
Lexington, and claimed that she was informed of the future in some
supernatural manner.

On the 26th of November, General Morgan learned that there had been a
change of military commandants at Columbus. Well knowing that this would
be followed by an inspection of the prison and a discovery of the plot,
he determined that the effort should be made that very night. His own
cell was in the second range, from which it was impossible to reach the
air-chamber and tunnel, but the cell of his brother, Colonel Richard
Morgan, had been prepared for him, and when Scott tapped, as usual, on
the stove, as a signal for each man to retire to his cell, the exchange
was effected. There was a sufficient resemblance between them to deceive
a man who would not look closely--especially when they were seated with
their faces turned away from the door.

At any rate, Scott and the night-guard, were both deceived, and efforts
were made by the occupants of the cells near to both of those, where
close inspection would have been dangerous, to attract to themselves the
attention of the guard when he went the rounds. As it was especially
necessary, on this occasion, to know certainly when the night-guard
approached, small bits of coal had been sprinkled, just before the hour
for locking up on the floor of the first range, so that (tread as
lightly as he would), the slinking cur could not help making loud noise.

It had been arranged that, just after the twelve o'clock visit from the
guard, Captain Taylor should descend into the air-chamber and give the
signal underneath the floor of each cell. Fortunately, the only man who
was vile enough to have betrayed the plan, was absent in the hospital.
Six hours elapsed after the locking-in; regularly during that time the
night-guard went his rounds, making an awful crackling as he passed
along the lower range. Sixty-odd men lay awake, silent and excited--with
hearts beating louder and blood rushing faster through their veins than
the approach of battle had ever occasioned. Perhaps the coolest of all
that number, were the seven who were about to incur the risk.

Twelve o'clock struck, and the clang of the bell seemed to be in the
hall itself--the guard passed with his lantern--a few minutes elapsed
(while the adventurers lay still lest he should slip back), and then at
the signal they sprang from their beds; hastily stuffed flannel shirts
with material prepared beforehand, and made up bundles to lie in their
beds and represent them. Then stamping upon the floor above the
excavations, the thin crust of each gave way and they descended into the
air-chamber. They passed one by one along the tunnel, until the foremost
man reached the terminus, and with his knife cut away the sod which had
of course been left untouched. Then they emerged into the open air and
inner yard.

The early part of the night had been bright and clear, but now it was
cloudy, and rain was falling. They climbed the low wall and descended
into the large yard. The rain had caused the sentries to seek shelter,
and had driven the dogs to their kennels. They moved cautiously across
the yard--if detected, their knives must have saved or avenged them.
Discovery would have been hard upon them, but it would have, also, been
unhealthy for the discoverer. They were resolved to be free--they were
powerful and desperate men--and if they failed, they were determined
that others, besides themselves, should have cause for sorrow. But they
reached and climbed the outer wall in safety. There was a coping upon it
which they grappled with the hook, and they climbed, hand over hand, to
the top. When all had ascended, the hook was grappled upon the inner
shelf of the coping, and they let themselves down. When they were all on
the ground, they strove to shake the hook loose, but it held fast and
they were forced to leave the rope hanging. That circumstance caused the
detection of their escape two hours sooner than it would otherwise have
happened, for the rope was discovered at day light, and the alarm was
given. But time enough had been allowed the fugitives to make good their
escape. They at once broke into couples.

General Morgan and Hines went straight to the depot. Hines bought
tickets to Cincinnati, and when the train came they got on it.

General Morgan was apprehensive that they would be asked for passes or
permits to travel, and arrested for not having them. He saw an officer
of field rank, seated in the car which he entered, and it occurred to
him that if he were seen in familiar conversation with this officer, he
would not, perhaps, be asked for a pass. He spoke to Hines and they
seated themselves near this officer and courteously addressed him--he
replied as suavely. After a short conversation, General Morgan produced
a liquor flask, they were very generally carried then, and invited the
officer to take a drink of brandy, which invitation was gracefully
accepted. Just then the train moved past the penitentiary. "That is the
hotel at which Morgan stops I believe," said the officer. "Yes,"
answered the General, "and _will stop_, it is to be hoped. He has given
us his fair share of trouble, and he will not be released. I will drink
to him. May he ever be as closely kept as he is now."

This officer was a pleasant and well informed gentleman, and General
Morgan passed the night in an agreeable and instructive conversation
with him--asking many questions and receiving satisfactory replies.

When the suburbs of Cincinnati were reached, a little after daylight, it
was time to get off. General Morgan pulled the bell rope and moved to
one platform; Hines went to the other, and they put the brakes down with
all their strength. The speed of the train slackened and they sprang

Two or three soldiers were sitting on a pile of lumber, near where
General Morgan alighted. "What in the h--ll are you jumping off the
train for?" asked one of them. "What in the d--l is the use of a man
going on to town when he lives out here?" responded the General.
"Besides what matter is it to you?" "Oh nothing," said the soldier, and
paid him no further attention. Reaching the river, which runs close to
this point, they gave a little boy two dollars to put them across in a

In Newport, Kentucky, they found friends to aid them, and before the
telegraph had given to Cincinnati the information of his escape, he was
well on his way to Boone county--sure asylum for such fugitives. In
Boone fresh horses, guides, and all that was necessary were quickly
obtained. He felt no longer any apprehension; he could travel from Boone
to Harrison, or Scott counties, thence through Anderson to Nelson, and
thence to the Tennessee line; and, during all that time, no one need
know of his whereabouts but his devoted friends, who would have died to
shield him from harm.

