Levi Allen Pipes

Pvt.  Company "K" : 6th Kentucky Cavalry  ( Union)

Updated 06/23/2003

Levi Allen Pipes was one of seven known children born to Morris Pipes and Sallie Montgomery in Marion and Boyle County, Kentucky. His brothers were Elias Hardin, Zachary and John F., his sisters were named Nancy Jane, Martha, Fannie and Elizabeth. Both of his grandfathers were soldiers in the Revolution and he was raised in the close knit family farming community of Harmons, Grays, Montgomerys and Pipes' that flourished in the area southwest of Perryville along the waters of Doctor's Fork.

He was born on 10 November 1841 in Marion Co., Kentucky. He may have been the youngest as we do not know anything about brother Zachary, but his sister Nancy was born in 1826 and brother Elias was born in 1837.  I do not know the birth dates of the others. He married Martha "Mattie" Gray on 25 January 1866 in Boyle Co., Kentucky. He was described in his military papers as 5' 8" tall, with dark hair, dark complexion and Blue eyes.

Their Children are listed in their various pension applications as:

A. Robert B. Pipes was born on 21 October 1867 at Boyle Co., Kentucky.

B. Lee Pipes (daughter) was born on 29 June 1870 at Boyle Co., Kentucky.

C. Emma Pipes was born on 21 November 1871 at Boyle Co., Kentucky.

D. Bessie S. Pipes was born on 17 November 1873 at Boyle Co., Kentucky.

E. Lula Pipes was born on 1 July 1877 at Boyle Co., Kentucky. She married Eugene L. Carpenter in 1897 at  Danville, Boyle Co., Kentucky.

F. Ada B. Pipes was born on 14 March 1879 at Boyle Co., Kentucky.

G. Mazzie M. Pipes was born on 1 November 1880 at Boyle Co., Kentucky.

H. Lillie Lee Pipes was born on 11 November 1895 at Boyle Co., Kentucky.


One of the interesting facts concerning Levi Allen is that he fought with the Union Army, joining the 6th Kentucky Cavalry in Late August of 1862 at a place called Haysville.  While this is not unusual in that many men in this area fought with the Union, what makes it odd is that his brother Elias Hardin and three of his close cousins joined the Confederates at the same time and rode off with John Hunt Morgan. One of these cousins was my Great Grandfather Obediah Pipes, the others were Silas Pipes and Bradford Pipes. The first question that comes to mind is did these brothers and cousins have to face each other in battle? I am currently researching that possibility. I do know that the 6th Kentucky did skirmish with John Morgan's units, but I have not determined the exact times and places yet. The activity of the 6th Kentucky Cavalry is noted below for your review.

Levi Allen was unfortunate to contract Smallpox in 1864 and he spent time in recovery. He did return to his unit after 4 months in the Hospital, but his eyesight and his hearing were damaged and he spent the rest of his life disabled from the disease. He remained with the 6th and was discharged in July 1865 in Edgefield, Tennessee as a Private.

He died on 22 September 1918 at Gravel Switch, Boyle Co., Kentucky, at age 76 and was buried in the Old Union Cemetery, Perryville, Boyle Co., Kentucky. His widow, Mattie died on April 27 1922 in Boyle County and is buried next to him.

Recent communication with Karen Fowler Caldwell of Lebanon, Kentucky indicates that Levi may have been influenced by Josephus Whitehouse who married Levi's sister's daughter. They joined the 6th Kentucky Cavalry together and appear to be close after the war as can be seen in some of the newspaper articles that Karen sent to us. Mr. Whitehouse was a staunch union supporter and his father, Henry Clay Whitehouse was reportedly a 1st cousin of Abraham Lincoln.

These newspaper articles are wonderful insights into the community and the times and the people. Karen has sent me a photo that was taken at one of these gatherings described in the clippings, The photo has a green dot under Joseph Whitehouse and a red dot under the person identified by some persons reviewing the photo as Levi Allen Pipes.

A Civil War Veterans Celebration Photo

The first page of articles from the Lebanon, Kentucky, Newspapers.

The second page of articles including his obituary

His wife's obituary (Martha Gray Pipes)


Marriage Bond between Levi A. Pipes and Martha Gray, dated 24 Jan 1866. Witnessed by J. B Nichols, signed by Levi Allen Pipes and Isaac W. Gray. From the Danville, Boyle Co. Kentucky Courthouse records, 1866, Typed copy sent to Robert J. Pipes by Mary Leinenbach, Jasper, Indiana.

Marriage Bond between Levi Allen Pipes and Mattie Gray as recorded in the Danville Courthouse, Boyle Co. Kentucky. Book 4-W p343 Year 1866. Recorded as an index to marriage bonds in the files of R. J. Pipes in 1984 at Danville, Kentucky.

