Tag Archives: General John Hunt Morgan

The History of Marion County, Kentucky

This history of Marion County, Kentucky, I know very well.  In the summer between my senior year of high school and first semester at college I worked at our local public library – in Marion County.  Having spent many, many hours there in the previous several years, going through census records – micro fiche – no books at that time! – and pouring over the county histories and family histories for records of my family – I was very familiar with the library, and excited when I was hired!  One of my tasks, other than shelving books, checking out customers, etc., was to type an extra copy of this history by W. T. Knott!  There are perhaps 100 pages.  We did not have copy machines (1975) so if you wanted an extra copy it was typed!  I was fascinated with the book – so loved every moment of my typing assignment!

In previous posts the history of the author, W. T. Knott, was the subject at hand, and early settlers were discussed.  This post is about the Civil War in Marion County – part two – along with part two of General John Hunt Morgan.

from The History of Marion County by W. T. Knott

The morning of the 5th day of July, 1863, found the military post at Lebanon commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Charles Hanson, of the 20th Kentucky Infantry.  Early on the morning of that day, Colonel John Hunt Morgan, in command of two brigades of Confederate Calvary, arrived before the town, and sent in a flag of truce, demanding the surrender of the Federal forces and the town.  Colonel Hanson, having but about 300 men fit for duty, reported his situation by telegraph to the commander of the department, who was at that time stationed in Louisville.  In reply Hanson was ordered to defend himself and the town by posting his men in the houses; that very soon he would be re-enforced by the command of Colonel David, who at that time, no doubt, was very near the town, coming from towards Danville with a battery and force of cavalry.  The anxiety of Morgan to capture the Federal troops before a large Federal force that he knew was following him, led by Generals E. H. Hobson and Woolford, should arrive and being impatient of the delay, he ordered the town to be set on fire.  The torch was at once applied to several dwellings, among others those of Dr. Ben Spalding, Dr. J. C. Maxwell, L. H. Noble, Mrs. Abell and J. S. Braddock.  Hanson, seeing the situation, and to save the utter destruction of the town already commenced, and despairing of receiving the promised assistance, displayed the white flag and surrendered his entire force to Morgan unconditionally.  Morgan then ordered his forces to cease the burning of private property and to assist in subduing the flames of those already burning.  This order was, however, too late to save any house to which the torch had been applied.  The engine house, containing a large amount of commissary and quartermaster stores, had been burned by Hanson previous to his surrender.  The fire from the depot, which was burned by Morgan, set on fire the dwelling and store house of C. Beeler, with an almost total loss of the contents of both.  Several other buildings had also taken fire but were fortunately saved.  The Confederates, finding one or two of their men in jail, released them, and, as many indictments had been filed against Confederate soldiers in the clerk’s office, that building, with all the records of the circuit and county courts since the county was organized was set on fire and all totally destroyed.  This to the county, as well as to citizens, was an irreparable loss.  [Think of the genealogy records that went up in flames!]

The surrender of Hanson was between twelve and one o’clock; between three and four p.m., after the Confederate forces had enjoyed the privileges and hospitalities of the town, they took leave, with Colonel Hanson’s forces, numbering about 300 men, as prisoners, on the road towards Springfield.  After the command with its prisoners had left town, and arrived at the toll gate near Mrs. Joseph Spalding’s residence, the Federal troops that were to have re-enforced Colonel Hanson appeared on Grime’s hill, a mile from town on the Danville Pike, and fired a few shells across the country towards the Springfield Pike, along which Morgan’s command was leisurely marching.  Colonel Hanson and his 300 soldiers, then prisoners, and on foot, were taken to Springfield where they were paroled.  It appears that the brave Colonel David, in command of this force of Federal soldiers, in spite of the desire of some of his subordinates to “hurry to the rescue of the Federal forces and property at Lebanon,” had ordered a halt a few miles above town, and in a beautiful shady grove remained in full enjoyment of ease, comfort and safety from ten a.m. until after three p.m.  It was supposed that the brave commander kept himself well posted as to the progress of the battle, and as soon as the enemy retired he boldly rushed to the top of Grime’s hill, exploded a few shells in the direction the enemy had gone, and leading his cavalry in one grand, thundering charge, he came like a grand cyclone, down on the town, sweeping the desolate streets and finally captured the town, after killing, just above the smoldering remains of the depot on Depot Street, one poor drunken Confederate who had become “overwhelmed by the hospitalities” of the town, and was still somewhat oblivious to the exact status of his surroundings, as he was endeavoring to find the street on which his command had left town.