A writer who described his progress through Kentucky, shortly after it
occurred, says, truly: "Everybody vied with each other as to who should
show him the most attention--even to the negroes; and young ladies of
refinement begged the honor of cooking his meals." He assumed more than
one disguise, and played many parts in his passage through Kentucky--now
passing as a Government contractor buying cattle, and again as a
quartermaster or inspector.

When he reached the Little Tennessee river, his serious difficulties
began; in passing through a portion of Tennessee, he had met friends as
truly devoted to him as any of those who had assisted him in Kentucky.

In portions of Middle Tennessee, he was so constantly recognized, that
it was well for him that he was so universally popular there. One day he
passed a number of citizens, and one woman commenced clapping her hands
and called out, "Oh I know who it is," then suddenly catching herself,
turned away. The region in which he struck the Little Tennessee river,
was strongly Union, and the people would have betrayed him to a
certainty, if they had discovered who he was. The river was guarded at
every point, and there was no boat or raft upon it, which was not in
possession of the enemy. He was, in this vicinity, joined by some thirty
nomadic Confederates, and they set to work and constructed a raft for
him to cross upon.

When it was finished, they insisted that he and Hines should cross
first--the horses were made to swim. While General Morgan was walking
his horse about, with a blanket thrown over him, to recover him from
the chill occasioned by immersion in the cold water--he suddenly (he
subsequently declared) was seized with the conviction that the enemy
were coming upon them, and instantly commenced to saddle his horse,
bidding Hines do the same. Scarcely had they done so, when the enemy
dashed up in strong force on the other side and dispersed the poor
fellows who were preparing to cross in their turn. He and Hines went
straight up the mountain at the foot of which they had landed. It grew
dark and commenced to rain--he knew that if he remained all night on the
mountain, his capture would be a certain thing in the morning, and he
determined to run the gauntlet of the pickets, at the base of the
mountain, on the opposite side, before the line was strengthened. As he
descended, leading his horse, he came immediately upon one of the
pickets. As he prepared to shoot him, he discovered that the fellow
slept, and stole by without injuring or awakening him.

At the house of a Union man not far from the base of the mountain, the
two tired and hunted wanderers found shelter and supper, and General
Morgan, representing himself as a Federal Quartermaster, induced the
host, by a promise of a liberal supply of sugar and coffee, to guide
them to Athens. Every mile of his route through this country was marked
by some adventure. Finally Hines became separated from him. The General
sent him, one evening, to a house, to inquire the way to a certain
place, while he himself remained a short distance off upon the road. In
a few minutes he heard shots and the tramp of several horses galloping
in the opposite direction, and he knew at once that Hines was cut off
from him. That night he narrowly escaped being shot--that fate befell a
man mistaken for him. At length, after hazard and toil beyond all
description, he reached the Confederate lines. Hines was captured by the
party who pursued him from the house, and he was confined in a little
log hut that night, in which his captors also slept. He made himself
very agreeable--told a great many pleasant stories, with immense effect.
At length the sentry, posted at the door, drew near the fire, at the
other end of the room, to hear the conclusion of a very funny anecdote.
Hines seized the opportunity and sprang through the door--bade the party
good night, and darted into the bushes. He effected his escape and
reached Dixie in safety.

When the escape of General Morgan, and the others, was discovered on the
morning after it was effected--there was an extraordinary degree of
emotion manifested by the penitentiary officials. The rope, hanging upon
the wall, was seen by some one at day light; it was apparent that some
body had escaped, the alarm was given to the warden, and his suspicion
at once turned toward the prisoners of war.

About 6 A.M., a detachment of guards and turnkeys poured into the hall
and began running about, unlocking doors and calling on various men by
name, in the wildest and most frantic manner. For some time they were
puzzled to determine who had escaped. Colonel Morgan was still taken for
the General, and the "dummies" in the cells, which had been vacated, for
a while, deceived them into the belief that those cells were still
occupied. But at length, a more careful and calm examination revealed
the fact and the method of the escape, and then the hubbub broke out
afresh. In the midst of it Captain Bennett called out, "Well gentlemen,
I like a moderate stir, but you are going it too brash," an expression
of opinion which, to judge from the unanimous shout of approval from the
prisoners and the laughter they could no longer restrain, met with their
cordial indorsement.

It was generally feared that Colonel Morgan would be severely dealt
with, and he expected a long term of service in the dungeon; but to the
surprise and gratification of all of us, it was announced that he was
thought no more guilty than the rest, and should be punished no more
harshly. The first step taken was to remove all of the first range men
to the third range. Then a general and thorough search was instituted.
Every cell was carefully examined, every man was stripped and
inspected, every effort was made, after the bird was flown, to make the
cage secure.

It was the desire of every prisoner, to secure General Morgan's
escape--that was of paramount importance. We were willing to trust to
his efforts to effect our release. We were now constantly locked up in
our cells, night and day, except when we were marched to our meals and
straight back. The cells were, I have already said, very small, and the
bed took up half of each. The only method we had of exercising, was to
step sideways from one end of the cells to the other. The weather was
intensely cold, and when the stone flooring of the hall was removed and
a deep trench cut, in order that the damage done by the tunneling might
be repaired, the chill arising from the damp earth was terrible.

