Sunday, January 25, 2009


The following story was written by J. F. Bowles of Dexter, OH and printed in the Democrat of Pomeroy. OH on Dec. 1, 1927

"At Harrisonville: Stirring Scene of War Times in Scipio Vividly Portrayed and Fine Tribute Paid to her Worthy Citizens.

Harrisonville, named in honor of the illustrious Tippecanoe in the early forties and the gem of Meigs County's western hills, is charmingly located in a vast natural amphitheater, all but surrounded by towering hills of scenic beauty, where rise the dreamy, murmuring waters of Little Leading that bears them away in their course to the Ohio and onward to the sea.

This peaceful hamlet was once the scene of some most thrilling unwritten history, and it has produced some distinguished sons whose names are household words in all this section, among whom were Col. E. P. Brooks, Doctors Selin and Howard Day, 'Tip' Dye, N. A. Race and Dr. John M. David, all of whom richly contributed to the name of their native town.

In this connection we would not forget her brave sons who were gallantly fighting at Missionary Ridge, Chickamauga, Vicksburg, Fair Oaks, Cold Harbor, Spotsylvania, Anthietam and on the many other battlefields of the south while all was peace and serenity at home. But this peace was soon to be broken.

Sixty-four years ago, on a July morning the sun shone brilliantly in a cloudless sky, presaging a perfect day. The countryside around Harrisonville presented a wealth of corn that shimmered and glistened in the sunlight, orchards bending with luscious apples, meadows waving in the breezes and fields of golden grain ready for the sickle. Little did her people dream that the union and confederate armies would meet there on that day in the shock of conflict and blood would be shed by raider, women commanded to serve meals by armed, booted and spurred soldiers and those beautiful fields of grain laid waste to become horse feed for the opposing armies.

As the sun was mounting high in the heavens, a cloud of dust was seen to the eastward, the resounding hoof beats of horses were heard and a long column of gray coated cavalrymen came in sight. It was Morgan's Raiders. The sight of them struck terror to the hearts of Harrisonville people. Soon the town and the great bottoms below it were swarming with rebels. The militia that had assembled there scattered and fled in all directions. Elza and Prsly Turner were late in arriving on their horses with guns on their shoulders. The rebels took them prisoners, confiscated their horses and bent their guns around a tree. The Rev. Thomas A. Welch, later a member of the Ohio Senate, lost both his horses but saved himself. S.B Chalfam was coming to town on a spirited horse which he saved in flight and hid him in the woods. Frank White and Selim Tope were running away when the rebels commanded them to halt. They disregarded the command when Tope was brought down by a shot in the heel from which he never recovered. After plundering the stores, feeding their horses by leaping right over fences into grain fields and satisfying their appetites, the rebels mounted their horses and disappeared over the hill, going towards Rutland.

Three raiders lingered to continue plundering Maggoon's Store. One sat on his horse and held the other's two horses while his comrades entered the store. The guard outside looked up the street and saw Hobson's men coming and he shouted to the troopers inside, 'They are coming, boys'. The two men ran out of the store, mounted and wheeled their horses and faced their pursuers. The Union men had seen the rebels at the instant the guards gave the alarm and the order to charge was given. Instantly every man dropped his bridle reins, drew his horse forward to the attack. Down the street they came with clanging sabers, every man leaning low upon his horse's neck to escape the rebel bullets and every man holding a big gun in each hand, pointing forward. The rebels saw that it was either die or give up and they placed their hats on the points of their sabers and held them high above their heads in token of surrender. Not a shot was fired. One of the raiders, a boy yet in his teens, said, 'Well I don't care, I am tired of this anyhow. Now I'll get to go home to Mother. '

There is little doubt that Hobson's men thought Morgan's Army was in town and that it was the beginning of a real battle. Had the Union men kept on down the road there would have been a finish fight and Harrisonville would have received a still greater baptism of war. But these men were covered with dust, worn out by the long pursuit and too hungry and tired to fight. The town women had apples and flour left and the soldiers lingered long to devour great numbers of delicious apple pies baked by these patriotic ladies.

Right here let us pause to thank a patriotic lady for this thrilling and vivid information - Mary Farley Folden of Dexter. She was then a child of 14 summers. She carried her trade to Harrisonville that morning and when the fireworks began she stood her ground and saw the whole works. She comes from good old revolutionary stock and is Irish and the Irish love a fight. How her face lighted up and her eyes flashed when she exclaimed, 'O, I can just see that gallant charge of the Union Men now. ' She further says that Gen. Morgan was pointed out to her, riding a cream white horse. If this was the division that escaped at the battle of Portland and retreated westward, this was a mistake, as Gen. Basil Duke, as both were subordinates in command.

Aunt Mary's sides shake with laughter when she tells how the venerable Martin Dye ran that day so fast that his rump struck a gate post and he thought he was shot and ran straight into Dr. Day's office. Dye had no gun and if he had had one he could not have stopped the rebel army. Thomas P. Foggan, underground railroad conductor, for whom a Lewisburg Va. paper offered a reward of $2000, dead or alive, defied Morgan's army at Salem Center with a squirrel rifle, and when the rebels began to bore holes in the board fence in front of him, he concluded it was the better part of valor to make his legs carry him out of the danger zone.

Please do not get the idea that Uncle Martin Dye was a coward for he was made out of sterner stuff, was a leader in the days of pioneer life, a Democrat of the Andrew Jackson type who gave to the world eight stalwart sons of whom he had every reason to be proud, and while running from rebels in the north he had sons in the Union Army chasing rebels down south.

You will pardon the writer for digressing far enough from the incidents of those turbulent times to recall that he found a safe counselor and guide through life in one of the beauty spots of fair Scipio that proudly bears the name of one of the great commanders of the Roman legions. None knew the sons of Martin Dye the pioneer better than this lady who never refers to them except in terms of highest admiration. Seldon gave the land and founded Dyesville, Dr. Tom built up Great Bend, 'Tippecanoe' stood on the firing line when the nation was in peril, sold at least a million dollars worth of goods honorably after returning and at 90 lives to back the nation with his money, while David, Zach, Martin, John and Andrew founded the progressive Dye settlement with its wealth of blue grass, palatial homes, blooded stock, and generous hospitality down to the youngest generations.

The ancestral home of Mrs. Bowles who keeps a cozy corner in her heart for the splendid people of Scipio, joins that of Andrew Dye who wore the flaming red necktie that distinguished Custer's dashing boys, one of the best neighbors that ever lived and one of the truest, bravest soldiers that ever wielded a saber in defense of his country.

Morgan's raid is now only a memory. Its wounds are healed and we would be fair to a fallen foe and a lost cause. His troopers not only confiscated property as did northern soldiers but they stole things they did not need and did it with the frenzy of a small boy plundering an orchard.

Douglas's store in Wilkesville suffered the heaviest of any in this section. Troopers could be seen riding away, some with three hats on their heads, some carrying bolts of calico, one had two bird cages tied to the pommel of his saddle and one had a necklace of skates hung around his neck in July.

Yet one would not paint Morgan too black in comparison with Sheridan in the valley of Shenandoah or Sherman on his march to the sea, for some of our boys who served with these commanders laugh in their sleeves at the stories of 'outrages' committed by Morgan's Raiders in Ohio."

Morgan’s Path Across Ohio

*Warning: An excerpt from period writing quoted in today’s posting contains derogatory racial remarks. These remarks in no way reflect the views and beliefs of the blogger. Parental and/or teacher discretion advised. Frank and open discussions regarding racism strongly recommended.

“Relieved of the depressing suspense incident to the march around Cincinnati, and having enjoyed a night’s rest at Williamsburg, the invaders resumed their merry ways. Looking toward the bordering little hills beyond the river they began to sing ‘The Old Kentucky Home.’ Among them were many musicians, white and colored. Somewhere, en route, they had ‘confiscated’ two violins, a guitar and a banjo. The sentimental guitarist was softly singing ‘Juanita,’ when he was interrupted by a rollicking fiddler who played ‘The Hills of Tennessee.’ Simultaneously another gay violinist broke one of the three strings in an attempt to play ‘The Arkansas Traveler’ and then inconsiderately threw away the fiddle and the bow. A homesick little darky took possession of the banjo and sang: ‘All up and down the whole creation, Sadly I roam, Still longing for the old plantation, And for the old folks at home.’ Bugle sounds interrupted the inharmonic musicale, and soon the cavaliers were in their saddles, bound for the ford at Buffington Island.”

~ George Dallas Mosgrove, 4th Kentucky Cavalry[i]

The Union troops were rapidly gaining ground and closing on the rear of Morgan’s main column.

“Wednesday, July 15
After Johnny again. Country very fine. Pass through Batavia.”

~ Charles W. Durling, Company G, 45th Ohio Infantry[ii]

“We were now at home in Southern Ohio, and many of the troopers of our regiment passed their own doorsteps, stopping only long enough to kiss the members of their families. The Second Lieutenant of my company picked up two of his children on the road-side, they having run to meet him from their home near by.”

