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Full text of "At the front"

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THE UNIVERSITY OF 

NORTH CAROLINA 

LIBRARY 




THE WILMER COLLECTION 

OF CIVIL WAR NOVELS 

PRESENTED BY 

RICHARD H. WILMER, JR. 



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QOtLECl 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2010 with funding from 

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 



http://www.archive.org/details/atfront01opti 



The Blue and The Gray— Afloat 

Two colors cloth Emblematic Dies Illustrated 
Price per volume $1.50 

TAKEN BY THE ENEMY 
WITHIN THE ENEMY'S LINES 
ON THE BLOCKADE 
STAND BY THE UNION 
FIGHTING FOR THE RIGHT 
A VICTORIOUS UNION 



The Blue and The Gray— On Land 

Two colors cloth Emblematic Dies Illustrated 
Price per volume $1-50 

BROTHER AGAINST BROTHER 
IN THE SADDLE 
A LIEUTENANT AT EIGHTEEN 
ON THE STAFF 

(Other volumes in preparation) 



Any Volume Sold Separately. 



Lee and Shepard Publishers Boston 




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Tmo First Onp^ buiist in thk vkcv midst ok thk 

Company Page loo 




^Y OLIVER OPT' t 

AT THE FRONT 



The Blue and the Gray — On Land 



AT THE FRONT 



OLIVER OPTIC 



AUTHOR OF " THE ARMY AND NAVY SERIES " " YOUNG AMERICA ABROAD, FIRST 

AND SECOND SERIES" " THE BOAT-CLUB STORIES " " THE GREAT WESTERN 

series" "the WOODVILLE stories" "the ONWARD AND UPWARD 

series" "the lake SHORE SERIES" " THE YACHT-CLUB SERIES" 

" THE RIVERDALE STORIES " " THE BOAT-BUILDER SERIES " 

"the blue AND THE GRAY — AFLOAT" "a MISSING 

million" "a MILLIONAIRE AT SIXTEEN" "a YOUNG 

KNIGHT-ERRANT " " STRANGE SIGHTS ABROAD" 

"the YOUNG navigators" " UP AND DOWN 

THE NILE " " ASIATIC BREEZES " " ACROSS 

INDIA" " HALF ROUND THE WORLD " 

" FOUR YOUNG EXPLORERS " " THE 

BLUE AND THE GRAY — ON 

LAND " ETC., ETC., ETC. 



BOSTON 
LEE AND SHEPARD PUBLISHERS 

lO MILK STREET 
1897 



Copyright, 1897, by Lee and Shepard 



Allrights reserved 



At the Front 



C. J. Peteks & Son, Typogeaphers, Boston, U.S.A. 



Berwick & Smith, Pkintees, Noewoou Peess. 



TO 

MY FRIEXD AND FELLOW-LABORER IN THE VINEYARD, 

MR. EMERY CLEAVES, 

A SOLDIER OF THE GREAT REBELLION TO ■\V1I0M 

I AM INDEBTED FOR VALUABLE 

MILITARY ASSISTANCE, 

Cfjts ITohtme 

IS RESPECTFULLY AND GRATEFULLY 
DEDICATED. 



PREFACE 



"At the Front" is the fifth of the series of 
" The Blue and the Gray — on Land," and the 
last but one of the six volumes. It is a contin- 
uation of the narrative contained in the preced- 
ing books, wherein is given the history of the 
Riverlawn Regiment from the formation of the 
two companies as a squadron, in which it ren- 
dered its first service for the preservation of the 
Union, till in the present volume it becomes a 
full cavalry regiment of twelve companies, with 
three battalions, a colonel, a lieutenant-colonel, 
and three majors. 

In July, 1862, about four months after the 
battle of Pittsburg Landing, General Buell, com- 
manding the Army of the Ohio, wrote to head- 
quarters at Washington as follows : " I cannot 
err in repeating to you the urgent importance of 
a larger cavalry force in this district. The 

7 



8 PEEFACE 

enemy is throwing an immense cavalry force on 
the four hundred miles of railroad communica- 
tion upon which this army is dependent for sup- 
plies." As if in direct response to this urgent 
call, the people of Kentucky took up the matter. 
It used to be said many years ago that the gen- 
uine Kentuckian was "half horse and half alh- 
gator;" and however it may be in regard to the 
saurian portion of him, he is still rather more 
than half horse, for one of the principal indus- 
tries of the State is the raising of the finest horses 
in the country. 

The companies of the Riverlawns, with the bat- 
tery attached, were sent back to the State where 
the command had been raised; and there was an 
urgent need for them, for the Confederacy had be- 
gun upon a desperate effort to recover the State 
of Kentucky, which might place the cities of 
Louisville and Cincinnati within the reach of the 
Southern armies, as well as the rich and fertile 
States to the north of the Ohio. While the 
armies of Bragg and Kirby Smith were invading 
the State, numerous bodies of guerillas came 
into Kentucky from Tennessee and elsewhere, 



PREFACE 9 

and began a war of plunder and rapine. The 
fii-st business of the newly organized regiment, 
with the batteiy still attached to it, was to drive 
out these maraudei'S. The command did some 
rapid marching, encountered the enemy on sev- 
eral occasions, and did its full share in remove* 
ing the pests from the soil of Kentucky. 

Perhaps the personal history of the characters 
before introduced may interest our younger read- 
ers more than the details of battles and skir- 
mishes. In the enlargement of the regiment, 
most, if not all, of them have risen to higher rank. 
They have been engaged in some sharp engage- 
ments, and they have done credit to themselves ; 
and they owe their promotion to their conduct 
on the field of battle as well as to their strict 
adherence to the line of duty. But none of them 
have been permitted to do any impossible things. 
All of them have not escaped the perils of the 
field, and even the colonel had to lie some weeks 
upon his bed from the effects of a severe wound. 

If Deck Lyon escaped in the several severe 
engagements in which he took a prominent part, 
it was not because he kept himself in a safe place ; 



10 PREFACE 

for the most dangerous place on the field seemed 
to belong to him, and he always occupied it if 
his orders would permit. If he was the hero of 
any especial achievement, he gave the greater 
credit for it to the wonderful pluck, intelligence, 
and skill of Ceph, the horse he had trained from 
his ponyhood. He loved this animal as though 
he had been a human being; and he treated him 
as one of the family, never failing to look out 
for him in camp or on the march. And the 
steed was as affectionate towards his master as 
though he perfectly understood the relation that 
subsisted between them. Deck regarded Ceph 
as part of himself, and he would not have thought 
of riding any other steed in an engagement; and 
whatever good fortune came to him, he attrib- 
uted one-half of it to the intelligent animal. 

When the guerillas were driven out of Ken- 
tucky, the regiment was sent to Nashville, which 
city it was believed that Bragg would attempt to 
capture ; and it was engaged in various services 
till ordered to Murfreesboro. The battle of Stone 
River soon followed; but before the engagement 
the regiment was occupied in clearing the roads 



PREFACE 11 

in the vicinity, which had been fortified in many 
places by the enemy. When the force had been 
sent to the defence of Columbia before the com- 
mand had been fully organized, Colonel Lyon, 
recalling the valuable services of the riflemen 
who had joined his command at the battle of 
Mill Spring, succeeded in enlisting a full com- 
pany of these sharpshooters, noted throughout 
the county in which they resided as "dead 
shots ; " and in all the engagements in which 
they took part, they proved to be one of the 
most important arms of the service. The series 
of actions at Stone River resulted in the retreat 
of the enemy ; and for months our heroes were 
engaged in detached duty, serving in some of 
the battles which followed. Again returning my 
hearty thanks to those who have encouraged 
my work for over forty years, I say adieu in 
order to finish the series. 

WiLLiAJvi T. Adams. 



CONTENTS 



CHAPTER I. 

PAGE 

Organizing the New Regiment 17 

CHAPTER II. 
The Veterans and the Recruits 31 

CHAPTER III. 
Captain Life Knox is Importunate 44 

CHAPTER IV. 
The March to Columbia 57 

CHAPTER V. 
Preparations for the Defence ....... 70 

CHAPTER VI. 
Tee Charge of the Enemy on the Hill ... 84 

CHAPTER VII. 
A Break in the Enemy's Columns 97 

CHAPTER VIII. 

The Final Result of the Battle Ill 

13 



14 . CONTENTS 

CHAPTER IX. 

PAGE 

The Wounded Confederate Major 125 

CHAPTER X. 

PUEPABING FOR THE INVASION 138 

CHAPTER XI. 
Seeking Information of the Enemy 151 

CHAPTER XII. 
The Expedition of the Three Scouts 164 

CHAPTER XIII. 
Using the Telegraph at Night ITT 

CHAPTER XIV. 
The Opening of the Engagement 190 

CHAPTER XV. 
Some Details of the Battle 203 

CHAPTER XVI. 
Major Bornwood's Prediction 217 

CHAPTER XVII. 
The Final Retreat of the Enemy 230 

CHAPTER XVIII. 
A Guerilla Raid from over the River .... 243 

CHAPTER XIX. 
Grace Morgan and the Guerilla 256 



CONTENTS 15 

CHAPTER XX. 

PAGE 

Tardy Movements of the Enemy 269 

CHAPTER XXI. 
The Capture of the Fiiist Guerillas .... 281 

CHAPTER XXII. 
Surrender of the Guerilla Chief 293 

CHAPTER XXIII. 
The Disposal of the Prisoners 304 

CHAPTER XXIV. 
The Boot on the Other Leg 317 

CHAPTER XXV. 
The Obnoxious Citizen on the Hill 330 

CHAPTER XXVI. 
The Search for Greeger Lake 343 

CHAPTER XXVII. 
The Lake and the Guerillas found 35G 

CHAPTER XXVIII. 
The Engagement at Greeger Lake 369 

CHAPTER XXIX. 
The Gibbet-Tree by the Knob 383 

CHAPTER XXX. . 
Disciplining the Guerilla Chief 396 



16 CONTENTS 

CHAPTER XXXI. 

PAGE 

Major Lyon's March into Tennessee 409 

CHAPTER XXXII. 
Beck resorts to a "Yankee Trick" . . . . . 422 

CHAPTER XXXIII. 
Before the Battle of Stone River ..... 435 

CHAPTER XXXIV. 
The Opening of the Great Battle 448 

CHAPTER XXX Y. 
"Warm Praise for the Riflemen 461 

CHAPTER XXXVI. 
The Result of the Great Battle 474 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 



" The first one burst in the very midst of the 

COMPANY " Frontispiece 

PAGE 
" He ROSE FROM THE GROUND " 136 

"I'll tell you all I know" 166 

" The son kneeled at the side of his father," 240 

"What be you gwine to do about it?" . . 264 

"He was hit in the head" 319 

"They threw a rope over one of the limbs" . 378 



AT THE FRONT ' 



CHAPTER I 

OEGANIZENG THE NEW REGEVIENT 

It was the middle of August when Lieutenant- 
Colonel Noah Lyon, commanding the Riverlawn 
Cavalry, to which Major Batterson's battery of 
light artillery was attached, encamped for the 
night at Barcreek, on the plantation from which 
the battalion had derived its name. The com- 
mand had been a portion of General Woodbine's 
brigade, which had taken an active part in the 
bloody battle of Pittsburg Landing, or Shiloh as 
it was called in the South, and had been kept ex- 
ceedingly busy in the division of General Nelson 
at the siege of Corinth, even to the last minute 

17 



18 AT THE FRONT 

when the enemy had suddenly blown up their 
works, and fled m hot haste farther south. 

The brigade had been engaged while it was 
still a part of General Nelson's division in build- 
ing bridges destroyed by the eneni}-, and repairing 
railroads torn up, until the State of Kentucky 
was menaced by large bodies of Confederate 
forces in the east, and it was believed that Gen- 
erals Bragg and Kirljy Smith were moving in 
the direction of the Ohio River, either for the 
recovery of the State, or the capture of Cincin- 
nati, or for both of these objects. These grand 
operations seemed to be foreshadowed by the ap- 
pearance of many bodies of guerillas, larger in 
numbers and better organized than most of those 
with which the Riverlawn Cavalry had before con- 
tended, in Kentucky and in various sections of 
Tennessee. JNIorgan had made an extensive raid 
through the border State, destroying vast amounts 
of United States property, capturing towns, plun- 
dering plantations of stock and provisions. This 
vigorous leader was a genius in this kind of Mork, 
and the Federal stores taken by him or destroyed 
were estimated at over a million dollars in value. 



m 

NcU 



ORGANIZING THE NEW REGIMENT 19 

The history of his raid and subsequent operations, 
even on the north side of the Ohio, was romantic 
in its boldness and daring. 

At about the same time, Forrest was operating 
on a smaller scale in Tennessee, though with not 
less vigor and daring. It was evident enough 
that Kentucky, to say nothing of the States on 
the other side of the Ohio, was in imminent peril. 
Inspired by the example of these vigorous and 
daring leaders, many sections of country between 
the Ohio and the Tennessee were raided by less 
spirited bodies of guerillas. Nelson was taken 
from his division, and sent to the interior of the 
State of Kentucky to organize troops for the 
defence of the region, and to protect Cincinnati 
from the approach of Generals Bragg and Kirljy 
Smith. 

It was evident that the Riverlawn Cavalry 
was needed at home. It was plain that there 
was an abundance of just such work as that in 
which it had been largely engaged before the 
battle of Mill Spring, and in the interim between 
that affair and the departure of Nelson's division 
to take part in the battle of Pittsburg Landing 



20 AT THE FRONT 

and the operations at Corintli. Evidently with 
the intention of increasing the force of the battal- 
ion, Major Lyon had been promoted to the rank 
of lieutenant-colonel ; and his command, with the 
battery attached, were ordered to Kentucky, and 
directed to report at Munfordville, on Green 
River, about thirty miles from the plantation of 
Colonel Lyon, where he had encamped for the 
night. In the expectation that important events 
were about to occur, the commander marched at 
daylight the next morning, and hurried his force 
so that he arrived at his destination early in the 
forenoon. 

" Colonel Lyon, I am glad to see you," said 
an officer, wearing the uniform of the staff, as 
he extended his hand to the commander. " You 
have made good time from MacMinnville, and 
I did not expect to see you so soon." 

"I understood that the State was in peril, and 
I have lost no time on the road," replied Colonel 
Lyon, taking the extended hand of the staff-offi- 
cer, whose shoulder-straps indicated that he was 
a major. "May I ask whom I have the honor 
of addressing ? " 



ORGANIZING THE NEW REGIMENT 21 

" Pardon me for not introducing myself be- 
fore ; but I was so much pleased to see you 
here so soon, that 1 neglected the formalities of 
the occasion. Allow me to make myself known 
as Major Richard Bornwood, of the staff of Major- 
General Buell," continued the officer, extending 
his hand again. 

" I am very happy to know you, Major Born- 
wood," replied the colonel, taking the offered 
hand, and pressing it warmly. "I suppose you 
are the bearer of orders for me ; and I am par- 
ticularly glad to see you, for I do not wish to 
lose any time in entering upon my mission in 
my own State, and I feared that I might be kept 
waiting for my orders." 

" The general is in as much of a hurry to have 
you and your brilliant command in the field as 
you can possibly be, though there will be some 
delay in reorganizing your force, in which some 
considerable changes will be made ; and I have 
the pleasure of presenting to you this document 
from the War Department," added Major Born- 
wood, taking from a satchel suspended over his 
shoulder an official document, as the envelope in- 



22 AT THE FRONT 

dicated, and presenting it to the commander of 
the battalion. 

Colonel Lyon looked at the ponderous enve- 
lope, and read his name upon it. He was a 
modest man, and he could not imagine the nature 
of its contents. He had very recently been pro- 
moted to the rank of lieutenant-colonel, and he 
did not hope for or exj)ect any further advance- 
ment. He had been faithful in the discharge of 
his duties as major in command of the battalion ; 
and when promoted two weeks before, he honestly 
believed that his rank exceeded his military merit. 

"Do you happen to know the contents of this 
envelope. Major Born wood ? " he asked, very 
much like a schoolgirl who wishes to know what 
is in her letter before she opens it. 

" I do know its contents, and by opening it 
you will be as wise as I am," replied the staff- 
officer, laughing at the hesitation of the colonel. 

The recipient of the document tore open the 
envelope, and found that it contained a commis- 
sion as a colonel of cavalry. He was absolutely 
amazed ; and he could not see why he should 
receive the full rank of the commander of a regi- 



ORGANIZING THE NEW REGIMENT 23 

ment, when he was in charge of only three 
companies of cavalry. 

" I cannot accept this commission," said he, 
after he had meditated for a few minutes. " It 
should be given to a better man than I am, a 
more competent commander." 

"There is no such man in the army!" ex- 
claimed the major with a great deal of energy. 
" General Nelson says more than this of you." 

Colonel Lyon bit his lips, and seemed to be 
very much embarrassed. He had certainly never 
turned his back to the enemy in battle, or hesi- 
tated to lead his command into the most perilous 
portions of the field. As a strategist he had 
always manifested decided ability; and if not 
brilliant, he had more than once distinguished 
himself by his successful results. 

"I can point to one in my command who is 
more worthy of this position than I am," added 
the colonel, when he had considered the matter 
still more. 

" Who is he ? " demanded the staff-officer. 

" Captain Gordon, in command of my first com- 
pany," replied the colonel. 



2-1 AT THE FRONT 

"A very able and meritorious officer; and he 
has not been forgotten, as you will learn before 
your command is newly organized. If I should 
tell you what others say of you, men of elevated 
rank, who have seen you at Pittsburg Landing 
and at Corinth, you would not hesitate to accept 
this commission. Let me add, that if you de- 
cline to take the rank to which you are clearly 
entitled, I cannot carry out the mission on which 
I am sent into Kentucky, and that will involve a 
delay of at least two weeks, if not a month. I 
have three companies of cavalry recruits here, 
and they are to be mustered into the service to- 
day or to-morrow. They are fully equal to the 
men in your ranks now." 

" I accept the commission after what you say ; 
for I cannot subject the service to the delay 
which you indicate," replied Colonel Lyon, fixing 
his gaze on the ground, as though he was ashamed 
to yield the point. 

" You are as honest as you are modest, Colonel, 
and I thank you for relieving me from the embar- 
rassment to which your declension would subject 
me." 



ORGANIZING THE NEW EEGIMENT 25 

"If I consulted my own feelings only, I should 
persist in declining this promotion ; but I can- 
not do anything to embarrass the service," added 
the commander. " I yield to your eloquence, 
Major, rather than to my o^vn judgment." 

" I thank you for the compliment, and I am' 
greatly obliged to you for opening the way for 
me to discharge the duty which brought me to 
Kentucky ; and I am confident that the State Avill 
be benefited by your final decision in this mat- 
ter." 

" You say that you have three companies here 
ready to be mustered into the service, j\lajor 
Bornwood," continued Colonel Lyon, anxious to 
bring the business of the day to a head. 

" Three companies here, and another on the 
way, the last from the home of one of your lieu- 
tenants and its vicinity; and let me add that 
Lieutenant Knox raised the company himself." 

"Then it was for this service that he had two 
weeks' leave of absence," added the colonel, with 
a smile. 

" Precisely so. General Buell has made very 
strong representations to the War Department 



26 AT THE FRONT 

of his absolute need of more and better cavalry 
than he lias had in the past, and an earnest effort 
has been made to enlist more men in this arm. 
The belief that the State is to be invaded by an 
army of the enemy has stimulated recruiting of 
both cavalry and infantry. You will have seven 
companies in the course of two or three days, 
and we hope to add three more in the course 
of a month. Now, Colonel Lyon, if you will 
form your battalion, including the battery, I will 
read to the men the orders I have brought from 
the general," said Major Bornwood, as he took 
a number of papers from his satchel, several of 
which were in envelopes, and looked as though 
they might contain commissions. 

The command was formed in a hollow square. 
Colonel Lyon dismounted, and took a position 
with the staff-officer within the square. The com- 
mander then introduced Major Bornwood, of the 
staff of General Buell, who would announce cer- 
tain changes to be made in the command. The 
men cheered him lustily, and the officer acknowl- 
edged the compliment gracefully. The staff-offi- 
cer then proceeded to give the command all the 



ORGANIZING THE NEW EEGIMENT li ( 

information which he had communicated to the 
colonel concerning the forming of a new regi- 
ment, stating that three companies were present 
which would be immediately mustered in, and 
that another would arrive at Munfordville within 
twenty-four hours. 

