Operations of the Indiana Legion and minute men, 1863-4
Documents presented to the General assembly
with the governor's message, January 6, 1865
I found this information interesting because
it consists of what those military people involved had to say about
Morgan's raid. The entire group of documents is at the link above, I have not
changed anything except put it in a more readable format. Many of us had
ancestors in the "Indiana Legion" and below these reports I have listed the
names adopted by each regiment from Jennings, Jefferson and Switzerland
Counties. The members of each regiment chose the names themselves. The
"Indiana Legion" evolved into the Indiana National Guard.
ADDRESS OF GOVERNOR MORTON
To the Officers and Soldiers of the
" Legion " and "Minute Men " of Indiana :
Having received information
that a rebel force, estimated at six thousand strong, with six pieces of
artillery, had crossed the Ohio
river into Harrison county, I issued a call
on Thursday last, to the patriotic citizens of the State to leave their various
occupations and turn out for its defense, and, if possible, capture the insolent
invaders. The evidence was abundant that the original purpose of the rebels was
to seize, plunder and burn the capital, but as their course would be uncertain,
it was necessary to make preparations to encounter them in every direction.
Within forty-eight hours from the time the call was issued, not less than
sixty-five thousand men had tendered their services and were on their way to
places of rendezvous, while many thousands more were preparing, but were
notified to remain at home. Within three days, thirty thousand men, fully armed
and organized, had taken the field at various points to meet the enemy.
This wonderful uprising will exert a marked effect throughout the
country, exhibiting, as it does, in the strongest and most favorable light, the
military spirit and patriotism of our people.
At the first landing on our soil,
the rebel advance was met and fought by the neighboring "Legion," and,
although our forces were few in number, and were driven back, they gave
the rebels a clear foretaste of what they might expect when they penetrated the
interior of the State. Within ten hours after they entered our borders, their
invasion was converted into a rapid and desperate flight. In whatever direction
they turned they were confronted by large bodies of armed men. Wherever they
approached the river, with the view to crossing, they found large bodies of
troops prepared to dispute their passage. In half a dozen cases they were
offered battle, which they invariably declined. They dodged and ran, by night
and by day, and finally succeeded in making their escape over our eastern border
They are reported to have murdered several of our citizens in
cold blood, to have plundered many of their horses, money and goods, and to have
burned and otherwise destroyed much valuable property. The injury done the
railroads was slight, and has been almost entirely repaired. They had but little
time to do damage beyond the murder and plunder of surprised and defenceless
citizens along the line of their flight.
For the alacrity with which you
responded to my call and left your harvest fields, your work- shops and offices,
and took up, arms to protect your State and punish the invaders, allow me, on
behalf of the State, to tender my hearty thanks. Your example will not be lost
upon the nation, and you have taught the rebels a lesson which will not be
forgotten. In the light of these events, it is impossible not to perceive the
importance of a thorough organization of the Legion. The presence of an
organized force ready to take the field at a moments notice is a standing
security against invasion and depredation, and I am very anxious that so far as
it is possible, the temporary organization of the " Minute Men " may be
converted into permanent ones under the law ; and that exertions will everywhere
be made to recruit the ranks of the Legion and perfect its drill and efficiency.
Given at the Executive
Department, Indianapolis, Indiana, this 15th
day of July, 1863.
OLIVER P. MORTON,
REPORT OP MAJOR GENERAL LEW. WALLACE.
August 16, 1863.
Adj. Gen. Laz. Noble:
According to request, I send
you the following report. I reported myself to Gov. Morton on the morning of the
llth of July, and, at his request, took command of a detachment of the Legion,
for operations against John Morgan, who was then in the neighborhood of Vernon,
in this State.
It appears Gen. Carrington had reported to Gen. Willcox
that, as early as 8 o clock, A. M., a body of troops, twenty-two or twenty-five
hundred strong, was ready to march. I waited for them at the depot of the
Madison and Indianapolis Railroad, intending to put them on the cars, and
proceed immediately to Vernon.
About 10, A. M., Colonel Shuler reported
his regiment. Upon inquiry, I found he had no ammunition. Shortly after, Col.
reported his command. It, also, was without ammunition; in addition,
it was without rations. The united strength of the two was
hundred effective, and they were all that reported to me.
compelled to wait for ammunition until about four o clock Receiving a limited
supply, a start was then made for Vernon. At
Columbus I was officially
informed, from headquarters at Indianapolis, that a demand had been made on Gen.
Love, at Vernon, for surrender that he had refused, but waited reinforcements.
Dispatches from Old Vernon also informed me that Love was sur rounded by
Morgan s whole force, about 6000 strong, with six guns.
About the same
time I was notified that the 15th Indiana Battery had left Indianapolis to
report to me. Assurance of the enemys
presence in force, at Vernon, made it
my duty to await the Battery at Columbus. Meantime, every preparation was made
for a fight. There was reason to believe that Morgan, if he was seriously
demonstrating against Vernon, would attempt to prevent me from reinforcing Love.
