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Doc. 103.-Morgan's raid through Kentucky.

Journal of Lieutenant-Colonel Alston.

the following is the journal of Lieutenant-Colonel Alston, Morgan's Chief of Staff, who was captured by the national pickets on the fifth of July. The journal is complete from the morning of the first to noon of the eighth, at which time he was sent to Camp Chase, Ohio.

July 1st, 1863.--On the banks of the Cumberland. The river very high. No boats. General M. obliged to build a number of boats, which he accomplished with very little delay, and commenced crossing at sundown.

July 2d.--Bucksville. He had great difficulty in making the horses swim, but by united and systematic exertion succeeded in getting the entire command of----regiments over by ten A. M., though the command was very much scattered. At eleven o'clock, scouts came into Bucksville and reported the enemy advancing, and within four miles of the town. It was supposed to be only a scouting party, and a portion of Dick Morgan's command was sent out to make a reconnoissance. The report of the scouts of the enemy advancing proved to be correct, and a message was received from Colonel Ward that he was attacked. Colonel Grigsby was sent to reinforce him, and succeeded in driving the Yankees back in great confusion upon their reinforcements. My regiment lost two mortally wounded and two others slightly. Five of the Yankees were known to be killed and a number wounded, with about fifteen prisoners. No tidings heard of the Second brigade until dark, when they arrived and reported that Colonel Johnson, commanding, had experienced great difficulty in crossing, and that in addition to the precipitous banks and absence of all boats or other means of transportation, the enemy were hovering on the river and harassing him as far as they could. He was, however, quite successful in driving them back. Yesterday a young man, calling himself Charles Rogers, dressed in full confederate uniform, came into our lines and expressed a desire to join our command. I suspicioned him, and, after a few questions, I was convinced that he was a spy. I threatened to shoot him, when he confessed that he had been lying, and that his name was Simon Blitz — in fact he convicted himself of being a spy. I hated to shoot him, although he deserved it.

July 3d.--My regiment behaved very gallantly in yesterday's fight with the enemy, frequently having hand-to-hand encounters. To-day (third) we experienced the same difficulty in getting the artillery on, and had to press a number of oxen for the purpose. After two halts for the column to close up, our advance proceeded to Columbia. They were met by detachments from three regiments (Forty-fifth Ohio, Second Ohio, and First Kentucky) said to be under command of Colonel Wolford. A brief engagement followed, in which we drove the enemy in great haste through the town, capturing six prisoners, killing two, among them Captain Carter, and wounding three. Our loss was two killed and two wounded, among them Captain Cassel, a most dashing and daring officer, wounded in the thigh. Our men behaved badly at Columbia, breaking open a store and plundering it. I ordered the men to return the goods, and made all the reparation in my power. These outrages are very disgraceful, and are usually perpetrated by men accompanying the army simply for plunder. They are not worth a----, and are a disgrace to both armies. Passed through Columbia, and camped six miles from Green River Bridge.

July 4th.--New-Market, Ky. A day of gloom, deep gloom, to our entire command. How many who rose this morning full of enthusiasm and hope now “sleep the sleep that knows no waking.” The sun rose bright and beautiful, the air was cool and balmy, all nature wore the appearance of peace and harmony. While riding along, affected by the stillness of all around, Captain Magennis, the Adjutant-General, rode up and remarked how dreadful to reflect that we were marching on to engage in deadly strife, and how many poor fellows would pass into eternity before the setting of yonder sun. I have no doubt the poor fellow was moved to these reflections by one of those unaccountable presentiments which are so often the harbingers of evil. (Before dark he was a corpse.) About sunrise we drove in the enemy's pickets and were soon near their fortifications, which had been erected to prevent-our crossing. General Morgan sent in a flag of truce and demanded the surrender, but the Colonel quietly remarked: “If it was any other day he might consider the demand, but the Fourth of July was a bad day to talk about surrender, and he must therefore decline.” This Colonel is a gallant man, and the entire arrange ment of his defence entitles him to the highest credit for military skill. We would mark such a man in our army for promotion.

We attacked the place with two regiments, [359] sending the remainder of our force across at an-other ford. The place was judiciously chosen and skilfully defended, and the result was that we were repulsed with severe loss — about twenty-five killed and twenty wounded. Among the killed, as usual, were our best men and officers, including Colonel Chenault, Major Brent, Captain Tribble, Lieutenants Cowan, Ferguson, and an-other lieutenant whose name I do not remember. Our march thus far has been very fatiguing — bad roads, little rest or sleep, little to eat, and a fight every day. Yet our men are cheerful, even buoyant. ant, and to see them pressing along barefooted, hurrahing and singing, would cause one to appreciate what those who are fighting in a just and holy cause will endure. About three o'clock, as I rode on about forty yards in advance, I heard the General exclaim something in a very excited tone, which I could not understand, and heard at the same time the report of a pistol. I turned, and, great God! to my horror I saw Captain Magennis falling from his horse, with the blood gushing out of his mouth and breast. His only remark was: “Let me down easy.” In an-other moment his spirit had fled. He was killed by Captain Murphy because Magennis, by the direction of General Morgan, had ordered Murphy to restore a watch taken from a prisoner. Thus was the poor fellow's language of the morning dreadfully realized. I was terrible affected. I had seen blood flow freely on many a battle-field — my friends had been killed in the morning — but this caused a deeper impression and shock than any occurrence I ever witnessed. Truly this has been a sad day. General Morgan looks haggard and weary, but he never despairs. May to-morrow dawn more bright than to-day closes.

