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Ozzy

"On the Cover of the Rolling Stone..."

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John Hunt Morgan, acclaimed Confederate cavalry commander, gained the significant notice of his Federal enemy while operating in vicinity of Union-occupied Nashville; and featured in the March 8th 1862 report of Colonel Jonathan Kennett to General Ormsby Mitchel [OR 10 pages 4- 6].  Captain Morgan's own report (to William Hardee, of March 10th) so impressed the General that he recommended the cavalry officer be promoted to Colonel [OR 10 page 7].  Going from strength to strength, John H. Morgan helped screen the Confederate movement towards Corinth; was available for service at Shiloh [mentioned in despatches of General Hardee]; and led a raid into Kentucky in July 1862 that helped end the career of Don Carlos Buell a few months later.

In recognition of his daring, dash and prowess, Harper's Weekly honored "the Bandit"  John Hunt Morgan by featuring his image on the cover of the August 16th 1862 edition. In response, the new Confederate version of Harpers Weekly -- The Southern Illustrated News -- featured General Morgan on its cover of September 20th 1862. The Southern Illustrated was published in Richmond by Ayres & Wade from mid-1862 until March 1865. Not much information in regard to Shiloh is featured, but significant military figures made the cover of every edition (as did their biographies.)

More and more editions of the Southern Illustrated News are becoming available via archive.org and HathiTrust. 

Ozzy

 

References:  OR 10 pages 4- 7 and 569

http://www.sonofthesouth.net/leefoundation/civil-war/1862/john-morgan.htm  Harper's Weekly cover

http://archive.org/details/southernillustrav1n2ayre  The Southern Illustrated for Sept 20th 1862

http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/ca08000135/holdings/   Southern Illustrated holdings at USA libraries

SDG posts (various)

 

N.B.  Apologies to Doctor Hook for use of his title in this post...

 

 

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John Hunt Morgan had quite an interesting career. I have a question, was he at Fallen Timbers along with Nathan Bedford Forrest?  Was he under the command of Forrest or independent? In response to your other post, Morgan had a man with him who could  tap the Telegraph lines and also send false telegraph messages up the line. Very interesting indeed. Thanks Ozzy. 

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Roger

Great questions in regard to John Hunt Morgan... here is my "informed belief"

  • Numerous Federal prisoners waiting in Corinth on April 7th for their train to Memphis reported seeing Cavalry officer Morgan in vicinity of the depot for the M & C R.R. so I believe it unlikely Morgan was present at Fallen Timbers on April 8th.
  • On the whole, I believe Forrest and Morgan operated independently of each other. As concerns the Kentucky operation of late 1862 the find-a-grave bio for Morgan sums up my belief best:  "his actions coincided with those of Forrest at one time, during the operation against Don Carlos Buell."
  • Wire-tappers were in use on both sides: General O.M. Mitchel joked with his superiors about taking control of the M & C R.R. line (and its adjacent telegraph line) on April 11th and sending "requests for reinforcements from Beauregard, east" and sending "questions in regard to Beauregard's intentions, west" ...and actually getting responses.
  • Shortly after his arrival in the West, General Beauregard specifically requested the services of Colonel Robert Ransom to coordinate the Cavalry operations within Department No.2 . As justification, Beauregard asserted that he "had no competent cavalry officers in his department" (or words to that effect.) Beauregard was "given" James Hawes, instead. (And you do not hear much of General Hawes' cavalry exploits...)

Ozzy

 

References:  Perfect Picture of Hell (Genoways)  pp.96- 97 [Statement of J.B. Dorr]

Roman's Military Operations of PGT Beauregard page 252

http://www.civilwar.org/learn/biographies/john-hunt-morgan  John Hunt Morgan bio

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=4433  Morgan bio at find-a-grave

 

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Morgan's quick witted wiretapper was George "Lightning " Ellsworth a canadian who had become enamoured of the Confederate cause while he was inTX. i have not read/found that he joined Morgan but later in 1862.so he was not with Morgan's squadron at Shiloh.

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In Basil Duke's History of Morgan's Calvary he writes that" Breckinridge was left as rear guard and withdrew to 3 miles to Mickey's and remained there undisturbed for 5-6 days. Our calvary(Morgan) occupied the ground several miles further north. Morgan's Squadron and other calvary commands were posted for more than a week upon a portion of the field won from the enemy on the first day.,during which only 2-3 trifling skirmishes occured. "  so Morgan himself ive never found was present at Fallen Timbers. ill have to check another source as to which of his squadron was presnt but it reads like they were in the vicinity..maybe fallen timbers to them not as fierce a battle as they'd experienced the 2 days previously..to call it a squirmish.what do yall think.