~ Captain Theodore F. Allen, 7th Ohio Calvary [iii]

Burnside increased the number of troops pursuing Morgan. Union forces closed on Morgan from the west and southwest.

“Two Miles East Of Williamsburg, July 15, 1863

Major-General Burnside:
Morgan has gone in the direction of Hillsborough. He possibly designs crossing at Portsmouth. I am pushing on as fast as my stock and men can travel. If I had fresh cavalry to pursue with, or could get him intercepted, there would be some hope of capturing or dispersing his forces. It is difficult to procure fresh horses, as his advantages are superior to mine, and give him the benefit of all good horses on the route. Colonel Sanders reported to me this morning with 250 men. I have been expecting, from the tone of your dispatch yesterday, to have re-enforcements of 2,500 cavalry from the city, but have not heard anything of them. I will do the best I can.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. H. Hobson,
Brigadier-General, Commanding.”

“Portsmouth, July 15, 1863 – 5:30 p.m.
(Via Maysville, July 16 – 12:35 a. m)

Major General Burnside:
The enemy reached Jasper about 2 p.m. today. He will make for Jacksonville or Oak Hill, on the Scioto or Hocking Railroad. With the lights before me, I have determined to move to Oak Hill. If anything occurs to change my determination, I will advise you of it. I have requested Captain Fitch to move immediately, with the gunboats, to Pomeroy and Gallipolis. I sent up boats to Colonel White, directing him to ship cavalry and a little infantry, and send up, under convoy of the gunboats, to Gallipolis or Pomeroy, as may be directed.

H. M. Judah,
Brigadier-General, Commanding.”

“Maysville, July 15, 1863 – 7:30 a.m.

Lieutenant-Colonel Richmond:
Arrived here this morning with most of forces. Our steamer Melnott, with cavalry, not up. Cannot get any definite information of the enemy. Magnolia gone up river. Will wait further orders.

Mahlon D. Manson,
Brigadier-General, Commanding.”

In the midst of this troop buildup, Governor Morton, a Republican whose political views differed from General Burnsides’, demanded that his Indiana militia be sent home at once. Knowing that a few marginally equipped and generally untrained men were not worth a political battle in the press, Burnside complied.

“Cincinnati, July 15, 1863 – 6:45 p.m.

General Willcox, Indianapolis:
Let the militia of Indian be disbanded at once, and allowed to go to their homes, if it is in accordance with the wishes of Governor Morton. I am satisfied that their services will no longer be needed in this emergency, and their interests at home need looking after.

A. E. Burnside,

The people of Ohio, including the Democrat Governor David Tod, were much more supportive of Burnside and the Union Troops.

“Cincinnati, July 15, 1863

Governor Tod, Columbus:
The chairman of military committee of Highland County says they need two thousand arms, with ammunition, for militia already organized in that vicinity. We have issued all we have. Can you send them? They should have them immediately, if possible. Morgan is closely followed by a heavy force. I have ordered roads obstructed with trees, and planking of bridges removed in his front, so as to enable our troops to overtake him. The militia along the line of the Marietta road should have first supply of arms and ammunition after Highland, so that if he turns north, he may find them prepared. The militia assembling at Gallipolis are directed to remain there till future orders.

J. D. Cox,

Cincinnati, July 15, 1863

J. G. Dameron, Mayor of Gallipolis:
The militia of Gallipolis may remain in that vicinity. If Morgan should be heard of as positively moving in that direction, they must be used to fell timber into the roads and remove planking of bridges, so as to delay him till our troops can overtake him. Show this to the militia commanders as authority. We do not think Morgan will get across the Scioto; but if he does, the directions above should be spread everywhere and carried out by the militia and people.

J. D. Cox,
Brigadier-General, Commanding"

Even Lieutenant-Colonel Neff of Camp Dennison, which had just weathered Morgan’s attack, sent emergency rations to the beleaguered General Hobson.

“Camp Dennison, July 15, 1863

General Burnside:
General Hobson has sent me word that he has no subsistence for his men, and that Morgan has left none on his route. I am preparing a train, to send him 10,000 rations.

Geo. W. Neff,
Lieutenant-Colonel and Military Commander.

Camp Dennison, July 15, 1863

General Burnside:
Messenger just in. Left General Hobson at Batavia at noon. Advance was in Williamsburg, about 5 miles beyond Georgetown, going in direction of Mayville or Ripley.

Geo. W. Neff,
Lieutenant-Colonel .”

Knowing General Hobson’s forces were close behind him, John Hunt Morgan split his men into two groups after they had past safety through Williamsburg, Ohio. Morgan’s brother, Col. Richard Morgan, was placed in command of the group which would ride South through Bethel, Georgetown, and Ripley.

The command went straight on. I learned that our regiment was going on a scout to Georgetown, Ohio. We traveled steady and lively keeping a good lookout for bushwhackers.”

~Curtis R. Burke, 14th Kentucky Calvary, Co. B[x]

At Ripley, scouts reported that it would be impossible to cross the Ohio River due to the heavy concentration of Ohio militiamen.

“It happened sometimes at night, when we came to diverging roads, we would be at a loss to know which road to take. As it was midsummer and exceedingly hot and dry, Morgan’s two thousand troopers could not avoid leaving a broad trail of dust. At diverging roads all we had to do was to scout the roads for a short distance till we found the heavy trail of dust which had settled upon the weeds and bushes of the roadside, but generally the country people were present in large numbers, ready and willing to guide us.”

~ Captain Theodore F. Allen, Seventh Ohio Cavalry [xi]

Meanwhile, John Hunt Morgan led his group toward Buffington Island, believing they could cross the Ohio River there. Normally, in the area of Buffington Island, the river ebbed to a shallow two foot dept in heat of July. This level would be too shallow for Union gunboats to navigate but not too deep to cross on horseback. However, this year, due to heavy rains upstream, the Ohio River was flowing so deeply it was impossible to cross at Buffington Island without swimming or using a boat.

"2 a. m. -A dispatch from Hamilton says: It is believed that the main portion of Morgan's force is moving in that direction going east. At this writing, quarter past two, a. m., it is the impression that Morgan's main force is going east, while he has sent squads to burn bridges on the C. H. & D. railroad and over the Miami River, but, he may turn and come down this way on some of the roads leading through Walnut Hills or Mt. Auburn. That night while the much enduring printers were putting such stories in type, John Morgan's entire command, now reduced to a strength of bare 2,000 was marching through the suburbs of this city of a quarter million inhabitants, within reach of troops enough to eat them up absolutely unopposed, almost without meeting a solitary picket or receiving a hostile shot." [xii]

The newspapers continued to cover Morgan’s every move.

“MORGAN’S GREAT RAID –HIS MOVEMENTS IN OHIO- Camp Dennison, Near Cincinnati, Threatened.
Cincinnati, Tuesday July 14
Morgan’s rebel forces crossed the Big Miami at Venice last night and burned the bridge behind them. They passed through Burlington and Springdale and crossed the Hamilton and Dayton Railroad at Glendale this morning, moving toward Camp Dennison. It is not known how much damage the rebels have done at Glendale or to the Hamilton and Dayton Railroad. Telegraphic communication is still open with Hamilton. Morgan’s men are reported to be jaded with their rapid march, and will have to rest soon. Six of Morgan’s men were captured at Milford, Clermont County, on Sunday night, and four more at New Boston.
Cincinnati, Tuesday July 14 – 9 o’clock A. M.
Morgan’s rebel forces reached Miamiville on the Little Miami road this morning, tore up the track, and fired into the accommodation train coming west. The train put quickly back to Loveland.”

~ The New York Times [xiii]

Morgan’s main column passed through Piketon, Jackson, and Vinton.

“July 15. Today we traveled through several unimportant towns, destroyed one bridge, and Bivouacked at Walnut Grove.”

~ Lt. Col. James B. McCreary, 11th Kentucky Cavalry CSA[xiv]

The scouting party passed through Georgetown then traveled along the Scioto River.

“I noticed by the show bills that was pasted on blacksmith shops that a circus was but a few days ahead of us. About dust we fell in line and moved on. After riding two hours we took the wrong road and had to turn back half a mile. Then went down a long rough steep road and came to the Sciota [sic] river and rode along its bank in a deep sandy beach almost in a keen jump. It was very dark and several of the boy’s horses stumbled over stumps and logs throwing them on the sand. We soon got to Jacksville, [Jackson? Jacksonville?]Ohio where we found the command camped near the river.

~ Curtis R. Burke, 14th Kentucky Calvary, Co. B[xv]

Manson, moving northward from Maysville, took note of the Confederate scouting party moving eastward from Georgetown.

“Maysville, July 15, 1863

General Burnside:
Morgan’s line extends from near Georgetown to Eckmansville; he was, at 7 o’clock, moving toward Locust Grove. It will be very difficult to get a courier to Sardinia, as I would have to pass through his lines, but I can try. I have heard nothing from Judah.