" Your commander is now a colonel, promoted 
from the rank of lieutenant-colonel," continued 
the staff-officer. '" I have already had the pleas- 
ure of presenting to him his commission ; and I 
am confident that such a promotion could not 
have been tendered to a more worthy, brave, and 
skilful officer." 

The command could wait to hear no more, 
but broke out into the most lusty volleys of ap- 
plause, which was continued some time, and then 
ended in a vigorous clapping of hands, the mem- 
bers of the batteiy being as demonstrative as the 
cavalry. 

" Will Captain Batterson of the battery oblige 
me by stepping forward ? " the speaker pro- 
ceeded. 

The commander of the artillery dismounted, 
and walked to the front of the staff-officer. 



28 AT THE FRONT 

" Captain Batterson, your merit in command 
of the artillery while attached to the cavalry 
command of Colonel Lyon has been neither for- 
gotten nor overlooked; and I have the pleasure 
of addressing you as Major Batterson, and of 
handing to you this commission, which raises you 
to that rank." 

The major took the envelope, bowed and thanked 
the officer, retiring to his command amid the gen- 
erous applause of the entire body. 

" Will Captain Gordon step to the front ? " 
continued Major Bornwood. 

The captain presented himself, and appeared 
to be quite as much astonished at the calling of 
his name as Major Batterson had been. 

" Captain Gordon, if Colonel Lyon had insisted 
upon having his own way, you would have been 
the colonel of the new regiment," said the staff- 
officer ; " and he accepted his commission against 
his own inclination. As it is, I have the pleas- 
ure of presenting to you your commission as 
lieutenant-colonel of the regiment." 

Colonel Gordon took the envelope amid the 
applause of the command, bowing low to the 



OEGANIZING THE NEW REGIMENT 29 

officer, and, with his thanks, retired to the head 
of his company. 

"Captain Dexter Lyon, late of General Wood- 
bine's staff, will oblige me by coming this way," 
added iNIajor Bornwood. 

Deck had been ntterly astounded when he was 
made a captain; and he believed he had rank 
enough to last him till the end of the war, and 
he could not understand why he was called for- 
ward. 

" Captain Lyon, I have heard of you before, 
and I saw you at Pittsburg Landing. Though 
you are young in years, you are old in ability; 
and I assure you, and your father at my side, 
that it affords me peculiar pleasure to be able to 
address you as Major Lyon, for which the com- 
mission I now hand to you will afford me full 
justification. I congratulate you on the promo- 
tion that now comes to you, and I congratulate 
the new regiment on having such a brave and 
skilful officer." 

Deck took the envelope, and tried to say 
something, but burst into tears, completely over- 
come by the new honor which had come to him 



30 AT THE FRONT 

unsought by liimself or by his father. If it were 
possible, the cheers and the applause were more 
vigorous and longer continued than at any time 
before. He could do nothing but weep, and his 
father had to wipe away his tears. 



THE VETERANS AND THE llEeUUlTS 31 



CHAPTER II 

THE VETERANS AND THE RECRUITS 

Everybody present on the field where Major 
Bornwood was engaged in reorganizing the com- 
mand knew that Deck Lyon was not a baby, 
and that he '•'• was no cliicken." But they were 
astonished to see one who had always been the 
bravest of the brave, and always in the foremost 
of the battle, whom they had been in the habit 
of seeing in hand-to-hand encounters with the 
enemy, — they were astonished to see him weep- 
ing as though his heart were broken, instead of 
rejoicing at the latest of the rapid promotions 
which had attended his career in the army. The 
young officer could not have explained why he 
wept if he had tried ; why his feelings had over- 
come him at the very moment of his greatest 
triumph. He had become a captain, and he had 
not the remotest suspicion that he could be pro- 
moted again. He was verging on his nineteenth 



32 AT THE FRONT 

year; but he believed he had gone as high in 
rank as he coukl go, and, like his father, he be- 
lieved that he had already obtained more than 
he deserved. 

While he wept, the entire command cheered 
and applauded to the extent of every man's ca- 
pacity. The cavalrymen who had fought with 
him in many actions, who had been inspired by 
his heroism and daring, believed that he de- 
served his promotion, and would have deserved 
it if he had been made a colonel instead of a 
major. Some of his followers declared that it 
made brave men of cowards when they saw the 
young lieutenant engaged in single combat with 
Confederate officere. Three times at least they 
had seen him ride over his opponent, as it were, 
and bring both horse and rider to the ground. 
But the young soldier always insisted that it was 
his horse that accomplished these daring feats of 
arms ; for he had trained Ceph, as Alexander the 
Great had broken in Bucephalus, whose name, in 
abbreviated form, he had given to his favorite 
steed. The hoi-se had been taught to leap over 
any obstruction in his path ; and he would obey 



THE VETERANS AND THE RECRUITS 33 

the mandate of Deck, or at least attempt to obey 
it, whether the object was a log, a four-rail fence, 
or a mounted trooper. Deck had been advised 
by his superior officers not to resort to this peril- 
ous expedient, and he had determined not to do 
so unless in a case of emergency. Near the close 
of the first day at Pittsburg Landing, he had 
been ordered by the commander of the brigade 
to take the place of Captain Gordon, who had 
been seriously wounded, and had dropped from 
his horse. Deck rallied the men, and placed liim- 
self at the head of the company, confronting a 
cavalry' command led by a daring young officer, 
mounted on a small horse, who attacked him 
with all the vigor of a fiery nature. 

Captain Lyon defended himself bravely and 
skilfully; but his opponent seemed determined to 
kill him as the only step by which he could 
make any further progress in repelling the charge. 
Deck regarded the situation as the emergency 
which justified him in disregarding the advice of 
his friends and superiors ; and he drew back, giv- 
ing Cepli his signals. The horse was as brave 
and daring as his rider; and he made a desper- 



34 AT THE FilONT 

ate spring" forward, mounted high in the air on 
his hind feet, as the young officer advanced 
again, and then came down upon the captain, as 
Deck struck him on the head witli his sabre. 
Horse and rider went down, and the Confederate 
never rose again. The second company struck 
the enemy on the opposite flank, and the two 
swept their opponents from the field. 

The movement on the part of the enemy was 
a flank movement, by which a large force was to 
turn the left of the Union army, and cover the 
ground for which they had been fighting all da3\ 
Not a few declared that this brave chai'ge had 
saved the day in its waning hour to the nation, 
and was the prelude of the victory won the fol- 
lowing day when General Buell brought his di- 
visions upon the field. General Woodbine had 
witnessed the charge of the Riverlawn Cavalry, 
and esj)ecially the affray at single hand which 
had turned the tide of battle. He was filled 
with admiration at the heroic conduct of Cap- 
tain Lyon, and it was the key to his latest 
promotion. 

General Buell, after the siege of Corinth, when 



THE VETERANS AND THE EECRUITS 35 

the brigade was at MacMinnville, had sent for the 
general, for consultation in regard to the situa- 
tion in Kentucky. More cavalry was the press- 
ing need there, and the brigadier had suggested 
all that had been done at Munfordville on the 
arrival of the force under Colonel Lyon. He 
was entirely familiar with all the affairs of the 
battalion, and knew the merits of all the officei"S, 
even to the sergeants and corporals. He had 
furnished all the names for promotion. There 
had been from the first appearance in the field 
of the Riverlawn Cavalry a long list of appli- 
cants for enrolment as privates in the two com- 
panies, so that the ranks had always kept full. 

Soon after the retreat of the enemy from Cor- 
inth, officers had been sent into Kentucky by Gen- 
eral Buell to recruit for cavalry service. The 
men gathered at Munfordville were the fruit of 
their exertions. When it was understood that 
the recruits were needed to make the Riverlawns 
into a regiment, men of the better class, the 
farmere, mechanics, and even those of wealth and 
influence, came forward, and formed the three 
companies that were waiting to be mustered in 



36 AT THE rr.ONT 

at the capital of Hart County. ]\Iajor Bornwood 
had been sent with full powers to organize the 
regiment ; and his satchel was well filled with 
commissions for the new officers, some of them 
filled out, and others in blank, the names to be 
written in at the discretion of the staff-officer, in 
consultation with the new colonel and other offi- 
cers. 

After the major of the regiment had been com- 
missioned. Colonel Lyon suggested to the staff- 
officer, who was really in command as such, that 
his men had marched thirty miles since daylight, 
and needed their dinner. The haversacks of the 
troopei"S had been filled with provisions, and pos- 
sibl}^ some of them had broken their fast on the 
march; but the men were dismissed till afternoon, 
when the work of the forenoon would be com- 
pleted. The wagons had not yet arrived, for the 
mules were slower than the horses, and there was 
no grain for the latter ; but the grass was fresh and 
green on the field chosen for the parade, and the 
animals were peraaitted to feed while the men 
took their dinner. It was two o'clock in the af- 
ternoon then ; and the men were liungry, so that 



\ 



THE VETERANS AMD THE RECRUITS 37 

they could forget it was not a Delmonico feast 
they took from their haversacks. 

Deck had recovered his self-possession, and all 
the officers and most of the men congratulated 
him, and took him by the hand ; for all of theip 
believed that his promotion was the most de- 
served, worthy as all the others were of the ad- 
vancement they had received. The new major 
had become even jolly by this time, and he was 
as happy as though he had been in the room 
with Miss Kate Belthorpe at her father's man- 
sion at Lyndhall. Colonel Lyon and Lieutenant- 
Colonel Gordon did not escape the felicitations 
of the other officei'S and the men; and if every- 
body was not as hajDpy as Major Lyon, they were 
all in a high state of rejoicing that those who 
had deserved it had received the reward of their 
bravery and skill in the field. 

Major Bornwood invited the field-officei-s of 
the regiment to visit the camp of the three com- 
panies of recruits, which was about half a mile 
from the place where the commissions had been 
given out. As they were about to leave, they 
were informed that a company of troopers was 



38 AT THE FRONT 

coming up tlie road from the west. This an- 
nouncement created no little excitement ; as it 
was not yet known wliether the force approach- 
ing were friends or enemies. The staff -officer 
and the others had mounted their horses, and 
they rode out into the road. Deck surveyed 
the company as well as the distance would per- 
mit ; and he soon satisfied himself that they were 
not enemies, for he recognized the tall form at 
the head of the party. 

" That is Life Knox at the head of the party ! " 
exclaimed Major Lyon as soon as he identified 
the acting second lieutenant of the first company. 

" You are right, Dexter," added his father, 
who always called his son by his full Christian 
name when they were not in the field, and had 
never been known to call him "Deck," as every- 
body else did when off duty. " He must have 
marched from Muhlenburg County, and very 
likely he has done most of the distance to-day." 

" But how does it happen that they are all 
mounted, Major Bornwood ? " asked Deck. 

" I don't know ; you will have to ask Lieuten- 
ant Knox about that," rej)lied the staff-officer. 



THE VETERANS AND THE RECRUITS 39 

" He must liave drilled his recruits to some 
extent," added Deck, when the approaching force 
came near enough to be more distinctly seen. 
" In all the front ranks there are two men almost, 
or quite, as tall as Life himself; " for in the cav- 
alry service the rule is not "• the tallest on the 
right," for they are placed in the middle of the 
section. 

" They are good-looking men," said the staff- 
officer. " Probably most of them are like those 
of some of the recruits in the three companies 
at Munfordville, — farmers, mechanics, storekeep- 
ers, and gentlemen of leisure." 

" Life is well known all over his county, and 
I have no doubt he has attracted the best men 
to his standard," suggested Colonel Lyon. 

" Very likely they own their own horses ; l)ut 
we have horses, uniforms, and equipments here 
for the balance of the regiment," added ]\Lajor 
Bornwood, as he advanced to meet the lieuten- 
ant, whom he had seen at MacMinnville. " I am 
glad to see you, Captain Knox," continued the 
staff-officer, as he extended his hand to him ; for 
they were not in the military harness just then. 



40 AT THE FRONT 

"I am glad to see you again, Major Born- 
wood," replied Life, as he took the offered hand. 
" But I am not a captiiin, only an acting second 
lieutenant." 

"I shall not stand corrected, Captain Knox," 
replied the major, laughing at the embarrassment 
of the stalwart Kentuckian, as he drew an en- 
velope from the satchel which was always sus- 
pended from his shoulder. "If you will read 
the document contained in this envelope, you will 
find that I am right and you are wrong ; for you 
are no longer an acting second lieutenant, but a 
captain." 

" I thank you, Major, and I must believe all 
you say," replied Life, as he opened the envelojje. 
" It is all right, sir, though I thought when I 
was made an acting second lieutenant that I had 
got about as high as I could ever go. I haven't 
the education to be an officer." 

"But you have the education to make you a 
brave and skilful soldier, and no one would know 
to hear you talk that you were not a graduate 
of some college." 

"I owe my improved talk to Captain Lyon" — 



THE VETERANS AND THE RECRUITS 41 

" You mean Major Lyon," interposed the rep- 
resentative of the Department commander. " He 
was promoted to-day." 

"I am blessed if I am not happier over that 
than I am over my own commission! " exclaimed 
Life, rushing to Deck, and actually hugging him 
as he sat on his horse. " My blessed boy ! You 
haven't got anything more than you deserve ! I 
expect to see you a colonel before we get through 
with tliis war. It was Deck, Major, that edu- 
cated me ; he fixed up my grammar and pronun- 
ciation so that I can speak some English now." 

" But father is the colonel of the regiment 
now. Captain Knox," added Deck. 

" That is another blessed good tiling joii have 
done. Major Bornwood; and he is as worthy of 
the position as any man in the army could be," 
said Life, as he grasped the hand of the colonel, 
and congratulated him as well as tliough his ed- 
ucation had not been spoiled on the plains and 
in the Rocky Mountains. 

"Thank you. Captain Knox, though I don't 
think so much of the new colonel as you do," 
returned the commander of the regiment. 



42 AT THE FRONT 

" I should want to lick any other man that 
said that," added Life, shaking his head as though 
he meant what he said. 

" But don't you do it, Captain. Now let me 
introduce you to Lieutenant-Colonel Gordon." 

" That's another blessed good thing you have 
done. Major Bornwood," said Life, as he seized 
the hand of Colonel Gordon, and congratulated 
him in his homely way. 

" If I have deserved my promotion. Captain 
Knox, it is because I have had such good offi- 
cers in my company as you are," replied the 
colonel. 

" I think I will stop firing, for all my shots 
fly back and hit me," answered Life, as he re- 
turned to his place at the head of his company. 

The news that Life had been commissioned as 
a captain had passed through the company, the 
recruits of which had already signed a petition 
for the appointment of the tall Kentuckian as 
their captain ; and when he appeared he was sa- 
luted with a tremendous volley of cheers, and 
he made his best bow to the men. 

"Now we will proceed with the business of 



THE VETERANS AND THE RECRUITS 43 

the day," interposed INIajor Bornwood. "Captain 
Knox, yoii will march 3'our recruits to the camp, 
and I will lead the way. Your men will there 
be supplied with uniforms and equipments. You 
will be the captain of the company you have 
raised, and you will proceed to drill the men as 
soon as possible ; for, if I mistake not, you will 
soon have occasion to lead them where things 
may be very warm." 

The staff-oiftcer and his companions led the 
way. As the recruits passed the field where the 
three companies had halted, the veteran troopers 
cheered them vigorously. They soon< reached the 
camp, where they found the three companies 
gathered there clothed in new uniforms, and 
armed with carbine, sabre, and revolver. These 
men had stated explicitly to Major Bornwood 
that they wished the command of the companies 
to be given to old and experienced officers. The 
wagons arrived that night, and the three com- 
panies of veterans and the battery went into 
camp at once. 



44 AT THE FllONT 



CHAPTER III 

CAPTAIN LIFE KNOX IS rMPORTUNATE 

On the following day all the veterans and re- 
cruits were mustered on the field. All the even- 
ing before had been occupied in arranging the 
details of the organization of the regiment, and 
Major Bornwood had summoned the field-officers 
for consultation to the headquarters he had estab- 
lished in a house on the outskirts of the town. 
Seated around a table, the staff-officer had pro- 
duced three papere, which proved to be the peti- 
tions of the recruits of the three companies, asking 
that experienced officers be appointed as captains 
and lieutenants. 

" These recruits are very sensible ; and they 
can see that they will do better with veterans in 
command than with some popular man in the 
county from which they come who is no soldier," 
said the major, as he passed the papers to Colo- 
nel Lyon. " It makes the work of organizing 



CAPTAIN LIFE KXOX IS IMPORTUNATE 45 

the command all the easier for us. Now, Colo- 
nel, if you will name the captain of the fourth 
company, we will proceed to business." 

" Excuse me, Major, but I am afraid he will 
not name the right one," interposed Colonel Gor- 
don. " I have in mind one who would have 
been promoted a year ago or more if his services 
had not been needed where he was. I am confi- 
dent he would have been a first lieutenant by 
this time if other considerations than the merits 
of the young officer had not prevented his pro- 
motion. He has been the orderly of the com- 
mander of the battalion since the first engagement 
of the lliverlawns, and there is not a braver man 
in the body. I respectfully suggest the name of 
Artemas Lyon, whom we all know as ' Artie ; ' 
and though he is still a private, he is familiar 
with the duties of every officer in the line ; and 
I think he is abundantly qualified for the posi- 
tion you are about to fill. Major." 

" Artie a captain ! " exclaimed Colonel Lyon. 
"I hope you don't intend to make a family mat- 
ter of the promotions. Colonel Gordon." 

" I certainly do not ; but without regard to 



46 AT THE FRONT 

family relations, I do not like to see a very mer- 
itorious young officer kept back in the shade 
on account of them," replied Colonel Gordon. 
"What do you think of the matter, Major 
Lyon ? " 

" Artie is not my own brother, but he is just 
the same to me ; and I heartily indorse all that 
Colonel Gordon has said of him. I am well 
aware that he has been kept in the shade, but 
he has been extremely useful to my father. He 
has practically been an aide-de-camp, and as such 
he has learned the details of every officer's duty. 
I am sure he is amply qualified to be the captain 
of any company in the regiment." 

"Have you anything further to sa}^. Colonel 
Lyon?" asked the staff-officer. 

"I am willing to admit that my adopted son 
deserves all that has been said of him, and per- 
haps more, for he never flinched from the 
discharge of any duty he was called upon to 
perform. I have seen more of him in action 
than any other officer; and the only objection I 
have to his triple promotion is that he bears my 
name," replied the colonel, in measured speech, 



CAPTAIN LIFE KNOX IS IMPORTUNATE 47 

as though he felt the responsibility for what he 
was saying. 

" The only objection is overruled," added Major 
Bornwood, as he called in his orderly at the 
door, and sent for the young man under con- 
sideration. 

He took a document from his satchel, and wrote 
the name of Artemas Lyon in a blank space 
when he had opened the document. "• Good- 
morning, Captain Lyon," he continued as Artie 
entered the apartment. 

" Good-morning, Major Bornwood ; but I am 
only a high private, and not a captain, or even 
a lieutenant," replied the young man, who had 
rather more self-possession than his brother; and 
perhaps he had acquired it because his duties 
had required him to address some of the highest 
officers in the army. 

" Not even a lieutenant ; and it is not probable 
that you will ever be a lieutenant," laughingly 
answered the staff-officer. 

" Almost everybody else has been promoted ; 
and I was wondering this morning if my time 
would ever come, though I am willing to serve 



48 AT THE FRONT 

as a private till the end of the war, and be where 
I can do the most good," said Artie, as cheer- 
fully as though he had been made a colonel. 

" Your time has come, Captain Lyon," con- 
tinued the Major, handing the orderly the paper 
in which he had just written the name. 

Artie opened the paper, and read his own 
name, commissioned as a captain. He was more 
amazed than any other officer had been at his 
promotion. He started back, and gazed with in- 
credulity at the face of the document, as though 
he could not believe even the evidence of his 
own eyes. He had a great deal of confidence in 
his visual organs, for they had served him very 
faithfully; and after a very close scrutiny of the 
paper he was compelled to accept the fact that 
he was actually a captain. 

" I should have been glad to become a second 
lieutenant, or eyen a sergeant, but I did not ex- 
pect to become a captain, even if the war lasted 
twenty years longer," said the new captain. " I 
thank you, JNIajor Bornwood, and whoever else 
has spoken a good word for me." 

" Colonel Gordon made the motion, but your 



CAPTAIN LIFE KNOX IS IMPORTUNATE 49 

father and your brother, have supported it. Colo- 
nel Lyon's only objection was that you bore his 
name." 

