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Title: Morgan's Men - A Narrative of Personal Experiences
Author: Stone, Henry Lane
Language: English
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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.

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  Narrative of Personal Experiences




  United Confederate Veterans


  April 8, 1919

[Illustration: [Signature] H. L. Stone]


This narrative is printed in pamphlet form to comply with the request
of numerous friends and to meet the suggestion contained in the
editorial notice of the Louisville Evening Post in its issue of May 29,
1919, as follows:


“The Evening Post has received a copy of an address delivered a short
time ago before the George B. Eastin Camp of Confederate Veterans, by
Col. Henry L. Stone, of the Louisville bar, general counsel of the
Louisville & Nashville Railroad Company, the address being largely in
the nature of a narrative by the speaker of his personal experiences as
a soldier in the famous cavalry command of Gen. John H. Morgan.

“The Evening Post much regrets that it can not find the space for this
exciting and instructive story. It covers thirty type-written pages,
or seven or eight columns in our print, and the story is so well told
that we feel that nothing could be eliminated, and all that is possible
is to express the hope that either Colonel Stone or the local camp of
veterans will later see fit to issue the address in pamphlet form.
Certainly we have never seen elsewhere in so condensed a form so vivid
a picture of the war-time experiences of those dashing cavalrymen that
the people of the South still allude to as “Morgan’s Men.”

“Passing by this narrative as something that one who did not
participate therein is incompetent even to review, the Evening Post
would call attention, if only for the importance it may have relative
to the soldiers now returning to civil life, to the part played in
the affairs of Kentucky and the Union by these soldiers of Morgan’s
command after the war was over. It was a very creditable part. No
doubt there were the few exceptions that prove the rule, but, as
a broad proposition, wherever one of “Morgan’s Men” settled, the
community gained a good citizen. We will not attempt to call the roll
of those who helped to make the history of Louisville in the past fifty
years. Many of them, indeed, have passed away—Basil W. Duke, John B.
Castleman, George B. Eastin, Thomas W. Bullitt and others whose names
recall the best traditions of Louisville. Henry L. Stone remains with
us, vigorous in body, keen in mind, always ready to fight, and fight
hard, for a good cause, an ornament to the bar and a splendid specimen
of that splendid manhood that the soldiers of the Confederacy furnished
a reunited country.”


I was asked by Col. Milton, our commander, to give a “talk” to our
Camp this evening. I see, though, in his notices which he sent out—I
received one—and in the newspapers, he has dignified what I am to say
to you as an “address.” I will leave it to you, after I get through,
whether it is one or the other, or both.

I regret that I have not had an opportunity to prepare much that would
be worth while to my Comrades who are here to-night, but will deal
with some of my own experiences during the Civil War and give you
a narrative of them. This I will undertake to do, with the hope my
account may prove somewhat interesting to you. I can only vouch for the
truthfulness of what I shall detail from my own personal knowledge.

There is no tie of friendship so strong and lasting as that wrought by
a common service among soldiers engaged in a common cause. Time and
distance are powerless to sever such a tie or to erase from memory the
vivid recollections of dangers encountered and hardships endured.

On a September night nearly fifty-eight years ago, John H. Morgan
led forth from the City of Lexington his little squadron of faithful
followers, who formed the nucleus of that gallant command which
afterward, under his matchless leadership, executed so many brilliant
military achievements and won for him and themselves imperishable
renown. Gen. Morgan’s bold, original, and skillful methods of warfare
attracted the admiration of thousands of young men in Kentucky, and
even other States, who enthusiastically gathered under his banner.


As already stated, I propose on this occasion to give an account of
some of my own experiences as one of Morgan’s Men. A native of Bath
County, Ky., when a boy nine years old, I became a resident of Putnam
County, Ind., to which State my father removed in the autumn of 1851.
In the presidential campaign of 1860, at the age of eighteen, I
canvassed my County for Breckinridge and Lane. There were three other
young men representing the tickets of Abraham Lincoln, John Bell and
Stephen A. Douglas, respectively. We styled ourselves: “The Hoosier
Boys—All Parties Represented,” and canvassed the County, speaking on
Saturday afternoons at as many as ten or a dozen points before the day
of election.

When the War between the States came on, I was an earnest advocate
of State rights, and determined to embrace the first opportunity
offered to go South and enlist in that cause, which I believed to be
right. Three of my brothers were in the Federal army, but I could not
conscientiously go with them.


On September 18, 1862, after the battle of Big Hill, near Richmond,
Ky., and the occupation of this State by the forces of Gens. Smith and
Marshall, I put aside the study of law, bade farewell to my parents,
and left Indiana to join the Confederate army. I came to Cincinnati
while it was under martial law, passed the pickets above the city,
in a countryman’s market wagon, took a boat at New Richmond, Ohio,
and landed on a Sunday morning at Augusta, Ky. That day I attended
Sunday-school in Augusta, and walked to Milton, in Bracken County,
where I stayed all night. The next day I reached Cynthiana, and found
there the first confederate soldiers I ever saw, being a portion of
Morgan’s Men under Col. Basil W. Duke. I remember I was struck with the
odd appearance of some of these soldiers, particularly observing their
large rattling spurs and broad-brimmed hats, many of which were pinned
up on one side with a crescent or star.


This was but a few days before Col. Duke’s desperate fight at Augusta.

