Thursday, August 2, 2012

John Morgan

This is a tale of two John Morgans. I recently read the last installment of General U.S. Grant's memoirs and he called John Hunt Morgan one of the most effective Confederate Generals of the Civil War. I decided to check and see if he was related. He isn't but I did notice another John Morgan in my family tree and a common fact about them. They died within a couple weeks of each other at the end of the summer of 1864.
John N Morgan Woodlawn National Cemetery Elmira, NY

One was born in south Georgia to a farm family and was the great uncle of Inez Eliza Wilson who married my great uncle Auley Henry Rowell in Taylor County Florida. The other John Morgan was the grandson of one of the wealthiest men in the USA.

Private John Newton Morgan was born in Lowndes County Georgia about 1843 and enlisted in the 2nd Florida Infantry Regiment on December 18, 1862. He fought in many of the major battles of the Civil War. John was wounded on May 12, 1864 at the battle of Spotsylvania Court House in Virginia and taken prisoner. He was sent first to Cape Lookout Maryland POW camp and two months later to the Elmira New York POW camp. He died of disease there on August 20, 1864.
John Hunt Morgan Lexington Cemetery

General John Hunt Morgan was born on June 1, 1825 in Huntsville, Alabama. He grew up in Lexington, Kentucky because his mother was the daughter of John Wesley Hunt, known as the first millionaire west of the Allegheny Mountains and a founder of the city. John Hunt Morgan's father went bankrupt in Alabama and they moved to Lexington when he was a boy to live with his grandfather. He used the family money to finance a militia company before the Civil War and after the war started he organized Kentucky men into a cavalry regiment that fought at the Battle of Shiloh.

It was the one and only organized battle for him as he spent the rest of his time in the war leading raiding parties into Northern States and harassing Union troops in Tennessee and western Virginia. They say he was assassinated by Union troops in Greeneville, Tennessee on September 4, 1864.

John Hunt Cole Sequoyah Oklahoma
Some conspiracy theorists say John Hunt Morgan traded places with a subordinate and escaped to live a long life as a Physician, under the name John Hunt Cole in Oklahoma Indian territory. The story is he only gave up his true identity on his death bed in a short note to his family. The grave marker in both Lexington and Sequoyah County Oklahoma show the same date of birth. I have contacted the family of John Hunt Cole to see if there is any proof of the story.

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