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Gen. John Hunt Morgan
 Morgan's Men Association, Inc.
Founded Lexington, Kentucky, April 17, 1868

 Association of the Descendants of the men who rode with Gen. John Hunt Morgan, C.S.A.
 

 Table of Contents


History
Membership
Officers
Articles
Resources
 News
Contact
Webrings
 Links
Memorabilia
 
Credits

 
Features
  • Dickson-Williams Home, where Gen. Morgan last slept.
  • John Paul Strain's  Morgan's Raid on the L & N
  •  

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    Morgan's Men Association History

          The Morgan's Men Association was formed originally at Lexington, Kentucky, at the reinternment of Gen. John Hunt Morgan, on April 17, 1868.  After serving as the funeral escort for their leader, the surviving members of Morgan's command met at the Phoenix Hotel and created the association.


     "The men pledged fidelity and affection for each other for as long as they lived and resolved that the memory of our illustrious and beloved leader shall ever be as indelibly stamped upon the tablets of our hearts as his name is written on the undying page of history."
     

     
    Morgan's Men met annually at least through 1883 when the reunion was held in Woodland Park in Lexington before a crowd of over 1,200 veterans and friends. Prominent Morgan's Men who led the reunion included Kentucky Governor James McCreary and Brig. Gen. Basil W. Duke.  The guest of honor was Gen. Morgan's only surviving child, Johnnie Hunt Morgan Caldwell. In 1898, the Association met in Cincinnati, Ohio, as guests of their old foe, the 7th Ohio Cavalry. Such was the pride associated with riding with Morgan and fighting against him.

     
     Crowd of ten thousand at Gen. Morgan statue 
    dedication in Lexington, KY 1910
    In 1903, at Parks Hill, in Nicholas County, Kentucky, the group was reorganized with a membership of 260 veterans. However, after that date the number of members slowly diminished as death took its toll.  At the 1916 reunion it was noted that only 167 of the veterans who met in 1903 were still alive.  In 1932, the Confederate Veteran magazine reported that just nine of the members were able to attend that year's meeting in Lexington and one of that number died just three days afterward.  Although no formal records remain, it is assumed that the 1932 meeting was one of the last. Incredibly, it was not until 1953 that the last surviving member died.

     
     
    The officers of the Morgan's Men Association included some of the South's most prominent men. Gen. Basil W. Duke served as president from its formation until his death in 1916.  Others who served as leaders were Kentucky Governor James B. McCreary, Kentucky Lt. Governor James E. Cantrill, Dr. John A. Lewis of Georgetown College, Col. D. Howard Smith, and Kentucky State Auditor, M. C. Saufley. Saufley noted that "I have never seen a man who belonged to Morgan's command who was not proud of his service."  Gen. Basil Duke proudly proclaimed at the same reunion that "nothing but death can remove the pride I feel in Morgan's Men".  Col. W. C. P. Breckinridge, responding to a standing ovation, asked the audience to remember him "simply as one of Morgan's Men".

    "Black Bess" and Gen. Morgan
     

     
    If one singled out the common bond that cemented these men together, it was the overwhelming pride they felt as Confederate soldiers who rode with the best, with Gen. John Hunt Morgan. However, as these men died the pride was left to be perpetuated in the dry pages of history books and on the cold lifeless marble of the Confederate monuments. 
    Morgan's Men as POWs
     

     
         Memories have faded and today many of the descendants of those "Rebel Raiders" hardly know their grandfathers and great-grandfathers even served at all. The re-establishment of the Morgan's Men Association is an attempt to change that, to re-establish the pride, to again celebrate our heritage as "Morgan's Men".  The Modern reorganization of the Morgan's Men Association is an association of members of the Morgan family and the descendants, both direct and collateral, of the Confederate soldiers who served with Gen. Morgan, and other interested persons whose common goal is to preserve a positive and accurate image of Morgan and his men, and to insure that the exploits of these brave men shall always be revered by the people of Kentucky and the rest of the nation.

     
     
     
    "Morgan's Men Association, Inc., shall be strictly historical and benevolent, non-political and non-sectarian."

