web analytics
Jan
08

Who gets Daniel Morgan’s Body?

By
When:
September 3, 2015 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
2015-09-03T18:00:00-04:00
2015-09-03T19:00:00-04:00
Where:
MOunt Hebron Cemetery
305 E Boscawen St
Winchester, VA 22601
USA

Who gets Daniel Morgan’s Body?

Compiled, written by Jim Moyer  January 9, 2016, updated 2/23/16, 4/22/2017

.

 .

September 3. Life Magazine publishes article titled, “”Who Gets the General’s Body?” South Carolina comes to Mt Hebron Cemetery in Winchester VA to claim Daniel Morgan’s remains

.

Gen. Daniel Morgan’s grave; on left 4 men from Winchester (identified as, l to r, Nelson Page, Ben Belchic, Miff Clowe, Oscar Harry(?)) refusing to let the Mayor of Cowpens, SC (A.S. Moseley, in VFW porkpie hat and holding letter) and Cowpens Attorney General J. Manning Poliakoff (light suit, arms folded), remove the remains. Date given as August 10, 1951 (from 69-150 wfchs). Reprinted in Frederick County: From the Frontier to the Future, p. 32. Filed under “Morgan grave controversy”. Photo and Caption from Handley Library’s Stewart Bell Jr Archives. Click to enlarge picture.

Iconic photograph of the posed Standoff between Winchester VA and Cowpens SC at the gravesite of Daniel Morgan, date given of 10 August 1951.

.

Chicago Tribune 7 August 1951 picks up the story before Life Magazine does.

.

Judge Woltz in his 2000 article, entitled “Second Battle of Cowpens,” writes, ” Sadly of that group (those who worked this legal case), only Justice Whiting and I survive.”

.

Of the papers filed in this case, Judge Woltz writes, “As to the various papers filed, I note at this late date, I signed one of them. Henry H Whiting, then [J.Sloan] Mr Kuykendall’s young and first associate and years later a colleague of mine on the circuit court and later still the first local appointee to the Virginia Supreme Court in over one hundred years also signed one. “

.

See book on Digging Up the Dead: A History of Notable American Reburials

.

See “Find A Grave” link on Daniel Morgan at Mt Hebron Cemetery.

.

Daniel Morgan Collection at Handley Library archives

.

A blogger’s article on this on Tripod

.


The Second Battle of Cowpens


 

In 2000, Judge Robert K Woltz wrote article entitled The Second Battle of Cowpens.

.

Links

Quoted material is in orange and from sources:

.

For the TIMELINE following, we cite these 2 articles and annotate extra information if interesting or relevant.

.

Winchester Frederick County Historical Society Journal Volume XIV 2002 issue on Daniel Morgan, pages 112 to 130, by Elizabeth Gold Crawford Engle and Mary Thomason Morris for an article entitled: Cannons and Marble: A Monument for Daniel Morgan.

and

Winchester Frederick County Historical Society Journal Volume XIV 2002 issue on Daniel Morgan, pages 132 to 144, by Judge Robert K Woltz for an article entitled The Second Battle of Cowpens.

.

The above sources will be noted as Engle or as Woltz.

.

.

July 1951

Enter The 2nd Body Snatcher

2ND ?   There were New Jersey body snatchers in the summer of 1865 ?

This one in 1951 is from South Carolina.

.

…the President of the Winchester Lions Club received a letter form the Lions Club of Cowpens, South Carolina, asking their help in moving Daniel Morgan’s remains for reburial near the Cowpens Battlefield Park. The Winchester club disclaimed responsibility and turned the letter over to the Winchester Frederick County Historical Society.

From Page 125, Engle.

.


TIMELINE


.

August 5, 1951

Body Snatchers Arrive at Mt Hebron Cemetery

… an undertaker, J.G.Floyd of Cowpens, South Carolina, and two helpers arrived unannounced at Mount Hebron Cemetery and requested help in removing the body of Daniel Morgan.  They carried letters from the mayor of Cowpens and Josephine Neville Strong Callahan, Morgan’s great-great-great-granddaughter, authorizing them to disinter Morgan’s body and take it back to Cowpens.

