8a - Attack on Fort Williams
  • On October 6, 1863 the 25th Tennessee Infantry, C.S.A., attacked Fort Williams with 120 men commanded by Col. John M. Hughes. Hughes was ordered to Kentucky to collect deserters and enforce the Confederate conscription act, that is the draft of Confederate soldiers in Kentucky, which was technically a part of the Confederacy.
  • The fort was garrisoned by the 37th Kentucky Mounted Infantry, U.S.A., commanded by Maj. Samuel Martin. The regiment numbered some 420 men. Fifty men were camped in the Court House square and 30 men were out on patrol. The men on the square were hit at dawn and then Col. Hughes attacked the fort. He reported, "We killed 9, wounded 26 and captured 226, together with quartermaster’s stores in the amount of $250,000.00. My loss was 1 killed and 4 wounded."
Maj. Martin’s report said 200 horses, saddles, clothing, 100 carbines, and 142 men were captured. He reported 13 Confederates were wounded 4 of which died, and the local bank robbed of $9,000.00. The Union prisoners were marched to the Tennessee line where they were paroled. The fort was reinforced the next day and remained in Union control for the rest of the war.
Just four days before the attack on the fort Maj. Martin reported to Gen. Jeremiah T. Boyle "I can keep all of the Rebels now at the Cumberland River out of this place and can whip them anywhere I find them." Perhaps Martin’s over confidence coupled with new recruits and a lack of artillery at the fort allowed a much smaller Confederate force to rout the Union defenders.

8b - Morgan in Glasgow

As Morgan’s command was marching out of Alexandria, Tennessee en route to Muldraugh Hill, a battalion of the 2nd Michigan Cavalry was ordered from Gallatin, Tennessee to Munfordville. The two forces met at Glasgow, Kentucky on Christmas Eve, 1862.

Morgan arrived about six miles south of Glasgow in the early evening. He sent two companies of cavalry under the command of Capt. Thomas Quirk into town to determine if it was unoccupied. At about the same time a company of the 2nd Michigan rode into Glasgow.

The two forces entered town from opposite directions, at first unaware that the other was present. Soon the horsemen met in the twilight and a firefight began. In the chaos that followed men and horses became entangled in a running battle. Carbine, rifle and pistol fire erupted, creating deadly Christmas Eve fireworks. A desperate struggle was underway; hard, intense fighting that eventually turned in the favor of the Confederates. The Union cavalry was forced out of town, leaving the Barren County seat in the hands of the Confederates.

The 2nd Michigan retreated to Cave City, leaving two dead and sixteen prisoners behind and taking seven prisoners with them. Morgan’s men lost three killed.

8c - Defending Glasgow

  • Fort Williams was ordered constructed in Glasgow in the spring of 1863. It was during the spring and summer of 1863 that the Union army began to build defensive works at strategic points in Kentucky to defend transportation networks and supply depots in the Commonwealth from Confederate raids.
  • Fort Williams was constructed under the supervision of Lieut. Miles D. McAlister. who was Chief Engineer for the Department of the Ohio. He constructed a “figure 8 ” shaped redoubt, an enclosed fort, built to withstand attacks from all sides. The fort was armed with 24-pounder and 6-pounder cannon. The fort had several names but was finally officially named Fort Williams in November of 1863 in honor of Gen.Thomas Williams who was killed in battle. Glasgow was garrisoned by Union troops throughout the war. Glasgow ’s strategic importance was due to its location. It was the crossroads of several north-south and east-west roads and by June 1863 a branch of the L&N Railroad.
  • Thomas Williams was born in Albany, New York on January 10,1815. Williams,a soldier most of his life, began his service as a private in the Black Hawk War (1832). In 1833, he received an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point, graduating in 1837. He was a brave and competent officer,but was a strict disciplinarian, who often conflicted with his subordinates.
  • In 1861, as the Civil War began, Williams was serving as an instructor at the Artillery School at Fort Monroe in Virginia. Williams was assigned to Gen. Benjamin Butler's command in the land operations against New Orleans.
  • From New Orleans Williams and his brigade were assigned the task of occupying Baton Rouge. In August 1862, Confederate forces under the command of Gen. John C.Breckinridge attacked the city. Gen.Williams was killed leading the successful defense of the city and was buried in the family plot in Detroit, Michigan.

8d - General Joseph H. Lewis

General Joseph H. Lewis, commander of the famous Orphan Brigade, is buried just down the hill from Fort Williams. The Orphan Brigade was composed of the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 6th and 9th Kentucky Infantry regiments along with two batteries of artillery. These men fought with the Confederate Army of Tennessee throughout the war. They left Kentucky in early 1862 and did not return until the war was over. Lewis was their last commander.

Joseph H. Lewis was born in Glasgow and was educated at Centre College in Danville. After practicing law for a number of years, Lewis entered politics. He served in the Kentucky legislature as a Whig from 1851-1855. His politics later took on a more pronounced Southern stance and he changed parties. He ran unsuccessfully as a Democrat for congress in 1857 and 1861.

After the war, Lewis returned to Kentucky and resumed his legal practice. In 1870 he was elected to congress and served two terms. In 1880 he was elected circuit judge. He served on the Kentucky court of appeals from 1882 to 1899, serving as chief justice in 1882, 1887 and 1897.

Monuments for two of Lewis’ sons, Jack and Asa, who also served in the Orphan Brigade, are located near the Joseph Lewis monument. Gen. Braxton Bragg executed Asa Lewis for desertion after he went home to plant the spring crops against orders. Although Asa returned to duty of his own free will, Bragg carried out the execution. Asa has a headstone is in this cemetery but the location of his body is unknown. Jack’s body is buried near that of his father.

Barren County Civil War Sites

Fort Williams – Construction began in February or March 1863. The fort was constructed under the direction of Lt. Miles D. McAlester, Chief Engineer, of Dept. of the Ohio. It was named for Gen. Thomas Williams who was killed August 5, 1862 at Baton Rouge, LA.

1863 Raid – On October 6, 1863 Glasgow was attacked by Confederate cavalry under the command of Col. John M. Hughes. Hughes troops fought a detachment of the 37th KY Mounted Inf. that were station in town. The Confederates surprised the Union soldiers captured several hundred and a great deal of supplies and weapons.

Confederate Monument – Located on the courthouse lawn.

Skirmish at the Courthouse – On December 24, 1862 Confederate troopers from Morgan’s command camped south of Glasgow entered town where they encountered a patrol of the 2nd MI Cav. a brief skirmished followed both side claimed victory and both left town.

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