An incident occurs to my mind here. Ten years later I was Democratic
Elector for the Ninth Congressional District, making a campaign in
behalf of Greeley and Brown, and Augusta was one of my points to speak.
While at the hotel that night, a young man came to my room and that of
Hon. John D. Young, who was the Democratic candidate for Congress and
traveling with me, and he told us all about the fight of Col. Duke,
what a bloody affair it was, and how the people had noticed a young man
a few days before passing through Augusta and going to Sunday-school,
and they attributed Duke’s plans to that young man’s story of how
conditions were in Augusta; in other words, that he had acted as a spy
for Duke. I said, “Young man, you are mistaken about that matter and
your people are mistaken. I was the lad that came through your town and
went to Sunday-school, but I had then no idea of Duke’s contemplated
fight whatever, and did not know anything about it until after it
occurred, so you are all laboring under a mistake in thinking I had
anything to do with it.”


I arrived at Mount Sterling, and set foot “on my native heath,” in Bath
County, within a week after my departure from Indiana.

On October 7, 1862, I enlisted at Sharpsburg in Capt. G. M. Coleman’s
company, composed chiefly of my boyhood schoolmates and belonging to
Maj. Robert G. Stoner’s battalion of cavalry, which was subsequently,
in Middle Tennessee, consolidated with Maj. Wm. C. P. Breckinridge’s
battalion, thus forming the 9th Kentucky Regiment in Morgan’s command.

I was appointed sergeant major of Maj. Stoner’s battalion, and served
in that capacity until the consolidation mentioned, when I became
ordnance sergeant of the regiment. Since the War I have been promoted
to the position of “Colonel,” but I never was a Commissioned officer.


Sixty days after my enlistment our regiment was engaged in its first
fight at Hartsville, Tenn., where Col. Morgan won his commission as
brigadier general and achieved, perhaps, his most brilliant victory by
killing and wounding over four hundred of the enemy and capturing two
splendid Parrott guns with more than two thousand prisoners. On the
day after this battle, I wrote a letter to my father and mother (the
original of which has been preserved), headed as follows: “In camp two
miles from Gen. Morgan’s headquarters and eight miles from Murfreesboro
on the Lebanon Pike, Monday, December 8, 1862.” The fight occurred on

Among other things, I gave in this letter the following account of our
engagement at Hartsville, which may serve to illustrate the exuberance
of spirits felt over that victory by a soldier of twenty years of age,
after only two months’ service:

    We’ve had only one battle yet, and that was on
    yesterday at Hartsville, in this State. I’ll give you a
    short description of it. Day before yesterday morning
    at nine o’clock we left camp with all of Morgan’s
    Brigade, except two regiments (Duke’s and Gano’s),
    and also the Ninth and Second Kentucky Regiments of
    Gen Roger Hanson’s brigade of infantry—in all about
    twenty-five hundred men, with five or six pieces of
    artillery. We marched through Lebanon, and went into
    camp after traveling thirty-four miles. Our battalion
    and two pieces of artillery were within four miles of
    the enemy. The other portions of our force took another
    route, crossing the Cumberland in the night and getting
    in the enemy’s rear. We left camp after sleeping one
    hour and a half, and got in position in five hundred
    yards of the enemy at five o’clock in the morning,
    before it was light. This hour was set by Morgan to
    begin the attack on the enemy on all sides; and well
    was it carried out, Morgan’s portion firing the first
    gun. The firing soon became general, and of all the
    fighting ever done that was the hottest for an hour and
    fifteen minutes. The bombs fell thick and fast over our
    heads, while Morgan’s men yelled at every step, we all
    closing in on the Yankees. I fired my gun only two or
    three times. We took the whole force prisoners, about
    twenty-two hundred men, the 10th Illinois, 106th and
    108th Ohio, and two hundred Indiana cavalrymen, with
    two pieces of artillery. We took also all their small
    arms, wagons, etc.

Then occurs in this letter what may seem now somewhat ludicrous, but it
is here and I will read it:

    I captured a splendid overcoat, lined through and
    through, a fine black cloth coat, a pair of new woolen
    socks, a horse muzzle to feed in, an Enfield rifle, a
    lot of pewter plates, knives and forks, a good supply
    of smoking tobacco, an extra good cavalry saddle, a
    halter, and a pair of buckskin gloves, lined with
    lamb’s wool—all of which things I needed.

The officers of the forces captured were paroled and sent through
the lines. One of them promised to see that this letter reached its
destination, and in it I stated:

    I’ll tell you how I’ve met with a chance to send this
    to you. It is by a very gentlemanly Yankee lieutenant
    whom we captured yesterday who says he’ll mail it to
    you from Nashville, and I think he’ll be as good as
    his word. I shall leave it unsealed, and he’ll get it
    through for me without trouble, I think.

But he failed to discharge the trust he had assumed. Some three weeks
afterwards it was found at Camp Chase, Ohio, and sent to my father by a
man named Samuel Kennedy.


On our celebrated raid into Kentucky during the Christmas holidays
of 1862 we captured at Muldraugh’s Hill an Indiana regiment of about
eight hundred men, who were recruited principally in Putnam County,
many of whom were my old friends and acquaintances. I saw and conversed
with a number of them while prisoners in our charge, and had my
fellow-soldiers show them as much kindness as possible under the
circumstances. This regiment had only a few months before been taken
prisoners at Big Hill, Ky., and after being exchanged were armed with
new Enfield rifles, all of which fell into our boys’ hands and took the
place of arms much inferior.

That was my first acquaintance with the Louisville & Nashville
Railroad. We burned all the trestles on Muldraugh’s Hill, and thus cut
the connections of the Federal army in Tennessee.


