Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Captain "Black Dave" Martin

David S. Martin
8th Regiment Kentucky Cavalry

6 Battalion Confederate Cavalry
Born 1/19/1828, Died 8/1/1896
Buried: Grove Hill Cemetery, Shelbyville, Kentucky

Dave Martin enlisted in the 8th Regiment Kentucky Cavalry as a 4th Sergeant in Company H on August 1, 1862. Colonel R. S. Cluke commanded the unit, which was assigned to Colonel John Hunt Morgan’s Cavalry Brigade. Martin was known as "Black Dave" due to his dark complexion.

Morgan’s Cavalry Brigade 10/31/1862
nd Kentucky Regiment: Colonel Duke
th Kentucky Cavalry: Colonel Gano
th Kentucky Cavalry: Colonel Cluke
th Kentucky Cavalry Colonel Chenault
th Kentucky Battalion: Major Breckinridge
Captain Arnett’s Howitzer Battery

In September the 8th was ordered to proceed towards Irvine, Kentucky. Subsequently it was sent to harass the rear of Federal General George Morgan’s forces that were retreating from Cumberland Gap.

On November 20,1862, Martin was promoted to 3rd Sergeant of Company H. Sergeant Martin’s story can best be told by following the movements of Colonel Cluke’s Regiment.

Colonel Cluke’s Regiment participated in the Battle of Hartsville Tennessee December 7,1862. The Confederate victory resulted in Colonel Morgan being promoted to Brigadier – General. Casualties in the 8th Regiment were 2 killed, 24 wounded and 6 missing.

From December 23, 1862-January 1,1863 Morgan conducted a Christmas Raid into Kentucky. After capturing Glasgow, the Confederates burned the L&N RR Bridge across Bacon Creek. On the 27th Elizabethtown was captured after the town was shelled. The next day Morgan’s men burned two trestles at Muldraugh’s Hill. Colonel Cluke was ordered to burn the railroad bridge over the Rolling Fork River on the 29th. Before he could complete the task, Federal troops attacked. During the fighting Colonel Duke was wounded. The Confederate troopers managed a successful withdrawal to Bardstown. The Confederate raiders reached Columbia on the 31st. Morgan crossed the Cumberland River into Tennessee on January 2, 1863.

Colonel Cluke was granted permission to lead a raid into Kentucky in February of 1863. Approximately 800 men crossed the Cumberland River at Stigall’s Ferry below Somerset Kentucky . The purpose of the raid was to gather horses and mules as well as recruit troopers. General Marshall was to come into Kentucky from Pound Gap and cross through Hazel Green to unite with Cluke. General Pegram was to also cross later at Stigall’s Ferry and gather cattle and forage. All would then move south with badly needed supplies for the Confederate Armies.

On February 21, Cluke’s command was at Mt. Vernon, 28 miles from Richmond KY. After a brief skirmish at Comb’s Ferry the Confederates passed through Winchester and camped at Stoner’s Bridge. During a night attack on the 23-24th, the Confederate troopers withdrew through Mt. Sterling. Tick Town a.k.a. Jeffersonville was reached on the 25th. During the fighting numerous horses and mules were captured by the Federals. On the 26th Cluke’s men camped at Slate Creek approx. 13 miles from Mt.Sterling. They were attacked there on March 2. Losses were 10 killed and 16 men captured. The rear guard retired to Howard’s Mill. Afterwards while camping near Saylersville an epidemic of erysipelas (fever with chills, headaches and vomiting) decimated the command. Realizing that Marshall was not coming to his aid Cluke baffled the Federals by moving towards Mt. Sterling. His troopers covered 60 miles in 24 hours! On the 22nd of March he captured the town, lightly garrisoned by members of the 10th and 14th Kentucky Cavalries. They were guarding an immense commissary depot. After paroling approx. 300 men and occupying the town for 6 hours, Cluke withdrew towards Owensville, unmolested. During the occupation of Mt. Sterling, Cluke allowed his men to supply themselves with needed goods before destroying over $500,000 in supplies. He drove between 450-500 horses and mules as he withdrew. He reached Rockville in Rowan County on the 24th. When safely underway Cluke dispatched a portion of his command, Steele’s Battalion and company A of the 2nd KY Cavalry to the aid of General Pegram who would soon be fighting the Battle of Dutton’s Hill near Somerset KY. Subsequently he withdrew through Beatyville and Manchester back into Tennessee.

Brigadier General Morgan’s Cavalry Division April 1863

1st Brigade - Colonel Duke
2nd KY. Cavalry: Major Webber
5th Kentucky Cavalry: Colonel Smith
6th KY Cavalry :Colonel Grigsby
9th KY Cavalry: Colonel Breckinridge
9th TN Cavalry Colonel Ward

2nd Brigade-Colonel Cluke
7th KY Cavalry: Lt.Colonel Huffman
8th KY Cavalry: Major Bullock
10th Kentucky P. R.: Colonel Johnson
11th KY Cavalry: Colonel Chenault

In April of 1863 Colonel Cluke was camped in the vicinity of Celina Tennessee. Attempts to merge Tennessee Colonel O. P. Hamilton’s Partisan Rangers into newly formed, Colonel R.C. Morgan’s 14th Regiment Kentucky Cavalry met with failure. Federal troops were active in the vicinity of Jamestown and Scottsville Kentucky.