In the battle Lieutenant Tom Morgan, of Morgan’s command, and a brother of General John Hunt Morgan, was killed while bravely leading the charge on the depot building then occupied by Hanson and his 300 men.  He fell on the Campbellsville Pike somewhere between the residences of Mr. John L. Edmonds and Mr. George T. Edelen.  Total killed and wounded so far as known – Federals – killed 5, wounded 22.  Confederates – killed, 13 reported, wounded, reported about 30.  There are reasons, however, to believe that the number of killed and wounded Confederates was much greater than reported.

Lebanon was continued as a military post for several years after this.  Among others whose names are not remembered, were Colonel Motley, Colonel Wood, Captain James M. Fidler and Lieutenant Horton, who were Post Commanders at different periods from Morgan’s raid of July, 1863, until the close of the war in 1865.  During the year 1864 the civil war was at its zenith of blood and carnage.  Scarcely a day passed that some family did not read the sad tidings of a dead of wounded father, husband, brother or son, for scarcely an important battle was fought during the war that Marion County was not represented on one side or the other, and oftentimes on both sides – brother against brother and neighbors against neighbors.

The History of Marion County, Kentucky

This history of Marion County, Kentucky, I know very well.  In the summer between my senior year of high school and first semester at college I worked at our local public library – in Marion County.  Having spent many, many hours there in the previous several years, going through census records – micro fiche – no books at that time! – and pouring over the county histories and family histories for records of my family – I was very familiar with the library, and excited when I was hired!  One of my tasks, other than shelving books, checking out customers, etc., was to type an extra copy of this history by W. T. Knott!  There are perhaps 100 pages.  We did not have copy machines (1975) so if you wanted an extra copy it was typed!  I was fascinated with the book – so loved every moment of my typing assignment!

In previous posts the history of the author, W. T. Knott, was the subject at hand, and early settlers were discussed.  This post is about the Civil War in Marion County.  John Hunt Morgan came through and made the town his own.  Just a few days after the Confederates moved out of Lebanon they met Federal troops at the little town of Perryville, Kentucky.  And just so you know, General Morgan was not  finished with the town of Lebanon – he comes around again in part two of the civil war days of Marion County.

from The History of Marion County by W. T. Knott

Occasion for recording “war history” of our county did not exist again until the year 1850.  In that year forebodings of an impending civil war in the United States were afloat everywhere over our country.  Little did the citizens realize the horrors that a civil war would bring upon the country.  Little did they appreciate what utter desolation, ruin and misery were so soon to overtake and overwhelm a great portion of our territory, and that so many hundreds of thousands of the then happy, prosperous citizens were so soon destined to reap the most dire consequences of a long and bloody war.  Nothing like a true conception at that time of coming events existed in any mind.  Older men felt grave apprehensions, it is true, but took their places fearlessly on the one side or the other, determined boldly to face whatever might be the consequences.  Younger men seemed joyous and merry as if they were anticipating a mere picnic where there might be “some hardship, but abundance of fun,” and that the dark clouds would soon go away.

On the 20th day of December, 1860, South Carolina passed the ordinance of secession, and in a short time many of the Southern states followed her example.  On the 4th day of February, 1861, Jefferson Davis was chosen President of the new government.  On the 12th day of April, 1861, Edmund Ruffin, under orders from P. C. T. Beauregard, fired the first gun of the civil war, its shot crashing against the granite walls of Fort Sumpter, whilst its report sounded and resounded, echoed and re-echoed, announcing the beginning of the civil war to every citizen of our country and of the whole world as well.

