Morgan’s Last Raid

Historical Marker #623 in Prestonsburg remembers Confederate General John Hunt Morgan's last raid into Kentucky during the Civil War.

After Morgan was captured on an extended cavalry raid into Indiana and Ohio in the summer of 1863, he served time in the Ohio State Penitentiary in Columbus. Morgan escaped from that facility in November and made his way to Virginia, where he received a hero's welcome in Richmond. Returned to command of troops based in southwestern Virginia, Morgan made plans in the summer of 1864 for what would be the cavalryman's last big raid into his native state of Kentucky.

Morgan's command entered the state by way of Pound Gap and quickly captured Mount Sterling on June 8. Morgan's new command proved to be much less disciplined than his previous soldiers, as they robbed Mount Sterling citizens and looted the town's stores. The raiders rode on to Lexington where they captured badly needed horses and provisions two days later. A disastrous fight at Cynthiana on June 11 left Morgan's new troops in disarray. The cavalrymen retreated from Kentucky on June 12.

Arriving in Abingdon, Virginia, the defeated cavalrymen were reorganized into a division. However, Morgan was relieved of command of the Department of East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia at the end of August.

Operating in East Tennessee, Morgan was killed by Union forces on September 4, 1864, in Greeneville. Morgan's body was returned to Lexington and buried in the city cemetery.

Images

John Hunt Morgan

John Hunt Morgan

John Hunt Morgan made his last raid into Kentucky in the summer of 1864. He was killed in Greeneville, Tennessee, the following September. Courtesy the Library of Congress. View File Details Page

John Hunt Morgan

John Hunt Morgan

This carte de visite photograph show Confederate raider John Hunt Morgan posing with a cavalier attitude. Courtesy of the Kentucky Historical Society. View File Details Page

Frock Coat

Frock Coat

This frock coat was worn by Capt. Charlton Morgan, John Hunt Morgan's brother. "Charley" survived the war, serving with his brother through much of the conflict. Courtesy of the Kentucky Historical Society. View File Details Page

Morgan's Men

Morgan's Men

This group of photographs shows Morgan and a number of his men that were captured during their summer 1863 raid into Indiana and Ohio. Courtesy of the Kentucky Historical Society. View File Details Page

Morgan's Raiders

Morgan's Raiders

John Hunt Morgan's cavalry often made quick strikes at Kentucky towns disrupting Union army communications. Courtesy of the Kentucky Historical Society. View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Katie Crawford-Lackey, “Morgan’s Last Raid,” ExploreKYHistory, accessed July 26, 2017, http://explorekyhistory.ky.gov/items/show/480.

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