There are doubtless some here to-night who were on Morgan’s remarkable
raid into Indiana and Ohio, nearly fifty-six years ago. The first
brigade crossed the Cumberland River at Burksville, Ky., July 2,
1863, when it was out of its banks, floating driftwood, and fully a
quarter of a mile wide. The crossing of our twenty-four hundred men
and horses was effected by unsaddling and driving the horses into the
swollen stream, twenty or thirty at a time, and letting them swim to
the opposite bank, where they were caught and hitched, while the men
went over in two flat-boats and a couple of indifferent canoes. I
shall never forget the perilous position I was in on that occasion.
There were twelve of us, who crossed over between sundown and dark,
with our twelve saddles in one canoe. The surging waters came lapping
up to within three inches of the edges of the canoe, and on the upper
side once in a while they splashed in. The two men at the oars were
inexperienced, and made frequent mistakes during the passage, but
finally landed us safely on this side. I breathed much freer when I
got out.

On this raid, after the disastrous attack of July 4, upon the stockade
at Green River bridge, where we lost so many brave officers and men,
we, the next day, drove Col. Charles Hanson’s infantry regiment,
the 20th Kentucky, into the brick depot at Lebanon, Ky. Our troops
surrounded the building, but were greatly exposed to the enemy’s fire,
and suffered under the heat of a broiling sun for four hours. Some of
our men concealed themselves by lying down in or behind the tents just
vacated by the Federal troops. When the order was given by Gen. Morgan
to charge the enemy, I witnessed an admirable exhibition of courage
on the part of Col. D. Howard Smith. He mounted his horse and led the
assault himself, calling on us to follow him, in plain view of the
enemy and under a terrific fire from the depot, not exceeding a hundred
yards from our advancing columns. On the other side of the building, in
the charge of the Second Kentucky, just before the surrender, Lieut.
Thomas Morgan, a younger brother of Gen. Morgan was killed—shot through
the heart. He was idolized by his regiment, and many of his comrades,
infuriated by his death, in the excitement of the moment, would have
shown no quarter to the Federal soldiers had it not been for the noble
and magnanimous conduct of Gen. Morgan himself. Although stricken with
grief over the lifeless body of his favorite brother, and with his
eyes filled with tears, I saw him rush to the front inside the depot,
and with drawn pistol in hand he stood between Col. Hanson’s men and
his own, and declared he would shoot down the first one of his own men
who molested a prisoner. And here I may venture the assertion that no
officer in either army, as far as my knowledge extends, was kinder to
prisoners or more considerate of their rights than Gen. Morgan.

When our command crossed the Ohio River at Brandenburg, in two
steamboats we had captured, I experienced some peculiar sensations
as I set foot on Indiana soil and realized that I was engaged in a
hostile invasion of my adopted State. I soon got over this feeling,
however, and regarded our march into the enemy’s country as one of the
exigencies of war and entirely justifiable. I was in the advance guard
under Capt. Thomas H. Hines (afterward one of the judges of the Court
of Appeals of Kentucky) through Indiana and Ohio, and was captured at
Buffington Island. I rode down eight horses on that raid, and although
this number was perhaps above the average to the man, there were
doubtless fifteen thousand horses ridden at different times by Morgan’s
Men on the Indiana and Ohio raid.

About seven hundred of our command under Col. Richard Morgan,
surrendered at Buffington Island, and we were started down the river on
a boat next day in charge of some Ohio troops (the 12th Ohio Infantry,
as I recall), who treated us with great courtesy. Gen. Morgan and the
remainder of his troops (except four hundred of them under Col. Adam
R. Johnson who crossed the Ohio river at Buffington Island and thus
escaped) were not captured until a week later.


After our arrival in Cincinnati, we were shipped in box cars to Camp
Morton at Indianapolis. I now began to appreciate what it was to be
a prisoner of war, and that, too, within forty miles’ of the home of
my parents. I was not entirely sure, either, of what would be the
fate of a Rebel from the Hoosier State. I was, however, shown much
kindness by one of the companies of the 71st Indiana Regiment, which
constituted our prison guard. It was made up of my neighbor boys in
Putnam County, and they all seemed rejoiced to see me _there_. Through
their intervention I received clothing and other necessaries from home
and obtained an interview with my brothers and some of my old friends,
who had learned of my capture and came over to Indianapolis to see me.

Remaining one month at Camp Morton, we were then sent to Camp Douglas,
at Chicago.


On the night of October 16, 1863, having been confined in prison three
months, accompanied by one of my messmates, William L. Clay, I tied
my boots around my neck and in my sock feet climbed the prison fence,
twelve feet high, between two guards and made my escape. I still have
the handkerchief which I tied around my neck and from which my boots
swung down my back under my coat, on that occasion. I have it here in
my pocket. (This handkerchief was exhibited to the audience.) I have
kept it all these fifty-five years. It is a cotton handkerchief of the
bandana order. I do not know whether it is still intact or not. It
seems to be in fairly good condition. I have said I keep it, but the
truth is my wife did so as a cherished relic. My brother, Dr. R. French
Stone, who afterward practiced his profession at Indianapolis until
his death, five years ago, was then attending Rush Medical College at
Chicago. We found him next morning after making my escape as he was
entering the college building. He showed us over the city, and during
the day we dined at the Adams House, an excellent hotel. It was the
first “square meal” Clay and I had eaten in several months, and I have
often thought since that it was the best dinner I ate during the war.

