Capt. Luther Henry Conn

of Morgan's Raiders

Born March 14, 1842 in Burlington (Boone County) Kentucky to Dr. James V. and Mary E. Conn. His paternal grandfather was Captain Jack Conn of Bourbon County, Kentucky, who was a soldier in the War of 1812, was one of several credited with having killed the Indian chief, Tecumseh at the Battle of Thames.  Capt. Luther Conn was educated at Carrollton, Kentucky and was fortunate to have studied under Maj. John Magruder (later Confederate General) who was a professor at the institution.  When the war broke out in 1861, Luther Conn first enlisted as a private but soon became promoted to a Captain and served under the dashing Cavalry General, John Hunt Morgan. At the Battle of Murfreesboro, Capt. Conn was wounded, being shot through both legs. By the time of the celebrated Ohio-Indiana raid, Capt. Conn had recovered the use of legs and joined in on the invasion of the North. During this raid, Conn was captured and remained a Prisoner of war for nearly a year, staying  the following Federal Prisons: Johnson's Island, Allegheny City, Point Lookout, Fort McHenry and Fort Delaware. In late 1864, he was released and served in the Virginia theatre in 1865. With the fall of Richmond, Capt. Conn was part of Jefferson Davis' escort during their retreat to Georgia. Altogether during the war, he is recorded as having served in Co D 3rd Kentucky Cavalry and Co D, 7th Kentucky Cavalry of the Confederate States Army.

After the war, Conn returned to Kentucky briefly, before going to Arkansas to engage in Cotton planting. Not being satisfied with this profession, he decided to take a real estate job located in St. Louis, Missouri, which became very successful .  It was here that he became involved in many public projects including the construction of the "West End Narrow Gauge Railway, Jefferson Avenue Railway, the Southern Hotel, and the Merchants' Exchange. He also helped establish and improve  Forest Park which became the site of the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair. After President  U. S. Grant  passed away, he purchased the historic "Grant's Farm" and home, "White Haven". He took exceptional care of this historic estate, considering it to be a "shrine" to the American people, similiar to "Mount Vernon" or "the Hermitage".  Here Capt. Conn continued his interest in cattle and horse breeding. While being a democrat in political orientation, he turned away from serving in political office, except forserving as commissioner of Lafayette Park in St. Louis which he took great pride in maintaining.  Having married Louise G. Gibson (d/o of Sir Charles and Virginia Gibson) in 1871, they raised one daughter, Virginia May Conn who was a "reigning belle in St. Louis during her young womanhood." She later married Mr. Frank V. Hammer of St. Louis.

Capt. Conn died on Oct 11, 1922 and is buried in Bellefontaine cemetery located in St. Louis.

 

 

"White Haven", is now bing restored to the way it looked when Gen.Grant and Capt. Conn lived here. The exterior is green rather than white, contrary to what the name leads one to believe. It is now part of the Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site and located at 7400 Grant Road in south St. Louis County, Missouri. [This home was originally built by William Lindsay Long, who married Elizabeth Sappington, afterwards purchased by the Frederick Dent family.] White Haven was the childhood home of Julia Boggs Dent  who married the future Union general. (Note: Frederick Dent, Grant's father-in-law was pro-Confederate, and probably had many heated debates with Grant at this house).  The Grant family lived in this home until 1868, and following Gen. Grant's death, Capt. Luther Conn purchased the property.


 

 

John came in excellent style, to be sure,
 With banner and brand came he;
His clattering hoofs made a terrible roar,
 And his cannon numbering three.
The Hoosiers were scared, so entered the race,
 What a rowdyish set were they;
And the Buckeyes mounted to join in the chase,
 As Johnny galloped their way.

Ho! gather your flocks and sound the alarm
For the Partisan Rangers have come;
Bold knights of the road, they scour each farm
And scamper at tap of the drum.
How are you, Telegraph?


Verse 2:

The snow is in the clouds,
 And night is gathering o’er us;
The winds are piping loud,
 And fan the flames before us.
Then join the jovial band,
 And tune the vocal organ;
And with a will we’ll all join in,
 Three cheers for John Hunt Morgan!

Chorus:

Ho! gather your flocks and sound the alarm
For the Partisan Rangers have come;
Bold knights of the road, they scour each farm
And scamper at tap of the drum.
How are you, Telegraph?

Verse 3:
 

Jack Morgan is his name,
 The fearless and the lucky.
No dastard foe can tame
 This son of old Kentucky.
His heart is with his state;
 He fights for Southern freedom;
His men their general’s word await,
 They’ll go where he will lead ‘em.


Chorus:

Ho! gather your flocks and sound the alarm
For the Partisan Rangers have come;
Bold knights of the road, they scour each farm
And scamper at tap of the drum.
How are you, Telegraph?

  

Sources:
Hyde's History of St. Louis, vol. 1
Stevens History of St. Louis, the Fourth City
"A Self-guided tour of Confederate Graves at Bellefontaine Cemetery", by Gene Dressel
Geoff Walden, words for "John Hunt Morgan Song"

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