It became necessary, therefore, to anticipate, as far as possible, every
contingency, and provide against them beforehand. If attacked at all, it would
be while my command was in the cars. All my preparations and orders were
promptly executed, except by the Captain of the Battery. He was ordered to keep
his horses harnessed, but he failed to do so, and, as a consequence, the little
column had to wait for him and his battery at North Vernon until after day-light
before it could move. About six o clock the column started for Old Vernon, where
we arrived only to be informed that Morgan had decamped.
satisfied me of what I felt assured before, viz., that Morgan would not fight,
if he could help it ; also, that as against his mounted men infantry could
accomplish nothing more than the defense of towns and railroad bridges. At
Vernon Gen. Love turned the command over to me. That officer and his
subordinates are really entitled to just credit. Besides firmly rejecting the
demand for surrender, he made the best possible disposition of his little force
to defend the town, and, like his men, was willing and ready to fight. [ subjoin
an informal report which I had made of the two commands
united at Vernon.
To pursue Morgan on foot was folly. From Vernon I was at first disposed
to march immediately to Madison, but concluded to wait until it was definitely
ascertained where the enemy was going. It soon appeared that he was heading
east. I then suggested throwing a force down the Lawrenceburgh railroad, and
telegraphed for per mission to move my command to Osgood.
to Lawrenceburgh, asking citizens to collect wagons and meet me at a designated
point in my advance. There can be no doubt that if this plan could have been
carried out, I could have over taken Morgan somewhere about the State line. He
was at that time not more than twenty-five miles ahead of us, and moving slowly.
With the wagons I could have made a forced march of sixty miles.
Unfortunately, the confusion in Dearborn county, consequent upon the enemy s
presence, was so great as to make it next to impossible to procure a sufficiency
of the required transportation.
On the 14th I marched to Sunman s
station, on the Indianapolis and Lawrenceburgh Railroad, a few miles beyond
Gen. Hughes. His command, added to mine, made a force of
about fifty-five hundred strong, amply sufficient to have flogged the enemy in
an open field fight. While at Vernon I issued an order for the collection, by
impressment, of all the horses within three miles of the place.
industriously did Col. Shuler, to whom the business was entrusted, work, that by
three o clock he had one hundred and sixty horses. These were mounted by det.
from his regiment and Col. Gregorys. The command of the detachment was given
Col. Shuler, and he at once started in pursuit, with orders to follow Morgan
vigorously, never leaving his trail while in Indiana.
The Colonel, I am
glad to say, outstripped Gen. Hobson s cavalry, and overtook the enemy at
Harrison, where he reports having had quite a skirmish. It is very much to be
regretted that the Legion consists so entirely of infantry. Two or three
regiments of cavalry would have stopped Morgan before he passed into Ohio. I
respect fully suggest attention to the organization of that arm of the service.
In conclusion, I have no doubt the men under my command would have acquitted
themselves handsomely in fight, if opportunity had offered. Their conduct under
arms was in every way creditable.
REPORT OF LIEUT. W. H. SMITH, R. Q. M.
& A. A. C. S.
MAJOR GENERAL WALLACE S DIVISION.
INDIANAPOLIS, July 28, 1863.
the honor to submit the following statement of property impressed by order of
Major General Lew. Wallace for the use of
the United States forces under his
command during the late Morgan expedition, and for which receipts were given by
W. H. Smith, First Lieutenant and Regimental Quartei master of the 103d Regiment
Indiana Militia, and A. A. C. S. General Wallaces Division :
Taken at Sunman, Indiana.
Date. Name. Article Nett Weight.
July 15... Jane Stewart ...Two head of cattle... .1000 pounds.
...H. Ripka One 600 i;
...J. Stagner Two 400 "
...Michael Abplanalp...Two 400 "
...C.Anderson- Three .... .....
819 " *
" ...A. Lawrence Two 640 "
...Sam. J. Alden Two 1000
" 16... James Yannus One " 450 "
...F. Whitehead Two 650 "
...H. Neiman. Two bushels of salt.
Columbus, Indiana, July 11, 1863.
Jacob Fortner, 1 grey horse, 16 hands
W. P. Jones, 1 iron " " 15
Henry Wykoff, 1 grey " 15
Sam l Hege, 2 bay horses, 16 each.
" 1 saddle, 2 bridles and 1
B. B. Jones, 1 black horse, 17 hands high.
1 bay "16 "
" 1 " 14 15 hands and 3 inches high.
u 1 " mare, 15 hands high.
" 1 grey horse, 14 "
" 5 bridles.
Also, no name given ,
1 bay mare, saddle and bridle ; no receipt
given, no owner being found.
W. H. SMITH,
1st. Lieut., R. Q. M.
and A. A, C. S. Gen. Wallace s Di-o.
To GEN L LAZ.
Adjutant General Indiana .
MEMORANDUM OF PROPERTY
RECEIPTED FOR BY W. H. SMITH, 1ST LIEUTENANT AND A. A. Q. M., GEN. WALLACE S
DIVISION, INDIANA MILITIA.
At Columbus, Ind.
