During the battle of Lebanon Tom Morgan, 19-year-old brother of Gen. John Hunt Morgan, was killed near this house, "Sunnyside," the home of Presbyterian minister T.H .Cleland. During the fighting John Hunt continuously sent the younger Morgan to the rear to keep him out of harms way, but Tom Morgan refused to sit out the battle. According to one historian, Tom Morgan was shot and killed leading a group of men in the final charge against the depot. When Col. Charles S. Hanson surrendered the depot, Charlton Morgan, another brother, is said to have grabbed Hanson by the beard and said "Ill blow your brains out you damned rascal. " Fellow soldiers restrained Charlton before he could carry out his threat. Afterwards, General Morgan is said to have told Hanson, "Charlie the next time you see mother you be damn sure to tell her you killed brother Tom". Hanson and Morgan were the best of friends before the war. Ironically, Hanson s brother, Roger, was a Confederate general.
That night Tom Morgan was laid out in the parlor of his house. The next day, he was buried in a rose garden on the west side of the house. His body remained there until 1867. That year the Morgan family retrieved both Toms and John Hunts bodies and buried them in the family plot in the Lexington Cemetery.
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For a many years it was thought that Tom was killed attacking the Lebanon Depot. However, Mrs.Rose Cleland Grudy, the daughter of Rev. T.H. Cleland, who was at Sunnyside on the day of the battle, reported years after the war that Tom Morgan was killed only a few yards from the front gate of her home, not at the depot. Sunnyside, today called Holly Hill, is about 900 yards from the depot, out of rifle range from the depot, but Morgan could have been killed earlier by Union soldiers retreating toward the depot.
29b - Union Commissary Building
Providing food for soldiers was the business of the Commissary of Subsistence department. The Union Army used this building, then owned by Christopher Beeler, as a commissary during the Civil War. All or part of the foodstuffs for the Union garrison in Lebanon were distributed from this building. Union soldiers were issued a daily ration of pork or bacon, fresh or salt beef, and 18 ounces of flour. Soldiers also received potatoes, peas, beans or rice, coffee or tea, sugar, vinegar, salt, pepper, candles, and soap. On campaigns or marches corn meal and hard bread were issued.
According to the Official Records, Col.Charles Hanson ordered all of the ordinance and commissary supplies destroyed when Gen. John Hunt Morgan attacked Lebanon on July 5, 1863. Whether the order was carried out or not, Morgan did capture military supplies in Lebanon. Morgan also threatened to burn the town if Hanson did not surrender. By the time Hanson complied numerous buildings were on fire, including Christopher Beeler s house, which was attached to the rear of the commissary building.
After the Civil War a grocery store occupied this building. It later housed a liquor store owned by J. H. Kearns. In the 1930s Willie A. Deep purchased the building and opened the Sunnyside Saloon, which remained in operation until the 1980s.
29c - The Battle of Lebanon (The Great Raid July 5, 1863)
Morgans third Kentucky raid had not gone well from the beginning. The Battle at Tebbs Bend on July 4 cost him 35 men killed and about 40 wounded. From Tebbs Bend, Morgan pushed north, arriving in Lebanon about 7 oclock on the morning of July 5, 1863.
Lt. Col. Charles S. Hanson knew Morgan was coming and he made what preparations he could. Knowing Morgan would approach from the south, Hanson deployed most of his 350 men behind a barricade of fences, overturned wagons, and other obstructions. Hanson knew that this skirmish line could only slow the Confederate advance on the city. He planned to make his stand at the L&N Railroad depot and other brick buildings once his skirmish line was pushed back.
Upon reaching Lebanon, Morgan demanded Hansons surrender. Hanson refused and Morgan attacked with artillery and dismounted cavalry. Morgans nearly 10 to 1 advantage quickly overwhelmed the Union soldiers, pushing them into town where most sought refuge in the L&N Depot.
The brick depot, a block off of Main Street, provided a strong defensive position. Its location was such that Morgan could not use his artillery effectively against it. When Hanson refused a second demand for surrender, Morgan ordered nearby buildings set on fire. Finally, after nearly seven hours of fighting, with the roof of the depot and much of the town on fire, Hanson surrendered.
This battle was costly for Morgan. Hansons small garrison held him up for seven hours, inflecting some 50 casualties, including his brother, Lieut. Thomas Morgan, who was killed. The death of Tom Morgan enraged Morgan and his men. The Confederate soldiers looted stores and burned about 20 buildings. The Union prisoners were then marched some 10 miles at the double-quick to Springfield where they were paroled. Several Union prisoners died on the forced march. Miraculously, Union losses were small. Hanson reported four killed and 16 wounded.
29d - Morgan's Headquarters
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