xt7qnk361q1x https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7qnk361q1x/data/mets.xml Senour, F. (Faunt Le Roy), 1824-1910 1865  books b92e4671m86s318652009 English C.F. Vent & Co. : Cincinnati, Ohio Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Morgan, John Hunt, 1825-1864. Morgan s Ohio Raid, 1863 Morgan and his captors. text Morgan and his captors. 1865 2009 true xt7qnk361q1x section xt7qnk361q1x 







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The author of this volume lias long and firmly believed that " God is in history." This statement will be regarded by some persons as a mere superstition. " What a startling fact, thai men brought up amid the elevated ideas of Christianity regard as mere superstition that Div:ne intervention in human affairs which the very heathen have admitted I There is a living principle, emanating from God, in every national movement. God is ever present on that vast theater where men meet and struggle." Because the author firmly believes this, he has undertaken to write this history, and thereby preserve .a record of a part of God's wonderful providence in this cruel war. We may not now be able to trace the hand of God in all or any of the events herein recorded, but, by preserving them, future generations may do so, and see clearly that which is now, at best, but imperfectly understood. The great actors on the stage of life have been but imperfectly understood by those around them; and, in many instances, the actors themselves have been profoundly ignorant of the grand results that God was weaving out of their lives and deeds.   How many of the



living witnesses of the career of Washington, Marion, Cromwell, or Zwingle, had any just conceptions of the result of their acts? Did they themselves see clearly the hand of God in their lives? Much, very much, that was dark then is now clear, because a faithful record of their deeds was made. This is a high motive for writing a faithful and true history.

Another worthy motive in writing a history is the hope of thereby instructing and warning the present and future generations of men. What would be the condition of this generation and nation but for the lessons of the history of the past? History has taught us to love our free institutions, and defend them to the last. The history of this rebellion may teach our posterity to love these heaven-born blessings even more than we do. It may warn them to avoid the evils that have been tolerated almost at the great cost of our national life.

These motives, together with the fact that much of the material out of which this book has been formed seemed, providentially, to fall into his hands, have induced the author to give it to the public. And no one can be more sensible than .himself that he has not polished or dressed handsomely these materials. Having formed his plan, he put the material he had into it, polished or unpolished. It is for the reader to judge of the architectural qualities of the work.

More prominence has been given to the great secession conspiracy in Kentucky than may seem justifiable in writing a book entitled "Morgan and his Captors."   But it seemed 


necessary to say what he has, in order to understand fully the character of Morgan and other prominent secessionists of that state. And, furthermore, less could not have been said without doing great injustice to that noble and loyal band of patriots in Kentucky who did and suffered so much for their country. For this part of the work, the author is largely indebted to several published articles from the pen of that sterling patriot, Rev. R. J. Breckinridge, D. D.

The author has freely used whatever material he has found in other publications, which seemed to him to contribute to the interest and truthfulness of this history. And here he would make an especial acknowledgment of numerous letters from, various sources, which have been of great assistance in preparing this work. .-.^

The author has tfKlored to write a true and impartial history, without reference to political parties, and without any design of political effect other than that which the truth may produce. If he has failed in this, it is because he has been misled.

Tacitus assures us that History is listened to with more favor when she slanders and disparages. " Obtrectatio et livor profits auribus accipiuntur!' The author has not had the culpable ambition of pleasing at the expense of truth.

The reader may desire to know why the sketches of other persons who aided in the captare of Morgan are not in this work. It would have given the author great satisfaction to have given sketches of General Judah, Colonels Crittenden, Wolford, Major Fishback, and other officers and privates who 


did their duty nobly in the pursuit of Morgan; but that would have made the work much larger than the author designed it to be. He, therefore, concluded to give sketches of such officers only as will be necessary to give to the reader a clear and full understanding of the pursuit and capture of Morgan. 