Every thing which we had been allowed in the way of luxuries was now
forbidden, except books. We were forbidden to speak while at the table,
to speak aloud in our cells after the gas was lit at night, to address
one of the convicts, even those who frequented the hall in which we were
confined, no matter what the necessity might be. It would be difficult
to enumerate the restrictions which were now imposed upon us,
confinement in the dungeon being the inevitable penalty attached to the
violation of any of these rules. These dungeons were really very
unpleasant places in which to spend even the hours of a penitentiary
life--hours which (without the proper experience) might have appeared
unsusceptible of additional embitterment. I saw the inside of one of
them during my stay in the "Institution," and speak advisedly when I say
that the pious stock company which proposed "to build a hell by
subscription" for the especially heretical, could have found no better
model for their work than it. These cells were rather smaller than the
cells in which we were habitually confined, and the doors were half a
foot thick, with sheet-iron nailed on the outside, and so contrived that
(extending beyond the edges of the door) it excluded every ray of air
and light. In all seasons, the air within them was stagnant, foul, and
stifling, and would produce violent nausea and headache. In summer,
these places were said to be like heated ovens, and in winter they were
the coldest localities between the South Pole and Labrador. The rations
allowed the inmates of them were a piece of bread about the size of the
back of a pocket account book (and perhaps with as much flavor) and half
a tin-cup full of water, repeated twice a day. If a man's stomach
revolted at the offer of food (after the foul reek of the dungeon) the
crop-eared whelp of a she-wolf (who was boss-inquisitor) would pronounce
him sulky and double his term of stay.

Merion, the Warden, would about realize the Northern ideal of a Southern
overseer. He was an obstinate man, and his cruelty was low, vulgar, and
brutal like his mind. He would have been hypocritical, but that his
character was too coarse-grained to be pliant enough for successful
dissimulation. The members of the Board of Directors (with one or two
exceptions) were men of much the same stamp as the Warden--with rather
more cultivation perhaps, and less force. He entirely controlled them
all. He knew enough of medicine to pronounce quinine "a luxury," but he
directed the treatment of the sick, as he did all else.

After some three weeks of close confinement, we were permitted to
exercise in the hall for four hours during the day, and were locked in
for the rest of the time. The nervous irritability induced by this long
and close confinement, sometimes showed itself in a manner which would
have amused a man whose mind was in a healthy condition. Just as soon as
we were permitted to leave our cells in the morning and meet in the
hall, the most animated discussions, upon all sorts of topics, would
begin. These would occasionally degenerate into clamorous and angry
debates. The disputants would become as earnest and excited over
subjects in which perhaps they had never felt the least interest before,
as if they had been considering matters of vital and immediate
importance. A most heated, and finally acrimonious dispute once arose
regarding General Joseph E. Johnston's hight. One party asserted
positively that his stature was just five feet nine inches and a
quarter. The other affirmed, with a constancy that nothing could shake,
that he was no taller than five feet eight inches and a half. Numerous
assertions were made by as many men, that they had frequently stood near
him, and that he was about their hight. If these declarations were all
as true as they were dogmatic, the General's stature must have varied in
a remarkable manner, and his tailor could have had little peace of mind.
Warm friendships, of long standing, were interrupted by this issue for
entire days, until happily a new question was sprung, and parties were
reorganized. A grave and radical difference of opinion arose as to
whether Selma was on the east or the west bank of the Alabama river. Two
intimate friends got into an argument regarding the relative excellence
of the ancients and moderns in material civilization and the mechanical
arts. The discussion lasted three weeks; during its continuance each
alluded (in support of his position) to architectural and engineering
triumphs, which the most learned encyclopedist might in vain consult his
books or torture his memory to verify. It was at last dropped,
unsettled. But for months the most casual reference by either to the
Egyptian Pyramids, or the bridge over the Menai Straits, would produce a
coolness between them. The battle of Waterloo was an inexhaustible theme
of contention. Wellington did not wish for night on the day itself half
as cordially as he would have wished for it, if he had been a prisoner
at the penitentiary and condemned to listen to the conflicting opinions
about his strategy.

Exchange and escape, however, were the topics of most earnest and
constant thought. One or the other was the first thought which came into
our minds in the morning, and the last that occupied them at night.
Victor Hugo has, in his wonderful book, "Les Miserables," daguerreotyped
the thoughts and the feelings of a prisoner. That book was a great
favorite with the inmates of our hall and the admiration it excited was
so general and honest, that (it is a literal fact) there was not more
than one or two disputes about it. Two of the officers who escaped with
General Morgan, Captains Sheldon and Taylor, were recaptured, and
brought back to the penitentiary. They ventured into Louisville, where
they were well known, were recognized, and arrested.

After General Morgan's escape, the treatment we received was not only
more rigorous, but the sneaking, spying instincts of the keepers seemed
stimulated. It was, of course, to be expected that they would be
suspicious (especially after the lesson they had received), but these
creatures evinced suspicion, not as I had been accustomed to see men
show it--they stole and pried about, eaves-dropping, creeping upon and
glaring at us (when they thought they could do so undetected) like
cellar-bred, yellow-eyed, garbage-fed curs. Their manner gave one an
impression of cold cruelty and slinking treachery that is indescribable,
it was snakish.

A military guard was placed at the prison immediately after the
General's escape, and for some time sentinels (with bayonets fixed)
paced the hall. None of us had imagined that we could welcome the
presence of Federal soldiers with so much satisfaction. The difference
in the tone and manner of the soldiers from that of the convict-drivers,
made it a relief to have any thing to say to the former. They were
evidently disgusted with their associate goalers. There was a sergeant
with this guard (named Lowe, I think,) who, while he rigidly discharged
his duty, seemed desirous to avoid all harshness.

