Register Report First Generation

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48. Jane ROBERTSON (Elizabeth SHAWHAN4, Daniel3, Daniel2, Darby1). Jane was born in Clark County, Indiana, on March 12, 1818. Jane died in Grundy County, Missouri, on March 18, 1889; she was 71.
On October 5, 1837 Jane married James OVERMAN, in Clark County, Indiana. James was born in Clark County, Indiana, on October 15, 1813. James died in Grundy County, Missouri, on August 22, 1891; he was 77.
They had one child:

i. Eli Robertson.

Family of Joseph SHAWHAN (10) & Sarah "Sallie" EWALT

49. Joseph SHAWHAN (Joseph4, Daniel3, Daniel2, Darby1). Joseph was born in Harrison County, Kentucky, about 1798. Joseph died in Bracken County, Kentucky, before 1860; he was 62.
The 1850 Census lists Joseph's family as living in Bracken Co., KY. His parentage was unclear for some time, but there were clues. His marriage record indicates that he was wed in Harrison County; also, the death records of his first two children, William and Mary, (both died in their twenties), listed them as having been born in Harrison Co., KY, not Bracken County. Recently, thanks to the research efforts of a Shawhan descendant, Larry Megibben of Covington, Ky, we were able to find a copy of the marriage bond for the marriage of Joseph and Sarah Nesbitt, signed by a Joseph Shawhan and a John Nesbitt -- marriage bonds were normally signed by the fathers of the betrothed. The signature of Joseph Shawhan is a rather distinctive, clearly legible imprint. Comparison of the signature of this Joseph Shawhanwith signatures on other Shawhan marriage bonds of the era, offers strong evidence that the Joseph Shawhan who signed the Shawhan/Nesbitt marriage bond was Joseph Shawhan, 1781-1871, known in the family as "Uncle Joe", the legendary Harrison County, KY farmer, horseman, state representative, etc., who may have illegitimately fathered Joseph Shawhan, b. about 1798, before he subsequently married Sarah Ewalt.


CENSUS YR: 1850 STATE or TERRITORY: KY COUNTY: Bracken REEL NO: M432-193 PAGE NO: 445B. REFERENCE: Enumerated by Jos. Doniphan on the 24th day of August 1850


20 912 912 Shawhon Joseph 52 M W Farmer 500 Ky

21 912 912 Shawhon Sarah 47 F W Ky

22 912 912 Shawhon William 23 M W Farmer Ky

23 912 912 Shawhon John 14 M W Ky

24 912 912 Shawhon Joseph 9 M W Ky

25 912 912 Shawhon Mary 20 F W Ky

26 912 912 Shawhon Sarah 8 F W Ky
On December 23, 1825 Joseph married Sarah "Sally" NESBITT, daughter of John NESBITT, in Harrison County, Kentucky. Sarah "Sally" was born in Kentucky about 1803. Sarah "Sally" died in Bracken County, Kentucky, before 1860; she was 57.
Sally Shawhan was mentioned in the will of John Nesbit, probated March 1834.
They had the following children:

i. William H. William H. was born in Harrison County, Kentucky, in 1826. William H. died in Bracken County, Kentucky, on January 1, 1852; he was 26. per "Kentucky Kinfolk", Deaths 1852-1859, he died of consumption.

ii. Mary. Mary was born in Harrison County, Kentucky, in 1830. Mary died in Bracken County, Kentucky, on May 10, 1853; she was 23. per "Kentucky Kinfolk", Deaths 1852-1859, she died of consumption.

164 iii. John (1836-1923)

iv. Joseph. Joseph was born in Bracken County, Kentucky, in 1841.

The 1860 Census showed Joseph living next to the family of his brother John Shawhan in Switzerland County, IN; it listed him as being a 19 years old farmer.

165 v. Sarah Ann "Sally" (1842-)
50. Henry Ewalt SHAWHAN (Joseph4, Daniel3, Daniel2, Darby1). Henry Ewalt was born in Cynthiana, Kentucky, on November 20, 1805. Henry Ewalt died in Cynthiana, Kentucky, on March 4, 1882; he was 76. Occupation: Distiller, farmer, grocer, banker.

Late president of National Bank of Cynthiana. He was a farmer and prominent businessman of Harrison County, Kentucky; was born November 20, 1805 and died at his residence near Cynthiana on March 4, 1882. His parents were Joseph and Sallie (Ewalt) Shawhan. His grandfathers, Daniel Shawhan and Henry Ewalt, were both from Alleghany County, Pennsylvania.

His father, Joseph Shawhan, was born in the county and emigrated to this state with his children in 1788 and settled in Bourbon County. In 1816 Joseph moved to Harrison, where he died on September 16, 1871. He was a soldier of the War of 1812 and was for several terms a member of the Kentucky Legislature. He followed agricultural pursuits, was of Scotch-lrish extraction and was one of the most influential and valuable men in his county. At the time of his death he owned and had interest in several of the largest distilleries in the country and owned more land than any man in Harrison County.
Joseph was married in 1800 to Sallie, daughter of Henry and Elizabeth Ewalt of Bourbon County. The result of this union was seven children. (Only one now lives: Mrs. Margaret Miller, who lives with her son, William Miller, in Bourbon County. She is well stricken in years.) Sallie Ewalt, our subject's mother, was of German origin, but was a Bourbon County woman by birth and also belonged to one of the oldest pioneer families of the state. Her son, Henry E. Shawhan, of whom we write, was raised on the farm, his education being confined to the country schools as organized in his boyhood days.
He was actively engaged on the farm until 1838. In that year he turned his attention to the making of whisky and built a distillery in Harrison County, four miles from Cynthiana. From that time to 1869, in connection with his farming interests, he continued distilling and buying and selling whisky of various distilleries in that county.
In 1864 he took an interest in the grocery house of Shawhan and Jewett of Cynthiana. The following year he formed a partnership with Joseph Shawhan in the same business. In the following year he bought the interest of his partner and was sole proprietor of one of the largest grocery businesses in Cynthiana.
In 1874 he became one of a number of capitalists who undertook to build a narrow gauge railroad from Mount Sterling to the mountains into the coal and iron region of eastern Kentucky. Several miles of this road are in actual operation and its great local importance is now largely felt. It was the ultimate purpose of the originators of this valuable enterprise to terminate the road at Cynthiana. Mr. Shawhan was for several years one of the directors of this railroad and was largely interested in the state and the future success of the road.
In 1871 he was elected president of the National Bank of Cynthiana, which position he ably filled to the time of his death. He was always a Democrat and during the rebellion his sympathies were strongly with the cause of the south.
He was a man of sterling qualities, unmarred by deep prejudices, of plain, unaffected, honest manner, moved through life without show or pretense, was of irreproachable integrity of character and was a man of great physical endurance.
..... Shawhan was three times married:
October 20, 1835 to Mary Varnon, daughter of John Varnon, a Bourbon County farmer. She died in 1842. Two years later he was married to Sallie Pugh (nee Cantrill), who died in 1857. In 1859 he married Sallie Cult, a native of Bourbon County and daughter of John Ravenscraft, a pioneer of that country. He is the father of eight children.69
Research: Capitalist, farmer, distiller, banker, Henry E. Shawhan was one of the more influential men of Bourbon County in the mid-1800s. He helped finance and build the railroad from Mount Sterling to the mountains, which opened the way for coal and iron production in the region of Eastern Kentucky. In 1871, he was elected president of the National Bank of Cynthiana; and remained in that position until his death. During "the rebellion," "his sympathies were strongly with the cause of the South…"70
He was raised on the family homestead, educated in the county schools of the period, and actively engaged in farming until 1838. In that year he decided to go up into the whiskey-making business, together with other family members, and opened a distillery in Harrison County, about 4 miles from Cynthiana. He continued distilling, buying and selling the whiskey of various other distillers in the county for many years. In 1864, he became a partner in the grocery house of Shawhan & Jewett in Cynthiana, eventually building it into the largest grocery business in the area. In 1871 he was elected president of the National Bank of Cynthiana and the Shawhan family continued to hold important positions in Cynthiana for many decades thereafter, well into the 20th century. In 1874, he joined with other prominent men who undertook to build a narrow gauge railroad from Mt. Sterling, Ky., to the mountainous coal and iron region of eastern Kentucky. He was always a strong Democrat, and during the Civil War, his sympathies were closely tied to the cause of the Confederacy.71
Excerpts from Paris, Kentucky, "Kentuckian:"