"But it is a good name to bear, for all that," 
replied Artie, as he began to back out of the 
room. 

" Stop a moment, Captain Lyon," interposed 
the staff-officer. " You will command the fourth 
company, and all the recruits are drawn up on 
the field near the house. Now, gentlemen, if 
you will be prepared to name three more candi- 
dates for captaincies on my return, I will go out 
and introduce Captain Lyon to his command;" 
and he left the room with Artie. 

A few minutes later a volley of cheers rent 
the air, and it was evident that Captain Lyon 
had been well received by his command. Artie 
and Deck were about the same age. They had 
been in the army over two years, and were now 
nineteen years old. Both of them had been 
wounded more than once, but neither had been 
sick a day. They had grown rapidly, and were 
as tall, and weighed as much, as the average of 
the men in the battalion. The fourth company, 



50 AT THE FRONT 

therefore, had no reason to suppose that it was 
to be commanded by a baby. 

The staff-officer returned to the room where 
he had left the colonel, and found him ready to 
name the other captains. The fifth company was 
the next in order, and Lieutenant Gadbury was 
promptly named as its captain. He was sent 
for, and his commission given to him. He was 
the first lieutenant of the second company, and 
was an able officer. Major Born wood presented 
him to his company; and he was as well received 
as Artie had been. On his return he found 
Lieutenant Barnes of the third company — for- 
merly called the Marions, though the name had 
been dropped, for the officers and privates pre- 
ferred to share the glory of the Riverlawns — in 
the room with the field-officers of the regiment. 
He was quickly commissioned, and Major Born- 
wood went out to present him to his company. 
He was a fine officer; and it was considered no 
more than fair that the Marions should have a 
share of the promotions, especially as they had 
adopted the original name of the battalion. Life 
Knox had already been commissioned. 



CAPTAIN LIFE KNOX IS IMPORTUNATE 51 

"Now, gentlemen, we have some more posi- 
tions to fill," said Major Bornwood, "and I wish 
to dispose of this business at once. You are 
familiar with the names of the officers and the 
places to be filled, and I am not. I will thank 
you to mention the vacancies and the persons 
who are to fill them. Colonel Lyon." 

"The place of the captain of the first company, 
made vacant by the promotion of Colonel Gor- 
don," replied the colonel, taking a paper from 
his pocket, on which had been written the newly 
arranged roster of the regiment. " We recom- 
mend that First Lieutenant Belthorpe be the cap- 
tain, vice Gordon promoted." 

The staff-officer entered the name of Thomas 
Belthorpe on the blank, which had been duly 
signed for the occasion ; and " Tom," as every 
officer called him when off duty, became a cap- 
tain. He needed no introduction to the first 
company, and the business proceeded without any 
further delay. The second lieutenant of the third 
company was made fii*st of the first company, and 
Orderly Sergeant Fronklyn became the second 
lieutenant. It is hardly necessary to give the en- 



62 AT THE FKONT 

tire roster of the regiment ; but Sergeant Sluder, 
Corporals Milton and Sandy Lyon, were selected 
as second lieutenants to fill vacancies. In the 
course of the forenoon the new companies were 
mustered in, and under the direction of their 
new captains the first lieutenants were chosen. 
All of them had been military men in the cavalry 
service of the militia. The second lieutenants 
had all been sergeants or corporals in the battal- 
ion. These men had been selected for their edu- 
cation and their knowledge of military drill, as 
well as for their conduct in battle. Commissions 
were given to all who had not already received 
them, if they had been promoted. 

The companies were dismissed for dinner, and 
to feed their horses. In the afternoon, when all 
the new companies had been mustered into the ser- 
vice, and the non-commissioned officers appointed, 
the line was formed, and then a hollow square. 
Major Born wood now kept himself in the shade, 
and Colonel Lyon took the command. The lat- 
ter made quite a long speech, which was as 
patriotic as the occasion required. He declared 
that the Riverlawn battalion had always been a 



CAPTAIN LIFE KNOX IS IMPORTUNATE 53 

fighting body of men, and he expected that the 
regiment just formed would sustain the same rep- 
utation. "• We are not yet ready as a regiment for 
active duty," he added; "and discipline is quite 
as necessary as bravery. The next thing in order 
is the drill, as much needed by the hoi"ses as by 
the men ; and I shall dismiss the companies, and 
the captains will at once begin the drill of those 
which have just been mustered in." 

Each commander of a company marched his 
men to the pickets where the horses had been se- 
cured, and they were dismounted. The fii-st thing 
to be done was to train the soldiers in marching 
and facing on foot. This was done in squads, 
and the veterans were called upon to assist as 
instructors. As soon as the recruits were compe- 
tent to march in good order, they were mounted ; 
and it was several days before they reached this 
point in their progress, for they had to be drilled 
on foot in the sabre, pistol, and carbine exercises. 
Then came the mounted drill. Nearl}' all the 
men were good horsemen, and they made very 
satisfactory progress. 

While the new companies were thus engaged, 



64 _ AT THE FRONT 

Colonel Lyon received a telegraphic despatch from 
London, in Laurel County, notifying him of the 
approach of a Confederate cavalry regiment mov- 
ing to the north. In consultation with Major 
Born wood, it was decided that the original Riv- 
erlawn force, with the battery, should move in the 
direction indicated. At this time it was reported 
that several bodies of guerillas were moving into 
the State, believed to be engaged in plundering 
raids ; and the presence of a body of cavalry was 
absolutely necessary in some of the southern coun- 
ties. 

"What does all this mean. Major Lyon?" de- 
manded Captain Knox, as he met Deck ; for he 
had noticed the preparations at the camp which 
looked like a movement of some kind. 

" Three companies and the battery will move 
for the east at once," replied the major of the 
regiment. 

"But I have had no orders," added Life. 

" You are not to go. Your company is still 
as green as cabbages in July, and is not fit for 
active service," answered the major, with a smile 
at the chagrin of the tall Kentuckian. 



CAPTAIN LIFE KNOX IS IMPORTUNATE 55 

" Who says so, Deck ? " 

" Well, I say so, for one ; and you know it as 
well as I do. Life." 

" I don't know it. They may not do a big 
thing on dress parade, or anything of that sort, 
but they will fight like stacks of wildcats," ar- 
gued Captain Knox. 

" They have not drilled over three days yet," 
added Deck. 

" Yes, they have ; while we were waiting for 
some horses for a week in Muhlenburg County, 
I drilled them unmounted, and I was drilling 
them all the way on the road for two days. I 
say they are in good condition to go into a fight 
at this minute. I will be responsible for every 
man of them." 

" Of course I haven't anything to say about it, 
and you must go to the colonel," added Deck, 
wlio was not willing to think of such a thing as 
a fight when Life was counted out. 

"Where is your father?" demanded the cap- 
tain. 

" At the headquartei-s of Major Bornwood ; 
you will find both of them there," replied Deck, 



66 AT THE FRONT 

as Life stretched his long legs in the direction 
indicated. 

The expedition was to start immediately after 
dinner ; and all the vetei-ans were busily engaged 
in the preparations for more stirring work, and 
the prospect of a change was very agreeable to 
them. Major Lj^on walked up to the headquar- 
ters, and found on his arrival that Life had al- 
ready stated his case. 

" I have the best men in the column, — the best 
riders, the best marksmen, and the pluckiest lot 
all round that you could pick up, two or three 
from each county in the State ; and I can't stand 
it to have the Riverlawn Cavalry go into a fight 
without me and my men. I have known most 
of them all my life ; and they are all in for Old 
Kentuck, and nothing else," pleaded the captain. 
"A good part of them have been in the militia; 
and if they can't make as good a show as the 
rest of the companies, they can do as much fight- 
ing, and do it as well as the best of them. I 
say I will be responsiljle for them." 

Both the colonel and the staff-officer yielded 
the point in the same breath. 



THE MARCH TO COLUMBIA 57 



CHAPTER IV 

THE MARCH TO COLUjVIBIA 

Captaest Life Knox considered it a personal 
grievance that he should be left in camp while 
his former companions in arms were sent out to 
drive off the guerillas that were invading the 
State, or were banding together within its limits ; 
and he was made happy when the seventh com- 
pany was ordered to join the three which had 
formed the Riverlawn battalion. He hastened to 
the camp where the horses were picketed ; and at 
the appointed time his men were in the saddle, 
with their havereacks filled for the march. They 
had been provided with uniforms and arms on 
their arrival ; and their vigorous captain had 
drilled them in the handling of their weapons, 
as well as in some of the movements as mounted 
men. 

It was noAv a battalion of four companies, with 
Major Batterson's battery attached. Two wagons, 



58 AT THE FRONT 

each drawn by six large mules, were loaded with 
grain for the animals and provisions for the men. 
In column the first company had the right, or 
head, and the second the left, or foot, of the 
line, with the seventh and third in the centre, in 
the order as named. The fourth, fifth, and sixth 
were to remain in camp, and their captains were 
directed to drill the men from sunrise till sunset 
every day ; and, as the men were the best mate- 
rial in the State, it was believed that the three 
companies would be ready for the field by the 
time the battalion returned from the expedition. 

The staff -officer represented the major-general 
in command of the Department; and he was au- 
thorized to send the regiment, or any part of it, 
where it might be needed. It was not necessary 
that the three field-officers should go with the 
expedition, but Major Bornwood had ordered 
them to do so, in order to give them the benefit 
of the experience they would obtain in the rank 
to which they had been promoted; and they were 
all as anxious to go as Captain Knox had been. 
The place of the colonel was at the head, the 
lieutenant-colonel at the foot, and the major at 



THE MARCH TO COLUMBIA 59 

the side of the column ; and the staff-officer shook 
hands with all three of them as they took their 
places. The adjutant had not yet been appointed, 
for the regiment was not yet fully organized ; but 
Sergeant Yowell, one of the original Kentuckians 
who had been among the first to enlist in the 
first company of Riverlawns, had been designated 
as sergeant-major, who is the assistant of the ad- 
jutant, and who takes his place when he is not 
present. In this capacity he marched near the 
colonel. 

" Attention — Battalion ! " commanded the col- 
onel, when all was ready. " Forward — March ! " 

The horses had been resting for about three 
days, and they were in excellent condition. The 
colonel gave the order to gallop, as much to re- 
duce the horses to a more quiet condition as to 
increase the speed of the column, though he in- 
tended to make a quick march to the point where 
the force was needed. This rapid marching was 
continued for three miles, when a halt was called 
to enable the wagons to come up ; though Lieu- 
tenant Hickman, the quartermaster, Tiad been or- 
dered to keep up with the column if he could. 



60 AT THE FEONT 

and he had hurried the mules to their best speed, 
and was not far in the rear. The march was re- 
sumed when they came up ; and they did not 
again fall behind, for the column moved at the 
rate of about six miles an hour. 

Colonel Lyon's fine steed was well trained ; 
and when the march was resumed, he dropped 
his reins upon the animal's neck, and took a let- 
ter from his pocket, and broke the seal. It had 
been handed to him, with two others, just as his 
command was leaving Munfordville. He recog- 
nized the handwriting of the direction, and he 
was anxious to know its contents; for it was from 
his brother, who had been a prisoner of war at 
a camp near Chicago for nearly two years. Colo- 
nel Noah Lyon and Captain Titus Lyon had 
been on opposite sides in politics, and there had 
been a good deal of trouble between them. The 
latter had been a hard drinker of Kentucky whis- 
key in recent years. Titus had been at variance 
with his upright and honest brother in regard to 
the property of their deceased brother. Colonel 
Duncan Lyon, who had made a will giving the 
Riverlawn plantation to Noah. 



THE MARCH TO COLUMBIA 61 

Titus thought it ought to have been given to 
him, and this was the root of the trouble. He 
had been a Democrat at Derry, N.H., from which 
all the family had emigrated ; and his associations 
with the whiskey-drinking people in Barcreek 
and its vicinity had caused him to cast in his lot 
with the Secessionists. He had raised a com- 
pany of Home Guards, and had contributed from 
the money he had received from the estate of Ms 
brother to the Southern cause, till he had nearly 
impoverished himself ; and he had been made 
captain of the company. But he drank so much 
whiskey that he was unfit for the command ; and 
when he had been sent on a bridge-destroying 
expedition to co-operate with another force sent 
from farther south, his company had been cap- 
tured, after being thoroughly beaten by the River- 
lawn Cavalry, and the prisonei-s had been sent to 
the North. 

The family of Titus had been broken up by 
his erratic course, for he was no longer able to 
support them. His two sons, Sandy and Orly, 
had joined their father's company, which had 
gone to Bowling Green, where the boys had 



62 AT THE FRONT 

been half starved in the absence of supplies in 
the Confederate camp ; and they had deserted be- 
fore the command was sent on the bridge expe- 
dition. The mother and three daughters, with 
the financial assistance of Noah, had returned to 
their friends in New Hampshire ; and the two 
boys, who had followed their father's lead with- 
out having any interest in the South side he 
espoused, had joined the Riverlawn Cavalry. 
Both of them were brave fellows, and Orly had 
been killed in one of the battles of the battalion ; 
while Sandy had just been promoted to the rank 
of second lieutenant, and assigned to the fifth 
company. 

Noah had received two letters from Titus, and 
had put him in communication with his wife 
and daughters. As a prisoner, he could obtain 
no whiskey, and he had no money to bribe reck- 
less camp retainers. His letters indicated a 
change of heart, and certainly of manners. Un- 
der the discipline of the prison camp, he had 
become a different man. The most significant 
announcement contained in his second letter was 
that the chaplain of the camp had converted liini 



THE MARCH TO COLUMBIA 63 

to the Union faith. Noah had not much confi- 
dence in the professions of his brother. He asked 
for money ; but the loyal brother would not send 
him any, fearful that it would be converted into 
whiskey. This was the state of affairs between 
the colonel and his brother when he broke the. 
seal of the third letter, received four months 
after the second. 

The letter brought tears to the eyes of the 
reader, for Titus was a penitent. 

" I have not tasted of any intoxicating drink for a 
year and a half, and I have signed the pledge never to 
touch it again as long as I live ; and with the help of 
God, I shall be true to my pledge [he wrote]. Mr. Gold- 
word, the chaplain of the division to which I belong, has 
been my best friend. He seciu'ed me my rights as an 
officer, and I am now addressed as ' Captain Lyon.' But 
this is a small matter compared with the rest he has 
done for me. He has argued the political question with 
me till I believe I am as strong a Union man as you 
are ; and I am sure now it was whiskey that made a 
Secessionist of me. I have signed the oath of allegiance 
to the United States government. Since I did this two 
months ago, I have been practically set at liberty. I have 
no home now, for my wife and children have deserted 
me, though I do not blame them for doing so. I have 
property and debts due me in Barcreek ; but I have not 



64 AT THE FRONT 

a dollar in money, and I cannot go to New Hampshire 
or back to Kentucky. I shall enlist as a private in the 
army of the Union at the first opportunity to join the 
cavalry service. 1 have been a member of a Presbyterian 
church here, and have been at work at my trade for a 
few days, since I could find anything to do. I have 
asked God, as I now ask you, to forgive me for all the 
hard words I have spoken to you, my brother, and for all 
I have done to your injury and that of my country. Mr. 
Goldword has promised to ■WTite to you about my case, 
and to give you his testimony in regard to what I am 



This was the substance of Titus's letter, and 
the colonel wept over it. One of the other let- 
ters bore the same postmark, and he had no 
doubt it was from the chaplain, and the other 
was from Derry ; but he had not time to read 
them, for the command had made ten miles, and 
he called a halt to water the horses. Without 
saying a word, he handed the letter to his son; 
and while his orderly was attending to his horse, 
he opened the letter from Derry. It was from 
Amelia, the wife of Titus, who had heard from 
him ; and she related all the facts contained in 
her husband's letter. She had sent him some 
money, borrowed of her brother, and had begged 



THE MARCH TO COLUMBIA 65 

him not to enlist in a Western regiment. She 
thought he had better return to Kentucky, and 
work at his trade. The letter from the chap- 
lain enclosed others from the minister of the 
church of which Titus was a member, and from 
the officers of the company in charge of the. 
camp, all speaking in the highest terms of " Cap- 
tain Lyon." 

The march was resumed, and at sunset the 
command reached Greens burg, where they in- 
tended to camp for the night ; but a telegraphic 
despatch from Major Bornwood informed the colo- 
nel that Columbia, the capital of Adair County, 
where the Riverlawns had been before on their 
way to Mill Spring, was threatened by a large 
body of guerillas, moving rapidly upon the town, 
and ordered him to hasten to its defence. It 
was about eighteen miles distant, and the com- 
mander decided to proceed without any unneces- 
sary delay. The horses were fed, and the men 
had their supper. The battalion had marched 
only twenty miles that afternoon ; it was a moon- 
light evening. The wagon-guard of the quarter- 
master was increased, and the four companies 



66 AT THE FEONT 

made the first ten miles in an hour. They were 
then halted for a rest of half an hour; for the 
colonel believed in keeping his .troopers as fresh 
as possible. 

" Did you read that letter from your Uncle 
Titus, Dexter? " asked the commander while they 
were waiting. 

" I did, father ; and it looks as though Uncle 
Titus was a very different man from what he 
was in the Confederate service," replied Deck, as 
much rejoiced at the change in him as his father 
was. " Do you suppose it is a lasting change ? " 

" I believe it is, for nothing could have induced 
him to write the letter you have read if he did 
not mean it," added the colonel. "Titus is no 
hypocrite ; and when he stopped drinking whis- 
key, he came to his senses. I have letters from 
his minister and from his wife. They all speak 
confidently of him, and your Aunt Meely ad- 
vises him to return to Barcreek. I shall send 
him money, 'and if he comes home I should like 
to do something for him. If he had written be- 
fore we made the promotions, I should have 
found a place for him in the regiment." 



THE MARCH TO COLUMBIA 67 

" We have no adjutant or sergeant-major yet, 
father," suggested Deck, 

"More of the family m the command," added 
Colonel Lyon with a smile. " But we will defer 
that matter till we need the officers you mention. 
Titus was the adjutant of a regiment in New 
Hampshire about fifteen years ago, and was a 
military man from the time he was eighteen. • He 
is more of a soldier than I was when we went 
into the service." 

" I have no doubt he is qualified for any posi- 
tion up to captain of a company," said Deck, as 
his father gave the order to form the column. 

At ten o'clock in the evening the battalion 
was approaching Columbia ; and a squad of cav- 
alry was reported as coming up the road, consist- 
ing of not more than half a dozen. As they 
came nearer, they halted, and gave three cheers. 
Then they rode forward at full gallop ; and Colo- 
nel Lyon halted the battalion, to ascertain the 
meaning of this demonstration. The principal 
personage of tlie group, or at least the one that 
rode in advance, halted in front of the colonel. 

"I am glad to see you. Colonel Lyon, at just 



68 AT THE FllONT 

this time, for you are greatly needed here," said 
the leading man. " I telegraphed to Major Born- 
wood at Munfordville, and received a reply that 
Colonel Lyon with four companies of cavalry and 
a battery were on the road to Columbia. You 
were Major Lyon when we met last, and when 
you defeated the enemy's force on the road to 
Jamestown." 

" I ought to know you, and j'our voice sounds 
familiar; but I do not," replied the colonel. 

" I am usually called Colonel Halliburn, for 
that was my rank in the militia ; but I am 
now only the captain of the Millersville Home 
Guard," replied the officer. 

" I am glad to meet you again, Colonel Hal- 
liburn." 

" You don't remember a man by the name of 
Ripley, do you. Colonel ? " said an elderly man 
next to the leader. 

" Very well indeed, for he was in command 
of the shaipshooters that did such good service 
at Mill Spring." 

"I am the man," said the second speaker. 

"■I am glad to see you. Captain Ripley," added 



THE MARCH TO COLUMBIA 69 

Colonel Lyon, as he shook hands with the best 
rifleman in the county. " But I think we had 
better attend to business now. Where are the 
guerillas, Colonel Halliburn ? " 

" They may be regular Confederate cavalry, 
though in my opinion they don't belong to the 
army. We have a squad of scouts out ; and a 
messenger came in from them two hours ago, 
stating that the enemy had camped for the night 
at Harrison, and no doubt they will plunder the 
to"\vn." 

" Then nothing can be done to-night ; and I 
am not sorry for it, for my men have ridden 
nearly forty miles to-day. 