In February I was removed, at the solicitation of friends, to Camp
Chase. Having made no application for this removal, nor having heard
that one had been made in my behalf, I was surprised when the order for
it came, and still more surprised when I learned at Camp Chase that I
was to be paroled. I was permitted to go freely where I pleased within
the limits of the camp, excellent quarters were assigned me, and my
condition was, in all respects, as comfortable as that of the officers
on duty there. Colonel Richardson, the commandant, was a veteran of the
army of the Potomac, and had accepted the charge of the prison after he
had been disabled by wounds. If the treatment which I received at his
hands, was a fair sample of his conduct toward prisoners generally, it
is certain that none had a right to complain of him, and it would have
been a fortunate thing if just such men had been selected (upon both
sides) to be placed over those whose condition depended so entirely upon
the will and disposition of the officers in charge of them. Finding that
my parole was not likely to result in my exchange, and that there was no
other Confederate officer similarly indulged, I applied to be sent back
to the penitentiary. Enough had reached my ears to convince me that
others would be granted paroles in order to tempt them to take the oath,
and I did not care to be caught in such company.

When I left Camp Chase, where every one had been uniformly polite and
respectful in demeanor, and I had enjoyed privileges which amounted
almost to liberty, the gloom of the penitentiary and the surly, ban-dog
manner of the keepers were doubly distasteful, and the feeling was as if
I were being buried alive. I found that, during my absence, the
prisoners had been removed from the hall, which they had all the time
previously occupied, to another in which the negro convicts had formerly
slept, and this latter was a highly-scented dormitory. The cause of the
removal was that (desperate at their long confinement and the treatment
they were receiving) a plan had been concocted for obtaining knives and
breaking out of the prison by force. A thorough knowledge of the
topography of the entire building was by this time possessed by the
leaders in this movement. They had intended to secure Merion, and as
many as possible of the underlings, by enticing them into the hall upon
some pretext, and then gagging, binding, and locking them up in the
cells. Then giving the signal for the opening of the doors, they
expected to obtain possession of the office and room where the guns were
kept. One of the party was to have been dressed in convict garb, to
give the necessary signal, in order that all suspicion might have been
avoided. It is barely possible that, with better luck, the plan might
have succeeded, but it was frustrated by the basest treachery.

Among the sixty-eight prisoners of war confined in the penitentiary,
there were four whose nerves gave way and they took the oath of
allegiance to the United States in other words, they deserted. One of
this four betrayed the plan to the warden. Men were sometimes induced
"to take the oath" by a lack of pride and fortitude, and absence of
manly stamina, who would have done nothing else prejudicial to the cause
which they abandoned, or that would have compromised their former
comrades. Their were men, however, who added treachery to apostacy, and
this man was one of that infamous class. The four were so fearful of
exciting the suspicion of the other prisoners, and so well aware of the
bitter scorn and resentment which their conduct would raise against
them, that they carefully concealed their design to the last moment. It
was not until our release from prison, that the proofs of the utter and
base treachery of the spying and informing villain were obtained.

There is a reason why the name of this wretch should not be given here.
Enough know of his crime to damn him forever in the estimation of all
honorable men, and gallant and devoted men, than whom no truer gentlemen
and braver soldiers served under the Confederate banner, bear the same
name. His relatives (who fought throughout the war and quit with records
upon which there are no stains), must not see the name (which they made
honorable), associated with his shame.

Search was at once made for the knives which the prisoners had obtained
and for other evidence which might corroborate the informer's report.
Fifteen knives had been introduced into the hall, and were in the hands
of as many prisoners. The search was inaugurated secretly and conducted
as quietly as possible, during the time that the prisoners were locked
in the cells, but information was gotten along the ranges that it was
going on, and only seven knives were discovered. The remaining eight
were hidden, so ingeniously, that, notwithstanding the strict hunt after
every thing of the kind, they were not found. Merion's fury at the idea
of any danger threatening him was like that of some great cowardly beast
which smells blood and is driven mad with fear. All of the party were at
once closely confined again, and the seven who were detected with the
knives, were sent to the dungeons, where they were kept seven days,
until the surgeon declared that a longer stay would kill them.

They passed the period of their confinement in almost constant motion
(such as the limits of the cell would permit), and said that they had no
recollection of having slept during the whole time. When they came out
they were almost blind and could scarcely drag themselves along.

One of the party, Captain Barton, was so affected, that the blood
streamed from under his finger nails. When I returned (after a month
passed at Camp Chase), I was startled by the appearance of those, even,
who had not been subjected to punishment in the dungeon. They had the
wild, squalid look and feverish eager impression of eye which lunatics
have after long confinement.

