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report of capt. john h. morgan, kentucky cavalry
O.R.'s:  Series 1, Volume 10, Number 2

Murfreesborough, Tenn.,
March 10, 1862.


With a view of determining the enemy's position and his movements Lieutenant-Colonel Wood, myself, 10 Rangers, and 15 of my squadron left here on the 7th instant at 2 p.m. and proceeded in the direction of Nashville; marching 18 miles, and avoiding the pike, we encamped for the night.

Early on the morning of the 8th, having procured suitable guides, we resumed our march and entered the Federal lines.  At about half a mile from a cavalry camp, which we were compelled to pass in full view, we captured 5 men belonging to the Thirteenth Ohio.  Colonel Smith, their arms, Enfield rifles, were also secured.  Passing the cavalry camp we continued our march in the direction of Nashville.  Having obtained a suitable position in the woods opposite the Lunatic Asylum, where we had a good view of the pike, operations commenced.  Seeing a train with its guard approaching, Colonel Wood, myself, and 4 men, wearing United States overcoats, rode down to the pike, stopped the train, and made 23 prisoners.  The horses and mules were cut from the wagons and the prisoners mounted and sent back to the party in the woods.  This continued until we had accumulated  98 prisoners, among them General Dumont's aide and several other officers.  Returning in three parties with the prisoners, one party consisting of 60 prisoners and 10 guards, commanded by one of my lieutenants (Owens), was attacked and pursued by the Fourth Regiment Ohio Cavalry.  After a pursuit of 15 miles, during which the prisoners were abandoned, the lieutenant succeeded in reaching the river with his party, and  plunging in from a steep bank, swam across, the river arresting the progress of the enemy.  During the pursuit,  many shots were fired by the enemy but without effect.  Two of the prisoners who resisted (officers) were shot.  Four of the lieutenant's men, who were in danger of being overtaken, turned off in the woods and as yet have not made their appearance.

Colonel Wood, with 14 men and 28 prisoners, succeeded in crossing the country and reaching our pickets near Murfreesborough the same night, having passed within a mile of the enemy's cavalry.

Returning alone in the direction of Murfreesborough I encountered a picket of 6 men who surrendered to me on being summoned, and delivered up their arms.  Being joined by a man of my command (Mr. Spalding), with 4 additional prisoners, the next morning we joined Colonel Wood's party and returned to Murfreesborough.   We have 38 prisoners who have been sent forward.

We have a large number of horses and mules, sabers, pistols, saddles, harness, &c., which I shall distribute to the men of my command here who need them.

There are no indications of an advance on the part of the enemy.  Their force is about 65,000. Their advance (a regiment of cavalry) is about 8 miles this side of Nashville on the Murfreesborough pike.  A sergeant among the prisoners, who seems to be an intelligent man, can give you some interesting details.  

I shall report to you in person on Tuesday.  Colonel Wood desires me to say he will return this evening or tomorrow.

Captain, Commanding Post

Major-General HARDEE,
Commanding First Division, Shelbyville, Tenn.


March 15, 1862.

Respectfully forwarded.  The within gives accounts of another gallant act performed by this valuable officer.  The Government ought at once to make some recognition of his services.  I respectfully, but urgently, recommend that he be appointed a colonel in the Confederate service.




I come to liberate you from the despotism of a tyrannical faction and to rescue my native State from the hand of your oppressors.  Everywhere the cowardly foe has fled from my avenging arms.  My brave army is stigmatized as a band of guerillas and marauders.  Believe it or not, I point with pride to their deeds as a refutation to this foul aspersion.  We come not to molest peaceful individuals or to destroy private property, but guarantee absolute protection to all who are not in arms against us.  We ask only to meet the hireling legions of Lincoln. 

The eyes of your brethren of the South are upon you.  Your gallant fellow citizens are flocking to our standard.  Our armies are rapidly advancing to your protection.  Then, greet them with the willing hands of fifty thousand of Kentucky’s brave.  Their advance is already with you. 

Strike for the Green Graves of Your Sires!  

Strike for Your Altars and Your Fires!  

God, and Your Native Land.

                                                                                                                                                J. H. Morgan
Georgetown, Ky.  
July 15, 1862



Soldiers:   Your gallant bearing during the last two days will not only be inscribed in the history of the country and the annals of this war, but is engraved deeply in my heart.  Your zeal and devotion, your heroism during the two hard fights yesterday, have placed you high on the list of those patriots who are now in arms for our Southern rights.  

All communications cut off between Gallatin and Nashville, a body of three hundred infantry totally cut up or taken prisoners, the liberation of those kind friends arrested by our revengeful foes . . . would have been laurels sufficient for your brows; but, soldiers, the utter annihilation of General Johnson’s brigade raises your reputation as soldiers and strikes fear into the craven hearts of your enemies.   