 Military Records: Pension File for Levi A. Pipes from the National Archives, Washington D.C., 1897 - 1922, This pension file contains affidavits, personal information and birth and death dates for Levi, his wife Martha and birth dates for their children. File also contains medical info and Military dates and places.

 Photo of gravestone of Levi A. Pipes. It is engraved with birth and death as 1841 - 1918. It is in Union Cemetery, Perryville, Boyle Co. Kentucky. His wife Martha "Mattie" (Gray) Pipes is also on the same stone. Her birth and death are engraved as 1845 - 1922.

Obituaries for Levi Allen and Martha Gray Pipes from Lebanon, Kentucky newspapers: sent to R. J. Pipes by Karen Fowler Caldwell in 1998.

Photo of the Civil War Vets reunion celebration supplied by Karen Fowler Caldwell.


Sixth Kentucky (Union) Cavalry

Published in Capt. Thomas Speed, 1897, The Union regiments of Kentucky. Courier-Journal Job Printing Co., Louisville, Kentucky.

The 1st Battalion of this regiment, being Companies A, B, C, D and E, was organized at Lexington during the month of October, 1861, under Maj. Reuben Mundy, and for a considerable time served independently, being known as Mundy's Battalion. It was mustered into service at Camp Irvine, near Louisville, by Maj. W. H. Sidell. It was immediately assigned to the division of the Army of the Ohio, commanded by Gen. George W. Morgan.

In the first days of January, 1862, this battalion, being in Gen. Carter's brigade of Gen. George W. Morgan's command, went on an expedition from Central Kentucky in the direction of Cumberland Gap. With this brigade was the 16th Ohio, Col. DeCourcy, and the 49th Ind., Col. Ray. The march was by way of London and Cumberland Ford [Pineville]. Mundy's battalion was the cavalry force of the expedition. In February it made its way near to the Gap, and, February 14th, Mundy's cavalry made an attack on the enemy at the Gap, inflicting loss and taking some prisoners. March 23d, Gen. Carter's force moved in the direction of Big Creek Gap. Then, co-operating with Gen. Morgan's other forces, Cumberland Gap was taken June 18, 1862. Mundy's battalion remained on duty in that section during the summer of 1862; in the latter part of the summer and in September, Gen. Bragg made his invasion into Kentucky; and at the same time Gen. Kirby Smith entered by way of Barboursville, and Humphrey Marshall in the eastern part.

( Note: It was at this time, late August and early September, that all of the men from Perryville declared their allegiance and joined the various units) RJP

These movements compelled Gen. Morgan to give up Cumberland Gap, and move across Eastern Kentucky to the Ohio river. October 12th, Gen. Morgan reports Mundy's battalion still with him, "though worn down with hard service." He further says: "The Kentucky regiments are all well commanded and in good condition, and will do good service wherever they are tried." He had in his command the 3d, 14th, 19th and 22d Infantry, Mundy's battalion and Neville's battery. This battalion being the only organized cavalry in this division, the duties were very arduous, being scouting, picketing, conveying dispatches, making reconnaissances [sic throughout], all of which were difficult and dangerous in that mountain region.

From Cumberland Gap the march was across the country, and Mundy's battalion, after accompanying the infantry nearly to the Ohio, was sent toward Richmond, reaching Big Hill and Rogersville before the enemy, and participated in the fighting at those places, and materially aided in the retreat of Metcalf's 7th Ky. Cavalry and other troops to Lexington, and thence to Louisville.

During the summer of 1862 the other battalions of the 6th Cavalry were organized in the central part of Kentucky, under Col. D. J. Hallisy. In September, Companies F, G, H, I, K, L and M were nominally consolidated with Mundy's battalion, thus making the 6th Cavalry; D. J. Hallisy being colonel and Reuben Mundy lieutenant-colonel. At that time the 1st Battalion, under Maj. W. H. Fidler, was sent to Leitchfield, Ky., and skirmished with the cavalry of Bragg's army. The 2d Battalion, under Col. Hallisy, went to Bardstown, and there encountered Morgan's Confederate cavalry. The 3d, under Maj. L. A. Gratz, went to Stanford, and was instrumental in capturing prisoners from Bragg's army. It also broke up a band of guerrillas infesting that section.

(Note: If Levi was in the 2nd Battalion he would have gone against his brother here as Elias was in Morgan's Unit at the end of September.)   RJP

In November the 1st Battalion was ordered to Louisa to report to Col. Cranor; December 9th it was ordered to Mt. Sterling.

