—July 6, 1863 —
By early December 1862 stockades had been constructed along the L&N at Sheperdsville, Bardstown Junction, Belmont and Cain Run, just north of Lebanon Junction. These wooden fortifications were designed to protect against an attack by cavalry or infantry; they were not, however, designed to withstand artillery.
In July 1863, Lt. W.F. Henderson was in command of the detachment of the 63rd Indiana manning the stockade at Belmont. Henderson probably had about 30 men under his command. As Morgan approached, Henderson received word from his commander, Capt. D. Morris to abandon the stockade at Belmont. Morris was concentrating his forces at Sheperdsville because Fort DeWolf, which mounted artillery, had the best chance to standing up to an attack by Morgan. Henderson and his men climbed aboard the northbound train and rattled toward Sheperdsville and safety, six miles north.
Unfortunately for Lt. Henderson and his small command, they reached Bardstown Junction, just 3 ½ miles north of Belmont, to find that Morgan and his 2,500 troopers had already arrived. No matter how brave the little band of Union soldiers might have been it was pointless to resist. They surrendered to Morgan and were later paroled.
As Morgan's men moved through Kentucky in July 1863 they burned bridges and destroyed
railroad track, disrupting the Union supply network and delaying pursuit.
The stockade shown here was in Washington D.C. This stockade is similar to the one at Belmont, Cain Run and Bardstown Junction. It was constructed of upright logs with loopholes cut at the top to enable the defenders to fire their rifles at attacking forces. Stockades were very vulnerable to artillery fire, which Morgan and almost every other Confederate cavalry force had. The stockades quickly proved inadequate and were soon replaced with earthen forts that mounted artillery. Fort DeWolf in Sheperdsville was a result of the upgrading process.
Morgan sent detachments of his command along the railroad in all directions to wreck track and confuse the pursuing Union army. The play worked. For the most part the Union command had no idea of where Morgan was or where he was going.