Skip to main content

tv   Book TV  CSPAN  August 27, 2011 9:00am-9:30am EDT

9:00 am
who rode with morgan even though there were upwards to 4600 troopers at one time, um, memoirs though left behind by those men are very scarce. this is the first memoir of one of john hunt morgan's officers or soldiers to be published since 1917 when, interestingly, john porter's regimental commander left a memoir called active service. his name was john b. castleman, and he, um, he commanded john porter's company and then rose to become a regimental officer in the ninth kentucky cavalry. and, um, his memoir, though, is the only, the last one to be published until this one. and before j.b. castleman's
9:01 am
memoirs were published, i don't think there were more than four that were ever published by members of this command, and virtually all of them were by high-ranking offices by general basil duke. and so this is a rare, a rare glimpse of life in morgan's command. .. how he fund john hunt morgan.
9:02 am
he didn't and award and he never knew about john hunt morgan until the confederate army retreated toward mississippi in february of 1862. he heard about morgan who was only commanded a squadron of confederate cavalry mostly from lexington and they serve as the rear guard for the confederate army and retreated out of nashville for decatur, alabama. he wanted very much to join this command. so after the fighting at shiloh he and his cousin, who also -- they set about to find john hunt morgan. morgan, by july of 1862 was
9:03 am
entering kentucky in the first great raid into kentucky to destroy rail heads and supply depots for the union army. so he and andy set out partly on horseback and partly on foot from decatur, alabama to escambia, alabama all the way to clark county, kentucky which is a neighboring county where we are right now. he goes to clark county because they hear that morgan will come in to kentucky on this raid and maybe they can find him. and they go to clark county because one of andy's cousins is living there and they have a place to stay. kentucky is completely occupied by union troops and these fellows are in peril.
9:04 am
they manage to come in to lexington and look around and find lexington is in total chaos because of the idea of morgan's command. and who shows up in clark county at the home where these two are staying but john m. porter's cousin, thomas henry hives. he was a captain in morgan's command and he had actually heard -- i don't know how -- that these two fellows were in clark county looking for morgan. and he was out looking for these two. they were searching for one another and they find one another. , is is one of the most
9:05 am
interesting human beings ever to come out of the civil war. he would be a captain in the ninth kentucky cavalry during the war with john m. porter. tom hines was captured in ohio with john hunt morgan and they would both be incarcerated in the ohio penitentiary and, as would mastermind the escape of john hunt morgan and six of his men out of the ohio country in november of 1863. then he would go to canada and from canada he was the architect of what became the northwest conspiracy, attempt by the confederate war department to cause an uprising in l.a. and indiana to free all the confederate prisoners of war in camp douglas and chicago and camp morgan and indianapolis and hopefully take over the
9:06 am
government because there was a lot of copperheads, people opposed to lincoln. that conspiracy collapsed but tom hines became known as the most dangerous man of the confederacy as a result. after the war john m. porter and tom hines would be law partners in bowling green, kentucky. john m. porter would be elected commonwealth out of warren county and tom hines was elected circuit judge and a judge on the kentucky court of appeals which is the highest appellate court became chief justice of kentucky. i practice law and i have got to the supreme court many times. when you file your petition or whatever you are filing there's a portrait behind the counter and it goes almost from the ceiling to the floor of this man
9:07 am
with his arms folded brooding at you. that is chief justice tom hines. he welcomes you every sign you file something in the supreme court of kentucky. these three guys set out to find john hunt morgan and they come into lexington. they surge around lexington and try to get from union occupation people and they know where morgan is. they set about wandering around the countryside looking for him. finally they reached georgetown, kentucky on the fifteenth of july eighteen 62 -- 1862. there's his band bivouacked out of town. they join up, hines joins back up and porter joins his command. within two days they have
9:08 am
weapons and melts and aaron battle. no training. they just julian and begin to fight. this begins john m. porter's career with john hunt morgan and it goes all the way through until june of 1863 when he is captured in a company with tom hines who is captured and union patrol catches up with the company and this company is on an advanced scout for morgan whose whole division is coming into kentucky in advance of crossing the ohio river and entering indiana and ohio where morgan is ultimately captured. but tom hines is captured their in kentucky. from there he is sent to johnson
9:09 am
island, prisoner of war depot at sandusky bay and lake erie and he stays for 19 months. those 19 months broken-down terribly. john m. porter was born in 1839 and he will die in 1894. the exposure up their to the ice and snow and cold on lake erie and privation probably broken down to such a degree that he died young. you see that a lot among prisoners of war in all wars but particularly in the civil war. there is another story john m. porter speaks of. this is a story you don't find in any other memoir including
9:10 am
basil duke who doesn't speak of it even though his history is definitive. this involves the use by morgan of small elements of his command. in the winter of 1863, it is a bad winter and the armies are stationary. the union army and cumberland near murphy's borough and brag's army of tennessee and the confederate army in the highlands. morgan's command is protecting brad's right flank. morgan detached elements of his command and send them in. they come into kentucky for multiple reasons. one is to recruit if they can, to bring back men. they need men. but more than that it was to
9:11 am