Thus the 6th Cavalry in the first part of its service operated by battalions and the 1st engaged in a number of severe fights, among them Tazewell, Tenn., Cumberland Gap and Richmond.

December, 1862, the regiment was all together at Lebanon, Ky., and in the latter part of the month was engaged in the pursuit of Morgan, who then invaded Kentucky. At this time Col. Hoskins, of the 12th Ky. Infantry, commanded a considerable force at Lebanon and vicinity, having under him the 6th Cavalry. He reports Col. Hallisy pursuing Morgan from Springfield, through Lebanon, in the direction of Columbia and Burksville. At New Market, a little town near Campbellsville, a fight occurred in which Col. Hallisy was killed, December 31, 1862. But for this unfortunate event greater damage would have been done to Morgan; as it was, about 200 of his men were captured and 500 horses.

(Note: This would certainly have placed the two of them against each other, provided their respective companies were engaged.) RJP

January 30, 1863, the 6th was ordered to join the Army of the Cumberland, at Nashville. February 1st, Louis D. Watkins was commissioned colonel of the regiment. In the organization of the army the 6th was under Maj. Louis A. Gratz, was in Stanley's corps, Granger's division, and in the same brigade with the 4th Ky. Cavalry, Col. Wickliffe Cooper; 5th Ky. Cavalry, Col. Hoblitzell; the 7th Ky. Cavalry, Lieut.-Col. Thos. T. Vimont; Col. Watkins commanding the brigade. During February, March, April and May the 6th was stationed at Franklin and Brentwood, Tenn., engaged in protecting the right flank of Rosecrans' army. In March, Forrest attacked a small force of infantry at Brentwood and captured it. Gen. Granger, whose headquarters were at Franklin, dispatched a cavalry force, under Gen. Green Clay Smith, to the place, and Gen. Smith, in his report, says the enemy were overtaken about 3 ½ miles from Brentwood, where a running fire was begun, and kept up 2 ½ miles, we capturing all the wagons and mules and 500 guns. About six miles from Brentwood he encountered a large force and an engagement took place lasting an hour and a half. Three charges were made on the 6th Ky. And 2d Mich., and all were repulsed; but Gen. Smith, finding he was outnumbered, was compelled to fall back, taking what he had captured. He says in his report: "I can not speak too earnestly of the coolness, courage and daring of Col. L. D. Watkins' 6th Ky. Cavalry; attention is also called to the unexceptionable conduct of Maj. W. H. Fidler and Lieuts. George Williams, Dan Cheatham and Lieut. Mead, 6th Ky."

Gen. Rosecrans, in his report of this affair, says "The cavalry appear to have behaved gallantly. I am glad to observe and call attention to the evidences of its increasing effectiveness."

Also in an order he expressed his "thanks to Gen. Smith and the officers and men under him, for the spirit and gallantry of their behavior." Lieut. Geo. Williams, Sergts. John Fowler and Jonathan McKelvy were mentioned on dress parade for their gallantry on this field.

The service of the 6th was very active in the spring and summer of 1863. March 8th it aided in driving the enemy beyond Thompson's Station; during the month of April the 6th marched from Brentwood to Franklin, and attacked some Texas troops, capturing the camp with its horses, wagons and 120 men. This exploit is mentioned by Gen. Henry M. Cist, in Scribner's Campaigns of the War. He says: "Col. Louis D. Watkins, on the 27th day of April, 1863, made a gallant charge on the Texas Legion, encamped close to Van Dorn's main command, near Spring Hill. Dashing in upon the enemy early in the morning he was among them before they could rally for defense, capturing 128 prisoners, over 300 animals and their camp equipage, without the loss of a man."

Another brush with the enemy occurred near Franklin, May 1st. On the 2d of June the regiment moved from Brentwood and on the 4th was at Triune. There orders were received to hasten to Franklin, where the enemy had appeared. Proceeding in a gallop, with the 2d Michigan, they reached Franklin in time to assist the 4th and 7th.

June 20th the command left Franklin and entered upon a series of movements leading up to the Chickamauga campaign.

July 3d Col. Watkins reported his brigade to Gen. Sheridan, at Cowan's Station. Gen. Sheridan had some days previously started from Murfreesboro on an expedition through Hoover's Gap, Tullahoma, Winchester and other places. On the 5th he sent Col. Watkins in the direction of Stevenson, on a reconnaissance. He says in his report: "This reconnaissance was very handsomely executed by Col. Watkins, who drove the enemy about three miles, inflicting loss." Col. Watkins, in his report, says he made a reconnaissance toward University, where he encountered the enemy, losing Lieut. Wm. Murphy and four men killed, and Lieut. Kimbrough and four men wounded. July 5th he proceeded within 20 miles of Bridgeport. Then, passing through Decherd and Salem, remained stationary a short time at Winchester. Through the months of July and August the Confederate forces were steadily pushed, until they crossed the Tennessee river. The cavalry of Rosecrans' army crossed the Tennessee, about the 1st of September, at Caperton's Ferry and continued forcing the enemy in the direction of Chattanooga. September 10th Col. Watkins, with his brigade, moved on the Summerville road, and charged the pickets, taking that place with 16 prisoners. September 12th he was near Alpine, Ga.

