RAID ON THE L & NCaptain John Hunt Morgan
Winter of 1861-1862
He was the model of a 19th century cavalry officer - tall, dashing, impeccably uniformed and always handsomely mounted. John Hunt Morgan was a Kentucky gentleman with a flair for the daring. He raised his own company of troops on the eve of war, and they followed him into Confederate service in 1861. An expert leader and a superb cavalry officer, he experienced a meteoric rise in rank from captain to brigadier general. His bold raids behind enemy lines in Tennessee and Kentucky - and into the Northern heartland of Ohio and Indiana - disrupted Federal operations, reinforced Confederate defenses and heartened the people of the embattled South.
Once, as Morgan brazenly led his horse soldiers on a raid through Federally-occupied Kentucky, President Lincoln was moved to declare in frustration: "They are having a stampede in Kentucky." Morgan launched his reputation as a dashing Confederate cavalier with a series of raids through Kentucky's Green River country in the winter of 1861-1862. Targeting the important Louisville & Nashville Railroad, Morgan - then a captain - led his hard-riding troopers on a romp behind enemy lines. Braving bitter winter weather, they burned bridges, captured at least one locomotive and destroyed countless Yankee railroad cars. When the raids ended, Northern forces in Kentucky were left distracted and unnerved - and the fame and fable of warfare had crowned the fearless John Hunt Morgan.
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