Sunday, December 19, 2010

Morgan's Christmas Raid

After the Battle of Perryville, Kentucky on October 8, 1862, Union General Don Carlos Buell was relieved of command and replaced with William S. Rosecrans. Rosecrans renamed the Army of the Ohio and changed the name to the Army of the Cumberland. With his new Army, Rosecrans pushed into Southern territory. In order to keep his army feed and well supplied, he needed to keep the Louisville & Nashville Railroad operating at full capacity. Rosecrans made sure that the Louisville & Nashville Railroad was heavily defended with stockades at the tunnels and bridges.

Confederate General John Hunt Morgan, the “Thunderbolt of the Confederacy”, was a Kentucky native and knew the Louisville & Nashville Railroad well. He decided that the best place to disrupt Rosecrans supply line was at a pair of one hundred foot high trestles that ran for about five hundred feet. They were located below Louisville, Kentucky, just north of Elizabethtown, and ran through Muldraugh’s Hill. After consulting with Confederate General Braxton Bragg, commander of the Army of Tennessee, Bragg gave Morgan permission for his raid.

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