My comrade and I left the city by the Illinois Central, going to
Mattoon, thence to Terre Haute, where we tarried at a German hotel two
days, most of the time playing pool, having written home to some of my
family to meet me there. After seeing two of my brothers and obtaining
some additional funds, we came by rail to Cincinnati, thence by boat
to Foster’s Landing, Ky., and from there footed it through Bracken,
Nicholas and Bourbon Counties. Clay separated from me in the latter
county. He died several years ago in this city, where he practiced
medicine, and is buried in our lot at Cave Hill. I attended his funeral.


I reached Bath County a few days afterward, and early one morning I
was captured in the very house where I was born by a squad of home
guards in charge of Dr. William S. Sharp, who was my father’s family
physician when we lived in Kentucky. I was taken to Mount Sterling, and
there lodged in jail—in the dungeon. To keep the rats from eating my
bread I tied it up to the wall with the chains which were said to have
been used in the confinement of runaway slaves before the Civil War.
My imprisonment there, however, was greatly relieved by the visits of
kind friends, among whom was the one destined to become my wife. I saw
that old jail building every day, when at home, during the seven years
I resided and practiced law in Mount Sterling from 1878 to 1885, when I
removed to Louisville. It had been converted into a dwelling-house, and
was then owned by Col. Thomas Johnson, an ex-Confederate Colonel, who
lived to be over ninety years of age.

To make good my escape from Camp Douglas and to be again taken prisoner
after getting five hundred miles on my way back to Dixie was extremely
mortifying. I was confined in jail at Mount Sterling two weeks, and was
then started in a covered army wagon with other prisoners to Lexington.


Having serious apprehensions as to the reception I would meet with at
the hands of Gen. Burbridge (who had about that time an unpleasant
way of hanging and shooting such Rebels as he caught in Kentucky,
having only a short time before so disposed of Walter Ferguson, one of
Morgan’s men, whom I knew quite well), I succeeded in making my escape
in the nighttime at Winchester, eluding the vigilance of Lieut. Curtis
and his thirty mounted guards, who fired a few harmless shots at me as
I disappeared in the darkness.

That night I made my way to Alpheus Lewis’, an old gentleman who
lived near our camp as we went South at the beginning of the war. We
had camped there around a sulphur spring. It was an exceedingly cold
evening, the latter part of November. In crossing a water-gap over
Stoner Creek, I slipped and fell into the water and got pretty well
soaked. I had on a suit of butternut jeans clothing, and in ten minutes
after I had gotten out, the water had frozen and my clothing rattled
like sheet iron. I found my way to Lewis’ home, and stayed there part
of the night and then left, because I had made some inquiries on the
road, and was fearful I might be caught if I remained all night.

A few days later, finding no opportunity to get South, owing to the
presence of Federal troops in Eastern Kentucky, with the aid of friends
I got on the train at Paris, Ky., and went to Canada via Cincinnati,
Toledo, and Detroit. I went from the house of a friend, residing near
Mt. Sterling. A colored boy about eighteen years old named “Wash,” was
sent with me to Paris. We rode horse-back, and he was to take my horse
back. He knew I was a Confederate soldier, but he was faithful to his
trust. He afterward joined the Federal army.

Just before entering Paris, I saw two guards in Federal uniform,
and “Wash” told me there was difficulty in getting passes out of
Paris, and it was right difficult to get into Paris. As soon as I
saw these soldiers—I had to make up my mind quickly—I addressed them
first, before they had time to say or do anything. I said “See here,
gentlemen, I have got a boy here with me that is going to take my horse
back. I am going to Cincinnati with stock, and I want to know if he
will need a pass to get out?” One of the guards answered “No, that will
be all right. We will recognize him and let him through,” and so they


I stayed in Canada, at Windsor and Kingsville, four months. During that
winter (1863-4) occurred cold New Year’s Day. I went to a Methodist
watch meeting the night before and stayed until after midnight. When
I got back to my hotel at Kingsville it was blustering and getting
cold fast. The next morning by seven or eight o’clock it was so cold
that neither the young man that was with me nor myself could hardly
get out of bed. It was eighteen degrees below zero then, and got
worse during the day. Lake Erie froze over from side to side so thick
as to allow heavy teams to cross over it a distance of forty miles.
Some Confederate prisoners who were confined at Johnson’s Island made
their escape on the ice to Canada. One of these in making his escape
was wounded by the Federal guard and was taken to a farmhouse near
Kingsville. Everybody skated in that country, and I soon learned the
sport. While so engaged I became acquainted with the Misses Harris, two
handsome and refined young ladies, residing at Kingsville, who were the
granddaughters of Simon Girty, the renegade. Their mother, the daughter
of this infamous character in the pioneer days of our country, was then
still living.

I learned to make cigars while I was up there in Canada, and I got
short of funds before I left, and my landlady took my stock of
cigars which I had left for a balance on my board-bill. It was very
small,—only $1.75 a week for board and lodging.

When I went to Canada, I got to the Hirons House in Windsor and
thought I would register. I looked over the register to see if I knew
anybody stopping there. I knew there was a lot of Confederates who
had gotten out of Camp Douglas and gone to Canada. I looked over the
page, and nearly every one whose signature I saw on it—I recognized a
good many of them—had registered his name, Company, Regiment, Brigade,
Confederate States Army. Thinks I, if they can so register, I can too.
So I wrote my name in full with Company and Regiment, Gen. John H.
Morgan’s Command, C. S. A.