Federal troops attacked Morgan’s forces 4 miles south of Monticello on May 1 driving them back 3 miles towards Albany. Confederate losses were 8 killed. Morgan’s men withdrew to Livingston Tennessee shortly afterwards.

On May 4th, General Morgan ordered Colonel Cluke to send the 10th Partisan Rangers to Colonel Chenault so that he would have enough strength to reoccupy Clinton and Wayne Counties in Kentucky. On the 8th of May Colonel Cluke departed from his camp on the Obey River accompanied by Colonel Chenault on the Monticello road and advanced to the Wolf River in Kentucky.

Sergeant Dave Martin’s company H led the advance towards the mouth of Greasy Creek a.k.a. Horseshoe Bottoms, on the 9th of May. Learning of a Federal force with civilian prisoners a short distance ahead of them, companies H, I, and K raced to engage them.

Skirmishing took place at the Alcorn Distillery and lasted to nightfall. Confederate troops camped at Beaver Creek. On the morning of the 10th fighting resumed on the Coffey farm. After a spirited engagement the Federals withdrew to Columbia KY. Confederate losses were 1 killed and 15 wounded. They withdrew to Gainesboro Tennessee.

In July of 1863 General Morgan departed from Tennessee for what would become the longest cavalry raid of the war. The raid through Kentucky Indiana and Ohio resulted in the disintegration of Morgan’s Cavalry Brigade. The General and the majority of his troopers were captured. Colonel Cluke died in a POW camp.

Sergeant Martin was captured July 11,1863 at 12 mile Island in Ohio. He was confined at the McLean Barracks in Cincinnati on the 13th. Martin was forwarded to Camp Chase on the 19th. Curiously his rank is reported as private. On August 24, 1863 Martin was transferred to Camp Douglas. He is reported as escaping in December of that year. Apparently he made his way to Confederate lines and was promoted to 2nd Sergeant in January of 1864.

Shortly afterwards he was granted permission to return to Kentucky to recruit and remount. This ends his career with the remnants of the 8th Regiment Kentucky Cavalry.

Dave Martin’s activities in Kentucky appear to be undocumented until mid-August of 1864. It is thought that he and about 25 others were operating as an independent cavalry company in Henry and Shelby Counties. Martin’s company was credited with derailing a train on the Louisville & Frankfort rail road near Bagdad on August 25, 1864. The following morning "Black Dave" led his men on a raid to Shelbyville.

Captain Martin rode in from the north on the Burkes Branch Pike and then rode down Main Street and through 7th & 8th streets to the courthouse. Inside weapons and ammunition were stored. Martin proceeded to the back of the building, where he was berated by the jailer's wife for endangering the lives of civilians, including Martin's own wife and children who were sheltering in town. Meanwhile troopers with Lt. Veach dismounted and forced a black employee from James Hickman’s Blacksmith Shop named Owen to hold their horses while they proceeded to force entry into the building.

Two citizens of Shelbyville, Thomas C. McGrath a merchant and J.H. Masonheimer a tailor, began firing on the Confederates. McGrath’s store in the Market House overlooked the courthouse, and he opened fire from a third story window. Masonheimer stood in the street. He is credited with killing 4 horses and accidentally killing Owen who he had not recognized. Three of the raiders were killed, Lt. Joe Veach formerly a private in company C of the 8th Kentucky Cavalry Regiment, had escaped Camp Douglas about the same time as Martin. Sergeant Bird M. Smith , formerly in company H of the same Regiment. The third man’s name was thought to be Dale. During the combat McGrath received a slight wound to his scalp. Captain Martin withdrew unsuccessful in his attempt to capture the weapons and ammunition.

During this time Confederate Colonel George M. Jessee was operating in Henry, Carroll, Owen, and Trimble Counties. The 6th Confederate Cavalry Battalion was divided in June of 1864. The Virginia companies were part of Cosby’s Cavalry Brigade temporarily operating in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Three Kentucky companies were with Jessee as ordered by Colonel Grigsby. Jessee was to gather stragglers and return them to Confederate lines.

David S. Martin enlisted in Jessee’s command near Springport as Captain, Company G, 6th Confederate Cavalry Battalion on October 16, 1864. On the 18th Jesse’s men were charged with firing on a train near Lair’s Station, nine miles from Paris KY. On the 19th the Confederates skirmished at Mudlick Springs in Bath County.

Confederate Colonel Morris, a POW, recently captured reported that six of Jessee’s men were taken from prison and executed by order of Federal General Stephen Gano Burbridge in October of 1864.

