John Hunt Morgan,
One of the leading Confederate raiders, John Hunt Morgan found it difficult to comply with the constraints placed upon his activities by his superiors. Born in Alabama, he had served in the Mexican War as a first lieutenant with the lst Kentucky. Unlike many volunteer officers he did see action in that conflict. A Lexington merchant between the wars, he raised the Lexington Rifles in 1857.
Even though his state never did secede, he did join the Confederacy and his assignments included: captain, Morgan's Kentucky Cavalry Squadron (186 1); colonel, 2nd Kentucky Cavalry (to rank from April 4, 1862); commanding cavalry brigade, Army of Tennessee (November 20, 1862-February 25, 1863); brigadier general, CSA (December 11, 1862); commanding brigade, Wheeler's Cavalry Division, Army of Tennessee (February 25-March 16, 1863); commanding division, Wheeler's Cavalry Corps, Army of Tennessee (March 16 - July 26, 1863); commanding cavalry brigade, Department of East Tennessee (early 1864 - May 2, 1864); commanding cavalry brigade, Department of Southwestern Virginia (May 2 - June 22, 1864); and commanding Departments of East Tennessee and Southwestern Virginia (June 22 - August 30, 1864).
He led his squadron in central Kentucky and at Shiloh and was then promoted to colonel. He led his regiment during the Corinth siege and then took two regiments on a raid through Kentucky from July 4, to August 1, 1862. This raid, together with that of Nathan Bedford Forrest, greatly hampered the advance of Don C. Buell on Chattanooga. In October 1862 shortly after the collapse of the Southern campaign in Kentucky, he led his brigade on another raid through his adopted state. During the Murfreesboro Campaign he led a mounted division into Kentucky, from December 21, 1862, through January 1, 1863, against Rosecrans' supply lines. Having been promoted to brigadier general, he also received the thanks of the Confederate Congress for his exploits.
Following the Tullahoma Campaign he again received permission to enter Kentucky. On this raid from July 2 to 26, 1863, he violated Bragg's instructions not to cross the Ohio River. Crossing over into Indiana, he moved into Ohio, skirting Cincinnati which went into a panic. Pursued by cavalry and militia, he was finally captured near New Lisbon, Ohio, on July 26th - after most of his command had been taken prisoner. Confined in the Ohio State Penitentiary, he escaped on November 26, 1863. Placed in command in East Tennessee and southwestern Virginia the next year, he was surprised and killed at Greeneville, Tennessee, on September 4, 1864. (Holland,Cecil Fletcher, Morgan and His Raiders, A Biography of the Confederate General; Noel, Lois, John Hunt Morgan; and Swiggett, Howard, Rebel Raider: A Life of John Hunt Morgan)
Source: "Who Was Who In The Civil War" by Stewart Sifakis
RETURN TO BIOGRAPHY PAGE