Thursday, March 26, 2009

Morgan Marker Placed at Ashland in Lexington

From the Fall, 2006 Lost Cause:

A large granite marker describing John Hunt Morgan’s brief capture of Lexington in 1862 and victory in the fighting that occurred at Ashland, the Henry Clay estate, was dedicated on October 14th at that site. The John C. Breckinridge camp helped raise funds for the marker, and Breckinridge members served key roles in the foundation created for the erection of the monument.

After Perryville, while Bragg was retreating, then Col. Morgan took his men behind the lines in an effort to keep federal troops preoccupied. As part of this, Morgan divided his force into two battalions and came towards Lexington from two directions (basically Tates Creek Road and Richmond Road for those familiar with Lexington).

Morgan’s two battalions converged on two battalions of Ohio cavalry (from the 3rd & 4th Ohio Cavalries) occupying the Ashland grounds and routed them. Among the casualties, Morgan’s cousin, Wash, was mortally wounded in the fighting. The “Battle of Ashland” is probably one of the least known actions in Kentucky from the War for Southern Independence. There has been little written on it; recently, noted WBTS author (and SCV friend) Kent Masterson Brown undertook to research the battle and now gives fascinating lectures on this Morgan victory (we hope he will publish this work at some point). His research provided the groundwork for the monument project, and led to the fundraising of the $9,000.00 required to make it a reality.

The dedication service was very well attended, with about 150 present, and included, in addition to a condensed version of Brown’s research on the battle, words from a Clay descendent (all but one of Henry Clay’s sons were Confederates), an artillery salute, and wreath laying by the Kentucky United Daughters of the Confederacy.

Now future visitors to the historic Ashland estate will know that Morgan was here.

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