"Henry Shawhan, in 1839, purchased a large farm at $100 per acre, being compelled to sell at fifty dollars, in the financial crisis that followed, he was bankrupted. Whiskey at that time fell from to to 12 1/2 cents. "Old Bourbon" however, has brought him out and he now owns several fine farms in Bourbon and Harrison. February 11 1866.

"Major S.M. Hibler of Lexington, and H.E.. Shawhan of Cynthiana, considered two of the most active business men in Kentucky were on the train for Lexington last Monday afternoon. These gentlemen are each 73 years of age, hale and hearty, June 5 1878."

BB-38. Cool Spring, Edwin Clark/Henry Shawhan House, Beech Spring, ca. 1860 Townsend Valley Road

The construction of this handsome Greek Revival house, called Cool Spring by 1861, is said to have ruined the builder, Edwin Clark, member of an old family in the area (BB-6).
Work was started at the beginning of the Civil War with slave labor, but the slaves were freed before completion of the house. The difference in wages bankrupted Clark, who sold the property in 1867 to Henry E. Shawhan.
This fine house has an ample two-story front block with a long two-story ell incorporating a handsome two-story gallery along the outer (north) side, like several other houses in Bourbon County, although the gallery is usually on the inside of the ell elsewhere. The facade is articulated by six full-height brick pilasters, but the octagonal wooden columns of the porch suggests a post-bellum date of completion. The interior woodwork, of cherry and walnut, is plain but impressive, with pediments in the central hall with its attractive spiral staircase, and high entablature in the parlor. The house is remarkably consistent and intact, although chandeliers and some other features were modernized during World War I. Behind the house is a brick two-room dwelling, probably servant's quarters, as well as several barns and outbuildings with Gothic bargeboards and some vertical siding.
Henry E. Shawhan (1805-1882), who purchased the farm after Clark's bankruptcy, was a son of Joseph Shawhan (1779-1872), a veteran of the War of 1812, State Legislator, and Harrison County distiller and farmer. One of the leading businessmen of central Kentucky, Henry Shawhan was a farmer, distiller and distributor of whiskey, and president of the National Bank of Cynthiana. The farm was acquired by Matthew H. Payne, a brother of Paris postmaster J. Walter Payne, after his marriage in 1905 to Shawhan's granddaughter Margaret Lynn.
Whitley and her sources; Perrin, esp. pp. 492, 678-79; Kerr, IV, 430-31.72
On October 20, 1835 Henry Ewalt first married Mary VARNON, daughter of John VARNON & Elizabeth “Betsy” WILLIAMS. Mary was born in Bourbon County, Kentucky, before 1813. Mary died in 1842; she was 29.

They had the following children:

i. Joseph W. Joseph W. was born on October 20, 1837. Joseph W. died in Died during Civil War, on February 8, 1862; he was 24.

166 ii. Mary “Mollie”

167 iii. Hubbard Warfield (1841-)

In 1844 Henry Ewalt second married Sarah “Sallie” CANTRILL73, daughter of Joseph CANTRILL (1780-) & Mariam FUGATE (1785-1853).74 Sarah “Sallie” was born on December 28, 1807. Sarah “Sallie” died on November 18, 1857; she was 49.

They had the following children:

i. Minnie. Minnie was born on February 5, 1846. Minnie died on August 6, 1870; she was 24.

Minnie married William Johnston COOKE. Occupation: Banker and mayor of Ashville, North Carolina.

ii. Henry H.E. Henry H.E. was born on October 25, 1854. Henry H.E. died on March 2, 1863; he was 8. Henry H.E. was buried in Battle Grove Cemetery, Cynthiana, Kentucky.

168 iii. Maggie Rebecca (-1879)

169 iv. Cynthia Arabella “Tinnie” (1848-1884)

v. Henry C. Henry C. was born after 1844. Henry C. died before July 1888; he was 44.

Until November, 1998, no Shawhan family researcher mentioned the name of Henry C. Shawhan as the son of Henry Ewalt Shawhan. In March 1998, I came across a picture of a (then) Shawhan in a “Shawhan” photo album owned by Mrs. Betty Hewitt Lair Wyatt, a descendant of Henry Ewalt Shawhan through the line of his daughter “Tinnie” Arabella May. The name “H. C. Shawhan, 1875” was handwritten on the cover of the photo album. After studying the photo album, I determined that it was a college “fraternity” brother album, because there were pictures of perhaps twenty young men. The only similarity between them was a small fraternity pin that each was wearing on his lapel. Upon closer inspection, I found “best wishes” comments on the back of several of the pictures. Also, it was my great fortune to find the actual picture of H. C. Shawhan himself. He looked to be in his early twenties. (Refer to picture on right).

On November 16, 1998, I received estate papers, will, and deed records of Henry Ewalt Shawhan. While reading Henry Ewalt’s will, I came across the following: “I give and devise my son H. C. Shawhan a tract of land allotted to me from my Father’s estate…(then a lengthy description of the inheritance--refer to Appendix E “The Papers of Henry Ewalt Shawhan” for original source material).”75 Henry also appointed H. C. Shawhan executor of his will. A Harrison County court record, dated 27 March 1882, gives us more information about this “lost” son of Henry: “A writing purporting to be the last will and testament of Henry E. Shawhan deceased was produced in Court and proven by John S. Boyers and Jas. S. Withers to be the proper hand writing of Said Testator when said writing was established as and for the last will of said testator and ordered to be recorded. Henry C. Shawhan the Executor named in the Will of H. E. Shawhan appeared in Court and consented to take upon himself the burden of the execution of the trust, and took the oath and entered into Bond as the law requires without security.”76

It appears that Henry C. Shawhan died sometime in 1888. Two estate settlements are listed for “Henry C. Shawhan deceased” the second of which reads: “Final settlement of the accounts of H. C. Shawhan dec’d as executor of the estate of H. E. Shawhan…”77

I placed Henry C. Shawhan as the son of Henry Ewalt Shawhan and Sarah Cantrill because (1) the middle initial could stand for “Cantrill” and (2) he is listed in Henry Ewalt’s will alongside the other children of Sarah. Also, one of the administrators of Henry C. Shawhan’s estate was J.C. May, the husband of “Tinnie” Arabella Shawhan. --REF

In 1859 Henry Ewalt third married Julia Sarah “Sallie” RAVENSCRAFT78, daughter of John RAVENSCRAFT (after 1786-1813) & Rebecca EWALT (November 28, 1787-October 1, 1861). Julia Sarah “Sallie” was born in Bourbon County, Kentucky, on December 19, 1808. Julia Sarah “Sallie” died on February 23, 1879; she was 70.