Mahlon D. Manson,

Maysville, July 15, 1863

Lieutenant-Colonel Richmond:
Part of Morgan’s force came within 5 miles of Riley at noon, from thence to Russellville and Winchester. His advance is at West Union, and he is in force at North Liberty, 7 miles north of West Union. This information is considered reliable. I am patrolling the river from Riley to Manchester. I think I can prevent his crossing. Have heard nothing from you today.

Mahlon D. Manson,

“Maysville, July 15, 1863 – 12:50 p.m.

Colonel Richmond:
Have received information the rebels camped 24 miles from Ripley, and moved this morning at 7 o’clock in direction of that place. Last heard from them within a mile of Ripley. I will move down and ascertain whether they design crossing at that place, but I shall also watch the road from Decatur to Maysville. They are reported over 4,000 strong.

Mahlon D. Manson,
Brigadier-General, Commanding.”

As Morgan and his “terrible men” moved across Ohio, Northern sentiment was swelling against them. Every literary tool from poetry to public speech sought to vilify his name.

"I'm sent to warn the neighbors, He isn't a mile behind;
He sweeps up all the horses, every horse that he can find;
Morgan, Morgan the raider, and Morgan's terrible men;
With bowie knives and pistols, are galloping up the glen..."[xviii]

“Even the women frowned, their voluble speech being uncomplimentary. Neither in Indiana nor in Ohio did Morgan’s ‘Rough Riders’ see any ‘bright smiles to haunt them still.’”[xix]

“I think Morgan's raid has done more good than harm, as it has aroused the people out of their lethargy and tended to unite the people."

~ J. Eberle West, St. Clairsville, Belmont County, Ohio[xx]


[i] Mosgrove, George Dallas. “Following Morgan’s Plume Through Indiana and Ohio,” Southern Historical Society Papers. Vol. XXXV. Richmond, VA., January – December. 1907.
[ii] Diary of Charles W. Durling.
[iii] Allen, Theodore F. “In Pursuit of John Morgan,” Sketches of War History 1861-1865, Papers prepared for the Commandery of the Sate of Ohio, Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States 1896 -1903, p. 233.
[iv] “Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies,” Part I –Reports, p.752.
[v] “Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies,” Part I –Reports, pages 752 – 753.
[vi] “Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies,” Part I –Reports, p.753.
[vii] “Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies,” Part I –Reports, p.755.
[viii] “Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies,” Part I –Reports, p.755.
[ix] “Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies,” Part I –Reports, p.754.
[x] Journal of Curtis R. Burke.
[xi] Allen, Theodore F. “In Pursuit of John Morgan,” Sketches of War History 1861-1865, Papers prepared for the Commandery of the Sate of Ohio, Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States 1896 -1903, p. 226.
[xii] Reid, Whitelaw. "Ohio in the War: Her Statesmen, Her Generals, and Soldiers" Vol. 1, 1868, page 140.
[xiii] The New York Times, July 15, 1863.
[xiv] Diary of James B. McCreary.
[xv] Journal of Curtis R. Burke.
[xvi] “Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies,” Part I –Reports, p.753.
[xvii] “Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies,” Part I –Reports, p.754.
[xviii] Woolson, Constance Fenimore .“Kentucky Belle.”
[xix] Mosgrove, George Dallas. “Following Morgan’s Plume Through Indiana and Ohio,” Southern Historical Society Papers. Vol. XXXV. Richmond, VA., January – December. 1907.
[xx] West, J. Eberle. "Morgan's Raid," Indiana Magazine of History 20, no. 1, March 1924, p.92-96.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Milford, Camp Dennison, and Williamsburg

Near Milford, the Raiders destroyed a single span railroad bridge then crossed the Little Miami River at Miamiville.

“Daylight still found us on the march. The regiment passed through Miamiville, Ohio without halting. Six of us was detailed to stop and collect some axes. We then went to the houses each getting an ax, then double quicked to the front. The horse pressing and bumming for something to eat was still carried on. On approaching a house, milk was generally asked for first. We were death on milk.”

~ Curtis R. Burke, 14th Kentucky Calvary, Co. B[i]

“Camp Dennison, July 14, 1863

General Burnside:
The Guide who brought Morgan through from Sharonville, on the Lebanon pike, was picked up by Capt. J. Piatt, who learned from him that at 1 o’clock last night he was pressed into John Morgan’s service as guide, Morgan informing him that he must take him through as direct a road as possible eastwardly; that he must make the road to Mayville short. The guide having, in the opinion of Morgan, taken a circuitous route 1 mile south of Montgomery, he pressed in a fresh guide, still carrying with him the old guide, crossing the Little Miami at Miamiville, or a short distance above there. They will probably strike the Milford to Goshen pike at or near what is called Newberry, in Claremont County. It was understood by the guide, whom he told to go about his business after paroling him, that they would take supper at Batavia, Clermont County; from there there is a good turnpike leading to Richmond, Ohio, and other good roads leading to Ripley and Maysville, Ky. There is no doubt that forces between what is called Amelia, Clermont County, and Bantam would head Morgan tonight.

Geo. W. Neff,

Crossing Clermont County, the Raiders came within sight of Camp Dennison.
Men training and convalescing at the Camp were called out to defend the Little Miami Railroad and the city of Cincinnati against the Raiders.

“July 14, 1863

Colonel Neff:
Let us know what you can learn of the route between you and us. The camp must be held. Morgan’s men are reported worn out, and have everywhere avoided a post where a thousand men make a bold stand. General Burnside is endeavoring to get re-enforcements ready for you. Will let you know if they start.

J. D. Cox,

July 14, 1863 – 1:30 a.m.

Lieutenant-Colonel Neff: Camp Dennison:
There are reports of some rebels passing east, near Glendale, which we think worth mentioning, to put you on your guard. Send out scouts in that direction, and collect information and give us the result.

J. D. Cox,

Burnside was receiving excellent intelligence reports on Morgan. He was in such good spirits that he ordered the release of Colonel Hanson who had been arrest on charges of surrendering his troops without properly asserting resistance when Morgan had marched into Lebanon, Kentucky.

“Cincinnati, July 14, 1863

General Hartsuff, Lexington, KY:
Governor Robinson, Frankfort, KY:
General Boyle, Louisville, KY:
Hobson is close on Morgan’s heels, in Clermont county. Morgan will evidently try to cross near or at Maysville. You can release Colonel Hanson from arrest. I am satisfied I made a mistake in arresting him. Please tell him so.

A. E. Burnside,
Major- General.”

At Camp Dennison, Colonel Neff and the men of the 43rd Company of the Second Battalion prepared for Morgan’s arrival by felling trees and entrenching themselves on the hills.

“Cincinnati, July 14, 1863

Colonel Neff, Commanding Camp Dennison:
What is the exact amount of your force, armed and unarmed?

A. E. Burnside,

Camp Dennison, July 14, 1863

Major-General Burnside:
Seven hundred armed; 1,200 unarmed.

Geo. W. Neff,

Colonel Neff greeted the Raiders with a hail of gunfire. The Raiders fired their artillery but discovered that the defenders of the fort were too well entrenched. Thus, Morgan withdrew and bypassed the fort selecting instead to focus on the railroads. The 21st Ohio Battery lay in wait at the railroad bridge while the 18th U. S. Infantry gave chase to the Raiders, sandwiching them between gun fire to the font and rear. A four hour battle ensued. The Raiders escaped crossing the river in small groups.

“Camp Dennison, July 14, 1863

General Burnside:
The main force has not crossed entirely. There is a road leads off from the road to Loveland, which circles the east side of the camp. I endeavor, as soon as possible, to find out which road they take. The great difficulty is the country round here is cut up with roads. It is hard to tell what their intentions are. They have their artillery in position, bearing on the camp, on the north side of a hill. Their intention may be to burn the railroad bridge.


Morgan’s forces failed to destroy the railroad bridge across the Little Miami River however, they did manage to derail a train and capture 150 Union recruits on their way to Camp Dennison.

“The train shot past us like a blazing meteor, and the next thing we saw was a dense cloud of steam about which flew large timbers. Out next sight startled out nerves, for there lay the monster floundering in the field like a fish out of water, with nothing but the tender attached. Her coupling might have broken, for the passenger carriages and express were still on the track, several yards ahead. One hundred and fifty raw recruits were on board, bound for Camp Dennison. They came tumbling and rolling out in every way imaginable.”

