Wednesday, July 25, 2012

July 26, 1862 (Sunday): The Crittenden Court

General William Nelson
Major-General BUELL:
    John Morgan is retreating from Kentucky and will come in at Sparta. I want cavalry, and I want General Jackson, who is now in Nashville, to command it. I have sent repeated orders to Colonel Boone for his regiment to come here at once, and he will neither answer nor does he come. I also ordered one battalion of Wolford's cavalry to march here. I hear nothing of it one way or the other. I can settle this part of the country and stop Morgan and Forrest and be in position to receive any forces from Chattanooga, if I can get my orders obeyed. I have ordered the Thirty-first Indiana, Colonel Cruft, to march here and join its brigade. If Morgan and Forrest get together they will have 3,500 well mounted cavalry. General Manson arrived this morning.


Morgan's raid was one of the few pieces of good news the Confederates had in the western theater since early in the war.  Morgan was working his way back into Tennessee and Nelson was intent on trapping him before he could.  "Bull" Nelson was a capable officer from Kentucky and friend of the President's.  He possessed both a gregarious personality and a raging temper (the latter of which would lead to his been shot to death by a fellow Union officer in September during a card game). Nelson commanded Union defenses in Kentucky with his headquarters at Louisville.

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