October 18, 1862
While Confederate Armies were retreating from Kentucky after the Battle of Perryville, Colonel John Hunt Morgan operated behind the pursuing Union Army, with Colonel Basil W. Duke's Second Kentucky Cavalry Regiment, Colonel Richard M. Gano's Cavalry Battalion and Colonel William Campbell Preston Breckinridge's Cavalry Battalion, along with a two-gun section of artillery under Sergeant C. C. Corbett. Morgan rode from Bryantsville through Lancaster to Gum Springs and Richmond, then toward Lexington.
Scouts having reported that two battalions from the third and forth Ohio Cavalry Regiments were camped in a woodlot behind the Clay Mansion near Lexington and some were in town. Morgan divided his command.
Gango's and Breckinridge's battalions, with the artillery, proceeded across the Kentucky River at Clay's Ferry and approached "Ashland" by way of the Richard Road, Morgan, with Duke's second Kentucky, crossed the river below Clay's Ferry and then took by-roads to the Tates Creek Pike and approached "Ashland" from the south, while directing two companies toward the town of Lexington to arrest any movement of enemy cavalry there.
At dawn, October 18, 1862, Breckinridge's dismounted troopers attached the Ohioans who were camped in the woods ahead in this direction from the Richmond Road at left, with Gano's battalion, mounted, forming behind. Corbett's artillery opened fire in this direction.
From within Breckinridge's ranks, at the same time, Duke's second Kentucky arrived here, dismounted to the right, and opened fire upon the Ohioans' rear. The Ohioans broke in confusion, those not killed were captured or scattered. Morgan's cousin, Major George Washington Morgan, was mortally wounded nearby; He died at "Hopemont" in Lexington.
Morgan's men captured two companies of the Forth Ohio Cavalry at the Phoenix Hotel and the Courthouse in town. Morgan Paroled 290 captured Union officers and men at the Clay Mansion. His command then left Lexington that afternoon to return to Tennessee.
Colonel John Hunt Morgan, Commanding
Second Kentucky Cavalry RegimentColonel Basil W. Duke, Commanding
(Seventh Kentucky Cavalry Regiment)
Colonel Richard M. Gano, Commanding.
(Ninth Kentucky Cavalry Regiment)
Colonel William Campell
Preston Breckinridge, Commanding.
Artillery section (two mountain howitzers)
Sergeant C. C. Corbett, Commanding.
1800 engaged; killed, wounded and missing, unknown.
Third Ohio Cavalry Regiment
Third Battalion, Major Charles B. Seidel, Commanding
Fourth Ohio Cavalry Regiment
Companies A, B, C, D, E, G and H, Major Oliver P. Robie, Commanding
294 engaged; 4 killed, 290 captured of whom 24 were wounded