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Funeral of Gen. John Hunt Morgan


After the death of Gen. John Hunt Morgan, on Sept. 4, 1864 in Greeneville, Tennessee, the Richmond Whig reported, "Another brave, daring and chivalric cavalier has sealed his devotion to his beloved South with his heart's blood. First Ashby, then Stuart, and now the dashing Kentuckian, whose name was known and cherished in every clime where his country or liberty had a friend." Under a flag of truce, Morgan's body was sent by rail to Abingdon, Virginia where it was laid out at the residence of Judge Campbell. The funeral took place at 4:00 PM Tuesday Sept. 6, 1864 at St. Thomas Episcopal Church. The procession, "the largest and most imposing there has ever been in southwest Virginia",  formed on Glade Spring Road for burial in the Sinking Spring Cemetery.


This  included:
Procession one half mile from town to Court House. Procession will be formed by Gen. George B. Crittenden. Tuesday Sept. 6th 1864.

1st-- Hearse with remains of General Morgan, guards on each side, equally divided, without arms.

2nd.--Chaplain (S.P. Cameron, Morgan's personal chaplain)

3rd--Family of deceased

4th--Military family, Mounted by twos

5th--Military Court, Mounted by twos

6th--Officers of the Army, Mounted by twos.

7th--Privates Court, Mounted by twos.

8th--Citizens, Mounted by twos.

9th--Citizens Dismounted

 

Morgan's Second Funeral

"A week later the body was removed from the Abingdon cemetery and carried to Richmond, where it lay in state in the Confederate capitol." Morgan's popularity with the Southern people made it important that he receive a state funeral at the capitol of the Confederacy. At the Richmond depot Morgan's body was honored with a military "band, a battalion of State Guard troops, a fire brigade, the Kentucky delegation in Congress, and Mayor Mayo" of Richmond. The Confederate flag draped casket was taken to the House of Representatives by a hearse drawn by four gray horses.  At the Capitol rotunda, the crowds were joined by Secretary Seldon, Virginia Governor William Smith, Richmond Mayor Mayo and other important dignitaries.  His body was eventually laid to rest in Hollywood cemetery after a  grave side service given by Army Chaplain, Rev. George Patterson.


Morgan's Third Funeral

At the request of the Morgan family, the body of John Hunt Morgan was returned April 16, 1868 to Lexington, Kentucky. The reinternment service (April 17) took place at Christ Church Episciopal, conducted by Rev. J. S. Shipman. Outside masses of citizens waited for the procession to begin. It contained a brass band, the "Masonic fraternity, clergy, pallbearers, hearse, family carriages, the Old Squadron walking two by two, other members of Morgan's cavalry in double file on horseback, and about 2,000 citizens in carriages and foot." The route went from the "Church to Second Street, up Second to Mulberry to Main and out Main to the Lexington Cemetery. At the same event General Morgan's brother, Lt. Tom Morgan, who fell at Lebanon, was reinterred in the family plot. Pall bearers included Lt. Gen. Kirby Smith, Maj. Gen. Wm. Preston, Brig. Gen. Abe Buford, Brig. Gen. J. S. Williams, Brig. Gen. Geo. B. Hodge, Wm. Jones, and several others of the "Old Squadron". It is important to note that many Union veterans, "in sincere regret", marched in Gen. Morgan's cortege.

Twenty Years Ago.

                                                                                    By E. Colgan



The following poem was read at the Grave of General John Hunt Morgan during the recent reunion of Morgan's Command in this city. Contributed by Hal Irving of Fair Oaks, California. This poem was in the papers of Mr. Irving's mothers estate, and included the papers of his Grandmother, Mayme Rogers Irving, and her sister Pearl Rogers Bernard.


 

       We've assembled in the graveyard, Boys,
          We stand on sacred soil,
       Around our Chieftain's resting place,
          Away from war's turmoil.
       And as we gaze with tearful eyes
          And memories all aglow,
       In retrospection pass the scenes
          Of Twenty Years Ago.
 

       Beneath the silent bluegrass sod
          He rests from war's alarms,
       His lips, now mute, no longer call
          His followers to arms.
       But tho' the changes time has wrought
          Since treachery laid him low,
       Our hearts still beat as warm for him
          As Twenty Years Ago.
 

       Oh, could we but blot out that morn
          And alter fate's decree
       That sped the murderous minnie on
          And set his spirit free.
       He too would greet us here today
          Where gentle zephyrs blow,
       And make the comradeship complete
          Of Twenty Years Ago.
 

       No, -not complete-, that would require
          A host of forms, not here
       Who rode with us on many a raid,
          But sleep we scarce know where;
       Near picket stands some still repose,
          O'er others, roses grow;
       From spirit lands they greet old friends,
          Of Twenty Years Ago.

       The places they fought and fell
          Are numbered by the score,
       From Bacon Creek's baptismal fire
          To the lake's eternal shore.
       Brave Atherton of the "Squadron Old"
          Was the first to be called from below,
       We laid him on Duck River's bank
          O'er Twenty Years Ago.
 

       West, Kennett, Smith, and Manly fell
          On the battles raging billows;
       Wasson, Young, and Cecil pressed
          Prison tortured pillows.
       John Waller, Quirk, and Charlie Byrne
          Fell since our overthrow;
       They've gone to join their comrades,
          Of Twenty Years Ago.
 

       We meet today in peaceful camp
          War's friendship to renew,
       And on the graves of comrades gone
          Bright flowers and tears to strew;
       To dwell on themes that filled our thoughts
          When marching on the foe,
       To grasp the hand that primed the guns
          Just Twenty Years Ago.
 

       Scenes have been altered since we met,
          Our campfires have gone out.
       Our battle fields now wave with grain,
          We no more, raid and scout;
       But in reunion we can meet
          And all restraint overthrow,
       Our cause, and comrades, are as dear
          As Twenty Years Ago.
 
 


Sources:
Newspaper clipping, April 17, 1868, with annoncement of Gen. Morgan's funeral.
"Rebel Raider: The Life of John Hunt Morgan", by James A. Ramage, 1986, University Press of Kentucky.
Funeral Notice found in the home of Miss Ethel Baugh, Abingdon, Va, by Mrs. W. E. Bach, Lexington, Ky.

Background music: "My Old Kentucky Home" MIDI File, by ReWEP Associates. Copyright, 1997
Used with permission only.



 
 

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