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

Morgan in Springfield

Christmas Raid


— December 30, 1862 —

Morgan in Springfield Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Tom Bosse, July 4, 2018
1. Morgan in Springfield Marker
Inscription.  On Tuesday morning, December 30, thirty-nine hundred Confederate cavalrymen led by John Hunt Morgan left Bardstown, making every effort to beat the Union forces to the Cumberland River crossing at Burkesville. Their progress was hampered by a cold rain that, as the day progressed, turned into sleet and began to freeze on the road. Upon arriving in Springfield, the weary Confederates were directed to encamp on the Lebanon road. The men huddled around fires in the street and in the fields and got whatever sleep they could.

As Morgan lingered in Springfield, Union troops were closing the trap on his forces. Under cover of total darkness and in near blizzard conditions, a Union Calvary patrol advanced down East Main to within fifty yards of the courthouse, opened fire on Confederate artillery, and hastily withdrew.

Realizing his danger, Morgan decided upon a night march in spite of the weather. Young Will McChord later wrote that the Confederates "swiped every horse that could be used in the cavalry service" before they departed. Will's pony, hidden in a thicket, was on of the few left behind.

Morgan impressed several
Morgan in Springfield Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Tom Bosse, July 4, 2018
2. Morgan in Springfield Marker
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local men, including hotel keeper J. C. Rolling as guides. By eleven o'clock, Morgan's whole column was in motion. Shortly thereafter, Morgan left Washington County and continued southward toward Tennessee.


Capt. Patrick Simms
Capt. Simms, a Washington County native, was a member of Company K 8th Kentucky Cavalry. Their brief rest on that cold December night in Springfield was a homecoming for many of the men in Company K, which was composed of local men.

A Twist of Fate
The Cleland Cunningham family entertained Confederate soldiers on the evening of December 30, 1862. During the evening one of the young women present told Lt. George B. Eastin that she would marry any Confederate soldier who killed Col. Dennis Halisy, a Uion officer and respected physician from Washington County. Ironically, during his pursuit of Morgan's command the next day, Halisy was killed by Lt. Eastin.
Erected by Kentucky Heartland Civil War Trails Commission.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the John Hunt Morgan Heritage Trail in Kentucky series list. A significant historical date for this entry is December 30, 1862.
Location. 37° 41.075′ N, 85° 13.205′ W. Marker is in Springfield
Gen. John Hunt Morgan, C.S.A. image. Click for full size.
3. Gen. John Hunt Morgan, C.S.A.
, Kentucky, in Washington County. Marker is on East Main Street (Kentucky Route 152) east of Walnut Street (Kentucky Route 1584), on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 221 E Main Street, Springfield KY 40069, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. On Civil War Routes (here, next to this marker); Washington County (within shouting distance of this marker); You are in The Holy Land! (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); John Pope, 1770-1845 (about 400 feet away); Felix Grundy (1777 - 1840) (about 400 feet away); In Honor of Louis Sansbury (about 500 feet away); House of History (about 500 feet away); Lincoln - Hanks (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Springfield.
Credits. This page was last revised on August 12, 2018. It was originally submitted on November 7, 2016, by Tom Bosse of Jefferson City, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 329 times since then and 9 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on August 12, 2018, by Tom Bosse of Jefferson City, Tennessee. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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Feb. 7, 2023