John Morgan



Morgan at Upton
Painted by Sherrill Williams



On December 23, 1862, with nearly 4,000 men, Morgan crossed into Kentucky headed for Hardin County and two railroad trestles on Muldraugh Hill north of Elizabethtown. His mission was simple, destroy the Union supply line through Kentucky to Nashville.

This railroad bridge was burned by Morgan on December 26th 1862 while under the protection of Capt. Joseph H. James of the 91st Illinois. The battle lasted about three hours.

While at Upton, Morgan dispatched Basil Duke's command to burn the stockade and bridgework at Bacon Creek and a second detachment to destroy the Nolin Stockade. Morgan had "Lightning Ellsworth" to send a telegraph from Upton to further confuse the Yankees. The troops also got in a little practice on tying Morgan's own special brand of neckties. The railroad rails were heated, wrapped around trees and left to greet any newcomers.

Sonora Junction (Battle of Vinegar Hille)- A brief nod to the site where 7 Confederates and 3 Union soldiers of the 2nd Indiana Cavalry lost their lives on September 22, 1862 after the Battle of Munfordsville when Buell's army came upon the rear guard of Bragg's army.

Camp Nevin - This Union training camp with General Rousseau's headquarters located in the Monin House near Nolin numbered 15,000 men from October 1861 through January 1862 and was not a stop during Morgan's attack.

Nolin Stock- A detachment of Morgan's men captured 73 men of the 91st Illinois Co. C. without a fight.


(Battle of Elizabethtown)

600 Union soldiers forced Morgan to fight for the town, street by street and building by building for several hours before Morgan's numbers and artillery took their toll on the town and its occupants forcing surrender.




On December 27, 1862, during the Battle of Elizabethtown several homes in the area as well as buildings located on the City's Square received damage from cannonballs fired from nearby Cemetery Hill. The Eagle House located on the square was severely damaged and several Union soldiers killed.

(Sulphur Fork Trestle)

The Fort and two railroad trestles being protected by 600 Federals from the 71st Indiana and 78th Illinois were fired upon by Morgan the day following the Battle of Elizabethtown. Morgan captured the Union forces, burned the trestles to ashes thus creating a huge break in Union General William S. Rosecrans' rail supply line.

(Rolling Fork River)

Site of court martial of Lt. Col. J.W. Huffman, who had violated the terms Morgan had given for prisoners at the surrender of Bacon Creek.

The Union forces of Col. John M. Harlan (10th KY) and Col. Edward H. Hobson (13th KY) along with Col. Quintus C. Shanks (12th KY) pursued Morgan's men and caught up with Cluke's and Duke's regiments at the Rolling Fork River near Boston. The "Raiders" were forced to fight their way across the river with Duke wounded before the return into Tennessee.

For guided tours by request, please contact The History Museum by phone at (270) 763-8339.


Elizabethtown Kentucky