Morgan's Men Who Served
as the Escorts of President Jefferson Davis.
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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
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:
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
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,
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.
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.
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.