~Lieutenant Kelion Peddicord[vii]

“We forded a creek and companies B and C took a guide and went down the creek to capture a train of cars. The balance of the command went up the creek. We went a short distance, took down a fence on our left and went through a pasture, then took down another fence and went through a corn field, which brought us to a fence next to the railroad at a cow-gap. We dismounted and hitched our horses, then all set briskly to work piling logs, fence rails, etc. into the gap, and cutting the telegraph wires and posts. We had the pile at the gap about three feet above the track and still piling on logs and ties on the rails with a little fire put under them when someone hallowed, “ The trains coming, mount your horses.: We dropped everything and broke for our horses. I got to my horse, picked up my gun, and untied my horse. The cars were so close on us that I did not think that I would have time to mount before the cars got to us, and I expected they were full of Yankee infantry who would give us a volley, so I took up a row of corn leading my horse. The corn was higher than my head. As the train passed I looked back and saw the locomotive smash up. My horse got scared and pulled loose from me and went ahead. I was in hopes that he would strike the gap in the fence and go into the pasture, but when I got there I could not find him. I saw Pa without his horse also. He said that his horse had thrown him. Near half of the two companies was without their horses. The cars came on us so suddenly and so fast that they could no get to their horses. I saw that the train was a passenger train with no armed men on it, so I and several others went back in search of our horses. Sergeant Brown of company B went to the train with a flag of truce and received the surrender of the train and passengers.”

~ Curtis R. Burke, 14th Kentucky Calvary, Co. B[viii]

“Camp Dennison, July 14, 1863

General Burnside:
I left General Morgan’s Headquarters about 10 o’clock, at which time his rear passed. The general and staff (mounted), armed, followed a few hundred years in the rear, which was about 2 miles east of Miamiville. I think he has 2,500 or 3,000 men, armed only with rifles. They have three sections of artillery. The men and horses are very much jaded. In the event of an engagement, three out of four dismount; the fourth takes charge of the horses. I think they are making for Batavia. They are leading no horses and have no train.

W. H. Roberts,
Conductor captured on train, L. M. R. R.”

“Cincinnati, July 14, 1863

Major-General Hartsuff, Lexington:
Morgan has crossed the Little Miami at Miamiville. Neff succeeded in saving the bridge and the camp. General Hobson is in pursuit, and we are making arrangements here to try and intercept him. Nothing definite from the Army of the Potomac.

A. E. Burnside,

Cincinnati, July 14, 1863

General Boyle, Louisville:
But for my extreme occupation, I should have telegraphed you before. Morgan crossed the Little Miami at Miamiville, and Hobson is about three or four hours in his rear. The gunboats have gone up to prevent crossing, and I am just arranging to start force up by boat. The chance for catching him is good.

A. E. Burnside,

Burnside was keen for Morgan’s capture even going as far as ordering his commanders to adopt Morgan’s rapid pace and guerrilla tactics of foraging for horses and food in the hope the Union troops would overtake the road weary Raiders.

“July 14, 1863

Colonel commanding Advance, Jones’ Station:
You must push on after Morgan. Press all the horses you can get your hands on. Feed on the country. I have sent force up the river to intercept Manson, in command of infantry, and I will try to get 2,500 cavalry and a battery off. What condition are you in? Morgan has gone to Batavia, I think. Report to me from Camp Dennison.

A. E. Burnside,

As well as covering the Union victories at Vicksburg and Gettysburg, newspapers were now featuring reports on Morgan and his “terrible men.”

“You are aware that we have seen them; entertained them (unwillingly) in our houses; that our stables have been plundered; that a part of the harvest remains in the field, without horses, excepted the jaded, sore-bared, bony, lame ones, which Morgan traded us, to bring it to the barns, On Tuesday the 14th instant, at early dawn the inhabitants hereabouts were aroused from slumber by the clattering of hoofs upon the stony pike, and the clanking of stirrups ( I suppose, as I didn’t see any sabers or the like). On peeping through the window, I recognized them immediately as secesh, from their hard looks, their clothes of many colors and fashions, and their manner of riding. They did not ride in any kind of order, unless it was disorder. As many as could, rode abreast. Some galloped, some trotted, and others allowed their horses to walk slowly while they slept in the saddles. They were not uniformly dressed. Some wore a whole suit of the well-know blue which designates our [Union] soldiers; others had part of a suit, but most were arrayed in citizens’ garb. Some were barefoot, some were bareheaded, and one, I noticed, wore a huge green veil. Probably he was ashamed of his company, and took this method to conceal his grim visage while in the presence of decent people. Some wore jackets outside their coats, as though they had dressed in a hurry. Perhaps their keen ears had detected the sound of Hobson’s cavalry behind. Some had ladies’ gaiters, dress patterns, and the like, protruding from their pockets; and one bootless, hatless, shirtless being held his suspenderless pants in one hand, while he held the bridle with the other and heeled his horse to a gallop. Well, I did not continue my rebel-gazing long before one of them dismounted and wanted ‘yesterday’s paper, if you please.’ I couldn’t see it! Very soon the house, yard, barn, and fields were overflowing with ‘Southern chivalry.’ They were evidently very tired and sleepy, and, judging from their questions to each other, ‘How far do you think the blue-jackets are behind?’ I should say as much frightened as we were. “How far is it to Cincinnati?’ and “Have you yesterday’s paper?’ were the principal questions asked. In some houses of this vicinity, they turned over beds, peeped into cellars, cupboards, drawers, closets, and even babies’ cradles, in search of arms, ammunition, ‘greenbacks,’ and such, while others were not disturbed. They helped themselves liberally to such eatables as could be found, besides ordering the women to prepare more. Of course, they took horses. They just gobbled up every body’s…Generally; they made no distinction between the property of Copperheads and that of ‘Abolitionists,’ as they call all unconditional Union men. ‘Cause why? They either did not know their friends, or else they considered the Northern Butternuts beneath the respect of Southern rebels, horse-thieves, freebooters, guerrillas, or whatever else they may call themselves. A young farmer, George McGee by name, residing near Montgomery, made a brilliant dash among them, fired, and slightly killed one, thought not altogether! Another farmer, Mr. Landenburg, residing near Sharonville, fired among them, and wounded one of their number. He was captured, but released after having enjoyed a ride of a few miles with the ‘chivalry.’ Most persons in this part of the world considered discretion the better part of valor, and held their temper until the last invader had vanished. Like a sudden clap of thunder came Morgan among us, and passed off to the east like a meteor, leaving the natives gazing after him in stupefied horror, rubbing their eyes, and wondering whether it was all the dream of a nightmare, or a reality. Quite a number of men and boys followed in Morgan’s train – keeping a safe distance behind, however – hoping to recover their stolen horses. One old Pennsylvania Dutchman, who resides in this neighborhood, by some means, lost but one of his horses; he mounted the other and hastily pursued the flying secesh. When near Batavia, he mingled a little too closely with them, as may be proven from the fact that they took the horse he rode, with saddle and bridle. It is told that he gave vent to his enraged feelings by saying to the ‘Reb’ who took his horse: ‘That is my horse; I wish him good luck; I wish he break your neck!’ ‘What’s that?’ thundered secesh. ‘I wish my horse good luck; I wish he break your neck!’ repeated the candid German. “Reb” rode on. It is said that certain Butternut individuals, whom I might name, shouted for Vallandingham, and ‘Glory to God, Morgan’s come!’ on the approach of the rebels – all of which I can positively assert to be true. To sum up the whole thing, Morgan’s aim was evidently not fighting, but horse-stealing.”

~ The Cincinnati Commercial[xii]

Hot, exhausted and hungry the Raiders pressed on. Covered in sweat and dust the men literally embodied the verse from Jine the Cavalry which proclaims, “If you want to smell Hell, jine the cavalry!”At 4:00 p. m. Morgan’s main column arrived at Williamsburg. They have covered 90 miles in 35 hours.

“At length day appeared just as we reached the last point where we had to anticipate danger. We had passed through Glendale and all the principal suburban roads and were near the Little Miami railroad. We crossed the railroad without any 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 o'clock we were at Williamsburg, 28 miles east of Cincinnati having marched since leaving Summansville in Indiana in a period of 35 hours more than 90 miles, the greatest march that even Morgan had ever made. Feeling comparatively safe here, he permitted the division to go into camp and remain during the night."

~ Brigadier-General Basil Duke[xiii]

“We passed through several small places and came to Williamsburg, a considerable place. We rode in without opposition, and halted on one side of the street. The first thing was to bum for something to eat. I drank three large glasses of milk and got as much bread and butter as I wanted. The stores were closed. The women, children, and citizens generally came to their doors and took a good look at us, the first Confederate soldiers in arms that had visited that part of the country. They gave us something to eat as soon as called on, and sometimes sent it to us of their own accord. Of course the stables were visited among the first things. We opened a store and got a few notions, then moved to a lot in town and went into camp. We had orders to get corn wherever we could find it. We scattered and got corn from the nearest stables. Corn seemed to be very scarce. I unsaddled, took a good wash and brushed the dust off my clothes. We had been riding hard all day in the dust and looked nearly white. We had plenty of butter crackers and cheese issued to us. This together with some confectionaries such as figs, candy, cakes, etc. that I ate with Sergeant Millers mess made me a very good supper. We had orders to stay in camp so I did not go up town as I had intended, but contented myself by currying my horse and making down my bed on the grass. I was very tired and sleepy and went to bed early. I slept very well. The dew fell heavy during the night.”