When I prepared to leave Canada, I knew a Confederate soldier was
watched by detectives from across the Detroit River. I got on the
train from the East as it slowed up and came into Windsor. I do not
recall whether it was a Grand Trunk train or the Canadian Pacific, but
at any rate I got off the train before we reached the depot, and some
detective evidently saw me. When I got out among the other passengers
and undertook to get on the ferry boat, he was following me. Thinks I,
this won’t do, and I got off and mixed up with the other passengers
again. After eluding him, I went down in the engine room of the ferry
boat, and stayed there until I crossed over to Detroit, and he was thus
unable to find me.

Another thing: I thought I had become pretty well known, and to
disguise myself, I had my hair dyed before leaving Windsor. You can
imagine what a sight I was. My moustache and chin whiskers were dyed a
deep black with nitrate of silver or some sort of preparation. I paid
five dollars for it, I know. In that way, I came on to Kentucky without
being detected. I came to Covington, and at a restaurant there I sat
right opposite a man that was with me and knew me well in Windsor. He
had gone up there, I think, to evade the draft. He did not recognize
me at all. I did not say anything to him, nor he to me. I was pretty
well disguised.

It was in April, 1864, when I returned to Kentucky from Canada.
While watching a chance to go back to the Confederacy, I worked on
a farm three weeks near Florence, in Boone County, a town afterward
celebrated, in John Uri Lloyd’s novel, as “Stringtown-on-the-Pike.”
While there I visited, on Sundays, my aunt and family, who lived nearby.


On General Morgan’s last raid into the State, I joined a small portion
of his forces near Mount Sterling, having made my way to them alone on
horseback from Boone County. By the way, I got my horse—borrowed it,
of course—from the enemy. There were a lot of Government horses in the
neighborhood where I was at work. On reaching Virginia, in June, 1864,
I attached myself temporarily to Capt. James E. Cantrill’s battalion,
which was a remnant of Gen. Morgan’s old command, with which I remained
until the following October, when after the defeat of Gen. Burbridge at
the battle of Saltville I got with my old regiment, commanded by Col.
Breckinridge then forming a part of Gen. John S. Williams’ Brigade.
Meantime Gen. Morgan was killed at Greenville, Tenn., on September 4,
1864, where I was present as a member of Cantrill’s battalion (under
the command of Gen. Duke, who had been exchanged), and a few days later
was one of those who went, with a flag of truce, to recover his dead
body, which was sent to Richmond, Va., for burial. After the war it
was disinterred and brought to Lexington, Ky., whose beautiful cemetery
is its last resting place. In that city in later years, as you know, a
magnificent and life-like equestrian monument to our beloved General’s
memory was dedicated in the presence of a vast throng of people,
including many survivors of his old command.


We returned to Georgia in time to follow in the rear of Sherman in his
“march to the sea.” Under Gen. Wheeler, as we followed in the path of
desolation left by Sherman’s army, we were daily engaged with Gen.
Kilpatrick’s cavalry, and for eight days were without bread or meat,
living on sweet potatoes alone, the only food left from destruction
by the Federal troops. The first meat we ate after this fast was some
fresh beef, which we found in a camp from which we had just driven the
enemy before they had had time to cook and eat it.


When the news of Gen. Lee’s surrender was received, our brigade was
at Raleigh, N. C. President Davis and his Cabinet officers joined us
at Greensboro, N. C., and our command escorted them from there to
Washington, Ga., where it disbanded. I rode to Augusta, Ga., with
Lieut. William Messick, who was from Danville, Ky., and there I
surrendered to the 18th Indiana Infantry Regiment, then occupying the
city, and received my parole May 9, 1865.

Before we were disbanded at Washington, Ga., the remnants of the funds
of the Confederate States, in specie, that had been hauled by wagons
through from Richmond, was distributed among the troops at that time. I
remember the men of our brigade got $26.00 a piece. Most of it was in
Mexican dollars, silver money. I brought it home with me. Fortunately,
I had enough to get home on without using that money, and, after
our marriage, my wife and I thought it would be a good idea to have
that silver made into spoons. We took it down to Duhme & Company, at
Cincinnati, and enjoined upon them to use that silver, and no other, in
a set of tablespoons, and those spoons are on our table today.

No man can fully or correctly appreciate the value of personal liberty
who has never been a prisoner. At least three-fourths of Morgan’s men
felt what it was to endure the fearful life of a Northern military
prison, and many of them were humiliated by incarceration in the
loathsome dungeons and cells of penitentiaries while prisoners of war.
Fortunately for me, I escaped from Camp Douglas in time to avoid the
starvation policy subsequently inaugurated there, which was said to
have been enforced by way of retaliation for the treatment Federal
prisoners received at Andersonville, Ga. The difference between the
two was that at Andersonville the Confederates did not have the food
to give the prisoners, while in the North, the Federal authorities
had plenty, and refused to supply it to Confederate prisoners in
sufficient quantities. Of the seven members of our mess Clay and I left
in Camp Douglas, three died there, one took the oath, and the other
three, after twenty-one months of horrid prison life, were exchanged
a few weeks before the close of the war. Only one of these three is
now alive. He is living in Montgomery County, near Mount Sterling. Of
the three who died there, one was James Richard Allen, who, in the
presidential campaign of 1860 by the “Hoosier Boys” referred to, was
the representative of Douglas; and afterward, in 1862, came South,
and joined the Confederate Army as I had done. He had been captured
somewhere in Virginia, as I now recall.