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Mona

I've just had a re-read of Basil Duke's History of Morgan's Cavalry (including his interesting "take" on the Battle of Shiloh, from a cavalryman's point of view) and offer the following observations:

  • Basil Duke was Morgan's replacement after General Morgan's death in 1864;
  • In the 11-page description of Day One, Battle of Shiloh Basil Duke expresses "desire to take part in the fight" [but it was an infantry fight, and the cavalry had limited usefulness]
  • Duke takes special pains to not besmirch the character of General Beauregard [for calling off completion of the victory, Day One]
  • Duke's one-page report of April 7th describes "a successful withdrawal: orderly, and with the Confederate Army maintaining organization"
  • The one-paragraph depiction of "after April 7th" [page 154] and the defence mounted by Breckinridge to stave off pursuit by Grant is telling because Duke asserts "a squadron of Morgan's Cavalry and other cavalry commands" took the vital stop-gap position, facing towards the enemy. [ Note: Colonel Forrest is not mentioned by name; yet he was undeniably present, because he bore scars that proved his participation.] 
  • Duke alludes to "two or three triffling skirmishes" that occurred during the week-long defence of the Road to Corinth. [Again, this strikes me as a slap at Forrest; from scanning through the remainder of Basil Duke's book, it appears there was a "rivalry" between Forrest and Morgan. I doubt it would have been possible to put one man in charge of the other -- the egos were just too big.]
  • Was John Hunt Morgan at Fallen Timbers on April 8th?  In Basil Duke's depiction of Day One, Battle of Shiloh, every minor involvement of Morgan's Cavalry is mentioned; yet in describing "events after April 7th" that period is described as nothing more than "a few triffling skirmishes." I believe if Morgan, himself, had been there; or if Morgan's Cavalry had participated in the April 8th action, Basil Duke would have reported the fact. Therefore, although I have little doubt that Morgan's Cavalry participated in some fashion in the defence of Corinth Road after April 7th, it is my belief Morgan's Cavalry had no -- at best, insignificant -- role in April 8th Battle of Fallen Timbers.

So although it is not impossible that John Hunt Morgan (or elements of his command) participated in Fallen Timbers, circumstantial evidence tends to rule out significant involvement on April 8th.

Ozzy

 

Reference:    http://archive.org/stream/morganscavalry00dukerich#page/154/mode/2up/search/Forrest    Basil Duke's History of Morgan's Cavalry [with all instances of mention of N.B. Forrest highlighted] found at archive.org

 

N.B.  There is also record of a skirmish occurring just south of Fallen Timbers, on April 10th. Perhaps this is the action Morgan's Cavalry took a part, at Mickey's Ridge?

 

 

 

 

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Thank you Mona. I don't have my book on Morgan in front of me now, the volume I have was written by Dee Brown who wrote Bury my heart at Wounded Knee, I believe. I think he describes Ellsworth as an Englishman. His description of him was extremely interesting of how he would climb the pole and attach his wires and listen in on the Yankees and send them false orders and so forth. 

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Thank you Ozzy, Forrest was placed in command of all of the confederate rearguard cavalry but had only a company sized command of his own. Is that correct?  It was the 8th Texas Cavalry that brought around  225 men into the fight at and their description of the battle downplayed Forrest role. Timothy Smith has a letter written by a Mississippi cavalry man from yet another command in his book on Shiloh.

     On the Union side all of the casualties were from the 77th Ohio, and one man from the 53rd Ohio was hit by a pistol ball undoubtedly fired by Forrest himself as he rode through the 77th Ohio ' line, but not before being shot point blank by a member of the 77th who shoved his rifle into Forrests side, just above the hip, and pulled the trigger. How a man shot point blank by a .69 caliber ball could stay in the saddle and not pass out or fall off his horse, defys  belief. The 53rd were in line of battle and were closing up on the 77th from behind when Forrest broke through their line but could not fire because of the 77th in front. 