September 19th the 6th, with Col. Watkins' other regiments, was desperately engaged in the battle of Chickamauga, at Crawfish Springs. Col. Watkins reports the 6th, under Maj. Gratz, as fighting and slowly falling back, as it was repeatedly flanked. He says: "Too much credit can not be given to the 4th and 6th Ky. Cavalry." The 6th lost two officers, Lieut. Mead killed, and one wounded, and 120 men, including prisoners; six were killed. Chaplain Milton C. Clark was wounded.

September 24th, the 6th was at Sevely Springs, Lieut. Roper commanding; September 28th, at Bellefonte; October 1st, at Caperton's Ferry, where it forded the river to the north side. It remained in that vicinity through October and November.

In the organization of the army in December, after the capture of Mission Ridge, the 6th was in Gen. Ed. McCook's division, Watkins' brigade—that brigade still consisting of the 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th Ky. In the first part of January, 1864, the 6th re-enlisted in the veteran organization at Rossville, Ga., and the men were granted 30 days furlough. They returned to Kentucky, and rendezvoused on the 22d of February, at Lexington.

(Note: It was at this time that Levi contracted Smallpox, reportedly near Lexington in February of 1864. He rejoined his unit in May or June of that year but was obviously disabled.)  RJP

In March the regiment moved to Nashville, and in April it was at Chattanooga, preparatory to the Atlanta campaign. It participated with the cavalry in that campaign, but the limits of this sketch do not admit of detailed mention of its services. It was employed to operate against the Confederate cavalry and protect the railroad on which Sherman's army depended. In May it was at Wayhatchie; in Jun at Lafayette. It was engaged in a severe fight at Pigeon mountain; also at Adairville and Calhoun.

On the 24th of June detachments of the 4th, 6th and 7th Ky. Cavalry were at Lafayette, Ga., under Col. Watkins and were attacked by Gen. Pillow, with 3,000 men. About 3 a. m. the enemy charged into the town, but Col. Watkins was on the alert. The 4th Ky. Men, under Capt. Bacon, took possession of the court house, and Watkins, with the 6th Ky. Men, under Maj. W. H. Fidler, met the enemy in the street. Furious fighting occurred. Watkins and the 6th Ky. Men also got into the court house and, barricading the doors and windows, fought off the enemy. Gen. Pillow demanded a surrender, which was declined, and the fighting was renewed with increased fury. In the midst of it another regiment of Kentuckians appeared. Col. Croxton, with the 4th Ky. Mounted Infantry, dashed in upon Pillow's men and caused them to retreat in a manner that was nothing less that a panic. Watkins mounted his men and pursued about 5 miles, capturing a number of prisoners. Of the 6th, four men were killed and six men wounded.

In August, September and October the 6th was at Resaca and vicinity, guarding the railroad. In November it was ordered to Louisville, Ky., to equip, and was in camp a short time on the Bardstown road. The advance of Hood into Tennessee caused it to move hurriedly to Nashville, December 4th, and it camped then at Edgefield until December 12th, being still in the same brigade in the cavalry command of Gen. J. H. Wilson.

At that time Hood was in his lines in front of Nashville, and he sent Gen. Lyon with a large cavalry force to enter Kentucky by way of Hopkinsville, and move to the rear of Gen. Thomas' army, destroying his communications. Against Lyon, Gen. Wilson dispatched Gen. Ed. McCook, with a force of cavalry, including Watkins' brigade. This force moved rapidly through Gallatin, Tenn., Franklin and Russellville, Ky., and met Lyon at Hopkinsville, and caused him to retire from the state.

December 15th and 16th the battle of Nashville was fought, and the whole Confederate force overthrown. By that time Watkins' brigade had returned to Nashville, and joined in the pursuit. January 9th it was at Gravely Springs, Ala., where it remained until the 23d, when it moved to Waterloo. It remained there during February, 1865; it then accompanied Wilson's cavalry on the expedition through Alabama, and to Macon, Ga. In June it returned to Nashville, and went into camp at Edgefield, where it was mustered out of service, July 14, 1865.

The career of this regiment was remarkable for its continuous activity at the front in connection with the large armies, and its record of gallant service is without a flaw from beginning to end.

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