CHAPTER 1............................................................ 11

Morgan and the great secession conspiracy in Kentucky   Great excitement in Lexington, Ky.   Kentucky the mother of patriots and traitors   The Breckinridge party   Governor Magoffin   The veto power exercised   The Legislature of Kentucky    The Knights of the Golden Circle   The State Guard   The private meeting of secession leaders   Kev. Dr. Breckinridge    Magoffin's letter to the President   The President's reply    Camp Dick Robinson and General Nelson   Camp Joe Holt and Colonels Rousseau and Pope   Home Guards   The arming of Camp Dick Robinson   Morgan's Rifle Company   The overthrow of the conspiracy.

CHAPTER II........................................................... 46

Morgan's nativity   Personal appearance and character   Defeats an enemy and makes a capture without the use of sword or saber   His marriage   Brief account of battles, raids, skirmishes, etc., in Kentucky   Design of his raids   Incidents   A sympathizing parson.

CHAPTER III......................................................... 91

Morgan in Tennessee   His military character   At Edgefield    Capture of a Federal brigade   Narrow escape of Morgan   Capture of a Brigadier-General   Morgan's first thorough defeat    Incidents.

CHAPTER IV........................................................108

Morgan's great raid through Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio   The line of his march   At Burkesville   Fights at Columbia and Green River Bridge   A female soldier   Fight and surrender at Lebanon   Morgan inarches to Brandenburg   A warlike event



at this place before the present war   The capture of two

steamers_Efforts to prevent the rebels from crossing the river

_jjj3 march from the river to Corydon, Hid.   The battle and

capture of Corydon   Incidents of the capture.

CHAPTER V..........................................................131

Great excitement in Indiana   Morgan in Indiana   The design of the invasion   The march from Corydon to Salem   Capture of Salem and destruction of the railroad   Interesting incidents   His march through the counties of Washington, Scott, Jefferson, Jennings, Ripley, and Dearborn   Military blunder    Great excitement and panic in Northern Illinois.

CHAPTER VI.......................................................150

The proclamation of Governor Tod   Morgan in Ohio   Patriotism of the people   The state militia   An incident related by Morgan   Morgan at Harrison   Destroys a railroad   At East Sycamore   At Camp Dennison   At Buffington Island   Incidents.

CHAPTER VII........................................................178

The pursuit and capture of Morgan   His imprisonment and escape.

CHAPTER VIII............................................'..........219

Brigadier-General Hobson   His nativity   Self-made man   His visit to the South   Works at his trade   Becomes a merchant       A soldier in the Mexican war   At the battle of Buena Vista    Returns home and resumes business   A Union man   His life threatened   Raises a regiment for the United States service    Attempt by the rebels to capture his force and rob the bank    A second attempt to capture Hobson   A hazardous undertaking   The regiment moves with General Buell's army   Hobson at Corinth   At Mount Washington   In Tennessee   At Green River Bridge   Defeats Morgan   Various expeditions    General Hobson ordered to Lexington   Narrow escape   Resists the entrance of Morgan into Kentucky   Vigorous pursuit of Morgan through Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio   Battle of Buffi ngton. 


CHAPTER IX........................................................250

Brigadier-General Shackelford   His nativity   In the Mexican war   His profession and marriage   His perils in raising a regiment in Kentucky   At Fort Donclson   He leads a charge    His wound   Made a Brigadier-General   His pursuit of Morgan through Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio   The battle at Bashan Church, Ohio   Assumes command of the expedition    The pursuit until Morgan is captured   Shackelford in East Tennessee   At the siege of Knoxville and in other engagements.

CHAPTER X..........................................................271

Colonel R. T. Jacob, of the Ninth Kentucky Cavalry and Lieutenants Governor of Kentucky   A heroine and daughter of Benton     The birth of Colonel Jacob   His early character   Perilous journey to California   Colonel Jacob and General Fremont in California   Return to the states   Marriage-   111 health   In Missouri   Unites with the Presbyterian Church   A ruling elder   His character   Elected a member of the Legislature    Deserts the Breckinridge party   On the Committee on Federal Relations   Speeches   Reelected to the Legislature in 18G1    He is strongly in favor of the Union   Enters the military service   At Richmond   Fight at Clay Village   A most exciting fight at Lawrenccburg   Colouel Jacob wounded   Exciting scene on his return to his regiment   Engagement on 10th of March, 18G3, with Morgan's advance   His pursuit of Morgan through Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio   Election as Lieutenant-Governor of Kentucky   His speeches.