In November approx. 30 of Jessee’s men raided Clay Village a few miles from Shelbyville, robbing Mr. Walsh’s store. That same evening stores in Eminence were robbed.

Federal authorities were becoming concerned over reports that The Sons of Liberty, a secretive movement in sympathy with the South, was planning raids to free Confederate POWs in Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. Colonel Jessee was thought to be in communication with Confederate Agent Jacob Thompson, in Canada and Captain Hines, of the Confederate secret service.

On December 1,1864 Captain Bridgewater, of the Kentucky State Scouts reported that Jessee and 75-100 men were recruiting in Henry, Shelby, and Washington Counties. On the 8th, the steamer Bostonia #1, and another vessel reported men from Jessee’s command had fired upon them near Carrollton KY. Captain Bridgewater supported by the Henry County Home Guard attacked Colonel Jessee’s men at New Castle on the 13th. Jessee’s men numbering about 50 faced 140 of the Federals and were driven through Port Royal at a gallop. Jessee’s Command was reported at Milton on the 16th with about 100-150 men. Later in the month he was reported to be in Owen County.

Captain Bates of the 30th Kentucky (Mounted) Infantry (US) reported executing a Lt. Whetmore and several other of Jessee’s men in accordance with General Burbridges Order #8 on January 19,1865. He reported plans to shoot another at Lusby’s Mill.

General Palmer replaced the despised General Burbridge, in February of 1865. After the surrender of General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia but prior to the surrender of the Army of Tennessee, General Palmer offered the disgraced General Burbridge authority to act as his agent to negotiate a surrender of Jessee’s men on April 14,1865. A few weeks later General Grant offered the same terms that had been given to General Lee. Confederate troops surrendered at Louisa on April 27. Others surrendered at Mt.Sterling on the 30th. Some of the 6th Battalion surrendered in May of 1865 at Port Royal.

Captain Martin returned home and lived peacefully until July of 1865 when he was arrested and charged with having been a guerrilla during the war. In a military court martial he was found guilty and was sentenced to two years hard labor. The Louisville Daily Journal of 7/19/1865 reported his detention in the Second Street Prison. General Palmer released him showing compassion for a Confederate soldier who had a family dependent upon him. No doubt public opinion which was weary of the post war retribution influenced his decision.

Side Bar Note

Thomas C. McGrath the merchant who had fired on Martin’s men during the Shelbyville raid did not survive long after the war ended. On May 19,1865 he was murdered by Private John Lewis, Company E, 13th Heavy Artillery USCT. McGrath was shot in the back while attempting to prevent damage to his implement shop. Just after the murder the feared guerrilla hunter Captain Ed Terrell rode into town and took Lewis from the jail and attempted to lynch him. Terrell was in the employ of General Palmer as a secret service policeman. Other Union troops intervened and Lewis was later tried by court martial on June 4th and found guilty of murder "with malice afterthought". Lewis was hung in Louisville on June 13, 1865. McGrath is also buried in the Grove Hill Cemetery.

Photos by Nancy Hitt and Mark Brooks
History of Shelby County: Wiilis
The New History of Shelby County: Shelby County Historical Society
Official Records war of the Rebellion
Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Kentucky (Confederate).
Confederate Soldiers of Kentucky: Lynn
A History of Morgan’s Cavalry: Duke
6th Battalion Confederate Cavalry: Weaver
Confederate Guerrilla Sue Mundy: Watson & Brantley
The Civil War in the Big Sandy Valley: Preston
Kentucky Cavaliers in Dixie: Mosgrove
Other notes and documents in the author’s collection.

Researched and written by Stewart Cruickshank

Above: Martin's grave markers

Monday, July 20, 2009

Kentucky Division Awards 2009

Division awards given this year at Bardstown:

Henry Bottom Award (grave marking): Fort Heiman Camp

Distinguished Service Award: Don R. Johnson, Gen Humphrey Marshall Camp

Meritorious Service Award: Mike Burchett, Fort Heiman Camp, Gene Kissiar, Alfred Johnston Camp, Randy Beeler, Lloyd Tilghman Camp, J.W. Binion, Arthur Camp.

Certificates of Commendation were voted by the Division to be presented to: Stewart Cruickshank, Bill Vallante, Achim Bansch, Raphael Waldburg Zeil, John Collier, Dave Tollerton, Roy Rawlinson, and Robert Jones, all gentlemen from the US, England and Germany who have supported the Confederate cause within the past year.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Cmdr. Hiter's Bardstown Welcome/Report

From the 2009 Kentucky division reunion program:

Kentucky Division
Sons of Confederate Veterans
2009 Reunion at Bardstown, Kentucky 26-28 June, 2009

First, let me welcome you to this 2009 Reunion of the Kentucky division, Sons of Confederate Veterans. It's been one heck of a year!