July 11 E. Nichols, 1 roan mare, 1 bridle and 1 saddle.
July 11 John
Young, 2 bay horses. 3 saddles and 2 bridles.
July 11 S. McDermot, 3 saddles
and 4 bridles.
W. H. SMITH,
1st Lieut. R. Q. M. 103d Reg t,
A. A. Q. M. Gen. Wallace s Div.
GENERAL JOHN LOVE. INDIANAPOLIS, July 20, 1863,
EXCELLENCY, 0. P. MORTON, Governor of Indiana ;
By appointment as your Aid-de-Camp to visit
New Albany, on the receipt of news here that Morgan was in the vicinity of
Corydon, and to advise you of the condition of affairs there, I left this city,
on tho 9th inst., at 4 o clock P. M.; reached Jeffersonville at 10, and New
Albany at 11 P. M., where I found General James Hughes in command. General
Hughes had made the best disposition possible of the forces under him. About two
o clock A. M. of the 10th, we learned that Morgan did not intend an attack on
New Albany, but was marching towards Salem. General Hughes being relieved from
the command about this time, with his Staff, we took the early Jeffersonville
train for Seymour, arriving at 10 A. M. General Hughes joined the troops who had
organized and stationed at Mitchell. I remained at Seymour to organize Minute
Men, and make the necessary disposition to meet Morgan, should he advance on
Seymour, as then appeared quite probable. There were at Seymour two regiments of
United States volunteers. To enable me to command all the forces, General
Willcox appointed me Acting Brigadier General. The town of Seymour was filled
with men from the neighborhood. These men were speedily organized, sworn into
the State service for the emergency, and armed and equipped, to the number of
three hundred. Mounted men, armed with their own rifles and shot-guns, were
patrolling the country, and giving me information of the enemys whereabouts. For
several hours after certain information that Morgan had taken Salem, it was
impossible to learn what course he would next take. If his object was to damage
the Ohio and Mississippi Railroad, then Mitchell would be the next place; if to
march on Indianapolis, as many supposed, then his route would be towards Seymour
from Salem. At 2 o clock on the morning of the llth, an engineer on the
Jeffersonville Railroad arrived at Seymour, and reported that Morgan with his
entire force was passing through Vienna at 6 o clock the evening before.
Independent scouts, who left the vicinity of Salem at 6 o clock the evening
before, reported Morgans whole force marching towards Vienna. This information,
confirmed by two different and reliable sources, satisfied me, and I so reported
to your excellency, and to General Wilcox. It was the more satisfactory to get
such reliable information at this time, as all sorts of reports were in
circulation ; amongst others, that Morgan had actually taken Orleans, and was
marching on Mitchell. About 3 o clock P. M. on the llth I received an order from
General Willcox to proceed with my command to Vernon. Taking all the
transportation at Seymour, we started for Vernon at 3 o clock, with the Michigan
Sharp-shooters, under Colonel De Land, and a battalion under Lieutenant Colonel
Frank Hays, composed of a portion of the 63d Indiana, and detachments of
exchanged men. I turned over the post of Seymour to Captain M. W. Shields, of
Jackson, who had been active in arousing the neighborhood to arms, and who
placed himself at the head of the mounted men, and rendered invaluable service.
We reached North Vernon at about 4 o clock P. M., where the
wildest excitement prevailed. Rumors were current that Morgan had three times
demanded the surrender of Vernon, and was then within one mile of the town. At
North Vernon, I found Colonel Burkham, with part of his Regiment, from Dearborn
county, and ordered him to Vernon by the line of the rail road. In ten minutes,
our column was on the old road to Vernon, a distance of two miles. By rapid
marching, much of the time in double-quick, although the day was intensely hot,
we reached Vernon at about 5 o clock, our men in the best of spirits. When the
head of the column reached Vernon, I received a message from Col. Williams, of
Ohio county, then in command, to hasten in person to the front. Here I
found Col. Williams with an Aid of Morgans, who was within our lines with a flag
of truce, to demand, for the second time, the surrender of the town. I directed
the Aid to say to Gen. Morgan that I had a sufficient force for my purpose, that
the country was swarming with armed men, that it would be impossible for him to
escape, and that if he would surrender to me, I would treat him as a prisoner of
war. Having but 1,000 men, and assured that Morgans whole force was around the
town, I sent to Morgan to ask two hours to remove the women and children before
he commenced the attack. He replied, he would give but fifteen minutes. It was
now nearly dark ; the women and children were hurried out of the town, and
disposition made to defend to the last. Arriving so late in the day, and a
stranger to the country, and unacquainted with the roads, to and from the town,
it was impossible to make such arrangements as I would otherwise have done. From
reports brought me, and the firing in the rear towards North Vernon, I supposed
Morgan intended to march round the town, take North Vernon, and so cut us off.