The same restless, daring spirit that actuated Morgan’s men in the
field characterized them in prison, and out of eighteen hundred
prisoners taken on the Indiana and Ohio raid not less than six hundred
of them escaped from Camps Morton and Douglas. I have heard that one of
the Chicago newspapers stated during the war that even if Morgan’s men
had done nothing to distinguish them before their capture on the raid
through Indiana and Ohio, they had immortalized themselves by their
wonderfully successful escapes from prison.

The extraordinary escape of Gen. Morgan himself, together with Capts.
Hines, Sheldon, Taylor, Hockersmith, Bennett and McGee, from the Ohio
State Prison, stands without a parallel in military history. You
cannot imagine my surprise after getting on the cars at Paris en route
to Canada, on the occasion already referred to, in December, 1863, when
I picked up a Cincinnati Daily Gazette, some passenger had left on the
seat, and read the graphic account of this unexpected escape of our
General and six of his Captains the night before. My heart leaped with
joy at the news, but I dared not give expression to my delight by the
utterance of a word.


Getting on the ferry boat at Covington on the Kentucky side, on my
trip to Canada, just as it was landing coming over from the Cincinnati
side, I saw ten or fifteen steps ahead of me my uncle, Higgins Lane,
and my aunt, his wife, from Indiana. He was my mother’s brother, whom
I dearly loved, but knew to be an intense Union man. And uncle as he
was, I was afraid that he would expose me and have me arrested. I
immediately dodged around the boat and did not see him any more. I
learned afterward that I had misjudged him, and done him an injustice.
He announced that he would not have thought of such a thing as having
me arrested. At my home at Owingsville, in Bath County, after the war,
my wife and I had the pleasure of entertaining him and my aunt as
hospitably as was in our power.


I may further relate, on that trip to Canada, I stopped at the Island
House in Toledo. I thought I would go into Detroit in daylight, and
see where I was going when I got there, and crossed the river into
Canada. I registered at the hotel mentioned as usual, and went up to
supper on the next floor. After I finished and was walking out of the
dining room, a fellow stepped up behind me and said: “I guess we will
settle right here.” Well, one has to think pretty fast under those
circumstances. He impressed me as a detective, who thought he had found
his man. I said, “Settle for what?” He responded, “Settle for your
supper.” I was greatly relieved. I said, “Why, my dear sir, I have
registered here at this hotel and expect to stay all night.” He said,
“Well, that is different. Then I will go down and see the register.” I
was in the habit of registering at hotels under almost any sort of name
that occurred to me at the time. I never registered under my own name,
and I had to look at the register to see what it was. I knew I could
tell my handwriting. When I got up to the register and saw what it was,
I said, “There it is.” Said he, “That’s all right.”


Most of the survivors of Gen. Morgan’s command remember that brave and
gallant soldier, Col. George St. Leger Grenfell, who came to us and was
on Gen. Morgan’s staff, after long and faithful service in the British
army. He did me a kindness during the war, which I have remembered
with gratitude ever since. By an accident my horse’s back had become
so sore he could not be ridden, and in the fall of 1862, while leading
him and wearily walking in the column over a mountain road in East
Tennessee, Col. Grenfell came riding by, accompanied by a subordinate,
who had in charge a led horse. Observing my plight, he stopped, and
asked me the cause; and when told, requested me to mount his led horse,
and when mine got well to return his to him, which offer I gladly

Afterward, Col. Grenfell, for alleged complicity in the plot to release
the Confederate prisoners from Camp Douglas, was arrested by the
Federal authorities and sentenced to imprisonment at Fort Jefferson,
Tortugas Island. In April, 1867, my brother, Maj. Valentine H. Stone,
of the 5th United States Regular Artillery, who had been stationed at
Fortress Monroe for eighteen months, was assigned to take command at
Fort Jefferson. He was two years older than I, and he was the brother
who, as one of the “Hoosier Boys,” advocated the cause of Bell and
Everett in 1860. He afterward went into the Army, the 5th Regular U.
S. Artillery. I will have more to say of him directly. On learning
where he had been assigned, I wrote to him, giving an account of Col.
Grenfell’s kindness to me on the occasion referred to, and requesting
him to do all in his power, consistent with his duty, to alleviate the
prison life of my old army friend, who was, as a true soldier and
gentleman, worthy of such consideration. With this request there was
a faithful compliance on the part of my brother, which Col. Grenfell
gratefully appreciated. I was permitted to correspond with Col.
Grenfell, and several letters passed between us.

In September, 1867, yellow fever broke out at Fort Jefferson. Col.
Grenfell, having had large experience with this dreadful disease,
faithfully nursed all who were stricken down among the garrison as
well as other prisoners. My brother’s wife was one of the first
victims. After her death, my brother started North with his little
three-year-old boy, but, was taken ill of yellow fever while aboard
the vessel, and died at Key West. In a letter written by Col. Grenfell
the next day, in which he gave me an account of my brother’s death, he

    I deeply regret that his leaving this place prevented
    my nursing him throughout the malady. Care does more
    than doctors, and he had great confidence in my
    nursing. * * * I am tired and grieved, having been now
    twenty-one days and nights by the bedsides of the sick
    (last night was my first night passed in bed)—grieved
    on account of the death of your brother, who was the
    only officer that ever showed me any kindness since I
    first came here. I wish I could say that they had not
    been positively inimical and cruel. But your brother’s
    arrival put an end to all that. I am much afraid that
    the old system will soon again be in force.

From this grand old soldier I received a few months later the following
interesting letter:

                          Fort Jefferson, January 15, 1868.