CHAPTER XI........................................................333

Major G. W. Rue, the captor of Morgan   His report to Colonel Lewis Richmond   Particulars of the capture   Interview between Morgan and Rue   Interview between Morgan, Shackelford, and Wolford    -A good Providence   Major Rue's nativity    His education and military character   Rue in Mexico   Rue a Christian. 


CHAPTER XII.................................-.......................343

Morgan's late raid into Kentucky, in June, 1864   Enters the state at Pound Gap   Capture of Mount Sterling   Uprising of guerrillas and Knights of the Golden Circle   Their depredations at various places   Governor Bramlette and the siege of Frankfort   General Burbridge defeats Morgan at Mount Sterling    Morgan at Lexington   Marches toward Frankfort, but suddenly changes his course   At Cynthiana defeats and captures the Union forces   Is defeated by Burbridge the day following    Dispatches of General Burbridge to the President and Secretary of War   Distinguished regiments   Detail statements    Incidents.

CHAPTER XIII...................................................... 381

Prophetical speech of Stephens, Vice-President of the Rebel Government   The death of Morgan   Killed by Andrew G. Campbell, an East Tennesseean   Rebel account of his surprise, death, and obsequies   Concluding remarks. 


N a fair day, in the month of August, 1861, the

v_/ inhabitants of the beautiful city of Lexington, Kentucky, were startled by the sound of a war-bugle in their streets. People thronged the principal avenues, and a thousand cheeks were blanched, as if a thunderbolt had fallen from the clear sky above their eads. There was fear that scenes of carnage and blood would be witnessed that day. Men, women, and children hurried to and fro, and excitedly inquired of one another what that bugle-sound meant. Scarcely had the last wild and warlike notes died away until a bell was heard ringing at the railroad



depot, which only increased the anxiety and excitement of the people. That bugle-blast called together one or two hundred armed secessionists, who expected at once to perpetrate deeds of violence and bloodshed. Captain John H. Morgan was their leader. This was the first appearance of the present famous guerrilla chieftain in the great conflict that is     now shaking our country to its center. That appearance and demonstration were the signal for a general outbreak of a great conspiracy to take possession of Kentucky by fire and sword, and hand over the glorious old commonwealth, bound hand and foot, to the mercies of the Southern Confederacy. What the ringing of the bell at the depot meant, why no blood was shed ou that day, and how Morgan and his followers and allies were foiled in what they were on the very eve of commencing, will appear in the sequel of. this chapter.

Esau and Jacob sprang from the same womb, yet they were characters widely different. The one was the friend of God, the other the enemy; the one was a true friend of his race, the hand of the other was against every man. Kentucky gave birth to Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis, to General Hobson and 


John Morgan. She is the mother of many of the most sterling patriots and many of the most wicked traitors. No one will think of attaching blame to Rebekah for - iving birth to children so widely different in character. No person will think for a moment of blaming Kentucky because John Morgan and a host of traitors ere born on her soil. Remember that, while she has roduced traitors, she has also produced a host of patriots, who have done much, endured much, and suffered much for the cause of their country. It is a matter of great wonderment to every one who was acquainted with the real state of affairs in Kentucky during the early stages of the rebellion, that the state, with all its military resources, did not fall into the hands of the rebel authorities at the very commencement of the great rebellion, or soon thereafter. Pier own patriotic children did much to save her from the hands of traitors.

Whoever will consider the number, the influence, and machinations of the real enemies, but, in some instances, protended friends of Kentucky, with an unprejudiced mind, will not fail to admit that the remarks we have made are true and just. 

