John Hunt Morgan of the Confederate Cavalry Surrenders

I don't want to get to into the history of the automobile, because, if truth be told, I just don't care.  But, I do know cars were not around during the Civil War.  Those soldiers had to walk or ride horse-back everywhere they wanted to go.

I am pretty dependent on my car, I couldn't image how I would have made it across the country the three times that I have if I had to take the train, walk or ride a stagecoach or on horse-back.  I can't imagine what it must have been like to not even KNOW OF cars.

I did have a horse when I was in my teens though.  I can imagine what it might have been like to ride him everywhere.  But entering into battle on his back?  I admit, that is beyond my imagination.  I once rode a rather high-spirited Palomino that took off with me at a full-on gallop of five thousand miles an hour, I can not even begin to conjure in my mind what it would have been like to have been riding that fast with the enemy charging me with bullets and swords flying every which way.

I read something this morning (on wikipedia) about how if you were in the Cavalry you had to furnish your own horse and if it became lame or was killed you had 60 days to go home and get another and return to camp, or you'd be "demoted" to the infantry.  You had better have hoped that you could even make it home and once you got there that your home and stables weren't pillaged in your absence… and then that you could make it back to camp without being captured or killed.

And what it must have taken to feed, saddle, bridle and shoe all of those horses, not to mention all of the mucking out that must have been done.

But it's that unfortunate ride on that Palomino that gives me my present day appreciation for what it took to be in the Cavalry.

Which brings me back to my point, The Confederate Cavalry.

It was on this day, July 26, 1863, that John Hunt Morgan surrendered to Union troops after his unsuccessful foray into Southern Indiana and Ohio, known as "Morgan's Raid".

I really have to make a better habit of bookmarking things, I know I just saw a movie or a video recently about Morgan's ride into Ohio, I really wish I could recall what it was so I could share it with you.  It's maddening because I can vividly see a particular scene where "they" are looking at the map of the proposed ride…

And I know I either read or saw something about his escape from prison after being captured.  I am not helpful at all, I know….

I do recall a great juvenile fiction series book I read by Byron A. Dunn called Raiding with Morgan.  It was a very enjoyable read and I recommend it highly.

I'll let you know when I find that video clip….

Photo of Morgan's Raid map used withOUT permission from strattonhouse.com.

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Published in: on July 26, 2010 at 11:04 pm  Comments (1)  
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General William Edmondson “Grumble” Jones, C.S.A.

 

I have a Civil War namesake!  I was reading about something I can’t even recall now, but I saw the name GRUMBLE, and it sure caught my attention.

 

William E. Grumble Jones was a Confederate Cavalry General under JEB Stuart, and they could NOT stand each other.  And if it be known, I blame Stuart for the loss at Gettysburg.

 

OH!  I remember.  I was looking to see how far the CSA made it into Pennsylvania.  They made it within 80 miles or so of my birthplace.  So close, yet so far.

 

Anyway, Jones skirmished at Hanover in the Summer of 1863, just south of where I was born.  He saw lots of action and was promoted a few times too.  He was in the First Battle of Bull Run in 1861, rode on Stuart’s famous ride around McClellan prior to the Seven Days Battles in the Summer of 1862, was slightly wounded at the skirmish of the Orange Courthouse during the Second Bull Run in August of 1862.  In the Spring of 1863, Grumble Jones and B.G. Imboden seized and laid waste to the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad in Maryland, then in June he rejoined Stuart in Virginia for the largest cavalry battle of the whole war, the Battle of Brandy Station just prior to Gettsyburg.

 

I’ll never understand what Stuart was thinking leaving one of his best Generals out of the action at Gettysburg.  Stuart and Jones despised each other, sure, but Stuart had also said of Jones that he’s “the best outpost officer in the army”.  Way to let Lee & Ewell down, Harrisburg slip through your fingers and let pettiness ruin everything J.E.B..

 

That Fall, the fecal matter hit the fan and Stuart had Jones court-martialed for insulting Stuart (I wonder if that was when Jones called Stuart a young “whippersnapper”?  Or if Jones made a disparaging comment about Stuart’s dressing like a dandy Cavalier?), although guilty Robert E. Lee stepped in and transferred Jones to the Trans-Allegheny Division in West Virginia where he eventually joined up with Longstreet and made way into Tennessee in early 1864.  Jones took command of the entire Shenandoah Valley force in the Valley Campaigns of 1864 – the Lynchburg Campaign (May-June), Early’s Railroad Raids (June-August), and Sheridan’s Valley Campaign (August-October).

 

It was in Virginia, during the Battle of the Piedmont on June 5, 1864 that Jones was shot in the head and killed (at age 40) while leading an attack against far superior forces.  But, that was Grumble’s way – His old Railroad raiding compatriot, B.G. Imboden said of Jones that he “… was an old army officer, brave as a lion and had seen much service, and was known as a hard fighter. He was a man, however, of high temper, morose and fretful. He held the fighting qualities of the enemy in great contempt, and never would admit the possibility of defeat where the odds against him were not much over two to one”.

 

I almost forgot to tell you how he got his nickname of Grumble.  We’ll he’s just like me, a person with an irritable disposition.  I have an excuse too, but his disposition undoubtedly comes from him losing his wife as she was washed away from his arms in a shipwreck in 1852, that’d make me pretty grumbly too.

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