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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 from the Internet Archive, 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." --Submitter Unknown as of March 2013.
OF GOVERNOR MORTON.
received information that a rebel force, estimated at six thousand
strong, with six pieces of artillery, had crossed the Ohio
Gen. Laz. Noble:
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.
Also, no name given , 1 bay mare, saddle and bridle ; no receipt given, no owner being found.
L LAZ. NOBLE,
MEMORANDUM OF PROPERTY RECEIPTED FOR BY W. H. SMITH, 1ST LIEUTENANT AND A. A. Q. M., GEN. WALLACE S DIVISION, INDIANA MILITIA.
11 E. Nichols, 1 roan mare, 1 bridle and 1 saddle.
His 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 miles.
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,
OF COLONEL H. T. WILLIAMS,
To Brig. Gen. A. C. Downey, commanding 4th Brigade:
I have 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.
In 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.
OF BRIG. GEN. A. C. DOWNEY,
4TH BRIGADE, INDIANA LEGION,
Laz. Noble, Adjutant General:
I make the following report of the services rendered by the forces under my command during the Morgan invasion :
On the 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 resist his 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.
to bear testimony to the readiness of the citizens in this part of the
State, without reference to party, to render the services
Very respectfully yours,
OF COL. JOHN A. PLATTER,
GENERAL MANSFIELD, Commanding Indiana Legion:
GENERAL : In compliance with your request I submit the following report of services rendered by the 12th Regiment of Indiana 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,
General, very truly,
OF COLONEL SAM. B. SERING,
To 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.
During this 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 compensation.
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. Legion.