Since we last met, in Fairview, we've endured, in the west and up the Ohio river, a hurricane (yep, measured wind speed and all - an inland hurricane!) that knocked out all power and much else as well; across the west and central part of the Commonwealth we had an ice storm of historic propoortions, again knocking out power and communication for several weeks and causing clean-up efforts that are still ongoing; and in the east, we saw rains and flooding of similarly historic proportions, wreaking havoc all up and down our mountain counties. To top it off, the national financial markets seem to have tanked, causing economic dissarray that we are only now beginning to realize. Add to that a couple of ongoing wars, an extremely divisive national election and some serious health issues for a number of people (not the least of which was a heart attack by our Division Lieutenant Commander!), and you have a recipe for confusion, to say the least.
On the other hand, we've survived it. Our numbers are down a bit, but they'll improve, as everything else does. We've come through this past year with several very positive accomplishments, and without any serious loss of Camps. Indeed, we have re-started an old but dying one, and we're working on at least one new one.

Shortly after this year began, Compatriot Bazz Childress took a firm stand concerning our battle flag in Concord, North Carolina. It got him arrested. He, and we, fought in the local courts of that state, and won. Now he (and we) are following up with civil action against the hotel that started it all. Our Vicksburg Monument, after more than 10 years of hard and sometimes frustrating work, is erected and it's beautiful. A few more details have to be worked out, but we should be able to dedicate it sometime this Fall. And, speaking of decades-long effort, the Tilghman House Museum, the home of Confederate General Lloyd Tilghman, is now firmly in SCV hands, along with the adjacent parking lot. It's all paid for, and it's ours.

So, it's been a full year for all of us, and overall, it's been a good one. We've marched in parades (except one in Ironton, Ohio, where they thought to deny the 5th KY Infantry Camp an opportunity to honor their charge - more about THAT, later); we've marked graves and held dedications; we had Confederate History Month proclamations signed all across the Commonwealth - more than ever before. We still haven't put up a mega-flag, but we will, and we still haven't grown to anywhere near the number of members or Camps that I know we can grow to, but we will.

Let's take these couple of days in Bardstown to rest a bit, and enjoy the history of this place. We must not forget that "My Old Kentucky Home" was written right across the street from where we're meeting. In many ways, this is all of our Kentucky homes. thanks to Compatriot Bill Hayes and the men of the John Hunt Morgan Camp for putting it together for us.

Deo Vindice
Thomas Y. Hiter Ph. D.
The Kentucky Division

Friday, July 10, 2009

The 2009 Kentucky Division Reunion in Bardstown, Kentucky

By Dr. T. Y. Hiter, Commanding 
      Once each year, the Kentucky Division assembles en masse to conduct such business as has come up during the year, and to prepare for future event as best we can.  This meeting, which we call a “reunion”  after the reunions that our parent organization, the United Confederate Veterans called theirs, is held in a different location in Kentucky each year, in an effort to make it possible for our members in the far eastern, western and northern parts of the Commonwealth to take part.  This year, we met in the Bluegrass Brigade, in Bardstown.  Our hosts were the men of John Hunt Morgan Camp, in Louisville.
      The festivities began on Friday evening, the 26th of June, when we assembled in the Bourbon bar at the Old Talbott Tavern, on the square in Bardstown for social purposes.  Several of us remained at the tavern for supper.  The Division Commander introduced Army of Tennessee Commander Kelly Barrow to Burgoo, Hot Browns and Derby Pie, as well as several varieties of Kentucky Bourbon.  The Old Talbott Tavern opened in 1779 and served food and drink for more than 200 consecutive  years before a fire almost destroyed it, late in the 20th century.  Now lovingly restored, it served as a fitting location for the kickoff of the Reunion.
      The following morning, Saturday, we assembled in the historic Kurtz Restaurant, just across the street from Kentucky’s signature “My Old Kentucky Home” state park for our first business session.  During the morning session, we had membership and financial reports from the Division Adjutant, Dr. Bill Wells, and reports from the Heritage, Lost Cause, Vicksburg Monument and Tilghman house Museum committees, as well as the status of the license tag effort.   Several wives and other family members who were there took the opportunity to tour Federal Hill, the setting for Stephen Foster’s writing of “My Old Kentucky Home”.  After lunch at the restaurant, the afternoon business session was conducted, and it included time for Brigade meetings and Brigade elections.  Division awards were also presented during the afternoon session.
      At two-thirty, we adjourned the business meeting and travelled a couple of blocks to tour the Bardstown “Civil War” museum.  It’s an excellent museum, and all present learned a great deal.  In the evening, many attendees and families attended the outdoor musical, “The Stephen Foster Story”, at the park.  It’s one of the longest-running outdoor musicals in the country.
      On Sunday morning, we assembled at the Bardstown Cemetery for a memorial service at the Confederate section of the cemetery.  Among other things, we were able to examine the beautiful Confederate Soldier monument there. A few years ago, a large oak tree of (apparently) yankee persuasion took aim at the statue and, collapsing on top of it, broke it into literally thousands of pieces.  The men of Morgan Camp worked tirelessly to restore the statue and to emplace Confederate stones at the sixty-seven Confederate graves around it.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Gen. Jo Shelby Statue Dedicated in Waverly, MO June 27th

By Nancy Hitt

Twenty-six years of organizing, planning and selling of books culminated in a recent celebration of the life of Kentucky-born and educated Confederate Gen. Joseph Orville Shelby. The folks of little Waverly, Missouri, population 807, were determined to honor their hometown hero. They completed their long mission on Saturday, June 27, 2009 with the dedication of the first statue to honor General Shelby.