" We will examine the map, and look over 
the ground," added Colonel Lyon, as he gave 
the order to march. 

The command camped for the night on the 
outskirts of Columbia. 



AT THE FRONT 



CHAPTER V 

PREPARATIONS FOR THE DEFENCE 

Quartermaster HicKiviAisr, who was one of 
the sons of Colonel Hickman, whose battle at his 
mansion on the hill the battalion had fought the 
year before, and who was entirely familiar with 
the locality, for his home was less than twenty 
miles from Columbia, had made a cross-cut, and 
hurried up the wagons, so that they arrived at the 
camp almost as soon as the companies, and the 
tents were pitched. The men had taken their 
supper early in the evening, and they were soon 
rolled up in their blankets on the ground. But 
Colonel Lyon and the other field-officers did not 
not go into their tent till a later hour, but pro- 
ceeded at once to make a survey of the surround- 
ings of the town, and to make the dispositions 
for the battle of the following day, 

Columbia was not a large town in 1862 ; and 
the two original companies of the Riverlawn 



PREPARATIONS FOR THE DEFENCE 71 

Cavalry had been there before, and knew some- 
thing about the place. It is located on Russell's 
Creek, — and a fairly large stream often takes 
the name of " creek " in Kentucky. In this in- 
stance it was a considerable river, flowing into 
the Green. Colonel Halliburn and Lieutenajit 
Ripley were sent for by the commander of the 
force ; and they began a tour of the town on the 
outskirts, where the engagement was likely to 
take place. 

" Now, Colonel Halliburn " — 

" Excuse me, Colonel Lyon, but I am not a 
colonel, only a captain in command of the Home 
Guard, and too many colonels may make confu- 
sion," interposed the officer addressed. " Call 
me captain, please ; for that is my present rank." 

" As you please. Captain Halliburn. Have 
your scouts reported the number of the cavalry 
approaching?" asked the colonel. 

" They could not ascertain the number accu- 
rately, but believe the force consists of an entire 
regiment," replied the captain. 

" What is your force here ? " 

"I have a full company of cavalry, and at 



72 AT THE FRONT 

Millersville I have a company of infantry for 
the defence of the town." 

"We shall be outnumbered, then," added Colo- 
nel Lyon, evidently not pleased with the situa- 
tion. "I have but four companies and a battery 
of six guns." 

Both of the camps were near the river, and 
therefore in the southern part of the town, that 
of the Home Guard being at the extreme end of 
the village. The road came in from Harrison, 
near the latter, by a bridge over the deepest 
water in the stream. From this crossing the 
surveying party had a full view of the entire 
locality outside of the town, which was at that 
time nothing more than a village, though it con- 
tained some very fine residences and the county 
buildings. Colonel Lyon halted on the bridge ; 
and the moonlight enabled him to obtain a suf- 
ficient view of the surroundings. He had some- 
thing over five hundred men in his command; 
and it was probable that the enemy had double 
that number, if it was a full regiment, as it had 
had been reported to be. 

The colonel felt the responsibility of the situa- 



PKEPAEATIONS FOii THE DEFENCE 73 

tion; and from what he had learned he was m- 
cHned to believe that the regiment at Harrison 
was the advance of the forces that were moving 
into the State under Bragg and Kirby Smith, 
though it might be only one of the guerilla 
forces which had been sent in advance of the 
main armies. But whatever the enemy might 
be, it was necessary that the force should be 
beaten ; and this Avas the great thought in the 
mind of the commander. He did not lose sight 
of the fact that he was to fight the battle 
with only half the force of the enemy. It 
would require something more than brute force 
to achieve a victory under these circumstances. 
He seated himself on the rail of the bridge, and 
looked about him. No one spoke to him, and he 
did not ask the advice of his associates. After 
he had been silent for a quarter of an hour, 
he leaped down from his seat, and rubbed his 
hands together as though he had obtained the 
idea he wanted. 

" I think we can whip them ! " he exclaimed 
in vigorous tones, as he stamped his right foot 
upon the planks of the bridge. 



74 AT THE FRONT 

His companions looked at him ; for they were 
satisfied tliat liis plan for the battle was fully ar- 
ranged. They were ready to receive their orders, 
and were rather impatient to know how opera- 
tions were to be conducted ; but not one of 
them asked a question. 

" On the right of the road from Harrison, 
looking from this bridge, the woods extend at 
least half a mile," said the colonel, seating him- 
self on the rail again. 

"For over two miles," added Lieutenant Rip- 
ley. 

" So much the better. Now, Captain Halli- 
burn, where are the sharpshooters that rendered 
such valuable service in the fight on the road to 
Jamestown?" inquired Colonel Lyon. 

" They are all here, still in my command," an- 
swered the captain of the Home Guard. "When 
we want to use them as riflemen they are under 
the command of Lieutenant Ripley." 

"How many of them are there?" 

"Sixty-three, counting me in," replied the lieu- 
tenant. " We have had rather quiet times about 
here for the last year, and they have not had 



PREPARATIONS FOR THE DEFENCE 75 

much practice ; but they can shoot as well as 
ever they could." 

"I propose to place that portion of your com- 
mand in this wood, Captain Halliburn, if you do 
not object ; for the company is yours, and not 
mine." 

" My company is under your command, and 
you can place them where you think best," an- 
swered the captain of the Home Guard. " Rip- 
ley, you will take your orders from Colonel 
Lyon." 

" The colonel is going to play the same game 
he did a year ago on the Jamestown road and 
at the meadows by Fishing Creek," said the 
lieutenant. " I am ready to do my best for him ; 
and when a ball goes out of one of my rifles, a 
trooper drops, killed or wounded." 

"I thank you. Lieutenant, and I am confident 
I can depend upon you," added Colonel Lyon. 
"You can see that rising ground near the creek, 
south-east of the village. On that I shall post 
the battery of six guns. You will place your 
riflemen behind the trees, on the south side of 
the creek, and far enough back to be out of 



76 AT THE FRONT 

the reach of the shot and shells which Major 
Batterson will pour into the enemy. But he 
will take the Confederate troopers at an angle, 
so that no shot will strike within a quarter of 
a mile of this bridge. Do you understand it, 
Lieutenant Ripley?" 

" Perfectly, Colonel." 

" Colonel Gordon, you will command the first 
and second companies, posted out of sight from 
the Harrison road at the southern extremity of 
the village. You can place your men behind the 
houses and in that grove by the river," continued 
the colonel. 

" But I have forty-seven men besides the rifle- 
men," interposed Captain Halliburn, fearing that 
he might not be employed. 

" I believe there is a ford beyond that bend in 
the creek," continued the colonel, pointing in 
the direction of the road by which the command 
had arrived at the town. " We crossed it on 
the way to Millersville ; for the enemy had de- 
stroyed the bridge." 

"You are quite right. Colonel Lyon," replied 
Captain Halliburn. 



PREPARATIONS FOR THE DEFENCE 77 

"The third and seventh companies, with the 
Home Guard detachment, will be posted there, 
under the command of Major Lyon ; and the 
three companies will be the reserve. I shall be 
first with the battery, and all the time where I 
can overlook the whole field. If -I find it neces- 
sary, I shall order the bridge to be destroyed ; 
and that would carry the burden of the fighting 
to the ford, where the major's force will have to 
stand the brunt of the battle till it can be re-en- 
forced by the first or second company." 

" I think we can stand it, though Captain 
Knox's company is not yet in the highest state 
of discipline," added Deck, not sorry to find that 
he was to have an important position in the line 
of battle. 

"I have stated the plan of the defence fully, 
and I trust it is clearly understood ; Imt I am 
ready to answer any questions," said the colonel, 
with a gape which indicated what he needed 
next, though he had passed many sleepless 
nights on the field. 

No one asked any questions, for each officer 
understood his share of duty in the action. It 



78 AT THE FRONT 

was eleven o'clock, and the inliabitants of the 
village were all asleep. No loafer or night wan- 
derer had disturbed the conference on the bridge, 
and not a word of it could have been overheard 
by any person. The officers went to the camps 
where they belonged ; but the first thing Colonel 
Lyon did when he reached his tent, before which 
was a guard, was to send for Major Batterson. 
While his orderly was gone to summon him, 
the commander seated himself at his table, and 
drew a plan of the battle. 

" Major, I have made all my dispositions for 
the affair of to-morrow, however early or late it 
may open," said the colonel when the comman- 
der of the battery appeared, pointing on his 
drawing to the elevation where the guns were to 
be planted. " You will throw up a breastwork 
there, from which you can enfilade the enemy on 
his approach as soon as the regiment reaches the 
turn in the road. Sixty-three riflemen will be 
posted in the wood on the other side of the high- 
way, and their line will extend to the bend in 
the road. Of coui^se you will not throw any shot 
or shells into the wood this side of the bend." 



PREPARATIONS FOR THE DEFENCE 79 

"Certainly not," replied the major. "I will 
not kill or wound our own men." 

" You can turn your men out as early as may 
be necessary to complete the breastwork by day- 
light. The battalion will be under arms by three 
o'clock," said the colonel, with another gape. " I 
intend this affair shall be a surprise to the en- 
emy. Captain HalLiburn has sent out mounted 
scouts on the road, who will prevent any disloyal 
persons in the village from carrying information 
to the enemy." 

"My command will be on that hill at three 
o'clock in the morning," added Major Batterson 
as he returned to his tent. 

Colonel Lyon rolled himself up in his blanket, 
and stretched himself upon the ground where his 
orderly had prepared the best bed he could for 
him; and he was asleep almost as soon as he 
touched it, for by this time he was an old cam- 
paigner, and could go to sleep at any hour, by 
day or night, and even when he was seated on 
his horse. He slept just four hours, which was 
enough for him, and then he was on his feet. The 
several companies were already stirring, and the 



80 AT THE FRONT 

horses were eating their grain. The tents were 
rolled up, and placed in the wagons. The am- 
munition was served out, and the men were eat- 
ing their breakfast of ham and hardtack, washed 
down with coffee. At three o'clock the lines were 
formed, and the colonel gave the order for the 
lieutenant-colonel and the major to move their 
respective commands to the locations assigned to 
them. 

Major Batterson had his battery on the hill, 
which was not more than fifty feet above the 
level of the water in the creek ; and his men were 
very industriously using their picks and shovels, 
assisted by a force from the town, for which the 
colonel had applied the night before. The guns 
were soon planted at the breastwork thrown up, 
loaded with canister, and all ready to open the 
battle. Colonel Lyon rode over to the hill to as- 
sure himself that everything was ready for the 
expected conflict. Major Batterson was as enthu- 
siastic as an officer could be, and nothing was 
left undone in his lines. 

Looking down from the hill, the colonel could 
see nothing of the troopers in the positions to 



PREPARATIONS FOR THE DEFENCE 81 

wliich he had assigned them ; and he did not 
wish to see them, for their olficers had been 
ordered to keep them under cover. He rode 
down to the bridge, and to the parts of the 
village nearest to it, and found that the lieu- 
tenant had posted his force in admirable posi- 
tions for the duty they were to perform. The 
major's force was in a grove where they could 
not possibly be seen from the Harrison road. 
At the same time, both of these forces could 
fall upon the enemy without a moment's delay 
when it should be necessary to check the enemy. 
From these points Colonel Lyon rode into the 
woods, and found the sharpshooters all in posi- 
tion to discharge the important duty assigned to 
them. 

The commander had studied his maps very at- 
tentively, and had learned, from those who were 
familiar with the locality, that the woods ex- 
tended as far south as Montpelier, and nearly 
to Millers ville. If the enemy were checked or 
turned back, they could not reach the other side 
of the village except by going back to Harrison, 
and making their way round by Jamestown and 



82 -AT THE FEONT 

Millersville. The company of Home Guards at 
the latter, where Captain Halliburn had left them 
to defend the town, had scouts out watching the 
approaches from the east and the south ; for raids 
were expected as the Confederate armies moved 
towards the centre of the State, with Louisville 
and Cincinnati as their objective points. 

At six o'clock in the morning a small move- 
ment was detected in the Harrison road ; but it 
proved to be the mounted scouts of the Home 
Guard, and not of the enemy's cavalry. Captain 
Halliburn recognized them by signals agreed 
upon; for he and Lieutenant Ripley had posted 
themselves on the bridge, which commanded a 
clear view of the road. The scouts came in, 
and it was evident from the condition of their 
horses that they had had a hard ride. They 
reported that the enemy's cavalry had marched 
at four o'clock, and could not be expected to 
arrive before eight. But at half-past seven the 
force appeared. Not a sound could be heard in 
the village, or on either side of the bridge. 
Doubtless the enemy expected to surprise the 
Home Guard, known to be there. The regiment 



PREPARATIONS FOR THE DEFENCE 83 

advanced confidently till the head of the column 
reached the bend in the road, and then the six 
guns of the battery poured their canister into 
the head of the line. 



84 AT THE FEONT 



CHAPTER VI 

THE CHARGE OF THE ENEMY ON THE HILL 

The guns of the battery were not discharged 
together, but followed one another in rapid suc- 
cession. The cannoneers were thoroughly drilled, 
and when the first piece was fired it was drawn 
back and reloaded with all the rapidity which 
skill and practice could give. There was no 
wind ; but the air was still, without a puff to 
carry off the smoke, which la}- in a dense volume, 
and prevented Major Batterson from seeing what 
effect his canister had produced in the ranks 
of the enemy. 

Colonel Lyon had found an elevation near the 
bridge, which he mounted on his horse, and from 
which he could see the Confederate force. It 
was near the buildings behind which the first 
and second companies were posted ; and as he 
passed Colonel Gordon, he beckoned to him to 
follow, as he wanted him to understand clearly 



CHARGE OF THE ENEMY ON THE HILL 85 

the situation, for he was to execute the next 
movement in the plan. The first shot was evi- 
dently a surprise ; for the entire force of the 
defenders of the town was completely masked, 
and the colonel of the approaching regiment 
could have had no suspicion of the presence -of 
the well-placed battalion. 

The effect of the first shot was very decided ; 
and several of the troopers were seen to fall from 
their horses, and there was no little confusion 
in the ranks. The first discharge was followed 
by the second, with very little interval between 
them. At the same time the crack of the rifles 
in the woods could be heard ; and Lieutenant 
Ripley appeared to be using the same tactics he 
had applied on the two former occasions when he 
had rendered such efficient service in securing the 
victory. His men took careful aim, and no two 
riflemen marked the same person for their victim. 
Several officers had been marching leisurely at 
the head of the column ; for it was plain that 
they, expected to choose their own time and place 
for the attack, if the appearance of such a body 
of troops did not awe the defenders of the place 



86 AT THE FRONT 

into an immediate surrender. Their easy and 
careless approach indicated something of this 
kind. 

"They are getting more than they bargained 
for," said Colonel Gordon, as the observers real- 
ized that the riflemen were picking off the officers 
of the regiment. 

" It is all working precisely as I expected it 
would," added Colonel Lyon, who did not seem 
to be at all excited by the scene before him. 
" Ripley is picking off the officers, and several 
of them have already dropped from their horses." 

" The commander of the force has retired to 
the side of the road, and must be severely 
wounded," added Gordon. 

" Batterson strikes them at the bend of the 
road and beyond, and he has followed my in- 
structions to the letter; therefore he has not 
aimed at the head of the column," said the colo- 
nel. " It is Ripley's men who have brought 
down the officers, and they are still falling." 

" He is striking them now about in their third 
company, and he is doing terrible execution in 
their ranks," replied Gordon. 



CHARGE OF THE ENEMY ON THE HILL 87 

" It looks very much like a slaughter ; and I 
doubt if your two companies will have much, 
if anytliing, to do," continued the colonel, as 
he saw the terrible havoc made by the guns and 
the riflemen. 

He had hardly spoken the words before the 
company, or what was left of it, broke and gal- 
loped to the rear. The next company followed 
its example, for the road here was wide enough 
to permit their passage outside of the column. 
Colonel Lyon remained as unmoved as before ; for 
though he was quick to take advantage of any 
favorable occasion, he was not the man to make 
a move without due reflection. It was plain 
enough that the enemy would abandon the field, 
and flee to a place of safety, or that a new dis- 
position of the force would be made. The Con- 
federate colonel was disabled, and was being 
borne to the rear. Simply because he had not 
suspected the near presence of any enemy other 
than the Home Guard, he had needlessly exposed 
himself to tlie fate which had overtaken him. 

The panic in the companies at the head of the 
column had been communicated to the entire 



88 AT THE FRONT 

regiment. Both of the officers on the knoll had 
brought their field-glasses into use as soon as the 
enemy broke, and Colonel Gordon had counted 
ten companies on the retreat. An officer on the 
left flank of the column had attracted the atten- 
tion of the colonel when the panic began, and he 
was observing his movements very closely. He 
had marched at about the middle of the line, and 
he concluded that he was the major ; but Gordon 
was confident that he was the lieutenant-colonel, 
though he was in the usual position of the major. 

" He gave the order to ' about face,' and to 
retreat," added Colonel Gordon. 

" It does not make much difference what he is ; 
but he has evidently taken the command of the 
regiment, and has given the order for the retreat, 
the only sensible thing he could do," replied the 
colonel. "The only question now is what they 
will do next." 

" The colonel is certainly used up for the pres- 
ent, and all we have to do is to wait for the 
next move on the part of the enemy. Batterson 
has ceased firing, for the enemy have passed out 
of the reach of his guns; and the riflemen have 



CHARGE OF THE ENEIVIY ON THE HILL 89 

done the same. The force have discovered by 
this time that the place is defended by something 
more than the Home Guard." 

Colonel Lyon was silent for some minutes ; but 
he was making a careful examination of the coun- 
try on the east of the town, the portion of which 
nearest to the battery was a tobacco-field. Be- 
yond was a large area of hemp. It was the 
middle of August, and there had lately been no 
heavy rains. The land was therefore dry, with 
only a few scattering trees upon it. The creek 
flowed about half-way between the road and the 
elevation on which the battery was posted. 

" I think I can see what the enemy will do 
next," said the colonel, when he had completed 
his survey of the fields on the east. 

" They evidently believe that the battery has 
done all, or the most, of the mischief to their 
column ; and they will take to the fields, and 
endeavor to capture it," suggested the lieutenant- 
colonel. 

" That is exactly my view of the situation," 
answered Colonel Lyon, who seemed to be pre- 
pared to act. "You will uncover your com- 



90 AT THE FRONT 

panies, and march over the bridge to the woods 
at the side of the road, Colonel Gordon." 

The colonel spoke very decidedly, and his com- 
panion rode off hastily to execute the command. 
The troopers had done nothing thus far, and 
they were anxious to be led into the conflict. 
In a few minutes they were posted on the verge 
of the wood, which was too dense for the move- 
ments of cavalry. Colonel Lyon galloped his 
fleet steed down the hill and over the bridge to 
the position assigned to the major. He ordered 
Deck to march his command to the knoll where 
he had observed the progress of the action. 

" Major Lyon, you will support the battery ; 
for in the course of an hour, perhaps within half 
an hour, the enemy is likely to attempt to cap- 
ture it. You will be greatly outnumbered, but 
we must not lose the battery." 

" It shall not be lost," replied Deck confidently. 

" Don't be too sure, for there will be hard 
fighting on that hill if the men on the other 
side have not lost their pluck. How are your 
men? " 

" They are full of fight, and are very impa- 



CHARGE OF THE ENEMY OX THE HILL 91 

tient to be brought into action. Captain Knox 
has primed them up to the highest notch. They 
are nearly all great stalwart fellows, and they 
will make a havoc wherever they go. I think 
Life enlisted only the biggest men he could find; 
and he says there is another company at least 
that could be enlisted in Muhlenburg County." 

"We will talk of that another time. March 
your command to the hill, and report to Major 
Batterson what you are there for," added the 
colonel, as he rode over to the wood. 

The major moved his companies on the in- 
stant, and his father saw them posted on the hill 
where they could defend the battery to the best 
advantage. The colonel found Lieutenant Rip- 
ley's riflemen formed in line in the wood ; for 
they had accomplished their mission as far as it 
could be done, and had fired till the enemy were 
out of rifle range of them. 

" You have done exceedingly well. Lieutenant 
Ripley, and I thank you for your efficient ser- 
vice," said the colonel, in the hearing of all the 
riflemen, wdiom he intended to compliment as well 
as their officer. 



92 AT THE FRONT 

"Is the battle ended, Colonel?" asked the 
lieutenant. 

