The Fighting Petticords

Part II

Kelion F. Peddicord 

Note:  This narrative was likely written by his sister Indiana Washington “India” Peddicord.

Kelion F. Peddicord was born October 1st, 1833 on a farm near Barnesville, in Belmont County, Ohio, the home of his grandfather Jasper Peddicord.  He was the second son of Wilson Lee Peddicord and Keturah Barnes Hobbs, and he remained unmarried.  Suffice it to say that Kelion was well educated for the time, attending high school, even attending the larger academy when built.  His studies included grammar, field practice in surveying, geology, and geometry.  His first educator was a Mr. Asher, followed by Joseph Harris and Nathaniel R. Smith, of “Smith’s Grammar,” fame.  His education was excellent especially for the time, and prepared him for his career in civil engineering and in the classification of materials.

Wilson Peddicord had six teams of horses and six wagons in his freight operation.  He hauled cargo from Ohio to Maryland and back.  Tobacco was hauled east, and dry goods and merchandise of every description west in return.  Kelion worked for his father in various capacities from the time he was 12, [1845] until just before he was 21 when he received an appointment as second assistant civil engineer for Benjamin F. Latrobe in Baltimore Maryland.  Until he left employment with his father, his family had moved to Washington County, Ohio, thence to Virginia where his father was doing grading work for the Northwestern Virginia railroad then under construction.  He received an appointment and was assigned to that same railroad.  On December 15th, the family moved to Tennessee where his father contracted to the L & N railroad doing grading.  Less than a year later Kelion was ordered to Nashville to be a civil engineer on that same project.  He was to inspect cross ties and bridge masonry and superstructure.  While in Nashville, he climbed the spire of the state capitol, and hung his hat on the point.  This adventuresome spirit and disregard for his personal safety qualified him later for life as a scout in Morgan’s cavalry.  Although he was born in a northern state, his love was for the south, and he was offered a fine position with Co. Nathan Bedford Forrest’s cavalry, who was recruiting in Kentucky which he reluctantly declined because he had made a commitment to his company which obligated him.  The qualities of loyalty he displayed in his refusal followed throughout his life and served him well.

He did join the Confederate States Army as first Sergeant Co. C, 2nd Kentucky Cavalry, on October 11th, 1861 in Glasgow, Kentucky, Morgan’s Regiment.  He was taken as a prisoner of war at Buffington Island, Ohio July 19th, 1863, as a 2nd. Lt. Co. B, Morgan’s Cavalry, and was received at Fort Delaware, Del., Point Lookout where he was exchanged or released July 25th, 1864.  Kelion Peddicord must have been a very influential officer and scout when with Morgan’s Cavalry.  He kept a journal of his time in the army, that is extant but unavailable to me, however, he has 16 references made to him by Dee Brown, in his book “Morgan’s Raiders.”  Many of Brown’s details come from Basil Duke’s recollections, interviews, and writings.  On July 4th, 1863 reentering, Kentucky, Brown writes:  “Moving ahead of the column was a newly organized company of sixty scouts, especially trained by Morgan and Grenfell.  Acting as captain was Tom Quirk with Tom Berry and Charles Rogers as lieutenants.  The scouts maintained an interval of four hundred yards to the front, and after bushwhackers began annoying the column, the best sharpshooters of the company were detailed as defensive rear guard…..Kelion Peddicord, one of the members of this special organization, afterward remembered the rapid fire action demanded of them by Tom Quirk, declaring that the Irishman’s favorite order was “Double Quick! Forward!”[1]

“Basil Duke commented about General Johnson’s comprehension of the new style of cavalry and its reluctance to rely on the saber charge:  General Johnson was evidently a fine officer……. but he seemed not to comprehend the new style of cavalry’ at all.”  At this stage in the development of the regiment, some of the junior officers still carried the shiny blades for show, and Morgan occasionally rode with a sword, but…….Kelion Peddicord of the scouts noted:  “Sabers were useless ornaments in our service.  The trooper that attempted to carry one would be forever after a laughing stock for the entire command.”[2]  Kelion Peddicord remembered

A time in Tennessee when Morgan promised his men new overcoats and horses as a reward for following him on this expedition:  And, when the Federal Cavalry came into view, Morgan shouted [to his men] “Boys there are the horses I have promised you!”  And he added:  “Be careful how you take them, each horse has an armed man on his back!”  A battle raged for an hour and the Federals surrendered.  To obtain the overcoats promised the scouts, Morgan ordered the 104th Illinois drawn up, in line and gave a most unusual order not to be found in a military manual.  “104th Illinois, attention!  Come out of them overcoats!”  Kellion Peddicord recorded, “The overcoats were dyed black, and worn by our men ever afterward.”[3]  On December 25th, Tom Quirk and Kelion Peddicord stopped at several Christmas Parties and danced with the girls.[4]  This occurred in the vicinity of Glasgow, Kentucky.

