Skip to main content

tv   Book TV  CSPAN  August 27, 2011 8:30pm-9:00pm EDT

8:30 pm
dots. when he wrote this he was like a stream of consciousness. she would go on for like three-quarters of the page before he would hit a period and then half paragraphs that went for three pages and this is all single space. and so part of the task was breaking up this memoir so you have sentences that introduce just one subject and paragraphs that do the same thing and then breaking this along the memoir of the chapters 14 of them in the book and what resulted i think is an absolutely delightful story. it's like sitting on the front porch with this old fellow and having him tell you about what life was like because it is written in that sort of pace,
8:31 pm
and what is also kind of interesting about these memoirs is that they are the fellows that road with morgan even though they were up words of 4600 troopers at one time. the memoir left behind by those men are very scarce. this is the first memoir of john 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 kasman, and he commanded john porter's company and then rose to become a regiment officer in the ninth kentucky calvary, and his memoir is the only -- the last one to be published until this one.
8:32 pm
and before jb counseling's memoirs were published, again, i don't think there were more than four that were ever published by the members of this command and all of them or by high ranking officers of general and this is a rare glimpse life in morgan's command. >> what was john porter's experience like working under john morgan, what kind of stories did he tell? och. >> he loves to tell you a story, and like a lot of sober people they love stories, they are red and tours, and john porter goes through first of all the two episodes i love to talk about in this book and that is how he found john morgan. he didn't enter the war under
8:33 pm
morgan and didn't know about john morgan into the confederate army treated out of kentucky towards mississippi this was in february of 1862. and he heard about morgan who was then only commanding a squadron of consider a calgary mostly from lexington and served as a guard for the confederate army as it retreated out of national towards decatur alabama and then ultimately mississippi. he wanted very much to join this command. and so after the fighting at charlot he and his cousin who also came from the county set about to find john hunt morgan and by july, 1862 was entering
8:34 pm
kentucky in what was the first great raid into kentucky, to destroy the real heads and supply depots in the union army appear. so he and indy 500 set out on foot, partly on horseback and partly on foot from decatur alabama, than to to some the of alabama, and all of the way to clark county kentucky which is a neighboring county and he goes to court county because when they hear that morgan is going to come into central kentucky on this raid and maybe to find them here, and number two, they could to clark county because one of his cousins is there and they have a place to study and of course kentucky is completely occupied by the union troops and these fellows are in peril.
8:35 pm
well, they manage to come into lexington and look around five and a find that the lexington is in total chaos because the idea of morgan's whole command coming up here. and as they were back in clark county, who shows up at the home where these two fellows stand but john porter's cousin, a man named thomas henry himes, who also came from butler county, himes was the captain and morgan's command coming and he had actually heard how he heard i have no idea what he actually heard that these two fellows were in clark county looking for more incoming and he was out looking for these two fellows so it was like they were both searching for one another and they found one another. well, this tom hines has to be one of the most interesting human beings ever to come out of
8:36 pm
this part of the state in the civil war. he would be a captain in the ninth kentucky calgary during the war with john porter. tom hines would be captured in ohio with john hunt morgan and both be incarcerated in the ohio penitentiary and would be tom hines who would mastermind of the estate of john hunt morgan and six of his men out of the ohio penitentiary in 1863 to in canada he was the architect of what became the northwest conspiracy, an attempt by the consider it department to cause an uprising in the illinois and indiana to free all the confederate prisoners of war come kim douglas in chicago and more ten in indianapolis and then hopefully take over the government, and because there's
8:37 pm
a lot of copperheads strike of their people opposed to lincoln, and so that conspiracy collapsed. but tom hines became known as the most dangerous man in the confederacy as a result of the exploits, and after the war jon porter and tom hines would be law partners and boeing greenup kentucky and john porter would be elected the commonwealth attorney briefly out of the county and tom hines, his partner, was elected a circuit judge, and then a judge on the kentucky court of appeals which was the highest appellate court in the state, and he became the chief justice of kentucky triet malae practice law, and i've gone through the supreme court of kentucky many times and when you go through and file your petitions were your emotions or whatever you are filing, there is a portrait behind the counter and it goes almost from the ceiling to the floor of this man
8:38 pm
with his arms folded and that's the chief justice tom hines. so he welcomes you every time you fall something in the supreme court. but now the supreme court of kentucky. but these three guys set about to find more than come and they come in from lexington. again, they search around lexington and they try to get from the union occupation people if they know where morgan is and then they set about wandering the countryside looking for him until they finally reached georgetown kentucky on the 15th of july, 1862, and there is morgan's command. they've left just outside of town. and all three of them join back at she joins back up literally and porter joined the command. and within two days they have