From the commencement of the secession movement in the Southern states, the Breckinridge wing of the Democratic party, with a few honorable exceptions, were thorough secessionists, and made every effort in their power to carry Kentucky out of the Union, and link her destiny with that of the Southern Confederacy. The leading members of that party, whose influence at that time was very great in the state, were untiring in their efforts to accomplish this result. The most important offices of the state were filled by men of that party. Governor Magoffin was a leader of the party, and there was some ground for the suspicion that he was a secessionist. "Whoever will remember his curt and unpatriotic reply to President Lincoln, when, in the month of April, 1861, Kentucky was called on to furnish two regiments of volunteers to aid in protecting the Capital of our country, will have a tolerably well-founded suspicion that his heart was with the enemies of the government. "Your dispatch," said the Governor, "is received. In answer, I say, emphatically, Kentucky will furnish no troops for the wicked purpose of subduing her sister Southern states." 


Whoever will call to mind the fact that, when the jegislature of Kentucky had passed a resolution directing the Governor of the state to issue a proclama--tion ordering the Confederate troops to evacuate the soil of Kentucky, that he vetoed the resolution, will lave his suspicions strengthened that the Governor threw his influence on the side of armed traitors. Then, if we will remember that the Governor also vetoed the resolution passed by the Legislature, inviting that heroic Christian gentleman, Major (now General) Robert Anderson, the commander of Fort Sumter when it was captured, to take command of the forces of the state, will have his suspicions confirmed. Then, if we will remember, in addition to all this, the letter of the Governor to the President of the United States, in which he- urged the removal fro$i the limits of the state the small loyal volunteer org; inization encamped at Camp Dick Robinson, and more - ispecially if we will remember the part taken by him /in the famous Scott County meeting on Sunday, the 17th of August, 1861, (of which meeting more will be said hereafter), we shall hardly have a doubt left that he Avas casting the weight of his official position and personal influence in 

favor" of the secession conspiracy. "What we have thus written concerning Governor Magoffin has not been done for any political effect, or through any personal prejudice, but simply because he was a representative man in the times of which we are writing, and for the especial purpose of making good our statement that the Breckinridge wing of the Democratic party in Kentucky were thorough secessionists, with a few honorable exceptions.

The Legislature of the state was also chiefly under the influence of the secession party up to August, 1861, when the loyal people of the state elected a new and thoroughly loyal Legislature. Not to call attention to other acts of the Legislature which held office from August, 1859, to August, 1861, we need only call attention to the fact that that body, on the 22d of January, 1861, passed a resolution, "that, in view of the tenders of men and money by several of the Northern states to the General Government, the people of Kentucky, uniting with their brethren of the South, will resist the invasion of the soil of the South, at all hazards, and to the last extremity." We say that this resolution is sufficient to stamp the character 


of that Legislature as a secession body, working in the interests of that great movement winch had for its end the overthrow of this great and good government. In what we have said of the Legislative body that was in office from August, 1859, to August, 1861, we do not mean to convey the idea that all the members of that body were secessionists, for the contrary of all this is true. There was a loyal minority in that body, who exerted a strong conservative influence, and who, unquestionably, hindered the disloyalists of the Legislature from going to greater extremes of opposition to the General Government than they did, as the reader will see by turning to the sketch of the life of Colonel R. T. Jacob, in another part of this work.

What has thus been stated conveys a fair idea of the condition of'affairs in Kentucky during the early stages of the great rebellion. Both the Executive and Legislative authorities of the state were under the influence, and, to a very considerable extent, the control of the powerful secession party of which we havo already spoken. It was the purpose of this party to take the state out of the Union.   They used the 


greatest assiduity to accomplish this result. Whatever means had been used successfully in the seceded states they tried in Kentucky. And when these failed, they   that is, the leaders and thousands of the more humble members of the party   attempted to drive Kentucky out of the Union at the point of the sword. It is a wonder they did not succeed. The secessionists and traitors of the state never had a doubt of the success of their efforts. Even Union men trembled for the fate of the state, and, at times, their hearts failed them. But the hand of God, dimly seen by many of the Union men, and altogether unseen by traitors, was in the midst of the people, working out great and glorious results.


