Thursday, September 4, 2008

Thunderbolt of the Confederacy

General John Hunt Morgan was killed on the 4th of September 1864 while trying to escape Union troops.

Morgan was born Jun 1, 1825 in Huntsville,AL to Calvin Morgan, the oldest in a family of 10. In 1831 the family moved to Lexington,KY.  John began his military career in 1846 when he enlisted in the Army as a cavalry private during the Mexican-American War.

At the beginning of the Civil War he raised the 2nd KY Cavalry Regiment, and was made their Colonel. Morgan and his men were at the Battle of Shiloh. He was promoted to Brigadier General on Dec 11, 1862 following his great sweep through Kentucky, where he captured 1200 Federal soldiers.

Morgan led his troops in an effort to distract Union forces on what is known as “The Great Raid of 1863” or the “Calico Raid” through southern Indiana and Ohio, farther north than any other Rebel force would advance during the war. It came to an end for him when about 700 of his men were captured trying to cross the Ohio River on the 19th of July. He lasted a bit longer before having to give up near Salineville,Ohio on the 26th, but the Federals didn’t keep the intrepid John Morgan long. In Nov he and six of his officers dug their way out of their cells, and than ascended a wall using bed sheets.

He was killed during a Union raid on Greeneville,TN, shot in the back by an ex-Confederate soldier. Many believed he was murdered so that he wouldn’t escape from Union prison a second time, but it seems more likely that he was shot simply because he refused to halt.

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