The firing turned out to be a skirmish between some of our men and a detachment
of Morgan s men, sent to damage the O & M. R. R. track to the west of
North Vernon. Morgans detachment reached the O & M. R. R., but did no
damage beyond such as was repaired in two hours. Having only about forty mounted
men, it was impossible to get information of the movements of the enemy, our
mounted men being employed as videttes to the picket stations, to prevent
surprise. At 1 o clock at night, the Recorder of Jennings County, Thos. Riley,
Esq., who was taken prisoner in the morning, made his way into town, and gave me
information that Morgan had marched towards Dupont. I sent all the mounted men I
could raise about twenty under Capt. Boyd, to follow him. Our scouts followed to
within two miles of Dupont, returning about 8 o clock in the morning, with
twenty prisoners, their horses, arms, and equipments. The prisoners were sent to
this city. The women and children were sent for in time to reach their homes at
daylight. I am pleased to be able to report, that beyond the natural alarm
occasioned by so unexpected and apparently great danger, no serious disaster
occurred to the women and children, the night being warm and cloudy. On the
morning of the 12th, I joined my forces with Maj. Gen. Wallace, who arrived at
Vernon at 9 o clock. Rumors were conflicting all day of the 12th. He was
supposed to be attempting to escape by Madison. On the 13th we heard he, was at
Versailles, when, on the evening of that day, we proceeded by rail to Osgood. On
the 14th, Gen. Wallace marched by land towards Sunman, on the I. & C. R. R.,
joining Gen. Hughes at Milan. Our entire force, under Gen. Wallace, reached
Sunman at 6 o clock P. M. of the 14th, after a fatiguing march of eighteen
Morgan now being far in the State of Ohio,
our troops were brought to this city, and, on the 17th, discharged. It is due to
Col. Williams and his gallant regiment from Ohio County, to say, that with only
two hundred men of his regiment, and the armed citizens of Jennings County, he
refused to surrender Vernon to Morgans force of forty-five hundred, with five
pieces of artillery. On my arrival at Vernon, I found Col. Williams had made the
best disposition of the three small field pieces under his command, and that he
was determined to hold out till reinforced. The failure to take Vernon was the
first check Morgan had met with since entering our State, and, it is believed,
embarrassed him, by turning him back on his route ten miles from the course he
had probably marked out. His plan was, no doubt, to take North Vernon, and thus
damage the roads centering there. It is proper that I should mention that James
H. Vawter, Esq., of Vernon, and Col. James H. Cravens, of Ripley, were most
active and energetic, and rendered untiring service. No people could have
behaved better than did the citizens of Vernon, and particularly would I speak
of the women and children. When they found it was necessary for them to leave,
temporarily, their homes, not an exciting sound or act escaped them, and all
moved out calmly. It should be to us all a source of congratulation at the
alacrity and earnestness with which our citizens, to a man, sprang to arms, and
vied with each other who should be fore most and render the most service. What
Morgans plans may have been, time has not yet developed, but if the most natural
that of cutting our communications he signally failed in our State. So rapidly
was he pursued, that he failed to break communication on any road for more than
twenty-four hours, and many of them not more than six hours. We pursued him to
the Ohio line, and I think turned him over to the care of Ohio in such an
exhausted condition that I should not be surprised at the report of the rout and
capture of his command being confirmed. My impromptu staff, consisting of Maj.
C. T. Woolfolk, Surg. Thomas B. Harvey, Capts. J. L. Buell, H. A. N. Sain, C.
Durham, and Charles Pool, were very efficient and rendered valuable assistance.
My brigade, as finally organized under Gen. Wallace, consisted of the Boone
County regiment, under Col. Gregory ; the Hendricks County regiment, under the
immediate command of Col. Bennet, of the 69th regiment Indiana Volunteers, who,
though on sick leave, and then suffering, volunteered his services ; the
splendid battery of Yon Sehlen; and, as before stated, the Michigan
Sharpshooters; and a battalion of the 63d regiment Indiana, and a detachment of
exchanged men. It is with pleasure I bear testimony to the zeal and earnestness
of every officer and soldier of the brigade, and the uncomplaining endurance of
the hard ships of this brief but exciting expedition. To Gen. O. B. Willcox the
State is under obligations for his hearty co-operation with the State
authorities, and his energy and skill in the disposition of the forces.
