John Hunt Morgan

Brigadier General

Headstone: Find-a-Grave

Previous Page

Reference: Alabama Department of Archives & History. Custodian of the original pictures. Confederate Officers photo album.

John Hunt Morgan, whose two sisters married Generals A. P. Hill and Basil W. Duke, was born at Huntsville, Alabama, June 1, 1825. Educated at Transylvania College in Lexington, Kentucky (his mother's home), he enlisted in the Mexican War and saw service at Buena Vista. He was mustered out in 1847, and commenced the manufacture of hemp in Lexington, and engaged in the general merchandising business left him by his grandfather Hunt. He organized the Lexington Rifles in 1857, but when the Civil War came, Morgan led his command to Bowling Green and joined the forces of General Buckner. From then until his death three years later his exploits made him one of the legendary figures of the Confederacy, ranking then and to this day with Jeb Stuart in the hearts of Kentuckians as a symbol of the "Lost Cause." He was promoted colonel of the 2nd Kentucky Cavalry on April 4, 1862, and brigadier general on December 11. His series of raids into Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio earned him a vote of thanks from the Confederate Congress and the undying animosity of a large segment of the frightened North. On his most famous raid north of the Ohio in 1863 he was captured near New Lisbon and imprisoned in the Ohio State Penitentiary, together with a number of his officers. Contriving to escape and make his way south, he was placed in command of the Department of Southwestern Virginia in April 1864. He bivouacked in Greeneville, Tennessee, on the night of September 3, 1864, while en-route to attack Federal forces near Knoxville. Early the next morning he was surprised by a detachment of Union cavalry and was killed in the garden of the house where he had been sleeping. He is buried in Lexington, Kentucky.

Ref: Generals in Gray, Lives of the Confederate Commanders by Ezra J. Warner.  Printed by Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge and London.