GENERAL MORGAN DEFEATS AVERILL--MAJOR PARKER KILLED, May 10, 1864.
IN the spring of 1864, General Morgan was near Abingdon, Va., reorganizing his command, which had been in confusion and scattered since the raid through Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio. As usual, his mind was on Kentucky, and he was longing to once more lead his cavaliers to their old Kentucky homes. While in the midst of preparations for the long ride into Kentucky, his plans were temporarily frustrated by Hunter's raid upon Lynchburg. General Averill, having been detached from Hunter's column, marched into Southwestern Virginia, his objective point being presumably the Saltworks.
General Morgan, not being disposed to await Averill's coming, determined to march against him to check his advance, and, if possible, drive him back. Giltner's brigade had been assigned to Morgan's division, composing the larger part of it. The bugles sounded and the command was soon making a rapid march to find the invading Federals. Striking the main valley turnpike at a point between Glade Spring and Marion, and not knowing just when or where we should meet Averill's cavalry, the command formed fours and marched toward Wytheville. Passing through that town, cheered by the ladies, who waved handkerchiefs and flags and smiled encouragingly, we met the enemy May 10th, some distance beyond, at Crockett's farm, I think, and immediately charged them, the Federals soon breaking, and Morgan keeping up with them and charging every time they made an attempt to give battle. It was a running fight, lasting until sunset. On account of the peculiar character of the fight, the enemy being "on the run" nearly all the time, the casualties were neither very numerous or sanguinary on either side.
This was General Morgan's first fight after his escape