Confederate Brigadier General John Hunt Morgan moved toward Cynthiana, Kentucky at dawn on June 11th 1864 with 1,200 cavalry. The town was defended by a small Union of home guard and a detachment of the 168th Ohio, about 300 soldiers all under the command of Colonel Conrad Garis. Morgan divided his men and surrounded the town, launching the attack at the covered bridge. The Union troops were pushed back north towards the railroad. The Confederate cavalry set fire to the town. As the fighting was going on in Cynthiana, the 171st Ohio under the command of Union Brigadier General Edward Hobson arrived about a mile outside of town. The soldiers of the 171th fought Morgan’s men for about six hours before being trapped along the Licking River.
Morgan spent the night on the line of battle. He had 1,300 Union prisoners with him. The next day the men of the 171st Ohio were paroled.