They had one child:

170 i. Annie Eliza

51. Sarah Elizabeth "Betsey" SHAWHAN (Joseph4, Daniel3, Daniel2, Darby1). Sarah Elizabeth "Betsey" was born in 1807.

Sarah Elizabeth, known in Ky. Records "History of Bourbon County" as "'Betsey' Ewalt, now Mrs. Lair of Harrison County." {Madsen, p. 27}


Marriage Bond (original located in the Harrison County Vault, Cynthiana, Kentucky):

Know all men by these present that we, George Lail and Joseph Shawhan are held & firmly bound unto the Commonwealth of Ky. in the sum of £50 current money and for payment, well and truly to be made and done, we bind ourselves our heirs, executors and administrators, jointly, severally & firmly by these presents sealed and dated this 3rd day of February 1823. The Condition of the above obligation is such that whereas a marriage is shortly intended to be solemnized between the above bound George Lail and Elizabeth Shawhan. Now should there be no lawful cause to obstruct said marriage then the above obligation to be void. Otherwise to remain in full force and virtue.


H. C. Moore

George Lail (seal)

Joseph Shawhan (seal)

To the Clerk of Harrison County, Kentucky

Sir in and by these presents I do autherise (sic) George Lail to apply to you for licens (sic) to marry my Daughter Elizabeth this given under my hand 3d Feby 1823

Joseph Shawhan (seal)

Joseph Shawhan (different signature)

Henry Shawhan
On February 14, 1823 Sarah Elizabeth "Betsey" married George LAIL, son of John LAIL (February 16, 1776-1853) & Mary Susan WILLIAMS (March 16, 1777-1850). George was born on February 22, 1802. George died on October 9, 1850; he was 48.
They had the following children:

171 i. Joseph (ca1824-1906)

172 ii. Margaret (~1821-1928)

173 iii. John Shawhan (1826-1878)

iv. William D. William D. served in in 1836. William D. died in 1867.

v. Alexander. Alexander served in C.S.A. Alexander died in killed Indiana Civil War., in 1864; he was 24. Alexander was born in 1840.

vi. Sarah.

Research: No issue.

Sarah married John RIGHTER M.D.79.

174 vii. George Henry (1841-1924)

52. John SHAWHAN Major, CSA (Joseph4, Daniel3, Daniel2, Darby1). John was born in Bourbon County, Kentucky, on April 2, 1811. John served in Veteran of the Mexican War; Confederate Officer, in 1846/1862; he was 34.80 John died in Morgan County, Kentucky, on October 2, 1862; he was 51.81 Occupation: Military Officer; Sheriff, Ky. Legislator.
Biography: Prestonburg, Kentucky
Several pieces of correspondence from The War of the Rebellion: A compilation of the official records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Washington: Government Printing Office. 1882. refer to John Shawhan. They are included here in date order.
Prestonburg, Floyd Co., KY., October 2, 1861
His Excellency Jefferson Davis,
President of the Confederate States of America:
Sir: Our Legislature has betrayed us. We have marched to this point on account of its strategic importance with 1,000 men. Hundreds are gathering around our standard daily. We can have 5,000 men here in two weeks. We would most respectfully petition Your Excellency to send us immediately some experienced military man to command us, and place us upon a footing to make ourselves available in furthering the cause of civil freedom, in which we have enlisted, and to which we pledge our lives and our sacred honor. Other information respecting our wants and our statitstics will be furnished by the commissioners who are the bearers of this petition.

Captain of Light Infantry Company (armed).


Captain of Cavalry Company (armed).


Captain Mounted Rifles (forty minies, with equipment).


Infantry (unarmed).


Infantry (unarmed).

A. J. MAY,

Captain, Morgan (unarmed).

JESSE MEEK, Infantry (unarmed).

Captain, Infantry (unarmed).


Captain, Infantry (unarmed).

Guards, Infantry

JOHN W. SPARKS, Captain84

Infantry (unarmed),


Report of Col. Joshua W. Sill, Thirty-Third Ohio Infantry, under Gen. W. Nelson (Union). Correspondence from The War of the Rebellion: A compilation of the official records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Washington: Government Printing Office. 1882.
Piketon, November 10, 1861
Sir: I have the honor to report that my command occupied this place yesterday afternoon about 4 o'clock. Colonel Metcalf's mounted force, in advance, exchanged shots with a pany, probably a reconnoitering one, who had just crossed the river. They retreated. I threw out Metcalf's and Hart's force, deployed as skirmishers, on the hill-side flanking the road, which debouched at the ford. They found the enemy's men, making off by the Shelvy road. A few rounds of shell were sent after them, and Metcalf's men mounted their horses and took possession of the town. The remainder of the force crossed on a raft bridge. I reamed that the enemy were occupied all of yesterday leaving. General Williams was here when the skirmishers opened fire. I now occupy his headquarters. The only casualty that I know of was 1 man killed on this side. On the route we encountered a company of mounted men twice. The first time our fire killed a horse and wounded 2 men. Night before last a renonnoitering company of 10, sent out by Colonel Metcalf, encountered Captain Shawn's cavalry, of about 150, and, it is reported, wounded Captain Shawn. His company went back in great haste. There are many particulars I will speak of when I meet you. Troops are very hungry. All that we can get is beef. There is a mill near here, which we will set in motion today, and get plenty of corn meal.
I am, very respectfully, sir, your most obedient servant,
J. W. Sill,