"No, I think not; but we have to wait for 
the next move of the enemy. The regiment has 
lost its colonel, who was either killed or seriously 
wounded." 

" I ought to know that, for I fired the shot 
that brought him down," replied the lieutenant. 

" We have not the time to talk about it now, 
Lieutenant. You are better acquainted with this 
locality than I am, and you are aware that there 
is a selvage of trees along the south side of 
Russell's Creek, between the road and the stream; 
they have been cut off on tlie other side to make 
room for tobacco plants," continued the colonel. 

" I know all about it. Colonel, for I have fished 
that stream for fifty years," replied Ripley. 

" You will post your men in those trees, Lieu- 
tenant Ripley. 

"With the road behind them?" asked the 
rifleman, with some surprise in his expression. 

" Precisely so ; for that road will not be used 
again at present for an attack, you may be very 
sure. The next move of the enemy will be to 



CHARGE OB^ THE ENEMY ON THE HILL 93 

attempt to capture the battery, which they doubt- 
less believe did all the mischief to the Confeder- 
ate column. I don't think they were aware that 
sharpshooters were stationed in this grove." 

" They found it out when the surgeons exam- 
ined the wounds of the men that fell." 

"The work was well done, and it makes little 
difference whether or not the enemy know who 
did it. Now, Lieutenant, that you may know the 
situation, I expect the next attack will he made 
from the tobacco-field. The commander of the 
force cannot know yet that there is anything but 
the Home Guard behind that battery. Now post 
your men; and I need not say anything more to 
you. Lieutenant Ripley, for I know that you will 
do your whole duty," said the colonel. 

Colonel Lyon saw that Gordon's command 
were on the verge of the wood, and then rode 
over the bridge to the battery. He found that 
Major Batterson's men, assisted by those of 
Deck's command, were at work with their picks 
and shovels, enlarging and raising the breast- 
work. Mounted on his horse, he could now just 
see over the rampart. 



94 AT THE FRONT 

" Have you kept a lookout, Major Battersou, 
in the direction the enemy retreated ? " inquired 
the colonel, when both majors came to his side. 

" I have, Colonel ; but there is no movement 
yet," replied the commander of the battery. 

" With the field-glass I made out certain 
movements on the part of the enemy which indi- 
cated that they were establishing a hospital on 
the other side of the plain occupied by the plan- 
tations," said Major Lyon. 

" I think they are at dinner on the side of 
that hill," added the other major. 

"Then we had better do the same thing," 
added the colonel ; and he gave the order to that 
effect. 

As the men had to dine out of their haver- 
sacks, it was not a formidable affair, and in 
twenty minutes they were ready for action. 

" They are forming in column for a march up 
the road they used before," said Deck, as he 
was munching his ham and hardtack. 

" But they will not come a great distance on 
that road," added Colonel Lyon, who Avas en- 
gaged in the same necessary operation. 



CHARGE OF THE ENEMY ON THE HILL 95 

Every man who could see across the plain was 
looking out in the same direction. When the 
regiment had crossed about half-way over, men 
were sent to remove the fence, and the com- 
mander led the way into the field. 

The force moved at a gallop in the direction 
of the battery, the guns of which were loaded 
with shell this time. Just out of reach of 
gunshot, the regiment halted, and one-half of it 
kept to the right, and the other half to the left. 
Each division was led by an officer, and they 
were plucky fellows to expose themselves in 
front of the columns ; and this fact seemed to in- 
dicate that they were now aware of the presence 
on the field of the sharpshooters. The men hur- 
ried their horses to the top of their speed. The 
two divisions were not more than two hundred 
feet apart, and both of them were within the 
range of the riflemen. 

The elevation on which the battery was planted 
was called a hill merely because it was higher at 
its summit than the surrounding region ; but it 
was only fifty feet above the water-level of the 
creek, and the descent on all sides was very 



96 AT THE FEONT 

gradual. The cannoneers were behind the breast- 
work ; and the enemy could make no use of their 
carbines or muskets, whichever they were. They 
made no halt at the foot of the slope, but had 
gathered up for an impetuous charge. 

Three of the guns were to act upon each of 
the divisions of the regiment. At the command 
of the major, a shell was thrown into the middle 
of the first company in each column. The fuses 
had been well timed, the parabola accurately cal- 
culated, and the shells exploded just as the 
commander intended. They created considerable 
confusion, but they did not stop the advance en- 
tirely. Half a dozen men were seen to fall. 
But the brave officers at the front rallied their 
troopers, and the advance was continued as im- 
petuously as before. Then the second shells 
were thrown into the columns ; but they were 
less destructive than the first had been. The 
column pressed forward, apparently unshaken by 
the shells ; and at this moment Major Lyon 
poured his men down upon the enemy from each 
end of the breastwork. 



A BREAK IN THE ENEMY'S COLUMNS 97 



CHAPTER VIJ 

A BKEAK in the ENEJVIY'S COLUjVINS 

Major Batterson was compelled to silence 
his guns when Captain Life Knox led his com- 
pany in the charge against the heads of the two 
columns of the enemy. Captain Halliburn, with 
the Home Guards, attacked the enemy on their 
left; and in spite of their name they were equal 
to any of the regular force. Both of the char- 
ging parties were required to keep as near the 
breastwork as possible, in order to give the rifle- 
men the space to put in their deadly work. 

Colonel Lyon rode down to the knoll where 
the first and second companies had been posted, 
to obtain a better view of the entire field. Life, 
at the head of the big men of his command, had 
made a furious onslaught. The riflemen were 
posted in the trees on the bank of the creek, and 
they had a full view of the advancing enemy. 
The riders in both divisions of the regiment be- 



98 AT THK FRONT 

gan to fall from their horses as soon as they 
attempted to ascend the gradual slope. The 
present commander of the force was less reck- 
less in exposing himself than his predecessor had 
been, and had placed himself behind the com- 
panies making the charge. He could not help 
seeing that his men were picked off at a very 
rapid rate. They dropped from their horses, or 
were wounded, while they were at a considerable 
distance from the heat of the charge. 

He could see that they were not brought down 
by sabre wounds, and at first he was perplexed; 
but he soon discovered the men placed in the 
grove, for they made but little use of the trees, 
as there was no firing into their position. Not 
half of his force was engaged, for not more than 
four companies could get near enough to the 
breastwork to be of any service ; and most of 
the loss was in the force which had found space 
enough to act on the slope of the elevation. 

The regiment wore the uniform of the Con- 
federate army ; and their gray coats could be 
easily distinguished from the blue of the Union 
force by the sharpshooters, who had been care- 



A BREAK IN THE ENEMY.'s COLUMNS 99 

fully instructed by the colonel not to fire at 
those who were engaged in repelling the charge ; 
for that would be perilous to the Kentuckians 
at the front. The commander of the enemy was 
seen to send an officer in the direction of the 
rear ; but he had not gone ten rods before he 
dropped from his horse. A second officer was 
sent as soon as the fate of the first was noted; 
but he shared the fate of the other. 

The riflemen were all mounted men, but their 
horses were at the jDicket-lines on the other side 
of the creek. When the Riverlawns were in 
this section of the State befo^'e. there had been 
talk relating to the forming of a company of 
mounted riflemen ; but in the more quiet times 
that followed the battle of Mill Spring, and the 
departure of the enemy from this part of the 
State, nothing had come of it. Lieutenant Ripley 
had been in command of the sharpshooters when 
they rendered very important service in connec- 
tion with the cavalry ; and he was reputed the 
best shot in liis county. He was sixty years 
old ; but he was still as hale and hearty as he 
had been at forty, and his eyesight was evi- 



100 AT THE FRONT 

dently not in the least impaired by his years, for 
he was still a dead shot. Butters, who had 
been the keeper of the jail at Jamestown, was 
hardly less in repute as a marksman ; and he had 
been also a lieutenant without a commission in 
the company of sixty-four at that time. He 
was still in the Home Guard, and was present 
with it. 

Ripley had the right of his line, and Butters 
had taken a position at his side, as there was 
no manoeuvring of the force ; for each man 
acted for himself, mider the instructions given 
them beforehand. 

"I suppose it will not take much calculating 
to tell what that man is sent off for. Butters," 
said Ripley, as the officer rode out of the column 
on its left flank, and as he di'ew his bead on 
him. 

He fired while the man was on the wing, and 
he dropped to the ground, while Ripley was 
loading his rifle again. The commander's eye 
had followed him till the messenger went down, 
and his horse galloped away to the rear. The 
second man was started on the same errand a 



A BllEAK IN THE ENEMY'S COLUMNS 101 

minute later, and the rifle of Butters covered 
him. He shared the fate of the first, though he 
was not killed, and a couple of the riders has- 
tened to his assistance. 

" I reckon all this means that we are to have 
a hornets' nest let loose in front of us," sa'id 
Butters, as he loaded his Aveapon. 

" One or two companies are to be sent this 
way to clean us out," added Ripley. ' "All that 
is plain enough." 

" That feller that commands the force on the 
other side is a brave man, but he won't hold 
still long enough to be shot," continued Butters. 
" He keeps behind that big tree in the field." 

" I don't blame him for that ; for his troopers 
are falling all around him, and he wouldn't last 
two minutes if he uncovered himself." 

"We are go'n' to have a fight in close quar- 
ters very soon," suggested Butters; "for the com- 
mander has sent a messenger out on the inside 
of his line, and we can't see him. I saw him 
give the order, but I lost sight of the messenger 
before I could fire." 

"When the company comes it will be on the 



102 AT THE FRONT 

other side of the creek ; and it is about a hun- 
dred feet wide just here," replied Ripley. 

While they were talking about what they 
were to expect, Colonel Lyon's orderly went 
with a note to Colonel Gordon, whose two com- 
panies were posted in the grove at the side of 
the road. The receiver glanced at the note, 
which was as brief as a telegraphic despatch, 
and then ordered the two captains to march 
over the bridge to the knoll where the colonel 
was observing the action. Captain Halliburn, 
with his forty-seven men, had charged upon the 
head of the column of the enemy on the left; 
but his small force was greatly outnumbered, 
and he was compelled to fall back. 

Captain Belthorpe was sent to his assistance ; 
and, as instructed by the colonel, he marched 
his company along the creek to the rear of the 
enemy, whose right j^latoon was pressing Cap- 
tain Halliburn's command. At this point they 
fell upon the second platoon, Tom Belthorpe 
leading in person. They fired their carbines 
first, and several of the troopers in front of him 
fell. Then they charged with all the vim which 



A BREAK IN THE ENEMY'S COLUMNS 103 

distinguished the Riverlawns, and crowded the 
company off their ground in the direction of the 
right flank of the regiment. 

Captain Truman was sent over the hill in the 
rear of the breastwork, and came into the field 
on the left of it. Immediately in front of tiie 
work, Life Knox, with his undisciplined Ken- 
tuckians, had been doing wonders ; but it was a 
hand-to-hand fight, and discipline did not count 
for much in such an affair. As Captain Bel- 
thovpe had done, Captain Truman, as ordered 
by the colonel, struck the enemy at the second 
platoon of the first company. The men charged 
as impetuously as they always did, and both the 
first and second companies seemed to ride over 
the enemy as though the Confederates had been 
only pygmies in their path. The result of this 
tremendous double onslaught was that the enemy 
were thrown into confusion ; and in spite of the 
rallying cry of the officer behind the tree, they 
fled from the field on the right of their columns, 
which was the only open space by which they 
could escape from the terrible sabres of the 
Union cavalry. 



104 AT THE FRONT 

But the beaten foe had no sooner passed, as 
it were, out of the fangs of the Riverlawns, 
than the artillery opened upon them, and the 
flight was kept up till they were out of the 
range of the guns. Colonel Lyon rode up to 
the breastwork, dismounted, and placed liimself 
where he could command a full view of the 
entire battlefield. The two companies which had 
led in the assault on the works had been ridden 
down, and beaten from the field. The Union 
troops held the ground they had occupied. 

" Never mind the two companies that are run- 
ning away. Major Batterson. Don't waste any 
more powder upon them," said the colonel, when 
the commander of the battery had placed him- 
self at his side. " It is time to act for a new 
combination. Open with shells upon the main 
body of the enemy. They are somewhat stag- 
gered by the disaster at their front. Fire two 
rounds of shells into them, and then I shall 
order an advance of the whole line. I see that 
the riflemen by the creek are still at work, for 
the men in the enemy's columns are falling in 
both divisions." 



A BllEAK IN THE ENEMY's COLUMNS 105 

There was a pause in the engagement; and 
Colonel Lyon hastily wrote a few lines with a 
pencil on the "block" he carried in his pocket, 
and tore off the sheet, which he sent by his 
orderly to Lieutenant Ripley. The men were 
having a breathing-spell ; but many of them .be- 
lieved they had already won the battle, though 
the commander did not. The question with him 
was whether the commander of the enemy be- 
hind the tree would order a retreat by the way 
the force had come, or an advance upon the four 
companies, with Captain Halliburn's command, 
which had just driven from the field the heads 
of his columns. While he was probably consid- 
ering what he should do, the battery opened 
upon his command with shells, which created a 
great excitement, if not a panic, among his 
men. At the same time a company was discov- 
ered moving at full gallop from the rear of the 
column towards the front, but soon diverging 
from a straight line in the direction of the 
creek ; and it was evident to the colonel that 
this force was sent to clean out the riflemen on 
the other side of the creek. 



106 AT THE FRONT 

" Throw two of your shells into that company, 
Major," said the colonel. 

" Do you mean to attack with a single com- 
pany, Colonel?" asked the major, as his can- 
noneers were training the two guns on the right 
to obey the order. 

"By no means," replied Colonel Lyon. "That 
force is sent to the creek to drive out the rifle- 
men, who are doing a great deal of mischief in 
the ranks of the enemy." 

The shells were thrown as directed, and the 
first one burst in the very midst of the com- 
pany, for they were pointed by the major him- 
self. The effect was very decided, and the 
troopers scattered in every available direction ; 
but the captain was a brave and plucky man, 
and with a loud voice he rallied his men. They 
were returning to the ranks when a rifle-ball 
silenced him forever. The first lieutenant was 
made of the same kind of stuff as his com- 
mander, and continued the work the other had 
begun. The men formed again, and were about 
to advance when another shell fell in the midst 
of the command, and scattered them again. The 



A BREAK IN THE ENEMY'S COLUMNS 107 

lieutenant rallied them, and spread them out in 
sections over the field, so that the shells should 
not be so destructive ; but no more of these 
missiles disturbed the force, and the officer led 
them to the creek, striking it at a considerable 
distance from the location of the riflemen, which 
disturbed their aim for a time. 

" Now play into the ranks of the main body. 
Major Batterson," said the colonel. " Our men 
are getting a good rest out of the present situa- 
tion ; and they need it, for they fought with tre- 
mendous vigor in the charge." 

'•' That they did ! " replied the major, as he 
gave his orders to the cannoneers. "But what 
is coming next. Colonel ? " 

"I don't know any better than you do. Major; 
but it is the next move of the enemy, and when 
it comes I shall endeavor to meet it. Major 
Lyon wished to pursue the companies that ran 
away; but I ordered him not to do so. We are 
strong in front of your works now, and we 
should not be if two companies were sent in 
pursuit of the two that ran away." 

" Now, what can that company do with the 



108 AT THE FRONT 

riflemen?" asked the major, as lie saw the troop- 
ers following the creek. 

"Nothing; just now they are shielded from 
the fire of Ripley's men by that bend of the 
creek; but as soon as they reach a pomt in front 
of them, or attempt to cross the stream, not a 
few of them will begin their last sleep," replied 
the colonel, as he directed his glass to the big 
black walnut which had so far been the salva- 
tion of the officer to whom the command of the 
regiment had fallen ; and he had been wise to 
keep himself covered, for the safety of the com- 
mand depended upon him. 

" Can you hit that tree. Major Batterson ? " 
asked the colonel, pointing it out to the com- 
mander of the batterj' ; and it was the most 
prominent object on the field. 

"I think so." 

"Try it." 

It was a failure the first time, but the second 
attempt was more fortunate, and the tree seemed 
to be hollow ; for with his glass the colonel could 
see the shell penetrate the tree, and then explode, 
tearing the tree into a hundred pieces, and crush- 



A BREAK IN THE ENEMY's COLUMNS 109 

ing the officer under the weight of its branches. 
Probably he was not killed; but he must have 
been disabled, for he was seen no more on the 
field. Judging from the positions he had occu- 
pied, he was the lieutenant-colonel. A tremen- 
dous yell followed the fall of the tree. Then 
a young man, as he appeared to be with the aid 
of the glass, rode to the front of the two columns ; 
and from the movement that followed, it was 
evident that he had given an order for the col- 
umns to advance. The colonel had no doubt 
that he was the major to whom the command 
had fallen by the catastrophe to the lieutenant- 
colonel. 

He placed himself at the head of the column 
on the right, and, forcing his steed to a gallop, 
rode up the gentle slope, where Life and Captain 
Richland had formed to receive the attack. The 
first division of the command, under Colonel 
Gordon, formed for the onslaught of the left 
wing of the enemy. By this time the riflemen 
had their hands full; for the company in front 
of them had formed in single line, with all of 
six feet between the men, and were using their 



110 AT THE FKONT 

carbines or muskets, firing into the little grove. 
Ripley had given the word to his men to keep 
covered by the trees, which were large enough 
to give them abundant shelter. But they used 
their rifles all the time, and many fell before 
them. 



THE FINAL RESULT OF THE BATTLE 111 



CHAPTER VIII 

THE FIXAL RESULT OF THE BATTLE 

The battle on all sides had assumed a new 
phase. At least four companies of the enemy, 
after the hand-to-hand fight with the superior 
force which Colonel Lyon had brought to bear 
upon them, and the steady fire of the riflemen, 
who hardly wasted a single bullet, had fled from 
the field when human endurance had gone to 
its extreme tension, and there were not more than 
six companies of the regiment left in the field. 
The ground in front of the breastwork was now 
occupied only by the four companies of Colonel 
Gordon and the command of Captain Halliburn ; 
but it was strewn with the dead and wounded 
of the enemy. The Union force had by no means 
escaped unharmed ; but the commander of the 
new regiment had always been as tender of his 
soldiers as he was of his children. 



112 AT THE FRONT 

He liad taken possession of a large vacant 
house near the l)reastwork, and the wounded had 
been conveyed to it. The women and the men 
of the town had assisted in this work, and Dr. 
Farnwright had been busy since the action began. 
So far, not a single one of the riflemen had been 
brought under his care, for they had been pro- 
tected by the trees on their field of operations ; 
and they had used them not only as shields for 
their bodies, Ijut as partial rests for their rifles. 
Many of the enemy's wounded had been borne 
from the field, but there were many more left 
who were crawling away when they had the 
strength to do so; and when the pause in the 
conflict came, the captains had ordered their men, 
when they had rested a wliile from the severe 
exertion of the charge, to assist them to safe 
places. 

The conduct of Captain Knox's raw troops had 
been all that could have been expected of vete- 
rans. They had come into the service rather 
late in the day, for they had been attending to 
their farms and workshops, where the State needed 
them as well as in the field ; and they were citi- 



THE FINAL RESULT OF THE BATTLE 113 

zens of more character than a large portion of the 
recruits. As the advance of the season released 
them to some extent from their ordinary occupa- 
tions, they had promptly enlisted when it was 
known that the Confederacy was making a tre- 
mendous effort to obtain possession of the State, 
even to the Ohio River, which Avould open the 
rich regions of ths north to them. 

They were stalwart men, who went into the 
army from principle, and not for mere adventure, 
as many did; and their whole souls were in the 
work before them. Life Knox knew where to 
find them ; and as he was a very popular man at 
home, they had flocked to his standard as soon 
as he had raised it. The great majority were of 
the genuine Kentucky type. They were physi- 
cally tall and powerful men. The sabre, in the 
use of which Life had given the most of his time 
in drilling them, was a mere plaything in their 
hands ; and they used it with tremendous effect in 
their initial conflict. They rode over and hewed 
down the enemy with a vigor and dash that had 
literally driven their foe from the field. 

The major of the enemy's regiment, as it was 



114 AT THE FRONT 

afterwards ascertained that he was, could not 
have been older than Deck Lyon, and had a much 
more youthful appearance ; for both the sons of 
the colonel were full-grown men in stature. But 
the Confederate major was a brave and daring 
fellow; in fact, he was very much such a young 
man as the major of the new regiment. If he 
could have been schooled to the use of a little 
more caution in his movements, he would have 
been a model soldier; for it is as much the duty 
of an officer to save his own life as it is to take 
that of the enemy. The young major acted as 
though he had been disgusted with the leadership 
of his superior officers, and was determined that 
he would redeem the errors of the past ; but he 
was more likely to sacrifice his own life than to 
accomplish his evident purpose. 