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Roger

According to the OR 10 (page 627) Colonel Jonathan Wharton of Terry's Texas Rangers was put in charge, by General Beauregard, "to move to the right of our Army and protect it's retreat. I maintained a position next to Lick Creek until night-fall, and then encamped in rear of the entire Army, throwing out pickets in connection with Colonels Adams, Forrest and Lindsay."

[Things had potential to become confused on Tuesday: Colonel Wharton had been wounded during Shiloh, and his wound was made more painful "by being in the saddle." He turned over command of the Texas Rangers on Tuesday morning to Major Thomas Harrison; and Colonel Wharton departed for medical treatment at Corinth.]

Major Harrison's report (which many people miss seeing) is on page 923, in the Appendix of OR 10. Here are the highlights of that April 11th 1862 report:  "Having taken command of the 220-strong Texas Rangers [in Colonel Wharton's absence] I was informed late Tuesday [April 8th] by a member of Colonel Forrest's command of the appearance of enemy cavalry in our vicinity. I proceeded with my 220 men (and another forty belonging to Forrest) to the point occupied by the enemy, and there found 300 cavalry, a line of infantry in support; and I believed there to be a masked battery [of undetermined number] concealed in the brush. While attempting to take up a better position (to attack the enemy) I met Captain Isaac Harrison of Wirt Adam's cavalry, in charge of forty men. He informed me that his force was so positioned to prevent flank attack on us by the enemy. I therefore returned to my initial position (near the Hospital) and encountered Colonel Forrest, now commanding his forty men, in person. I consulted with Colonel Forrest and it was determined to charge the enemy cavalry to our front... The charge was immediately executed; the enemy was engaged, and his cavalry and infantry were both put to flight.

"Shortly after this engagement, I was ordered by General Breckinridge to take position in the rear of Breckinridge's infantry and artillery. I suppose forty or fifty of the enemy were killed; doubtless countless more wounded. And we took 43 prisoners. My loss totalled two killed; seven wounded (none too seriously) and one man missing. And Colonel Forrest is reported to be slightly wounded."

Report of April 8th engagement, from Major Harrison to Colonel Wharton.

Cheers

Ozzy

References as indicated in text.

 

N.B.  I wonder if "Harrison Road" in vicinity of Fallen Timbers is named for one, or both, cavalrymen?

 

 

 

 

 

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Thank you Ozzy, Forrest was placed in command of all of the confederate rearguard cavalry but had only a company sized command of his own. Is that correct?  It was the 8th Texas Cavalry that brought around  225 men into the fight at and their description of the battle downplayed Forrest role. Timothy Smith has a letter written by a Mississippi cavalry man from yet another command in his book on Shiloh.

     On the Union side all of the casualties were from the 77th Ohio, and one man from the 53rd Ohio was hit by a pistol ball undoubtedly fired by Forrest himself as he rode through the 77th Ohio ' line, but not before being shot point blank by a member of the 77th who shoved his rifle into Forrests side, just above the hip, and pulled the trigger. How a man shot point blank by a .69 caliber ball could stay in the saddle and not pass out or fall off his horse, defys  belief. The 53rd were in line of battle and were closing up on the 77th from behind when Forrest broke through their line but could not fire because of the 77th in front. 

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Don't ask me how this reposted my previous comments. This report from Harrison is very strange almost to the point of asking if he was actually at the battle. It runs counter to all of the eyewitness accounts I have, including members of the 8th Texas Cavalry. 

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Roger

Sometimes the SDG "reply system" keeps a copy of your work while you construct a post; when you begin your next post, the "old copy" usually appears immediately (so you can continue with it, or delete it.)

As concerns Major Harrison, I believe his report of April 11th is ignored because of where it appears (way out of sequence with the other Confederate reports from Shiloh, in the Appendix of OR 10.) What also encourages me to believe this report:

  • it was sent to Colonel Wharton before he submitted his report (dated April 12th, and Wharton makes mention of Harrison's report details).
  • Colonel Wharton submitted his report direct to General Beauregard (via Thomas Jordan.) If Wharton (or Harrison) submitted "porky pies," General Beauregard or Colonel Jordan would have realized pretty quickly that fact. Also, it would take a brave man to submit a fabrication (not knowing if Colonel Forrest would have a decidedly different view of the operations of April 7 and 8.)

The most important detail in Major Harrison's report: no mention of John Hunt Morgan on April 8th.