Colonel, Commanding


Pound Gap

Letter from John S. Williams, Colonel, Confederate States Army, to Brig. General Humphrey Marshall, C.S. Army at Wytheville. Correspondence from The War of the Rebellion: A compilation of the official records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Washington: Government Printing Office. 1882. Vol. 17., pp. 228-30.
Camp near Pound Gap, November 13, 1861.
General: Since my last report to you I have been compelled to abandon Piketon by an overwhelming force that advanced upon me in two columns, one directly up the river from Prestonburg, 1,000 strong, with a battery of six pieces, and the other from Louisa up John's Creek, a branch of the Sandy, numbering 1,800 men, with a battery of field pieces. Both of these columns converged upon Piketon.
My whole force consisted of 1,010 men, including sick, teamsters, and men on extra duty. I did not believe that the advance of the enemy would be so rapid, and hoped that the artillery and reenforcements promised would arrive before they could disturb me at Piketon. Under this confident hope I commenced gathering supplies, explored the leather resources of the country, found them abundant, and organized a corps of shoemakers, and had them at work. Major Hawes had purchased 1,000 fat hogs and a number of beef cattle, and was making preparations to salt them. My men were badly clad and badly armed, with not a knapsack, haversack, or canteen. They carried their powder in horns, gourds, and bottles. This was our condition when the enemy commenced the advance upon us. Retreat was inevitable, but there was too much public property to be abandoned without an effort to save it. I at once ordered all the transportation possible to be collected, and sent the sick, wounded and the live stock to the rear on the Pound Gap road, for the Tazewell route was no longer safe. I sent a small armed force immediately on the Tazewell route with written orders to turn back the artillery and all public wagons to a point of safety in Virginia. I then sent Captain Holliday, with a small mounted company, on the John's Creek road, and Captains Thomas and Clay on the River road to Prestonburg, to observe the movements of the enemy. This was on the night of the 8th. Captain Thomas discovered the advance guard of the enemy about 15 miles from Piketon. I went in person with Captains May and Hawkins, with their companies of infantry, and Lieutenant Van Hook, with 20 mounted men, to the position of Captain Thomas, near Ivy Creek. I found that Captain Thomas had burned the bridge there. The men were allowed to refresh themselves and the horses were secured in a deep mountain cave, and the whole party of 250 men moved on foot to a strong position half a mile in front of the bumed bridge, here to await what we supposed to be the advance guard of the enemy's force.
I resumed to our camp at daylight and met the report of Captain Holliday, who had been fired upon by an advanced guard of the enemy of about 150 men. He gave them a gallant fight, killed 8 of them, having only 1 of his number wounded and 1 horse killed. I dispatched Captain Shawn with his own and Captain Cameron's companies, to observe the movements of the enemy on John's Creek, with instructions to engage any party not more than twice his number, but not to attack the enemy's full force.
At 1:30 o'clock on the 9th instant the enemy moved up to Captain May's position (Ivy Creek) with a force of 1,600 men and a battery of six pieces, and were received by 250 rifles and shot-guns, in pointblank range, every one of which took effect. Their column wavered and fell back, but returned in good order, and attempted to carry the pass by assault under cover of their cannon, but were repulsed again with terrific slaughter. They then withdrew beyond the range of our shotguns, and their infantry up the hills soon outflanked our little band compelling them to fall back behind the burned bridge. Here our force made a stand, but the enemy advanced no further. I then ordered three more companies of infantry to sustain Captain May's command or to cover his retreat if necessary.
At 12 o'clock at night Captain Shawn reported to me that the enemy were advancing in full force on the John's Creek road with great rapidity. I then ordered Captains May, Shawn, and all the outposts in. I made a display of forces in Piketon, sent the exhausted infantry in the direction of our retreat, and waited with the balance of the command the arrival of the enemy. They came up slowly and cautiously, but were detained for an hour by Captain Thomas' company of sharpshooters, stationed near the ford, which prevented their artillery from getting into position to rake the town. As they approached I moved the rear guard of 400 men off in good order. They opened upon us a tremendous fire of artillery and musketry, and were replied to by our sharpshooters. We had 1 man killed and 3 wounded, while the enemy had 6 killed.
In the Ivy fight our loss was 10 killed, 15 wounded, and 40 missing. Some of the missing men have gone back to their homes, and others join us daily. We lost Lieutenant Rust, who fell gallantly in the discharge of his duty. My first belief was that the enemy had lost but 150 men, but from subsequent information received from spies, Union men, escaped prisoners who have joined us, and others who have examined their burial ground, I am satisfied the enemy lost over 300 in killed, with the usual proportion of wounded. I cannot speak in terms of commendation too high of the gallantry of Captains May, Thomas, Hawkins and Clay, and Lieutenant Van Hook and Sam Clay. Indeed, the officers and men behaved with so much courage and coolness that to discriminate at all would be invidious.
If we had 1,000 men more and a battery of six pieces we could have whipped and destroyed both columns; but with the small force I had it was impossible to fight both at once, and to have exposed my whole force to one would have exposed the rear to the other. Our cartridge boxes arrived the other day after the fight. We had powder and lead, and made our own cartridges and molded our own bullets.
The enemy have 6,000 troops near Piketon; 1,000 of them advanced 10 miles this side of that place. They have not more than 1,500 at Prestonburg. What they have below as reserves I know but little of, for all communication is cut off and the whole country is frightened out of its wits, and but few men will act as scouts or guides. I am satisfied that this large force was not moved up the Sandy merely for the purpose of dispersing the unorganized and half-armed, barefooted squad under my command. They intended to move upon the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad, I think, by way of the Tazewell Court House. They fortify their positions, and have a large number of wagons. The Sandy is now navigable for steamboats to a point above Piketon.
We want good rifles, clothes, greatcoats knapsacks, haversacks, and canteens indeed, everything, almost, except a willingness to fight. Many of our men are barefooted, and I have seen the blood in their tracks as they marched from Ivy to this place. You know what we want, general. Send such articles as we need to Abingdon. There is but little subsistence here, and I fear I shall be compelled to fall back to a point where I can subsist until our organization is perfected. We have been so constantly fighting that we have not had time to complete our muster rolls. I have now over 1,200 men. If I could make a forward movement the effect would be good upon the country.
Mr. Thomas has just received from the governor of Florida a commission as aide de-camp, with rank of colonel. I cannot insist on retaining him from such increased rank. Send somebody else.
If the enemy should move by way of the Pound I have not a sufficient force to resist them - no artillery, no intrenching tools, nor axes, spades, or picks. If they come we will give them a fight, but this will do us no good but to destroy a few of them.
I have just learned from a spy that a steamboat arrived at Piketon yesterday with supplies to the enemy.
Major Hawes wants more money. He has bought hogs, horses, wagons &c.
Your obedient servant, Jno. S. Williams, Colonel, C.S.A.
John Shawhan,


Gen. Humphrey Marshall's

Command, C.S. Army

Letter from R. Hawes, Major and Brig. Commissary, C. S. Army, to General S. Cooper, Adjutant-General, C.S. Army. Correspondence from The War of the Rebellion: A compilation of the official records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Washington: Government Printing Office. 1882. Vol. 17. D. 815-16.
Richmond, January 1, 1862.
Sir: As suggested by you in a conversation on yesterday, I briefly commit to writing the views then presented by me touching General H. Marshall's command in Eastern Kentucky.
The forces present and expected of General Marshall are about as follows:
Battalion KY mounted men 450

Col. John S. Williams KY Inf 900

Col. Triggs VA Inf Reg 750

Battery artillery, 4pcs 60

In the field, Paintsville 00

On Sandy 2160

This force was located as follows when I left headquarters on the 20th December:
Captain Cardell's company, Williams' Kentucky infantry, 135 men, at Whitesburg, Letcher County, on North fork Kentucky river.
Captain Worsham's company, Williams' Kentucky Infantry, 100 men, at


Two hundred Kentucky cavalry, under command of Captain Shawhan, at Salyersville and West Liberny, about 40 miles in advance of General Marshall's headquarters at Paintsville.
Our base of supplies is Abingdon, Va., or Wytheville, the former about 130 and the latter 150 miles from Prestonburg.
The operations of our army may be viewed as defensive, offensive, or both:
First. As a force to defend the mountain passes against inroads upon the railroad at Wytheville or Abingdon or forays on the northwest of Virginia we have very ample forces.
Second. As an assailing force our army is too weak, except by means of sudden and rapid marches of cavalry, acting in concert with our friends in Bourbon, Fayette, Harrison, Montgomery, Bath, and other contiguous counties. We hear of no enemy nearer than mouth of Sandy, at Catlettsburg, and Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky.
These may be stated as the bases of operations of the enemy: Catlettsburg, 60 or 70 miles from our headquarters, and Paris, on the Covington and Lexington Railroad, about 80 or 90 miles.
If we advance with our small force into Bath, Montgomery and Bourbon, the railroad would in two or three days enable the enemy to concentrate an overwhelming force to meet us. The transportation on Sandy River by steamboats from Catlettsburg is only available to the enemy in high water.
The only offensive operations we could effect would be by rapid marches of cavalry, in concert with our friends, into Bath, Montgomery and Bourbon, and Harrison; first, burning the bridges on the Covington and Lexington Railroad; second, opening the way for our friends to join our army and giving us civil and political strength; third, in opening a road for the fat hogs, bacon, and fat cattle of Kentucky.
It is my deliberate judgement, from a pretty accurate knowledge of the topography of the country and the company strength of our friends in front of our army, that with the prompt aid of 1,000 cavalry trained to mountain service we could accomplish the important objects above stated. But the work can only be done by the utmost expenditure.
When I left camp on the 20th the thing was certain if we had the force. I believe not it is practicable, but in a month from this time it would be unavailable.
The actual or threatened movement above indicated, even if it failed, would attract and engage a very large force of the enemy, and if we were faced by a superior force we could make good our stand and defense in the mountains of Sandy.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major, and Brig. Commissary