From Page 125, Engle.

.

.

.

August 7, 1951

Chicago Tribune

.

A HERO OF 1781 BECOMES ISSUE is the headline of this article.

To see the article how it appeared, click on:

.

http://archives.chicagotribune.com/1951/08/07/page/5/article/a-hero-of-1781-becomes-issue-in-new-battle

.

To read the article in an easier format, click on:

http://archives.chicagotribune.com/1951/08/07/page/5/article/a-hero-of-1781-becomes-issue-in-new-battle#text

.

.

.

.

.


THE PETITION


.

August 10, 1951

Exact Court Petition from South Carolina

The suit itself was filed on August 10, 1951 by the town attorney for Cowpens, J. Manning Poliakoff with local attorney Robert E. O’Neal co-signing the bill of complaint. In Virginia and perhaps all states a so-called foreign attorney in a suit must associate a licensed attorney in that state with him. This is so a court can have a control over proceedings and counsel it might not have with only a nonresident attorney handling the case. news reports stated that the Clerk of the Court, P.J. Marshall, opened his office on a Saturday evening to allow filing of the suit.  The following Monday, G.G. Baker, Sergeant (now called Sheriff) of the City of Winchester served the suit papers on the cemetery president.  Within the required twenty-one days of that servicea nine-age answer was filed by Mount Hebron Cemetery represented by the highly able and respected local attonreny J.Sloan Kyukendall.

Page 135, Woltz.

.

Difference in Dates given of filing?

Engle used the date reported in the news.

Woltz, being a lawyer and later a Circuit Court Judge,

used the Clerk of Court filing date.

.

.

.

August 13, 1951

Court Petition from South Carolina

South Carolina filed a petition to the Winchester Corporation court to uphold their right to the removal.  A counter suit was filed to prevent it.

.

The debate raged through August and into the fall.

From Page 126, Engle.

.

.

August 20, 1951

Time Magazine article

According to this article, cemetery superintendent Oscar Harry exploded upon reading the letter to the Lion’s Club of Winchester:  “General Morgan, sir? You’re not taking General Morgan today, tomorrow, or the next day!”

.

Superintendent Harry quickly contacted W. Nelson Page, president of the Cemetery Board, the members of the Mount Hebron Board of Managers, and Ben Belchic, president of the Winchester Frederick County Historical Society.  The men assembled hurriedly to confront the “new and bold attack to snatch the body of General Daniel Morgan.”  The South Caroline contingent retreated, but vowed to return.  The next day the Mayor of Cowpens, S.T. “Tip” Mosely, arrived with the committee’s attorney, and the fight began.

From Page 126, Engle.

.

.

.


THE DEBATE


.

South Carolina Not Unified

According to Woltz, “Newspapers in the two largest cities of that state as well as some letters to their editors perhaps surprisingly took the part of Winchester in the battle and in favor of letting the general rest where he lay.”

.

Woltz, on page 134,

mentions some differences above

but most of the leaders

predictably favor their location:

.

For Winchester VA

Winchester Mayor Mifflin B. Clowe

Congressman Burr P. Harrison

US Senator Harry F. Byrd Sr.

.

For South Carolina

Congressman Joseph E. Bryson

US Senator Olin D. Johnson

Governor James F. Byrnes

Mayor of Cowpens SC, Roy Cash

.

.

PARTIES TO THE COURT CASE

.

Parties to Petition to INTERVENE

Winchester Frederick Co Historical Society

Mt Hebron Cemetery Board

T.G. Scully and his law partner, Robert K. Woltz  filed on the same date 10 August 1951 as the Cowpens attorney a petition to “intervene.” : If one is not party to a suit but claims to have a substantial interest in I then the only way to become party is to ask the court to allow the invention, else anybody and everybody who wanted to jump into the case could do so without good cause.

Page 135. Woltz.

.