At last, in March 1864, all were removed to Fort Delaware, and the
change was as if living men, long buried in subterranean vaults, had
been restored to upper earth. About the same time one hundred and ten
officers of Morgan's division, who had been confined in the Pennsylvania
Penitentiary, were transferred to Point Lookout. These officers
described the treatment which they received as having been much better
than that adopted toward us, yet one of their number had become insane.
All that I have attempted to describe, however, must have been ease and
luxury compared with the hardship, hunger and harsh cruelty inflicted
upon the Confederate private soldiers imprisoned at Camps Morton and
Douglass and at Rock Island. These men would often actually pick up and
devour the scraps thrown out of the scavenger carts. Some of them froze
to death--insufficient fuel was furnished, when it was furnished at
all, and the clothing sent them by friends was rarely given them. The
men of my regiment told me of treatment, inflicted upon them at Camp
Douglass, which if properly described and illustrated with engravings,
and if attributed to Confederate instead of Federal officials, would
throw the whole North into convulsions. Many of these men, of this
regiment, had escaped in the first two or three months of their
imprisonment, and a bitter hatred was then excited against the less
fortunate. They were, in some instances, tied up and beaten with the
belts of the guards, until the print of the brass buckles were left on
the flesh; others were made to sit naked on snow and ice, until palsied
with cold; others, again were made to "ride Morgan's mule" (as a
scantling frame, of ten or twelve feet in hight, was called), the
peculiar and beautiful feature of this method of torture, was the very
sharp back of "the mule." Sometimes, heavy blocks, humorously styled
spurs, were attached to the feet of the rider. As for the shooting of
men for crossing the "dead line" (upon which, so much stress has been
laid in accounts of Andersonville), that was so well understood, that it
was scarcely thought worthy of mention. But an elaborate description of
life in the Federal prisons is unnecessary.

The eighty thousand Confederate prisoners of 1864 and 1865, or rather
the survivors of that host, have already told it far better than I can,
in their Southern homes, and we have had sufficient experience of the
value of sympathy away from home, to make no effort for it. Moreover, a
contest with the Yankee journalists is too unequal--they really write so
well, and are so liberal in their ideas regarding the difference between
fact and falsehood, have so little prejudice for, or against either,
that they possess, and employ, a tremendous advantage. And then the
pictorials--a special artist has only to catch a conception, in a
Philadelphia or New York hospital, and straightway he works off an
"Andersonville prisoner," which carries conviction to those who can not
read the essay, upon the same subject, by his co-laborers with the pen.
What chance has a Southern writer against men who possess such
resources? At Fort Delaware, General Schoeff, the commandant, placed
some eighteen or twenty of us in the rooms built in the casemates of the
fort, and allowed us, for some time, the privilege of walking about the
island, upon our giving him our paroles not to attempt escape.

General M. Jeff. Thompson, of Missouri, was the only Confederate officer
at that prison, before our party arrived, but many others from Camp
Chase, came about the same time. General Thompson's military career, is
well known to his countrymen, but only his prison companions know how
kind and manly he can be under circumstances which severely try the
temper. His unfailing flow of spirits kept every one else, in his
vicinity cheerful and his hopefulness was contagious. He possessed,
also, an amazing poetical genius. He wrote with surprising fluency, and
his finest compositions cost him neither trouble nor thought. Shut him
up in a room with plenty of stationery, and in twenty-four hours, he
would write himself up to the chin in verse. His muse was singularly
prolific and her progeny various. He roamed recklessly through the realm
of poesy. Every style seemed his--blank verse and rhyme, ode and epic,
lyrical and tragical, satiric and elegiac, sacred and profane, sublime
and ridiculous, he was equally good at all. His poetry might not perhaps
have stood a very strict classification, but he produced a fair,
marketable sample, which deserved (his friends thought) to be quoted at
as liberal figures as some about which much more was said. General
Thompson would doubtless have been more successful as a poet, if he had
been a less honest and practical business man. He persisted in having
some meaning in all that he wrote, and only a first class poet can
afford to do that.

The cunning New England method is also the safest in the long run--when
a versifier suspects that he lacks the true inspiration, he had better
try the confidence game, and induce the public to admire by writing that
which no one can understand. It would seem, too, that writing poetry
and playing on the fiddle have this much in common, that a true genius
at either is fit for nothing else. The amateurs can take care of
themselves, but the born-masters display an amiable worthlessness for
every thing but their art. Now General Thompson was thoroughly
wide-awake and competent in all practical matters.

At Fort Delaware the prevailing topic of conversation was exchange; men
who were destined to many another weary month of imprisonment, sustained
themselves with the hope that it would soon come. At last a piece of
good fortune befell some of us. It was announced that General Jones, the
officer in command at Charleston, had placed fifty Federal officers in a
part of the city where they would be exposed to danger from the
batteries of the besiegers. An order was issued that fifty Confederate
officers, of corresponding rank, should be selected for retaliation.
Five general and forty-five field officers were accordingly chosen from
the different prisons, Fort Delaware furnishing a large delegation for
that purpose. The general officers selected were Major General Frank
Gardner, the gallant and skillful commander of Port Hudson;
Major-General Edward Johnson, one of the fighting Generals of the army
of Northern Virginia (which is to say one of the bravest of the very
brave), and a true man, whose sterling worth, intelligence and force of
character would win him respect and influence wherever those qualities
were valued; Brigadier-General Stewart, of the Maryland brigade, another
officer who had won promotion in that heroic army of Northern Virginia,
and had identified his name with its deathless fame. There was still
another of these fortunate men--fortunate in having helped to win fields
where Confederate soldiers had immortalized the title--Brigadier-General
Archer was the fourth general officer. A favorite officer of General
A.P. Hill, he was in every respect worthy of a hero's friendship and
confidence. The fifth was Brigadier-General M. Jeff. Thompson. Among the
field officers who went were seven of the penitentiary prisoners--Colonels
Ward, Morgan, and Tucker, Majors Webber, Steele, and Higley and myself.

