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History of 2nd Kentucky Mounted Artillery

The 2nd Kentucky Mounted Artillery was actually part of the Second Kentucky Cavalry regiment was formed from the remnants of John Hunt Morgan’s cavalry squadron, "The Lexington Rifles" soon after the battle of Shiloh, in early 1862.  This cavalry unit was noted for being as good fighting dismounted as they were on horseback.  The Second Kentucky was most noted for its skill at house-to-house fighting, discipline under fire, and maintaining rearguard actions.  John Hunt Morgan would always affectionately regard them as his "Regulars" and the mountain howitzers they used as his "Bullpups."


Throughout 1862-63, Morgan’s cavalry conducted a series of bold, and sometimes reckless raids through Tennessee and Kentucky. Unnerving Northerners, he launched a final, daring raid across Indiana and Ohio.  Morgan moved rapidly on these famous rides, cutting general supply lines, tearing up railroads and bridges, destroying large quantities of enemy supplies, and rounding up thousands of Federal prisoners.  They monitored pursuing enemy forces by tapping into telegraph lines, avoiding unnecessary combat, and dispersing to elude capture.


It was the Second Kentucky, attached to General Nathan Bedford Forrest, that fired the opening and closing shots of the battle of Chickamauga. The Second Kentucky (re-designated as the Second Kentucky Special Cavalry Battalion) elected to join President Jefferson Davis, thus making up the bulk of Davis’, (along with the Confederate Treasury’s gold) mounted escort.  As Federal forces were closing in, Davis dismissed his escort and continued on with a small bodyguard detachment. Upon Davis’ capture, it was discovered that 11 of the 12 troopers in his bodyguard were of the Second Kentucky. 


History of the Modern 2nd Kentucky

Originally formed by Captain Ralph Marcum,  the battery is the oldest of the BMA's batteries and along with their colleagues in the Wildcat Mountain Battery are a staple at most Eastern Kentucky reenactments. These folks are some of the most hospitable people around.