1862 - 1865
—Federal Stockade Burned January 1, 1863 — Morgan's Christmas Raid —
Federal Stockade Undefended—January 1, 1863
About 3,900 Confederates under John Hunt Morgan had been on an extensive raid into Kentucky in December and were returning to Tennessee after their highly successful Christmas Raid. They spent New Year's Eve in Campbellsville and rode to this undefended site the next morning.
The rebels burned the Green River Bridge, government corn for horses which was stored in the bottoms, and the Federal Stockade.
"A Tough Job"
On the evening of January 1, 1863, Rebel Maj. J.B. McCreary, 11th Ky Cavalryman, recorded in his diary: "My rear guard burnt two very large pens of U.S. corn, bridge across Green River; burnt Green River Stockade, which was a tough job." After the war, McCreary served in the US Senate and two terms as Governor of Kentucky.
Rebuilding the Bridge and Stockade—1863
During May 1863, 8th Michigan troops commanded by Lt. Col. Ralph Ely, aided by some soldiers ofthe 79th New York Highlanders, started rebuilding the bridge. Ely's headquarters tent was in the stockade. His men camped at the Federal Field Hospital Site and the old cavalry camp across the road.
Most members of the 8th Michigan departed this place in late May and early June for Vicksburg. The 11th New York Cavalry
took their place until the 25th Michigan arrived in the middle of June 1863. A detachment of the 8th Michigan and a few from the 79th New York continued to occupy the area until December 1863. They completed the new bridge and stockade.
When 25th Michigan Col. Orlando H. Moore was sent from Louisville to guard Green River Bridge against rebel incursions, he considered making his stand against the Confederates here. However, he reported, "At no time did my troops occupy the stockade." He moved his troops 1/2 mile south down this road to take a defensive position at the "narrows" of Green River.
Federal Stockade 1862-1865
In late 1862, this stockade was constructed under the supervision of a military engineer.
The three-sided fortification was made of hewn logs standing upright placed in ditches about four feet deep. It was open on the north, the side facing the bridge. A path descended to the bridge on the side of the steep wooded hill.
The Stockade After The Battle of Tebbs Bend
The Union Stockade was enlarged and took on a more commanding appearance. In September 1863, a Louisville paper reported that "a magnificent storm flag, measuring twenty feet in length, and ten feet in width, has been sent by the Government to be hoisted at Green River Bridge, in commemoration of the gallant repulse of Morgan's whole band by a handful of men."
For the first time, an artillery piece was ordered to defend the bridge. A Detroit paper stated: "Lt. Hogan, on receipt of our huge 'bull dog', (a large 24-pounder), designed a neat and serviceable port hole. It can be opened with ease by a child and closed itself at the rebound of the gun."
The Louisville Journal issued a scathing report on Morgan's activities in December, 1862: "There has been much just complaint of the slow Federal operations in this war. We are the while hear of rebel cavalry making bold and impetuous dashes, capturing our troops, here, there, and elsewhere, carrying off or destroying army stores, and camp equipages, burning bridges, breaking up railroads....but not a word about Federal dashes upon the rebels. It would seem as ifour troops everywhere were half asleep."