disrupt union logistical support. the union army was being fed by a line of supplies that began in louisville and extended down -- louisville and nashville railroad tracks through bowling green and from bowling green to national. that line of supply was keeping the union army of cumberland outside of nashville. it was keeping it alive supplying it with horses and mules and porridge and fodder and system stores and equipment and ordnance and what have you. if the union army couldn't rely on the railroad to get these supplies to national they relied on water that would go from louisville down the ohio river
9:12 am
to the cumberland river to national. or if that was not possible it would rely on a water route that would go from louisville down the ohio to the green river and up the green river all the way to the barren river to bowling green and bowling green, they try to pick up rail connections. they had multiple avenues that the union army could be out of louisville. morgan directed one command of some 900 troopers under lloyd l kluke to destroy all the rail connections of the kentucky central railroad that ran from covington to lexington. he destroyed elements of that
9:13 am
railroad and huge government stores as far north as melt sterling. he directed small elements to move into kentucky to do the same thing. porter in two chapters of his memoir discusses tom hines with 15 men going back into kentucky in february. when will it took those troopers who were kids who had grown up around mount sterling and winchester so they knew the people. this small unit of 15 men were from butler county. some from warren county. all from where they grew up down the river from where john m. porter and john heinz came from.
9:14 am
these fellows went into kentucky. they felt they were betrayed by someone who claimed to them after crossing the border that he wanted to join them and he turned out to be a spy so they aborted dole campaign. went back into tennessee for several weeks and re-entered kentucky. this time they went into butler county and what they did in butler county was drained by the green and deron rivers. they went up there to destroyed locks and dams on the green river. and to destroy whatever steamboat's they could find that were moving the supplies for the union army. it is interesting because in january, february and march of 1863 union army had ceased to rely on the lnn.
9:15 am
the reason was john hunt morgan in late december had burned all the trestles of the railroad between louisville and elizabethtown. these were enormous trestles 800 feet long. each won 80-100 feet tall that went through the escarpment. between louisville and elizabethtown. it would take six months for the union army to rebuild those trestles. so it was shut down between louisville and bowling green. the traffic supply was coming up the green river to the bear river to bowling green and the union army was putting them on trains at bowling green and sending them to nashville. so the object here was to destroy all the traffic on the green river.
9:16 am
once you destroy one thing and the enemy goes another route you go after them there. this command destroyed a steamboat on the green river, disrupted the locks on the green river and then john m. porter relates the story house south of bowling green at a little village called wouldburned than the lnn was still running. they thought this train might have on it andrew johnson who would become vice president, tennessee senator. that would be a good catch. they could catch him. it turned out not to have andrew johnson on it but rather an entire freight train filled with mules. there must have been 15 cars behind the locomotive.
9:17 am
nothing but mules in there. john m. porter relates this story. we couldn't take them ourselves. we couldn't let them loose because the union forces would pick them up. what we did was we set fire to the entire train. and he talks about these mules flames just coming off of there ears and back and the piteous cries and starts telling his story, he was writing this for his daughter. he starts saying in the memoir we were reckless. but in war one must be reckless. he says i was always very sorry about that. but there was nothing else one could do. so he felt horrible about what
9:18 am
he had to do. and he relates how he gets into the cab of this locomotive. they filled the fire box filled with wood, got the engine as hot as it could go, brought the steam up and then i threw that throttle forward and jumped out and the train took off, flaming cars behind it. it went down the tracks all the way to franklin, kentucky where it exploded into a million pieces. he has a great flair for writing. but this is a story no one has ever heard before about how morgan's men operated during the winter months when they were still in tennessee with elements
9:19 am
of them in kentucky. the operation john m. porter describes reminds one of the exploits of john mosley in northern virginia. john mosley's 40 third battalion of virginia cavalry would rendezvous in places, strike some union logistical support system, and disperse into the countryside. into people's attics and fruit sellers and wherever so union occupation forces could find them. this is the way porter described how they operated in february of 1863. fifteen members of his command. that they would meet, strike and everyone would go into various friends and neighbors homes along the roadside. they would live everywhere. and they would rendezvous again
9:20 am
at a certain site and carry out another strike. just exactly the way john mosley's command operated. it illustrates threw his pen however subtle john m. porter was in command in this division of cavalry he commanded in tennessee and kentucky. he was not one who followed the customary rules for the use of cavalry. his men fought, dismounted, his men did not carry out the usual scouting operations of cavalry that you would see. war union cavalry commanders like john buford. morgan used his command far as
9:21 am
to make lightning like strikes in kentucky to disrupt union support systems and even during the winter months he would send elements of them and how many to do these kinds of things, we will never know. this gives you a glimpse of one of them and how dramatic the operation was. john m. porter after he was released from johnson island came back to butler county. the way he got back was a bizarre routes. they released him. he was exchanged. union forces exchanged him and got union prisoners of war back. he was exchanged in richmond, virginia.