Regards

Ozzy

 

 

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Harrison report sounds like the report of someone relaying what he heard from others but did not actually see himself. I'm not in front of my main computer so don't have access to my eyewitness accounts from the 8th Texas. This man supplies precious few details for someone who supposedly just led a grand cavalry charge that should have been the highlight of his military career. I'm skeptical. 

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Roger

You are correct: Thomas Harrison was denigrated by the men of his own regiment as "unnecessarily strict." They termed him "Mark Time Major" for a punishment he inflicted on two Texas Rangers, accused of straggling. In addition, Major Harrison was accused by troopers of the regiment for "withdrawing too quickly" in front of a superior Federal force in January 1862 (while the 8th Texas was stationed in vicinity of Bowling Green.) They derisively referred to him as "Jimtown Major."

However, those same troops of the 8th Texas record that on April 8th 1862, their charge was initiated (in conjunction with Colonel Forrest) by Harrison shouting, "Now follow your Jimtown - Mark Time Major!"

As regards "relative seniority," the original commander of the 8th Texas was Benjamin Franklin Terry, killed in action December 1861. Replacing Terry was Thomas Lubbock (who was unwell with typhoid fever... and died in Nashville in January 1862.) John A. Wharton became Colonel of the 8th Texas, with effect from January 23rd. [And John G. Walker became LtCol about the same time; but Walker was on sick leave at the time of Battle of Shiloh and Fallen Timbers.]

At the Battle of Fort Donelson, Nathan Bedford Forrest is recorded as Lieutenant Colonel (having been voted into that rank in October 1861.) Sometime before the Battle of Shiloh, Forrest was elevated to Colonel (so there could be disagreement who was senior: Wharton or Forrest.) But with Wharton away from the field on April 8th, there could be no disagreement that Colonel Forrest was senior to Major Thomas Harrison (8th Texas) and Captain Isaac Harrison (Wirt Adams Cavalry). The subject under investigation is whether or not John Hunt Morgan, or elements of his cavalry, were present during the action of April 8th. [I believe there is support for participation by Morgan's Cavalry in the defence of the Road north of Corinth after April 8th... but nothing can be presented as proof for involvement on April 8th.]

Regards

Ozzy

 

Reference:  http://www.keathleywebs.com/terrysrangers/terry2.htm  Campaigns of Terry's Texas Rangers

 

N.B.  "Claims" are not proof. But an official report, subject to scrutiny by those who were present at the time, is about as close as you can get... besides actual wounds.

 

 

 

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On 6/16/2017 at 7:49 PM, Ozzy said:

Mona

I've just had a re-read of Basil Duke's History of Morgan's Cavalry (including his interesting "take" on the Battle of Shiloh, from a cavalryman's point of view) and offer the following observations:

  • Basil Duke was Morgan's replacement after General Morgan's death in 1864;
  • In the 11-page description of Day One, Battle of Shiloh Basil Duke expresses "desire to take part in the fight" [but it was an infantry fight, and the cavalry had limited usefulness]
  • Duke takes special pains to not besmirch the character of General Beauregard [for calling off completion of the victory, Day One]
  • Duke's one-page report of April 7th describes "a successful withdrawal: orderly, and with the Confederate Army maintaining organization"
  • The one-paragraph depiction of "after April 7th" [page 154] and the defence mounted by Breckinridge to stave off pursuit by Grant is telling because Duke asserts "a squadron of Morgan's Cavalry and other cavalry commands" took the vital stop-gap position, facing towards the enemy. [ Note: Colonel Forrest is not mentioned by name; yet he was undeniably present, because he bore scars that proved his participation.] 
  • Duke alludes to "two or three triffling skirmishes" that occurred during the week-long defence of the Road to Corinth. [Again, this strikes me as a slap at Forrest; from scanning through the remainder of Basil Duke's book, it appears there was a "rivalry" between Forrest and Morgan. I doubt it would have been possible to put one man in charge of the other -- the egos were just too big.]
  • Was John Hunt Morgan at Fallen Timbers on April 8th?  In Basil Duke's depiction of Day One, Battle of Shiloh, every minor involvement of Morgan's Cavalry is mentioned; yet in describing "events after April 7th" that period is described as nothing more than "a few triffling skirmishes." I believe if Morgan, himself, had been there; or if Morgan's Cavalry had participated in the April 8th action, Basil Duke would have reported the fact. Therefore, although I have little doubt that Morgan's Cavalry participated in some fashion in the defence of Corinth Road after April 7th, it is my belief Morgan's Cavalry had no -- at best, insignificant -- role in April 8th Battle of Fallen Timbers.

