The necessity for troops in Kentucky led to the organization of the 37th Regiment Kentucky Volunteer Mounted Infantry, in the summer of 1863. During the greater portion of its term it was mounted, and served as mounted infantry. Companies A, B and C, were mustered into service at Glasgow, Kentucky on September 17, 1863. D, E, F, and G were mustered October 24th at Glasgow. Capt. Stroub's company, which was originally intended for the 51st Kentucky Infantry, was mustered into service at Covington, Kentucky on September 4th, and afterward consolidated with the 37th as Company H. Companies I and K were mustered at Glasgow December 21st and 22nd.
It was while the regiment was thus in the process of formation, and being stationed at Glasgow, it first came in conflict with the enemy. Early in October Major Martin was in charge of the regiment at Glasgow, and had sent most of the companies out on scouting expeditions, by direction of General Hobson, whose headquarters were then at Munfordville. October 6th, at night, when but few of the 37th were in the camp at Glasgow, the place was attacked by Col. Hughes, and one hundred and forty-two of Major Martin's men were captured. Major Martin himself escaped by fighting his way out, and, rallying the other companies, pursued Col. Hughes beyond Thompkinsville, retaking some of his men and horses and arms.
At that time the official reports show that Kentucky was overrun with Confederates, who, in small bands, roamed over the country, destroying property and doing much damage. It was difficult to prevent this irregular warfare, and easy to carry it on. Kentucky had many citizens whose warmest sympathies were with the Southern cause, and these were sufficiently numerous to give roaming bands all the information necessary to enable them to escape the Federal soldiers, or to fall upon weak places. During the winter of 1863-4 the 37th was employed in the southern part of the state for its protection, being in the district of Southern-Central Kentucky, then commanded by General E. H. Hobson.
In March, 1864, it was ordered to Columbia, Kentucky, where it was under Col. Hanson, and the 13th Kentucky Cavalry, under Col. Weatherford, concentrated for the purpose of moving to Eastern Kentucky. April 30th it was in Hobson's division, in the Third Brigade, the brigade being commanded by Col. Hanson, and the regiment by Major Martin. It continued in this brigade during the summer and fall of 1864.
About June 1, 1864, Col. Hanson's brigade was ordered to Irvine, Kentucky, to aid in checking the movement of Morgan into Kentucky. Morgan says, in his official report, that his intention was to move through Pound Gap, demonstrate toward Louisa, but really to hurry forward to Lexington, then push for the Louisville and Nashville railroad. General Burbridge being apprised of the coming of Morgan, had his forces will forward in the direction of Pound Gap, being with them in person, and having with him General Hobson and Colonels John Mason Brown, Hanson and other active and vigilant officers. (See accounts of 45th and 52nd Regiments.)
Morgan eluded these forces and hastened on to Mount Sterling. There General Hobson had arrived with a small force, which Morgan attacked and captured; but Burbridge's other forces, hurrying up, attacked Morgan near Cynthiana and broke up his company, retaking the prisoners Morgan had taken, and then pursued him through the mountains and out of the state. Col. Hanson's report shows that the 37th bore its full part in these exciting movements, hard marches and frequent encounters.
Early in September, 1864, General Burbridge organized his expedition to Saltville, Virginia, with which the 37th went in the brigade commanded by Col. Hanson. It participated in the fighting which occurred on this expedition, in which Col. Hanson was wounded and captured. Col. Hanson was an officer in the 20th Kentucky Infantry before he became colonel of the 37th. He is mentioned in the account of the 20th. Among the officers of this regiment were Captains W. O. and Caswell Watts. They were brothers of Col. Elijah Watts, of the Second Cavalry. They belonged to a Bardstown family, and were all excellent and faithful officers.
The 37th Regiment Kentucky Volunteer Mounted Infantry Organized at Glasgow, Ky., September 17 to December 22, 1863. Attached to District of South Central Kentucky, 1st Division, 23rd Army Corps, Dept. of Ohio, to January, 1864. District of Southwest Kentucky, 1st Division, 23rd Army Corps, to April, 1864. 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, District of Kentucky, 5th Division, 23rd Army Corps, Dept. of Ohio, to December, 1864.
SERVICE.--Duty at Glasgow, Ky., and in District of South Central Kentucky, operating against guerrillas and protecting public property until March, 1864. Attack on Camp at Glasgow October 6, 1863. Moved to Columbia March, 1864. Operations against Morgan May 31-June 20. Mt. Sterling, Ky., June 9. Cynthiana June 12. Operations in Eastern Kentucky until September. Bettier's Gap August 23. Burbridge's Expedition into Southwest Virginia September 20-October 17. McCormick's Gap September 20. Saltsville, Va., October 2. Bloomfield November 5. Owen County November 15. Mustered out December 29, 1864. Regiment lost during service 8 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 98 Enlisted men by disease. Total 106.