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    Officers
    Commander-in-Chief: Ralph Widowski
    1st Lt. Commander: John McGee
    2nd Lt. Commander: Martin Sherrod
    Treasurer: Jinny Widowski
    Secretary: Sam Flora
    Historian: Tim Massey
    Chaplain: Morgan D. Silvers, DPM
    Judge Advocate: R. Burl McCoy
    Board Member: Ben Sewell
    Board Member: Lucille Haney
    Board Member: Jim Murphy
    Board Member: Beverly Ramnes

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    Membership Information


         There are two types of memberships available. Regular Membership is open to all members of the family of Luther Morgan, the grandfather of Gen. John Hunt Morgan, and to all descendants, both direct and collateral, of those who served honorably in the Confederate States Army in the command of Gen. Morgan.  Associate Membership is extended to all other persons who are interested in maintaining Gen. Morgan's honored place in our nation's history.  A special invitation is made to the descendants of the Union soldiers who fought against Morgan's Men.  Just as the Union opponents were proud of their adversary role, so will be their descendants. Membership is available to all applicants, regardless of age. Only the associate and regular members aged 16 years or older have the right to vote on Association matters.
     

    [List of Morgan's Confederate units ]   [List of some Union Adversaries]

    [Membership Application Form]  


         The Morgan's Men Association, Inc. hosts an annual meeting or "reunion" of the membership.  This reunion is held in late August or early Setember. These reunions are held in different historical locations associated with Morgan's Command.

         As a member of Morgan's Men, you will receive a beautiful 11" X 14" membership certificate, hand lettered with your name and the name, rank, and regimental affiliation of your ancestor. Associate members also receive a certificate proclaiming membership in the association.
     
     
     

    Join Us!
    Become one of Morgan's Men and rekindle the spirit of those young men who rode off to war with the pride and excitement of riding with MORGAN!

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    Contact Information:

    Questions or more membership information can be obtained by U.S. Mail by writing:

    Morgan's Men Association c/o Sam Flora
    1691 Kilkenny Dr.
    Lexington, KY 40505
    or by email contact Sam Flora


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    "I want to be a cavalryman
    And with John Hunt Morgan ride,
    A colt revolver in my belt
    A saber by my side.
    I want a pair of epaulets
    to match my suit of gray,
    The uniform my mother made 
    And lettered 'CSA'. "


    Other Resources


    Books By Morgan's Men of Yesterday and Today:

    "The Bride and the Bandit", a biography of Martha Ready Morgan, wartime bride of General John Hunt Morgan. By MMA members, Dr. Robert O. Neff and Edith Elizabeth Politz. Hard bound, 408 pages., including photographs and extensive notes. Strictly limited to 500 copies. Price $35.00 per copy plus $3.00 shipping. Check or money order only. Please include correct mailing address information with your order. Edith Elizabeth politz, 3703 Anthony Dr., Tallhassee, FL, 32308.

    "Confederate Pensioners of Kentucky" A compilation of Pension Applications of the Veterans & Widows 1912 - 1946 by MMA member, Steve D. Lynn, can now be ordered. Visit Steve's website for details and order form.

    "The Longest Raid of the Civil War" by MMA member, Lester V. Horwitz, can now be purchased in hard cover or paper back. Call toll-free 1-513-295-0464 to order a copy. Contains over 500 pages, 180 photos, and 39 county maps tracing Morgan's 1,000 mile raid. Visit "The Longest Raid" Website for more information.

    A History of Morgan's Cavalry, by Basil W. Duke and Reminiscenes of General
    W. Duke have now been reprinted. No MMA member should be without a copy of these first person accounts. The books are retailing for $39.95 each. In Lexington, contact Michael Courtney at Black Swan Books, 505 East Maxwell St. at (606) 252-7255. MMA members will receive a discount. Outside Lexington, check your local bookstore. (Also available from "The General's Book's" Blue and Gray Magazine)

    Confederate Wizards of the Saddle, (1914) by Bennett H. Young
    is now back in print. Bennett Young was one of Morgan's best officers, who later led the raid from Canada on St. Albans, Vermont. Available from Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble (bn.com)

    The Partisan Rangers of the Confederate States Army : Memoirs of General Adam R. Johnson, by Adam Rankin Johnson, reprint of the original. (available from Amazon Books)

     Morgan's Daring Raid: The Battle of Hartsville, by MMA member, John Timothy Heath, is the most complete account ever of the raid which was one of the most successful raids of the war.  The book is available in softcover for $25.00 or $37.50 hardcover. To order, write Battle of Hartsville Preservation, 121 McMurry Rd., Hartsville, TN  37074. Include $4.00 for shipping.


