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Captain Reuben Partrick, USA

Captain Rueben Patrick was a .. Union member of the pioneer Magoffin County family who participated in the struggle on the local level. He was designated by the Unionist to keep the guerrillas down. General Humphrey Marshall sought to capture him wile encamped at Ivyton, not merely because his apprehension would have served the confederate cause to a great extent locally but Patrick had stolen a cannon from Marshall at Ivyton and the loss rankled deep in the breast of the Confederate general. The cannon was exhibited at the courthouse at Salyersville for years after the war's end.

John Hunt Morgan did capture the elusive Reuben. Calling at the home of Herod Patrick, Rueben's brother, he interrogated the family. Herod's wife becoming alarmed for the safety of a cache of gold coins in a can buried in the yard, simulated a headache in order to dig herbs for her supposed ailment and incidentally carry the money to her bedroom. There she sewed the gold eagles in her dress and wore it until the general departed.

Morgan threatened to hang Herod Patrick unless he revealed the whereabouts of his brother Reuben [; he] actually had a rope thrown around his neck and brought him to the base of a nearby tree. Undaunted and tight-lipped, Herod remained uncommunicative. Having carried the threat to the point where the man must be either hanged or released, Morgan said: " All right, men. He's not worth the rope it would take to hang him. Save our rope and let him go. We'll get Reuben anyway."

Morgan caught Reuben Patrick the next day at his home, tied him on a horse, and started back to Virginia. Mrs. Patrick (Amanda Burns Hager, 1832-1914), a daughter of Daniel Hager (1801-1889), a Confederate officer, rode with a companion to Virginia, arrived before Morgan, and interceded with her father for her husband's release. When Morgan arrived it was learned that Reuben had escaped while en route to the deep chagrin of Morgan's men. Mrs. Patrick returned to Burning Fork and upon nearing home, saw Reuben coming out of the front door. He was wearing ragged civilian clothes he had traded his uniform while making his way back. He had escaped from between two sleeping Confederate soldiers in the dead of night, fled to the woods and, having traded his uniform, slept in the daytime and traveled at night.


* Kentucky's Last Frontier, Henry Scalf, p 524-525


Updated 9:02 PM 1/27/20131
Mark S. Carroll