Our 126th meeting.
Clarksville, TN – The next meeting of the Clarksville (TN) Civil War Roundtable will be on Wednesday, October 15th, 2014 at the Bone & Joint Center, 980 Professional Park Drive, right across the street from Gateway Medical Center. This is just off Dunlop Lane and Holiday Drive and only a few minutes east of Governor’s Square mall.
The meeting begins at 7:00pm and is always open to the public. Members please bring a friend or two – new recruits are always welcomed.
Topic: “Morgan’s Great Raid: The Remarkable Expedition from Kentucky to Ohio”By June of 1863, the tide of the Civil War in the Western Theater had already begun to turn against the Confederacy.
If East Tennessee fell to Union General Ambrose Burnside’s reformed Army of the Ohio, General Braxton Bragg’s Army of Tennessee, the largest Confederate army defending the vital Middle Tennessee region, would be pressured by Grant from the west, Rosecrans from the north, and Burnside from the east.
The result might be catastrophic – the loss of all of Tennessee, including the city of Chattanooga, one the Confederacy’s most important military bases. Until Bragg could defeat Rosecrans, something had to be done to delay Burnside’s assured movement against Cumberland Gap. Bragg decided to divert Burnside’s attention through the use of a cavalry raid into Kentucky.
The man Bragg chose for this dangerous undertaking was Brig. Gen. John Hunt Morgan, a daring and colorful Kentuckian whose previous raids had been successful in delaying the flow of supplies and reinforcements to Rosecrans and halting the Union Army of the Cumberland in its tracks.
John Hunt Morgan’s famed 2,500-man cavalry division started north from Alexandria, Tennessee, on June 11th, 1863, in what would be one of America’s most remarkable cavalry operations. Though Bragg had ordered Morgan to stay within the confines of Kentucky, Morgan harbored a different plan. Morgan believed that in order to truly divert the Army of the Ohio away from East Tennessee, he needed to do the unfathomable – invade the Northern states.
David Mowery will discuss the Great Raid (or Indiana-Ohio Raid) that would take Morgan and his men through 960 miles of enemy territory in Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio. The resulting mission would be ranked among the top eighteen greatest land-based raids in world history since 1587 — not for its outcome, but for its execution.
David L. Mowery, a native resident of Cincinnati, Ohio, and a graduate of the University of Cincinnati, has lived at various points along the path of Morgan’s Raid for most of his life. Since childhood, he has researched and visited over 600 American-history-related battlefields across 50 states and eight countries.
All proceeds from the guidebook go to the Ohio Historical Society for the maintenance of the John Hunt Morgan Heritage Trail in Ohio. David has also authored the book titled Morgan’s Great Raid: The Remarkable Expedition from Kentucky to Ohio (Charleston, SC: History Press, 2013. Both books evolved over a decade of research.
David’s thesis titled “A Study of John Hunt Morgan’s Ohio Raid Route from Reedsville to Creola, Ohio, July 19th-22nd, 1863” (Columbus: Ohio Historical Society, 2011) was the first comprehensive study of Morgan’s whereabouts during the three controversial days following the Battle of Buffington Island.
Since 1995 David has been a member of the Cincinnati Civil War Round Table, for which he has written various papers on Civil War subjects. He also serves as Vice President of the Buffington Island Battlefield Preservation Foundation, the grass-roots organization working to preserve Ohio’s only Civil War battlefield.