Lest we Forget
From July 4 -27 of 1862, Confederate Colonels John H. Morgan and Nathan B. Forrest led raiding parties throughout Kentucky and Tennessee destroying railroads, telegraph lines, bridges and supply depots. The combined raids of Morgan and Forrest immobilized the 40,000 man Union army led by Brig. General Don Carlos Buel, stalling their campaign to seize Chattanooga, TN.
By July 1863, Morgan had been promoted to Brig. General. Throughout July and August of 1863, Brig. Gen. John H. Morgan led 2,500 cavalry men on raids from Tennessee through Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio as far north as Carroll County. These raids were to support the Confederate operations in the middle of Tennessee.
July 1863 was a gloomy month for those who were doing battle for the Union. The Rebel army, under Gen. Robert E. Lee, was marching northward, overcoming all opposition and Brig. Gen. John H. Morgan was making his way triumphantly through Indiana and Ohio.
Governor Todd of Ohio went to work with his accustomed energy. In a very short time, he succeeded in bringing a respectable body of troops, led by John F. Ijams, into the field. They were sent to the southern border of Ohio where they performed valuable duty in scouting and keeping watch over the movements of Morgan’s Raiders. For a period of over three weeks, these patriotic men, fresh from the civil pursuits of life and not in shape for the hardships of life in the field, were in the saddle almost constantly following the movements of Morgan.
After the capture of Morgan and his men, Captain Ijams was ordered to Camp Chase Ohio where he proceeded to recruit more men, enough for a force of four companies. They were classified as Ohio’s Fifth Independent Battalion of Volunteer Cavalry. Captain Ijams was then promoted to Major.
They were sent into Eastern Kentucky where bands of guerrillas and horse thieves were robbing and murdering friends and foes alike. Soon after the Ohio’s Fifth Independent Battalion of Volunteer Cavalry arrived, they instituted a series of scouts and raid capturing members of the most noted guerrillas, completely breaking up their pillaging raids. Peace and security were restored to the inhabitants of Eastern Kentucky.
The Ohio Fifth Independent Battalion was finally mustered out of the service at Columbus, OH, in November 1863.
We still have troops today doing their best to restore peace and security throughout the world. Every day they put their lives on the line for our peace and security here at home. Please keep them in your daily prayers.
Charles R. Pearson
Malvern Legion Post #375