The Great Raid
—July 5, 1863 —
During the battle of Lebanon Tom Morgan, 19-year-old brother of Gen. John Hunt Morgan, was killed near this house, "Sunnyside," the home of Presbyterian minister T.H .Cleland. During the fighting John Hunt continuously sent the younger Morgan to the rear to keep him out of harm's way, but Tom Morgan refused to sit out the battle. According to one historian, Tom Morgan was shot and killed leading a group of men in the final charge against the depot.
When Col. Charles S. Hanson surrendered the depot, Charlton Morgan, another brother, is said to have grabbed Hanson by the beard and said "I'll blow your brains out you damned rascal. " Fellow soldiers restrained Charlton before he could carry out his threat. Afterwards, General Morgan is said to have told Hanson, "Charlie the next time you see mother you be damn sure to tell her you killed brother Tom". Hanson and Morgan were the best of friends before the war. Ironically, Hanson 's brother, Roger, was a Confederate general.
That night Tom Morgan was laid out in the parlor of his house. The next day, he was buried in a rose garden on the west side of the house. His body remained there until 1867. That year the Morgan family retrieved both Tom's and John Hunt's bodies and buried them in the family plot in the Lexington Cemetery.
For a many years it was thought
that Tom was killed attacking the Lebanon Depot. However, Mrs.Rose Cleland Grudy, the daughter of Rev. T.H. Cleland, who was at Sunnyside on the day of the battle, reported years after the war that Tom Morgan was killed only a few yards from the front gate of her home, not at the depot. Sunnyside, today called Holly Hill, is about 900 yards from the depot, out of rifle range from the depot, but Morgan could have been killed earlier by Union soldiers retreating toward the depot.
Thomas Morgan was the lieutenant of Company I, 2nd Kentucky Calvary. Tom had been with his brother, John, since the regiment was formed at the beginning of the war.
Calvin Cogwell Morgan
Calvin Morgan, John's younger brother, and aide-de-camp, caught Tom as he fell. As Calvin held his brother, Tom is said to have cried "Brother Cally, they have killed me"
All of the Morgan brothers served in the Confederate army. Five brothers were with Morgan on the Great Raid including Charlton, who was thirteen years younger than John.
John Hunt Morgan
Morgan allowed his men to take revenge upon Lebanon for the death of Tom. Morgan's lack of punishment for the looting and burning amounted to his defacto consent for the activities.