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1863 August 1: Capture of John H. Morgan

August 5, 2013

The following small articles are the extent of the recent war news for the week from the August 1, 1863, issues of both The Prescott Journal and The Polk County Press.  Both newspapers covered Confederate General John Hunt Morgan’s capture, which put an end to Morgan’s Raid.  The Journal has slightly more information than the Press.

Following the news of Morgan are a few more small articles from the Journal, one on the progress of the Confederate retreat from Gettysburg and the other on the capture of the blockade runner Merrimac.

Appearing in both newspapers:


John Morgan, from "Harper's Weekly" (see footnote x)

John Morgan, from “Harper’s Weekly” (see footnote 3)


The following has been received at headquarters :

Three miles south of New Lisbon, O., }
July 26, 1863. }

To Col. Lewis Richmond, A. A. G. :

By the blessing of Almighty God I have succeeded in capturing Gen. John H. Morgan, Col. Cluke,¹ and the balance of the command, amounting to about 400 prisoners.²

I will start with Morgan and staff on the first train for Cincinnati, and await the General’s order for transportation for the balance.

Signed,     J. M. SHACKLEFORD [sic: James M. Shackelford],

From here on is from The Prescott Journal:


Well authenticated reports announce the capture of Gen. John H. Morgan, with the residue of his command, in the vicinity of Steubenville, Ohio.  Particulars not stated.



John Morgan, Col. Cluke, and thirty other rebel officers, arrived here last night, and were taken to the City Prison.




Information received here to-day, shows that the rebel army, under Longstreet [James Longstreet], Hill [A. P. Hill] and Elwell [Richard S. Elwell], passed through Chester’s [sic] Gap on Thursday and Friday, and are now at and south of Culpepper [sic].

Buford’s cavalry [John Buford] opposed them obstinately, hung on their rear, capturing prisoners and cattle.  It was generally thought Lee  [Robert E. Lee] was using all possible speed to reach Richmond, while some think the rebels intend making a stand on the south side of the Rapidan.

The rebel prisoners say our cavalry has done more to defeat Lee’s plans than any other army, also that a great deal of despair prevails in the South and in the army in consequence of the recent defeat and failure of Lee’s plans ;  while the defeat of Johnston [Joseph E. Johnston] and his refusal to obey orders from Jeff Davis, will necessitate a reconstruction of the army of the South-west.


Cropped photograph of the USS Merrimac in the summer of 1864 (see footnote x)

The USS Merrimac  (see footnote 4)

NEW YORK, July 28.

Afternoon report, The rebel steamer Merrimac, built by the British for the rebels last year, arrived here, captured by the Iroquois while running the blockade at Wilmington.  She is a 500 ton iron vessel, loaded with cotton.

The Polk County Press also published
the above article, but with a second paragraph:

The steamer Washington, from Port Royal, reports that she passed off Charleston, the 26th, and heard heavy firing.  Our forces were still battering Fort Wagner.

1.  Roy S. Cluke was the colonel of the 8th Kentucky Cavalry (Confederate).
2.  On July 26, 1863, General Edward H. Hobson pursued Morgan’s remaining men and finally forced Morgan to surrender at New Lisbon, Ohio. Morgan was sent to the Ohio State Penitentiary, but would later escape.
Edward Henry Hobson (1825-1901) was the colonel of the 13th Kentucky Infantry (Union) at the beginning of the Civil War. He commanded his regiment at the Battle of Shiloh and received a promotion to brigadier general. He is best known for pursuing Morgan’s Raiders through Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio, and defeating and then capturing most of them at the Battle of Buffington Island. On July 26, 1863, General Hobson pursued Morgan’s remaining men and finally forced Morgan to surrender at New Lisbon, Ohio. Morgan was sent to the Ohio State Penitentiary, but would later escape.
3.  From Harper’s Pictorial History of the Civil War, by Alfred H. Guernsey and Henry M. Alden, Chicago: McDonnell, 1866-68; available in the UWRF Archives (E 468.7 .G87 1866).
4.  The North Atlantic Blockading Squadron’s sloop-of-war USS Iroquois captured the Merrimac off North Carolina on July 24, 1863.  This ship should not be confused with the USS Merrimack (1856-1861), which was the steam frigate that later became the Confederate ironclad Virginia.  The block-running Merrimac had been purchased in England for the Confederate government in 1862, and in 1864 she will become the USS Merrimac (no “k”). This photograph, which we cropped to fit here, is from the U.S. Naval Historical Center, Photo # NH 46242.

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