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Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 31.djvu/133

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Death of General John Morgan.

[From the New Orleans Picayune, July 5, 1903.]



Circumstantial Account of His Death, by Colonel J. W. Scully, U. S. A., an Eyewitness.

Atlanta, Ga., July 3, 1903.

Editor Picayune:

Dear Sir,—In the "Confederate Column" of your issue of the 28th ult. appears an article by P. H. Hora, giving what he asserts to be a true account of "How General John H. Morgan was killed." The romantic picture of Mrs. Williams' house in Greenville is, I presume, correct, but, with the exception of the facts that Morgan was killed in Mrs. Williams' garden, and that there was a chapel at the end of the grounds, the story and the conclusions drawn therefrom are simply errors. I have from time to time read many conflicting stories of this affair, and having been a prominent actor in it, concluded that the time had come when an eyewitness should give the public the truth of the matter.

I shall commence by stating that I was the next ranking officer to General Gillem on that expedition. It was a force placed under the exclusive orders of General Johnson, Military Governor of Tennessee (afterwards President of the United States), and composed of Tennessee troops, but just before the combat at Greenville we were joined by a squadron of the Tenth Michigan Cavalry under Major Newell. Our force consisted of the Ninth and Thirteenth Tennessee Cavalry; Company A, Tenth Tennessee Cavalry (headquarters escort); Battery B, First Tennessee Artillery, and the aforementioned Michigan squadron. My regiment, the Tenth Tennessee Infantry, not being mounted, was not detailed for this raid, but I, on General Gillem's request, accompanied him and acted as chief of staff. The object of the expedition was to rid east Tennessee of guerrilla bands that were being formed on both sides, and incidentally to destroy the salt works at Saltville, Va.

On August 23, 1864, we had a sharp fight with Colonel Giltner's command of Morgan's troops at Blue Springs, Tenn., about halfway between Bulls Gap and Greenville, defeating Giltner in a couple