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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  August 28, 2011 1:00pm-1:30pm EDT

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12 and 9 p.m. on sunday, at 12 a.m. on monday. you can watch "after words" online. go to and click on afterwards on the upper right side of the page. ..
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>> find the confederate army in october of 1861 when the confederates armies occupied southern kentucky. and he ultimately became a lieutenant in the 9th kentucky calvary that rode with john hunt morgan. and he was probably prouder of having ridden through the war with john hunt morgan than he was with almost anything he's done in life. and he penned this memoir for his daughter who's name was minnie bell. he married shortly after the war was over and his life died after giving birth to minnie bell. he raised this child along with his two sisters and a brother in bowling green, kentucky, a
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country, warren county is a neighboring county. bowling green is the county seed, rather large community. he raised minnie bell, he wanted minnie bell to understand what he did during the war. and so in 1872 he said about writing these memoirs. and they were titled then memoirs of my experience in the war for southern independence. and they were really met, he said in the preface to the memoirs, that they were meant for her and he bemoaned repeatedly in his memoirs how he had ancestors who were in the revolution from virginia. but we knew nothing about them. and he said that's really sad. he says i wish i knew more about my ancestors that serve in the revolution. and he literally set about making sure that wouldn't happen
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to subsequent generations thinking about him. and these memoirs were actually handed to me by a member of his family some years ago. and they were a type script. the handwritten memoir was reduced to typewritten, typewriting in 1927. and you can imagine what in 1927 typewriter did to a page. all of the os were black dots and all of the bs and ds were all block dots. but -- and this memoir was kind of funny. when he wrote it, it was like a stream of consciousness. he would go on for like 3/4 of a page before you'd hit a period. then you'd have paragraph that went for three pages. this was all singled spaced. so part of the task was breaking up this memoir so you have
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sentences that introduced just one subject and paragraphs that do the same thing. and then breaking this long memoir up into chapters and there are 14 of them in the book. and what resulted, i think, is really an absolutely delightful story. it's like sitting on the front porch with this old fella and having him tell you about what life was like. because it is written in that sort of pace. and what's also kind of interesting about these memoirs is that memoirs are the fellas who rode with morgan, even though there were upwards to 4600 troopers at one time. 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 in interestingly, john
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porter's regimental commander left the memoir called active service. his name was john b. castleman. and he commanded john's company. and his memoir is the only -- the last one to be published until this one. and before j.b. castleman's memoirs were published, there must have been -- i don't think there were more than four that were published by members. all of them were by high ranking officers. so this is a rare -- a rare glimpse of life in morgan's command. >> what was john porter's experience like working under
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john hunt morgan. what kind of stories did he tell in the memoir? >> of course, the memoirs are all anecdotes. he loves to tell you a story. he's like a lot of southern people. they love stories. john porter goes through first of all there were two episodes that i love to talk about with this book. this is how he found john hunt morgan. he didn't enter the war under morgan. and never knew about really john hunt morgan until the con federal army retreated out of mississippi. this is in february of 1862. and he heard about morgan who was then only commanding a squad run. they served as a rear guard as it repeats out of nationalville
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and ultimately to mississippi. and he wanted very much to join this command. after the fighting at shiloh, he and his cousin andrew who also came from butler county set about to find john hunt morgan. and morgan by july of 1862 was entering kentucky in who was the first great raid in the kentucky. destroy rail heads and supply depots and the union army up here. and so he and this andy kikendahl set out on foot, partly on horse back, partly on foot, from decatur, alabama, all the way to clark county kentucky. which is a neighboring county to
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fayette, where we are right now. and he goes to clark county because one they hear that morgan is going to come into central kentucky on this raid. and maybe they can find him here. and two they go to clark county because one of andy's cousins is living there. they have a place to stay. and, of course, kentucky is completely occupied by union troops. and these fellas are in peril. they manage to come into lexington and look around and find that lexington is in total chaos. as they are back in clark county, who shows up at the home where these two fellas are staying. john porter's cousin, henry hines who also came from butler.