~ Curtis R. Burke, 14th Kentucky Calvary, Co. B[xiv]

Hobson and the Union army were now less than 24 hours behind the raiders.

“Tuesday, July 14
On road again in direction of Hamilton, Butler Co. My horse nearly tired out and cannot keep up with column. Column halts and feeds. Forward again. Pick up a rebel horse which proves to be good. Camp at Mt. Repose. Williamsburg. Here Morgan burned a bridge. Camp at Sardinia. Get supper here and stay over night.”

~ Charles W. Durling, Company G, 45th Ohio Infantry[xv]

“July 14, 1863

General Boyle, Louisville:
Morgan was reported to be at Williamsburg, Ohio, at 4:30 this p.m., evidently making for the river. I hope our forces will be able to capture him, or break him soon.

A. E. Burnside,


[i] Journal of Curtis R. Burke.
[ii] “Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies,” Part I –Reports, p.749.
[iii] “Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies,” Part I –Reports, p.748.
[iv] “Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies,” Part I –Reports, p.746.
[v] “Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies,” Part I –Reports, p.749.
[vi] “Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies,” Part I –Reports, p.749.
[vii] Carter, Samuel, III. “ The Last Cavaliers - Confederate and Union Cavalry in the Civil War, 1979, pages 181-182.
[viii] Journal of Curtis R. Burke.
[ix] “Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies,” Part I –Reports, p.750.
[x] “Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies,” Part I –Reports, p.747.
[xi] “Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies,” Part I –Reports, p.746.
[xii] Letter dated July 22, 1863 published in the Cincinnati Commercial on July 24, 1863.
[xiii] Duke, Basil W. “History of Morgan’s Cavalry,” 1867, page 444.
[xiv] Journal of Curtis R. Burke.
[xv] Diary of Charles W. Durling.
[xvi] “Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies,” Part I –Reports, p.746.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Into Ohio

On July 13, 1863 the majority of Morgan's Raiders entered the state of Ohio hotly pursued by Union cavalry. Union leadership, eager for news of the latest developments, kept the telegraph wires humming with reports and inquires.

“Lawrenceburg, July 13, 1863 – 12 m.

Lieutenant-Colonel Richmond, Assistant Adjutant-General:
Reliable information just received. Rebels crossed Indianapolis and Cincinnati Railroad at Harmon’s and Van Wedden’s, going on the Harrison road. From best information I can get, they are going to Harrison. They burned the bridge at Guilford this morning, and scouts report them advancing on this place. I am of opinion it is but a small party that has been left to commit depredations, for the purpose of covering Morgan’s advance.

Mahlon D. Manson,
Brigadier-General, Commanding.

“Louisville, July 13, 1863 – 1 a. m.

General Hartsuff:
Judah arrived with portion of his forces. Balance will be here early this morning. Reports in regard to Morgan’s movements are conflicting: but from information I have, it is my opinion, that he has divided his forces, and may possibly attempt to return across the river below this city. I have sent an armed force down the river to intercept any parties attempting to cross.

J. T. Boyle,

Chicago, July 13, 1863

General Ambrose E. Burnside:
I answer that I am heartily in favor of the declaration of martial law, as you suggest.

Rich’d Yates

“July 13, 1863

General Boyle, Louisville,
Send Judah’s force up by steamers, with all the serviceable horses, and over 500 horses will be furnished to them here to replace the broken-down ones. Coal will be sent to Lawrenceburg if possible. Let the boats take on enough to last to this place if they can. Let there be no delay to send the force up.

A. E. Burnside,

“July 13, 1863

General Boyle, Louisville:
General Hartsuff, Lexington:
Governor Robinson, Frankfort:

The indications are now that Morgan will try to cross the Whitewater at Harrison, and move toward Hamilton. Hobson is close on his rear, and I am congregating forces in his front to impede his march.

A. E. Burnside,

“July 13, 1863 – 11:30 a. m.

General Manson, Lawrenceburg:
Hold your forces ready to move to this place at a moment’s notice. Forward all information as rapidly as possible to these headquarters.

A. E. Burnside,

July 13, 1863 – 1:45 p. m.

General Manson, Lawrenceburg:
Move your whole force up here at once, and leave Colonel Gavin to hold the bridge.

A. E. Burnside,

“Cleveland, July 13, 1863

Governor Tod:
Unless a general order is issued relieving telegraph operators from military service, the telegraph lines in the State will be inoperative for military purposes; it is impossible to supply their places at present. I respectfully ask your early consideration of this subject.

A. Stager,
Superintendent United States Military Telegraph.”

Of the 2,500 Confederates who had begun the raid, fewer than 2,000 remained. Over 500 of Morgan’s men had already been killed, wounded, or captured.[vii] Those who remained were rapidly becoming rode weary. Riding through the outskirts of Cincinnati in pitch darkness, the column began to stretch and thin out. Misdirection became a common problem. Men resorted to tacking the direction of the column by the layer of dust on roadside plants or drops of slaver from the horses. Stragglers, suffering with exhaustion, further complicated progress. Those men who fell out for just a few moments sleep often awoke as Union prisoners.

“On to Summansville, leaving here early on morning of 13th July. We reached Harrison, Ohio in the afternoon. General Morgan began to maneuver and use strategy. We were about 50 miles from Cincinnati and Morgan wanted to Federals to think we were going to attack Cincinnati, so that they might draw their forces to that place. We reached Cincinnati suburbs after dark and we rode all night apparently in the suburbs. It was a very dark night and we had much difficulty in keeping the column closed up. Some would get behind by going to sleep on their horses and we would have to strike matches and burn papers to see the road or street they would take. We could usually tell by the saliva or slobber of the horses on the way the dust settled a head of us. When day came we had passed through Glendale and was near the little Miami Rail Road and crossed it and halted to feed our horses in sight of camp Dennison. We had quite a skirmish here with the enemy. Then we resumed our march after burning some government stores and wagons. And at 5 P.M. we were at Williamsburg 28 miles east of Cincinnati. We went into camp having marched over 90 miles in 35 hours.”

~ John Weatherred, 9th Tennessee Cavalry[viii]

“We were on a high range of hills still in Indiana. The road led to the right down the side of the hill. At the foot of the hills run the White water river and a canal. Beyond was the city of Harrison and a large rich valley like strip of bottom land, which was cultivated mostly in corn. The finest of the season that I had seen. The scenery would make a splendid picture for an artist. As we wound our way to the bottom of the hill I looked up and back at our long string of Horseman displayed against the face of the hill and felt proud of them. We crossed the river and canal bridge and quietly entered the city. A wagon was seen to leave hurriedly.

~ Curtis R. Burke, 14th Kentucky Calvary, Co. B[ix]

As Morgan’s rear guard entered Harrison, the bridge over the Whitewater River was burned forestalling the pursuing Union troops.

“Friday, July 13
Daylight - off again: Feed horses and breakfast at Versailles. Enemy 1/2 day before us. Feed at Wiseburgh. Cross the White river. Camp on the line, horses in Ohio and we sleep in Indiana.”

~ Charles W. Durling, Company G, 45th Ohio Infantry[x]

“On July 13, Morgan’s raiders crossed into Ohio at Harrison, pursued by several columns of Union cavalry under overall direction of Brig. Gen. Edward H. Hobson.”[xi]

General Burnside, greatly relieved to be freed from the restrains placed upon him in Indiana by Governor Morton, was liberated by Governor Tod to coordinate the pursuit of Morgan in the State of Ohio however he saw fit. Thus Burnside, headquartered in Cincinnati, spent the vast majority of his time with telegraph messages to and from the commanders and local administrators.

“July 13, 1863 -2:15

Major Keith, Hamilton:
From information received, it is advancing either on this place or Hamilton. Keep the roads in the direction of Harrison well picketed, and send frequent reports to these headquarters. Notify the people along the line of the road who have no occasion to use their horses to hide them away.

A. E. Burnside,
Major- General”

“Guilford, July 13, 1863 – 2:15

Major –General Burnside:
I have reliable information that the enemy, about 3,000 strong, with artillery, crossed this road at Weisburg, 7 miles above this station, between 6 and 8 o’clock, following the road toward Harrison.

H. C. Lord”

Hamilton, Ohio, July 13, 1863 -6:30 p.m.

Major-General Burnside:
General: Enemy’s advance came through New Haven about 4 o’clock. New Haven is 16 miles from here. At that place they divided, part coming this way and part going further west. I have about 600 men, but only 400 armed. Will fight to the last.

Major, Commanding.”

Hamilton, July 13, 1863

Major-General Burnside:
Another scout just in. Says the enemy have encamped at Shakertown, 15 miles from this place, southwest.

Major, Commanding.”

The harried Raiders continued their long westward ride.

“Morgan set the pegs for us, and set them high every day. The longest march made by Morgan’s command at one stretch was nearly one hundred miles in thirty-five hours, being the jump he made from a point in Indiana, west of Cincinnati, to Williamsburg, Ohio, east of Cincinnati.”