But he was in less peril than his predecessors 
had been. Perhaps half the enemy who had 
fallen, if not more than that proportion, had gone 
down before the deadly rifle-balls of the sharp- 
shooters ; for they had been able to pick the 
doomed without being exposed to danger them- 
selves. They could be thrown into no flurr}', nor 



THE FINAL RESULT OF THE BATTLE 115 

have their nerves shaken by the onslaught of a 
charging force ; there was nothing to impair their 
aim, and when they fired they were reasonably 
sure of their aim. The fearful effects of their op- 
erations were now neutralized by the company of 
troopers which had been sent to diive them from 
their position if possible, and the riflemen had all 
they could attend to in facing the enemy in front 
of them. The young major was therefore in no 
peril from the silent force which had done so 
much in driving the four companies of cavalry 
from the field before the breastwork. 

There were still two columns of the enemy. 
The major had placed himself between the heads 
of these divisions, but ahead of both of them ; and 
with his sword in the air, so that he would have 
made a dramatic picture for the artist, he led 
the way up the slope of the hill. If Ripley 
or Butters had not been fully occupied he would 
have fallen from his horse before he had gone 
half-way up the declivity. In a loud voice, as 
he pointed with his sword in the direction of 
the battery, he spoke inspiring words to his com- 
mand ; and his men responded with the Confed- 



116 AT THE FRONT 

erate yell, which echoed across the field with a 
clearness that might have paralyzed the arms of 
a more timid force than that in front of the 
breastwork. 

Colonel Lyon had sent a messenger with a note 
from his block to Colonel Gordon and Major 
Lyon, ordering them to advance their commands 
at full gallop down the slope, and meet the en- 
emy as they approached. The subordinate officers 
hardly needed such an order, for they had formed 
their commands for just this movement. 

The horses were fresh, and the men well rested 
after the retreat of the force they had engaged 
before. Major Batterson had not been asleep ; 
and as the young major began his advance, two 
of his guns sent shells into the head of the mov- 
ing columns. If the shells were less destructive 
to life than canister, they were more terrific when 
they burst in the ranks of the enemy, and they 
produced a decided effect; but the young major 
and other officers rallied their men, and the col- 
umns moved again after the shock. But they 
had not advanced more than a hundred feet be- 
fore two more shells burst in the midst of them. 



THE FINAL RESULT OF THE BATTLE 117 

The instinct of self-preservation was enough to 
produce a momentary panic, though the Confed- 
erate troopers manifested no inclination to flee 
from the field. 

The last two shots from the guns were the 
signal for the advance of the lieutenant-colonel 
and the major ; and, not to be shamed by the 
impetuous Confederate major, they followed his 
example, and rode at the head of their divis- 
ions. Suddenly the young officer called for a 
halt, which was apparently expected l)y the men ; 
and they fired a volley from their muskets, before 
which about a dozen men and half as many horses 
were either killed or wounded. But the Riv- 
erlawns did not slacken their furious gait. The 
major ordered his men to sling their muskets, and 
draw their sabres. The Union columns dashed 
down the 'slope, and the shock was terrible. The 
tall Kentuckians in Deck's columns appeared to 
ride over the enemy, using their sabres with 
deadly effect. It was another hand-to-hand con- 
flict ; and the veterans of the first and second com- 
panies fought like tigers, urged on by Colonel 
Gordon. The young major was full of vim and 



118 AT THE FRONT 

vigor, and he rallied his troopers as they shook 
before the assault. His men did their best to 
meet his ardent wishes, as he rode ahead of his 
line, yelling the most impassioned commands to 
his troops. But he advanced too far for his own 
good. He was directly in front of Major Lyon, 
who considered that the emergency had come 
which required him to do something more than 
rally his men, though they hardly needed any 
stimulus. 

He touched the flanks of Cepli with his dummy 
spurs, with a pull at his reins ; and the intelligent 
animal dashed forward down the slope, and made 
a flying leap upon the major, after the manner 
in which he had done the same thing before. 
Deck made an expert thrust with his sabre, and 
man and horse went down together, the young 
major underneath. The assailant wheeled his 
steed, and fell back just as Life rushed forAvard 
to assist him. But he needed no assistance. He 
saw that the Confederate major lay upon the 
ground, and did not attempt to rise. 

The company of Captain Knox had taken the 
enemy on their right flank, while Captain Rich- 



THE FINAL RESULT OF THE BATTLE 119 

land had attacked on the left, and Colonel Gor- 
don made the same disjDOsition in the charge 
upon the right column of the regiment. Captain 
Halliburn's Home Guards had struck the head of 
the left column. The fierceness of the conflict 
made it of short duration ; and after the fall of 
the Confederate major the enemy began to fall 
back, though the senior captain, as he was suj)- 
posed to be, rallied the force. He brought up 
the two companies in the rear which had not yet 
been engaged, with orders to attack the Union 
companies in the rear. This re-enforcement of 
fresh men seemed to turn the tide of battle ; 
and Colonel Gordon saw that his veterans, as- 
sailed in the front and rear, were giving way. 
He dashed into the thickest of the fight, and 
rallied his men. He turned one company to the 
front and the other to the rear, leading the latter 
himself. 

Captain Truman's company seemed to be in- 
spired by his presence ; and it made such a tre- 
mendous onslaught upon the fresh company, that 
they broke before it, and fell back. The colonel 
observed the various phases of the battle from 



120 AT THE FRONT 

his position on the elevation, and he readily per- 
ceived the confusion among his own men. So 
did JNlajor Batterson ; and he had a hundred 
mounted men who were not engaged. Leaving 
cannoneers enough to care for the guns, he sal- 
lied out from the breastwork, and the colonel 
ordered him to the assistance of Colonel Gordon. 
The artillerymen were veterans ; and led by their 
major, they fell upon the re-enforcement from the 
rear with such energy that it broke at once ; for 
then they were attacked in front and rear. 

Major Lyon's force was hard pressed, and he 
had fought like a tiger himself. The stalwart 
company of Cajjtain Knox appeared to know 
nothing of fatigue, and they seemed to be as 
fresh as when they came into action. Deck di- 
rected this company against the fresh men who 
had for a time turned the action in favor of the 
enemy, and they soon ploughed their way through 
the re-enforcement, and drove them to the rear. 
The two companies from the rear which had 
changed the face of the action had been driven 
out ; and it was evident to Colonel Lyon that 
the crisis had passed, and that victory was near. 



THE FINAL llESULT OF THE BATTLE 121 

Colonel Gordon and Major Lyon closely followed 
up the advantage gained; both of them fought 
with their own hands, and with their presence 
inspired the men under their command. 

The break in the ranks of the enemy came in 
front of Captain Knox's company, where it must 
have seemed to the Confederates as though the 
fiends from the lower regions had broken loose 
upon them. They fled across the field in the 
direction taken by the two companies which had 
first fled from the fiery ordeal. The other por- 
tions of the regiment, having no oflicers to direct 
them, attempted to escape in various directions. 
With the men of the battery, Colonel Gordon 
directed the captains to pursue the fleeing en- 
emy, and they were soon scattered all over the 
field. The victory was achieved, but the final 
results had not yet been summed up. 

Some time before the hottest part of the en- 
gagement had been reached, Lieutenant Ripley 
had been confronted by a company of cavaliy on 
the opposite side of the creek, which had been sent 
by the young major to drive the riflemen from 
the position where they had done so much injury 



122 AT THE FRONT 

to the head of the leading portions of the regi- 
ment. This force advanced, using their muskets, 
firing into the grove at random ; for the sharp- 
shooters were hidden behind the trees, and so far 
not one of them had been killed or wounded. 
The company came along the bank of the creek, 
which was wider than below the bridge. 

As the enemy approached the position, not a 
few of them dropped from their saddles ; and they 
halted directly opposite that part of the grove 
where most of the riflemen were concealed. In 
accordance with his tactics, Ripley had divided 
his force into four sections, and the enemy into 
the same number, so that the rifle-balls should 
not be too much scattered. Formerly his men 
■\^•ere numbered, and each one had his particular 
mark; but it was not practicable to do so on 
this occasion. The captain of the enemy soon 
realized that he was making no headway when 
he saw his men falling from their horses, while 
they were unable to accomplish anything to injure 
the riflemen behind the trees. He was sacrificing 
his men while they stood inactive on the bank of 
the creek ; and suddenly, in evident disgust at 



THE FINAL RESULT OF THE BATTLE 123 

the situation, he ordered his men to ford the 
stream. This only made it the Avorse for him. 
The cavalrymen were shot down as their horses 
waded the shallow stream. 

At this point the enemy had broken on the field, 
and were retreating, closely followed by the pur- 
suing Union soldiers. Major Batterson had been 
ordered by Colonel Gordon to return to the breast- 
work, and to charge upon the company at the 
creek on his way. He did not assail this force, 
but formed a line around them, ready to do so. 
Of course the riflemen were compelled to cease 
their destructive fire. 

" Do you surrender? " shouted the major. 

The captain could not help hearing this ques- 
tion, but he seemed to be bewildered. The rifle- 
men were on his front, and the artillerymen on 
his rear. As no reply came in answer to the de- 
mand, it was repeated, with no different result. 
The major waved his sabre in the direction of the 
grove, and then ordered his men to fall back 
where the bullets of the riflemen could not reach 
them. Ripley understood the movement, and 
again opened fire upon the enemy. The captain. 



124 AT THE FPvONT 

seeing his men fall from their saddles again, re- 
treated towards the field. The major's men then 
dashed towards them, and then the captain made 
a signal that he was ready to surrender. 



THE WO-UNDED CONFEDEEATE MAJOK 125 



CHAPTER IX 

THE WOUNDED CONFEDERATE MAJOR 

Colonel Lyon had seated himself on the top 
of the breastwork after sending Major Batterson 
and most of his company to re-enforce Colonel 
Gordon's command. The result in that quarter, 
as in every other, had been abundantly satisfac- 
tory to him, for he had defeated nearly double 
his own number. While the major was receiving 
the surrender of the company which had been 
sent to clean out the sharpshooters, Lieutenant 
Ripley, finding that his occupation in the grove 
was gone, had formed his men, and marched them 
over the bridge, where they mounted their horses, 
and joined the major. 

" The work appears to be all done," said Ripley, 
saluting the commander of the batteiy. 

" It is all done, and well done ; and you have 
done your full share of it, Lieutenant Ripley," 
replied Major Batterson. 



126 AT THE FRONT 

" I always intend to obey my orders, and I 
tried to do so this time," answered the rifleman. 

" I was watching the field very closely from the 
first of it, and I could see the men in the ranks 
of the enemy tumbling from their horses when 
their officers could not tell what brought them 
down ; and I could not tell myself till I had a 
chance to study the matter," continued the major. 
" I could not see any of your men, and I suppose 
the enemy could not; but their men kept dro]3- 
ping all the same. I could not understand the 
situation at all till Colonel Lyon told me that a 
company of riflemen was posted in that grove." 

" But the enemy found out that we were there, 
and the little major sent one of his companies to 
clean us out," added Lieutenant Ripley. " But 
they could not do anything as long as the creek 
was between us. When the enemy tried to ford' 
it, the current carried a good many dead cavalry- 
men down the stream to Green River, and they 
gave it up after trying it three times. They could 
not have done any better if they had got across 
the river, for they could not do anything in the 
grove on their horses." 



THE WOUNDED CONFEDERATE MAJOR 127 

" I think we must march the prisoners up to the 
breastwork, and report to the colonel," said the 
major. " I will lead the way, if you will bring up 
the rear, where you can di'op any of them that try 
to run away." 

The force was formed, and the body moved up 
the elevation. The first and second companies, 
under Colonel Gordon, had pursued the broken 
column of the enemy to the north-west, which was 
the direction taken by the first company that fled 
from the field ; and the third and seventh compa- 
nies had pursued those that attempted to escape 
in the direction by which the force had advanced 
under Major Lyon. By this time they were all 
of three miles distant from the hill. 

The prisoners were all marched to the breast- 
work, and then to the rear. The seventh com- 
pany had surrounded and captured what was left 
of one compan}^, and Captain Halliburn was sent 
to headquarters with them. All the prisoners 
liad been disarmed on the field, and the arms left 
where they had been surrendered. Colonel Lyon 
ordered the horses to be picketed, and the men to 
be corralled in the rear of the works, and the 



128 AT THE FllONT 

Home Guard had been placed as sentinels over 
them. A couple of baggage -wagons were sent 
to pick up the arms on the field. Life Knox was 
soon discovered in the advance of a considerable 
body, which proved to consist of the force under 
Major Lyon, with two companies captured from 
the enemy. 

Half an hour later the first and second com- 
panies appeared with about a hundred and fifty 
prisoners ; for the lieutenant had found the coun- 
try less favorable to the pui-suit in the direction 
he had gone than that by which the enemy had 
advanced. Nearly one-half of the regiment had 
been taken, and the rest of it had made good 
their retreat in a demoralized condition. The 
prisoners and the horses had been disposed of 
with the first lots brought in. Two more wagons 
had been sent to pick up the arms on the field. 
As before stated, the colonel had established a 
hospitiil in one of the houses nearest to the fields. 
Dr. Farnwright and his assistant were hard at 
work in them, aided by two doctors from Columbia 
who had volunteered their services ; and the grate- 
ful inhabitants had come to their assistance, in- 



THE WOUNDED CONFEDERATE MAJOR 129 

eluding a considerable number of women, and 
the Union wounded were well cared for. 

The two surgeons of the defeated regiment had 
set up a hospital in a tobacco-shed on the creek, 
and they attended to their duty after the com- 
panies had fled from the field. Colonel Lyon 
desired to be satisfied that the wounded on both 
sides had all the attention that could be given to 
them. When the prisoners had been disposed of, 
he visited the hospitals,, and the volunteer sur- 
geons were introduced to him. 

" The enemy have suffered a far greater loss 
than the Union force," said he to Dr. Watson, 
one of the Columbia doctors. " I fear there is 
a lack of surgeons in the Confederate hospital by 
the creek." 

"Do you look out for both sides, Colonel 
Lyon ? " asked the surgeon with a smile. 

" I have done the best I could to kill and 
wound the enemy ; but the United States gov- 
ernment does not make war upon wounded men 
on their backs," replied the colonel. " If I had 
more medical officers than we needed, I would 
send some of them to the assistance of the enemy. 



130 AT THE FRONT 

The battle has been fought and the victory won; 
humanity has the field till we are attacked again." 

"I honor you, Colonel, for your liberal and 
humane views," added Dr. Watson; ''and I have 
a suggestion to make. There are two doctors 
in Columbia who have been Secessionists from 
the beginning, one of them the best surgeon in 
the county. With your permission, I will send 
a message to each of them, informing them that 
they are needed in the Confederate hospital," 
said the surgeon. 

" I hope you will do so," replied the colonel. 
" Let them report to me, and I will see that they 
are conducted to the creek." 

Dr. Watson sent the messengers at once ; and 
in half an hour the two surgeons reported to the 
colonel, who lent them horses, and sent two 
troopers to accompany them to the hospital. 
They were warmly welcomed by the doctor in 
charge, for their assistance was greatly needed. 
The two troopers started on their return to the 
hill with the led horses the surgeons had ridden ; 
but they had gone but a short distance before 
they were confronted by Major Lyon. 



THE WOUNDED CONFEDERATE MAJOR 131 

" What are you doing over here ? " demanded 
he, as the men saluted him. 

One of the cavalrymen explained the mission 
on which they had come to the creek by order 
of Colonel Lyon, 

" Have you finished your business over here ? " 
asked Deck. 

"We have, Major. We have only to take the 
two horses over to the camp," answered the 
spokesman of the men. 

" Then, follow me," added the major. 

He led the way to the spot where he and Ceph 
had overturned the young major in the charge 
of his division upon the enemy. On his return 
from the pursuit of the enemy he had passed 
near the place where the gallant young officer 
had fallen, and saw that he was still alive. He 
had a sabre wound on his head. Sending the 
two companies forward with the prisoners, he 
had dismounted, and examined the wounded offi- 
cer. The cut did not look like a very bad one ; 
he saw from its shape that his sabre had turned 
in his hand in the excitement of the moment, 
and that it was the force of the blow, rather than 



132 AT THE FEONT 

the effect of tne edge of the weajDon, which had 
disabled the sufferer. He had been stunned as 
though he had been struck with a club instead 
of a weapon with a sharp edge. 

"How do you feel now, Major?" asked Deck, 
as he dismounted, wliile the two soldiers looked 
at hira with no little surprise. 

" My head is rather shaky," replied the wounded 
man ; " but I think I shall be all right in a little 
while." 

" Is your wound painful ? " 

" Not very ; but my head feels sore. Are you 
a surgeon? " 

" I am not ; but I may be able to do something 
for you," answered Deck, as he took from his 
pocket the little package of lint, linen, sticking- 
plaster, and other remedies his mother had pre- 
pared for him the last time he was at home. He 
looked over the wound more carefully than before. 
A portion of the skin over his right ear had been 
turned over by the slipping of the sabre. 

" I have some skill in this sort of Avork ; and, 
if you don't object, I will dress your wound," 
continued Major Lyon. 



THE WOUNDED CONFEDERATE MAJOR 133 

«I do not object; on the contrary, I shall 
thank you with all my heart," replied the Con- 
federate officer. 

"Will you give me your name, Major, if you 
please ? for I shall be glad to know you better," 
asked Deck, as he took a pair of scissors from 
his package. 

" Richard Monroe ; and I was the major of the 
cavalry regiment which has fared so badly on this 
field," replied the wounded officer in a strong 
voice, which assured Deck that he was not very 
weak. " You wear the uniform of the Union army, 
I see now." 

"I do; and I am the major of the regiment 
which defeated yours on this field, — Major Dex- 
ter Lyon, at your service. But now I will dress 
your wound if you please." 

" Thank you ; and you are very kind to do so 
much for your enemy," added Major Monroe. 

"We are not enemies except on the field of 
battle," said Deck, as he proceeded to cut away 
the hair about the wound. 

Then he washed the wound with a soothing 
lotion from his package. He turned the skin 



134 AT THE FRONT 

back, carefully placing it, with the hope that it 
would heal as he adjusted it, and then covered 
it with sticking-plaster to keep it in place. He 
folded his clean handkerchief, and bound it around 
the major's head. 

" I feel like a new man now," said the wounded 
major. 

"• I am glad to hear it ; and now I will conduct 
you to the Confederate hospital by the creek," 
continued Deck. "If I have not dressed the 
wound properly, your own surgeon can do it 
better." 

" Colonel Lyon sent two doctors over to that 
hospital, and they were both Secesh," said one 
of the two soldiers. ''I reckon they have good 
doctors over there." 

" I don't think I have any need to go to a hos- 
pital. Major Lyon." 

" What will you do ? Your regiment has been 
driven off the field, and something like one-half 
of your men are prisoners," suggested the Union 
major. 

" It has been an unfortunate day for our regi- 
ment. Your batter}' behind the breastwork, and 



THE WOUNDED CONFEDERATE MAJOR 135 

the riflemen, were too much for us. You seem 
to be alone, Major Lyon ; where are you going ? " 

" Back to my regiment, behind the breastwork, 
where I suppose our men are guarding the pris- 
oners," repKed Deck. " I supposed you would go 
to the hospital." 

" The surgeons there have enough to do ; and I 
will not bother them, for I don't need them. I 
will go with you," said the wounded man, who 
had evidently come to a conclusion. 

" Go with me ! " exclaimed Deck. 

" You have been very kind to me, though I 
think I should soon have been able to find my 
way to the hospital." 

" But you can go with me only as a prisoner." 

" Very well, Major Lyon ; as a prisoner it is. 
It appears now that I should have been captured 
if I had not been knocked from my horse, and I 
shall be no worse off now." 

" You are a soldier, and you can readily per- 
ceive that I can do nothing for you in our camp," 
added Deck. 

" It is the fortune of war, and I make no com- 
plaint." 



136 AT THE FrwONT 

" I am sorry that I cannot leave you to find 
the remains of your regiment, for I should be glad 
to do anything for you within the line of my duty." 