So although it is not impossible that John Hunt Morgan (or elements of his command) participated in Fallen Timbers, circumstantial evidence tends to rule out significant involvement on April 8th.

Ozzy

 

Reference:    http://archive.org/stream/morganscavalry00dukerich#page/154/mode/2up/search/Forrest    Basil Duke's History of Morgan's Cavalry [with all instances of mention of N.B. Forrest highlighted] found at archive.org

 

N.B.  There is also record of a skirmish occurring just south of Fallen Timbers, on April 10th. Perhaps this is the action Morgan's Cavalry took a part, at Mickey's Ridge?

 

 

 

 

i believe as you write that morgan's squadron was in the rear guard but probably not at fallen timber as i believe duke would have surely mentioned it...the action on the 10th is more liking to the action duke describes..  duke does "embelish" the description of the battle as a victory..the only thing i can come up with is yes the confederate army did stp the federals from approach to corinth ...just a delay.

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On 6/17/2017 at 2:11 AM, Ozzy said:

Roger

According to the OR 10 (page 627) Colonel Jonathan Wharton of Terry's Texas Rangers was put in charge, by General Beauregard, "to move to the right of our Army and protect it's retreat. I maintained a position next to Lick Creek until night-fall, and then encamped in rear of the entire Army, throwing out pickets in connection with Colonels Adams, Forrest and Lindsay."

[Things had potential to become confused on Tuesday: Colonel Wharton had been wounded during Shiloh, and his wound was made more painful "by being in the saddle." He turned over command of the Texas Rangers on Tuesday morning to Major Thomas Harrison; and Colonel Wharton departed for medical treatment at Corinth.]

Major Harrison's report (which many people miss seeing) is on page 923, in the Appendix of OR 10. Here are the highlights of that April 11th 1862 report:  "Having taken command of the 220-strong Texas Rangers [in Colonel Wharton's absence] I was informed late Tuesday [April 8th] by a member of Colonel Forrest's command of the appearance of enemy cavalry in our vicinity. I proceeded with my 220 men (and another forty belonging to Forrest) to the point occupied by the enemy, and there found 300 cavalry, a line of infantry in support; and I believed there to be a masked battery [of undetermined number] concealed in the brush. While attempting to take up a better position (to attack the enemy) I met Captain Isaac Harrison of Wirt Adam's cavalry, in charge of forty men. He informed me that his force was so positioned to prevent flank attack on us by the enemy. I therefore returned to my initial position (near the Hospital) and encountered Colonel Forrest, now commanding his forty men, in person. I consulted with Colonel Forrest and it was determined to charge the enemy cavalry to our front... The charge was immediately executed; the enemy was engaged, and his cavalry and infantry were both put to flight.

"Shortly after this engagement, I was ordered by General Breckinridge to take position in the rear of Breckinridge's infantry and artillery. I suppose forty or fifty of the enemy were killed; doubtless countless more wounded. And we took 43 prisoners. My loss totalled two killed; seven wounded (none too seriously) and one man missing. And Colonel Forrest is reported to be slightly wounded."

Report of April 8th engagement, from Major Harrison to Colonel Wharton.

Cheers

Ozzy

References as indicated in text.

 

N.B.  I wonder if "Harrison Road" in vicinity of Fallen Timbers is named for one, or both, cavalrymen?

 

 

 

 

 

there are some Hariisons that have owned property for a long time ...the roads are around here named after long time land owners

 

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Mona

Thanks for clarifying that members of the Harrison family lived in the neighborhood; puts the supposition (of possibility of the road being named for Captain Harrison and Major Harrison) to rest.

The other bit of information I uncovered: John Wharton was promoted to Colonel in January 1862; N.B. Forrest was promoted to Colonel while he was with his force at Iuka in March 1862; and John Hunt Morgan was considered "a Captain" until April 15th. Therefore, Morgan would have been junior anytime he worked in cooperation with Colonel Forrest (and may have provided an incentive to be "elsewhere..." other side of the battlefield; or other end of the road.)

All the best

Ozzy

 

Reference:  http://civilwar.rosenbach.org/?p=4470   April 15th Telegram Lee to Beauregard (Rosenbach Collection)

 

 

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