Dr. Lowell H. Harrison, Author, Civil War in Kentucky, Prof Emeritus, Western Kentucky University - One of the most thoroughly researched pieces of work that I have even encountered. Betty J. Gorin has explored every possible lead that would help tell the story of Morgan's repulse at Tebbs Bend that, I believe, was the real turning point in Morgan's career.
Dr. James A. Ramage, John Hunt Morgan's biographer, Regents Prof of History, Northern Kentucky University - Gorin's valuable, exhaustively researched book provides new perspective on the Civil War in south central Kentucky. She asks the right questions and includes new and valuable maps and related Civil war events to identifiable locations today. Gorin provides the first detailed account of the life of Union Col. Orlando H. Moore and the first in-depth description of his outstanding victory over Morgan at Tebbs Bend early in the Great Raid. No stone is left unturned, and readers will enjoy this book.
Stuart W. Sanders, Civil War Specialist, KY Historical Society - Gorin has unearthed a valuable trove of information related to the Civil War in south central Kentucky. Her work will stand as a solid source for those interested in the commonwealth's Civil War heritage.
David M. England - A wonderfully detailed book about John Hunt Morgan and his Civil War exploits in central Kentucky. Please note that this work is not another romanticized biography of this famous Civil War guerilla fighter, but a thoroughly researched work on Morgan's guerilla activity in this geographic region of central Kentucky. Mrs. Gorin is a highly respected historian and genealogist, which allows her to utilize her minute attention to detail of local history that she has gleaned through her many years of research in central Kentucky. The book is profusely illustrated with photos of local and miliary individuals of the time, houses, military items and uniforms, as well as maps. It is rare to see this much attention to detail in a work of this type. Mrs. Gorin even goes into detail of the merchants and local businessmen of the area, even discussing the politics of the time, noting that in the election of 1860 only one individual voted for Abraham Lincoln in Taylor County.
It is also the first fully detailed treatise on the Battle of Tebbs Bend in 1863, in which five Union companies from Michigan, commanded by Michigan Col. Orlando H. Moore, were surrounded by Morgan's men who outnumbered them 4 to 1. Morgan requested their surrender, but being July 4th Moore's response was: "Present my compliments to General Morgan and say, this being the 4th of July, I cannot entertain the proposition to surrender."
Mrs. Gorin is probably the foremost authority on this battle and gives the reader a front row seat in the battle. She also details one of John Hunt Morgan's most famous military maneuvers that he used in this battle in order to confuse the enemy in thinking he had more men than he actually did have.
If you love history, and if you have ancestors that came from Central Kentucky during this time, you will not be disappointed by this book. Thanks to Betty J. Gorin, Morgan is Coming, has finally arrived!
I was going to write a review for this excellent book, but then read David's review and decided he has really said it all. I own most of the books written about Morgan and find most of them to be lacking in details. Mrs. Gorin's work certainly doesn't fall into that category. My Great- Grandfather was in Company 'I' of Morgan's 7th Kentucky (often called the 3rd) and his home was just a few short miles from Tebbs Bend. I had not realized that his unit was so heavily involved that day until reading her account. She has provided numerous leads for me to follow as I try to detail his service with Morgan. if you are like me and enjoy facts and details rather than romance, you will enjoy this work.
I also enjoyed this great book. My GG Grandfather fought that day with Co. I of the Michigan 25th Infantry. He ended up being wounded in the battle. This book, by far, is the most detailed description of the Battle of Tebbs Bend. What little that is out there is usually a couple of sentences or a paragraph or so in a few Civil War books. This truly is a remarkable story that every student of the Civil War should read.