    Tennessee Preacher Tennessee Solder

     In early 1861, young Presbyterian minister John D. Kirkpatrick was preaching at his first church near Nashville. Even before Tennessee seceded, John heard the call to arms and joined the First Tennessee Volunteers. It was no surprise that he would enlist in the Confederate Army; his ancestors had served in both the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. In 1862, he became a captain of Company C of the Ninth Tennessee Cavalry, which was soon attached to Morgan's Cavalry Brigade. He was with Morgan at Hartsville and on the Christmas Raid. He was captured in Gallatin, but escaped with the help of a southern-sympathizing federal guard. At Vaught's Hill, he commanded his regiment. On the Indiana-Ohio raid, he was with the first troops that crossed the Ohio River at Brandenburg. He narrowly avoided capture at Buffington Island because he had been sent across the river before the battle to secure the east bank. He then led 110 men on foot through the mountains of West Virginia to Confederate territory, arriving in time to fight under Forrest at Chickamauga. He commanded a battalion of Morgan’s men on Wheeler’s raid through Middle Tennessee, and, on the retreat into Alabama, commanded the rear guard at a bloody fight at Sugar Creek. John fought at Missionary Ridge, Ringgold Gap, and again under Wheeler at Charleston, Tennessee. Captain Kirkpatrick rejoined Morgan after his escape from prison, and commanded a battalion at Cove Gap and on Morgan’s Last Kentucky Raid. Although severely wounded at Cynthiana on the morning of June 12, 1864, he escaped capture and somehow was able to make his way back to Wytheville, Virginia, a two hundred mile trip through the mountains. Still the loyal Confederate, he spent the last few months of the war trying to get authorization from Richmond to raise a regiment of cavalry to fight under Forrest. After Lee's surrender at Appomattox, he appears to have been a part of Duke’s force that escorted Confederate President Jefferson Davis into Georgia. When Duke dismissed his troops at Woodstock, John headed west. He surrendered at Marion, Alabama on May 16, five weeks after Appomattox, and then headed home. After the war, he successfully led several churches in Nashville, taught theology at Cumberland University in Lebanon, and published a newspaper. When Morgan’s daughter, Johnnie Hunt Morgan Campbell, died, he helped officiate at her funeral. On his death, Cumberland University named their new home Kirkpatrick Memorial Hall.

    I have just published a book about Captain Kirkpatrick's Civil War career. Information about the book, including how to purchase it, can be obtained at http://tennesseepreachertennesseesoldier.com/. There is some outstanding authentic Confederate cavalry music there that will make the viewer wish he had been born a hundred years earlier.
    Tom Stevens

     Other Good Books On General Morgan or Morgan's men:

     To Die in Chicago: Confederate Prisoners at Camp Douglas 1862-65. By George Levy, Evanston Publishing, copyright 1999.

    Morgan's Raiders, by Dee Alexander Brown, copy right 1959 (available from Amazon Books)

    The Last Night and Last Day of John Hunt Morgan's Raid: Eyewitness Accounts of Morgan's Ohio Raid of 1863,  Edited by Jere. H. Simms (originally published 1913) Reprinted by Genesis Publishing Co., 1997. (Available from "The General's Books", Blue and Gray Magazine)

    Rebel Raider: The Life of General John Hunt Morgan, by James A. Ramage; The University Press of Kentucky; copyright 1986.  (Available at the Hunt-Morgan House, Lexington, Ky or Barnes and Noble)

