Battles & Leaders of the Civil War
MORGAN'S OHIO RAID.
BRIGADIER-GENERAL JOHN H. MORGAN, C. S. A.
directing us to remain until their return. McCook has since told me that the purpose of this ride was to find a position beyond Overall's Creek to which the army might retire. Upon approaching the creek Rosecrans, perceiving mounted men moving up and down with torches, said to McCook : "They have got entirely in our rear and are forming a line of battle by torchlight." They returned then to where we were, and Rosecrans told us to go to our commands and prepare to fight or die. The explanation of the torches is that the men were making fires, and the torches were firing-brands being carried from one point to another by cavalrymen. I had received an order from General Rosecrans not to allow the men to make fires; but upon looking out of my quarters I discovered that the fires were already made from one end of my line to the other. I sent Rosecrans word that as the men were cold and were not being disturbed by the enemy, and as it would take all night to put out the fires, we had better leave them. The men would have suffered very much if they had staid there all night without fire.
The battle was fought for the possession of middle Tennessee. We went down to drive the Confederates out of Murfreesboro', and we drove them out. They went off a few miles and camped again. And we, although we were the victors, virtually went into hospital for six months before we could march after them again. Whether we would take Murfreesboro' or go back to Nashville was doubtful until the last moment. As in most of our battles, very meager fruits resulted to either side from such partial victories as were for the most part won. Yet it was a triumph. It showed that in the long run the big purse and the big battalions-both on our side-must win ; and it proved that there were no better soldiers than ours.
The results of the battle were not what we had hoped, and yet there was a general feeling of elation. One day, after we had gone into Murfreesboro', I accompanied General Rosecrans im a ride about our camp. We had come across some regiment or brigade that was being drilled, and they raised a shout, and as he rode along he took off his cap and said : " All right, boys, all right ; Bragg's a good dog, but Hold Fast's a better:' This well expressed my feeling as to the kind of victory we had won.
MORGAN'S OHIO RAID.In the summer of 1863, the Confederate army at Tullahoma having been. weakened by detachments for the defense of Vicksburg, Bragg found himself exposed to the risk of an attack by Rosecrans from Murfreesboro' simultaneously with a movement by Burnside from the Ohio to drive Buckner out of Knoxville. Bragg therefore determined to fall back to Chattanooga. To cover the retreat he ordered Brigadier-General John H.
Morgan with a picked force from his division of mounted infantry (1) to ride into Kentucky, breaking up the railroad, attacking Rosecrans's detachments, and threatening Louisville. To gain more time, Morgan wanted to extend the raid by a wide sweep beyond the Ohio, but Bragg would not consent.
Morgan set out from Burkesville, on the 2d of July, with 2460 men and 4 guns, ostensibly to execute Bragg's orders, but really bent on carrying out his own plan. Although ten thousand Federal troops under Generals Hartsuff and Judah were watching the Cumberland at various points, Morgan skillfully effected the difficult crossing, overcame Judah's opposition, and rode north, followed by all the Federal detachments within reach.
On the 4th he attacked the 25th Michigan, Col. Orlando H. Moore, in a strong position guarding the bridge over Green River, and drew off with heavy loss. On the 5th he defeated and captured the garrison of Lebanon, and then marched, by Springfield and Bardstown, to Brandenburg, on the Ohio, where he arrived on the morning of the
(1) Brig: Gen. B. W. Duke commanded the First Brigade, and Colonel Adam R. Johnson the Second.- EDITORS.