Frank Lane Wolford (1817 - 1895). Adair County native, organized 1st Kentucky Cavalry (US) in 1861. His men knew little about the drill and discipline but had the utmost confidence in Wolford and he in them. The soldiers supplied their own horses and tack. Those unable to were docked a portion of pay until their obligations were met. Wolford told his men that a true soldier could not be a thief or marauder. He believed private property of friend and foe should be protected.
The "Wild Riders" as the 1st was known fought at the Battles of Wildcat Mountain, Mill Springs and Perryville, but mostly they guarded Kentucky, protecting railroads, bridges and supply depots. Confederate cavalry, including General John Hunt Morgan and his raiders, kept the Union forces in Kentucky constantly on guard and in pursuit.
Morgan's great raid was delayed July 4, 1863, at the Battle of Tebbs Bend, after which Union General Ambrose E. Burnside issued orders for Generals Henry Hobson, James Shackelford, and Col. Wolford to pursue Morgan and his command of 2,500 men. It took 24 days of hard riding, through Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio with few pauses and little to eat or drink to finally capture Morgan and his few remaining men near Stubenville, Ohio. After Morgan's capture, Shackelford berated him harshly, but Wolford intervened and stopped
the abusive language. Appreciative, Morgan gave Wolford his silver spurs and Wolford treated Morgan to a chicken dinner at a nearby hotel. Later, Morgan and some of his men were taken to the Ohio State Penitentiary.
In 1864 Wolford was presented a sword as a token of appreciation for his distinguished service. He used this chance to denounce Lincoln for the policy of enlisting African American soldiers. As a result, Wolford was dishonorably discharged. Lincoln offered to restore Wolford to his command if he would publicly tone down hostile parts of his speech. Wolford refused, and bid the 1st Kentucky
Grueling and Heroic Work
Besides guarding supply lines and fighting, troops of the 1st Kentucky farmed and stored food. They also drove livestock to Union encampments. One of their most daring deeds was rescuing Wolford when he was shot eight times and captured by Morgan.
Frank Lane Wolford
Wolford was considered one of the best criminal lawyers in the Green River region. He fought in the Mexican War and served in the Kentucky House: 1847 - 1849; 1865 - 1867. From 1867 - 1871 he was Adjutant General. He was in the U.S. Congress from 1883 - 1887. He is buried in the Columbia Cemetery.