~Captain Theodore F. Allen, 7th Ohio Cavalry [xvi]

Upon leaving Harrison, Morgan again attempted to throw the Union troops off his scent. He sent a party of about 500 men off toward Miamitown while the remainder of his men continued toward New Baltimore. The two groups rejoined near Bevis where they rested until midnight.

Wisely heeding the intelligence his scouts, the newspapers, and information gathered from tapping into telegraph wires, Morgan skirted Cincinnati selecting a route to the north of the city. The march around Cincinnati would prove the most grueling part of the raid. For the next thirty-five hours, the Raiders would ride non-stop and cover over ninety miles.

“July 13. Today we reach Harrison, The most beautiful town I have yet seen in the North – A place, seemingly, where love, peace, and prosperity, sanctified by true religion, might hold high carnival. Here we destroyed a magnificent bridge and saw many beautiful women. From here we moved to Miami Town, where we destroyed another splendid bridge over the Miami River. The bridge at Harrison was across the Whitewater River. From Miami Town we passed through the most fertile and lovely region of Ohio. County seat after county seat reared itself in stately splendor, now scarcely distinguishable for the clouds of dust. Town after town and city after city are passed. A part of Morgan’s command makes a feint on Cincinnati, and we move at this rate a distance of eighty-three miles, all in sixteen hours. If there be a man who boasts of a march, let him excel this. After this Gilpin race we rested by capturing a train of cars on the Little Miami and a considerable number of prisoners. Then we surrounded Camp Dennison, captured a large train of wagons, and about two hundred mules. From there we moved on Winchester, where we destroyed a fine bridge, and thence to Jackson.”

~ Lt. Col. James B. McCreary, 11th Kentucky Cavalry CSA[xvii]

“On July 13 he passed from Indiana to Ohio at Harrison. No one knew with any accuracy his direction or his intentions. Cincinnati panicked. As one citizen of Springdale stationed at the McLean Barracks reported of the urban folk, "many [were] shaking in their boots for fear they would have to shoulder the musket or that Morgan might come and sake [sic] the city." At 1 a.m. on July 14 a fast-riding courier reported to Burnside that Morgan was approaching with twenty-five hundred men and six artillery and that he seemed headed toward New Burlington or Springdale. As Morgan crossed the Miami River he literally burned his bridge behind him.

As the red flames created by the great burning timbers rose skyward, they illumined the entire valley. Before midnight the cavalry were brushing the northern outskirts of Cincinnati, all houses darkened, the night extraordinarily black and airless.

The men carried lighted flares made of paper which they had stolen on the way.
The bells in the cupola of the Springdale church rang the alarm of imminent danger. General Morgan and his fatigued but hard-riding raiders dashed down Sharon Hill into neighboring Glendale. Union forces under General Hobson were in pursuit but still twelve hours behind. Both forces needed fresh horses. Springdale farmers tried, more or less successfully, to hide their horses. C.A.B. Kemper herded his fine stock into a ravine on his property. Friends feared Morgan might have found the horses, "they being good travelers [that] would suit him well." But they underestimated the practical, quick-thinking farmer. Another farmer, Charles Leggett, lost four animals from his stable, located just outside the billage. According to Sam Hunt, narrowly escaped from "thieving marauders" belonging to Hobson's band while riding his brother's mare. All in all, Morgan brought more excitement to Springdale than it had enjoyed in many years. Nevertheless the fact that the village escaped the pillaging so many expected did nothing to diminish the complaints of its citizens. Many who had lost their horses resented having to travel to Gallipolis to reclaim them after Morgan’s capture.”

“In some places there was small settlements of neat looking houses mostly inhabited by Dutch. We had good roads to travel on. At one time we came near going to Cincinnati through mistake. We were within three miles of the city, and our advance drove the Yankee vidett into the city. We then turned back and took another road. Our object was to go around Cincinnati. We traveled all night passing through several towns that I did not learn the names of.

~ Curtis R. Burke, 14th Kentucky Calvary, Co. B[xix]

Approaching Glendale, Morgan broke his forces into small detachments before crossing the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton Railroad. During this night march, Morgan constantly tried to confuse the Union as to his movement. He sent one detachment toward Hamilton and another toward Cincinnati as he led a third into Glendale. This tactic allowed his men to scatter out and procure fresh horses.

“Last night I went to bed earlier than usual and about two o’clock in the morning while I was asleep John Morgan (but I don’t think he deserves the name John) and about three thousand of his troops passed through Glendale right by the College and about half a dozen of them went into the barn and took Mr. Drake’s horse (it was a very fine one the nicest one in the barn).”

~ excerpt from a letter written by 9 year old Katie Huntington[xx]

“General Orders No. 114
Hdqrs. Department of the Ohio
Cincinnati, Ohio, July 13, 1863

Martial law is hereby declared in the cities of Cincinnati, Covington, and Newport. All business will be suspended until further orders, and all citizens will be required to organize in accordance with the directions of the State and municipal authorities. The commanding general, convinced that no one whose services are necessary for the defense of these cities would care to leave now, places no restriction upon travel.
By command of Major-General Burnside:

Lewis Richmond,
Assistant Adjutant-General.”

The frenetic pace of the march coupled with the lack of sleep took a physical toil on the men.

“It was a terrible and 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.”

~ Brigadier-General Basil Duke[xxii]

“Many is the hour that I have set astride my bay pony fast asleep, trusting solely to his unerring instinct to follow the column and keep at the head of my company.”

~ Captain Thomas M. Combs, 5th KY Cavalry[xxiii]

“The boys got so sleepy that they would sometimes go fast to sleep riding along. About midnight Gen. Morgan halted us at a house. The Gen. wished some information. It was some time before the man of the house could be roused, and he wanted to know how on earth we ever got there. Most of us got off of our horses and laid in the fence corners and tied of held the reins while we took a nap. I laid on the hard side of some rails and took a nap, and was awakened by the fence tumbling down on me and my horse, and the next horse fighting over me. When we were ready to start half of the regiment had to be aroused from slumbers that they so much needed. A few strayed off too far in fence corners or other places and were left behind asleep. Every now and then could be heard the wish of some sleepy horseman for only a few minutes sleep. Everybody was kept in ranks.

~ Curtis R. Burke, 14th Kentucky Calvary, Co. B [xxiv]

"...When the war is o'er
And not before
Will I go home
Base cowards shrink
Fools stop to think
Till Freedom is gone"

~Lieutenant Benjamin J. Lancaster, Co. K, 8th KY Cavalry, of Lebanon, Kentucky

Garrisoned in Cincinnati, Burnside continued brace for Morgan’s arrival. Rumors of Morgan’s intent flew wildly.

“Lawrenceburg, July 13, 1863 – 5:36 p. m.

General Burnside:
Am just in. Colonel Shuler’s command of Minute-men arrived just as we left the train. Enemy at New Alsace, on Big Tanner’s Creek, feeding, 4 miles in advance, two hours before his arrival. General Hobson’s forces a few hours behind. Horses much jaded. Colonel Schryock follows in his rear. The evidence all leads to show Morgan moving on Harrison; his men worn out by serve marches. From the prisoners taken at Old Vernon I learned that he fears nothing but mounted infantry. He evidently will move toward upper waters of the Ohio, and has said that Camp Chase will furnish him some recruits.

J. H. Burkham,

“Cincinnati, July 13, 1863

Brig. Gen. John S. Mason, Columbus, Ohio:
How many prisoners have you at Camp Chase at the present time?

A. E. Burnside

Columbus, July 13, 1863 -8 p.m.
General Burnside:
We have about 900.

John S. Mason

“Lawrenceburg, July 13, 1863 – 9 p. m.

Lieutenant-Colonel Richmond, Chief of Staff:
I sent out a scout of 100 cavalry at daylight from Aurora. I have received a message from them. They report the enemy moving in the direction of Manchester. If this be true, they will cross the Whitewater at or near Harrison, and probably strike for Hamilton. Have sent out citizen scouts. Jones, clerk of the court, confirms the above.

Mahlon D. Manson
Brigadier-General, Commanding”

While the raid took its toil upon the physical and mental states of both Confederate and Union men, there was at least one being who was enjoying herself.