There was another element of opposition to the Union cause in Kentucky that was powerful and dangerous. "A secret* political and military organization, called the Knights of the Golden Circle, had been widely introduced into the state, by means of a

* See "Danville Review" for March, 18G2. 


great number of castles, as its lodges were called, organized anions; the secessionists of the state. We

DO \

have no means of determining with certainty what number of initiated members these castles unitedly contained; for, indeed, the practice of secrecy and the use of numerous grades of membership, together with a complicated jargon, made doubly unintelligible by hieroglyphics and pantomime, enabled a select central organization to monopolize at once all knowledge of its force and'all power to use it. It was one of those monsters, sprung from the fermenting dregs of revolutions, whose vile life is nourished only by filth and blood. The paternity of the order was ostentatiously claimed by a person called Bickley, who assumed the title of its General in certain mysterious advertisements, and in occasional treasonable proclamations. The avowed objects of the order were various. Sometimes it was to protect the Spanish states on the southern portion of this continent; sometimes to protect the institution of slavery in our own Southern states; in Ohio, its secret pretext was the restoration of the Democratic party to power; while in Kentucky

its repeatedly avowed design was to aid, by arms, in 2 

the separation of the state from the Federal Union, and the annexation of it to a Southern Confederacy. Its modes of proceedings, its hieroglyphics, and its horrible oaths were disclosed in Kentucky, and made public through the press; while, in several other states, the same result was partially obtained in certain judicial investigations.   In short, it was a standing conspiracy against the peace of society and the safety of individuals, existing in the double form of a menace to all virtue, public and private, and of a refuge for desperadoes and ruffians.   Its mere existence proved that society was fatally disordered; while its wide dissemination through the nation, and especially throughout the Southern states, of which its General openly boasted through the press, uncontradicted, was an infallible premonition either of dissolution or the sword.   There was a sort of a standing advertisement by this General Bickley, that he had at-his bidding an army of Kentucky Knights of the Golden Circle, armed, equipped, always increasing, always ready for battle, and never rated by him at less than eight thousand, with which, when the word was given by those with whom he cooperated, lie 


would immediately plant his flag on the Capitol. It is manifest that such a force, on a sudden emergency, could not have been cut to pieces, as matters then stood, without costing Kentucky an infinite price in the lives of her noblest citizens; and that it could not have been resisted at all by a force hastily collected and imperfectly organized, unless that force was composed of dauntless men, accustomed to the use of arms. After all that has occurred since, it is not boasting to say that, nevertheless, General Bickley and his Knights would have been cut to pieces, if he had ever got the word he was waiting for. The most surprising part to posterity of the whole affair will, perhaps, be, that not the slightest movement was made, either by the civil or military authorities of the party then in power, from the Governor of the state down, to call this traitor and his band to account, or to protect the loyal people of the state against them, unless, indeed, the heroic indifference with which that loyal population contemplated both the proceedings of Bickley and his Knights and the connivance of the Governor should appear more surprising." 



The secessionists of Kentucky were confident, as we have already stated, that they would succeed in taking the state out of the Federal Union. If every other effort should fail, they supposed that they had under their control a military force that would not fail to accomplish their purpose by the sword. " An act was passed by the Legislature creating a volunteer force, called the ' State Guard,' which was directed to be immediately raised, organized, armed, equipped, and drilled, chiefly at the expense of the state ; and, in direct violation of the Constitution and every mili-tai-y system on earth, and in total disregard of all propriety, and even common sense, under the circumstances that existed, a staff officer of Governor Magoffin, himself a person not even belonging to the line of the army about to be raised, was created commander-in-chief in the body of the law itself. This person proved to be General S. B. Buckner, who was in command of the Confederate army at Fort Donel-son, and was made a prisoner there along with the rebel force under his command. It might as well be added that Colonel Roger Hanson, who was captured 


at the same time along with the bulk of his regiment, had been one of the colonels of General Buckner's State Guard; that General Tilghman, who was captured a few days before, while in command of Fcrt Henry, was another of his colonels ; and that a large portion of the whole body has perished, or been captured, in the service of the Confederate states. It consisted of about five thousand of fine troops, and would have risen to five times that number, if a little more time could have been gained, or the thoroughly disloyal character of the. force had been somewhat more carefully concealed from the public. When the secession conspiracy in Kentucky prematurely broke down, this body of troops was transferred, almost entire, to the Confederate forces operating against the state. It is perfectly well known that the law creating this force was passed almost in the very moment of the adjournment of the first session of the Legislature of 1859-61, by a mere trick of a handful of traitors, when not members enough of both houses were present at the midnight outrage to have constituted a'legal quorum of either of them. The sum of what we have been saying, in its military aspect, 
   24 MOKttkif AND HIS CAPTORS. .

