American Civil War Monuments
John Breckinridge Castleman Monument
Photo and text courtesy of LCWRT Member Charlie Moore
John B. Castleman was born June 30, 1841, at Castleton Farm, Lexington. He studied law at Transylvania University in Lexington before the start of the Civil War. During the war he recruited 41 men from his hometown to form the Second Kentucky Cavalry Company CSA under John Hunt Morgan. He was promoted to major in 1864 and led his guerillas in the attempted burning of supply boats at St. Louis, Missouri. He was arrested later that year in Sullivan, Indiana. He was convicted of spying and sentenced to death, but his execution was stayed by President Lincoln. Following the war, Castleman exiled himself from the United States, and studied medicine in France. He was pardoned by President Johnson and returned to Kentucky in 1866. He revived the Louisville Legion, a militia unit in 1878 and became adjutant general of Kentucky in 1883. The unit became the First Kentucky Volunteers in the Spanish-American War. He was commissioned a colonel in the U.S. Army and his unit participated in the invasion of Puerto Rico. After the war he was promoted to brigadier general and served as military governor of the island. He died May 23, 1918, survived by his five daughters. The equestrian statue of Castleman is one of only two in the state, the other that of John Hunt Morgan in Lexington. He is seen seated on his favorite horse Caroline clad in civilian clothing by his wishes. It was erected in 1913.