C. S. Army

Letter from Brigadier-General H. Marshall to General Cooper, Adjutant and Inspector General. Correspondence from The War of the Rebellion: A compilation of the official records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Washington: Government Printing Office. 1882. Vol. 22. p. 323-4.
Lebanon, Russell Co., Virginia, March 13, 1862.
General S. Cooper,

Adjutant and Inspector General:

GENERAL: I received yesterday the dispatch containing your special order touching the number of men, &c., in the Virginia regiments under my command, and I have placed the blanks in the hands of commandants to comply as speedily as practicable with your requirements.
In this connection let me call your attention to the battalion at Pound Gap - those special-service men. My advice is to disband them immediately, so that they may be embraced in the call for the militia, which will be a general service, or in the regular draft. They could not be induced to muster for three years, as I was led to suppose they would. If the Government would furnish horses to cavalry enlisted for three years, or during the war, I think I could raise a battalion very rapidly of the best material. Men cannot buy their horses and equipments. That day has gone by. I supposed it was the law (and think so yet) to furnish Government horses to men enlisting for the war, and accordingly I ordered the purchase of some seven or eight; but my attention was called to a printed circular departmental regulations, which declares that the Government will not furnish cavalry horses, and I desisted from further purchases. If I had the control I never would mount a volunteer upon his own horse or have in cavalry service any animal but a public one. A long experience as a cavalry officer with volunteers has made this one of my fixed opinions. Please to advise me whether I may or may not go on to mount a squadron or more. I have the equipments and sabers for a squadron of cavalry, but no horses.
After the resignation of Lieutenant Colonel Simms I found it expedient, for reasons connected with the harmony of my officers and the efficiency of the mounted force, to reorganize that force. A battalion of five companies (Thomas', Clay's, Holliday's, Cameron's, and Stoner's) have been placed in a battalion of mounted rifles. They have regularly elected my assistant adjutant-general as major to command the battalion, and he has entered upon the duties of his new office. I request his commission as major of the First Mounted Rifles of this brigade. It will be my object to swell this battalion to 500 men.
Charles Duncan, appointed by Lieutenant Colonel Simms, will remain adjutant of the battalion, and I ask his commission as adjutant of the First Mounted Rifles. Captain Witcher has a company of 64 mounted rifles, and Captain Stratton has another of the same, only partially made out. If these companies are made out they will be soon a very efficient corps - all Virginians. I hope to obtain a second battalion of mounted rifles; but that is not done yet. If the battalion at Pound Gap could be furnished with horses I make little doubt they will raise now to the Second Battalion a company or more, and would go in for the war rather than to be subject to the militia call.
If such an arrangement cannot be made with your approbation I will keep Captains Witcher and Stratton as an independent squadron of mounted rifles, for it does not suit to mix soldiers from different States in the same corps of volunteers.
The promotion of Major Bradley leaves the office of assistant adjutant-general vacant. I request you to commission my brother, Mr. Charles E. Marshall, whom I formerly nominated unsuccessfully as brigade quartermaster. His health is delicate, but still he desires to take the field, and I have great confidence in his capacity, and will soon be able to master all the duties of the position. Captain Shawhan received only yesterday his commission as major of the First Cavalry under the reorganization of the mounted force. His company of cavalry is the only cavalry I have. He will, I presume, return the commission under the circumstances, but I wish you to authorize me to request his acceptance of it, and so leave me a chance to assign to him troops, instead of having him assigned to men unwilling to elect him to office. I value him high; he served under me in Mexico, and I saw him borne from the field at Buena Vista badly wounded. I know he is gallant, and I would have appointed him to command my cavalry force had I the disposition of the matter. As I presume you will not recall the commission, I hope you will in a note to me request him to retain the rank. I can speedily make the actual command equal to the rank.
The condition of the regiments and corps composing this command suggests to me to ask for the appointment of an inspector-general, with the rank of captain. I very much want such an officer, and as this is a separate command and is now likely to be spread over a mixed force of militia as well as volunteers, I request the appointment of John M. Stansfer (who is now with me, and whom I can vouch for as a competent soldier and cultivated gentleman) to the post indicated.
Observing that the Governor of Virginia, under the late call of the President, has ordered the militia of the sixteen western counties to hold itself in readiness to obey the orders of General Heth or myself, and presuming that this order issued in conformity to an understanding with the Secretary of War, am I to presume also that General Heth and I are to command with the range of those counties? If not, should not some limit be established upon which our respective responsibility will be calculated? If the Department looks to me to guard the passages to the lead mines of Wythe and the salt-works in Smith, the roads leading in from the Sandy, I respectfully submit to the Secretary that I should be much disembarrassed by knowing the exact views and expectations of the Government, as also to have an answer to a question frequently propounded by me, whether I have authority in my own judgement of the necessity of the case to call out the militia, and, if so, for what time, or does it require an express authority from the Department of War?
I shall take immediate steps to ascertain the number and arms of the militia in the ten western counties. I am under the impression they will turn out (or can do so) about 5,000 men. I will cause them to be put in order immediately.
The enemy is still at Piketon in force, but the late floods in this region have done to him great damage - washing away his supplies and wagons and drowning (I hear) some of his men.
Respectfully, &c.,


Research: Letter from General Robert E. Lee to Brigadier General Humphrey Marshall. Correspondence from The War of the Rebellion: A compilation of the official records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Washington: Government Printing Office. 1882. Vol. 22.

V. 349.
Headquarters, Richmond, Virginia, March 19, 1862.

Brig. Gen. Humphrey Marshall,

Commanding, &c., Lebanon, Va.:

GENERAL: Your letter of the 13th instant has been received. You are authorized to disband the battalion at Pound Gap, received for special service, when you deem proper. There is no law for purchasing horses for cavalry service, and it cannot be authorized. Asst. Adjt. Gen. Benjamin F. Bradley will be appointed major, to command the battalion of Mounted Rifles. Charles Duncan cannot be appointed adjutant of the battalion; the law only authorizes the appointment of adjutants to regiments. Charles E. Marshall will be appointed adjutant and inspector general, and assigned to you temporarily for duty. John M. Stansifer will be appointed adjutant and inspector general of the brigade. Captain Shawhan can retain his commission as major of cavalry, with the hope that his command will speedily be raised equal to his rank.
You have already been served with the authority of the Governor of the State to call out the militia from the counties embraced in your operations. To guard the passages to the lead mines of Wythe and the salt-works in Smyth was one of the special objects for which your command was established in observation of the roads leading in from the Sandy. The counties of the State embraced within the limits of your operations are those from which you are to draw the militia and concerning which you must have an understanding with General Heth to avoid collision in your respective calls.
I am, &c.,