I have the honor to be, Governor, Very Respectfully,
JOHN LOVE, Actg Brig. Gen,
REPORT OF COLONEL H. T. WILLIAMS,
HTH REGIMENT, 4in BRIGADE,
HEADQUARTERS HTH REG., 4TH BRIG., IND. LEGION, )
Rising Sun, Ind., July 19, 1863. /
To Brig. Gen. A. C. Downey,
commanding 4th Brigade:
the honor to submit the following as a report of the part taken, and duty
performed, by my command in the recent laborious and exciting chase after Morgan and his raiders :
It will be
remembered that you ordered me, on Friday, July 10th, to proceed with my command
to Mitchell. Arriving at Seymour, Gen. Love, then in command of that post,
ordered me to proceed no further. On Sunday, the llth of July, was ordered by
Gen. Love to proceed to Madison by rail, on the same train with Col. Burkham,
and was informed by Gen. Love s Adjutant that in case of any difficulty
occurring, the command of both his and my regiments would devolve upon me as
ranking officer. At North Vernon we were informed that the enemy were within
four miles of old Vernon, and marching on that place in force. We requested the
telegraph operator to inform Gen. Love of the state of things at this point, and
in a few minutes a telegram was received from him ordering us not to proceed
further. After forming my command in line, we marched immediately south of North
Vernon to a grove. I then returned to the depot and asked Col. Burkham what
disposition he thought we had better make of our forces. He remarked that we had
better defend the railroad property at North Vernon, to which I replied that I
thought the town of old Vernon and the bridges of that place of equal importance
to those of North Vernon, and far more exposed, and that it was certainly our
duty to save the place and bridges if possible. I then told
Col. Burkham that he must detach from his
command two pieces of artillery
and one company of infantry, to be attached to my command, and that he
might remain at North Vernon, and I would proceed to old Vernon. The detached
forces, consisting of Capt. Giegoldt s and Capt. Pholings companies, and the two
pieces of artillery from Capt. Millers battery, both from Aurora moved promptly
forward and joined my command. Leaving them in command of Capt. J. C. Wells,
(senior officer,) I proceeded forward, accompanied by Major Lostutter, of the
llth, and Capt. Wright, of Aurora, to examine the situation and select a
position. After satisfying myself as to the best position for defense, I
dispatched an officer back to hurry the troops forward with all possible speed.
As fast as they arrived I busied myself in placing them in position ; but before
they had all reached the place designated for them to occupy, a flag of truce
was announced, demanding the surrender of the town, to which I replied that "I
was abundantly able to hold the place, and if Gen. Morgan got it, he must take
it by hard fighting." I immediately sent Lieut.
Williams, one of my officers, back to North
Vernon, ordering Col. Burkham forward to
my support. Before the return of the courier, a second flag of truce was
announced, asking a reconsideration of my former decision. The bearer of the
flag, as I conceived, having violated the privilege of a flag of truce in
approaching nearer our lines than is warranted by military usage, I refused to
receive any communication from him, and left him in charge of two of my
officers. Just at this time my courier returned, informing me that he did not
see Col. Burkham, but that Gen. Love was advancing, and had anticipated my
orders, sending me word to hold the place by all means ; and furthermore, that
he would be there in twenty minutes. I sent back word to the head of Gen. Loves
column, asking him to come immediately to my headquarters so as to dispose of
the bearer of the flag of truce. Within the twenty minutes Gen. Love came
forward, and after informing him of the circumstances connected with the flag of
truce which prompted me to decline any communication with the bearer, I
accompanied him to Capt. Taylor, of Morgans staff, the bearer of the flag. After a short
interview between the parties, Gen. Love
ordered me to have him escorted
beyond our lines. I designated Lieut. Williams for the
service, who promptly
performed the duty assigned him.
Gen. Love and
myself, having inspected the several points where my men were posted, I was
ordered to proceed under a flag of truce to the enemys lines to ask a delay of
hostilities for two hours in which to remove the women and children from the
town. After a detention of an hour and a half, I was informed that thirty
minutes-would be given for the purpose mentioned, and fifteen minutes additional
in which to reach our lines, as his guns were in position and that we had
sufficient knowledge that the place was already fully invested. From the
demonstrations made by the enemy, all were confident that he would attack us at
the expiration of the time specified, and we awaited in silence and readiness
for the conflict to begin, but were sadly disappointed in our expectations our
enemy evidently having concluded to march for a more congenial locality. We
remained at Vernon until Sunday evening, when, in pursuance of orders, we
marched to North Vernon. Here we remained until after 12 o clock on Monday, when
we received orders to embark on the cars for Osgood. The next morning, Tuesday,
14th, our whole force started on foot to Sunman, a station on the Indianapolis
and Cincinnati railroad, distance about twenty-eight miles. Our men, through the
hot sun and over dusty roads, pressed vigorously on with but little complaint. Here we remained until Thursday, 16th, when we
received orders to return home.
conclusion, I have no special commendation to bestow on any one at Vernon. All
seemed imbued with the importance of present ing a bold and steady front to the
enemy. Too much praise cannot be bestowed on the men of my command, as well as
those attached to it from Col. Burkhams command, for the promptness with which
they obeyed every order. I feel under special obligations to Capt. H. F. Wright,
of Aurora, late of the 3d Indiana cavalry, for the valuable assistance rendered
me in the selection of a position for defense, and the prompt occupation of
those points by the forces under my command.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
H. T. WILLIAMS,
Col. Comd g llth Eeg dh Brig. y Ind< Legion.
REPORT OF BRIG. GEN. A. C. DOWNEY,
BRIGADE INDIANA LEGION.
HEADQUARTERS 4TH BRIGADE, INDIANA
Rising Sun, August 20, 1864.
I make the following report of the services rendered
by the forces under my command during the Morgan invasion :
afternoon of the 9th of July, 1863, I received orders from his Excellency, the
Governor, to have all the Legion under my command sent to Seymour, by the Ohio
and Mississippi railroad.
