“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Tompkinsville in Monroe County, Kentucky — The American South (East South Central)

Battle of Tompkinsville

First Kentucky Raid


—July 9, 1862 —

Morgan's First Raid Informational Marker image. Click for full size.
By Chad Comer
1. Morgan's First Raid Informational Marker
Inscription. At this site Confederate Colonel John Hunt Morgan began his famous "First Kentucky Raid." His objective was the destruction of the Union force in and around Tompkinsville. Riding through the night, Morgan and his raiders left Celina, Tennessee on July 8, 1862; crossing the Cumberland River and surprising Union forces in the early morning hours of July 9.

The thunderous sound of cannon fire awakened the small village of Tompkinsville. By many accounts the fall of the Union forces took only two hours. The Confederates captured the garrison, netting a quantity of logistical supplies. They also captured many Union soldiers, including the commander of the Union forces. Maj. Thomas J. Jordon, 9th Pennsylvania Cavalry. Morgan later paroled Jordan and his command.

After the battle, Morgan's raiders marched northward through Kentucky. In twenty-four days, Morgan and his men traveled over one thousand miles, capturing seventeen towns, and destroying all of the government supplies and arms in them. They paroled nearly twelve hundred Union troops. Months later, Morgan returned to Tompkinsville as a brigadier general. This time he and his raiders only bivouacked in the village as they began their next Kentucky raid; the Christmas Raid of 1862-63.

Morgan, dismounted his men before attacking the Union garrison in Tompkinsville. Both Union and Confederate cavalry often fought dismounted during the Civil War, leaving their horses and attacking on foot. One of every four men stayed behind, holding his horse and those of three other men.

(Captions of Portraits to the Right):
Col. Morgan and his command barely escaped the 9th Pennsylvania Cavalry at Celina, Tennessee. After crossing the Cumberland River, Morgan surprised the Union garrison in Tompkinsville.

Maj. Thomas Jefferson Jordon, 9th Pennsylvania Cavalry.
Erected by John Hunt Morgan Heritage Trail.
Marker series. This marker is included in the John Hunt Morgan Heritage Trail in Kentucky marker series.
Location. 36° 41.94′ N, 85° 41.259′ W. Marker is in Tompkinsville, Kentucky, in Monroe County. Marker is on East 4th Street (State Highway 163), on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at the entrance to the Tompkinsville Elementary School. Marker is in this post office area: Tompkinsville KY 42167, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Morgan's First Raid (here, next to this marker); Monroe County - Tompkinsville (approx. 0.3 miles away); Courthouse Burned (approx. 0.3 miles away); Monroe County World War I Memorial (approx. 0.3 miles away); Monroe County World War II Memorial (approx. 0.3 miles away); Monroe County Korean & Vietnam War Memorial (approx. 0.3 miles away); Tompkinsville National Cemetery (approx. 0.6 miles away); Operation Iraqi Freedom Monument (approx. 1½ miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Tompkinsville.
Regarding Battle of Tompkinsville. This is stop #7 of the John Hunt Morgan Heritage Trail (Morgan's First Raid) driving tour. "Battle of Tompkinsville"
Also see . . .  John Hunt Morgan Heritage Trail - Morgan's First Raid. (Submitted on January 9, 2011, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
Categories. War, US Civil
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on January 9, 2011, by Chad Comer of Gamaliel, Kentucky. This page has been viewed 848 times since then and 13 times this year. Photo   1. submitted on January 1, 2011, by Chad Comer of Gamaliel, Kentucky. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
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