R. E. LEE,

General, Commanding.
Paris, Kentucky
Letter from W. H. Wadsworth to Major-General Horatio G. Wright (USA). Correspondence from The War of the Rebellion: A compilation of the official records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Washington: Government Printing Office. 1882. Vol. 28. pp. 547-8.
Headquarters, Maysville, Friday, September 26, 1862 - a.m.
Major-General Writght, Cincinnati, Ohio:
GENERAL: I have just received the following intelligence from P. G. Childers, who lives 6 miles beyond Paris, on the Lexington Pike. He left Covington Monday for his home; passed through Falmouth, leaving Cynthiana on his left; went through Jacksonville home; saw no rebel force, but heard of 1,200 or 1,500 at Falmouth.
He left T. K. Marsh's on foot yesterday morning about 8 o'clock and traveled the turnpike road to this place. He reports from actual seeing that General Heth arrived at Paris night before last (September 24) with 4,000 or 5,000 men and eight or ten pieces, coming in on the Georgetown road, and next morning (yesterday, September 25) took the Mount Sterling road, to re-enforce Humphrey Marshall, who is at Mount Sterling.
Day before yesterday Captain Shawhan passed through Paris for Mount Sterling with a company, and gave out that he was hurrying back to Humphrey Marshall, to whose command he belongs.
There seems no room to doubt that our General Morgan is near Marshall, and that the rebels are hastening to envelop him. I hope he may be supported.
I have the honor to be, very truly, your obedient servant,
W. H.


John Shawhan,


Gen. Humphrey Marshall's

Cavalry, C.S.A.