I immediately communicated the order to Col.
G. H. Burkham, of Dearborn, by telegraph ; and Col. Williams, of Ohio county,
being absent from the city, I dispatched messengers to the Captains of the
companies in his regiment, directing them to report to him at Aurora. Soon
after, Col. Williams returned, and I informed him of what I had done, and
directed him to report, with his forces, at Seymour.
Early on the morning of
the 10th, the forces of Col. Williams and those of Col. Burkham were on the
railroad ready to embark, but transportation was not supplied until about 12 o
clock, when they started for their destination. On the morning of the 10th I was
directed by you to have the companies go on to Mitchell, which order I gave to
Col. Williams at Aurora, and Col. Burkham at Lawrenceburgh, by telegraph, before
they started from those points. When it is known that most of the forces in this
county, and many of those in Dearborn, are farmers, and that they were then
engaged in harvesting their crops, and that all of them were destitute of
everything essential to the comfort or convenience of men in actual service, the
promptness and cheerfulness with which they responded to the call are worthy of
the highest praise. After my forces had been thus sent to Mitchell, I was, on
the afternoon of the 10th, ordered by his Excellency, the Governor, to report,
with the Legion from Dearborn, Ohio and Switzerland counties, at Madison
immediately, as it was supposed that Morgan would try to get out that way. As I
did not notify the Governor of any compliance with the former orders, this one
was probably given under the supposition that my forces had not yet been sent
away. I communicated this order to Col. Keeney, of Switzerland, and attempted to
communicate it to Colonels Williams and Burkham, but it was not received by
them, they being then in the neighborhood of Seymour or Vernon. I did not
report in person at Madison for a reason then communicated to the Governor.
The accompanying report of Col. Williams will show the part which his regiment
took, and also in part the services rendered by Col. Burkhams regiment, from
which I have as yet received no report. On the 12th, on receiving information
that the enemy w. is moving in the direction of Cincinnati, scouts and parts of
armed men, to obstruct his progress, were sent out by me, who furnished accurate
information of his position and movements. This I communicated to General
Manson, then at Carrolton, Kentucky, by telegraph, and the General in person, on
his arrival here, at about 2 o clock, A. M., of the 13th. At this hour Morgan
was resting his forces at, or near, Milan, in Ripley county. Believing that
General Manson and the gunboats were able to prevent him from crossing the
river, should he attempt it, that there was force sufficient on his left to
prevent him from going farther into the interior, and that there was a
sufficient force in bis rear to prevent him from retracing his steps, I was in
hopes that a force had been sent from Cincinnati strong enough to
progress in that direction, and thus compel him to come to a stand. But this,
for sufficient reason, no doubt, was not done. The policy of the rebel commander
seemed to be to avoid an engage ment. Had this not been the case he would hardly
have passed round our forces at Vernon and refused to fight them. The very
daring and seeming recklessness of the invasion of our State, so different from
most military enterprises rendered ordinary calculations or conclusions of no
avail. Most persons supposed that he would get out of the State not far above
the point where he came in. Our forces were, in consequence, concentrated at
points too far south, and not being mounted, were soon left by him far in the
rear. His progress was more like a retreat, however, than like a hostile and
victorious march. There was, probably, no time while he was in this part of the
State that he could have remained in one place for forty-eight hours without
having been overwhelmed by armed forces. If we are to have a repetition of raids
into our State, it is very important that we have more mounted forces and a
better supply of field artillery in this part of the State.
I wish to
bear testimony to the readiness of the citizens in this part of the State,
without reference to party, to render the services
asked of them in
expelling the enemy from the State. If I shall receive a report from Col.
Burkham I will forward it to you.
Very respectfully yours,
General 4th Brigade.
REPORT OF COL.
JOHN A. PLATTER,
COMMANDING 12TH REGIMENT, INDIANA LEGION.
AURORA, IND., December 15th, 1864.
Commanding Indiana Legion:
GENERAL : In compliance with your
request I submit the following report of services rendered by the 12th Regiment of
Legion. Owing to the absence of former
officers my report has been unavoidably delayed. I hope, however, it will be in time.
The 12th Regiment, under
command of Colonel J. H. Burkham, was called out July 9th, 1863, during the
Morgan raid, under orders to repair to Mitchell, Indiana; but upon arriving at
Seymour the regiment was ordered on picket duty by General Love, commanding at
that place, in which capacity it rendered service until the llth, when it was
ordered to Madison, Ind. But on arriving at North Vernon the enemy were
reported menacing the town of Old Vernon. Colonel Burkham here received orders
from Gov. Morton to hold North Vernon at all hazards until reinforcements
arrived. The regiment was soon formed in line of battle, and so remained until
reinforcements came up. Reinforcements having arrived the regiment, in
connection with other troops, moved in the direction of Old Vernon, arriving
there just in time to save the place from the ravage of the vandals
under John Morgan.
