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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.
By Tom Bosse, October 13, 2016
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 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.

(captions)

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.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the John Hunt Morgan Heritage Trail in Kentucky marker series.
 
Location. 37° 41.075′ N, 85° 13.205′ W. Marker is in Springfield, 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.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. On Civil War Routes (here, next to this marker); Washington County (within shouting distance of this marker); John Pope, 1770-1845 (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Felix Grundy (1777 - 1840) (about 400 feet away); House of History (about 500 feet away); Busy Day In Springfield (about 600 feet away); Jesse Head Homesite (about 600 feet away); Ben Hardin, 1784-1852. ← Grave (approx. 2.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Springfield.
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 8, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 7, 2016, by Tom Bosse of Jefferson City, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 147 times since then and 32 times this year. Photo   1. submitted on November 7, 2016, by Tom Bosse of Jefferson City, Tennessee. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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