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Chapter 19: events in Kentucky and Northern Mississippi.

We left the Lower Mississippi, from its mouth to New Orleans, in possession of the forces under General Butler and Commodore Farragut, at the beginning of the summer of 1862;1 and at the same time that river was held by the National forces from Memphis to St. Louis. General Thomas was at the head of a large force holding Southwestern Tennessee,2 and Generals Buell and Mitchel were on the borders of East Tennessee, where the Confederates were disputing the passage of National troops farther southward and eastward than the line of the Tennessee River. Beauregard's army was at Tupelo and vicinity, under General Bragg.3 Halleck had just been called to Washington to be General-in-Chief, and Mitchel was soon afterward transferred to the command of the Department of the South, with his Headquarters at Hilton Head.

Although the great armies of the Confederates had been driven from Kentucky and Tennessee, the absence of any considerable Union force excepting on the southern borders of the latter State, permitted a most distressing guerrilla warfare to be carried on within the borders of those commonwealths by mounted bands, who hung upon the rear and flanks of the National forces, or roamed at will over the country, plundering the Union inhabitants. The most famous of these guerrilla leaders was John H. Morgan, already mentioned.4 He professed to be a leader of cavalry attached to the Confederate army, and so he was, but such license was given to him by the Confederate authorities, that he was as frequently a commissioned free-booter in practice as a leader of horsemen in legitimate warfare.

Morgan's first exploit of much consequence having the semblance of regularity was his invasion of Kentucky with about twelve hundred followers, under the conviction that large numbers of the young men of his native State would flock to his standard, and he might become the liberator of the commonwealth from the “hireling legions of Lincoln.” He left Knoxville, in East Tennessee, on the 4th of July, crossed the Cumberland Mountains, and entered Kentucky on its southeastern border.

On the 9th of July, Morgan, assisted by Colonel Hunt, routed a detachment of Pennsylvania cavalry under Major Jordan, at Tompkinsville, in Monroe County, when the commander and nineteen others were made prisoners, and ten were killed or wounded. The assailants lost ten killed, including [499] Colonel Hunt. On the following day Morgan issued a characteristic proclamation to the citizens of Kentucky, declaring that he and his followers (who from the beginning to the end were mere guerrillas, in the fullest sense of that term) appeared as their liberators, and saying :--“Everywhere the cowardly foes have fled from my avenging arm. My brave army,” he continued, “is stigmatized as a band of guerrillas and marauders. Believe it not. I point with pride to their deeds as a refutation of this foul assertion.” He declared that the Confederate armies were rapidly advancing to their protection, and said:--“Greet them with the willing hands of fifty thousand of Kentucky's bravest sons. Their advance is already with you.” Morgan's men, at that time, really formed the advance of the Confederate hosts, whose business was to terrify the Unionists of Kentucky, recruit from the ranks of the secessionists, and prepare the way for a formidable invasion by Bragg.

John H. Morgan.

Morgan's force was soon increased by several hundred recruits from the young men of Kentucky, and he roamed about the heart of the State, plundering and destroying with very little molestation. On the 12th

July, 1862.
he attacked and defeated Unionists under Lieutenant-Colonel Johnston at Lebanon, Kentucky, the termination of the Lebanon branch of the Louisville and Nashville railway. He captured the place, and made the commander and twenty-six soldiers and Home Guards prisoners. His raid was so rapid and formidable that it produced intense excitement throughout the State.

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