Friday, March 1, 2013

150-years-ago -- Morgan Hailed as Great Partisan Leader

The Richmond Daily Dispatch
March 4, 1863
Brig. Gen. John Hunt Morgan
(Library of Congress)

Gen. John Morgan.
          The Whig publishes an extract from a forthcoming work entitled "West Point and Political Generals," in which a brief summary is given of the exploits of this great partisan leader. They border on the marvelous; yet they are strictly authentic. 
          He began with a small body of horse, which he raises himself, and during his career has brought from within the lines of the enemy, and turned over to the Confederate service, nearly 5,000 men. He has generally been at the head of less than 1,000 men — in his famous raid on Kentucky he started with 875 and returned with 1,200. He has within two years, fought more than fifty battles — has killed or wounded more than 6,000 of the enemy — and has made upwards of 14,000 prisoners. 
          His expeditions have always been of the most daring description; yet, he has never, but on two occasions, been forced to fight when he did not wish it. Many of his battles have been of the most desperate character, and he has been uniformly victorious. He has frequently operated hundreds of miles from support, in the midst of overwhelming bodies of the enemy, whose strength was greatly enhanced by the possession of railroads and telegraphs, stretching around him like a web, and almost indefinitely facilitating their power of concentration, while, in the same degree, it complicated the dangers of his situation. The sagacity with which he has always been enabled to pluck triumph from the very few of these multiplied dangers, indicates the great leader, not only of partisan corps, but of regular armies.
          There never has been on the continent of America — probably there never was in the world — any partisan leader whose exploits could sustain a comparison with those of Morgan. Even Marion and Sumpter sink into absolute insignificance when placed beside him. And yet they were undoubtedly great officers, and, as such, entitled to all the admiration with which they are regarded, not only by the people of their own States, but by those of all the Southern States.
          The following is a summary of Morgan's exploits for the six months beginning 4th July, 1862, and ending 5th January, 1863; Between 12,000 and 13,000 prisoners, and 19,000 stand of arms captured; and $9,500,000 worth of stores destroyed; 4,695 men raised within the enemy's lines, and armed and equipped by himself, be having received but 200 saddles from the Government.

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