Jo Shelby was born in Lexington, Kentucky, on December 12, 1830. His father died when he was five years old and his mother then married Benjamin Gratz. Gratz ran a hemp operation. Mr. Gratz was a widower with several sons. He educated his stepson, Jo, at a school in Pennsylvania and then sent him to Transylvania College in Lexington.

Shelby was a friend of John Hunt Morgan and their Confederate military careers would have several similarities. After Shelby dropped out of Transylvania, he was employed for a time at his stepfather’s rope factory. At the age of twenty-one, he received funds from his deceased father’s estate and with one of his stepbrothers, settled in Waverly, Missouri. Located on the banks of the Missouri River, it was in this village that Shelby and his step-brothers began a farming operation involving growing hemp for rope. Their property included a wharf and Shelby also started a shipping and steamboat service.

Many Kentuckians migrated to Missouri in the 1820’s and 1830’s, and in 1858, Shelby married Elizabeth “Bettie” Shelby, a distant cousin whose family had likewise made the move to settle in Missouri. She was the daughter of a Shelbyville, Kentucky, native.

It was not long before Jo Shelby took part in the border war engagements in 1858 and 1859. His stepbrother wanted no part in the blood letting caused by the Kansas redlegs and returned to Lexington, Kentucky. Another step-brother, Carey, joined the Union forces and was killed in his first engagement.

Frank Blair, another Kentucky cousin (and brother of Lincoln’s Postmaster General, Montgomery Blair) was stationed in St. Louis. Blair offered Shelby a Union commission when the War started but Shelby refused the offer.

In 1861, at the Methodist Church located near his plantation, Shelby recruited hundreds of men to the Confederate cause in a matter of hours. He outfitted them with his own money. These men became the core of his famous Iron Brigade. Shelby’s adjutant was John Newman Edwards who wrote glowing accounts about the Missouri Confederate exploits during the War for Southern Independence (and, as a post-war newspaperman largely created the legend of Jesse James).

Yankee arsonists burned down the Shelby home along with all the outbuildings.

Captain Shelby led his newly-formed cavalry company into battle at Wilson's Creek, and then - having been promoted to colonel - he commanded a brigade at Prairie Grove. From September 22nd to November 3rd, 1863, Shelby led his Iron Brigade on what was until then the longest cavalry raid of the war. Shelby's Great Raid covered 1,500 miles through Missouri, inflicting over 1,000 Union casualties and destroying or capturing roughly two million dollars of Federal property. This feat only his friend John Hunt Morgan would be able to surpass. Shelby’s brigade played a large role in stopping the Union Camden Expedition in 1864, and after that he accomplished the unusual feat of capturing a Union tinclad (the USS Queen City). In the Summer of 1864, he commanded a division in Sterling Price's Missouri raid.

General Jo Shelby refused to surrender at the end of the War. He led the remnants of his men, about 1,000, across the Rio Grande River at Eagle Pass, Texas. There they buried the battle flag in that river. Shelby offered their services to Emperor Maximilian as a foreign legion, and though that was declined the emperor granted land for an American colony near Vera Cruz. Wife Bettie and her two young sons were reunited with Shelby there. For their refusal to surrender, these men were dubbed "the undefeated.” “The Undefeated” became the title of a 1969 John Wayne film loosely based on Shelby’s actions.

In 1867 Shelby and his family returned to Missouri and began a farming operation in Adrian, Missouri. In 1893, President Grover Cleveland appointed him as U.S. Marshal for the Western District of Missouri.

General Shelby died on February 13, 1897, and was buried at Forest Hills Cemetery in Kansas City, Missouri. He left behind a wife, seven sons and a daughter. Shelby became a folk hero to the people of the devastated Southland, and is still considered one of the greatest Confederate Cavalry leaders.

This former Confederate resident is the man Waverly citizens wanted so greatly to honor. The states of Kentucky and Missouri had both failed to raise a statue to their brave son and heroic figure. The Shelby marker which rests in Forest Hills Cemetery is rather insignificant considering the accomplishments of this brave leader of men.

W. L. Pointer and Keith Daleen of Waverly took out a loan in order to purchase 2,000 copies of the book entitled “Shelby and his Men.” These books were sold to help raise the necessary funds for a Shelby statue. It took twenty-six years of fundraising, but they did it. Many people worked on this project over the long years of fundraising.