Andrew Waggenhoffer, Civil War Book & Authors
Posted by Drew@CWBA
With her book "Morgan is Coming!": Confederate Raiders in the Heartland of Kentucky (Harmony House Publishers, 2006 2nd ed.), Campbellsville historian Betty J. Gorin has written an exceptional piece of local history. Beginning with a short background sketch of Campbellsville, Kentucky, Gorin devotes succeeding chapters to capsule histories of the various John Hunt Morgan cavalry raids that passed through her main geographic region of study (roughly the counties of Marion, Taylor, and Green). These include Morgan's Pleasant Hill Raid, First Kentucky Raid, Christmas Raid, and 1863 Great Raid. However, Morgan's capture at the end of the Great Raid did not end these unwelcome visitations. In November 1864, brutal pro-Confederate guerrilla Henry C. Magruder attacked Campbellsville. In addition, at the end of December, raider Hylan B. Lyon passed through Taylor County during an almost month long raid into Kentucky.
"Morgan is Coming!" is clearly a labor of love for the author and the product of many years of meticulous research in primary sources. Gorin's expert knowledge of the people, places, and events of the Civil War in south central Kentucky really shines through in the book's centerpiece, a dazzling study of the stretch of Morgan's Great Raid from the crossing of the Cumberland River through the capture of Lebanon. This includes detailed accounts of the battles at Columbia, Tebbs Bend, and Lebanon. According equal attention to each side, the microtactical treatment of the Battle of Tebbs Bend is exceptional in depth and in its analysis of terrain and tactics. The book's exposition of the twists and turns of the career of the Union hero of Tebbs Bend, the 25th Michigan's commander Orlando H. Moore, is particularly fascinating. Gorin also traces how post war politics affected the battle's commemoration. The text is enhanced immeasurably by the inclusion of many dozens of photographs (both period and modern), drawings, and artwork. Several archival maps are reproduced in the text and end pages. Additional original maps (operational and tactical scale) are sprinkled throughout the text, all well done. Numerous appendices contribute election data, demographic information, casualty lists, letters, official reports, local legends, and even poetry. The production of such a beautiful, richly detailed book certainly is the result of an unusual level of dedication by the writer and publisher. Historians, researchers, local residents, genealogists, battlefield tourists -- any reader interested in Morgan's raiders or Civil War cavalry and Kentucky's wartime history in general -- will benefit greatly from digesting the rich offerings of this prodigiously researched study. Highly recommended.
Civil War Courier Book Review
Dr. B. Franklin Cooling, Professor, Grand Strategy & Mobilization, National Defense University, Washington, D.C.
John Hunt Morgan, more than any other Kentuckian was the hero of Bluegrass Confederates. True, John C. Breckinridge, scion of one of Kentucky's premier families and later Confederate general as well as Simon B. Buckner, another well-known Kentucky southern military figure, may lay claim to such a title. Still, Morgan was the most colorful and the most sensational.
His bon vivant crew of raiders periodically liberated their state from Union Oppression or at least disrupted Yankee occupation. As the book title suggests, Kentuckians wither welcomed or feared when he was coming. Kentucky never left the Union during the war but the dark and bloody ground was just that throughout the conflict. And, Morgan and his band helped make it so. Betty Gorin's account of Morgan's Christmas Raid and his Great Raid includes photographs, appendices, letters, diaries, and news articles that will delight followers of the beau cavalier.
She particularly keys upon the battle of Tebbs Bend-Green River Bridge, July 4, 1863 and the actions of Michigan Colonel O.H. Moore who defeated Morgan there. There is more to the state's wartime experience than Morgan's escapades, but this is the stuff that "buffs" love and underscores perhaps the high point of Morgan's success. He ended up in the Ohio state penitentiary and was never as effective again.
Gorin also includes a chapter on Hylan B. Lyon's subsequent foray burning courthouses as well as the state's disintegration into guerrilla warfare, and she notes that William Quantrill ultimately met his fate in Kentucky not Missouri. Here is a south-central Kentucky Civil War history in depth and colorfully directed prose designed to give the reader a crisp focus on people and events. Obviously, Morgan fans, will relish yet another work on their hero.