December 31, 1862
Robert Colvin's Warehouse
Postmaster Robert Colvin owned the tobacco warehouse, which also housed the post office, that once stood here. During the Civil War, the U.S. Government leased the warehouse as a supply depot.
When the Confederates under Brig. Gen. John Hunt Morgan occupied Campbellsville on New Year's Eve, they entered the warehouse and seized the supplies and foodstuffs. They forced Colvin to give up all of the Federal funds that he controlled, opened the mail, and confiscated money and valuables. They also read the newspapers and letters, seeking information about Federal military operations in the area.
Curtis Burke, a scout riding with Morgan, wrote about Campbellsville: "No Yanks there except a few sick in the hospital. Our company camped in a stable ....I went to a house and got my supper. I was running around town most of the night hunting for things the Yanks hid away. A crowd of us got into a room where there were four large boxes full of new cavalry overcoats, pants, and boots."
The next morning the townspeople heard that Morgan's Men had been ordered to "fire" the remaining stores in the warehouse. They protested vehemently, fearing that a fire at the warehouse would spread and burn down the whole town. They
Marker on left.persuaded the Confederate commanding officer to remove the stores from the building and place them in the middle of Main Street before setting fire to them.
A Federal force was sent from Lebanon to find Morgan. The men spent a freezing New Year's Eve at New Market in Marion County without campfires. On New Year's Day they charged into Campbellsville hoping to "bag" Morgan, to no avail.
We pushed on with all possible speed, and approaching Campbellsville, heard that he [Morgan] was yet in town. The charge was ordered and forward dashed the cavalry and artillery. The road was soon lined with blankets, kettles, sabers, revolvers and everything that could fly loose! Entering the town, the Government stores were found burning, the streets were filled with crying women and children, the stores were all gutted ...Morgan had been gone about an hour.
Morgan's men would return to Campbellsville, however, on July 4, 1863 during Morgan's Great Raid into Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio.
"Here we found an abundance of corn, hay, molasses, crackers, and ham. We celebrated the advent of the New Year by rising very early, sounding the bugle, and commencing a rapid march after having destroyed thousands of pounds of bacon and hundreds of gallons of molasses together with bushels of crackers." Maj. J.B. McCreary, 11th KY Cavalry, CSA, later governor of Kentucky