On a blistering hot Saturday afternoon, a ceremony was held to unveil the General Shelby equestrian statute. There were flags, reenactors, singing groups, boy scouts and at least thirty Shelby family members in attendance from several states. Speeches were given by Jim Beckner, John Hinz, Col. James Shelby, Waverly Mayor Barbara Schreiman, U.S. Representative Ike Skelton, Jim England of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the Missouri President of the UDC.

Two notable no-shows were the key note speaker, our own Kentucky Governor Steve Breshear, and the Missouri Governor, Jay Nixon. Though long scheduled to speak, they both managed to come up with last-minute excuses as to why they could not attend this event. Likely the problem was a sudden appearance of untreatable large yellow streaks on each of their backs, since this Confederate memorial service did not fit the PC guidebook and some intrepid reporter just might have mentioned their attendance in the media.

The citizens of Waverly, Jim Beckner, John Hinz, Mary MaCoy, Cathy Gottsch, the sutlers, vendors and reenactors deserve our gratitude for a wonderful weekend event.

If you decide to visit Waverly, don’t miss a chance to see the only remaining original log home that stood upon the Santa Fe Trail. Apparently all the other homes on the old trail have been moved there from various locations. This house witnessed those first Santa Fe freighters, the Union and Confederate soldiers and even stood to attention during Jo’s day.
Nancy Hitt – 2009

Friday, July 3, 2009

Captain/Representative Bart Jenkins - Three Amazing Escapes & More

By Stewart Cruickshank

Barton Jenkins was born near Versailles, Kentucky January 5, 1832. His parents were John I. and Susan A. Jenkins. When the War Between the States broke out, Bart pledged his allegiance to the South. When the status of Kentucky’s neutrality came into question Bart was already a vocal supporter of the Confederate Army.

Early in the war the Union Army Provost Marshal of Henry County, accompanied by a number of home guards rode to Bart’s home with the intention of arresting him. Bart was said to have placed his horse’s reins in his mouth and with a pistol each hand, he rode the length of their line, escaping arrest without a shot having been fired. Shortly thereafter Bart gathered with 28 others at Lusby’s Mill in Owen County and began making their way to the Confederate Army. Along the way these men were merged into what would become the first organization of the “Buckner Guards”.

General S.B. Buckner ordered Bart detached and appointed him Chief of Secret Service. Bart was ordered to hand-pick some men and scout the Union Army position in Lebanon Kentucky. When he reported back to the General, he accepted a commission as 1st Lieutenant, and was ordered to report to General Humphrey Marshall. From January of 1862 until June 1863 Bart Jenkins served as Captain and Aide de Camp on Marshall’s staff. This position allowed him to bring his wife and two children from Kentucky to the relative safety of Southwestern Virginia. At this time General Marshall was encamped at Castlewoods in Russell County. In March of 1862, Captain Jenkins was instrumental in removing Confederate supplies from Pound Gap to Gladesville Virginia.

Another member of the General’s Staff, Edward Guerrant, recalled in the style of the times that “Capt. Bart W. Jenkins, Aid de Camp has few equals in true nobility of souls, knight errant chivalry & Murant-like daring and bravery. Quick & impulsive in his action, but cool & cautious in his preparation: with more prudence than he has credit for. His great characteristics high & rigid interpretation of the code of honor to which he strictly conforms his speech & actions. He is always ‘responsible’ for everything & weighs that responsibility in the balances of fate—of life & death.”

Jenkins reported as sick with the mumps at Hansonville, Virginia, on May 4, 1862. However, he seems to have recovered in time to arrange for the exchange of prisoners taken in the combat at Princeton, later that month. In June, he accompanied General Marshall to Richmond, Virginia. His arrival during the Seven Days Campaign, June 25-July 1, allowed him to serve as a volunteer aide to Generals Hood and Magruder. In recognition of this service, Jenkins was commissioned a Captain of Cavalry with authority to recruit an independent command. However, Jenkins accepted General Marshall’s pleading that he remain on his staff. During the subsequent Perryville Campaign in the Fall of 1862 that authority was used to recruit what would later become the 4th Kentucky Cavalry Regiment. Jenkins would be closely associated with this regiment for the remainder of the War.

On November 22, 1862, Captain Jenkins was active in a small skirmish which took place near Abingdon, Virginia. General Marshall’s headquarters was in Jonesville Virginia. While there Captain Jenkins inspected the “nighthawks” of Lt. Colonel Witcher’s 34th Battalion, Virginia Cavalry, before they were detached for temporary service in Staunton, Virginia, in January of 1863.