It was soon
ascertained that the enemy was moving in the direction of Aurora or
Lawrenceburg, and the regiment was now ordered to take the train, and if
possible gain his advance at Lawrenceburg, or some place on the Indianapolis and
Cincinnati Railroad ; but in consequence of unavoidable delay on the road, the
enemy had crossed at Van Weddens station an hour previous to the arrival of the
regiment at that place. It was now considered useless for an infantry regiment
to further pursue a mounted enemy, and in view of the heavy services performed
by the regiment, and their fatigued condition, Colonel Burkham was ordered to
report to Colonel Gavin, at Lawrenceburg, where the regiment performed picket
duty until the 15th, when it was discharged from further service. Captain Miller
and Company, of Aurora, with four pieces of artillery,
accompanied the regiment, and
performed duty with credit to themselves.
Lieut. Col. John F. Cheek, late of
7th Regiment, and Captain EL F. Wrignt, late of 3d Cavalry, volunteered their
services and accompanied the regiment, rendering valuable service. The regiment
is in rather an inefficient condition poorly equipped. The companies need to be
re-organized. It is my intention to make this an efficient regiment, if our
incoming Legislature will give us an efficient military law. I have reason to
hope they will see the great necessity of such a law as will enable us to
thoroughly organize the Legion.
Trusting that this may be the case,
I am General, very truly,
Your obedient servant,
Colonel \Wi Regiment, Indiana Legion
REPORT OF COLONEL SAM. B. SERING,
9lH REGIMENT, (JEFFERSON COUNTY) INDIANA L.EGION
Maj. Gen. J. L. Mansfield : SIR: In compliance with your order of 21st inst., I
beg to submit the following Report of the acts of my regiment since 1st day of
January 1863. At that time the organized Legion of this county consisted of four
companies of Infantry, two companies of cavalry, and one company of artillery,
all-armed and mostly uniformed. Previous to this date, four companies of
Infantry were called upon to guard prisoners of war, at Indianapolis, where they
were mustered into the service of the United States for a period of three
months. On their return home, these companies were disbanded ; other companies
were organized previous to this date, but failing to be provided with arms they
were disbanded. In addition to the regular organized Legion of the county, the
citizens of Madison organized eight companies of Infantry, (minute men) and
tendered their services to repel invasion of the State.
During the winter and spring of 1863, there was no occasion to
call upon the Legion and minute men to perform duty along this portion of the
border until about 8th July, when information was communicated to us by Gov.
Morton, that John Morgan, with a large force, had crossed the Ohio river at
Brandenburg, and was marching into the interior of the State. I also received
orders from Gov. Morton, directing that the Legion of this county be called
immediately into active service, and to hold transports ready to convey
them to New Albany. All the companies of my command reported promptly for duty,
and transports were held in readiness to convey them to New Albany. On the 5th
July orders were received from headquarters to hold my command at Madison that
Morgan was moving in this direction, and calling upon us to use every effort to
check his progress and to prevent him crossing the river at this point. The
citizens and minute men responded promptly to the call of the Governor, and
every preparation made to defend this point and prevent the enemy from crossing
into Kentucky. On Friday the 6th July, Gov. Morton informed me by telegraph,
that Morgan had crossed the Jeffersonville Railroad at Vienna, and was moving in
the direction of Madison, through Lexington, Scott county, at the same time he
informed us that reinforcements would be sent to this point as rapidly as
possible. The same evening, the Legion from Johnson and Bartholomew counties
arrived, numbering some 400 men. Early next morning we were further re-inforced
by a regiment of the Legion from Switzerland county, numbering 500 men, also,
one section of artillery from the same county thus furnishing us a force of
about 2,000 men, Infantry, Cavalry and Artillery. A company of Cavalry had been
dispatched on Friday evening, in the direction of Vienna with instructions to
proceed until they met Morgans force and to ascertain the direction of his
march. Early Saturday morning a messenger from our cavalry, informed us that
Morgan s force rested at Lexington, Scott county, some 18 miles west from this
place. The troops were immediately called into line, and after making the
necessary details for duty along the river and in the city, We at once proceeded
on the road leading to Lexington and South Hanover. After proceeding some 5
miles on this road we took a strong position on the hills covering the turnpike
road to Lexing ton, and also the road to South Hanover, with about 1800 Infantry
and 4 pieces Artillery. This position was greatly strengthened by obstructions
thrown across the roads, and by falling trees in the immediate vicinity, which
afforded a good shelter in case of an action. These precautionary and valuable
preparations were made by the citizens under the imme diate direction of Hon. D.
C. Branham. Getting our small force into the best possible position we waited
for the appearance of the enemy, who we presumed would attempt to pass through
our lines on the turnpike road leading to the river. Until late in the
afternoon, we were much annoyed by uncertain and contradictory reports from our
scouts in front. Morgan s forces were reported on every road leading in this
direction, and until late in the afternoon we were not advised that his main
column was moving to the north of us, and thus threatening to enter the city
from the north side. Ascertaining that his whole force had gone in this
direction, at 12 o clock Saturday night, we got our force into column and
marched in the direction of North Madison, distant 6 miles. The night being
exceedingly dark, we did not reach that point until daylight Sunday morning.