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tom hines was a captain in morgan's command. he had heard, how, i have no idea, he heard these two mel me- two fellas were in clark county looking for morgan and he was out looking for these two fellas. they were both searching for one another and they find one another. this tom hines has to be one the most interesting human beings ever to come out of this part of the state in the civil war. he would be a captain in the 9th kentucky calvary during the war with tom porter. tom hines would be captured in ohio with john hunt morgan, they will both be incarcerateed in the penitentiary, and john hines
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would master mind, and then in november in 1863. then he would go to canada, and from canada, he was the architect of what became the northwest conspiracy, an attempt by the confederate war to cause an uprising and indiana to free all of the confederate prisoners of war at camp douglas in chicago and in indianapolis and hopefully take over the government because there was a lot of copperhead strength. people who were opposed to lincoln. that conspiracy collapsed. tom hines became known as the most dangerous man in the confederacy as a result of his exploits. after the war, john porter and tom hines would be law partners in bowling green, kentucky. and john porter would be elected commonwealth attorney briefly out of warren county, and tom
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hines, his partner, was elected circuit judge and then a judge on the court of appeals. which was the highest appellate court in the state. he became chief justice. i practice law. i've gone to the supreme court of kentucky, many times. when you go into the clerks office and file your petition or motions or whatever, there's a portrait behind the counter. it and goes almost from the sealing to the floor of this man with the arms folded, kind of bruting at you. and that's chief justice tom hines. so he welcomes you every time you file something in the supreme court what is now the supreme court of kentucky. but these three guys set about to find morgan. and they come into lexington. again, they search around lexington, they try to get to union occupation people if they know where morgan is, and then they set about wandering around the countryside here, looking
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for him until they finally reach georgetown, kentucky on the 15th of july, 1862, and there is morgan's command. they have just outside of town. and all three of them joined back up. hines joins back up literally and porter and kikendahl join morgan's command. within two days, they have weapons and mounts and they are in the battle of cynthiana, kentucky. no trains, they just joined and begin to fight. this beginning john porter's career with john hunt morgan. it goes all the way through until june 1863 when he is captured with -- in a company with tom hines, tom hines isn't captured, but john porter is.
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and union patrol catches up with hines' company and this company is on an advanced scout from morgan. morgan's 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 there in near barge town, kentucky. and from there, he is sent to johnson island a prisoner of war depot at sandusky bay. he stays there for 19 months. 19 months that broke him down terribly. john porter was born in 1839, he'll die in 1844. the exposure to ice, snow, cold on lake erie and the privation
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probably broke him down to such a degree that he died young. and you see that a lot among prisoners of war. in all wars and but particularly in the civil war. there's another great story that porter speaks of. and this is a story that you don't find in any other memoir of any other man who rode with john hunt morgan, including really duke. he doesn't speak much of it. even though the history is is the definitive story. this involves the use by morgan of small elements of his command. now they are in tennessee in the winter of 1863. and it's a bad winter. and the armies are stationary. the union army and the cumberland is near murphy's bureau, and braggs army,
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confederate is in the islands. and morgan's command is protecting braggs right near minville, while he's doing that, morgan will detach elements of his command and send them into kentucky. now they come into kentucky for multiple reasons. one to recruit, if they can. to bring back men. they need men. but more than that, it was to disrupt union logistical support systems. the union army was being fed by a line of supply that began at louisville and extended down the l & n, loseville -- louisville and nashville tracks from bowling green to nashville. that line of supply was what was keeping the union army, what they call the army of the
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cumberland outside of nashville and murphy's bureau was keeping it alive, supplying it with horses, mule, mortgage, stores, equipment, and ordinance and what have you. and if the union army couldn't rely on the l & n railroad to get the supplies to nashville, they relied upon a water system that would go from louisville down the ohio river to the cumberland river and then the cumberland river to nashville, or if that was not possible, they would rely on a water route that would go down from louisville down to ohio to the green river and then up the green river all the way to the barren river. they had multiple avenue that is
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the union army could be supplied out of louisville. morgan directed one command of some 900 troopers under roy kluke to go back into kentucky and destroy all of the rain connections of the kentucky central railroad that man from covington, kentucky to electionston. and he destroyed elements of that railroad as well as huge government stores as far north as mount sterling, kentucky. and he directed then small elements to move into kentucky. to do the same thing. and porter in two chapters in his memoir discusses he and tom hines with 15 men going back into kentucky in february. and they went back though into the part of kentucky where they all came from.
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when roy kluke took the 900 troopers, most of those troopers were kids who had grown up around mount sterling and winchester, kentucky. they knew the people, they knew the territory. this small unit of 15 men were all from butler county, some from warren county, all from where they grew up right down where john porter and tom hines came from. and these fellas went into kentucky, then were -- they felt were betrayed by someone who claimed to them after the crossed the border that he wanted to join them. and he turned out to be a spy. so they aborted the whole campaign, went back into tennessee for several weeks, and then re-entered kentucky. this time they went into butler county, and what they did in butler county was butler county
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is drained by the green and partly by the barren rivers. they went up there to destroy. then to destroy whatever steam boats they could find that were actually moving the supplies for the union army. it's interesting because in january, february, and march of 1863, the union army had seized to rely on the l & n for it's supplies to nashville. the reason they seized to rely was that john hunt morgan in late december had burned all of the stress sells. each one of them 80 to 100 feet tall that went through the hill country between louisville and elizabethtown, and it would take
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six or more months for the union army to rebuild those stress els. it's shut down between louisville and bowling green. so the traffic of supplies was coming up the green river to the barren river to bowling green and then the union army was putting them on trains at bowling green and sending them to nashville. so the object here was to destroy all of the traffic on the green river. you know, once you destroy one thing and the enemy goes another route, you go after them there. this command destroyed a steam boat on the green river, disrupted the locks on the green river, and then john porter relates this story of how just south of bowling ingredient a little village called wood burn. the l & n was still running south of bowling green international.
