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Morgan's Men Who Served

as the Escorts of President Jefferson Davis.



Note: Background tune is music to "Cheer Boys Cheer", (Refresh/reload page if music does not automatically play after first loading). See Song lyrics.



  According to Gen. Basil W. Duke ("Reminicences of Gen. Basil W. Duke"), Jefferson Davis after leaving Richmond, was  first escorted by cavalry brigades of Gen. Dibrell and Col. W. C. P. Breckinridge. At Charlotte, North Carolina these three more brigades, that of Gen. Vaughn, Gen. Ferguson, and Gen. Basil Duke were added to the escort that was overall commanded by Gen. John C. Breckinridge.

Near Abbeville, S.C., Gen. Duke became assigned as custodian of the Confederate States treasury. Since this treasury was located at the town's railroad depot, Duke detailed fifty hand picked men under the command of Col. Theophilus Steele, with four of his "best lieutenants" to transport the treasure in six wagons. It was to accompany Davis' escort on their journey to Washington, Georgia, only stopping at the Savannah river, where Davis ordered  a portion of the treasury (about $110,000) in silver coin, be paid to the troops that were escorting him. This amounted to $32 per man in Duke's brigade, with officers and enlisted men receiving an equal share. Duke state's he had no knowledge on the total amount of the treasury but it was believed to be "between five and six hundred thousand dollars, much the greater part in gold." The next day, at Washington Duke turned over the treasury  to M. H. Clarke, who was the "acting treasurer of the Confederate States".

At Washington, brigade commanders were ordered to surrender and have their men paroled. Gen. Breckinridge, although requested 200-300 men from Gen. Duke's command (see Capt. Luther Conn] and proceed on a two to three day march  in a direction that might divert Federal cavalry away from Davis' immediate vicinity or intended route. Duke followed these instructions until reaching Woodstock, Georgia where a superior Federal cavalry force requested that his command would be attacked if it continued in a further westward direction. Not wanting any further bloodshed, Duke turned his command around and that afternoon met with Col. Breckinridge, bearing a message from Gen. John C. Breckinridge that everything "had been done to assist Mr. Davis that was possible, and that he advised me to make immediate arrangements for surrender."


The following day, President Davis continued on from Washington, Georgia with only "a select body of men, about twenty strong, commanded by Capt. Given Campbell of Kentucky". Capt. Campbell is described by Gen. Duke, as "one of the best officers in the cavalry service". Duke further states that "had [Davis] really wished to escape...could have easily done so" with this guard.


The known names from Duke's Brigade that made up this handpicked twenty escorts included:


Capt. Given Campbell
Lt.. Winder Monroe
  Lt. Leeland Hathaway
  Jack Messick, (rank unknown)
  Private Sanders , 2nd KY Cavalry
  Private Walbert , 2nd KY Cavalry
Private Baker , 2nd KY Cavalry
  Private Smith , 2nd KY Cavalry
  Private Heath , 2nd KY Cavalry
  Private Elston , 2nd KY Cavalry
   Private J.W. Farley , 2nd KY Cavalry


In addition there were three known assistents that accompanied Jefferson Davis and the presidential party:


 Col. William Preston Johnston,
 Col. Francis R. Lubbock
 Col. John Taylor Wood,



 
 
 
 

Capt. Given Campbell

 
 
 

 Captain Given Campbell,

 Captain Given Campbell (s/o James Campbell and Mary Given) attended school in Salem Kentucky and was educated at the University of Virginia Law School. Prior to the war, Given moved to St. Louis, Missouri where he continued his law studies under Charles Drake in order to be admitted to the Missouri Bar Association.  When Federal coercive action threatened the State, Campbell enlisted in the 2nd Regiment Missouri Volunteer Militia under Col. John S. Bowen.  He then was elected Captain by the 53 member Company "G". On May 10, 1861 when the Missouri Volunteer Militia was peacefully gathered for their yearly drill and muster at Camp Jackson (at the time, just outside of city limits of St. Louis, Mo). Here the entire camp of approximately 700 militia men were illegally captured and taken prisoner by the fanatic, Capt. Nathaniel Lyon and his 10,000 man combined U.S. Army and German "home-guard".

After receiving his parole, Campbell returned to Kentucky where he enlisted as a private in Company "B", 15th Kentucky Cavalry. Soon he was promoted to Captain of this same company. In the book, "Morgan's Raiders", Dee Brown reports that Campbell earlier served in the 2nd Ky Cavalry, but this has not been confirmed.  Later Capt. Cambell would serve in Basil Duke's command in the Virginia theater of the later days of the war.  Following Lee's surrender at Appomattox, Campbell was selected to command President Jefferson Davis' escort composed of members of Duke's Cavalry brigade. Capt. Campbell along with the rest of the escort and President Davis were captured at Irwinsville, Georgia on May 10th 1865. This was exactly four years to the day, after Campbell's capture at Camp Jackson (10 May 1861).

