The Richmond Daily Dispatch
Jan. 5, 1864
|Brig. Gen. John Hunt Morgan|
(Library o0 Congress)
On their way out from Louisville, they accidentally fell in with Gen. Morgan in Nelson county, near Bardstown, with whom they remained until they reached this side of the Tennessee river. --They found Gen. Morgan with an or whip in his possession, passing himself off with those to whom he did not care to reveal himself as a Government agent, engaged in buying up mules. They traveled altogether at night by the assistance of faithful guides, and lay by in day time, making at one time as many as sixty-five miles in one night. As a general thing, they found the people of Kentucky true and loyal, always ready and willing to aid them in any way in their power. Oftener than otherwise, Gen. Morgan made himself known to the people, who seemed to be in raptures at his escape, and offering him every assistance in their power. During his progress through the State he was presented with very fine horses. We should have stated that Capt. T. H. Hines, who planned the escape of Morgan from the Ohio penitentiary, came through with the party. Captains Shelton and Taylor were recaptured in Kentucky.
The party crossed Cumberland river at Turkey Neck Bend, three miles below Burkesville. In Overton county, Tenn.; they met up with some thirty five others of Morgan's men, who came out with them, crossing the Tennessee river at Ferchee's Island on rafts hastily constructed from logs.--Here all but four or five lost their horses, a party of Federal soldiers falling upon them before they had perfected the crossing. One of their party was also captured here, all the others making their escape. Here Gen. Morgan and Capt. Hines, having saved their horses, separated from the main party and pursued their way into South Carolina.
The remainder, under the command of Capt. Dan. Ray, made the best of their way on foot, traveling over the rough and mountainous country all that night and were at one time two days without food. They very soon, however, succeeded in pressing a sufficient number of horses for their use, when they moved on more rapidly, crossing the East Tennessee and Georgia railroad near Athens, Tenn. They thence proceeded across the Hiawassee river, and came into our lines at Dalton.
The entire trip of these gentlemen, from Chicago to Dalton, was marked with almost uninterrupted success, though they mention many hairbreadth escapes, which only served to give zest to the adventure. They are of opinion that at least half of Morgan's men have escaped from Camp Douglas, as hardly a day passed that a greater or less number did not make their escape. When the news of Morgan's escape reached the camp, a body of forty of his men broke over the guards, most of whom made their escape.