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On December 7th, 1862 at the break of dawn, Confederate Colonel John Hunt Morgan, with his brother in law Deputy Cavalry Commander LtCol Basil Duke at his side and his uncle, Colonel Thomas W. Hunt, Commander of the Orphans, behind him, led a force of 450 of his Cavalrymen along with 750 members of the 2nd and 9th Infantry Regiments of the Orphan Brigade as they prepared for battle at Hartsville, Tennessee. They had traveled forty miles during the previous day and a half from Murfeesboro through an unusually heavy snow storm. After spending the night crossing the icy swollen Cumberland River they now worked their way to the top of the hilly terrain. The Federal garrison at Hartsville was only five miles away.

Colonel Morgan was known as "The Thunderbolt of the Confederacy" because of his lightning fast attacks and the Federal Army's inability to figure out when or where he would strike next. The garrison at Hartsville was believed to contain 1300 men, when in fact there were over 2100. Colonel Morgan's force will defeat them in what is still regarded as one of the boldest and most successful operations of the Civil War.

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