    H. L. Stone, Esq.—Dear Sir: Your always welcome letter
    of the 22nd of December was duly received, and, believe
    me, I appreciate and reciprocate your kind expressions
    of regard. I owe to your friendship the knowledge
    imparted to Gen. Basil Duke that the heavy restrictions
    placed on me for no fault of mine by former commanders
    had been removed by the humanity of your poor brother,
    and I am happy to say that the present commander, Maj.
    Andrews, walks in Maj. Stone’s steps. As long as our
    conduct is good, we need fear no punishment. I was
    rather afraid when I read in your letter that you had
    published mine to you. I do not know what I wrote, but
    believe that you would not have done so if I had said
    anything unguardedly which might get me into trouble.
    This is not to be wondered at when I tell you that I
    was shut up in a close dungeon for ten months, every
    orifice carefully stopped up except one for air, denied
    speech with any one, light, books, or papers. I could
    neither write nor receive letters. I was gagged twice,
    tied up by the thumbs twice, three times drowned (I am
    not exaggerating), and all this for having written an
    account to a friend of some punishment inflicted on
    soldiers and prisoners here, and the bare truth only,
    which statement he (Gen. Johnson) published in the New
    York World. I fear, therefore, giving publicity to
    anything; not that I am afraid of Maj. Andrews (I have
    really not a fault to find with him), but tigers have
    claws and sometimes use them.

    It was gratifying to hear that your poor little orphan
    nephew arrived safely at his maternal grandfather’s. I
    knew little of the child, but from what I heard he was
    a very shrewd one. He was too young to feel his loss
    deeply. I have two cypresses which I am taking care
    of (they came from Havana) and mean to place on Mrs.
    Stone’s grave, which is on an island about a mile from

    Maj. Stoner’s bridal trip was nearly turned into a
    funeral. (I forget that instance. I wrote him something
    about it. Perhaps some of you remember Maj. Stoner’s
    bridal trip when he married Miss Rogers. He had some
    trouble with the conductor. I forget now what it was.)

    What a savage the conductor must have been! The Major
    wanted two or three of his command to be near him at
    the time of the assault.

    Basil Duke and Charlton Morgan write that they are
    busy enlisting in my favor all the influence that they
    can command—Mr. G. Pendleton and others. I have also a
    very good letter from a Mrs. Bell, of Garrettsville,
    Ky., wife of Capt. Darwin Bell, who promises that
    Garrett Smith and some other friends of hers will
    interest themselves to procure my release. She read
    in some local paper an extract from, I suppose, my
    letter to you, and she says: “My husband, who bears a
    kindly remembrance of you in the war, and myself, felt
    ashamed to sit over our happy fireside whilst his old
    comrade was wearing out his life in captivity, and we
    determined to work until we obtained your liberty.” I
    have also a letter from Mr. S. M. Barlow, of New York,
    a prominent Democrat and friend of Mr. Johnson’s. He
    had written to the President and to Gen. Grant, but had
    received no direct answer; but Montgomery Blair, whom
    he had commissioned to see the President, says: “I have
    seen the President for Grenfell. He has promised to
    try to pardon him, although he says there are several
    hard points in his case.” Yes, the case is full of hard
    points, but they all run into me. The hardship is mine.
    I do not build much on all this, and yet if a regular
    system of petition was gotten up by many influential
    parties at once the President might yield. I wish that
    my friends by a concerted movement, combined with the
    Archbishops of Ohio and Missouri, R. C., would petition
    His Excellency. Bishop Quintard, of Tennessee, would, I
    am convinced, willingly help an old friend and comrade.
    But, alas! I am in prison and can combine nothing.

    I shall be happy to receive your scrawls, as you call
    them, whenever you have time to indite one, although
    I can offer you nothing but wails and lamentations in

    Whilst you are blowing your fingers’ ends from cold,
    I keep close to an open window with one blanket only,
    and that oftener off than on. I have tomatoes, peppers,
    and melons in full bloom. Salad, radishes, and peas
    and beans at maturity in the open air, of course. In
    fact, I am obliged to use sun shades from ten to three
    all through the garden, for be it known to you they
    have turned my sword into a shovel and a rake, and I
    am at the head of my profession here. What I say or do
    (horticulturally) is law. Other changes than this are
    made here. A learned physician, Dr. Mudd, has descended
    to playing the fiddle for drunken soldiers to dance to
    or form part of a very miserable orchestra at a still
    more miserable theatrical performance. Wonders never
    cease, but my paper does; so I will simply wish you a
    happy New Year and subscribe myself your sincere friend,

                                        G. St. L. Grenfell.

Some time after this letter was written, how long I do not remember,
Col. Grenfell undertook to make his escape from the Dry Tortugas in
a small boat on a stormy night, hoping to be able to reach the Cuban
coast, but was never heard of afterward.


My brother, Maj. Stone, while in command at Fortress Monroe, requested
and obtained from President Jefferson Davis an autograph letter
addressed to myself, believing that I would prize it very highly,
and delivered it to me at a family reunion at my father’s house, in
Carpentersville, Putnam County, Ind., in May, 1866. I still have this
original letter in my possession, having placed it in a frame for
preservation. It is as follows:

    Capt. Hy. L. Stone—My Dear Sir: Accept my best wishes
    for your welfare and happiness. It is better to
    deserve success than to attain it.

                                      Your friend,
                                          Jeffn. Davis.

Here (showing it) is that autograph letter. If any of you would like to
see it, I have it here for that purpose. I have preserved it since I
received it fifty-three years ago from my brother.

