Morgan, John Hunt

Morgan, John Hunt,

1825–64, Confederate general in the American Civil War, b. Huntsville, Ala. He spent most of his early life in Kentucky. At the outbreak of the Civil War, Morgan joined the Confederates as a cavalry scout, and in 1862 he began the daring raids behind Union lines that were to make him and his men famous. For his success at Hartsville, Tenn., where he captured a garrison of Union troops in Dec., 1862, he was made a brigadier general. The raid through Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio in the summer of 1863 was Morgan's outstanding feat, even though it ended in his capture (July, 1863). He escaped from prison in November and in Apr., 1864, was assigned to command in SW Virginia. Federals who had penetrated the Confederate lines killed him at Greeneville, Tenn., in Sept., 1864.
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Morgan, John Hunt

(1825–64) soldier; born in Huntsville, Ala. He had fought as a volunteer in the Mexican War and then, as a businessman in Lexington, Ky., he supported a militia group. When the Civil War broke out, he sided with the Confederacy; made a captain, he was assigned a cavalry scouting unit; bold and energetic, he led three daring penetrations from 1862 to 1863, disrupting Union communications in Tennessee and Kentucky and tying down large enemy forces with his relatively small units. Captured during a fourth raid, into Indiana and Ohio in July 1863, Morgan escaped from a federal penitentiary in November and resumed his raiding career. Federal forces surprised and killed Morgan in Greenville, Tenn., the following year.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.