" I understand the matter perfectly. You have 
done all that one friend could do for another. 
I find no fault, and I ask no favors. Put me 
with the rest of our fellows. ]\Iy head is still a 
little shaky, and I need only rest and quiet. I 
am ready to go with you," replied the prisoner, 
as he regarded himself. 

He rose from the ground v/here he had been 
lying all the time ; but he was unsteady in his 
movement, owing to his dizziness, and Deck sup- 
ported him. One of the led horses was brought 
up, and the major assisted him to mount. They 
moved very slowly up the declivity. The wounded 
officer had lost his sabre, and he handed two re- 
volvers to Deck, who took them as a matter of 
duty. 

"I don't understand how I happened to fall, 
for I am only slightly wounded," said Major 
Monroe. "It seemed to me just as though a 
thunderbolt had struck me on the head; and 
that is all I know about it." 




He rose from the Ground 



Page 136 



THE WOUNDED CONFEDERATE MAJOR 137 

"I know more than that," added Deck. "It 
was I who gave you the fall you had. I was 
filled with admiration at your brave conduct ; but 
my path in the charge led me to you. I knew 
I could bring you down; but upon my honor I 
hated to do it, or rather to make my horse, do 
it, for he had been trained to do just what he 
did at my order." 

" You did your duty like a soldier ! " exclaimed 
Major Monroe. 

" I feared Ave should lose the fight if I did not 
do it." 

Deck explained the conduct of Ceph, and con- 
tinued to express his regret at being obliged to 
deprive the regiment of its major. They rode 
to the place where the colonel stood. 



138 AT THE FRONT 



CHAPTER X 

PEEPAHmG FOR THE INVASION 

Colonel Lyon was quite surprised to see his 
son ride up to him with an officer in Confederate 
uniform with his head tied up in a handkerchief. 
It was plain that he had been wounded in the 
action ; and he wondered that he had not fled 
with the rest of his regiment, or why he had 
not been sent in with the rest of the prisoners. 

" I have sent for you, INIajor Lj^on, but my 
messengers could not find you. I have impor- 
tant news from Major Bornwood by telegraph, 
and I have wired him to ascertain what I should 
do with the prisoners ; for we have not less than 
four hundred and eighty," said the commander. 

" Then, this one will make four hundred and 
eighty-one. Colonel Lyon, this gentleman is Ma- 
jor Richard Munroe, the brave young officer who 
took the command of his regiment when both 
of his superiors had fallen," replied Deck. " It 



PREPARING FOR THE INVASION 139 

was when Cepli came down upon him that the 
ensfae'ement turned in our favor." 

" Major Monroe, I am happy to meet you per- 
sonally, though I am sorry for your misfortune; 
for no more gallant officer ever rode upon a bat- 
tlefield," said the colonel, taking the hand of 
the young -officer, and shaking it as cordially as 
though he had been a Union instead of a Con- 
federate officer. 

"I thank you, Colonel Lyon, for your kind 
words ; and I might differ from you in replying 
to your compliment, and point to Major Lyon 
as my superior in every respect, for I saw him 
on the field, and I tried to be as gallant as he 
was. He bears your name, and perhaps he is a 
relative." 

" He is my son." 

" Then, I congratulate you upon being the 
father of such a son ; not only because he is a 
model soldier, but because he is as humane and 
noble as he is gallant. He dressed my wound " — 

"But he is not a surgeon," interposed the 
colonel. 

"I beg your pardon, but he is a surgeon. 



140 AT THE FRONT 

though he may have never taken a degree. He 
is evidently a natural surgeon, and has had some 
experience with the wounded." 

" What you say is quite true ; but his mother 
was his professor in surgery, and fitted him out 
with the means to do a kindness to a brother offi- 
cer, as it appears that he has done to you. I am 
very sorry that you are a prisoner, jNlajor Mon- 
roe." 

"It is the fortune of war ; and having fallen 
into the hands of men as noble as these around 
me, I cheerfully submit to my fate," replied the 
Confederate major, bowing very respectfull}^ and 
deferentially to the colonel. 

At this moment the colonel's orderly, who had 
been sent to the telegraph office, with orders to 
wait for a reply, dashed furiously into the jDres- 
ence of the commander, and handed him a mes- 
sage. Colonel Lyon was not a little embarrassed 
by the number of prisoners on his hands, and he 
was very anxious in regard to the reply of the 
representative of the Department commander. 
He tore open the envelope in haste, and read 
the despatch. Then he passed it to Deck. The 



PREPARING FOR THE INVASION 141 

reply was simpl}', "Parole prisoners." Then 
came something not relating to the same subject. 
" Raise another company if possible ; suggest 
names for commissions. Commissions for two 
more majors ready." 

The last part of the message was not intelli- 
gible to Deck. Commissions for officers was 
plain, for it was supposed to relate to the com- 
pany Colonel Lyon was to raise ; but he could 
make nothing of " two "more majors " whose com- 
missions were ready. Was he to be set aside 
or outranked? He believed he had done his 
duty faithfully, and certainly he had been praised 
enough for his conduct on the field. He was not 
willing to believe that he was to be displaced, or 
that his rank was to be taken from him. But he 
decided not to bother his head about the matter. 
Whatever Major Bornwood and his father were 
doing — and the latter had said that he had im- 
portant news from the former — would come out 
in due time, and he would not worry about it. 

" We will talk this matter over another time, 
Dexter. If your Confederate friend is wounded, 
he needs some attention," said the colonel. "A 



142 AT THE FRONT 

house has been assigned to me by the town coun- 
cil for the use of the field-ofificers, and there is 
plenty of room in it for your prisoner. Banks ! " 
he called to his orderly. 

"Here, sir," replied the sergeant. 

"Conduct Major Lyon to the new headquar- 
ters," added the commander. 

"Now, Major Monroe," said Deck, "we will 
go to a more comfortable place than this field." 

" Thank you, Major Lyon." 

In a few minutes, as all three of them were 
mounted, they reached the house which Colonel 
Lyon had mentioned. It was a large mansion, 
very handsomely furnished, and seemed to be 
abundantly supplied with servants, both male and 
female. They entered, and were very politely re- 
ceived by a good-looking mulatto, who appeared 
to be the steward of the mansion. 

Deck gave his name, and the man showed them 
to what he called " Major Lyon's apartment ; " 
and it was even better than the one he occupied 
at home. 

" But I desire an apartment for this gentle- 
man," said Deck. 



PKEPAKING FOR THE INVASION 143 

■ " Here is one next to yours, Mars'r Major," 
replied Steward, — for that was his name as well 
as his occupation, — as he opened a door. 

" You intend to lodge me like a major-general," 
said the guest, as he entered the room. "I should 
have been quite content with more humble quar- 
tei-s." 

" I should give you my room if this one were 
not just as good," replied Deck. "If you want 
anything, you have only to call for it. Steward, 
you will see that this gentleman is as well cared 
for as the colonel himself." 

"I will, Mars'r Major," answered the steward 
as Deck left the room, satisfied that he had treated 
his guest with proper hospitality. 

As he returned to his own room, he found a 
mulatto girl there, who evidently had a message 
for him. 

"Mars'r Colonel want to see Major Lyon in 
the office down-stairs," said she, after a courtesy 
which would have answered very well in a ball- 
room as one of the Lancer figures. 

" Tell him I will be with him in two minutes," 
said Deck, as he went to the looking-glass to ad- 



144 AT THE FRONT 

just his hair and mustache, especially the latter,, 
which he thought was a very fine labial ornament 
to his face ; and the girl plainly believed that it 
was a very handsome face, for she made another 
very elaborate courtesy to him as she left the 
apartment. 

The major delayed but a minute or two to ar- 
range his toilet while his father was waiting for 
him. He found the girl in the hall, waiting to 
show him what she called the office. 

It was the large front room on the first floor, 
where he found his father seated at a desk, with 
Colonel Gordon at his side. The latter rose from 
his chair, and gave his hand to Deck, whom he 
had not seen since early in the morning. 

"I am glad to see you, Major, and I am very 
happy to find that you have not been killed or 
wounded ; for nothing but your lucky star could 
have saved you," said the lieutenant-colonel, con- 
tinuing to press the hand he held. " I think you 
did more than your share in winning the battle, 
and you exposed yourself more than was neces- 
sary." 

" I don't think so, Colonel ; for men never stand 



PREPARING FOR THP: INVASION 145 

up to the work so well as when their officers lead 
them," replied Deck. 

" Captain Knox was at the head of his com- 
pany, and he never flinched a hair ; and the same 
can be said of Captain Richland/' 

" But I only went in where I thought some- 
thing extra was needed. When that young major 
was rallying the regiment, I saw that he made an 
impression on the breaking ranks ; and it looked 
to me as though our men would give way before 
the increased vigor of the assault. Then I 
thought it was the will of the Lord who fights on 
our side, that the brave and noble major should 
be removed ; for I believed he would turn the tide 
against us." 

" Then you rode over him, as you have done 
several times before in the heat of the action," 
added Colonel Gordon with a smile. 

" I considered it an emergency that justified 
me in putting my best foot forward." 

"And Ceph's feet also," laughed the colonel. 
" Upon my word and honor. Deck, I believe you 
saved the day, for it was comparatively easy work 
after the major went down ; for I happened to be 



146 AT THE FEONT 

near enough to see the whole affair. You rode 
over him, and of course you killed him. He was 
the last of the field-officers to go down." 

" I thank the Lord that I did not kill him," 
answered Deck. 

" You will spoil that boy, Gordon," interposed 
Colonel Lyon, laying the pile of papei-s he had 
been reading on the desk. " Don't flatter him 
any more." 

" I don't flatter him ; I speak the truth, the 
whole truth, and nothing but the truth," protested 
Gordon. "■ The battery was silent ; that same 
young major had discovered where the balls came 
from, as his superiors had failed to do, and had 
sent a company to clean out the riflemen. Then 
he went in to win on the field ; and he would have 
done it if Deck had not neutralized him by laying 
him out on the ground. A cloud of witnesses 
will say the same thing. Then, Deck has a level 
head, and I don't think there is any danger of 
spoiling him." 

"I suppose you are right, Gordon, for I saw 
the whole of it ; but it is not necessary to remind 
the boy of all these things," said Colonel Lyon. 



PREPARING FOR THE INVASION 147 

" But I think it is necessary to give the credit 
which is his due ; and I have done nothing more," 
added Gordon. 

" I did not kill Major Monroe ; for he is in the 
room next to mine, and I will introduce you when 
we have time," said Deck ; and it was evident 
that the colonel was ready for business. "You 
said you had important news from Major Born- 
wood, father." 

" I have ; and I have just been reading the 
papers he sent me ; and they amount to nothing 
less than the reconstruction of the regiment. He 
proposes to make it consist of twelve companies 
in three battalions." 

"That amounts to a revolution," added Deck, 
who began to see where the " two more majors " 
were to come in. 

"If you will hear me, I will tell you all I 
know about the matter myself," said Colonel 
Lyon. " Major Bornwood, through his various 
agents, has raised four full companies, making 
eleven in all ; and he wishes me to raise another 
company in this vicinity. I think I have al- 
ready raised the company. I have talked with 



148 AT THE FRONT 

Captain Halliburn on tlie snbject, for I am very 
desirous of having those riflemen in tlie regi- 
ment." 

" They would be exceedingly valuable, espe- 
cially if Major Batterson's battery is still to be 
attached to the command," added Colonel Gordon. 

" Of the battery I can say nothing ; but Cap- 
tain Halliburn is confident that he can make a 
full company of riflemen. For the people in this 
locality understand very well that the State is 
to be invaded by the enemy from the direction 
of Cumberland Gap ; that the frequent raids 
from Tennessee are a part of the movement to 
clear the way. They are anxious to take part 
in the defence. Major Bornwood is acting very 
vigorously; and the important news from him, 
in addition to what I have already given you, 
is that he is marching to Columbia with the 
seven companies which have been at Munford- 
ville ; and he will be here by to-morrow noon, 
if not sooner." 

" Captain Halliburn wishes to see you, Colo- 
nel Lyon," said the steward, coming into the 
room, after knocking. 



PREPARING FOR THE INVASION 149 

"I will see him here," replied the com- 
mander. 

The captain of the Home Guard of Millers- 
ville presented himself at once. 

"I am glad to see you, Captain Halliburn, 
and I was just speaking of you." 

" I have called on business, Colonel Lyon ; for 
I think I shall have a full company to join 
your regiment, and they will all be in Columbia 
before night." 

"I am very glad to hear it, for the other 
seven companies will be here by noon to-mor- 
row," added the commander. 

" I have had a long talk with Ripley ; and he 
is very much pleased with the idea of joining 
your regiment, and all the men he had here are 
ready to enlist. It is only ten miles to Millers- 
ville, and I have sent him and half a dozen of 
his men over there to pick up about forty rifle- 
men ; for the men I have commanded to-day are 
not riflemen, or, at least, they are not up to 
Ripley's standard as sharpshooters. He made 
out a list of those he is almost certain will join. 
I think Ripley ought to be their captain. 



150 AT THE FRONT 

" He is entitled to it, and I can promise that 
he shall have it," replied the colonel. " Can 
you name the two lieutenants ? " 

"Ripley said that Ethan Butters should be 
first, and Sewell Blount second." 

" Very well ; they shall have commissions," 
added the commander, as he wrote the names in 
his memorandum-book. 

He had hardly done so before the steward 
opened the door, and Major Bornwood pushed 
him aside, making his way to the desk of the 
colonel, who rose to receive him. 

"I did not expect to meet you to-day. Major, 
but I am extremely happy to see you," replied 
the commander, as he took the hand of the staff- 
officer. " I think we have raised the company 
needed." 

Major Bornwood was introduced to Captain 
Halliburn. 



SEEKING INEOliMATION OF THE ENEMY 151 



CHAPTER XI 

SEEKING IKFOEMATION OF THE ENEMY 

Major Bornwood explained that he had left 
the seven companies of which he had taken 
temporary command at Greensburg, where they 
had arrived the evening before, in charge of 
Captain Gadsbury, with instrnctions to march as 
far as Haskinsville that night, while he had 
hurried forward to that place himself, and spent 
the night there. He had found the battalion in 
good condition in the morning, and had ridden 
with all speed to Columbia. 

"Now, Colonel Lyon, your command is needed 
in Lincoln County, and we have no time to 
spare ; the four companies raised by my agents 
are from the best material in Kentucky, and I 
found men of wealth and position in the ranks. 
I found more gentlemen than I needed who were 
familiar with military ; and I called upon each 
company to elect, or at least to indicate, their 



152 AT THE FRONT 

own officers. I inquired carefully into the fit- 
ness of each candidate, and when they were 
chosen, I commissioned them ; and I believe they 
are as good officers as any in jouv command, 
for all of them have had military experience." 

" I am glad you have done as you have, Major 
Bornwood," replied Colonel Lyon. "As for 
the company raised here, they will be mounted 
riflemen, ,and every one of them is a dead shot." 

" Good ! Such a company is what we need. 
But we will now give our attention to the field- 
officers. As now organized, the regiment will 
consist of three battalions of four companies 
each. You need three majoi-s ; and you may 
nominate two more, to whom I will give com- 
missions without asking any questions." 

" I am ready to name them ; but with three 
majors, which is the superior in rank ? They 
will all be commissioned at the same time." 

" That may be true of the two you are to name, 
though I think not," continued the staff-officer. 
"Major Lyon already has his rank." 

" Certainly ; I understand that he is already a 
major." 



SEEKING INFORMATION OF THE ENEMY 153 

"And without regard to age or anything else, 
he will be the senior major. The next will be 
the second major, and the third the junior 
major." 

The staff-officer, who appeared to have an idea 
who were to be named, turned the pages of his 
diary, and then called upon the colonel to name 
the first of the new field-officers. 

" Captain Thomas Belthorpe," replied the com- 
mander promptly. And Major Born wood, who 
had seated himself at the desk, immediately wrote 
it on a blank he had before him. 

" But which major will he be ? " asked the 
colonel. 

" The second, as I have written it. The next 
name, if you please, Colonel?" said the writer, 
as he spread out another blank. 

" Captain Bushrod Truman." 

"The junior major," added the officer, as he 
wrote the name. " You have given the names in 
the order in which they received their captains' 
commissions." 

" But Major Belthorpe is several years older 
than my son, and Major Truman is at least seven 



154 AT THE FRONT 

years the senior of Dexter," suggested the com- 
mander. 

"Age makes no difference in military rank. 
McClellan is only thirty-six ; and several of the 
major-generals under his command are his seniors, 
as Sumner is sixty-six, I think nothing more 
need be said on that point. The senior major is 
entitled to his position both by seniority of rank, 
and eminent service on the field. Colonel Lyon, 
I place these commissions in your care, to be 
given to the recipients of them," said Major Born- 
wood, suiting the action to the words. 

The further details of the organization need not 
be given. The next in rank in the first and sec- 
ond companies were made captains. It was dark 
when Captain Ripley arrived, in company with 
over forty mounted men. The commissions were 
given to the officers, and they were directed to 
encamp with the regiment. A dozen others came 
with them who preferred the artillery service, and 
the battery was increased to a hundred and fifty 
men. Another lieutenant was commissioned on 
the recommendation of jNIajor Batterson. The 
seven companies from Munfordville arrived a lit- 



SEEKING INFORMATION OF THE ENEMY 155 

tie later; for they were encumbered with a long 
wagon-train and over a hundred spare horses. 
They camped on the field near the creek. 

During the afternoon the prisoners had all been 
paroled, and they departed in squads for their 
homes. Their horses were poor steeds, and were 
not wanted by the Union force. They were per- 
mitted to ride them ; and they needed them, for 
the regiment was from Tennessee. Provisions 
were given them for two days' rations. 

" You have given your parole, ]\Iajor Monroe, 
and I suppose the time has come for us to part," 
said Deck, as he went into the room of his Con- 
federate friend. " We may never meet again ; 
but your future is assured in the army, though I 
wish you were fighting on the other side." 

" I have the same cheerful wish in regard to 
you," replied Monroe, with a smile. "• If I ever 
meet you wounded on the field of battle, I shall 
try to be as kind and generous as you have been 
to me. When this war is over, I hope I may meet 
you again ; and I am sure there is nothing on 
earth that one can do for another that I should 
not be glad to do for you." 



156 AT THE FRONT 

" Thank you, Major Monroe ; and I heartily re- 
ciprocate your good will. We meet as enemies 
on the field of battle, but anywhere else as 
friends," replied Deck, as they shook hands and 
parted. 

The two officers shook hands again as Monroe 
mounted his horse, and rode away on the road by 
which the regiment had advanced to the attack. 
Deck had admired the young man on the field, 
and he found that he was as noble and honorable 
as any man he had ever met. 

After the men had breakfasted the next morn- 
ing, the three battalions were marched, each in 
command of its major, to an open field, where 
they were drilled for several hours. Captain Rip- 
ley's company were supplied with uniforms from 
the wagons, and with sabres and revolvers; but 
they carried their own rifles. They preferred to 
ride their own horses for the same reason that 
they chose to retain their own rifles ; they were 
accustomed to them, and could do better with 
them than with those furnished by the govern- 
ment. 

After the battalion drill the entire regiment 



SEEKING INFORMATION OF THE ENEMY 157 

was formed, arid the colonel put them thi-ough 
various evolutions, and assured himself that they 
were familiar with the tactics ; for he was a rigid 
disciplinarian. The drill occupied all the fore- 
noon ; and after dinner the regiment marched to 
Liberty, about twenty-five miles from Columbia, 
Avhere it camped for the night. It was a consid- 
erable village even at that time, and in a rich and 
productive region. When the colonel had se- 
lected a suitable field for the camp, the regiment 
marched into it, the tents were pitched, and the 
horses picketed. Though many of the inhabitants 
were seen, they all kept at a distance, apparently 
afraid that a raid was intended, and that they 
were to be robbed of their stock, provisions, and' 
whatever else they had to lose. 

When Deck had eaten his supper, and seen that 
Ceph had been fed and made comfortable for the 
night, he walked down to the road by which the 
command had arrived. Then he went a short dis- 
tance towards the centre of the village. He had 
no knowledge of the place, whether the people 
were Union or Confederate. He was passing a 
house, one side of which abutted on the highway. 



158 AT THE TRONT 

with the windows on the lower floor wide open; 
for it was an August day, and the weather was 
quite warm. A man in one of the rooms was 
talking in a loud tone, and Deck concluded that 
the person addressed must be very deaf. He had 
no intention to listen, or pry into other people's 
business ; but a sentence that attracted his atten- 
tion was, as it were, forced into his ears. 