Marion County, until that shot, was comparatively quiet, but very soon the community gave unmistakable evidence of political disintegration.  Old men and young men elected their positions; many on each side hurried off to join the armies of their choice.  Some families divided, one son would enlist in one army, his brother in the army opposed.  Even our women were partisans; some support the stars and stripes while others held up the stars and bars.  The county was not all excitement, many of our prominent citizens were for the Union, as it was, and opposed to the Southern act of secession; others were in favor of succession and were ready to fight for the cause and left the county for the purpose of casting their lots with the Southern army; other good citizens were in favor of Kentucky neutrality – that is, they wished our state to arm her citizens and to whip both armies or either of them if they dared to cross our borders.  The Union party in the county, being largely in the majority, at once organized two companies of “Home Guards” in Lebanon, with many men from the county as members, for the purpose of protection or to meet any emergency that might arise.  The first company organized elected T. C. Woods as captain; the other company was commanded by Captain Richard Knott.  Shortly after the organization of the “Home Guard Companies” two camps were established for the purpose of recruiting and drilling volunteers for the service of the United States army.  C. S. Hill was commissioned Colonel and had charge of the camp “B. Spalding”.  For the purpose of recruiting a regiment of state troops, Colonel Hill resigned his commission as Colonel of U.S. Volunteers and Colonel John M. Harlan, now one of the Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States, took his place as commander of his camp, and filled the regiment.  Their recruiting camp was called “E. A. Graves” and commanded by W. Anderson, from Louisville.  The General George H. Thompson estate was headquarters at Lebanon in the later part of November, 1861, and from that day until the close of the war Lebanon served as a post.

On the 10th day of July, 1862, while the post at Lebanon was guarded by only fifty or sixty soldiers under the command of Colonel Johnson – who was, I think,
Colonel of the 28th Kentucky Infantry – Colonel John H. Morgan commanding a battalion of Confederate Cavalry, raided the county and town and after a slight skirmish with the small body of U. S. soldiers under Colonel Johnson and a company of Home Guards, just out of the limits of the town on the Campbellsville road, put to flight and captured the whole force, killing two of the Home Guards, Moses Rickets and M. Deig, a German and recent citizen.  After Morgan’s force had burned Camp Crittenden, and all the quartermaster and commissary and ordinance stores and paroled his prisoners, he moved in the direction of Springfield.  In a few days after Morgan’s raid our town was again occupied by Federal soldiers, Colonel Owens, commanding the 60th Indiana Regiment and a battalion of the 9th Pennsylvania Cavalry under him as scouts, took possession of what was left of the military post, and at once proceeded to barricade the town, and issue orders that no person should leave the town without a pass from the military.  In the course of three or four weeks the post was re-enforced with forces under General Dumont, who superseded Colonel Owens and immediately began to add to the fortifications of the town, and throw up earthworks on some of the elevated surrounding of the town.  Common sense was a very scarce article with General Dumont, as it would appear when he bent every energy to perfect a complete “death pen” for his own men by digging trenches and planting fence rails and stakes across the street to “keep the enemy out and to keep his soldiers in,” while the town is so situated in a valley surrounded by high hills and knobs, and the occupancy by the enemy of any two or three, with a few pieces of artillery could have knocked the town into atoms, without the least danger to themselves.

On September 7, 1862, General Bragg having entered the state, General Dumont withdrew his forces from Lebanon, leaving a large amount of military and commissionary stores.  The day following Colonel Scott, entered and took possession of the place and left Dr. W. W. Cleaver, a citizen of our town and a surgeon in the Confederate army, in command of the post, who at once had the ditch filled and the barricades removed, for which the citizens were very thankful indeed.  Dr. Cleaver in the meantime recruited a company for the Confederate service.  During the time that the Confederate forces held this military post, and while Cleaver and others were recruiting in this and adjoining counties, the proclamation of President Lincoln abolishing slavery in the southern states “unless they returned to the Union before January 1, 1863,” was received at Lebanon.  Proclamation was dated September 22, 1862.  The Confederate forces evacuated Lebanon on the 5th day of October, 1862, and on the third day thereafter (October 8) the battle of Perryville was fought, from which bloody field of battle, many wounded Federals, as well as Confederate prisoners, were brought to Lebanon and cared for by the medical department of the Federals.  Our citizen women, true to all the traits of pure, noble womanhood, came forward, laying aside, for the time being, all partisan feeling, and prejudice, administering to the wants of the wounded and dying, closing the eyes, with motherly and sisterly tenderness, of those whom they had never seen before, dropping here and there a tear of sympathy beside the cold dead face of some woman’s son or brother or husband (they knew not who), and offering up a silent prayer that their loved ones, if ever on the battlefield should meet with like misfortunes, might have the like of kindness shown to them by strangers.  In this mission of love our women administered to the wants and necessities of expiring.  Federal and Confederate soldiers alike.  The “Stars and Stripes” and the “Stars and Bars” were on such occasions of death and suffering, for the time being, furled, hidden and forgotten.