We left our comrades with a regret, felt for their bad fortune, for we
felt assured that our apparent ill-luck would terminate in an exchange.
Colonel Coleman, who had been confined in the Fort with the party of
which so many were sent on this "expedition," was bitterly disappointed
at being left behind, and we regretted it equally as much. Three of our
companions through so many vicissitudes, we never saw again--three of
the worthiest--Captains Griffin, Mullins, and Wardour died shortly

On the 26th of June, we were put on board of a steamer, and puffed away
down the Delaware river. It was confidently affirmed that we were going
to be placed on Morris Island, where the Charleston batteries would have
fair play at us, so that our friends (blissfully unconscious of how
disagreeable they were making themselves) might speedily finish us. The
prospect was not absolutely inviting, but after the matter was talked
over, and General Gardner, especially, consulted (as he had most
experience in heavy artillery), we felt more easy. General Thompson, who
had fought that way a good deal, said that "a man's chance to be struck
by lightning was better than to be hit by a siege gun." This consoled me
very little, for I had all my life been nervously afraid of lightning.
However, we at last settled it unanimously that, while we would perhaps
be badly frightened by the large bombs, there was little likelihood of
many being hurt, and, at any rate, the risk was very slight compared
with the brilliant hope of its resulting in exchange.

After we got fairly to sea, very little thought was wasted on other
matters. The captain of the vessel, said that there was "no sea on," or
some such gibberish, and talked as if we were becalmed, at the very time
that his tipsy old boat was bobbing about like a green rider on a
trotting horse. It is a matter of indifference, what sort of metal
encased the hearts of those who first tempted the fury of the seas, but
they must have had stomachs lined with mahogany. It is difficult to
believe men, when they unblushingly declare that they go to sea for
pleasure. There has been a great deal of pretentious declamation about
the poetry and beauty of the ocean.

Some people go off into raptures about a "vast expanse" of dirty salt
water, which must, in the nature of things, be associated in every one's
mind with sick stomachs and lost dinners. The same people get so tired
of their interminable view of _poetry_, that they will nearly crowd each
other overboard, to get sight of a stray flying fish, or porpoise, or
the back fin of a shark sticking out of the water. This trip to Hilton
Head came near taking the poetry out of General Thompson.

Ten of us were lodged in a cabin on the upper deck, where we did very
well, except that for one half of the time we were too sick to eat any
thing, and for the other half we were rolling and tumbling about in such
a manner that we could think of nothing but keeping off of the cabin's
roof. The others were stowed away "amidships," or in some other place,
down stairs, and as all the ports and air-holes were shut up, when the
steamer began to wallow about, they were nearly smothered, and their
nausea was greatly increased. They were compelled to bear it, for they
could not force their way on deck and they had nothing with which to
scuttle the ship. One western officer declared to me afterward, that he
seriously thought, at one time, that he had thrown up his boot heels.

When we reached Hilton Head, we were transferred to the brig "Dragoon"
(a small vessel lying in the harbor), and she was then anchored under
the guns of the frigate Wabash. Here we remained five weeks. The weather
was intensely hot. During the day we were allowed to go on deck, in
reliefs of twenty-five each, and stay alternate hours, but at night we
were forced to remain below decks. A large stove (in full blast until
after nightfall), at one end of the hold in which we were confined, did
not make the temperature any more agreeable. The ports were kept shut
up, for fear that some of the party would jump out and swim eight miles
to the South Carolina shore. As there were fifty soldiers guarding us
and three ship's boats (full of men), moored to the vessel, there was
little reason to apprehend any thing of the kind.

The sharks would have been sufficient to have deterred any of us from
attempting to escape in that way. There was a difference of opinion
regarding their appetite for human flesh, but no man was willing to
personally experiment in the matter. A constant negotiation was going on
during these five weeks, between the authorities at Hilton Head and
Charleston, which seemed once or twice on the point of being broken off,
but fortunately managed each time to survive.

We were never taken to Morris' Island, although our chances for that
situation, seemed more than once, extremely good. Subsequently a party
of six hundred Confederate officers were taken there, and quartered
where they would have the full benefit of the batteries. None, however,
were injured by the shells, but three fourths of them were reduced to a
condition (almost as bad as death), by scurvy and other diseases,
brought about by exposure and bad food. At last, on the 1st of August,
it was authoritatively announced that we were to be taken on the next
day to Charleston to be exchanged. Only those who have themselves been
prisoners, can understand what our feelings then were--when the hope
that had become as necessary to our lives as the breath we drew, was at
length about to be realized. That night there was little sleep among the
fifty--but they passed it in alternate raptures of congratulation at
their good luck, or shivering apprehension lest, after all, something
might occur to prevent it.

But when the next day came and we were all transferred to a steamer, and
her head was turned for Charleston, we began to master all doubts and
fears. We reached Charleston harbor very early on the morning of the
3rd, lay at anchor for two or three hours, and then steamed slowly in
toward the city, until we passed the last monitor, and halted again. In
a short time, a small boat came out from Charleston, with the fifty
Federal prisoners on board and officers of General Jones' staff,
authorized to conclude the exchange. When she came alongside, the final
arrangements were effected, but not until a mooted point had threatened
to break off the negotiation altogether. Happily for us, we knew nothing
of this difficulty until it was all over, but we were made very nervous
by the delay. When all the details were settled, we were transferred to
the Confederate boat, and the Federal officers were brought on board of
the steamer which we left; then touching hats to the crew we parted
from, we bade our captivity farewell.