8:39 pm
weapons and the year in the battle of kentucky. no trading, no nothing, the adjusted july and and began to fight. and this begins his career with john hunt morgan and goes all the way through in june of '63 when he is captured with tom himes' he isn't captured but john porter is coming and the union patrol catches up with the company and the company is on an advanced scout from morgan the division is coming in from kentucky in advance the crossing the ohio river in brandenburg and entering indiana and ohio where morgan is ultimately captured but tom times is captured their and near the town in kentucky if and sent to
8:40 pm
johnson island a prisoner of war depot at sandusky bay and lake erie and he stays there for 19 months. and the 19 months broken down terribly. john porter was born in 1839 and he will die in 1884. he will be 45 years of age. and i dare say of the exposure of their in the ice, snow, cold and the precision of their brought him down to such a degree that he died young and you see that a lot among prisoners of war. in all of the war particularly in the civil war. there is another great story that porter speaks of and this is a story that you don't find in any other memoir of and the other man that road with john hunt morgan including basil
8:41 pm
deutsch doesn't speak of it also buck off laurie is the definitive story, and this involves the use by morgan of small elements of his command. they are in tennessee of the winter of 63 and it is a bad winter and the armies are stationary. the union army is near murfreesboro and the army of tennessee, the confederate army is in the high land is near, and morgan's command is protecting the white flint mayor lynnville and while he is doing that, morgan will detach elements of his command and send them into kentucky. now they come in to kentucky for multiple reasons. one to recruit if they can to bring back men. they need men. but more than that, it was to
8:42 pm
disrupt union of logistical support systems. the union army was being fed by a line of supply that began at louisville and extended down the railroad tracks through bowling green and then from bowling green to nashville, and that line of supply is what was keeping the union army but the call the army of the cumberland outside of nashville and at murfreesboro who was keeping alive, supplying it with horses and mules and fodder and subsistent stories and equipment and ordinance and what have you, and if the union army couldn't rely on the railroad to get the supplies to national, they relied upon a water system the would go from louisville down the ohio river to the cumberland
8:43 pm
river and in the cumberland river to national, or if that was not possible, they would rely on of water route that would go down from louisville down the ohio to the green river and then at the greenup river all the way to the river and bowling green and then at bowling green they would try to pick up the connections. so they had multiple avenues that the union army could be supplied. morgan directed one command of 900 troopers to go back into kentucky and destroy all the connections of the kentucky central railroad from covington kentucky to lexington, and he destroyed elements of that railroad as well as a huge
8:44 pm
government stores as far north as kentucky. and he directed them small elements to move into kentucky to do the same thing. and porter in the two chapters of his memoir discusses he and tom hines with 15 men going back into kentucky and february when back to the part of kentucky where they all came from. when he took those 900 troopers, most of them were kids who had grown up around mt. sterling and winchester kentucky so they knew the people and the territory. this small unit of 15 men were all from butler county, some from hawarden county all from where they grew up where john porter and tom hines came from
8:45 pm
and these fellows went into kentucky and they felt they were betrayed by someone who claimed to them after the cross the border that they wanted to join them and they turn out to be a spy so the aborted the whole campaign and went back into tennessee for several weeks and then re-entered kentucky and to butler county and what they did in butler county is what butler county is drained by the green and partly by the bear and rivers. they went up there to destroy the locks and dams on the river whenever steamboat's they were actually moving the supplies from the union army. it's interesting because in january, said you are the end of march of 1863 the union army had ceased to rely on the ellen end for its supplies to national.
8:46 pm
the reason they cease to realize that john hunt morgan in december had burned all the trestles of the railroad between louisville and elizabethtown. these were the enormous. some were 800 feet long, each one of them 80 to 100 feet tall that went through the hill country between louisville and elizabethtown and it takes six or more months from the army to rebuild to rebuild the trestles so they were shut down completely shut down between louisville and bowling green. so the traffic of the supplies was coming at the green river and in the union army was putting them on the trains of the bowling green and sending them to national. so the object here was to destroy all of the traffic on the river. you know, once you destroy one
8:47 pm
methane into the enemy goes another route you go after the mayor, so this command destroyed a steamboat on the green river and disrupted the locks on the river and then john porter relates the story of how just south of bowling green at a little village called lilburn v lmn was still running. the interests of a train and they thought this train might have andrew johnson who of course would become vice president, tennessee senator. the would be a good catch it could catch him. it turned out not to have andrew johnson on it, but rather an entire freight train filled with mules and it must have been 15 cars behind the locomotive with nothing but mules.
