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JOHN MORGAN'S RAID.
The Rebel General John H. Morgan left Sparta, Tenn., on the 27th of June, 1863, with detachments from two brigades of cavalry, numbering, according to Captain Cunningham, of Morgan's staff, 2,028 effective men, with four pieces of artillery—two Parrot's and two howitzers, and crossed the Cumberland near Burkesville, on the 1st and 2d of July, in canoes and boats improvised for the occasion.
He had some difficulty in making the horses swim, but finally succeeded in getting all over by ten A. M. on the 2d. Colonel Dick Morgan then proceeded on a reconnoisance in force, having been told that Colonel Hobson's cavalry were about. He was met by Colonel Jacobs, with the 9th Kentucky cavalry, and repulsed after a gallant fight, yet claiming a victory. The loss was small on both sides.
Colonel Alston, Morgan's chief of staff, says that Colonel Johnston, after much difficulty, succeeded in crossing the river, and joined Morgan, with the 2d brigade (number of men not stated,) after dark. He reported having been much harassed by the enemy, but had succeeded in driving them back.
Captain Cunningham says, after driving back Jacob's cavalry, “our column marched on through Columbia, at which point it found the advance of Wolford's celebrated Kentucky cavalry, numbering 251 men, dispersed it, killing 7 and wounding 15 men; our loss, 2 killed and 2 wounded."
The facts in the case were as follows: the force he met at Columbia was a company
of one hundred
from the 1st Kentucky and 2d and 45th Ohio, commanded by Captain Carter, of Wolford's cavalry. Headed by this gallant officer they met and held in check an entire brigade of Morgan's men, for over three hours: and not till their brave commander had fallen, mortally wounded, and several others severely wounded, and six of the others slain, and ten or twelve wounded, did they think of retiring from the conflict. Captain Fishback fought them successfully for more than hour after the fall of Captain Carter, when, finding himself nearly surrounded, he withdrew his command, skillfully and successfully, and joined his regiment at Jamestown.
Colonel Wolford, then in command at Jamestown, having ascertained that Morgan's two brigades passed through Columbia that same night, July 3d, en route for Lebanon, sent dispatches to General Carter, and as soon as possible commenced pursuit, with about 1,200 men from the 1st Kentucky and 2d, 7th, and 45th Ohio regiments. Before reaching Lebanon, he was joined by the 2d East Tennessee, increasing his force to about 1,800 men, with two sections of Law's howitzer battery.
Arriving at the stockade at Green River Bridge, on the morning of the 4th of July, says Alston, “General Morgan sent in a flag of truce, and demanded the sur render; but Colonel Moore quietly remarked, “if it was any other day he might consider the demand, but the 4th of July was a bad day to talk about surrender, and must therefore decline. The colonel is agallant man
* and entitled to the highest credit for military skill. We would mark such a man inour army for promotion.
“The place was judiciously chosen, and skillfully defended,” continues Alston, “and the result was that we were repulsed with severe loss, about 25 killed and 20 wounded. Among the killed, as usual, were our best men and officers, including Colonel Chenault, Major Brent, Captain Trible, Lieutenants Cowan, Ferguson, and another whose name I do not remember.”
“Indeed," says Captain Cunningham, “ this was the darkest day that ever shone upon our command; 11 commissioned officers were killed, and 9 wounded. After heavy slaughter upon both sides, our forces withdrew; loss, about 60 killed and wounded on each side."
Colonel Moore says, officially, "My position was strong, and his loss was over 50 killed, and over 200 wounded. I took no prisoners. My loss was 6 killed, 23 wounded, and one prisoner. The victory was complete. I fought with my fraction of a regiment of 200 men."
On Sunday morning, July 5th, General Morgan appeared before Lebanon with a force of 4,600 men, and demanded its immediate surrender, together with the troops, numbering about 325. Colonel Hanson commanding, refused to surrender, and Morgan immediately commenced the attack with his four pieces of artillery.
“ After a fight of seven hours," says Alston, “General Morgan, finding the town could not be taken in any other way, ordered a charge to be made. Colonel Hanson still held out, in hopes of receiving reinforcements, and only surrendered, after we had fired the buildings in which he was posted. By this surrender we obtained a sufficient quantity of guns to arm all our men who were without them; also, a quantity of ammunition, of which we stood sorely in need.
"At the order to charge, Duke's regiment rushed forward, and poor Tommy Morgan, who was always in the lead, fell back, almost at the first volley, pierced through the heart. This was a crushing blow to General Morgan. Our men behaved badly here, breaking open stores, and plundering indiscriminately."
Morgan's victory at Lebanon was bought at the loss of fifty-six killed, and one hundred and forty-eight wounded. Our loss was, in action, three killed and sixteen wounded; after action, two men murdered, first sergeant, Joseph Slaughter, and private Samuel Ferguson; both killed on the way to Springfield.
While Alston was paroling the prisoners, at Lebanon, he was informed that a Federal force of two regiments of cavalry and a battery of artillery were approaching; he thereupon ordered the prisoners to Springfield, as he says, “upon the double-quick,” where they arrived after dark, in a deluge of rain.
Alston, having been detained at Springfield, the next morning, two hours after the command had left, was himself made a prisoner, by our cavalry, on the Bardstown road. "My God!" says he,“ how I hated it, no one can understand. The first thought, after my wife and children, was my fine mare, ‘Fannie Johnson,' named after a pretty little cousin, of Richmond, Virginia. I said, “poor Fannie, who will treat you as kindly as I have done ?'”
The stubborn resistance Morgan met with at Columbia, Green River Bridge, and Lebanon, had retarded his march, and enabled a concentration of our forces at Lebanon, sufficient to begin the pursuit, with confident hope of success, should they overtake him. “Generals Hobson and Shakleford joined Wolford, near Springfield, and Hobson being the senior officer, took command of the whole force, increased by the 9th and 12th, and detachments of the 8th and 3d Kentucky cavalry. and one section of an Ohio battery, making Hobson's whole force nearly 8,000 men.
We were now twenty-four hours behind Morgan, and with our ammunition and ambulance train, making a column of three miles in length. As we looked along our line of jaded horses, and thought of his fresh ones, being gathered along his line of march, we could hardly be hopeful of success in the pursuit, unless General Judah should head him in front, or General Boyle at Louisville.
We pursued, however, with great energy, and, until our provisions were exhausted, we gained upon the enemy. He exhausted the supplies of the people before us; and hence the delay at Lebanon Junction, in order to get rations for a further pursuit.
This enabled him to reach the Ohio river, at Brandenburg, on the 7th of July; where, as Cunningham says, “Captain Sam Taylor, (of the old Rough and Ready family,) had succeeded in capturing two fine steamers.” With these Morgan crossed his forces over to the Indiana shore, not, however, without stout resistance from the Home Guards, with one piece of artillery.
The crossing, owing in part to this opposition, occupied them from eight o'clock, A. M., of the 8th, till seven, A. M., of the 9th; after this was effected, Morgan took the precaution to burn one of the steamers—the other was released. Our forces arriving soon after, found it necessary to send for another; and then it took until daylight the next morning to get all our forces over; thus giving the enemy again twenty-four hours advance.