Also filed by same groups above:  DEMURER, meaning, “the one who brings the suit still has no case that is legally cognizable.”

Page 136, Woltz.

.

.

Parties to  BILL OF COMPLAINT

COWPENS, SOUTH CAROLINA

Josephine Callahan, ancestor to Daniel Morgan

complainants listed on Page 133, Woltz

…was five legal size pages of length and constained a total of 36 paragraphs of allegations. Among its allegations were the relationship of Jospehine Callahan to Daniel Morgan, that Morgan was a general in the United States Army, and rediculosly that he “lived in the State of Virginia for a few year, ” that he was the greatest military figure of his time, his crowning achievement “and most glorious hour of triumphant victory took place near Cowpens …” 

.

The allegations contrast the neglect of Morgan’s grave and his loss of identity among the citizens of Winchester with the great esteem with which is held in South Carolina and the existence of tangible evidence of that esteem there.

.

The complaint also alleges that after due diligence “the place of repose of General Morgan’s wife has not been located.”

Page 136, Woltz.

.

..a South Carolina undertaker . . . was armed with a handwritten note  of Josephine Neville Strong Callahan, complainant in the suit mentioned above, asserting that the general [Daniel Morgan] was her great-great-grandfather and authorizing removal of his remains to Cowpens. [The South Carolina undertaker] also carried a letter from mayor Cowpens authorizing him as his agent to remove the remains from Mount Hebron to Cowpens.

.

Page 133, Woltz.

.

OVER THE TOP LANGUAGE

IN THE COMPLAINT

Woltz notes the complaints from Cowpens SC, are “effulgent, almost hyperbolic, a method lawyers sometimes use to emphasize a point …”

.

Historical? Hysterical?

Context for the Modern Know it all Eye

In defense of Attorney Poliakoff, and his perhaps overblown language, the reader today must realize that slightly over fifty years ago when this dispute arose,  our country was in a vital and dangerous Cold War with the “evil empire” of communism and we were in an actual shooting war with the communist regime of North Korea. Indicative of this intense and well grounded national fear of communism in 1951 was the early germination and growth of what became known as McCarthyism.

.

.

.

Answer to the Bill of Complaint

…contains thirty-nine paragraphs on nine legal size sheets. It admits a few of the opponent’s allegations, denies a number and with respect to most neither admits nor denies “as it [the respondent] is not advised to the truth or falsity thereof, and calls for strict proof of said averment.” 

.

Woltz goes on to praise his fellow colleagues for their legal written response.  He lists the names who signed that response  as himself, and “Henry Whiting, then Mr. Kuykendall’s young and first associate and years later a colleague of mine on the circuit  court and later still the first local appointee to Virginia Supreme Court in over one hundred years also signed one.”

.

Page 137, Woltz.

.

.

.


THE DECISION


Woltz wished the merits of the case

could have been debated before a Judge

but that never is to be.

.

Woltz wishes it could have been, since the issues were so interesting.

He found two major principles in Dead Body Law:

“. . . The most important is the wishes and desires of family members or descendant.”

.

The other important consideration is if  “. . . that a body has lain for a long-time in a location should not be removed except for strong reason.”

Page 135, Woltz.

.

Instead the issue is decided on the technical grounds.

The deadline to post bail correctly was not met.

.

Woltz explains that any suit brought by a non resident requires putting up bail because it “might be difficult or impossible to collect court costs . . . “

.

Page 137, Woltz.

.

“As Joephine Callahan was a resident of California, and the Town of Cowpens of South Carolina, counsel for the cemetery astutely requested that they post bond for costs and the court sustained the request ordering that bond of $250 be posted within the statutorily required time.

.

Mayor [Roy] Cash of Cowpens then deposited a cashier’s check in the sum of $250 with the clerk of court.

.

After passage of sixty days allowed for post the bond, argument was had and the court ruled that a cashier’s check is not a bond as required by statute, but did over objection grant plantiffs the opportunity within five days to post a bond in that amount.

.

