Woman has ties to Morgan’s Raiders

BARNESVILLE-A woman has discovered that three members of her family served in General John H. Morgan’s cavalry, and one was finally captured by the North in Meigs County during Morgan’s Ohio raid in July 1863.

As it happens, the three men (brothers) had family ties to the James Barnes family, the founding family of Barnesville. The Barnesville native-she asks to remain anonymous-describes herself as a history buff and genealogist and has participated in Civil War re-enactments. She tracked down a journal in Missouri by Captain Kelion Franklin Peddicord, one of the brothers, detailing his life in the Confederate service.

The journal was written by Capt. Peddicord at the request of his sister, Indiana Washington Peddicord Logan, and was published after the Captain’s death. Logan presents the family lineage and gives brief biographies of her other brothers’ lives.

The oldest brother of six siblings, Capt. Columbus Adolphus Peddicord, was born July 18, 1831, and served with Morgan’s independent scouts. In 1863 he was captured before the Ohio raids and was taken to Johnson’s Island where he spent 19 months “starving and freezing.” He was exchanged in Nov. 1864 at which time he found his wife in federal prison, an attempt by the Union to re-capture him. His father succeeded in freeing her, but her land in Tennessee was seized and sold during the Reconstruction.

In August 1867 he was coming home from a picnic with his wife and two young sons in a carriage driven by his long-time slave. Four men approached him and began antagonizing him. He asked them to stop, got out of the carriage and one shot Peddicord in the arm. Another shot him in the spine as the Captain tried to shoot back, and the men escaped. He died from his injuries 13 days later.

Carolus Judkins Peddicord, born Nov. 27, 1840, was the youngest brother and served in the First Kentucky Cavalry, Company A, during the first year of the war. He then became a scout for Gen. Morgan and served with his brother, Columbus. He and five others were captured by Gen. Eleazar Paine’s soldiers at Gallatin, Tennessee. His Union captors badgered Carolus for three months trying to get him to betray his friends and other Southern sympathizers. He continually refused, and, at the age of 22, he was taken several miles away from the prison and shot in the forehead.

The author of the journal, Capt. K.F. Peddicord, was born Oct. 1, 1833. He joined the Confederate army not to defend slavery, but to defend the rights of the states. He owned no plantation or slaves. He was born and educated in Ohio and was a successful engineer.

Much of the diary recounts attacks and movements of the various Companies and brigades, but Peddicord remembers one Christmas Eve in Glasgow, Kentucky, after a skirmish with a Michigan regiment, where he and another scout mixed business with pleasure: “during our march that night ‘Tom’ and I stopped at several parties long enough to enjoy a dance with some of the girls, very much to their surprise-and gratification, they said. They had not the remotest idea that Morgan was near. But we danced our set, though the whole country was alive with the enemy”

A few months later, Peddicord and his brigade were taken by Yankee forces near Chester, Ohio on July 19, 1863. They reached the Ohio River and chased away 300 militiamen from Marietta. Darkness and fog impeded their progress in crossing, and Peddicord and his men were ordered to find boats but could not. By morning the 1,500 Morgan’s Raiders were surrounded by 60,000 Union troops, militia and armed civilians, and Morgan knew not everyone could be saved.

Peddicord writes, “how easily we could have escaped the coming disaster, and yet we never suspected that such would be our fateUntil noon we lost little of our position; but it was very evident that we would have to yield finally, or run for itWhile a portion was holding the Yankees in check, under a terrible fire of shot and shell, our General made his escape up the river with the remainder. And for the first time a white flag, the sign of surrender, was seen in charge of an officer going to the enemy’s lines.”

He was paraded with the other prisoners through the streets of Cincinnati, held there, then sent to subsequent prisons in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Maryland and Delaware. Peddicord was released in June 1865. He returned to Kentucky, and he moved to Missouri in 1867. He died there in August 1905.

“There was a lot of animosity between the North and South,” says his Barnesville descendant. She tells a story of her great, great grandfather riding with Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman, and his wife, her great, great grandmother being chastised by neighbors for giving Yankee soldiers milk and cookies.

“I didn’t see the enemy,” her grandmother replied. “I saw tired, hungry, thirsty boys trying to stay on their feet.”

A dedicated soldier, Peddicord has also put a human face on war through his journal. He notes, “I have, intentionally, omitted to mention the loss of men. Not that I do not remember, but because it would be a sorrowful task, and a subject too sacredly sad for me to handle.”

Valenti can be reached at gvalenti@timesleaderonline.com.