The following information was provided by Ron T. Shawhan, taken from "Morgan in the Mountains" by James M. Prichard and published in the October 1985 edition of Civil War Times.
Then a rebel force commanded by a Kentuckian and brigadier general, Humphrey Marshall, joined in the Confederate rush into the Blue Grass State. Riding into Kentucky from southwest Virginia, Marshall's soldiers passed through mountains north of the Cumberland Gap. Southern troops sat astride all of George Morgan's (Federal) supply lines. Faced with starvation or surrender, the Union commander instead elected to march his men out of the Gap and follow a hazardous route through the mountains of eastern Kentucky home to Ohio.
Gradually shifting their line of march to the northeast, the retreating Federals wound their way through the rugged wilderness to Hazel Green, northeast of Proctor. Morgan's troopers (Confederate) set out in rapid pursuit, reaching the mountain village virtually on the heels of the enemy column. However, halting briefly enroute, Morgan was reinforced by a portion of Humphrey Marshall's cavalry, commanded by Colonel John Shawhan, a fifty-two-year-old veteran of mountain warfare who had served with Morgan during the war with Mexico.
Late on October 3, the Confederates resumed their march to the Lexington area. At a point about eight miles from Morehead, northeast of west Liberty, a volley of shots suddenly rang out from a bluff overlooking the road. Colonel Shawhan fell dead from the saddle. During the confusion that followed, one Rebel was accidently killed by return fire.
Morgan's troopers quickly scaled the heights only to find that the bushwhackers had escaped. Ironically, these final shots of the campaign were fired by a handful of local youths, whose fifteen-year-old leader would later claim to have fired the shot that killed Shawhan. One of Shawhan's troopers placed the colonel's body upright before him in the saddle and bore his dead commander into Morehead. There a wagon was obtained to convey the remains home for burial.
Copies of the following article, "Civil War Reminiscences of John Aker Lafferty" from the Register of Kentucky Historical Society have come from two sources. One was provided by Ron T. Shawhan of New Providence, New Jersey. John A. Lafferty was 2nd Sergeant of Company K, Ninth Regiment Cavalry, C.S.A. He enlisted at Abingdon, Virginia on Nov. 20, 1862 as did Thomas Sheahan. Company K was organized at Prestonburg, Kentucky, September 1861 as Company A, 1st Kentucky Cavalry, under Captain John Shawhan, who was promoted to Major and was succeeded by H. V. Hauk. At the end of the first year all were discharged and reorganized as Company K, Ninth Kentucky Cavalry with James N. Fayser as Captain.
In April, Fort Sumpter was fired upon and fell into the hands of the Southern forces, which was the signal for definite action. The sympathizers of each side began holidng their separate meetings in little neighborhood groups to discuss the situation and to watch the trend of affairs. The meetings continued until it was seen that war could not be averted.
The summer season being well on, we began our preparations for making up a company to join the Confederate Army. Our first call was for a meeting at the depot grounds in Cynthiana. There being no armed forces in our county, such meetings could be held, at that time, without interruption. Companies were formed in different places for service on both sides.
At our first meeting, John Shawhan, who lived in our immediate neighborhood, and who had been a soldier in the Mexican War, acted as our leader, but we effected no regular organization. We held weekly meetings at that place and were drilled as a company. After a short time we moved our meeting place to what was known as Beech Bottom, now Poindexter Station, which was a more convenient place. There we increased our activites and kept our camp until September 15, 1861, when we started wouth to be mustered into regular service. At that time, Federal soldiers had come into the State and daylight meetings were not advisable. We planned a night meeting, to be held immediately, at the residence of Ben Desha, on the Falmouth Road, about two miles south of Cynthiana. After collecting there to about the number of one hundred and twenty-five, all mounted on horseback, we proceeded that night to Dud Van Hook's, fourteen miles northeast of Cynthiana, and thence to Al Byram's place in Bath County, and from there we continued our journey to Esquire Boyd's farm on Slate Creek, in the same county, where we stopped during the day. The second night we went to McCormick's place, now Frenchburg, at the foot of the mountains, and went into camp.
While there, we learned that Federal soldiers were in the neighborhood, and for the protection of our camp, we were given our first experience in standing picket. Being raw recruits, the prospect of having the enemy appear at any time, and having pickets at their posts with guns loaded to kill, made the situation rather exciting; but no trouble came to us while there. The next night we left that place and went out by Hazel Green to a farm owned by a widow by the name of Gardiner, near Sawyersville. After remaining there a short time we proceeded to Prestonsburg and went into regular camp on a farm called Garfield's Bottom. We received some recruits on our journey, and while there, recruits came to us in great numbers. We organized our company and several other companies were organized and all mustered into service about October 1, 1861.
Our company was made up chiefly of Harrison County men. (John Shawhan was Captain. Jo Will Shawhan and John A. Lafferty were drill Sergeants. J. Snell Shawhan was among the privates.)
After reorganizing our company, we drilled hard every day for about a month while in that camp and did some scouting service throughout the country. We then moved our camp to Pikeville where other companies were organized. Most of the companies composing our body were infantry; but ours, being mounted to do either cavalry or infantry service, was called Mounted Infantry.
After we had been in Pikeville a week or so, we received information through our scouts that a strong force of Federal soldiers was coming up Big Sandy River in the direction of our camp. This created must excitement and for the first time we began to realize what war meant. We promptly began preparations to meet the enemy face to face and try our skill at killing.
As the country around us was mountainous, we were in position to go out and select a place of vantage on the mountainside where we could take them by surprise and do serious damage to them before they came near our camp. A detail of one hundred and sexteen men was selected from among those assembled at our camp to go out and engage the enemy from the mountain side. Brother James D. and I were of the number selected. Nearly all our men in the detail were armed with double-barreled shot guns, and we had prepared cartridges, each containing eleven buckshot, so that such a charge would be very effective at short range. We went several miles from camp to a point on the Big Sandy River called the Narrows, or better known as Ivy Mountain or Ivy Creek. We left our horses at the top of the mountain in care of a squad of horseholders, and went down to a place where we established ourselves behind the rock~, about one hundred feet above the narrow mountain road which had been dug or blasted out of the side of the mountain. At that place the mountain was almost perpendicular. The road was about one hundred feet above the river, was very narrow and extended in that condition for about two miles. We were completely hidden from the view of those who might pass along on the road.
After a short time, the enemy under the command of General William Nelson and numbering about four thousand came along on that road and filled it full, as far as I could see, with men, wagons, and horses. The men, wearing their new blue uniforms, presented a grand appearance, marching gaily along, wholly ignorance of our presence. After the head of the column had passed us, Lieutenant Wm. H. Van Hook who was commanding us, gave the order to fire, and instantly all of our men fired their double-barreled shotguns from behind the rocks into the ranks of the enemy and continued firing as fast as they could reload their guns. At no time did we shoot at them more than one hundred to hundred and fifty feet away. We were so securely protected behind the rocks above them that when we stepped back to reload our guns we were out of all danger; and as we stepped forward to fire, we were only partly exposed for a moment.
Completely surprised by our attack, the whole body became panic-stricken and thoroughly demoralized. Passage forward or backward for a time was impossible and they were kept within easy range of our guns. With no escape, they in a disorganized way, opened fire upon us with slight effect. We fought for one hour and a quarter and our shotguns with buckshot were so effective at that distance that their losses were 160 killed and 500 wounded. Our losses were 7 killed and a few wounded.
During the progress of the battle when the confusion on the road was at its height, I could see, from where I was located, that a great many of their men and horses fell over the precipice into the river below, and I could see the water splash as they fell into it. No doubt most of them fell over from the effects of wounds and exhaustion but many were crowded over during the wild excitement.
Our ammunition became exhausted and we were ordered to retreat. By that time the enemy had climbed the mountain at a point two miles from us and was making an effort to prevent our escape. In retreating from our position we had to run for some distance over the top of the mountain to the place where our horses were in charge of the horseholders. Each man was making the best possible speed to get back to his horse. The wounded, one of whom was myself, together with our helpers, lagged behind our more fortunate comrades, who, upon reaching their horses, started posthaste to make good their escape. The horseholders, having heard that several of our number had been killed, ran also with the unclaimed horses in their possession. The horseholders should have held their post until it was certain that all who were able to return had arrived. However, they had not gone very far before they were informed that others were still behind, and they came back to us in time to enable us to reach our camp in Pikeville in safety. We left our dead behind. I hardly think so small a body of men at any time during the war fought greater odds and did greater execution.
The first man I saw killed during the war was Dr. _ of Owen County who fell by my side in that battle. I received two wounds, one in my left hand and one in my hip, though severe they were not dangerous. The bullet in my hip was not removed.
There was much sadness and sorrow in camp upon our return when it became known that seven of our men had been killed. The report also had the effect to fill each man with the determination to fight the enemy to the bitter end.
My wounds did not give me a great deal of trouble and about four weeks thereafter I was able to report for duty.
We did not remain in our Pikeville camp as the country around us was filling up with Federal soldiers. General Nelson's army was approaching us cautiously after our fight with them, and some of them came close enough to shoot across the Big Sandy River into our camp. Our numbers, organization and equipment were so inferior to theirs that we broke camp and went through Pound's Gap into Virginia. After a short encampment in that State, during which time we perfected our organization, exchanged our shotguns for army rifles and did a great deal of hard drilling, we returned to Kentucky and had a small engagement with General James A. Garfield's forces on Middle Creek near Prestonburg. There were but few fatalities on either side in that engagement and then we returned to Virginia and went into winter quarters at Lebanon.
While in Lebanon, an epidemic of measles broke out and a large number of our men died during that winter. When spring opened we started on a campaign into what was afterward West Virginia and fought a battle at Princeton. The enemy was commanded by General Jacob D. Cox. Our leader was General Humphrey Marshall, who commanded about three thousand men, including our organization, known as the 1st Kentucky Battalion in charge of John S. (Cerro Gordo) Williams. We won a brilliant victory over the enemy, which was composed largely of imported Germans who had come to this country to join the United States Army. They were brave men but not skilled fighters. They had drilled but little and used their guns as they were taught in their native country. They seldom put their guns to their shoulders in firing but shot from their side and did very poor work. Several of us walked over the field after the battle, and saw the trees were bullet marked on the side from which they fought up as high as forty feet, the same trees showed bullet marks on our side low to the ground, with few being so high as ten feet. They lost many, killed, wounded and captured; our losses were one killed and a few wounded.
We were by this time seasoned to the hardships of war. Leaving West Virginia in the summer of 1862 we again entered Kentucky through Pound's Gap. General Kirby Smith had begun an invasion of Kentucky with his Confederate Army, and we were ordered to Paris. We were there for only one night and were immediately ordered to join General John H. Morgan's forces which were trying to prevent the escape of the Federal General George Morgan, with his army of 10,000 men, retreating from the Cumberland Gap on his way to Ohio, by the way of Hazel Green, West Liberty and Grayson. Our Battalion, then commanded by Major John Shawhan, joined General John H. Morgan at Hazel Green and were able to harass the Federal forces by fighting them almost continually until they reached the Ohio River beyond Grayson and crossed over.
We were next ordered to Lexington. While on the march to Lexington, we passed through Rowan County, and about eight miles from Morehead Major John Shawhan was killed by bushwhackers. We had captured several bushwhackers on the march and after parolling them, let them go. It was our opinion that these men got ahead of us and reached the high bluff from which they shot as we passed along. Major Shawhan was killed and one horse wounded. Many of our men sprang from their horses and commenced to climb the bluff, but they were checked by a part of our command in front of us, which having heard the gun shots, halted, mistook our men for bushwhackers and opened fire on them. This stopped the pursuit for a few minutes, and by the time our men reached the top of the bluff, the bushwhackers had gone, leaving behind them one gun, a hat and a coat or two. Some of our men from the front and the rear of our lines rode through the hills in search of them, but as they were well acquainted with that mountainous section, they easily made their escape. Mat Messick placed the dead body of Major Shawhan upright before him on his horse and carried it eight miles to Morehead where we were able to get a spring wagon in which to carry it.
General Kirby Smith, with his entire army, was then marching through Kentucky on his way to Cincinnati, over roads that led through Harrison County. We continued our march until we reached Paris, then we, who were residents of Harrison County, were granted permission to go home for the night only and ordered to take the dead body of Major Shawhan to Cynthiana, where it was buried in the Old Cemetery. We were ordered to report the next day at Lexington.
We Harrison County men rode rapidly to Cynthiana, delivered the body Major Shawhan, October 7th, and dispersed to our respective homes were we spent a few hours, which was the only visit made to our homes during the whole war. By hard riding, we reported promptly at Lexington the next morning. When we arrived there we found the battle of Perryville was being fought and we were ordered to proceed at once toward the battlefield. We went over the Nicholasville turnpike and got within hearing distance of the guns. The battle being about over, we were halted and given orders to be ready to march next morning.
MAJOR JOHN SHAWHAN,85 deceased. The subject of this sketch was born Oct. 2, 1811, in Harrison County, Ky.; was a son of Joseph Shawhan and Miss Ewalt; Joseph being a son of Daniel Shawhan. The Shawhans came here from Maryland about the year 1795, and settled near the Harrison and Bourbon County line. To Daniel Shawhan were born eight children. Joseph and John settled in this county and were large landholders; Joseph served in the war of 1812; he died in 1872, in his ninety-third year; he was a farmer and breeder of thoroughbred horses; his children are as follows: Betsey, Henry, Daniel, John, Margaret, Rebecca and William. Betsey, now Mrs. Lail, of Harrison County; Margaret, Mrs. Pugh Miller, also of Harrison County. Rebecca married Wesley Hoggins, of Bourbon County, Ky. All his sons settled in this State; Henry, in Cynthiana, Harrison County; Daniel, in Bourbon County; John, in Harrison County; was a farmer, and served as Captain of Company D, in the Mexican war; was sheriff of this county, and represented both houses in the Legislature; run a distillery near Cynthiana; during the late war, in September, 1861, he raised a company of men and was promoted to Major of 1st Ky. Battalion; remained until Oct. 2, 1862; was killed by bushwhackers, in Morgan County, Ky.; his wife, Talitha, daughter of George and Sallie (Anderson) Ruch, Tennessee. To John Shawhan and wife were eight children who arrived at maturity: Sarah, Joseph, Maggie, George H., Helena, John, Daniel, Anna R.; and Joseph, deceased. Sarah and George H. reside in this county. George H. married Maggie Redmon, daughter of John T. and Nancy (Speakes) Redmon; is also a resident of Bourbon County.
John’s gravestone is the second left of four identical stones. From left to right: Tabitha (Rush) Shawhan, John Snell Shawhan, Joseph R. Shawhan, Anna R. Shawhan.




