Department of Parks
Special Civil War Exhibit to Feature John Hunt Morgan Items at Columbus-Belmont State Park
COLUMBUS, Ky. - "The Horse Soldier," a special Civil War cavalry exhibit featuring rarely seen personal items belonging to Confederate Gen. John Hunt Morgan, will be displayed at Columbus-Belmont State Park through Nov. 1.
The special exhibit will tell the story of the "Horse Soldier" during the Civil War and highlight items used by Confederate cavalrymen, particularly those of Morgan and some of his fellow soldiers.
Among some of the items to be exhibited will be the cell door from the cell block of Morgan's imprisonment in the Columbus, Ohio, Penitentiary in 1863; the cavalry saber he used following his escape from prison in November 1863; and a revolver presented to Morgan in 1854 by Lexington Mayor F. K. Hunt, Morgan's uncle.
Probably the most personal item displayed is a neckerchief given to young W. B. Redmon on June 11, 1864, by Morgan after he ate breakfast cooked by the young man's mother, on the morning of the Battle of Cynthiana.
Morgan, a successful businessman in Lexington before the war, was known as the "Thunderbolt of the Confederacy" for his daring raids as a cavalry leader. He was killed in action at Greeneville, Tennessee, in 1864.
Columbus-Belmont State Park, located in Hickman County along the Mississippi River, has a museum, gift shop and campground. For more information, call 270-677-2327.
Columbus-Belmont State Park is a 160-acre site where fortifications were built by the Confederates and later occupied by Union forces. The 1861 Battle of Belmont, a raid fought to test the strength of this Confederate stronghold, marked the opening of the Union's Western campaign. It was also Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's first active engagement in the Civil War. Some of the artillery, which shelled the Union troops, and the six-ton anchor that held the great chain stretching across the river, are on display in the park.
The Kentucky State Park System is composed of 49 state parks plus an interstate park shared with Virginia. The Department of Parks, an agency of the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, operates 17 resort parks with lodges -- more than any other state. For more information on Kentucky parks, visit our website at http://www.parks.ky.gov