    John Hunt Morgan and His Raiders, by Edison H. Thomas, University Press of Kentucky, copyright 1985 (Available from Amazon Books)

     Corydon--The Forgotten Battle of the Civil War, By W. Fred Conway, FBH Publishers, copyright 1994. (available at the Hunt-Morgan House, Lexington, KY)

    The Most Incredible Prison Escape of the Civil War, by W. Fred Conway, FBH Publishers, copyright 1994.(available at the Hunt-Morgan House, Lexington, KY)


    Ancestor Spotlight


    John D. Kirkpatrick

    In early 1861, young Presbyterian minister John D. Kirkpatrick was preaching at his first church near Nashville. Even before Tennessee seceded, John heard the call to arms and joined the First Tennessee Volunteers. It was no surprise that he would enlist in the Confederate Army; his ancestors had served in both the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. In 1862, he became a captain of Company C of the Ninth Tennessee Cavalry, which was soon attached to Morgan's Cavalry Brigade. He was with Morgan at Hartsville and on the Christmas Raid. He was captured in Gallatin, but escaped with the help of a southern-sympathizing federal guard. At Vaught's Hill, he commanded his regiment. On the Indiana-Ohio raid, he was with the first troops that crossed the Ohio River at Brandenburg. He narrowly avoided capture at Buffington Island because he had been sent across the river before the battle to secure the east bank. He then led 110 men on foot through the mountains of West Virginia to Confederate territory, arriving in time to fight under Forrest at Chickamauga. He commanded a battalion of Morgan’s men on Wheeler’s raid through Middle Tennessee, and, on the retreat into Alabama, commanded the rear guard at a bloody fight at Sugar Creek. John fought at Missionary Ridge, Ringgold Gap, and again under Wheeler at Charleston, Tennessee. Captain Kirkpatrick rejoined Morgan after his escape from prison, and commanded a battalion at Cove Gap and on Morgan’s Last Kentucky Raid. Although severely wounded at Cynthiana on the morning of June 12, 1864, he escaped capture and somehow was able to make his way back to Wytheville, Virginia, a two hundred mile trip through the mountains. Still the loyal Confederate, he spent the last few months of the war trying to get authorization from Richmond to raise a regiment of cavalry to fight under Forrest. After Lee's surrender at Appomattox, he appears to have been a part of Duke’s force that escorted Confederate President Jefferson Davis into Georgia. When Duke dismissed his troops at Woodstock, John headed west. He surrendered at Marion, Alabama on May 16, five weeks after Appomattox, and then headed home. After the war, he successfully led several churches in Nashville, taught theology at Cumberland University in Lebanon, and published a newspaper. When Morgan’s daughter, Johnnie Hunt Morgan Campbell, died, he helped officiate at her funeral. On his death, Cumberland University named their new home Kirkpatrick Memorial Hall.
    Tom Stevens

