Posts Tagged ‘Civil War’

The wages of war

Morgan’s Last Raid: June 1864, Morgan made a 3rd raid into Kentucky, crossing the Cumberland River at McMillan’s Landing (Cumberland River Ferry), which is in Turkey Neck Bend, Kentucky just above the Tennessee line.

In 1864, my 17-year-old great-great grandmother, Lydia Jane Short lived near McMillan’s Landing. Though unmarried, she gave birth in 1865—my great-grandfather, Bill Short. We have never found his father’s name—after a 150 years, the name should have seen light. I have a strong hunch one of Morgan’s Raiders is my great-great grandfather. Lydia’s family was Rebel—her 1st cousin Beanie Short was a famous guerilla fighter—so my hunch has roots. (My other family was Union)

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Terror in Indiana

Morgan’s Raid in Indiana: July 8, 1863, Morgan’s 1800 men crossed the Ohio River at Brandenburg and marched through Indiana. After a battle in Corydon, they passed through Salem.

My family lived on the Jared Suddeth farm in Leota, Indiana between Salem and Vienna. My great-grandfather—Bill Suddeth—was about 12 and took the family horses into the woods while the Morgan’s Raiders passed through—my great-great grandmother—Julia Harris Suddeth—likely had to cook for them . My grandfather—Lawrence Suddeth—was born 20 years later and knew this story well.

Morgan’s men stopped long enough in Vienna to burn down the train depot and a railroad bridge. 2 photos from Leota, both the Raiders used or passed by. This farm’s location has been lost—anyone with information, please contact me.

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Morgan’s Raiders: General John Hunt Morgan and his 1800 men arrived in Brandenburg, Meade County, Kentucky on July 8, 1863 to seize steamboats and cross the Ohio River. He attracted Rebel militia, some little more than thieves.

Meanwhile my family on 1 or 2 shantyboats (flatboats with small cabins) had docked at Brandenburg, likely because the Morgan’s Raiders had disrupted river traffic. They were headed to Shawneetown, Illinois My great-great grandparents, Andrew William Greenfield and Mary Mann Greenfield were murdered by Rebel militia—he was German-speaking Swiss, and she was Shawnee. They were killed for being immigrant or Indian—Captain William Davison, a militia leader was in the area and was known for racist and ant-immigrant views—I believe he killed them.


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Morgan’s Raiders

Confederate General John Hunt Morgan (1825-1864) is likely Kentucky’s most well-known Civil War figure. He raided Kentucky July 1862 and June 1864. But he is famous for Morgan’s Raid July 1863 where—raided into Indiana and Ohio. I am not glorifying him—he was a secessionist and wealthy slaveowner—he figures negatively into the family histories of 3 of my grandparents. But he had guts aplenty—that part of him I admire. (More about him another day)

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Civil War salute

A special salute this Veterans Day to my Civil War family.

Great-grandfather Thomas Gillenwaters, Union, Monroe County, Kentucky (pistol)

Great-great grandfather Samuel Anderson, Union, Cumberland County, Kentucky (with daughter)

Great-great grandfather Lucillious Green Pate, Union, Illinois

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Bad boy? Good boy?

George Henry “Beanie” Short (about 1838 in Cumberland County Kentucky, died January 4 1865 Monroe County) He left the Rebel Army and raided Turkeyneck Bend near the Cumberland River. He was caught and hung. My great-grandfather’s family (Bill Short) considers him a hero, Grandma’s brother was Ben Short. My great-grandmother’s family (Alcy Anderson) was Union. Grandma, Ova Della Short Suddeth, called him her 2nd cousin.

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A believer in slavery, William Quantrill formed Quantrill’s Raiders to aid the Confederacy. Born in Dover Canal, Ohio, he taught school before going to Missouri and establishing Quantrill’s Raiders with 440 soldiers. He died in a shootout in Wakefield Kentucky in May 1865. Or not. In 1907, a Union veteran traveling in British Columbia spotted Quantrill, living under the name, John Sharp. Sharp admitted it but was beaten to death a few days later. Or he was L.J. Crocker and died in 1917 in Arkansas. Who knows? Photos: Quantrill and Crocker with wfe

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Quantrill’s end

The James bros and Pence bros came from the Little Dixie area, Kearney Missouri, many of the families settling from Kentucky. At the Civil War’s end, the James bros and the Pence bros hid in Chaplin Kentucky with William Quantrill. They hanged a rapist—the wrong man. On the run, they ended up in a barn near a train station in Wakefield, Kentucky. I believe they were going to escape on the train, but the Shelby County Home Guards cornered them. Quantrill was mortally wounded but the others fled to Chaplin. [Jesse James birthplace, Quantrill]

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Losing your cool

William Quantrill’s Raiders entered Wakefield Kentucky May 1865. A log wagon was mired in the road and blocked it. In front of the Smiley School, with the children and town watching, he shot the 7 horses. Normally levelheaded, the Shelby County Home Guards were chasing him. It was then he detoured into the barn, where they fatally wounded him.

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I thought I would share my family’s Civil War loss. (our country is going through another trial)

My great-great grandfather, Lucilious Pate, came home in 1865 to find his wife and family gone, his younger brother, Wesley had drowned when an army steamboat caught fire, and another brother, James, had died in battle. Lucillious joined the Union army 81st regiment Illinois in August 1862, mustered out in 1865.

My great grandfather, Thomas Gillenwaters, came home in 1865 to find his father dead, his family starving, and a brother whose name I cannot recall had died in battle. Served in Union Army, company C, 37th Regiment Kentucky Mounted Infantry. Mustered in June 2, 1863 Glasgow, Kentucky, mustered out May 10, 1865 Louisville, Kentucky. His brother, James, served in the confederate Army.

My great-great grandparents, Andrew William and Mary Greenfield, were murdered in 1863 by guerillas near Brandenburg, Kentucky. He was German-speaking Swiss and she was mixed-blood Shawnee—I believe xenophobia/racism killed them.

My great-great grandfather, Samuel Anderson, made it home in 1865, but his health and lungs were ruined. He served in the Union army, 5th Kentucky Cavalry, Company E. He was mustered in April 30, 1862 Burkesville, Kentucky and mustered out May 3, 1865 in Louisville, Kentucky. His three brothers served in the same regiment: James, William, and Wilson.

My grandmother’s cousin, Beanie (Bennie) Short hanged in 1865, a Confederate raider, but I do not judge him.


Bill Pennington, my great-great grandfather, kidnapped near Otisco, Indiana by Union Cavalry, presumably for military duty. Released the next day, likely because he was full-blooded Cherokee.

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