Thomas Stevens is a member of the Jerome B. Robertson Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp in Brenham, Texas, and the author of a new book, Tennessee Preacher, Tennessee Soldier, the Civil War Career of Captain John D. Kirkpatrick, CSA, One of Morgans' Men. It may be purchased at either Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Here is a summary of the book:
In early 1861, young Cumberland Presbyterian minister John D. Kirkpatrick, following in his grandfather and great-grandfather's footsteps, was preaching at his first church near Nashville, Tennessee. At that time, war fever was raging in the South, and even before Tennessee seceded, John heeded the call to arms and joined the First Tennessee Volunteers. It was no surprise that John would enlist in the Confederate Army; like many in the South, his family had a long tradition of military service to their country. A year later, he became a Captain in the Ninth Tennessee Cavalry, which soon was attached to Confederate General John Hunt Morgan's Cavalry Brigade. He was with Morgan at the Battle of Hartsville and on the Christmas Raid into Kentucky. Captured in Gallatin, Tennessee, he was able to escape. At the battle of Vaught's Hill, near Milton, Tennessee, he commanded his regiment. On Morgan’s famous Indiana-Ohio raid, John was with the first troops that crossed the Ohio River at Brandenburg, Kentucky. When the Union forces finally defeated Morgan on the banks of the Ohio River at Buffington Island, John narrowly avoided capture because he had been sent across the river just before the battle to secure the east bank. He then led 110 men to safety through the mountains of West Virginia, arriving in Confederate territory in time to fight under Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest at Chickamauga. He commanded a battalion of Morgan’s men on General Joseph Wheeler’s raid through Middle Tennessee, and, as Wheeler retreated into Alabama, commanded the rear guard at a bloody fight at Sugar Creek. John fought at Missionary Ridge, Ringgold Gap, and again under Wheeler at Charleston, Tennessee. He rejoined Morgan after his escape from prison, and commanded a battalion at the Battle of Cove Gap, and on Morgan’s Last Kentucky Raid. Although severely wounded at Cynthiana, Kentucky on that raid, he miraculously escaped capture and, with his right arm disabled, made his way back to Wytheville, Virginia, a two hundred mile trip through the mountains of eastern Kentucky. Undaunted, he spent the last few months of the war trying to get authorization from Richmond to raise a regiment of cavalry to fight under Forrest. After Lee's surrender at Appomattox, he appears to have been a part of General Basil Duke’s force that escorted Confederate President Jefferson Davis into Georgia. When Duke dismissed his troops near Washington, Georgia, John headed west. He surrendered at Marion, Alabama, five weeks after Appomattox, and then headed home. After the war, he successfully led several churches in Nashville, taught theology at Cumberland University in Lebanon, and published a newspaper. When General Morgan’s daughter, Johnnie Hunt Morgan Campbell, died, he helped officiate at her funeral at the Lebanon Cumberland Presbyterian Church. On his death, Cumberland University named their new home Kirkpatrick Memorial Hall. This book is his story.
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