They were not able to do so within that period of time so the motion of the respondent Mount Hebron Cemetery Company the court order date January 7, 1952 dismissed the case.”

.

The case was then dismissed.

Page 137-138, Woltz.

.

.

.

.

Josephine Callahan

http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/NEVILLE/2003-03/1048133584

.

http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=:3079790&id=I592994795

.

.

.

.

.

.


THE LAST CHAPTER

OF

2ND BATTLE OF COWPENS


.

.

Summer of 1951

Raleigh [Engle’s husband] and I returned to Winchester with our girls for our annual visit. As we did every summer, we went to visit family plots in Mount Hebron Cemeteryh, just down Morgan Lane from Daniel Morgan’s grave. As our car with South Carolina tags drove through the stone archway into Mount Hebron Cemetery, men seemed to materialize from everywhere. They watched as we drove up the hill and turned left toward Morgan’s grave. Two men followed our car on foot as we pass Morgan’s gravesite and drove on until we reached our destination, the Gold family lot farther down the lane. Only when we emerged froe the car – and were identified as local people – did the group disperse. Never had I felt so uncomfortable and unwelcome in my own hometown.

From Page 127, Engle.

.

.

We learn also, as this furor became a national issue, in 1951

something else happened in 1920

regarding that day of the re-burial  13 June 1868,

that the Missouri Historical Society

revealed that the metal identification plate from Morgan’s original coffin was part of their collection. No one seems to know how the nameplate migrated to Missouri, but in 1920 a Henry Hanger of Saint Louis, Missouri had donated it to the Historical Society.  The newspaper article from which this information was taken stated that Hanger could not remember how he acquired the artifact. There was inscription on the back of the plate:

.

“Taken form the coffin of Maj. Gen. Daniel Morgan, whose remains were this day exhumed after having lain in the ground 66 years. June 13, 1868.”

Page 127, Engle.

.

.

.

.

September 3, 1951

.

This story was just too fun, not to pose for it.

This was getting national press !

Everyone in the 1950s knew who Daniel Morgan was.

.

September 3. Life Magazine publishes article titled, “”Who Gets the General’s Body?” South Carolina comes to Mt Hebron Cemetery in Winchester VA to claim Daniel Morgan’s remains

.

Gen. Daniel Morgan’s grave; on left 4 men from Winchester (identified as, l to r, Nelson Page, Ben Belchic, Miff Clowe, Oscar Harry(?)) refusing to let the Mayor of Cowpens, SC (A.S. Moseley, in VFW porkpie hat and holding letter) and Cowpens Attorney General J. Manning Poliakoff (light suit, arms folded), remove the remains. Date given as August 10, 1951 (from 69-150 wfchs). Reprinted in Frederick County: From the Frontier to the Future, p. 32. Filed under “Morgan grave controversy”. — Photo and Caption from Handley Library Stewart Bell Jr Archives. Click on Photo to enlarge.

.

Life Magazine article

…featured a photo-article on the commotion …

From Page 126, Engle.

.

Judge Robert K. Woltz lamented when he wrote the article in 2002 how few of people from that time are left.

.

He also savored and wondered about how young he was then and grateful to have been involved in a legal case such as this so early in his career.

.

Judge Woltz in his 2000 article, entitled “Second Battle of Cowpens,” writes, ” Sadly of that group (those who worked this legal case), only Justice Whiting and I survive.”

.

Of the papers filed in this case, Judge Woltz writes, “As to the various papers filed, I note at this late date, I signed one of them. Henry H Whiting, then [J.Sloan] Mr Kuykendall’s young and first associate and years later a colleague of mine on the circuit court and later still the first local appointee to the Virginia Supreme Court in over one hundred years also signed one. “

.

Source:

Winchester Frederick County Historical Society Journal Volume XIV 2002 issue on Daniel Morgan, pages 132 to 144, by Judge Robert K Woltz .  Article entitled The Second Battle of Cowpens.

.

.

.

November 26, 1951

Cowpens Gives Up the Ghost

It’s Over, Done

…the Cowpens contingent gave up the fight in court, and that particular skirmish in Daniel Morgan’s twentieth century war was over.

