Action at Bardstown Junction

Action at Bardstown Junction (HM2AJ2)

Location: Shepherdsville, KY 40165 Bullitt County
Country: United States of America

N 37° 56.403', W 85° 42.005'

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Great Raid

—July 6, 1863 —

John Hunt Morgan's command of some 2,500 men left Bardstown and moved west. The raid, to this point, simply had not gone as planned. Morgan had fought two pitched battles at Green River Bridge and at Lebanon and had been held up for hours by Union resistance at Bardstown. Morgan was still determined to carry out his plans of taking the war to the north.

The Union command was unsure where Morgan was going. Major Israel N. Stiles of the 63rd Indiana Infantry, the commander of the stockade at Shepherdsville, received information that Morgan was on the Shepherdsville Road. The major assumed that the railroad bridge at Shepherdsville would be attacked. In preparation for a defensive stand, Stiles ordered Captain D. Morris to gather his men, from Bardstown Junction and Belmont and bring them to Shepherdsville.

The advance element of Morgan's command arrived at Bardstown Junction just as Capt. Morris was leaving for Shepherdsville. The Confederates chased the Union soldiers capturing two of them, but the rest made good their escape. The other half of Morris' company was not so lucky. Lieut. W.F. Henderson caught the northbound train at Belmont and he and his men were headed for Shepherdsville.

Meanwhile, George A. "Lighting" Ellsworth, Morgan's telegraph operator, instructed the operator at Bardstown Junction,

James Forker, to inform the superintendent in Louisville that the northbound train had passed the station. The ruse bought Morgan time. The Confederates burned the trestle over Long Lick Creek, the water tank-house and the stockade at Bardstown Junction before capturing the train, which included Lieut. Henderson and his small command. Those soldiers were paroled and robbed along with the other passengers and with the contents of the train's safe before the train was sent back to Elizabethtown. The Confederates then pushed on to the west heading toward Brandenburg and the Ohio River.

The stockade at Bardstown Junction was there to protect the trestle over Long Lick Creek. It failed. The trestle was destroyed by Morgan's men.

The lightly defended stockades constructed by the Union army were no match for Morgan and his artillery.

George "Lightning" Ellsworth was an important part of Morgan's command. He was a skilled telegraph operator.

Witnesses at Bardstown Junction said that Morgan wore a roundabout jacket, grey trousers, cavalry boots and no insignia of rank. Probably much as he is pictured here.
HM NumberHM2AJ2
Placed ByKentucky Heartland Civil War Trails Commission
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, August 18th, 2018 at 2:01pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16S E 614224 N 4199960
Decimal Degrees37.94005000, -85.70008333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 56.403', W 85° 42.005'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 56' 24.18" N, 85° 42' 0.30000000000015" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)502
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling North
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 340 Chapeze Ln, Shepherdsville KY 40165, US
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