Kentucky Cavaliers in Dixie: The Reminiscences of a Confederate Cavalryman

By Geo. Dallas Mosgrove | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXII.
GENERAL JOHN H. MORGAN -- HIS ESCAPE FROM THE OHIO PENITENTIARY.

"O, war! thou hast thy fierce delight.
Thy gleams of joy, intensely bright!
Such gleams as from thy polished shield
Fly dazzling o'er the battlefield."

GENERAL JOHN MORGAN was a magnetic man, of pleasing personality, very handsome; his manner genial and gracious, his face was an open book. A dark mustache drooped over a laughing mouth--his face being lighted by an indescribably pleasant, perennial smile. Easily approached, all men were his friends. I never saw him otherwise than neatly dressed, and he was often elegantly attired, always a gentleman. He was the kind of man to be at home in a parlor, to grace a lady's boudoir, and a welcome addition to any coterie of gentlemen, assembled in any place. He always had about him a glittering staff; accomplished young men, resplendent in gold lace and fine clothes, generally representatives of the best Kentucky families.

I have a pleasant recollection of the first time I ever met General Morgan. Being at his headquarters in quest of his adjutant-general, Captain Charles A. Withers, I found the general first, reclining in the shade of a tree. He greeted me most kindly, made a few pleasant observations and courteously directed me to the adjutant-general's quarters. His Chesterfieldian manner captivated me at once, being very different from that which characterized many bluff, haughty officers with whom I was acquainted. His extreme sociability won the undying affections of his men. Riding along the column, he would talk in a jovial, free and easy way, putting his cavaliers in the best of spirits.

General Morgan was the Marion of the civil war, operating, however, on a more extensive scale than did the "Swamp Fox" of the Carolinas, and introducing novel tactics of war-

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