Page 127, Engle.

.

.

January 7, 1952

Officially the Court Case was dismissed on this date.   The difference in dates on when this fight was over, might be the 60 days time on posting bond.    But that doesn’t reconcile the contradiction: Engle states the Town of Cowpens quit the fight while Woltz stated the Town of Cowpens posted a cashiers check as bond.

Page 138, Woltz. 

.

.

.

April 1952

Rock of Ages Co of Barre Vermont

The nation-wide debate of 1951 seemed to provide the needed impetus for a successful monument project. In April 1952, the Rock of Ages Company of Barre, Vermont, placed a bid to design and execute a monument memorializing Daniel Morgan, to be placed by his grave. The Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society, the Fort Loudoun Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution , and the Lions Club jointly signed a contract for the proposed memorial. The Daniel Morgan Fund agreed to raise $2000 to pay for the monument. Even the schoolchildren got involved, with seven local schools donating at least $41.98 to the cause.

Page 127-128, Engle.

.

Is this Daniel Morgan Fund the same as the April 14, 1921 Morgan Monument Fund initiated by Fort Loudoun Chapter of DAR noted on Page 121 Engle?

.

.

.

.

Sunday, April 26, 1953

Marble Monument Commemorated

The Result of all the Controversy and Effort

.

Photo by Jim Moyer

…a procession wound through downtown Winchester led by the Rouss Fired Department Drum and Bugle Corps. One hundred-fifty people gathered for the dedication ceremony. Representative Burr P. Harrison gave the keynote address. The Daughters of the American Revolution laid a wreath on the grave. Children, descendants of the original Morgan’s Riflemen unveiled the marble monument. The American Legion Post fired a volley to end the ceremony.

.

The monument, with a bas-relief of Morgan and replica of the medal awarded to him in 1781, is inscribed:

.

The people of Winchester, Virginia, dedicate this memorial to the patriotism and valor of General Daniel Morgan in the cause of American Independence.

Page 127-128, Engle.

.

Note: Find picture of that 1781 medallion awarded Daniel Morgan.

.

.

March 22, 2007

.

Photo by Jim Moyer

Judge Robert K Woltz is buried next to Daniel Morgan.

.

See Daniel Morgan Memorial in the background.

.

Click on picture to enlarge.  Hit Backspace to return here.

.

.

.

.

.


Links

Quoted material is in orange and from sources:

.

Winchester Frederick County Historical Society Journal Volume XIV 2002 issue on Daniel Morgan, pages 112 to 130, by Elizabeth Gold Crawford Engle and Mary Thomason Morris for an article entitled: Cannons and Marble: A Monument for Daniel Morgan.

and

Winchester Frederick County Historical Society Journal Volume XIV 2002 issue on Daniel Morgan, pages 132 to 144, by Judge Robert K Woltz for an article entitled The Second Battle of Cowpens.

.

The above sources will be noted as Engle or as Woltz.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

———————————————————————————-

Daniel Morgan in the French and Indian War

Daniel Morgan might be more well known

for his heroic exploits in the Revolutionary War,

but he had 2 wounds lasting all his life

from the French and Indian War:

.

MORGAN_exb

.

one you can see still on a later portrait (click to enlarge picture so you can see the scar above his lip where the bullet exited, shot by the Indians chasing him )

.

and the ones on his back.

.

Whip marks on his back occurred  in a dispute when he was in the position of  driving a wagon hauling supplies for the failed Braddock Expedition in 1755.

.

More on that scar above the lip?

17 April 1756.

Happened in service to Captain Jack Ashby’s Ranger unit. Leaving Fort Ashby high tailing it to Fort Edwards, chased by Indians who shot him.

.

17 April 1756

.

DANIEL MORGAN SHOT

.

See a letter  dated 17 April 1756 by John Fenton Mercer to George Washington, refers to the wound Daniel Morgan received.

.