From The Cynthiana Democrat, June, 1896
In the war with Mexico, Cynthiana furnished a company of cavalry. Infantry companies were first formed but the 2d regiment at Frankfort was found full and the boys were compelled to straddle their firey steeds. The call was made May 22, 1846, and on June 6 the start for Louisville, the rendezvous, was made. One hundred and five men were enlisted. The officers were: John Shawhan, Captian; Henry VanHook, First Lieutenant; George Swinford, Second Leiutenant; Noah Patterson, Orderly Sergeant.
As the company passed through Cynthiana the streets were lined with sympathetic spectators. When the then Fowler's Cross Roads were reached, neighbors and friends were on hand with refreshments, and the same generous treatment was extended along the entire march through the


At Leesburg Abner Monson was seized with a sad case of nostralgia (sic), occasioned by recollections of a sorrowing mother and demostrations of the girl he left behind him. Arrangements for a substitute were effected and Abner returned.
Citizens of Georgetown turned out in force to receive the recruits. A visit was paid to the old hero and slayer of Tecumseh, Richard M. Johnson, and the Indian boys whom he was educating, were inspected.
The Colonel delivered a flattering speech in honor of the occasion, and declared that with 10,000 such men he could capture the ancient halls of the Montezumas in ninety days.
At Louisville the Cynthiana contingent was added to eight companies under Col. Marshall, and mustered into service. Some of the boys became sick and were compelled to return home, but ninety-six out of the original 105 went into the service.
From Louisville the route lay to Memphis, thence to Little Rock and on through Arkansas and Texas to Port Lavacha on the Gulf. Will Duncan died on the trip.
The Rio Grande was crossed and the enemy's country invaded. The Battle of Buena Vista on February 21 and 22 1847, was the company's first taste of real war. In that battle Capt. Shawhan's company lost these men: Corporal J.A. Jones, Privates D.P. Rogers, W. McClintock, James Pomeroy. Wounded: Captain John Shawhan, Wm. Snodgrass, I.S. Bryson, W.C. Parker, S.M. Vanhook, George H. Wilson, James Warford and Chas. H. Fowler.
That was the only battle of consequence in which the men were engaged. Active hostilities were confined to the Gulf coast. While on their way to the City of Mexico, the company's services of twelve months expired, and about the first of July they were taken to New Orleans, paid off and


It is believed that ten of the company yet survive; James Warford, of Millersburg; Wm. McChesney, of Lexington; Edmond Hawes, of Harrodsburg; Joseph Perrin of Falmouth; Dr. John Wall, of Flemingsburg; Orderly Noah Peterson, David Ross, Thomas Miller, George H. Givens, of Harrison, and Wes. B. Smith of Bourbon.
The DEMOCRAT is indebted to Mr. Wes. B. Smith for the facts in this sketch.86
In 1839 John married Tabitha RUSH87, daughter of George RUSH (September 16, 1796-May 16, 1856) & Jane (January 27, 1796-September 8, 1838). Tabitha was born in Bourbon County, Kentucky, on March 15, 1819. Tabitha died in Harrison County, Kentucky, on December 9, 1857; she was 38.
Tabitha’s gravestone sits on the far left of four identical stones. The spelling on the gravestone is “Tobitha.” However, her father George Rush’s will spells her name “Tabitha.” From left to right: Tabitha (Rush) Shawhan, John Snell Shawhan, Joseph R. Shawhan, Anna R. Shawhan.
They had the following children:

175 i. Sarah Jane (1839-1927)

ii. Joseph R. Joseph R. was born on October 12, 1844. Joseph R. died on August 27, 1859; he was 14.

Joseph’s gravestone is the second right of four identical stones. From left to right: Tabitha (Rush) Shawhan, John Snell Shawhan, Joseph R. Shawhan, Anna R. Shawhan.

iii. Maggie. Maggie was born in 1844.

On August 8, 1867 Maggie married John J. FUGATE.88

iv. George H. George H. was born in 1846.

Research: A "Geo. H. Shawhan" is listed as serving in the Ky., 4th Cav., Co. D, CSA.

A "George Shawhan" is listed as serving in the Ky., 11th Cav., Co. D, CSA. ("The Roster of Confederate Soldiers, 1861-1868," Vol. 2. Editor, Janet Hewitt. Broadfoot Press, Wilmington, N.C., 1995)
George H. married Maggie REDMON, daughter of John T. REDMON (October 4, 1821-January 28, 1882) & Nancy SPEAKES (-April 1857).
Notes for MARY "MAGGIE" REDMON: Perrin reports John T. and Nancy had a daughter Maggie who married George K Shawhan (p. 492); this could be the Mary, age 17, listed in the 1860 Bourbon Co census as daughter of John T.; she was not with John T. in the 1850 census when she should have be age 7, nor in the 1870 census (reported marriage was in 1869). She was again with John T.'s household in 1880, her relationship was "not reported" (possibly a widow).

George R was a son of John Shawhan, who was a son of Joseph Shawhan, who was a son of Daniel, the pioneer Shawhan of Bourbon Co. [Perrin, p. 492]. Marriage is in the Cynthiana News, October 21, 1869.

v. Helena "Wilma". Helena "Wilma" was born in 1848.

Cynthiana News, September 9, 1869:

Marriages: On Thursday, 2nd inst. at the home of Capt. Thomas E. Moore in this county, Mr. Noland of Germantown, Ky. to Lena Shawhan, daughter of the late Capt. John Shawhan of Harrison Co.
On September 2, 1869 Helena "Wilma" married James N. NOLIN.89

vi. John. John was born in 1850.

vii. Anna R. Anna R. was born on October 26, 1855. Anna R. died on January 31, 1876; she was 20. Anna R. was buried in Battle Grove Cemetery, Cynthiana, Kentucky.

Anna’s gravestone sits on the far right of four identical stones. From left to right: Tabitha (Rush) Shawhan, John Snell Shawhan, Joseph R. Shawhan, Anna R. Shawhan.

176 viii. Daniel (1852-1937)

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