“Morgan’s troopers were exceedingly well mounted, having many of the best blooded horses of Kentucky, horses capable of long and rapid marches, and in justice to General Morgan and his officers, it must be said that they handled their men and horses with superb skill. It was on this raid that General Morgan established the world’s record for moving cavalry. It must be understood that there are many individual horses that can march a hundred miles in thirty-five hours, but the speed of a column of cavalry is not measured by the speed of the fastest and best horses, but by the speed of the slowest horses. Furthermore, it was General Morgan’s task to keep his two thousand horses in such condition as to be able to march one hundred miles any day or every day he might call upon them for the effort, and all with only brief periods of rest. The horses impressed by General Morgan and by General Hobson, as we traveled across the state, were not of much value, they being soft, grass-fed, big bellied animals that gave out after making only a few miles at the rapid pace set by the seasoned cavalry horses. ‘Morgan’s Men’ were not alone in having good horses; we too had good horses, hard as nails and tough as leather – horses which had been seasoned by campaigning and knew how to strike the pace of the column and keep it at an even gait day and night. In General Morgan’s command, and also in General Hobson’s, there were many horses that made the entire march from start to finish, On this march I rode a well-seasoned black mare over the entire route, and on our return trip to Kentucky, when I rode into camp at Stanford, after covering fully a thousand miles, this mare, Nellie, after recognizing her old camp, pranced in sideways, thereby saying to me, in language without words: ‘If there is any one thing I like better than another, it is these little thousand-mile excursions.’”

~ Captain Theodore F. Allen, 7th Ohio Cavalry [xxviii]


[i] “Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies,” Part I –Reports, p.738.
[ii] “Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies,” Part I –Reports, p.745.
[iii] “Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies,” Part I –Reports, p.738.
[iv] “Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies,” Part I –Reports, p.739.
[v] “Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies,” Part I –Reports, p.744.
[vi] “Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies,” Part I –Reports, p.745-46.
[vii] Basil W. Duke, “History of Morgan’s Cavalry,” 1867, page 442
[viii] The Wartime Diary of John Weatherred
[ix] Journal of Curtis R. Burke.
[x] Diary of Charles W. Durling
[xi] CWSAC Battle Summaries, NPS
[xii] “Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies,” Part I –Reports, p.741.
[xiii] “Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies,” Part I –Reports, p.743.
[xiv] “Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies,” Part I –Reports, p.741.
[xv] “Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies,” Part I –Reports, p.742.
[xvi] Allen, Theodore F. “In Pursuit of John Morgan,” Sketches of War History 1861-1865, Papers prepared for the Commandery of the Sate of Ohio, Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States 1896 -1903, p. 231
[xvii] Diary of James B. McCreary
[xviii] Comprehensive History of Springdale 1787 – 1987
[xix] Journal of Curtis R. Burke.
[xx] Letter written by Katie Huntington to her father John Caldwell Huntington of Cincinnati, Ohio. Visiting relatives near Glendale, Ohio, Katie recounts the events of July 13, 1863 when Confederate General John Hunt Morgan and his cavalry entered Ohio near the Hamilton-Butler County line.
[xxi] “Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies,” Part I –Reports, p.745.
[xxii] Duke, Basil W. “History of Morgan’s Cavalry,” 1867, page 444.
[xxiii] Letter written by Thomas M. Coombs to his wife Lou, August 14, 1863
[xxiv] Journal of Curtis R. Burke.
[xxv] “Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies,” Part I –Reports, pages 740-741.
[xxvi] “Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies,” Part I –Reports, p. 744.
[xxvii] “Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies,” Part I –Reports, p. 744.
[xxviii] Allen, Theodore F. “In Pursuit of John Morgan,” Sketches of War History 1861-1865, Papers prepared for the Commandery of the Sate of Ohio, Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States 1896 -1903, pages 231-232.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Versailles, Indiana

“Sunday, July 12
Start again. Feed horses and breakfast at Paris, marching in quick time, pass through Dupont & Recksville. Camp near Versailles.”

~ Charles W. Durling, Company G, 45th Ohio Infantry[i]

General Burnside resquested Governers Morton of Indiana, Robinson of Kentucky, Blair of Michigan, Yates of Illinois, and Tod of Ohio to agree to his request to declare martial law.

“Indianapolis, Ind., July 11, 1863 -9:45 p.m.

Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War:
I send you copy of a dispatch received from General Burnside, and my answer:

Cincinnati, July 11, 1863.

Gov. O. P. Morton:
I am decidedly of the opinion that matial law should be declare in this department, with the condition that it is not to interfere with any civil matters, either public or private, except in instances to be enumerated. It should be done in a view of move readily controlling the militia force in the department. Neither official nor private business need be interfered with. I am not willing to take this step, however, without consultation with the Governors of the different States, and therefore request your acquiescence. Please answer as soon as possible.

A. E. Burnside,

Maj. Gen. Amrose Burnside, Commanding Department of the Ohio, Cincinnati:
If I understand the purpose to be accomplished by declaring martial law in your department, I am opposed to it, as I am unable to see any good to grow out of it, but much possible harm. So far as the present invasion of Indiana is concerned, it can certainly do no good; and so far as calling out and organizing the militia, either to repel invasion or maintain order, I am statisfied it can be done by State that Federal authority. I say to you, frankly, that so far as Indiana is concerned, it would be highly inexpedient, in my judgement.

O. P. Morton,

Columbus, Ohio, July 11, 1863

[To the people of Ohio:]
The recent invasion of our sister State (Indiana) and the severe battles in Pennsylvania demonstrate the wisdon of the President’s callupon us for 30,000 six months’ volunteers. I am pained to announce to you that less than 2,000 have responded to his call. This State must not be invaded. Rally, then, fellow-citizens, and respond to this call. Your crops will be as safe in your fields as they are in your barns. The several military committees are authorized to issue recruiting commissions for their respective counties, should they deem it advisable to do so. The several railroad compainies of the State are requested to pass companies or squads of men, taking the receipt or voucher of the party in charge. All are requested to repair to the camps of rendezvous heretofore indicated, as early as Saturday night.

David Tod,

Columbus, Ohio, July 11, 1863.
(Received 8:10)

General Burnside:
Confiding as I do implicitly in your judgement as to the necessities of the service, I cheerfully assent to the proposition you make to declare martial law in this State. The people of Ohio will submit without a single murmur to every deprivation necessary to preserve our State from invasion, and all capable of bearing arms will promptly respond to any call you may make upon them.

David Tod,

Frankfort, July 11, 1863.

General Burnside:
You have my full concurrence in the measure proposed in your last dispatch.

J. F. Robinson,
Governor of Kentucky.”

Ohio Governor David Tod issued a proclamation, calling out the Ohio militia. The state of Ohio would be far more prepared in the face of the invasion that Indiana had been.

“July 12, 1863 -1 p.m.

Governor Tod, Columbus:
Will you please call for 20,000 militia, 5,000 of them to be from this city? Those from this city should be required to assemble tomorrow, the volunteers at 10 o’clock and the militia at 10:30. If you will order it, I will carry the order into effect. They should be principally from the southern part of the State.

A. E. Burnside,
Proclamation by the Governor.
[July 12,1863]

Whereas this State is in imminent danger of invasion by an armed force: Now, therefore, to prevent the same, I, David Tod, Governor of the State of Ohio, and commander –in-chief of the militia forces thereof, by virtue of the constitution and laws of said State, do hereby call into active service that portion of the milita force which has been organized into companies within the counties of Hamilton, Butler, Montgomery, Clermont, Brown, Clinton, Warren, Greene, Fayette, Ross, Monroe, Washington, Morgan, Noble, Athens, Megis, Jackson, Scioto, Adams, Vinton, Hocking, Lawrence, Pickaway, Franklin, Madison, Fairfield,Claarke, Preble, Pike, Gallia, Highland, and Perry. And I do hereby further order all such forces residing within the counties of Hamilton, Butler, Preble, and Clermount to report to Maj. Gen. A. E. Burnside, at his headquarters in the city of Cincinnati, who is hereby authorized and requested to cause said forces to be organized into battalions or regiments, and appoint all necessary officers therefor. And it is further ordered that all such forces residing in the counties of Montgomery, Warren, Clinton, clarke, Greene, Pickaway, and Fairfield report forthwith, at Camp Chase, to Brig. Gen. John S. Mason, who is hereby authorized to organize said forces into battalions or regiments, and appoint temporary officers thereof. And it is further ordered that all such forces residing in the counties of Washington, Monroe, Noble, Megis, Morgan, Prry, Hockings, and others, report to Col. William R. Putnam, at Cmp Marietta, who is who is hereby authorized to organize said forces into battalions or regiments, and appoint temporary officers thereof. And it os further ordered that all such forces residing in the counties of Scioto, Adams, Pike, Jackson, Lawerence, Gallia, and Vinton report forthwith to Col. Peter Kinney, at Camp Portsmouth, who is who is hereby authorized to organize said forces into battalions or regiments, and appoint temporary officers thereof.

Each man is requested to furnish himself with a good serviceable blanket and tin cup. They will reamin on duty, subject to the orders of their commanding officers, until further notice from headquarters.

In organizing the forces into battalions and regiments, the volunteer compainies will, as far as practicable, be organized separtely from the enrolled militia.

The commanders of companies will provide their respective commands with subsistance and transportation to the camps indicated, giving to parties furnishing the same suitable vouchers therefor.

The commanders of the several camps will report, by telegraph, to the adjutant-general of Ohio every morning the number of men in camp.

