Kentucky Christmas raid begins
This week 150 years ago in the Civil War, a Confederate cavalryman with a knack for raiding and disrupting Union rail and supply lines, embarked on his famed Christmas raid into Kentucky.
Confederate Gen. John Hunt Morgan and nearly 4,000 Confederate cavalry troops under his command left Tennessee on Dec. 22, 1862, beginning a mission to harass and disrupt Union troops and supply lines in the key border state.
All told, his troopers destroyed miles of railroad tracks, cut telegraph lines, burned supply depots and briefly occupied several Kentucky towns along the way, capturing and then paroling numerous Union troops.
By Dec. 28, 1862, he approached a key objective: two tall railroad trestles of the Louisville & Nashville Railroad. After an artillery barrage on two nearby Union stockades, Morgan captured hundreds of prisoners and burned the trestles. Then, after New Year’s Eve, his forces retreated into Tennessee.