Guerrant recorded in his diary that Jenkins and Marshall “had words” over Bart’s desire to resign and recruit a Battalion of Cavalry. On March 27, 1863, Bart Jenkins tendered his resignation—however Marshall refused to accept it when he got around to reading it on April 3rd. Still chaffing to be free from headquarters duty, Jenkins accompanied a small detachment that skirmished with bushwhackers in Harlan County, Kentucky on April 16th. His apparent break would finally come on April 28th, 1863 when General Marshall was relieved from command and ordered to report to General Johnston for assignment. Instead, with Jenkins in tow, Marshall went to Richmond to appeal the order. During the month of May Jenkins left Richmond, traveling to Danville and Lynchburg before returning to Abingdon, Virginia, where his family was staying. Meanwhile, General Marshall had lost his appeal and General William Preston assumed command. After attempting to follow General Marshall on his way to Vicksburg, Mississippi, Jenkins and Guerrant learned while in Mobile, Alabama, that General Marshall had resigned his commission on June 17, 1863.

Returning to Abingdon, Virginia, Jenkins accepted a position on the staff of General John S. “Cerro Gordo” Williams as Assistant Adjutant General. On August 17, 1863, Jenkins was involved in a dispute with Captain Rowan of Colonel Jesse’s 6th Confederate Cavalry Battalion. Unfortunately Guerrant’s diary does not record the details that almost led to a duel occurring between these officers.

On September 8, 1863 General Williams led a diversionary force towards Greeneville, Tennessee. His command included Carter’s 1st TN Cavalry, the 4th KY Cavalry, General A. E. “Mudwall” Jackson’s Infantry, and the artillery batteries of Burroughs and Schoolfield. The latter actually commanded a battery of Williams Guns which were breech-loading and ideally suited to support cavalry. Lt. J. J. Schoolfield would also become closely associated with Bart Jenkins for the remainder of the War.

At Limestone Creek, near Teleford Station Tennessee General J. S. Williams defeated the 100th Ohio Regiment. The Enfield rifles they captured were issued to the 4th Kentucky Cavalry. Captain Jenkins was instrumental in providing the tactics which led to the defeat and surrender of the Ohio Regiment. He had the artillery shell the Union position from he front while he led the 4th Kentucky in an assault upon the rear of the Union position.

On September 28 and October 2, General Williams defeated elements of the 2nd Ohio Cavalry at Blountsville and advanced towards Blue Springs Tennessee. After probing the Union positions at Bulls Gap on October 5, Williams set up camp at Blue Springs. When the Battle of Blue Springs opened on October 10, 1863, General Williams was unaware that Cumberland Gap had surrendered to the Union Army and that his small diversionary force actually faced most of Union General Burnside’s Army.

After valiantly holding their position, the center of the Confederate lines was broken at approximately 5:00 p.m. Schoolfield’s Battery of Williams Guns was instrumental in slowing the Union advance. Canister and grapeshot were rapidly fired into the ranks of the 7th Ohio Cavalry. However, about to be flanked, General Williams withdrew towards Greenville during the night.
On October 11, an engagement took place at Henderson’s Mill. Successfully pushing the Union troopers from the 5th Indiana Cavalry aside, Williams continued towards Rheatown and went into camp. However, the artillery had mistakenly taken the wrong road. Capt. Jenkins led them back some 18 miles, guided by the sound of the firing. Upon his return it was apparent that General Williams was incapable of command. Some thought him to be drunk but most likely he was in some form of diabetic shock from a lack of food. In any event, Captain Jenkins with Schoolfield’s Battery and the 4th Kentucky Cavalry set up a defensive position on Pugh’s Hill approximately 2 1/2 miles to the East of Rheatown. This engagement on the 12th lasted for more than three hours as the rest of Williams’ men retreated to Jonesborough, and Blountville. Skirmishing in Blountsville on the 13th and 14th, the Confederate forces left East Tennessee, returning to the relative safety of Abingdon, Virginia.

Upset with the lack of support he had received from the other Confederate forces during his diversionary campaign, General Williams requested relief from duty on November 4, 1863. Remaining in the vicinity of Abingdon and Saltville Virginia, his independent command eventually merged into Major General Ransom’s Division in January of 1864. On November 6, 1863 the 4th Kentucky Cavalry and other units from the Brigade defeated the 2nd Tennessee (US) Mounted Infantry and the 7th Ohio Cavalry in the Battle of Rogersville, TN. Soon afterwards General Breckinridge assumed command and Colonel Giltner of the 4th Kentucky Cavalry assumed command of the brigade in March.

On April 14, 1864 Captain Jenkins and Schoolfield’s Battery joined General John Hunt Morgan’s Command. The little battery was disbanded shortly thereafter, the men becoming members of Captain Bart Jenkins Independent Company of “Special Detachment”. This company usually acted in conjunction with the 4th Kentucky Cavalry Regiment; however, it was an independent command.

Jenkins Company participated in a small affair at Cove Gap/Crockett’s Farm near Wytheville Virginia on May 10. Meanwhile General Morgan was organizing his command for what would be his final raid into Kentucky. Captain Jenkin’s Company was used as scouts in advance of Giltner’s Brigade when the raid began in June. After skirmishing with Union troops at Pound Gap, Jenkins was ordered to scout the Union troops retreating towards Piketon (now Pikeville), Kentucky.