Officers and men, your conduct makes me proud to command you.  Fight always as you fought yesterday and you are invincible. 

J. H. Morgan   
Hartsville, Tn.
August 22, 1862 


Illustration - Vidette.gif (68058 bytes)Printed in The Vidette, and read by COL Morgan to the assembled regiment following the defeat of a superior enemy force, consisting of the best cavalry companies from the 2nd Indiana, 4th and 5th Kentucky (U.S.), and the 7th Pennsylvania, under the command of BRIG-GEN Richard W. Johnson.

 For a larger view, click on the thumbnail image.





To the people of Estill and adjoining counties.

Illustration_-_Proclamation.jpg (73737 bytes)The Gen. Commanding takes this means of informing the people that he has not come among them to disturb them in the enjoyment of their rights, either of person or property.  The Home Guards are required to come in at once and deliver up their arms.  Those who fail to do so will be regarded as enemies of the Government and treated accordingly.  

Those who comply will be treated as non combatants and private citizens.  Private citizens who seek opportunity to ambush our soldiers, commonly known as “Bushwhackers”, will be regarded as outlaws, and orders will be issued to shoot them wherever found.   

If any of our men are fired on while passing through the country, I will lay waste the entire surrounding

By order of Gen. J. H. Morgan   
R. A. Alston
A. A. Genr’l.
Irvine,  Ky. 
Sept. 22, 1862




Soldiers:  I am once more among you, after a long a painful imprisonment.  I am anxious to be again in the field.  I therefore call on all the soldiers of my command to assemble at once at the rendezvous which has been established at this place.   

Come at once, and come cheerfully, for I want no man in my command who has to be sent to his duty by a provost-marshal.  The work before us will be arduous, and will require brave hearts and willing hands.  Let no man falter or delay, for no time is to be lost.  Everyone must bring his horse and gun who can.

John H. Morgan   
Brigadier General
Provisional Army Confederate States

Official:  R. A. Alston,
Lieutenant Colonel and Acting A. A. Genr’l. 

Decatur, Ga.   
February 1864



Abingdon, Va. 

June 25th, 1864.

No. 2.

IThe Brig. Gen. Commanding is informed of the disgraceful manner in which straggling soldiers, deserters, absentees, and parties grouped together under the name and guise of "Independent Scouts," have been depredating upon the private rights and property of peaceful citizens of the Confederate States--and desiring to rid the service of the cowardly miscreants, who are skulking from the presence of the enemy, and who take advantage of the unsettled condition of the laws, to abuse and prey upon the families of brave men who are now absent battling for their country, it is therefore ordered,

1st. All authorities granted to form organizations of "Independent Scouts," are hereby revoked. The officers commanding companies of this character, will report with them at once to these Headquarters. Those who fail to do so, will be proceeded against the same as for desertion--and all officers of the Department are authorized and commanded, to arrest them as soon as a reasonable time has elapsed, and they have neglected to report as indicated in this order.

2d. It is made the duty of every Commanding Officer in the Department, to arrest and send to these Headquarters, Illustration - Desertions.jpg (119286 bytes) under guard, every officer or soldier who may be found absent from his command, without the regular leave in writing, prescribed by Regulations and General Orders.

II.  The soldier who will not remain at his post, and who is not obedient to the orders of his superiors, is a worthless encumbrance, and where such men have committed larcenies and outrages upon the private property of citizens--the Brig. Gen. Commanding desires, when it is practicable, to turn them over for proper disposition, to the civil authorities--believing that they can render more service to the country in the workshops of our prisons, than it is possible to derive from them as soldiers in the field--and he calls upon all good citizens to aid and assist him in bringing these malefactors to justice. Whenever the name and command of one of these lawless marauders can be ascertained, and the citizen will forward a statement of the offence committed, with a report of the witnesses, the General Commanding will use every endeavor to have them brought to a speedy trial.

III.  The Comdg. Officer of each mounted encampment, will send out daily scouts, with instructions to search the country for all stragglers and deserters--and where it comes to their knowledge that the parties arrested have been offending against the laws of the land, they will investigate the facts thoroughly, and forward a statement of their cases with the prisoners to these Headquarters;--where the soldier has been guilty of absence without leave or desertion, and the fact can be ascertained, he must be forwarded to these Headquarters for immediate trial.

IV.  All Officers, of whatsoever grade, are charged with the discipline of their respective commands--and where a Commanding Officer is called upon for protection to the private rights of a citizen against the depredations of any soldier of his Command, he will grant it immediately, and if he fail to give it, proceedings will be instituted against him for neglect of duty and violation of this order.

By command of  


Choose from the following hyperlinks to view the historical documents:

Broadsides            Proclamations           Resolutions
& Illustrations             & Reports               & Ordinances   

Verses & Songs            The Vidette               Articles of War