Twenty-Five Damned Yankees

Twenty-Five Damned Yankees (HM1ET2)

Location: Bardstown, KY 40004 Nelson County
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Country: United States of America
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N 37° 48.681', W 85° 27.962'

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The Great Raid

— July 5-6, 1863 —

Capt. Ralph Sheldon, leading several hundred Confederates of Company C, 2nd Kentucky Cavalry, descended on Bardstown on Sunday morning, July 5, 1863. They drove the handful of Union troops occupying Bardstown into a livery stable two blocks north of the courthouse. Lt. Thomas W. Sullivan of the 4th U.S. Cavalry took up position in the livery stable and defended it for several hours against the attacking Confederates.

After the initial assault, Capt. Sheldon demanded the Union troops' surrender. Lt. Sullivan rejected the demand and the battle resumed and continued all evening. To prevent the trapped Union soldiers from escaping, Capt. Sheldon had his men stretch ropes across the street. The Confederates even tried to set the stable on fire, all to no avail. The Union soldiers put out the fire and continued to resist the Confederates.

Just before daylight on Monday morning, July 6, 1863, Gen. John Hunt Morgan arrived from Springfield. Capt. Sheldon was sent into the stable, again demanding that the Union troops surrender. Sheldon flatly told the lieutenant "If you refuse, we will blow you to hell with our artillery." Sullivan replied "I am obliged to the General's kind intentions, but it is our duty to trouble him a little longer." After the Confederates left, small arms fire began. Finally, the Union sentinels reported to Lt. Sullivan that the streets outside were filled with Confederates and that four artillery pieces were in position to fire on the livery stable.

At this point Lt. Sullivan knew his situation was hopeless. Carrying a flag of truce, Sullivan emerged from the building. Col. Richard Morgan immediately rebuffed him: "Go back, you have already refused these terms twice. You have no right to demand them now." With no other choice, Sullivan returned to the stable and prepared for the Confederate attack. Morgan then sent in a flag of truce and demanded that the Federals unconditionally surrender, which they did. Gen. Morgan fussed after the soldiers had filed out, "You twenty-five damned Yankees have cost me twenty-four hours." Shortly afterward, about 10 a.m., Morgan's command left Bardstown on the Shepherdsville Road, heading northwest, toward the Ohio River.
HM NumberHM1ET2
Placed ByThe Kentucky Heartland Civil War Trails Commission
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 at 4:49am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16S E 635026 N 4185992
Decimal Degrees37.81135000, -85.46603333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 48.681', W 85° 27.962'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 48' 40.86" N, 85° 27' 57.72" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)502
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 247-299 N 3rd St, Bardstown KY 40004, US
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