Colonel Beriah Magoffin Obituary

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from The Harrodsburg Herald, Mercer County, Kentucky

The passing of Colonel Beriah Magoffin, 86, at his home in McAlester, Oklahoma, Monday, August 29, was a sincere grief to many here who knew and reverenced him.  His death was due to infirmities of his advanced years from which he had recently gradually grown weaker.  Colonel Magoffin was a man of unusual intellect and a personality that won every person for his friend.  These gifts combined with a high sense of honor, culture and gracious courtesy made him an outstanding man wherever he was placed.  A devout Christian and a devoted husband and father were unassuming qualities that added to his character.  He had a fine public spirit and in the years past that he and his wife spent in Harrodsburg, his old home, he lent himself with deep interest to the affairs of this community.

Colonel Magoffin was of prominent pioneer families whose members were active in founding and establishing Kentucky as a state.  He was the grandson on his mother’s side of Isaac Shelby, the first governor of Kentucky.  His father was Governor Beriah Magoffin, of Harrodsburg, the Chief Executive of Kentucky during the War Between the States.  Many members of his family were outstanding in state and national activities.  During the War Between the States he enlisted on the  Confederate side as a very young man under General John Hunt Morgan.  For many years he returned to Kentucky to meet at the annual gathering of Morgan’s men.

During the war he was taken a prisoner and placed in the noted federal Rock Island prison.  He escaped, but was captured and though little more than a boy, he steadfastly refused to tell who aided him, though subjected to many indignities by the officials.

After the war he was married to Miss Lucy E. Thompson, of Harrodsburg, and later they moved to Minnesota.  After many years of success in business there, they sometime ago went to McAlester, Oklahoma, to live where a son had located.  Both Mr. and Mrs. Magoffin retained to a deep degree the love for Harrodsburg, and for a long time have spent most of their summers here where both were loved and revered.  It has been their custom to celebrate the anniversaries of their honeymoon which they spent in Louisville at the Old Inn Hotel, and to return there and occupy the same room.

Colonel Magoffin is survived by his widow and four of their eight children:  Beriah Magoffin, IV, of Deerwood, Minnesota; Mrs. Jennie Hugo, of Duluth, Minnesota; Messrs. Beck Breckinridge Magoffin and Eben Magoffin, McAlester, Oklahoma.  He also leaves a number of grandchildren, among them Misses Dorothy and Suzanne Shackleford, of Franfort, whose mother, Mrs. Mary Magoffin Shackleford, attended old Daughters College, and also spent much time in Harrodsburg.  Of a large family of brothers and sisters only three survive Colonel Magoffin, a sister, Mrs. John Charles Thompson, St. Paul, Minnesota; Mr. Eb Magoffin, Frankfort; and Samuel Magoffin, St. Paul.

In accordance with his wish Colonel Magoffin was brought here to the home of his youth to rest with his parents in Spring Hill Cemetery, arriving here Wednesday night, when many friends waited at the railroad station and a number threw open their homes to the family.  He was accompanied by his devoted wife and son, Eben Magoffin, and was met here by his niece, Mrs. William Austin, of Knoxville, Tennessee.

The funeral was at eleven o’clock Thursday morning with simple rites at the grave in Spring Hill Cemetery and in the presence of many relatives and friends from this and other places.  In the absence from town of the Presbyterian minister, to which faith he belonged, the services was conducted by his friend, the Rev. T. Hassell Bowen, pastor of the Christian Church.  Resting on the casket were three Confederate flags sent for that purpose by Mrs. R. H. Sampson, of Knoxville, Tennessee, a daughter of the noted Confederate, General Felix Zollicoffer.

Colonel Magoffin was buried in his Confederate uniform.  The casket bearers were Dr. J. Tom Price, W. W. Ensminger, Douglass Curry, Bacon Moore, H. T. Soaper and D. M. Hutton.