Twelve months of imprisonment, of absence from all we loved, was over at
last. No man of that party could describe his feelings intelligibly--a
faint recollection of circumstances is all that can be recalled in such
a tumult of joy. As we passed down the bay, the gallant defenders of
those works around Charleston, the names of which have become immortal,
stood upon the parapets and cheered to us, and we answered like men who
were hailing for life. The huge guns, which lay like so many grim watch
dogs around the city, thundered a welcome, the people of the heroic city
crowded to the wharves to receive us. If anything could repay us for the
wretchedness of long imprisonment and our forced separation from
families and friends, we found it in the unalloyed happiness of that

General Jones had then (and has now), the profound gratitude of fifty of
his comrades. Ever doing his duty bravely and unflinchingly, he had,
now, ransomed from the enemy, men who would have consented to undergo
any ordeal for that boon. The citizens of Charleston hastened to offer
us the traditional hospitality of their city. General Jones had informed
them of the names of our party, and they had settled among themselves
where each man was to be taken care of. If that party of "ransomed
sinners" shall ever become "praying members" the Charlestonians will
have a large share in their petitions.

But the recollection of our gallant comrades left behind would intrude
itself and make us sad, ever in the midst of our good fortune. Some of
them were not released until the summer after the close of the war.

No men deserve more praise for constancy than the Confederate prisoners,
_especially_ the private soldiers, who in the trials to which they were
subjected steadfastly resisted every inducement to violate the faith
they had pledged to the cause.

A statistical item may not come amiss, in concluding this chapter. There
were, in all during the war, 261,000 Northern prisoners in Southern
prisons, and 200,000 Confederate prisoners in Northern prisons; 22,576
Northern prisoners died, and 22,535 Confederate prisoners died; or two
Federals died out of every twenty-three, and two Confederates died out
of every fifteen.


The men who made their escape from Ohio, after the disastrous fight at
Buffington, marched for many a weary mile through the mountains of
Virginia. At last, worn down and half famished, they gained the
Confederate lines, and first found rest at the beautiful village of
Wytheville, in Southwestern Virginia.

Thence they passed leisurely down the fair valley, not then scarred by
the cruel ravages of war, to the vicinity of Knoxville. Colonel Adam R.
Johnson then endeavored to collect and organize them all. "On the--of
August, 1863," says an officer who was a valuable assistant in this
work, "Colonel Johnson issued orders, under instructions from General
Buckner, Department Commander, for all men belonging to Morgan's command
to report to him (Colonel J.) at Morristown, in East Tennessee. These
orders were published in the Knoxville papers, and upon it becoming
known that there was a place of rendezvous, every man who had been left
behind when General Morgan started on the Ohio raid now pushed forward
eagerly to the point designated. When that expedition was undertaken,
many had been sent back from Albany as guards for returning trains, and
because their horses were unserviceable. Many, too, had to be left on
account of sickness or disability from wounds. In a week or ten days,
Colonel Johnson had collected between four and five hundred men
(including those who made their escape from Ohio) in his camp at
Morristown. These men were organized into two battalions--one commanded
by Captain Kirkpatrick, representing the first brigade of the division,
and the other commanded by Captain Dortch, representing the second

"The camp was well selected, with wood and water in abundance, and
plenty of forage in the neighborhood. Colonel J. was making great
efforts to have the men paid off, and properly armed, clothed, etc.,
when the enemy moved upon Knoxville. The evacuation of that place by our
troops made it necessary for us to leave our comfortable resting place.
We immediately broke camp at Morristown, and joined General Buckner, who
was moving to reinforce General Bragg in front of Chattanooga. * * * * * At
Calhoun, the men were paid off, and received a scanty supply of
clothing. Many of them had not been paid before for fourteen months.
From Calhoun we were ordered to Lafayette, from Lafayette to Dalton,
thence to Tunnel Hill. On the morning of the 18th of September, the
whole army moved out for battle. Our small force, was ordered to report
to General Forrest, and did so about ten A.M. on the field. We were
immediately deployed as skirmishers, mounted, in front of Hood's
division, of Longstreet's Corps, just come from Virginia. As the men
galloped by Forrest, he called to them in language which inspired them
with still higher enthusiasm. He urged them to do their whole duty in
the battle. He spoke of their chief, who had been insulted with a
felon's treatment, and was then lying in the cell of a penitentiary. He
gave them 'Morgan' for a battle-cry, and bade them maintain their old

"The infantry objected to having 'the d--d cavalry' placed in front of
them in a fight. But they did not easily catch up with 'the d--d
cavalry.' After moving briskly forward for perhaps half a mile, through
the tangled undergrowth of pine, the clear crack of rifles told that the
enemy was on the alert. Driving in their pickets, we pushed on and found
a regiment of cavalry in line to receive us. This fled upon the receipt
of the first volley. The undergrowth was too thick for maneuvering on
horseback, and we were dismounted and advanced at double-quick. Our boys
were anxious to drive the enemy and keep them going without letting the
infantry overtake us. The enemy first engaged fell back upon a
supporting regiment. We soon drove both back upon a third. By this time
our small 'Lay out' found the fighting rather interesting. Engaging
three time our number, and attacking every position the enemy chose, was
very glorious excitement, but rather more of it than our mouths watered
for. Yet no man faltered--all rushed on as reckless of the opposing
array of danger as of their own alignment.