8:48 pm
and porter who leads the story. he says what we have to do, we couldn't take them ourselves, we couldn't let them loose. we couldn't let them go because the union forces would pick them up. what we did, he says we set fire to the entire train. and he talks about these mules with flames coming off of their years and their backs and he says the pity and he starts telling the story when he's writing this for his daughter now he starts saying in a memoir you know, we were reckless in the war one must be reckless. and he says i was always very sorry about that. but there was nothing else one could do. so he felt horrible about what
8:49 pm
he had to do, but that was war and then he relates how he gets into the cab of the locomotive. da silva the fire box filled with wood and got the engine as hot as it could go abroad this diem of and he says i truth of throttle forward and jumped out and he says that 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. it's a dramatic story. he has a great flair for writing this is a story that no one has ever heard of before had he is inaugurated during the winter months when they were still in tennessee and yet he had
8:50 pm
elements of them in kentucky and you know, the operation that porter describes reminds one of the exploits of john mosby in northern virginia, john mosby is authority third battalion of virginia calgary and would strike some union logistical support system and then dispersed to the countryside into people's ethics and root cellars and wherever so the occupation forces couldn't find them. this is eric stockley the way porter describes how they operated here in february, 1863, this 15 members of the command, but they would meet, strike and then everyone would go into the various friends, neighbors, homes along the roadside in the cellars and the attics in their closets. they do it everywhere and then
8:51 pm
rendezvous and gennady surgeon site, and carryout another strike. just ex hockley the way john mosby's command operated in northern virginia. it illustrates i think to me through his pen how versatile john hunt morgan was in command in this unit, this division of the calgary that he commanded in tennessee and kentucky, he wasn't one who followed the customary role for the use of the calvary. his men fought for, dismantled, his men did not carry out the usual symbol scouting operations of the calgary that you would see jeff stuart duke or the union called for the commanders like john buford and others. morgan, instead, accused his
8:52 pm
command to make lightning like strikes and kentucky to disrupt the union's support systems and even during the winter months he would send elements and how many of these elements went back to kentucky to do these things? we will never know. but this gives you a glimpse of certainly one of them and how dramatic the operation was. >> as i say to john porter after he was released from johnson island faugh can back to butler county and the way that he got back to butler county was a bizarre route. they released him. he was exchanged, union forces exchanged him and got the union prisoners of war back. he was exchanged in richmond virginia, and the days that he
8:53 pm
was sent, that he got off the boat on the james river and richmond was two days before the confederacy collapsed, the government collapsed. and so john porter was able to get out of richmond on a train of left behind president jefferson tayler and davis' wife in the entire confederate cabinet. and he went all the way into north carolina and actually tried to go back into richmond but then turned around and went back into north carolina. he met up with members of the command in north carolina but they all told him to go on, the war is over for us and he fought for a moment with some of the fellows that he was with that maybe we could keep going the west and find a confederate army that is still in the field in louisiana or the trends mississippi.
8:54 pm
but what they did is they wander all the way into georgia and they wound up in that beautiful little town and the reason he went there and she had an ongoing living there. his name was john watson porter. a railroad man, a banker, and he showed up at john watson porter's house and this is in may of 1865, and john watson porter took him in and no sooner than john porter took up the quarters there three of his cousins show up all of them have been in morgan's command and all of whom had just surrendered at washington georgia at the tenth of may and these fellows edward claims, john hines and james
8:55 pm
hines and they all came from bowling green kentucky and so these four fellows after taking a while with jon porter's kunkel decided they would try to go home. they walked from madison georgia to atlanta, and of course atlanta had been burned, destroy. they go through atlanta and they managed to hire a wagon, a wagon from somewhere, and they take this wagon all the way to chattanooga, and at chattanooga they find they can hitch a ride on a freight train. they get on the freight train to nash phill. at national they get off the street train they are afraid they are going to get spotted by some occupation forces, but they managed to secret themselves on another train from national to
8:56 pm
bowling green, and on june 10th, 1865, these four guys wind up in a bowling green kentucky in the whole of edward hines, jim hines and john hines mother's house, and there they stay on till john porter finally decides to say goodbye, and he walks to his home at sugar grove in butler county about 20 miles to the west. and that's how war and as for him. but i think that the viewers will get a kick out of knowing that edward himes, who was john porter's cousin and one of the three brothers, she had a son whose name was duncan hines and that is the london - is that you see on the grocery store.
8:57 pm
if duncan hines was born in bowling green. edward hines had another son, a brother of duncan hines huji david jon porter and john porter hines was the grandfather of the wonderful lady to provide it with a photograph that you see on the dust jacket and so many of the manuscript is that i used to describe john porter and his family. so it is a very interesting crowd of people, and they are all still in evidence from kentucky. they don't move away from here very much. >> how long did it take you to put this together? >> i suppose the manuscript was given to me about 1995. infantry 1995 those and when this book was finally released in february of this year, i
8:58 pm
published a number of other books and so it's not as though i took all that time. i published a book called the retreat from gettysburg in 2005 and from really 2005 and four were to begin working in earnest on this and what i did was, again, i corrected manuscript so that it is readable and -- but you still have the flavor of john porter and then what i did is i annotated it so that when it john porter is mentioning any of these people come and there are hundreds of people that he names mostly in the original manuscript he thought they knew of these people, and she probably did. but to us we would have no idea who mr. covington was at any given site and warren county for instance. so what i had to do is find out who all those people were and why he was mentioning them.
8:59 pm
and then, so i went through the census of 1850 come 1860 and even 1870 to find them and we found -- i mean, i felt all of those people, and i could identify who were related to him and who were not and so you could tell why she chose them to stay in their houses and other sellers and their attics and what ever or why he just mentioned them. and that also gave me another interesting aspect of this and that is in the annotations you not only find out who these people were, but where they were living. and what is amazing about john porter's memoir is that even the was written in 1872, this is some years after the war was over, he could remember in sequence what house he was staying in so you could follow the road and the end notes what you follow the rows under the sodern highway numbers.


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on