Joseph Allan Rue Obituary

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from The Sayings, Harrodsburg, Mercer County, Kentucky

Saturday, September 5, 1896

Mr. Allan Rue died of Bright’s disease, Thursday morning, at his late home, near Brooklyn, in this county.  He was fifty-six years old and a Confederate veteran.  He was a member of the company “H” in the first or old regiment of General John Hunt Morgan’s cavalry, and no truer or braver soldier ever suffered and fought for the “Lost Cause”.  The funeral services were conducted yesterday at 11 a.m., at Mt. Zion M. E. Church, by Rev. John R. Deering, and the internment was in Spring Hill Cemetery.  The funeral cortege was by old Confederate soldiers of Harrodsburg and with the other veterans from Jessamine and Woodford counties, they marched to the cemetery.  Here in the Confederate lot, by the side of his brave and beloved commander, Captain Gabriel S. Alexander, his old comrades, with saddened hearts and kindly hands, laid him to rest.

Joseph A. Rue, March 4, 1840 – September 3, 1896

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Colonel William Joshua Bohon Obituary

from The Harrodsburg Herald, Mercer County, Kentucky

Friday, June 12, 1936

Bohon

Colonel William Joshua Bohon, who was 93 years old last December, died at noon Tuesday, June 9, 1936, at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Emmett B. Johnson, and Mr. Johnson, in Birmingham, Alabama.  The funeral service was at 3 o’clock Wednesday at the family lot in Spring Hill Cemetery in this city, conducted by Rev. T. Hassell Bowen, pastor of the Christian Church.

Colonel Bohon, born in Monticello, Kentucky, a son of William Bohon and Verlinda Hutchison Bohon, came to Harrodsburg when quite young, with his parents, where his father established a large merchantile business which he conducted the remainder of his life.  Colonel Bohon was a confederate veteran and for more than sixty years a traveling salesman in Kentucky and middle Tennessee.  He was one of the best know of the old time “drummers” in the state, and his genial personality won him a large following of patrons and friends.  He was a member of the old dry goods firm of Hay, Curry and Bohon, and started as a traveling salesman in January, 1866.  His first trips were made on horseback, but for fifty years or more he never missed a season.  In some cases he sold to the third generation of customers’ families.  He continued to travel until 1926, and the next year went to Alabama to live with his daughter.  In spite of his great years he retained his keen mind almost to the end.

Colonel Bohon enlisted in the Confederate cavalry in 1861 while clerking in his father’s store in Harrodsburg.  For four years during the war between the states he served in the Fourth Kentucky Cavalry under General John Hunt Morgan.  He was wounded twice; was captured and placed in Rock Island prison; returned in exchange for war prisoners, and surrendered with the Confederate forces at Mt. Sterling, May 9, 1865.  He returned to Harrodsburg after the war, where he resided; later he lived in Danville over a long period until his wife died some years ago.  He also lived in Louisville.

At the time of his death he was the oldest member of the Falls City Lodge of Masons and was also a member of the DeMolay Commandery Knights Templar, and of the Christian Church.  He was well known and much loved in Harrodsburg, which he visited regularly until advancing years kept him from venturing very far from home.  His ancestors came from Orange County, Virginia, and were dwellers in Old Fort Harrod and active in settling this first town in Kentucky.

He is survived by a son, George C. Bohon, Louisville; two daughters, Mrs. Wallace Crume, Chicago, and Mrs. Emmett Johnson, Birmingham, Alabama.  The deceased also leaves a number of grandchildren; a brother, R. S. Bohon, Decatur, Illinois, and a sister, Mrs. A. H. Peacock, Dallas, Texas.

Bearers at the funeral were H. C. Bohon, Charles Bohon, Davis Bohon, Lindsey Ingram, Banks Hudson, Jr., Danville, and Owen R. Mann, Louisville.

Besides members of his family, a number of out-of-town relatives and friends were here to attend the funeral.

Obituary for Allan Rue

The Sayings, Harrodsburg, Kentucky

Saturday, September 5, 1896

Mr. Allan Rue died of Bright’s disease, Thursday morning, at his late home, near Brooklyn in this county.  He was fifty-six years old and a Confederate veteran.  He was a member of company “H” in the first or old regiment of General John Hunt Morgan’s cavalry and no truer or braver soldier ever suffered and fought for the “Lost Cause”.  The funeral services were conducted, yesterday 11 a.m., at Mr. Zion M. E. Church, by Rev. John R. Deerling, and the interment was in Spring Hill Cemetery.  The funeral cortege was by old Confederate soldiers of Harrodsburg and with the other veterans from Jessamine and Woodford Counties they marched to the cemetery.  Here in the Confederate lot by the side of his brave and beloved commander, Captain Gabriel S. Alexander, his old comrades with saddened hearts and kindly hands, laid him to rest.