“Yesterday Morning one of Captn Ashby’s Men,  who has been on Forlow some Time, with one Hintch who came down with Us as a Pilot, were in their Return to Ashby’s Fort & were fired on by seven Indians, Hintch killed dead on the Spot and the other returned here wounded in the Neck [Daniel Morgan], but no ways dangerous2—This happen’d about fourteen Miles from hence in the Road to Parker’s Fort,3 “

.

One day later the above writer of that letter,  John Fenton Mercer,  dies in the Battle of the Great Cacapon 18 April 1756 east of Ashby’s Fort.

.

.

A month later while court martials are in progress for some who did not follow orders or who left the scene of this battle, Washington’s men finds John Fenton Mercer dead.  Col Washington writes Lt Gov Dinwiddie, 3 May 1756,

.

I have sent down an Indian scalp, which was taken at the place where Captain Mercer had his engagement. He was found thrust under some rocks, with stones piled up against them. They believe more were killed, from the quantity of blood found on the ground, and from other discoveries of their attempts to make more graves. But a hard shower of rain prevented their making a farther search.”

.

Washington knew the whole Mercer family, the father and the sons.

.

John Fenton Mercer’s brother, George Mercer, was Washington’s aid de camp at Fort Loudoun. Their father,  John Mercer,  was George Washington’s lawyer and a founding member of the Ohio Company of Virginia.

.

Back to the story of Daniel Morgan’s wound :

MORGAN_exb

Click on the picture to enlarge. Notice the line above Daniel Morgan’s lip. That’s the wound. The bullet entered the back of the neck crashing through some teeth in his mouth and exiting above his lips.

About this Portrait: 38 years after the wounding, Charles Willson Peale  paints a portrait of “General” Daniel Morgan in 1794,  on his way to the western frontier at the time of the Whiskey Rebellion. This painting was thought to be a copy until recent conservation removed earlier overpaint, uncovering the distinctive scar on Morgan’s upper lip.  Click on photo to enlarge to see the little cut on under right side of nose going in to lip.

This national park website wrongly states this wound occurred in 1758.

The source of that wrong date comes from James Graham’s 1856 The Life of General Daniel Morgan, pages 32 – 34, who based much of his information from Reverend William Hill’s notes, who was pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Winchester VA and who was a friend of Daniel Morgan. Hill compiled extensive notes but never followed through with a published biography. Don Higginbotham, in his book, Daniel Morgan Revolutionary Rifleman , published 1961, stating that Graham “confuses the time and place of the event.” Graham did not have access to John Mercer’s letter to Washington 17 April 1756.

.

Questions:

.

How do we know Mercer’s letter to Washington 17 April 1756 refers to Daniel Morgan?

.

And how do we know this phrase, “and the other returned here wounded in the Neck, but no ways dangerous”   in that same letter refers to Daniel Morgan and his neck-mouth wound?

.

According to this site, a listing of Daniel Morgan’s name is on a return Ashby submits to Washington:

Morgan is listed on “Weekly Return of the 2nd Co. Of Rangers Stationed at Sellars’s Plantation on Pattersons Creek under Command of Capn John Ashby 29 Dec 1755″, in the Library of Congress GW Papers. 

.

See this link referencing Virginia Military Records. showing Daniel Morgan’s name.  

.

More follow up on this later.  Stay tuned.

.

And about the STORY itself that led to Daniel Morgan’s wound?

.

Although James Graham, in his book published 1856, may have gotten details of the dates wrong, he had direct access to the notes  from the minister who was the contemporary friend of Daniel Morgan who recorded the stories he heard as it were from the “horse’s mouth.”

.

So we cannot ignore all the details. Take a moment to read this story.

.

See more on the Fort Ashby story of which Daniel Morgan was a part.

.

.

Categories :

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

About Us History Explore & Learn Join & Support News & Events
Our Story War Timeline Visit Join Us! Calendar
Board of Directors Fort Loudoun Tour Donate Press
Contact Us Additional Forts Resources Volunteer Newsletters
  Baker-Hardy House Essay Contest Shop Archive