9:22 am
the day he got off the boat on the james river in richmond was two days before the confederacy collapsed, government collapsed. though john m. porter was able to get out of richmond on a train right behind president jefferson davis and his wife and the entire confederate cabinet. and he went all the way into north carolina, actually tried to go back into richmond but turned around and went back to north carolina. he actually met up with many members of his old command in north carolina. but they all told him to go on. war is over. he thought for a moment with some of the fellows he was with maybe we can keep going west and find a confederate army that is still in the field in louisiana or mississippi. what they did was they wandered
9:23 am
all the way into georgia and wound up in the beautiful town of madison. the reason he went there was he had an uncle named john watson porter. railroad man and a banker. he showed up at john watson porter's house. this was in may of 1865. john watson porter took him in. no suitor did john porter take a quarter there's an three of his cousins show up, all of whom had ridden in morgan's command and just surrendered on the tenth of may in washington, georgia. these fellows were edward lowe hines, john heinz and james hines.
9:24 am
they all came from bowling green, kentucky. these four fellows after taking up a while with john porter's uncle, decided to try to go home. they walked from madison, georgia to atlanta. atlanta was burned and destroyed. they went through atlanta and managed to higher a wagon, read a wagon and they take this wagon all the way to chattanooga. at chattanooga's they find they can hitch a ride on a freight train. they get on a freight train to nashville. at national they get off the freight train. they're afraid they'll get spotted by occupation forces but they managed to secret themselves on another train from
9:25 am
nashville to bowling green and on june 10th, 1865, these four guys lined up in bowling green, kentucky in the home of edward hines, jim hines and john heinz's mother's house. there is a stay until john porter decides to say goodbye and he walks to his home in sugar growth in butler county about 20 miles to the west. that is how the war ends for him. bet viewers would get a kick out of knowing that edward ludlow hines was john porter's cousin and one of the three brothers. he had a son whose name was duncan hines and that is the one you see at your grocery store.
9:26 am
he was born in bowling green. edward ludlow hynes had another son who he named john porter hines. he was the grandfather of the wonderful lady who provided me with the photograph you see on the dust jacket of john porter and so many manuscripts used to described john porter and his family. it is an interesting crowd of people and they are still in evidence. they don't move away very much. >> how long did take to put this together? >> i suppose the manuscript was given to me in 1995. between 1995 and when the book was released in february of this year i published a number of
9:27 am
other books so it is not as though i took all that time. i published a book called retreat from gettysburg in 2005. from 2005 forward i began working in earnest on this. i corrected the manuscript so it is readable but you still have the flavor of john m. porter and i annotated it so with john m. porter mentioning any of these people, hundreds of people he names in here. mostly his original manuscript by their last names. he thought she knew who these people were and she probably did but to was we would have no idea who mr. covington was at any given site in warren county. so what i had to do was find out who all those people were and why he was mentioning them.
9:28 am
so i went through the census of 1850-1860 at deegan 1870 to find them and i found all those people and i could identify who were related to him and who were not. so you could tell why he chose them to stay in their houses or attics or wherever or why he just mentioned them. that gave me another interesting aspect to this. that is in the annotation you not only find out who these people were but where they were living. what is amazing about john porter is even though it is written in 1872 some years after the war was over, he could remember in sequence what house he was staying in a long given roads so you could follow the road and an end notes let you follow those roads under modern highway signs. you could follow john m. porter
9:29 am
everywhere. he had those people in his head, where he stayed, when he stayed, one wrote after another. so you can literally map where he is going. you can open up the end notes and just follow the route numbers that you will be on john m. porter's roads. there are many roads he said he rides but you can follow all of them. i annotated it with names, finding who these people were and the roads he was on and describing to the extent necessary the importance of places, why they ran at a given location and all those kinds of things. the manuscript would give it because his stream of consciousness -- it is heavily annotated in the back but you


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on