On Morgan’s Christmas Raid, when he was trying to avoid the 8,000 Federals at Lebanon, he diverted his forces in the direction of St Mary’s.  Quirk’s scouts with companies from the 2nd and 11th, drove the pickets back to Lebanon.  “This was done in gallant style,” said Kelion Peddicord.[5]  Later crossing the Cumberland River, in July, of 1863 Quirk’s scouts battled naked Federal soldiers of Frank Wolford’s command.  They had removed their uniforms in order to swim the river.  Kelion Peddicord commented, “Only one man received a wound, Captain Tom’s whose rein arm was broken.”  On Wednesday July 8th, 1863 after Morgan’s men took the town of Brandenburg, Kentucky, and set afire the steam boat Alice Dean, Kelion Peddicord reported, “Some of the boys gave Champaign parties that night, doubtless taken from the stores of one of the steamers, as also were a few other luxuries that had so mysteriously come in to their possession.  After satisfying their unnatural appetites, all took a sly snooze, dreaming of home and the fair fields beyond the waters.”

Peddicord was captured with Morgan at Buffington Island, and as they were traveling toward that final destination and decision to surrender, they were forced to fight Indiana militia bands that set up and fought behind barricades at bridges and points along the road.  Kelion Peddicord like his brothers Columbus and Carolus were brave dutiful soldiers.  Kelion Peddicord died August 28th, 1904.

Kelion and Columbus’s little brother Carolus demonstrated perhaps the most heroic and selfless behavior of the three Confederate Peddicord brothers.

Carolus Peddicord

“Carolus bravely went to his death before betraying his associates.  He stated to a friend, “I can die, but I can never betray my friends.”  Peddicord Carolus J_


     Carolus Judkins Peddicord was born November 27th, 1840, the third son of Wilson Lee Peddicord and Katurah Barnes Hobbs Peddicord.  He married Pattie Carter, Sumner County, Tennessee May 15th, 1863 at age 22.  He died December 3rd, 1863 in Sumner County, Tennessee at the age of 23.  He is buried in the old Bell Family Cemetery near Park City, Kentucky.  Carolus, like his brothers Columbus Kelion, had auburn [chestnut] hair, an extremely pale complexion, was slender and stood 5 feet 8 inches tall.  His figure was graceful, and his eyes were dark blue and laughing, like his father’s.


Note:  This is his story as told by his sister, Mrs. India P. Logan [formerly Indiana Washington Peddicord], as compiled by  Carolus was a member of the first Kentucky Cavalry, and was 22 when he was taken prisoner by General Paine’s soldiers at Gallatin, Tennessee.  He was, during the first year of the war, a member of Col. Ben Hardin Helm’s 1st Kentucky Cavalry, Co. A., and afterward to the same company of scouts as Columbus Peddicord.  With five of his men, he was placed in a dungeon at Gallatin, Tenn. on a stone floor without a blanket, until a comrade left his on being paroled by General Paine.  He was told if he informed on his friends and the southern sympathizers that his life would be spared.  He obstinately refused from October until December, when he was informed that he would be taken on horseback to the country and shot if he refused to guide them to the homes of his friends.  One friend who spent the last night in the cell with him said to my brother K. F. Peddicord, at a reunion in Dallas, Texas, “Your brother was the bravest man I ever saw.  He said, I can die, but never can I betray a trust.”  He was taken many miles into the country and shot in the forehead.  Columbus, Kelion, and more especially Carolus were brave determined southerners that risked everything for the southern cause.  Two of the three brothers died as a result.

Stories such as these can be told about people on both sides of the Civil War conflict.  Unfortunately the war eclipsed political causes and the ensuing violence became personal with feelings generated by the death, destruction, and economic depression it caused, lasting long after the war ended.  Enmities that did not exist before the war were now often deeply rooted by the wrongs neighbors promulgated against each other during the conflict.  These enmities eventually boiled over manifesting themselves by many vendettas between individuals and feuds between families, lasting for decades after the war’s end.  Kentucky’s Civil War did not end with the armistice.  Such is the pity.  GWF 


[1] Dee Brown, Morgan’s Raiders, 1959, Pg. 75

[2] Ibid, 115

[3] Ibid, 139-140

[4] Ibid, 146

[5] Ibid, 155