Soon after arriving at this point, our scouts came in and reported Mogans forces
again on the roads leading to North Madison. Our troops were immediately thrown
into line of battle, and every preparation made to give them a warm reception.
Later in the day it was ascertained that the enemy was moving in the direction
of Versailles, Ripley county, but fearing that he might suddenly change his
direction, our troops were kept in line, resting on their arms, until Monday
morning, when learning that the enemy was moving east, we went into camp at
North Madison where we remained until the 16th July, when the troops were
dismissed from service by order of Gov. Morton.
From this period until the close of 1863, the Legion of
this county were not again called into active service, but occasional
demonstrations by small parties of guerrillas in Kentucky, opposite this point,
required an occasional guard along the river, and almost constant watchfulness
on the part of the officers of the Legion. During the fall of 1863 one company
of cavalry was organized in this county and was added to my command, thus giving
us on the 1st of January, 1864, a force of 3 companies of cavalry, 4 companies
of infantry, and 1 company of artillery of Legion. From this period until the
9th of June, 1864, the Legion of this county were not called into active
service. On that day I received an order from Gov. Morton, to immediately
assemble my command and hold them subject to further orders. The companies of my
command promptly responded to the call, and on the 12th day of June, I was
directed to secure transportation by the river and be in readiness to embark my
command for Jeffersonville. Boats were secured and we remained here under these
orders until June 15th, 1864, when by order of the Governor, the command was
dismissed and sent to their homes.
service it was found necessary to guard closely the border along the front of
our county, in consequence of the presence of a Confederate force in Trimble and
Henry counties, Kentucky, under the command of "Col." Jesse. Upon this, as well
as upon all other occasions, the Legion of this county were prompt to respond to
the call of the Governor, although at a season of the year when the crops of the
country required the constant attention of the farmers, and their absence from
home at this time was a matter of serious loss to them. Since that time until
the present writing we have been in a constant state of suspense in consequence
of the presence of parties of guerrillas in the counties opposite this place,
and their frequent approaches to the river. Neither the citizens of Madison, nor
the city authorities have evinced that interest which the circumstances around
them would demand, but seem almost lost to any sense of danger, and our city is
suffered to remain exposed and liable to attacks of the enemy, and would be
easily captured whenever they are disposed to make the effort. Recently a small
band of guerrillas have visited Carrolton, twelve jniles above, Garrits Landing,
fifteen miles below, Spring Creek, eight miles below, and even Milton, just
opposite this city, and from all these points have fired upon passing boats. The
steamer Boston, Capt. David, plying between this place and Cincinnati, has been
fired upon by this band several times during the past week. At the solicitation
of Capt. David, I provided him with thirty-seven muskets and ammunition, and on
his upward trip he was again fired upon ; he returned the fire and drove the
guerrillas in confusion. On Friday last, learning that this boat would probably
be attacked by a larger force, at the request of Capt. David, I sent on board
one of our cannon, with cannister, shells, etc., under the command of Lieut.
Crawford, of Western Artillery Company, with instructions to fire upon the
guerrillas wherever seen. The boat has returned without meeting with the
guerrillas; she will, however, retain the gun a few days longer. The organized
Legion of this county consists, at this time, of four companies of infantry,
three companies of cavalry, and one company of artillery. All of these companies
are small, and in consequence of the recent draft, and the enlistment of the men
in the regular service, it requires constant exertion on the part of the
officers to keep up an organization. These companies have all uniformed
themselves (and some of them more than once), have drilled regularly, with few
exceptions, and have done much duty, for which they have received a very small
Before closing this
report, allow me to express the hope that the convening Legislature will adopt
some means for the better defense. of the border counties and the State, and a
more complete and efficient organization of the militia of the State. Under the
present inefficient law, the organization of the Legion is small, and, I am
informed, mostly confined to the border counties, where their services are
frequently required, and they are called upon to perform military duty, and to
guard the State against inva sion, while the citizens of the interior of the
State are seldom called upon to do military duty. It would, perhaps, be
difficult to provide a law that would fully remedy this objection, but means
might be provided to better compensate those doing service on the border than
the present law provides. I make the above remarks, knowing that I express the
views of the officers and men of my command, as often expressed by them, but
would not be understood as offering complaints for the past only desiring a
better condition of affairs in the future.
I have the honor to be, Very
respectfully, Your obedient servant,
SAM. B. SEEING, Col Comdg 9th Ind.
NAMES OF REGIMENTS OF INDIANA LEGION BY COUNTY
|Graham Home Guards
||Hoosier Cavalry Guards|
||Craig Township Guards|
|Western Artillery Company
||Indian Creek Rifle Company|
|Middle Fork Union Guards
|Shelby Light Horse Guards
||Mt. Zion Guards
|Bee Camp Union Guards
||Posey Township Guards|
||Vevay Union Guards|
||Florence Cavalry Guards|
||Craig Township Rangers|
||York Township Guards|
||Wolf Creek Scouts
||Artillery State Guards|
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