It is confidently expected that this order will be obeyed with alacrity and cheerfulness. It is issued upon the urgent solicitation of Major-General Burnside, commander-in-chief of the Department of the Ohio.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed the great seal of the State of Ohio.

David Tod,

Columbus, July 12, 1863.

General Burnside:
Your telegram received.
Have issued proclamation calling on the organized companies in the southern part of the Stare, directing those in the counties of Hamilton, Butler, Preble, and Clermont to report forthwith to you, and requesting you to organize them into regiments and appoint officers, and have directed those from the other counties to report at Camps Dennison, Chase, marietta, and Portsmouth. Expect response of from 20,000 to 25,000.

David Tod,

Meanwhile, Morgan entered Versailles, Indiana with little time to waste. Hobson’s men were only hours behind them.

“We halted in the suburbs of the town of Versailles, Ind. on Laugherty River [Laughery Creek], and a guard put ahead to keep the boys from going into town till the Gen. and staff were ready for us. The boys wanted to get into town very bad. Some wanted one thing and some another. Everyone wanted something. The stragglers flanked us on the right heavily. I could see them going into town by way of a lane on our right in a gallop. I lead my horse through a gap on the right into a deep grass lot and let him graze. I eat a snack of raw ham and bread. In half an hour we moved into town and halted a few minutes in front of a beer saloon. The women gave us all of the cold meat and bread in the house, also some cheese, crackers, and beer. We then moved on.”

~ Curtis R. Burke, 14th Kentucky Calvary, Co. B [iii]

Quite a few of the Raiders however could not be dissuaded from looting and broke into large stores on whiskey when Morgan allowed a rest period between the hours of midnight and 3:00 a. m.

“From Rexville they marched to Versailles where they were met at the new courthouse by a hurriedly summoned band of the militia and citizens. The raiders seized the guns belonging to the militia and broke them against the corner of the courthouse, which at that time was not completed. The Deputy County Treasurer, B. F. Spencer, had buried the county funds for safety from the raiders. The treasurer's office was looted and it is reported that several thousand dollars was taken by the raiders. Private citizens having funds or valuable jewelry and silverware hid them in a safe place. Many housewives hung their jewelry in the bean vines and other secret hiding places. Horses were hidden as well as possible in advance of the raiders, as they constantly seized fresh horses, leaving worn out nags, occasionally, in their stead. Housewives were ordered to prepare meals for the marauding cavalry and feed was appropriated for their animals, all available supplies were used or carried away.”

While Morgan was a lax disciplinarian and seemingly taking no heed of the pillaging and looting his men perpetrated, there was one act of robbery committed in Versailles that deeply offended his ethics.

“A group of the freebooters invaded the local Masonic Lodge and took the Lodge’s silver coin jewelry. Morgan, himself a Mason, ordered the jewels returned and punished the thievery of his own men.”[v]

Morgan, a member of Davies Lodge No. 22 Lexington, Kentucky, joined the order in 1846. His father was also a member of the Masonic order. The Masons took no sides in the Civil War as it was a “political matter.” Talk of religion and politics was prohibited within their lodges.

“July 12. We move rapidly through six of seven towns without any resistance, and tonight lie down for a little while with our bridles in our hands.”

~ Lt. Col. James B. McCreary, 11th Kentucky Cavalry CSA[vi]

“We got but little sleep riding night and day, would sleep some when we fed our horses, perhaps an hour.”

~ John Weatherred, 9th Tennessee Cavalry[vii]

Many of Morgan’s Men slept in the cemetery at St. Paul Methodist Church on the night of July 12, 1863. Nights were short, with reveille sounding at 3:00 a m and camp being broken at sunrise.

"In His Blanket on the Ground."

By Caroline H. Gervais, Charleston.

Weary, weary lies the soldier,
In his blanket on the ground
With no sweet "Good-night" to cheer him,
And no tender voice's sound,
Making music in the darkness,
Making light his toilsome hours,
Like a sunbeam in the forest,
Or a tomb wreathed o'er with flowers.

Thoughtful, hushed, he lies, and tearful,
As his memories sadly roam
To the "cozy little parlor"
And the loved ones of his home;
And his waking and his dreaming
Softly braid themselves in one,
As the twilight is the mingling
Of the starlight and the sun.

And when sleep descends upon him,
Still his thought within his dream
Is of home, and friends, and loved ones,
And his busy fancies seem
To be real, as they wander
To his mother's cherished form.
As she gently said, in parting
"Thine in sunshine and in storm:
Thine in helpless childhood's morning,
And in boyhood's joyous time,
Thou must leave me now—God watch thee
In thy manhood's ripened prime."

Or, mayhap, amid the phantoms
Teeming thick within his brain,
His dear father's locks, o'er-silvered,
Come to greet his view again;
And he hears his trembling accents,
Like a clarion ringing high,
"Since not mine are youth and strength, boy,
Thou must victor prove, or die."

Or perchance he hears a whisper
Of the faintest, faintest sigh,
Something deeper than word-spoken,
Something breathing of a tie
Near his soul as bounding heart-blood:
It is hers, that patient wife--
And again that parting seemeth
Like the taking leave of life:
And her last kiss he remembers,
And the agonizing thrill,
And the "Must you go?" and answer,
"I but know my Country's will."

Or the little children gather,
Half in wonder, round his knees;
And the faithful dog, mute, watchful,
In the mystic glass he sees;
And the voice of song, and pictures,
And the simplest homestead flowers,
Unforgotten, crowd before him
In the solemn midnight hours.

Then his thoughts in Dreamland wander
To a sister's sweet caress,
And he feels her dear lips quiver
As his own they fondly press;
And he hears her proudly saying,
(Though sad tears are in her eyes),
"Brave men fall, but live in story,
For the Hero never dies!"

Or, perhaps, his brown cheek flushes,
And his heart beats quicker now,
As he thinks of one who gave him,
Him, the loved one, love's sweet vow;
And, ah, fondly he remembers
He is still her dearest care,
Even in his star-watched slumber
That she pleads for him in prayer.

Oh, the soldier will be dreaming,
Dreaming often of us all,
(When the damp earth is his pillow,
And the snow and cold sleet fall),
Of the dear, familiar faces,
Of the cozy, curtained room,
Of the flitting of the shadows
In the twilight's pensive gloom.

Or when summer suns burn o'er him,
Bringing drought and dread disease,
And the throes of wasting fever
Come his weary frame to seize--
In the restless sleep of sickness,
Doomed, perchance, to martyr death,
Hear him whisper "Home"--sweet cadence,
With his quickened, labored breath.

Then God bless him, bless the soldier,
And God nerve him for the fight;
May He lend his arm new prowess
To do battle for the right.
Let him feel that while he's dreaming
In his fitful slumber bound,
That we're praying--God watch o'er him
In his blanket on the ground."

Union leadership continues to play a vexing game of “Blind-Man’s-Bluff” with the wily Morgan.

“July 12, 1863 -3 p.m.

General Boyle, Louisville, KY:
Has Judah arrived yet? Have the gunboats been notified that Morgan may attempt to cross above Madison? It is reported that his advance is at Versailles. Please have the battery that was sent from here loaded and ready to start as soon as you get definite orders. Have you heard anything from Hobson?

A. E. Burnside,

July 12, 1863

General Boyle, Louisville:
There are several rumors in reference to Morgan. The last is that his advance is at Versailles, but I do not credit it. I think he will try to cross above Madison. It is possible he may attempt to pass through Indiana and Ohio and go out above, but I don’t think he will.

A. E. Burnside,

Louisville, KY, July 12, 1863

Major-General Hartsuff:
General Judah has not yet arrived. Part of his command is on train coming up from Elizabethtown. He will be sent up now on transports, if not otherwise ordered, to pursue Morgan. Have not heard of Morgan since yesterday afternoon. He demanded surrender of Vernon, north of Madison. General Love refused, and said he was ready for a fight. Morgan went off south, in the direction of Madison. Four gunboats above. I have sent troops up. Colonel Sanders arrived last night at Westport, on Ohio, 20 miles above here. I sent transports to take him up so as to get near Morgan, to pursue.

J. T. Boyle,

“Vevay, July 12, 1863 – 8 p.m.

Lieutenant-Colonel Richmond, Chief of Staff:
Have received the general’s dispatch, and will move immediately to the point ordered. I have 2,500 men. Enemy last heard from at Versailles, moving in direction of Aurora and Lawrenceburg. Will be at Aurora 4 a. m. tomorrow.

Mahlon D. Manson”


[i] Diary of Charles W. Durling
[ii] “Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies,” Part I –Reports, pages 728 -729.
[iii] Journal of Curtis R. Burke.
[iv] Ripley County Historical Society
[v] Student Tour Guide, John Hunt Morgan Heritage Trail 1863
[vi] Diary of James B. McCreary
[vii] The Wartime Diary of John Weatherred
[viii] “Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies,” Part I –Reports, p.734.
[ix] “Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies,” Part I –Reports, p.733