On June 6, Jenkins Special Detachment augmented by men from Captain Willis’ Company of the 4th Kentucky Cavalry was ordered to destroy the railroad in the vicinity of Frankfort, Kentucky. By some accounts they reached as far as Smithfield, Kentucky. On June 10, orders were issued to recall Captains Jenkins’ and Willis’ men to Cynthiana where the main body of Morgan’s Raiders was rendezvousing.

Captain Jenkins, under the authority granted him in 1862, officially enrolled his Company on June 11, 1864 as Company A, 7th Battalion Mounted Infantry Kentucky Volunteers. However, in the field it was still commonly referred to as Captain Jenkins’ Cavalry Company or Bart Jenkins Special Detachment. In any event the Raid ended in defeat when the Union army led by General Burbridge defeated the Confederates at Cynthiana. Captain Jenkins and his men made their way back to Virginia on the run.

On August 11, 1864, Captain Jenkins Company escorted Union families into their lines (Bulls Gap, TN) under a flag of truce. He returned to Confederate lines from New Market, Tennessee on August 18.

On September 1, 1864 General Morgan was killed in Greeneville Tennessee and General Echols set about reorganizing the remnants of Morgan’s command. On September 16th Jenkins’ Company was issued clothing; they were then detached to scout near Jeffersonville in Tazewell County, Virginia on September 30. Advancing Union Army troops cut them off from rejoining the main army during the Battle of Saltville, October 2, 1864. However Jenkins led a surprise attack on the retreating Union troopers at Pearson’s Gap which spread additional panic upon the rear guard.

On October 20, 1864 General Breckinridge ordered General G. B. Cosby to take available troops to the support of General Early in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. The troopers of Captain Jenkin’s Company reached Luray on October 30. November 12 they were picketing the river fords near Front Royal, and occasionally skirmishing with Union cavalry. Cosby was ordered to return to Wytheville on November 24. General Early’s March on Washington, D.C. having been repelled. Wytheville was reached on December 12.

Captain Jenkins was briefly captured twice, most likely on the 15th of December while trapped inside a home. He managed to kill both of his captors at different times and escape. This allowed him to participate in the Battle of Marion, Virginia on the 17th and 18th of December. After the second Battle of Saltville on December 20, 1864, Jenkins Company was detached for service with General Basil Duke, who planned to recruit and gather horses in Kentucky.

On January 21, 1865, Captain Jenkin’s Company was stationed in Russell County, Virginia. An inspection of his company reported 56 men and 60 horses, of which only 10 were serviceable. However, on March 27, 1865, Guerrant recorded from Abingdon, in his diary that “Jenkins came with his white battle flag (2nd National) floating in the mountain breeze, followed by 100 trusty sons of Kentucky.” On the 29th he was ordered to proceed within 7 miles of Bristol. On April 3rd the company was stationed at Dickensonville, in Scott County Virginia. On the 4th they were ordered to Wyheville where they later skirmished with Union troops. On April 7 Captain Jenkins was reported as sick with inflammatory rheumatism at Fort Chiswell, Virginia. Lt. Freeman, Adjutant of the 4th Kentucky Cavalry was in command of the 101 men.

On April 9, 1865 General Robert E. Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia near Appomattox Court House Virginia. Soon afterwards word reached the troops in Southwestern Virginia, and General Echols disbanded his troops. Most of the Kentucky men from Giltner’s Brigade accompanied him to Mt. Sterling, Kentucky where they were surrendered April 30, and later paroled to their homes on May 10, 1865.

Some sources refer to Bart Jenkins as Major in postwar accounts. However, this does not seem to have been officially approved by the Confederate Government. After the War Bart Jenkins briefly served in the Kentucky House of Representatives, as a member from Louisville (1873-75), which had been allowed separate legislators since the 1830’s.

Barton W. Jenkins died November 20, 1910 He is buried in the City Cemetery of Eminence Kentucky in grave 6611. His modest tombstone gives no hint of his remarkable service in the Confederate Army. On September 24th this year his grave was memorialized with a Southern Cross of Honor and a dedication service by the John Hunt Morgan Camp #1342.

The author wishes to thank Nancy Hitt of Louisville and Jim Prichard of Frankfort Kentucky for their assistance in compiling data for this manuscript.

Bluegrass Confederate: The Headquarters Diary of Ward O. Guerrant
Kentucky Cavaliers in Dixie: Reminiscences of a Confederate Cavalryman, by G. D. Mosgrove
War of the Rebellion: Official Record of the Union and Confederate Armies
Report of the Adjutant General of the Sate of Kentucky: Civil War
Southwest Virginia in the Civil War: The Battles for Saltville, by William Marvel
Confederate Veteran Magazine