capture that city, if possible, and proceed thence into Middle
and Eastern Kentucky
, inviting pursuit by all the Federal
forces who could thus be lured away from the vicinity of the anticipated conflict.
By such a raid General Bragg
believed that Judah
could be so thoroughly employed as to leave him no leisure time to harass the withdrawal of the Confederates
; and he was confident that, if it should be more than usually active and prolonged, it might even engage the attention and arrest the march of Burnside
had foreseen the necessity of such a diversion, and had long eagerly looked forward to a campaign in the Northern
Months before, he received intimation that he would be dispatched on this service, and believing the period to consummate his favorite hope was approaching, he had sent men to examine the fords of the upper Ohio
Ardently agreeing with General Bragg
that a cavalry raid, judiciously managed, would do much to assist in extricating the army from its difficult and perilous situation, he yet differed with his superior in regard to one important feature of the proposed expedition.
He argued that it should not be confined to Kentucky
, and urged that he should be allowed to cross the Ohio
The people of Kentucky
, he said, were grown accustomed to raids, and no longer prone to magnify the numbers of those who made them.
The Federal Government, too, cared little to guard Kentucky
against such incursions, and certainly would sacrifice no military advantage to do so. A dash into Kentucky
would be decided too soon to effect any positive good, but a raid into Indiana
, he contended, would bring all the troops under Judah
in hot haste after him; would keep them engaged for weeks, and prevent their participation in Bragg
's battle with Rosecrans-the object of greatest moment.
Notwithstanding the sound military reasons why Rosecrans
' plans should not be interrupted by the withdrawal of troops upon which he relied for their execution, the alarm and the clamor in those States would be so great that the administration would be forced to heed their outcry, and furnish soldiery for their protection.
His earnest representations, however, wrought no change in the views of his chief, and he was ordered to conduct the expedition in the manner which General Bragg
, who was unwilling to risk the loss of so large a body of his cavalry, had first directed.
But so positive were Morgan
's convictions that, in order to be of any benefit in so grave a crisis, his raid should be extended to northern territory, he deliberately resolved to disobey the order restricting his operations to Kentucky
; and, although he well knew that the chances of disaster