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Bardstown in Nelson County, Kentucky — The American South (East South Central)
 

Twenty-Five Damned Yankees

The Great Raid

 

—July 5-6, 1863 —

 
Twenty-Five Damned Yankees Marker image. Click for full size.
By Karl Stelly, June 2, 2014
1. Twenty-Five Damned Yankees Marker
Inscription. Capt. Ralph Sheldon, leading several hundred Confederates of Company C, 2nd Kentucky Cavalry, descended on Bardstown on Sunday morning, July 5, 1863. They drove the handful of Union troops occupying Bardstown into a livery stable two blocks north of the courthouse. Lt. Thomas W. Sullivan of the 4th U.S. Cavalry took up position in the livery stable and defended it for several hours against the attacking Confederates.

After the initial assault, Capt. Sheldon demanded the Union troops' surrender. Lt. Sullivan rejected the demand and the battle resumed and continued all evening. To prevent the trapped Union soldiers from escaping, Capt. Sheldon had his men stretch ropes across the street. The Confederates even tried to set the stable on fire, all to no avail. The Union soldiers put out the fire and continued to resist the Confederates.

Just before daylight on Monday morning, July 6, 1863, Gen. John Hunt Morgan arrived from Springfield. Capt. Sheldon was sent into the stable, again demanding that the Union troops surrender. Sheldon flatly told the lieutenant "If you refuse, we will blow you to hell with our artillery." Sullivan replied "I am obliged to the General's kind intentions, but it is our duty to trouble him a little longer." After the Confederates left, small arms fire began. Finally, the Union sentinels
Twenty-Five Damned Yankees Marker image. Click for full size.
By Karl Stelly, June 2, 2014
2. Twenty-Five Damned Yankees Marker
A closer-in view of the text
reported to Lt. Sullivan that the streets outside were filled with Confederates and that four artillery pieces were in position to fire on the livery stable.

At this point Lt. Sullivan knew his situation was hopeless. Carrying a flag of truce, Sullivan emerged from the building. Col. Richard Morgan immediately rebuffed him: "Go back, you have already refused these terms twice. You have no right to demand them now." With no other choice, Sullivan returned to the stable and prepared for the Confederate attack. Morgan then sent in a flag of truce and demanded that the Federals unconditionally surrender, which they did. Gen. Morgan fussed after the soldiers had filed out, "You twenty-five damned Yankees have cost me twenty-four hours." Shortly afterward, about 10 a.m., Morgan's command left Bardstown on the Shepherdsville Road, heading northwest, toward the Ohio River.
 
Erected by The Kentucky Heartland Civil War Trails Commission.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the John Hunt Morgan Heritage Trail in Kentucky marker series.
 
Location. 37° 48.681′ N, 85° 27.962′ W. Marker is in Bardstown, Kentucky, in Nelson County. Marker is at the intersection of North 3rd Street (U.S. 31E/150) and Blackberry Alley, on the right
Pen and Ink Sketch by Gerald Myers image. Click for full size.
By Karl Stelly, June 2, 2014
3. Pen and Ink Sketch by Gerald Myers
After holding out for twenty-four hours against overwhelming odds, Lt. Sullivan surrendered his command to Morgan.
when traveling north on North 3rd Street. Touch for map. Marker is next to the sidewalk in front of the Luckett & Luckett Insurance Company. Marker is at or near this postal address: 221 North 3rd Street, Bardstown KY 40004, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Lafayette Hotel (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Wilson & Muir Bank & Trust Co. (about 600 feet away); Benedict Joseph Flaget (about 700 feet away); John Fitch Memorial (about 700 feet away); Successful Surgery (about 800 feet away); County Named, 1784 (about 800 feet away); Confederates Here/Confederate Raids and Invasions and a Federal Retreat in Kentucky (about 800 feet away); Nelson County World War I, World War II, Korean War, & Vietnam War Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bardstown.
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Captain Ralph Sheldon, C.S.A. image. Click for full size.
By Karl Stelly, June 2, 2014
4. Captain Ralph Sheldon, C.S.A.
Sheldon's company forced the Union defenders to take refuge in the stable, but he could not dislodge them.
Col. Richard Morgan, C.S.A. image. Click for full size.
By Karl Stelly, June 2, 2014
5. Col. Richard Morgan, C.S.A.
An angry Col. Morgan refused Sullivan's overture of surrender.
General John Hunt Morgan, C.S.A. image. Click for full size.
By Karl Stelly, June 2, 2014
6. General John Hunt Morgan, C.S.A.
Frustrated and angry, Morgan knew that Sullivan's 25 soldiers had cost him valuable time.
Twenty-Five Damned Yankees Marker image. Click for full size.
By Karl Stelly, June 2, 2014
7. Twenty-Five Damned Yankees Marker
This is just one of many sites along the John Hunt Morgan Trail. Brochures highlighting the entire trail are available at visitor information centers along the route.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 10, 2014, by Karl Stelly of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 359 times since then and 42 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on June 10, 2014, by Karl Stelly of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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