In honor of Pvt. Nathan R. Oakes, CSA

150 years ago, my great grandfather, Nathan Richardson Oakes, served as a private in Company D of the distinguished 32nd Mississippi Infantry Regiment in the Army of Tennessee. He participated in the great Civil War campaigns, including the battles of Perryville, Murfreesboro, Chickamauga, Atlanta, Franklin, Nashville, and Bentonville. I am writing about his engagements as well as some details about fighting for the Lost Cause. I hope to honor him and commemorate the events and individuals that contributed to making this a renowned unit in the Confederate Army of Tennessee.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Morgan's Raid, 1863

Brig. Gen. John Hunt Morgan
On today's date in 1863, Brig. Gen. John Hunt Morgan and 2,400 mounted Confederates and 2 pieces of artillery, set off on a raid that would take them into Indiana and Ohio. For 46 days they rode over 1,000 miles and covered a region from Tennessee to Northern Ohio.

Ostensibly, Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg's plan was for the "Great Raid" to draw the Federal army's attention away from his Army of Tennessee, which was fortified in Tullahoma. However, Morgan had bigger plans. He wanted to strike terror in Northern states by rampaging through the enemy homeland.*

Source: Touring Ohio
The raid did bring terror on the Northern civilian population. However, it actually had little military importance. Before the end of July, Morgan and almost all his men were captured in northeastern Ohio and placed in various state penitentiaries. Morgan managed to escape in late November. Then, taking a train to Cincinnati, he crossed the Ohio River, and made his way back to the Confederacy. In less than a year, Gen. Morgan will be killed in Tennessee by Union cavalry.

Ironically, at the very time Union Gen. Rosecrans was moving his force to attack Gen. Braxton Bragg's positionwhen Bragg could have most used the additional cavalry supportMorgan was crossing the Cumberland River and making his way for Ohio.

"Morgan's Ohio Raid" by Mort Kunstler pictures Morgan and his Raiders
entering the town of Montgomery, Ohio. I've driven past  the Universalist
Church (pictured) on Montgomery and Remington Roads many times. The
building, with its unique brick columns, looks today much as it did when
Gen. John Hunt Morgan raided through the town on July 14, 1863.

* Raiding through Clermont County on July 14, 1863, Morgan's Raiders stormed down the Branch Hill-Guinea Pike, which fronted the subdivision where we once owned a home. In fact, we lived on a road named (apparently) for Lieut. Thomas Paxton, who with his Loveland militiamen, tried to stop the Raiders from burning a derailed train and tearing up the track. One of the Rebels was shot and died at the village of Ward's Corner, now a tiny shopping center, just down the street from where we lived. One of my sons' summer jobs was working at the UDF convenience store on the corner there. He scooped some really great ice cream that summer!

Source: The Army of Tennessee, Stanley F. Horn; Military Reminiscences of the Civil War, Jacob Dolson Cox; The Army of the Cumberland, Henry Martyn Cist; Clermont County Historical Society


  1. Mark, My name is William Scroggins. I am collaborating with another Civil War historian, Robert Swinson, on a history of the 32nd & 45th Mississippi Infantry Regiments. My great-great grandfather, Smith Scroggins, served in Company A of the 32nd Miss. He was mortally wounded at Chickamauga. I have been gathering info and researching this unit for about 21 years. Rob Swenson recently contacted me and asked me to coauthor a history of these two units. Rob is the former owner of an original Hardee flag attributed to the 32nd/45th Consolidated Regiments. He no longer owns this flag, but he became interested in the history of these Regiments. Anyway, we would like permission to use your great grandfather's photo in the roster that will accompany the book. So far we have gained access to many, many photos of members of the 32nd Miss. We don't have a lot on the 45th Miss yet, but are working on it. It will be at least a year until we are ready for publication. Anyway, my email address is You help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Bill Scroggins

  2. I'd be honored if you would use it! I'm sending you a copy via email along with one of Great Uncle William Dunlap Turner, 2nd Sgt. in Co. D.