"The enemy had formed in the edge of a woods, in front of which was an
open field. This field was fought over again and again, each side
charging alternately, and forced back. At last a charge upon our part,
led by Lieutenant Colonel Martin, was successful. The enemy fell back
still further. We now saw clearly from many indications, and were told
by prisoners, that the Federal line of battle, the main force, was not
far off. We, therefore, moved more cautiously. Just about sundown, we
found the enemy's cavalry drawn up directly in front of the infantry,
but they made little resistance. After one or two volleys, they fell
back behind the protecting 'Web-feet.' Night falling stopped all further
operations for that day. We camped in line of battle, and picketed in
front. On the morning of the 19th, we were ordered to report to Colonel
Scott, and found him engaging the enemy on our extreme right, at the
'Red House.' Colonel Scott gave us position, dismounted, and put us in.
The fighting continued at intervals throughout the day.

"Late in the evening Scott made a vigorous charge and drove the enemy
handsomely. We learned from prisoners that we had been fighting a select
body of infantry commanded by General Whitaker of Kentucky, which had
been detailed to guard the ford, here, across the Chickamauga. The
fighting ceased at nightfall and we were again camped in line of battle.
The fighting of the next day was very similar to that of the previous
ones--the enemy falling back slowly with his face toward us. But late in
the evening the retreat became a rout. The army made no attack on the
21st. In the afternoon Colonel Scott was sent with his brigade over
Missionary ridge into the valley, and engaged a few scattered cavalry
and an Illinois regiment of infantry--capturing nearly all of the latter
before they could reach the works around Chattanooga. Forming his
brigade Colonel Scott sent a portion of our command, on foot, to
reconnoiter the enemy's position. The reconnoitering party drove in the
pickets, took the outside rifle pits, and forced the enemy to their
breastworks and forts.

"This closed the battle of Chickamauga--Morgan's men firing the _first_
and _last_ shot in that terrible struggle.

"General Forrest and Colonel Scott, both complimented our little command
more than once during the battle. Immediately after the battle, the
entire cavalry of the Army of Tennessee was actively employed. The two
battalions of our command were separated. Dortch going with Forrest up
the Chattanooga and Knoxville railroad. Kirkpatrick went with Wheeler on
his raid through Middle Tennessee. Dortch was in the fight (against
Woolford) at Philadelphia--in the skirmishes at Loudon and Marysville,
and was at the siege of Knoxville. Kirkpatrick's battalion was at the
fights at McMinnville, Murfreesboro', Shelbyville and Sugar creek. In
the latter fight, Wheeler's whole force fell back rapidly, and
Kirkpatrick was kept in the rear until we reached the Tennessee river.
When we returned to the army, Kirkpatrick's battalion was placed on
severe picket duty--its line extending from the mouth of the Chickamauga
up the Tennessee some three miles, where it connected with the line of
the First Kentucky cavalry.

"This duty was exceedingly heavy. The pickets stood in squads of three
every four hundred yards, with mounted patrols to ride the length of the
whole line. One would suppose that men who had ridden through the States
of Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Virginia and Georgia, and been in
as many as twenty-five or thirty engagements, in the space of three
months, would be completely worn out, discouraged, and disheartened. Not
so, however, the few left were willing and anxious to thoroughly do
soldier's duty."

The writer goes on to narrate how after all these trials, came the order
to dismount Morgan's men--generous reward for their toil and
sacrifices. He speaks of Forrest's gallant stand against it--preventing
the execution of the order, but costing the high-souled chief his own
command, forcing him to seek other fields of enterprise, and with an
organization of conscripts and absentees win fights that a romancer
would not dare to imagine. He speaks, too, of unhappy dissensions among
officers which added to the discouraging condition of the little

But the brave fellows patiently endured all--watching and hoping fondly
for the return of the imprisoned leader. The two battalions were at
length placed in a brigade commanded by Colonel Grigsby; in which were
the Ninth and First Kentucky.

The writer describes the dreary days and long cold nights of that
winter. The arduous duty--men shivering through the dark, dragging
hours, with eyes fixed on the enemy's signal lights burning on Waldron's
ridge and Lookout mountain. Then the Federal battalions pouring, one
night, across the river--the bright blaze and quick crash of rifles,
suddenly breaking out along the picket line. The hurried saddling and
rapid reinforcement, but the steady Federal advance driving the cavalry
back. Even amid the snarl of musketry and roar of cannon, could be heard
the splash of the boats plying from shore to shore. Couriers were sent
to army headquarters, with the information, but, losing their way in the
pitch darkness, did not report until day light. Next day came the grand
Federal attack and the terrible and unaccountable "stampede" of the
entire Confederate army from Missionary ridge--that army which a few
weeks before had won the great victory of Chickamauga.

When General Bragg halted at Dalton, this brigade was again posted on
the front and suffered, hungry, half clad (many barefooted), through
that awful winter.

But a great joy awaited them--before the spring came it brought them
relief. General Morgan made his way safely (after his escape) to the
Confederate lines. All along his route through South Carolina and
Georgia, he was met by a series of heart-felt ovations. Crowds flocked
to congratulate him. All the people united in greeting him. The
officials in all the towns he visited, prepared his reception. The
highest and lowest in the land were alike eager to do him honor. The
recollection of his former career and the romantic incidents of his
escape combined to create a wonderful interest in him. Perhaps no man