    G.M. KERBOW

    I was born in Jackson County, Ga., Nov. 11, 1846 and volunteered to go to war at the age of 17. I entered in May, 1863, Company D, 16th Georgia Battalion Calvary. Colonel Billy Win was my colonel, Major Clark was our major and Captain Camp was captain of Company D. He was wounded at Bluntville, Tenn., and was unable for service any more. Lieut. Mathis succeeded him. My soldiering was in Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee. It was an independent battalion but most of the time I was with Morgan until he was killed. The Federals made it very interesting for us and they kept us in lead most of the time. One of the fights was at Bull’s Gap, Tenn. We went out on skirmish line. Every boy picked his log for protection. I got behind a chestnut log, a little fellow by the name of Cato got behind a pine log. We saw some few Federals entering a small boxed house and began shooting. Soon they saw us and they also began shooting. When they hit the log Cato was behind he said, “Lookout Marshall, begad.” I looked up and a bullet came whizzing into my hat, so I lay down again. Willingly I lay there until four o’clock in the evening. The prettiest music I have heard was Yankee Doodle played by the Federals and Dixie played by our boys. We were called in then and the Federals built their fires which meant they were going to leave their breast works. We cut them off at Morristown, six or seven miles away from Bull’s Gap. They were falling back to Knoxville. We had our pickets, the Federals drove them in, so we formed a line knowing they were near. The fight began and lasted all night. We captured about twelve hundred at once and drove the Federals to Knoxville. About a month after that I was captured at Sevenmile Ford in Virginia and they kept me four days and nights. We were guarded by two white regiments and one negro regiment as a rear guard. They marched us down the road 4 days and nights. Every man that got tired and give out he would be killed, as it was reported. When a man would fall behind the negroes would yell “Step up there white man, make my gun smoke after you: and step up there white man, bottom rail on top.” John Wallace soon grew tired and said, “Oh, Lord God, Marshall, I’m bound to die,” but hearing a gun fire he would pass me. After a while he said, “Oh, Lord God, Marshall, I’m bound to die.” I said, “Must I tell your friends and relatives you died a praying?” He said, “I don’t give a damn what you tell them.” When they paroled us we were very hungry and had nothing to eat except roasted corn and raw mutton. John Lancaster, John Maynard’s uncle, and I went to search for food. We went to a negro woman’s shack where she was cooking corn cakes. There we grabbed half a dozen cakes, put soap grease on them. It was the best food that I had ever eaten. Our order was to report at Knoxville after we were paroled, but I have not seen the place up until yet. We organized a battalion of infantry at Bristle, Tenn., left there and started to Richmond, got as far as Christianbury when Lee surrendered. I took my old mule out of the wagon train and started out for Johnson’s army in South Carolina, but he surrendered before we got there, then I started for home. I got home the first of May, arriving there at midnight. Mother made me pull off and burn all of my clothes which were filled with “cooties.” If there was ever a mule that had a soul, “Old Bill” did have the biggest one. He died near Enloe at the age of 24. I’m still here on my first legs, the father of 18 children. God has blessed me all my life. We old soldiers are all on the border line and will soon pass over the river and rest under the shade of the trees.” Cooper Review, Mar. 14, 1936, Cooper, Texas
    Mike Wilson


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    Association News

    The Vidette

     
    Official Newsletter of the Morgans Men Association
    Published Semi-Occasionally
    May 2014

     
    The 2013 Reunion in Corydon, Indiana
     
     Our 2013 annual reunion was a huge success being held in Corydon, Indiana. At the Friday evening fellowship we enjoyed refreshments, many exhibits and book sales. At our registration table the Harrison County Indiana Convention and Visitor Bureau gave each registered member a bag of local goodies.
      On Saturday, our day started early as we boarded the buses to start our tour. From The Comfort Inn in Corydon, Indiana, we headed south and crossed the Ohio River to Brandenburg, Kentucky while here a local historian talked at the home General Morgan used as Headquarters during the crossing of the Ohio River. We were able to see the location where the Alice Dean sunk and the site where Morgan's Men left Kentucky and then entered Indiana. We then went to the Corydon Memorial Park to learn more about the battle and to present a wreath to 3 of Morgan's Men that were killed during the battle. By that time, we all were hungry. So we had lunch at the Kintner House, where General Morgan spent the night after his crossing of the Ohio River. We all had time to do some shopping in downtown Corydon before moving on. The next stop was at Beck's Mill where Morgan's Men spared the mill from fire for a monetary value. At our Saturday evening banquet we had Carrie's Catering provide our meal. Mr. Michael Peake spoke about Morgan and his Men in Corydon. Mr. McKenna won the door prize for attending the reunion. After a short business meeting, we adjourned until next year in Greeneville, Tennessee.
     
     MMA College Scholarship
     
     Guidelines and applications may be obtained from our Commander Ralph Widowski, 3505 Grafton Road, Brunswick, OH 44212, rjw@ohio.net.
     
     Congratulations to Laurel Kasten our 2014 MMA Scholarship recipient.
     
     Ancestor Spotlight
     
     If anyone would like to spotlight their ancestor who rode with General Morgan please submit an e-mail no more than one page in length, summarizing their history to Ralph Widowski rjw@ohio.net, who will try to put all or part of your article (at the discretion of the MMA Board of Directors) on our web-site. All articles become property of the MMA and cannot be reproduced without written permission of the Morgan's Men Association.
     