July 5th.--Another day of gloom, fatigue, and death. Moved on Lebanon at sunrise — placed our men in line. Sent around Colonel J----with his brigade to the Danville road to cut off reenforcements, which we knew were expected from Danville. I went in with a flag of truce. It was fired on five times. Officer apologized, saying he thought it was a man with a white coat on. Very dangerous mistake, at least for me. Demanded unconditional surrender. Told Colonel Hanson we had his reinforcements cut off, and resistance was useless. He refused to surrender, and I then ordered him to send out the non-combatants, as we would be compelled to shell the town. He posted his regiment in the depot and in various houses, by which he was enabled to make a desperate resistance. After a fight of seven hours, General Morgan, finding the town could be taken in no other way, ordered a charge to be made. This ought to have been done at first, but General Morgan. said, when it was urged on him, that he wished to avoid the destruction of private property as much as possible, and he would only permit it as a, last and final resort. Colonel Hanson still held out in hopes of receiving reeforcements, and only surrendered after we had fired the buildings in which he was posted. His force consisted of the Twentieth Kentucky, about three hundred and seventy men, and twenty or twenty-five stragglers from other commands.

By this surrender we obtained a sufficient quantity of guns to arm all our men who were without them; also a quantity of ammunition, of which we stood sorely in need. At the order to charge, Duke's regiment rushed forward, and poor Tommy Morgan, who was always in the lead, ran forward and cheered the men with all the enthusiasm of his bright nature. Almost at the first volley he fell back, pierced though the heart. His only words were: “Brother Cally, they have killed me.” Noble youth! how deeply lamented by all who knew you! This was a crushing blow to General Morgan, as his affection for his brother exceeded the love of Jonathan to David. It caused a terrible excitement, and the men were in a state of frenzy. It required the utmost energy and promptitude on the part of the officers to prevent a scene of slaughter, which all would deeply have lamented. Our men behaved badly here, breaking open stores and plundering indiscriminately. All that officers, could do was done to prevent, but in vain. These occurrences are very diagraceful, and I am truly glad that they form exceptions to the general conduct.

While I was paroling the prisoners, a courier arrived, informing me that the enemy were approaching with two regiments of cavalry and a battery of artillery, and that skirmishing was then going on with our pickets. I was therefore obliged to order the prisoners to Springfield on the double-quick. Soon after we left Lebanon, the hardest rain I ever experienced commenced to fall, and continued till nine o'clock. Arrived at Springfield at dark, when I halted the prisoners in order to parole those who were not paroled at Lebanon, and formally dismissed them. This detained me at Springfield two hours after the command had passed. Wet and chilly, worn out, horse tired and hungry. Stopped to feed her. Falling asleep, was aroused by one of the men. Started on to the command. When I reached the point on the Bardstown road where I had expected the Second brigade to encamp, was halted by a party of cavalry. Supposing them to be our own pickets, I rode up promptly to correct them for standing in full view of any one approaching, when lo! to my mortification, I found myself a prisoner. My God! how I hated it, no one can understand. The first throught, after my wife and children, was my fine mare, Fannie Johnson, named after a pretty little cousin, of Richmond, Va. I said: “Poor Fannie, who will treat you as kindly as I have?” I turned her over to the captain and begged him to take good care of her, which he promised to do.

July 6th.--Travelled all day. Treated very kindly by Captain Smith. Sick, worn out, completely wearied out. Spirits cheerful. Met Captain Walcott on the road from Springfield. He got captain Smith to parole me. Captain Smith anxious to do so, as he had more prisoners than [360] he could well take care of. Accompanied Captain Walcott to Danville. Staid all night there.

July 7th.--Arrived at Nicholasville. Ordered before the Provost-Marshal. Sent on to Lexington. Arrived in the afternoon, and immediately ordered to prison. Visited by some sweet, pretty, and kind ladies. God bless them t I know he will.

July 8th.--Great rejoicing in Lexington over the fall of Vicksburgh. (I do not believe it.) It is a great disaster, one among the very worst that could befall us., But even if it is so, and even should Lee's army be destroyed and every town in the South burned, the rebellion would be unsubdued. There are a hundred thousand men in the South who feel as I do, that they would rather an earthquake should swallow the whole country than yield to our oppressors-men who will retire to the mountains and live on acorns, and crawl on their bellies to shoot an invader wherever they can see one.

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Dick Morgan (8)
W. F. Smith (3)
Magennis (3)
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W. M. Ward (1)
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Simon Blitz (1)
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