"Our Laws, The Commands of Our Captain"
Proclamations & Reports
Choose from the following hyperlinks to view the historical documents:
of capt. john h. morgan, kentucky cavalry
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.
JOHN H. MORGAN,
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.
W. J. HARDEE,
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
for the Green Graves of Your Sires!
for Your Altars and Your Fires!
and Your Native Land.
J. H. Morgan .
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
HD. QRS. DEPT. W. VA. & EAST TENN.,
The 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,
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.
It is made the duty of every Commanding Officer in the Department, to arrest and
send to these Headquarters,
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.
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.
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.
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
Choose from the following hyperlinks to view the historical documents: