Morgan is best known for launching a series of raids behind enemy lines. Three of these raids occurred during the second half of 1862. Morgan's men, mostly Kentuckians and Tennesseans and numbering scarcely more than 3,000 at any one time, rode hundreds of miles through the central Bluegrass, destroying and disrupting transportation and communication lines and capturing prisoners and supplies, while at the same time suffering relatively few casualties. The raids were politically embarrassing to the North and caused the Union commanders to commit thousands of troops in an effort to apprehend Morgan's men. The raids also gained notoriety for plundering and other outrages against northern citizens, ostensibly in retaliation for similar treatment of southern citizens by Federal troops. Southerners admired Morgan's daring and panache. Once, after capturing some mules during a raid, Morgan and his men had the audacity to telegraph a complaint about the quality of the livestock to none other than Abraham Lincoln. On 11 December 1862, following his second raid into Kentucky, Morgan was promoted to brigadier general. Several months later, after the completion of yet another successful raid, he received a commendation of gratitude from the Confederate Congress.
R. B. Rosenburg, "Morgan, John Hunt," American National Biography Online, February 2000, http://www.anb.org/articles/04/04-00720.html.