—July 4, 1863 —
Situation: Union Colonel Moore's forward rifle-pit was in the ravine to your left. The Confederate forces were on your right preparing to attack.
Brig. Gen. John Hunt Morgan penned a note and gave it to Lt. Col. Robert A. Alston, his chief of staff. Under a flag of truce, Alston, accompanied by Lt. Col. Joseph T. Tucker and Major William P. Elliot, rode to the center of this field. They were met by the 25th Michigan commander, Col. O. H. Moore, sitting astride his horse,Lion. The note read:
Hd.Qrs. Morgan's Division
In the field, in front of Green
Stockade, July 4th 1863.
To the officers commanding Federal Forces;
At Stockade near Green River Bridge,
In the name of the Confederate States Government I demand an immediate and unconditional surrender of the entire force under your command, together with the Stockade.
I am, Very Respectfully,
Jno. H. Morgan
Comdy. Division Cav. C.S.A.
7 Oclock A.M.
Colonel Moore quietly replied: "Present my compliments to General Morgan and say to himthat, this being the Fourth of July, I cannot entertain the proposition to surrender."
After shaking hands, Alston replied: "Good bye, Col. Moore, God only knows who may fall first."
The men returned
to their sides to await their fate and the fighting began immediately.
Union Pvt. Henry G. Phillips, 25th Michigan, wrote his version of Moore's reply to his sister, July 14, 1863. Phillips died a month later.
"on the 4 of July the old rascal (Morgan) and his whole Division came along and asked us veery politely to Surrender unconditional imeatiatly but oure Galiant Col. told him it was to late to surrender and besides it was the 4 day of July and the Boys wanted to selebrate it."
Union Pvt. Henry G. Phillips
"Then they turned their horses and galloped away."
-Lt. Benjamin Travis, 25th Michigan
An array of outstanding Confederate leadership was present on this battlefield. Out of sight to the far right, but waiting for Alston, Tucker, and Elliott to return with Moore's reply were Brig. Gen. J.H. Morgan, Col. Basil Duke, Col. Adam R. Johnson, and Lt. Col. D. Howard Smith.