Speaking of my brother being in charge of Fortress Monroe (which was
after the cruel treatment of Jefferson Davis at the hands of his
predecessor), in the book of Mrs. Davis on the life of her husband,
and in the book of Dr. Cravens, I believe it was, they speak of my
brother’s kindness to President Davis while he was in charge at
Fortress Monroe, and before he went to the Dry Tortugas.

In February, 1868, the remains of Maj. Stone and wife were removed
and re-interred in Montgomery Cemetery, overlooking the Schuylkill
River, at Norristown, Penn., the home city of his father-in-law, Judge
Mulvaney. Some ten years ago my brother, Dr. Stone, and I caused a
monument to be erected over our brother’s grave, with the following
inscription thereon:

    Valentine Hughes Stone, Major Fifth Artillery, U. S.
    Army. Born in Bath County, Ky., December 22, 1839,
    and died aboard the steamer from Fort Jefferson to
    Key West, Fla., Sept. 24, 1867. He was enrolled April
    18, and mustered into service April 22, 1861, in the
    11th Indiana Infantry Volunteers, Gen. Lew Wallace’s
    Regiment of Zouaves, being the first Volunteer from
    Putnam County, Ind., to respond to the call of
    President Lincoln. He was appointed First Lieutenant,
    5th U. S. Artillery, May 14, 1861; was the heroic
    defender of Jones’ Bridge across the Chickahominy in
    the Seven Days’ Battles about Richmond. In command of
    Battery No. 9 his artillery was the first to enter
    Petersburg, Va., March 25, 1865. He was promoted to be
    Captain and brevetted Major, same regiment, upon the
    personal request of General U. S. Grant, for gallant
    and meritorious services on the battle field. He died
    of yellow fever while in command of Fort Jefferson, Dry
    Tortugas, Gulf of Mexico.

    This monument was erected and dedicated to his memory
    by his brothers, Henry L. Stone, who served in the
    Confederate Army, and R. French Stone, who served in
    the Union Army, during the Civil War.


The course of ex-Confederates since the war closed deserves, as a
rule, the highest commendation. As far as my observation extends,
good soldiers in time of war make good citizens in time of peace. The
toils and hardships of army life fit and prepare them for the battles
of civil life. The success of ex-Confederates as civilians has been
commensurate with their success as soldiers. Kentucky has selected from
Morgan’s men some of her highest legislative, judicial and executive
officers. From our ranks this and other States have been furnished
mechanics, farmers, merchants, bankers, teachers, physicians, lawyers,
and ministers of the gospel. There was hardly a neighborhood in
Kentucky in which there did not reside after the war closed one or more
ex-Confederate soldiers, while many became useful and honored citizens
of other States. Coming out of the army, most of them ragged and poor,
some of them crippled for life, with no Government pension to depend
upon, they went to work for a living, and their labors have not gone


I want to say for myself, I got back from the Civil War in the summer
of 1865. For four months, I clerked in a dry goods store at Ragland’s
Mills, on Licking River, in the east end of Bath County. How much do
you reckon my salary was? I got my board and $12.50 a month! I am glad
to say I receive, in my present position, a little more than that now.


After the surrender in April, 1865, President Andrew Johnson issued
a proclamation, whereby the rights of citizenship were withheld from
certain classes who participated in waging war against the United
States Government, among whom were those who had left a loyal State and
joined the Confederate Army. It became necessary, therefore, for me to
obtain a special pardon from the President, which I did in the summer
of 1865, through the aid of my uncle, Henry S. Lane, then United States
Senator from Indiana.


Most of us have passed far beyond the meridian of life, but I trust
there is much usefulness in store for us yet. We should not content
ourselves with the victories and honors of the past. The present and
future have demands upon us. The welfare of our respective communities
and States, as well as of our common country, calls for our continued
labors in their behalf.

I shall always remember a remark made by my friend, Jerry R. Morton,
of Lexington (one of Morgan’s men, and, for many years after the war,
Circuit Judge of that district), who has passed on ahead of us, one day
while we were in Canada together. We were walking along the Detroit
River, and as we took in the broad landscape view that stretched out
before us, and saw the United States flag floating from a fort below
the city on the other side, he stopped and, pointing across the river,
exclaimed: “I tell you, Stone, that’s a great country over yonder!” I
acknowledged the correctness of his estimate of the American republic.
Standing on foreign soil, poor, self-exiled Rebels as we were, we did
not feel at liberty to call this _our_ country then. But all of us have
the right to call it _our_ country today. With peace and prosperity
throughout the land and all sections again united in fraternal
feeling, we have, even in this progressive age, beyond question the
greatest country in the world.

In the world war that has practically, if not entirely, closed, we know
what our country did for the cause of human liberty. The boys in khaki
went across the seas,—the descendants of those who wore the gray and
those who wore the blue, and they turned the tide of battle against the
foe. That is conceded. We are today looked up to by all the nations of
Europe to bring about a Treaty of Peace, and a League of Nations, that
will prevent, as far as possible, wars for the future. We have, in my
opinion, dealing with that situation and laboring with it in Paris,
as great a President as this country has ever had; and if he comes
back home, as I believe he will, with this League of Nations secured,
and a Treaty of Peace that shall do justice to all the belligerents,
including our recent foes, as well as the other nations of the world,
he will go down in history, in my opinion, as the greatest statesman of
all time—Woodrow Wilson. May God bless him! [Great applause.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber’s Notes:

Obvious punctuation errors.

Page 6, “form-” changed to “forming” (battalion, thus forming)

Page 12, “Infrantry” changed to “Infantry” (Infantry, as I recall)

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