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Thread: Morgan's Raid

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    Morgan's Raid

    Although most of my adult life has been lived in North Carolina and Virginia, I grew up near North Vernon in Jennings County, Indiana. One of the important incursions of Confederate forces into Northern territory occured in June-July 1863 and was led by Gen. John Hunt Morgan. This is better know as "Morgan's Raid," which went through Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio. The Indiana portion of the raid included the southern part of Jennings County. In fact, Morgan actually came to Vernon (the Jennings County seat) where he encountered 500 Union troops.

    Here are some online references about the raid:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morgan%27s_Raid

    http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/H...organsRaid.htm

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    Re: Morgan's Raid

    Having roots in Southern Indiana I have heard of Morgan's Raiders. There was a movie called "Friendly Persuasion" with Gary Cooper that dealt with the Morgan raid.

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    Re: Morgan's Raid

    "Morgan's Men"
    A Narrative of Personal Experiences:


    Comrades, Ladies and Gentlemen:
    I was asked by Col. Milton, our commander, to give a "talk" to our Camp this evening. I see, though, in his notices which he sent out - I received one - and in the newspapers, he has dignified what I am to say to you as an "address." I will leave it to you, after I get through, whether it is one or the other, or both.
    I regret that I have not had an opportunity to prepare much that would be worth while to my Comrades who are here to-night, but will deal with some of my own experiences during the Civil War and give you a narrative of them. This I will undertake to do, with the hope my account may prove somewhat interesting to you. I can only vouch for the truthfulness of what I shall detail from my own personal knowledge.
    There is no tie of friendship so strong and lasting as that wrought by a common service among soldiers engaged in a common cause. Time and distance are powerless to sever such a tie or to erase from memory the vivid recollections of dangers encountered and hardships endured.
    On a September night nearly fifty-eight years ago, John H. Morgan led forth from the City of Lexington his little squadron of faithful followers, who formed the nucleus of that gallant command which afterward, under his matchless leadership, executed so many brilliant military achievements and won for him and themselves imperishable renown. Gen. Morgan's bold, original, and skillful methods of warfare attracted the admiration of thousands of young men in Kentucky, and even other States, who enthusiastically gathered under his banner.

    THE CHRISTMAS RAID INTO KENTUCKY.
    On our celebrated raid into Kentucky during the Christmas holidays of 1862 we captured at Muldraugh's Hill an Indiana regiment of about eight hundred men, who were recruited principally in Putnam County, many of whom were my old friends and acquaintances. I saw and conversed with a number of them while prisoners in our charge, and had my fellow-soldiers show them as much kindness as possible under the circumstances. This regiment had only a few months before been taken prisoners at Big Hill, Ky., and after being exchanged were armed with new Enfield rifles, all of which fell into our boys' hands and took the place of arms much inferior. That was my first acquaintance with the Louisville & Nashville Railroad. We burned all the trestles on Muldraugh's Hill, and thus cut the connections of the Federal army in Tennessee.

    THE INDIANA AND OHIO RAID.
    There are doubtless some here to-night who were on Morgan's remarkable raid into Indiana and Ohio, nearly fifty-six years ago. The first brigade crossed the Cumberland River at Burksville, Ky., July 2, 1863, when it was out of its banks, floating driftwood, and fully a quarter of a mile wide. The crossing of our twenty-four hundred men and horses was effected by unsaddling and driving the horses into the swollen stream, twenty or thirty at a time, and letting them swim to the opposite bank, where they were caught and hitched, while the men went over in two flat-boats and a couple of indifferent canoes. I shall never forget the perilous position I was in on that occasion. There were twelve of us, who crossed over between sundown and dark, with our twelve saddles in one canoe. The surging waters came lapping up to within three inches of the edges of the canoe, and on the upper side once in a while they splashed in. The two men at the oars were inexperienced, and made frequent mistakes during the passage, but finally landed us safely on this side. I breathed much freer when I got out.
    On this raid, after the disastrous attack of July 4, upon the stockade at Green River bridge, where we lost so many brave officers and men, we, the next day, drove Col. Charles Hanson's infantry regiment, the 20th Kentucky, into the brick depot at Lebanon, Ky. Our troops surrounded the building, but were greatly exposed to the enemy's fire, and suffered under the heat of a broiling sun for four hours. Some of our men concealed themselves by lying down in or behind the tents just vacated by the Federal troops. When the order was given by Gen. Morgan to charge the enemy, I witnessed an admirable exhibition of courage on the part of Col. D. Howard Smith. He mounted his horse and led the assault himself, calling on us to follow him, in plain view of the enemy and under a terrific fire from the depot, not exceeding a hundred yards from our advancing columns. On the other side of the building, in the charge of the Second Kentucky, just before the surrender, Lieut. Thomas Morgan, a younger brother of Gen. Morgan was killed - shot through the heart. He was idolized by his regiment, and many of his comrades, infuriated by his death, in the excitement of the moment, would have shown no quarter to the Federal soldiers had it not been for the noble and magnanimous conduct of Gen. Morgan himself. Although stricken with grief over the lifeless body of his favorite brother, and with his eyes filled with tears, I saw him rush to the front inside the depot, and with drawn pistol in hand he stood between Col. Hanson's men and his own, and declared he would shoot down the first one of his own men who molested a prisoner. And here I may venture the assertion that no officer in either army, as far as my knowledge extends, was kinder to prisoners or more considerate of their rights than Gen. Morgan.
    When our command crossed the Ohio River at Brandenburg, in two steamboats we had captured, I experienced some peculiar sensations as I set foot on Indiana soil and realized that I was engaged in a hostile invasion of my adopted State. I soon got over this feeling, however, and regarded our march into the enemy's country as one of the exigencies of war and entirely justifiable. I was in the advance guard under Capt. Thomas H. Hines (afterward one of the judges of the Court of Appeals of Kentucky) through Indiana and Ohio, and was captured at Buffington Island. I rode down eight horses on that raid, and although this number was perhaps above the average to the man, there were doubtless fifteen thousand horses ridden at different times by Morgan's Men on the Indiana and Ohio raid.
    About seven hundred of our command under Col. Richard Morgan, surrendered at Buffington Island, and we were started down the river on a boat next day in charge of some Ohio troops (the 12th Ohio Infantry, as I recall), who treated us with great courtesy. Gen. Morgan and the troops (except four hundred of them under Col. Adam R. Johnson who crossed the Ohio River at Buffington Island and thus escaped) were not captured until a week later.
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    Re: Morgan's Raid

    Quote Originally Posted by Madoc View Post
    Having roots in Southern Indiana I have heard of Morgan's Raiders. There was a movie called "Friendly Persuasion" with Gary Cooper that dealt with the Morgan raid.
    Yes, you are quite correct. The movie was based on a 1945 novel (about a Quaker family-the Birdwells) of the same name by Jessamyn West. As an additional note, the novel (and movie) take place near Vernon, IN. As I remember the book, the Civil War stuff was only in one or just a few chapters and had to do with one of the Birdwells getting caught up in the War, much to his family's chagrin. The novel is actually more of a collection of short stories taking place in the years before, during, and after the War.

    I think that the movie came out sometime in the 1950s.

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    Re: Morgan's Raid

    Morgan's Raiders raised hell very close to where I live. A skirmish or two happened just up the road. I shouldn't go into much more detail.
    -Hyge sceal ðe heardre, heorte ðe cénre, mód sceal ðe máre, þý úre mægen lytlaþ. -The Battle of Maldon
    -I love the great despisers, because they are the great adorers, and arrows of longing for the other shore. -Thus Spake Zarathustra

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