is this : Theve was a secret armed force of eight thou-sand trait' rs in Kentucky, and under General Bick-ley, called Knights of the Golden Circle; there -were five thousand well-appointed state troops, called the State Guard, commanded by General Buckner, an officer of the staff of the Governor; there was a body of secessionists, whose number we have no means of ascertaining with certainty, nor the precise nature or extent of their organization, amounting to twenty thousand men or upward, privately ai-med, in part with state arms and in part with arms furnished to them from the rebel states, the whole body capable of immediate service as neighborhood squads, and of being rapidly gathered in companies and regiments. Immediately after the defeat of-the Federal army at Manassas, in July, 1861, the most excitable and organized of this particular force commenced leaving Kentucky to join the Confederate army, thus disclosing its previous condition. So that, at the period of darkness and peril now spoken of, there was a military force of between thirty and forty thousand armed secessionists in Kentucky in readiness to attempt there what they and we knew had been accomplished 


   without difficulty, by similar but far' inferior means in so many other states."


The election held during the first week of August, 1861, demonstrated, beyond all question, that a large majority of the people of Kentucky were opposed to secession, and in favor of the Union. The secessionists had no other alternative but an abandonment of their purposes or an apjjeal to arms. But their plans were not quite perfected; hence the private meeting of the principal secessionists of the state to mature plans for the subjugation of Union people and the transfer of the state to the Confederacy, of which we are about to speak.

The public is indebted for whatever knowledge it has of this private meeting of secession leaders to the Rev. R. J. Breckinridge, D. D., the uncle of the rebel General John C. Breckinridge, late Vice-President of the United States. The loyal people, too, of Kentucky owe to him a debt of gratitude for the influence he exerted in saving them from scenes of carnage and blood, and in saving the state, at least for the time 

being, from the hands of secessionists that were already outstretched to seize the great prize.

We give the account of this private and traitorous meeting in the words of him who was in some way, we know not precisely how, made acquainted with its character and design just in the "nick of time," so that measures were promptly set on foot which baffled its designs, and finally overthrew the secession conspiracy in Kentucky.

" On Sunday, the 17th day of August, 1861, a considerable number of the leading secessionists of Central Kentucky, embracing the principal persons of that interest, met, in the county of Scott, at the house of a wealthy gentleman, residing in a very accessible but not very public place. It may remove some mystery concerning the sources of our knowledge of matters it was not intended Ave should know, to say that this decisive meeting took place in the immediate neighborhood of the homestead of the writer of these lines; and we had as Avell say at once that we do not feel called on to make public, in this manner, either names or acts connected with this meeting, except so far as 

may be required by the duty we have before us. Whether the urgency of the occasion obliged the distinguished persons who composed the meeting to overcome their reluctance to use the Sabbath day for such a purpose, or whether the impressions of their pious education and lives gave way to the necessity of escaping public observation, there is, perhaps, no great need of inquiring. Of course, Major (now General) Breckinridge was at the meeting, since its very design was to discuss and settle the policy of the party, and to determine its general course and immediate action under the great foregone facts which had already given a color to its destiny, namely, first, its complete overthrow, two weeks before, at the general election, and, secondly, its adhesion to the general conspiracy which had determined on the conquest of the border slave states by arms when all hope of obtaining them by other means was lost. It is singularly characteristic that, as soon as tins party had fully determined that there should be no more peace in any of those border states, except on conditions which were utterly preposterous, it assumed throughout those states, and, to a

certain extent, throughout the loyal states, the name 3 

of the Peace Party! One would think that a state-rights party would be dumb under such proofs of tho sentiments of the state as this party had. One would think a Democratic party would promptly acquiesce in the public will so clearly and repeatedly declared. One would know very little of 'the great heart' of treason and rebellion who would have such idle thought