Morgan in Springfield Historical

Morgan in Springfield Historical (HM1VJT)

Location: Springfield, KY 40069 Washington County
Country: United States of America

N 37° 41.075', W 85° 13.205'

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Christmas Raid

—December 30, 1862 —

On Tuesday morning, December 30, thirty-nine hundred Confederate cavalrymen led by John Hunt Morgan left Bardstown, making every effort to beat the Union forces to the Cumberland River crossing at Burkesville. Their progress was hampered by a cold rain that, as the day progressed, turned into sleet and began to freeze on the road. Upon arriving in Springfield, the weary Confederates were directed to encamp on the Lebanon road. The men huddled around fires in the street and in the fields and got whatever sleep they could.

As Morgan lingered in Springfield, Union troops were closing the trap on his forces. Under cover of total darkness and in near blizzard conditions, a Union Calvary patrol advanced down East Main to within fifty yards of the courthouse, opened fire on Confederate artillery, and hastily withdrew.

Realizing his danger, Morgan decided upon a night march in spite of the weather. Young Will McChord later wrote that the Confederates "swiped every horse that could be used in the cavalry service" before they departed. Will's pony, hidden in a thicket, was on of the few left behind.

Morgan impressed several local men, including hotel keeper J. C. Rolling as guides. By eleven o'clock, Morgan's whole column was in motion. Shortly thereafter, Morgan left Washington County and continued southward toward Tennessee.


Capt. Patrick Simms
Capt. Simms, a Washington County native, was a member of Company K 8th Kentucky Cavalry. Their brief rest on that cold December night in Springfield was a homecoming for many of the men in Company K, which was composed of local men.

A Twist of Fate
The Cleland Cunningham family entertained Confederate soldiers on the evening of December 30, 1862. During the evening one of the young women present told Lt. George B. Eastin that she would marry any Confederate soldier who killed Col. Dennis Halisy, a Uion officer and respected physician from Washington County. Ironically, during his pursuit of Morgan's command the next day, Halisy was killed by Lt. Eastin.
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Placed ByKentucky Heartland Civil War Trails Commission
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, November 8th, 2016 at 1:02pm PST -08:00
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16S E 656945 N 4172310
Decimal Degrees37.68458333, -85.22008333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 41.075', W 85° 13.205'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 41' 4.5" N, 85° 13' 12.3" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)859
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling West
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 209-215 US-150 BUS, Springfield KY 40069, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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