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they intercepted a train. now they thought this train might have on it andrew johnson who, of course, 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 right train filled with mules. and there must have been 15 cars behind this locomotive with nothing with mules in there. and porter relates this story, he says, what we had to do with these mules, we couldn't take them ourselves. we couldn't let them lose. we couldn't let them go. because the union forces would pick them up. what we did was he says we set fire to the entire train. and he talks about these mules with flames just coming off of their ears and all of their
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backs. and he says the pittiest cries. and he starts telling in his story, he knows he's writing this for his daughter now. he starts says until memoir, we were reckless. in war, one must be reckless. i was always very sorry about that. but there was nothing else one could do. so he felt horrible about what he had to do. but that was war. and then he relates how he gets up into the cab of this locomotive, they fill the fire box filled with wood, got the engine as hot as it could go, brawl -- brought the steam up, and threw the throttle forward and jumped out. he says that train took off. flaming cars behind it, it went
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down the tracks all the way to franklin, kentucky, where it exploded, he said, into a million pieces. [laughter] >> it's a dramatic sort of -- he has a great flair for writing. and -- but this is a story no one has ever, ever heard of before. about what what -- how morgan'sn operated during the winter months when they were still in tennessee and yet they had elements of him in kentucky. and, you know, he -- the operation that porter describes reminds one of the exploits of john mosby in northern virginia. john mosby's 34 of battalion would rendezvous at places, strike union logistical support, and then disburse into the
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country side into people's attics and fruit cellars and whenever so that union occupation forces couldn't find them. this is exactly the way that porter describes how they operated here. this 15 members of his command. they would meet, strike, and then everyone would go into various friends, neighbors, homes along the roadside in their route cellars and attics, in their closets, they'd live everywhere and then rendezvous again at a certain site and carry out another strike. just exactly the way that john mosby's command operated in northern virginia. it illustrates, i think, to me, through his pen the -- how versatile john hunt morgan was in commanding this unit. this division of calvary he commanded in tennessee and kentucky. he was not one who followed the
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customary rules for the use of calvary. his men fought, dismounted, his men did not carry out the usual simple scouting operations of calvary that you would see jeff stewart do or union calvary commanders like john buford and others do. morgan, instead, used his command to make lightning like strikes into kentucky to disrupt union support systems. and even during the winter months he would send elements of them. how many of the elements went back into kentucky to do these kind of things we'll never know. but this gives you a glimpse of certainly one of them and how dramatic the operation was. as i stated, john porter after he was released from johnson
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island, came back to butler county. the way he got back to butler county though was a bizarre route. they released him, he was exchanged union forces exchanged him, and got union prisoners of war back. he was exchanged in richmond, virginia, and the day he was sent to -- that he got off of the boat on the james river in 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 right behind president jefferson davis and davis' wife and the entire confederate cabinet. he went all the way into north carolina. actually tried to go back into
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richmond, but then turned around and went back into north carolina. he actually met up with many members of his only command? north carolina. but they all told him to go on. the war is over for us. he thought with some of the fellas that he was with, maybe he can keep going west and find a confederate army that's still in the field in loosen transmississippi. what they did, they wardennered all the way into georgia and wound out in the beautiful little town of madison, georgia. the reason that he went there was that he had an uncle living there who was name was john watson porter, very wealthy man, railroad man, banker. he shows up at john watson porter's house in may of 1865. and john watson porter took him
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in and no sooner did john porter take up quarters there than three of his dozens show up. all of whom had ridden in morgan's command with him, and all of whom had just surrendered at washington georgia on the 10th of may. and these fellas were edward hines, john hines, and james hines. they all came from bowling green, kentucky. and so these four fellas after taking up a while with their -- with john porter's uncle decided they'd try to go home. and they walked from madison to georgia. they go through atlanta and they
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lang to hire a wagon. rent a wagon, get a wagon from somewhere. they take the wagon all the way to chattanooga. they find they can hitch a ride on a freight train. they get on a freight train to nashville, at nashville, they get off of the freight train. they are going to get spotted with the forces. but they manage to secret themselves on another train from nashville to bowling green. and on june 10, 1865, these four guys lined up in bowling green, kentucky in the home of edward hines, jim hines, and john hines' mother's house. and there they stay until john porter finally decided to stay good-bye and he walks to his home at sugar gr


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