Mount Vernon’s Gen. George W. Morgan served with some distinction early in the war in Eastern Kentucky, commanding a division in defense of Cumberland Gap until he was forced to retreat when Confederate forces invaded the state in 1862.
He was moved to West Tennessee, where he still commanded a division, and served under Gen. William T. Sherman in the Chickasaw Bayou expedition. During that campaign, Morgan incurred the wrath of Sherman, who accused him of not carrying out his orders with enough energy.
He was then part of the expedition into Arkansas and served with distinction at the one-sided battle of Arkansas Post.
His division became part of the 13th Corps and served in the Vicksburg campaign under Gen. John McClernand until he resigned in June of 1863. Some sources say he resigned because he disagreed with the policy of organizing regiments among free blacks and from the freed and escaped slaves. In a letter that finally appeared in the Democratic Banner in October of 1863, he said he resigned due to his health.
The Banner had run nothing on Morgan since he had resigned, but on Oct. 3 the notice appeared that “Gen. George W. Morgan will address the Democracy of Knox County, at Mount Vernon, on Saturday, October 10 at 1 o’clock P.M. Let the Democracy and other friends of the Union and the Constitution, turn out.”
The next week, the Banner ran a short report on a speech Morgan gave in Mansfield, and a long letter from Morgan, dated Sept. 28, explaining his opposition to the Lincoln administration and his support for Clement Vallandigham in the Ohio election.
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