     100th. Year Morgan Monument Pins
     
     The 100th Year Morgan Monument pins are still available at a cost of $25.00 including shipping. Please contact Ralph Widowski if you are interested at 330-388-0899
     
     Membership Dues
     
     Renewal dues are $20.00 annually, which must be paid before September 1, 2014, to avoid the late charge. Members who joined last year after September 1, 2013 do not owe 2014 renewal dues. If you are unsure of your dues status, contact the Treasurer, Jinny Widowski. Lifetime membership is available for $200.00 and you will receive a Lifetime Membership lapel pin. Please make checks payable to the Morgan's Men Association and send to Jinny Widowski, Treasurer, 3505 Grafton Rd., Brunswick, Ohio 44212. Please include your present address and membership number which is located on your membership certificate.
     
     Change of Address
     
     If you have a change of address please notify our Treasurer Jinny Widowski 3505 Grafton Rd. Brunswick, Ohio 44212 rjw@ohio.net so we can keep our database up to date.
     
     2014 Reunion in Greeneville, Tn.
     
     Our 2014 Reunion will be held on August 29-30, 2014 in Greeneville, TN. at the General Morgan Inn for the 150th Anniversary of General Morgan’s death. Our headquarters will be the General Morgan Inn at 111 N. Main St. in Greeneville, TN. Their phone number is 423-787-1000. The room rate for the reunion will be $90.00 plus tax per night. Please tell them that you are with the group for the MMA rate. Each member is responsible for their own reservation. You must call and reserve your room before July 29, 2014.
     
     On Friday, August 29th the pre-tour (at approximately 2:00p.m., meet in the lobby) will be to the Bridge Burner Park and to Bulls Gap (each member is responsible for their own transportation).
     
     Friday night registration will be at the Dickson-Williams Mansion from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
     
     On Saturday Morning, August 30, 2014, at 9:00a.m. we will have a reenactment of the death of General Morgan in the front yard of the Dickson-Williams Mansion. After the reenactment, you will be able to go to the Nathanael Greene Museum, St James Church, Cumberland Church, Andrew Johnson Site, Crockett birthplace, Tusculum College and any other interesting places in Greeneville. Each member is responsible for their own transportation.
     
     Saturday night, August 30, 2014, will conclude with our evening Banquet at the General Morgan Inn with our speaker being Dr. James Ramage and a short business meeting, followed by a Candlelight Vigil in the front yard of the Dickson-Williams Mansion.
     

    [Reunion Registration Form]  


     
     The 2014-2015 Board of Directors
     
     Commander: Ralph Widowski
     1st Lt. Commander: John McGee
     2nd Lt. Commander: Martin Sherrod
     Treasurer: Jinny Widowski
     Secretary: Sam Flora
     Historian: Tim Massey
     Chaplain: Morgan D. Silvers, DPM
     Judge Advocate: R. Burl McCoy
     Board Member: Ben Sewell
     Board Member: Lucille Haney
     Board Member: Jim Murphy
     Board Member: Bev Ramnes
     

     New Morgan's Men Association Embroidered Logo Shirts
     
     

    Embroidered Shirt Order Form  


     
     Website Updated 9-3-2014
     
     

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    Page Credits

    Thanks to the following individuals for help with this page:
    Chris Tramel for his graphical expertice and assistance.
    Richard Davis for his photograph of Gen. Morgan's grave.
    Dean Fowlerfor his excellant work on the Midi sound files and
    unique service at ReWEP Associates.

    Web Master


    Our Newest Site Award:

    1861~1865 Outstanding Site Award

    To see all our site award, visit our Award Page !

    This website created by Scott K. Williams.
    Background sound, "How Are You Telegraph ?" midi file, from "The Borderland Collection", copyright (c) 1998 Scott K. Williams, All Rights Reserved . If you can not hear the background tune or receive a midi error, you must download a Cresendo Midi File Player plugin for your particular browser to play it. A free plugin can be downloaded from: Cresendo Download Website.
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