Following the war, Campbell came back to St. Louis, and in 1865 married Miss Susan Woods. Due to extreme anti-Confederate politics, the Campbells left for New Orleans. After 1873, when the radicals back in Missouri were elected out of office, the Campbells returned to St. Louis where Given practiced law. Capt. Campbell in 1878 was elected to the City Council, and by 1880 he served as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention. After raising a family with three children, Given Campbell died in 1906, and buried at Bellefontaine cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri.


 

Capt. Luther Henry Conn

Veteran of Morgan's Raiders (7th KY Cavalry), Jeff Davis Escort and
Owner of U.S. Grant's Home, "White Haven".
 


Born March 14, 1842 in Burlington (Boone County) Kentucky to Dr. James V. and Mary E. Conn. His paternal grandfather was Captain Jack Conn of Bourbon County, Kentucky, who was a soldier in the War of 1812, was one of several credited with having killed the Indian chief, Tecumseh at the Battle of Thames.  Capt. Luther Conn was educated at Carrollton, Kentucky and was fortunate to have studied under Maj. John Magruder (later Confederate General) who was a professor at the institution.  When the war broke out in 1861, Luther Conn first enlisted as a private but soon became promoted to a Captain and served under the dashing Cavalry General, John Hunt Morgan. At the Battle of Murfreesboro, Capt. Conn was wounded, being shot through both legs. By the time of the celebrated Ohio-Indiana raid, Capt. Conn had recovered the use of legs and joined in on the invasion of the North. During this raid, Conn was captured and remained a Prisoner of war for nearly a year, staying  the following Federal Prisons: Johnson's Island, Allegheny City, Point Lookout, Fort McHenry and Fort Delaware. In late 1864, he was released and served in the Virginia theatre in 1865. With the fall of Richmond, Capt. Conn was part of Jefferson Davis' escort during their retreat to Georgia. Altogether during the war, he is recorded as having served in Co D 3rd Kentucky Cavalry and Co D, 7th Kentucky Cavalry of the Confederate States Army.

After the war, Conn returned to Kentucky briefly, before going to Arkansas to engage in Cotton planting. Not being satisfied with this profession, he decided to take a real estate job located in St. Louis, Missouri, which became very successful .  It was here that he became involved in many public projects including the construction of the "West End Narrow Gauge Railway, Jefferson Avenue Railway, the Southern Hotel, and the Merchants' Exchange. He also helped establish and improve  Forest Park which became the site of the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair. After President  U. S. Grant  passed away, he purchased the historic "Grant's Farm" and home, "White Haven". He took exceptional care of this historic estate, considering it to be a "shrine" to the American people, similiar to "Mount Vernon" or "the Hermitage".  Here Capt. Conn continued his interest in cattle and horse breeding. While being a democrat in political orientation, he turned away from serving in political office, except forserving as commissioner of Lafayette Park in St. Louis which he took great pride in maintaining.  Having married Louise G. Gibson (d/o of Sir Charles and Virginia Gibson) in 1871, they raised one daughter, Virginia May Conn who was a "reigning belle in St. Louis during her young womanhood." She later married Mr. Frank V. Hammer of St. Louis.

"White Haven", is now bing restored to the way it looked when Gen.Grant and Capt. Conn lived here. The exterior is green rather than white, contary to what the name leads one to believe. It is now part of the Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site and located at 7400 Grant Road in south St. Louis County, Missouri. [This home was originally built by the Sappington family which was very pro-Confederate, then puchased by the Frederick Dent family that was of mixed loyalities.] White Haven was the childhood home of Julia Boggs Dent  who married the future Union general. (Note: Frederick Dent, Grant's father-in-law was pro-Confederate, and probably had many heated debates with Grant at this house).  The Grant family lived in this home until 1868, and following Gen. Grant's death, Capt. Luther Conn purchased the property.

 

Capt. Luther Conn died on Oct 11, 1922 and is buried in Bellefontaine cemetery located in the north part of the city of St. Louis.

 
 
 

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Background midi, "John Hunt Morgan Song", Copyright 1998, Scott Williams, from the "Borderland Collection", All Rights Reserved. Source information on Capt. Given Campbell taken from, "A Self-guided tour of Confederate Graves at Bellefontaine Cemetery", by Gene Dressel of Sterling Price Camp, No. 145 St. Louis, MO.