" Ride over to Middleburg as fast as the mare 
kin kerry you, and tell 'em there's a ridgimint of 
Yanks over here, Siah ; and don't let no grass 
grow under j^our boss's heels," said the speaker; 
and these two sentences were the first the major 
heard. 

"What good'll that do, Dad?" demanded the 
person spoken to. 

" There's a ridgimint o' Federate calvary over 
there somewhere, and they'll come over and gether 
'em all up," said the father, who evidently was 
not a person of finished education; and tlie lowly 
house did not indicate that he had been jjrosper- 
ous in the world. 

Deck did not feel entirely sure that the regi- 
ment of Confederates would be able to gather up 



SEEKING INFORMATION OF THE ENEMY 159 

the Riveiiawns, as some of the new companies 
had already called the new organization. But he 
was not sorry to hear them apply the name to 
themselves, for it proved that they had a high 
respect for the name ; and it was quite true that 
the command had made an excellent reputation 
for itself on the field of battle. He listened a 
minute or two longer ; but he heard nothing more, 
and it looked as though Siah had gone to the 
barn to saddle his mare. He walked back to the 
camp. It did not appear that there was any 
other road in the vicinity by which the messen- 
ger could get to Middleburg; for the major had 
studied the map enough to know where the town 
was located, and he concluded that he must pass 
the entrance of the field where the camp was 
located. 

The guard-tent was just inside the fence, and 
two sentinels stood there. Both of them saluted 
him ; and he ordered one of them to ask Captain 
Abbey to send Sergeant Phillips and half a dozen 
men, unmounted, to the road. Deck watched the 
highway, for he intended to intercept the bearer 
of the message to the people of Middleburg; not 



160 AT THE FRONT 

that he had any objection to the coming of the" 
" Fed'rate calvary," but he thought he might ob- 
tain some information that might be useful to 
the colonel. 

Sergeant Phillips promptly appeared with his 
squad of six men, armed with sabre and carbine, 
just as Deck saw the messenger come out of the 
yard at the side of the house. Siah seemed to 
be inclined to follow his father's instructions to 
the letter, for he put the mare into her best gal- 
lop as soon as he was in the road ; but that was 
not saying very much, as hoi-se-flesh is rated in 
Kentucky, for the beast was nothing but a scare- 
crow, and her gallop could have been beaten by 
any decent rocking-horse in the nursery of a re- 
spectable house. 

"Sergeant Phillips, take two of your men, go 
to the third house on the other side of this 
street — wait a minute," said Deck, suddenly 
checking liis speech as Siah came up to the spot. 
" What is your hurry, Siah ? " 

"I can't stop to talk now, nohow," replied the 
rider. 

" Take that mare by the bridle, Sliivers," added 



SEEKING INFORMATION OF THE ENEMY 161 

the major to one of the soldiers ; and he was 
promptly obeyed. 

" Let my hoss alone ! She'll kick and bite if 
you tech her," added Siah, trying to make her 
go ahead by pounding the animal with a heavy 
stick he had used before for this purpose. 

" I'll risk it," replied Shivers, wrenching the 
stick from the hand of the boy, who was a stout 
fellow of about sixteen. 

"Where do you live, Siah?" asked the major 
in a gentle tone. 

"Over yender;" pointing to the house. 

" Your father may be a first cousin of mine ; 
what is his name ? " 

"Siah Kinnell." 

" I suppose Siah stands for Josiah, don't it? " 

"It do, all round the world." 

"Now, Phillips, I have the name. Go to the 
third house, give my compliments to Mr. Josiah 
Kinnell, and ask him if he will be so kind as to 
step over here, for I wish to see him. If he 
won't come, take two men with you, and bring 
him over here," added Deck, turning to the ser- 
geant, who hastened to obey the order. 



162 AT THE FllONT 

"What do you want o' dad?" demanded Siali, 
who seemed to be astonished at the proceedings 
of the major. 

" I will tell him when he comes." 

" He won't come, and won't make no talk with 
a Yank," replied Siah saucily. 

" I think he will come ; Phillips has such a 
winning way Avith him, that he will coax him 
over without much trouble. Now, Siah, why are 
you in such a hurry ? I don't see any house on 
fire, or any reason for such haste." 

" None o' your business, Yank I " 

" I don't quite agree with you on that point. 
You are going over to Middleburg." 

" Who told you so ? " demanded the messenger, 
evidently surprised that the officer knew his des- 
tination. 

" Your dad, as you profanely call him. Can 
you tell me how many 'Federate calvary' there are 
over that way ? — not all of them at Middleburg, 
but some of them at Crab Orcliard," added Deck. 

"Nuff to lick your crowd out of their boots," 
replied Siah, who was shrewd enough not to give 
information to an enemy. 



SEEKING INFORMATION OF THE ENEMY 163 

"All right, my boy; but I don't think it is 
best for you to go over to Middleburg to-night: 
you might catch cold and be sick. Besides, if 
the ' calvary ' should come over here, you will 
wish to see us licked out of our boots." 

" Dad told me to go, and I'm goin'," blustered 
Siah. 

" Two of you take this fellow from his horse, 
hand him over to the ofhcer of the day, and have 
him kept securely till morning," continued Deck. 

" My horse will run away if you leave her in 
the road, and then you will have to pay for her," 
growled Siah. 

" She will not run away if she can help it," 
added the major. " Take him off." 

Kinnell had declined to come, but the two 
soldiers had brought him. Deck ordered the men 
to take the prisoner to the colonel's tent, and 
went with, them. He explained to his father 
what he had done so that Kinnell could not hear 
him. By various devices they compelled the 
prisoner to tell how many Confederates were in 
the vicinity, — two regiments of cavalry. 



164 AT THE mONT 



CHAPTER XII 

THE EXPEDITION OF THE THKEE SCOUTS 

The principal device used with Kiniiell, after 
the field-officers understood the man, was a gold 
coin of the value of five dollars. He was a Seces- 
sionist simply because the "white trash" of that 
locality, as in many other regions of the State, 
were of that easy persuasion. There was no 
principle underlying their political belief. INIajor 
Bornwood took part in the examination, for he 
was deeply interested in all movements in this 
part of the State. He had been sent to prepare 
for the invasion projected by General Bragg, act- 
ing with Kirby Smith. Though we have con- 
nected him only with the reorganization of the 
Riverlawn regiment, he had a dozen other irons 
in the fire. 

The camp of the force was on or near the line 
by which the enemy would move to Lexington, 
the capital, where it was suspected that some 



THE EXPEDITION OP THE THREE SCOUTS 165 

political work would be done, such as establishing 
the provisional government, which existed mostly 
in the camps of the Confederates. Morgan's 
great raid had done a vast deal of mischief; and 
he had been driven by a superior force of Ken- 
tucky cavalry, after he had destroyed Fe'deral 
property to the value of over a million dollars, 
capturing many towns, paroling over a thousand 
Union troops, and made his escape into East Ten- 
nessee through this portion of the State. It was 
well understood that Kirby Smith was in the 
State, moving to the north ; and ten days later 
he occupied the capital. 

" The question now is where we are, and what 
portion of the enemy is near us," said Major 
Bornwood. "It was a wise move on the part 
of Major Lyon to follow up the remark he acci- 
dentally overheard. I have no doubt there is 
a considerable force of the enemy's cavalry at the 
east of us. Wherever Kirby Smith's army is at 
tliis moment, I have no doubt he has thrown out 
a battalion of cavalry to his left, to cover his 
flank, and to drive off any force that may be 
lying in wait, or to annoy and harass him." 



166 AT THE FUONT 

" What do you suppose will be his route to 
the capital and the Ohio River, Major?" asked 
Colonel LyoD. 

" By Harbours ville, London, and Richmond." 

" Then, the main body of his army will pass 
within forty miles of Liberty, and the cavalry of 
which you speak must be within twenty miles 
of us ; and the theory conforms to the meagre 
facts we have wrung from this man." 

" Middleburg, where Siah was to go to inform 
the enemy of our presence, is not more than ten 
miles from Liberty," suggested jNIajor Lyon. 

" Did you expect your messenger would find 
a Confederate force at Middleburg, Mr. Kinnell? " 
asked the staff-officer. 

" I reckon I hain't got nothin' more to say. 
I ain't one o' your ginrals, and I don't make 
nothin' by talkin'," replied Kinnell doggedly. 

Colonel Lyon placed a gold half-eagle on the 
table before him. 

" Will that open your mouth ? " he asked. 

" I'll tell you all I know for that ! " exclaimed 
the prisoner, his eyes brightening as though he 
had not seen so much money for a year. 




"I'll tell you All I know" 



Page 16G 



THE EXPEDITION OF THE THREE SCOUTS 167 

" Speak ; and if you give us any false infor- 
mation, it will be all the worse for you," added 
the colonel, as he gave the man the coin. " Did 
you expect Siali would find a Confederate force 
at Middleburg ? " 

"I did not; but Cun'l Chipton lives tliere, 
and Siah was to go to him, I expected the cun'l 
to do the rest on 't," replied Kinnell, putting the 
gold piece in an old wallet. 

" How large is the Confederate force in that 
region?" asked Deck. 

" I was over there this arternoon, and saw 
Cun'l Chipton." 

" Who is he ? " inquired the colonel. 

" He ain't in the army ; he's a farmer. He 
said two ridgimints o' calvary was down by 
Buck Creek, twenty mile from Middleburg. 
That's all I know ; and now I want to go 
home." 

" Not to-night ; you will have to sleep at the 
camp. If we find that you have humbugged 
us, you will lose that gold coin, and may hang 
on the nearest tree," said the colonel. '' Cor- 
poral!" 



168 AT THE FRONT 

"I hain't told you nothin' but the truth; I'm 
willin' to swear to 't," protested Kmnell. 

" Your oath would be worth no more than your 
word. Corporal, take this man to the guard-tent, 
and tell the officer to be sure that we find him 
in the morning," added Colonel Lyon. 

The corporal obeyed the order, and the field- 
officers with the staff-officer were alone. 

"I am inclined to believe that the man told 
the truth so far as he knew it," said Major 
Bornwood, as the colonel fell to studying his 
map. 

" I find Buck Creek is a branch of the Cum- 
berland in Pulaski County, and not far from 
Somerset, near the field of the battle of Mill 
Spring. The first thing we have to do is to 
verify, if we can, the information given by Kin- 
nell," said the colonel, looking into the faces of 
his associates, as if to ascertain how what he 
proposed could be accomplished. If that fellow 
told the truth, I fancy I can tell just where 
those two regiments have camped ; at any rate, 
it is the place I should have chosen. It lies 
just east of Miltonville " — 



THE EXPEDITION OF THE THREE SCOUTS 169 

" Miltonville ! " exclaimed Major Lyon, spring- 
ing to his feet. 

" What is the matter, Dexter ? " demanded 
his father. 

"Miltonville was named after Win Milton's 
grandfather, and he was brought up there. - He 
knows all about that region, and I have no 
doubt he has fished in Buck Creek." 

" Send for Lieutenant Milton, Dexter," added 
the colonel ; and in five minutes he was in the 
tent. "Lieutenant, do you know anything about 
Buck Creek? For you have been our guide be- 
fore in this region." 

" I know all about it. Colonel Lyon," replied 
Milton. "I was born and brought up witliin 
ten miles of this village, and I have fished in 
all the streams within twenty miles of my birth- 
place." 

" How far is it from here ? " 

" About thirty miles to Grundy, the nearest 
town to it on the Somerset road. I could make 
the distance less than that hy the short-cuts I 
know." 

The colonel explained the situation to the 



170 . AT THE FRONT 

lieutenant, and pointed out to him the fancied 
location of the Confederate camp, and then 
asked for any suggestion in regard to the next 
movement. 

" There is only one thing to do, I should say, 
with due respect to my superior," replied Milton. 

"The fellow we captured here says there are 
two regiments of Confederate cavalry on Buck 
Creek ; but the rascal may be lying, though I 
think he has told us the truth," added the com- 
mander. "• What is the one thing to do. Lieu- 
tenant, which you would suggest?" 

" I should send not more than three scouts 
to ascertain whether or not the man lied," added 
Lieutenant Milton. " Three men will not attract 
attention, as a greater number might." 

"And you will go with them as their guide?" 
queried the colonel. 

" I should prefer to go as one of them, rather 
than have four persons," replied Milton. 

" But we have not time." 

"We have all the time there is, as my school- 
master used to say," answered the lieutenant. 

" But look at it a moment; the three scouts 



THE EXPEDITION OE THK THREE SCOUTS 171 

have to ride sixty miles before we can do any- 
thing, and the enemy may take themselves off 
before we get a chance at them," argued the 
colonel. 

" I shall not presume to discuss the question 
Avith the commander ; but I think my plan is 
quite practicable," said INlilton modestly. 

"I don't see it yet," pei-sisted Colonel Lyon; 
and the lieutenant-colonel and the three majors 
could not see it an}^ better. " Let us have your 
plan a little more in detail, Lieutenant Milton. 
I shall have all confidence in you, if you do not 
attempt impossibilities." 

'' I shall not do that. Colonel Lyon. I shall 
make the distance something less than thirty 
miles ; perhaps not more than twenty-four if 
things in the vicinity of Miltonville are as they 
were about two years ago. We can ride this 
distance in two and a half hours if necessary." 

" But your horses have done over twenty miles 
since dinner." 

" I propose to change them at INIiltonville for 
the remaining fourteen miles, and take our own 
on the return. 



172 AT THE FRONT 

" If you are sure of finding horses ten miles 
from Liberty, the plan will work very well, I 
should say," said the commander. 

" If not at Miltonville, we shall find them at 
Somerset, though I have hardly a doubt about 
getting them at our first stopping-place. I know 
every man in the town, and the people will do 
all they can for me. But I will guarantee that 
we shall get to our destination in three hours at 
the most. What time is it now, sir? " 

" Half-past seven," replied the commander, con- 
sulting his watch. 

"I thought it was much later. We shall be 
at Somerset by eleven, if we waste no time. Al- 
lowing an hour for the scouting near Buck Creek, 
we shall be ready to return by midnight, and 
shall be in this camp by three in the morning." 

" What do you think of this plan, Major Born- 
wood ? " asked the colonel, turning to the staff- 
officer. 

" It looks entirely feasible to me. Colonel ; but 
I think I can suggest an improvement upon it," 
replied the officer addressed. 

" I do not insist upon my own plan. Colonel 



THE EXPEDITION OF THE THREE SCOUTS 173 

Lyon ; and I will obey any orders given me," 
added INlilton. 

"What change do you suggest, Major?" asked 
the commander. 

" As I have had occasion to ascertain, the tele- 
graph-line is open from Somerset to INIunfordville, 
and there is a station in Liberty at the post-office. 
You can take possession of it. Colonel." 

" Of course I can, as a militaiy measure ; but 
proceed with your plan. Major, if you please." 

" If the three scouts complete their work at the 
creek, not more than five miles from Somerset, 
by midnight, they can telegraph the fact that the 
enemy are, or are not, there to Liberty, and it 
will not be necessary for the three to return." 

" Excellent ! " exclaimed the colonel. " The 
question seems to be settled, and the scouts shall 
be sent off at once. But who shall they be ? " 

" I volunteer, for one," said Major Lyon. 

" I do not object, for the major is somewhat 
accustomed to such service," said the colonel, 
laup'hino-. 

The second and junior majors promptly fol- 
lowed the example of Deck. 



174 AT THE FEONT 

"What do you say, Major Lyon?" inquired 
the commander. 

" I should like the privilege of appointing the 
third myself," replied Deck. 

" Name him at once, and let us not lose a 
moment," added the colonel. 

" Captain Life Knox," replied the senior major. 

" Approved ! " exclaimed the commander very 
earnestly. 

"A word more, if you please," interposed 
Major Bornwood. " You must see the postmaster 
when you get to Somerset, and make sure that 
there is an operator in the office by eleven o'clock. 
If the colonel gets your message, Major Lyon, for 
you are the ranking officer, and in command, — 
perhaps he will deem it advisable to march as soon 
as it is received. I make this as a suggestion." 

" I accept it, and I will see that everything 
is ready to march by midnight," replied Colonel 
Lyon, who had already sent Lieutenant Fronk- 
lyn to capture the post-office and telegraph sta- 
tion, and sent for Captain Knox. "Now, is 
everything understood ? " he asked, with a glance 
at Deck and Milton. 



THE EXPEDITION OP THE THREE SCOUTS 175 

Everything was understood, and the three 
scouts were directed to have their horses ready 
as soon as possible. All the animals had been 
grained, and they were not obliged to wait for 
anything. Before they left, a message came from 
Lieutenant Fronklyn that he had captured the- tel- 
egraph station; but the postmaster, who was also 
the operator, was a Secessionist, and was ugly. 
A guard of ten men was sent to prevent any 
interference with the plan. The lieutenant mod- 
estly wrote that he had been an operator formerly, 
and would take charsfe of the machine if ordered 
to do so. Of course an order to that effect was 
sent at once. The three scouts had each filled 
his haversack, and put an extra revolver in his 
belt. At eight o'clock they started on their long 
ride in the highest spirits ; and all of them seemed 
to look upon the expedition as a sort of frolic. 
The trio were all men of high rank to do duty as 
scouts ; but Life was the best in the army, and it 
was not beneath his dignity as a captain to serve 
his country in any capacity where he could be use- 
ful. They went off at a smart gallop, as though 
their horses entered into the spirit of the affair. 



176 AT THE FRONT 

The postmaster was not at all pleased with 
the turn affairs had taken in his office. While 
Lieutenant Fronklyn was seated near the key of 
the machine, a call was made from some j)lace on 
the line. The officer took his place at the board, 
and received what came. 

" I object to your taking the business of the 
office out of my hands," said the usual operator. 
" I am responsible for what is done here." 

"So am I. This office is in the keeping of 
the commander of the force in the field up the 
road. If you have any objections to make, I 
refer you to Colonel Lyon; I obey his orders. 
Arrest this man, and march him to the colonel," 
said the lieutenant. 

The message he wrote out was from Somer- 
set as follows : " How many men in the force 
at Liberty, whose arrival you wired to me ? " It 
was signed by "Scott Colonel." 



USING THE TELEGRAPH AT NIGHT 177 



CHAPTER XIII 

USING THE TELEGRAPH AT NIGHT 

It appeared that Camden, the postmaster and 
telegraph operator, had wired the colonel com- 
manding near Somerset, — for the despatch came 
from there, — of the presence of the Union force at 
Liberty. It had already been demonstrated that 
the man in charge of the office was a Secessionist, 
and the message which had just come fuUy proved 
it. He had been arrested, and sent to the camp. 
Lieutenant Fronklyn was not only a faithful, but 
an intelligent officer. He had served as an oper- 
ator, and he knew that the original messages were 
usually kept on file for future reference if neces- 
sary ; and he immediately looked it over to find 
the one sent to the colonel of the enemy. 

The lieutenant had some doubt about finding it, 
for it might have been sent without writing it out, 
as the operator was the author of it ; but it was 
the last despatch on the file, and it was on the 



178 AT THE FKONT 

top. Calling one of his men, he sent this original, 
with the message he had just received, to the colo- 
nel, and asked for instructions. The man sent 
found the camp a lively collection of cavalrymen ; 
for orders had already been given for them to be 
ready for an early call in the morning, and they 
were preparing for it. But the colonel was in his 
tent with Major Bornwood, discussing the situa- 
tion, when the messenger was admitted to the 
presence of the colonel. 

"Lieutenant Fronklyn has just taken this mes- 
sage from the wire," said he, handing it to the 
commander. " This despatch he found on the 
file," he added, passing the original to him. 

Colonel Lyon read the one from Somereet, and 
passed it to the staff-ofhcer. 

"If w^e wait long enough we are likely to be 
attacked here," said the colonel. 

" This is not a good field for an engagement," 
replied the major, when he had glanced at the de- 
spatch. " You had better take the bull by the 
horns, instead of waiting for him to pitch into you 
at a disadvantage. This inquiry is signed by 
'Scott, Colonel.' I have no doubt tliis despatch 



USING THE TELEGRAPH AT NIGHT 179 

comes from Colonel Scott, commanding Kirby 
Smith's cavalry, and the information is impor- 
tant." 

"Doubtless his force consists of veterans," 
added the colonel. 

" No doubt of it, and caution is a desirable .vir- 
tue just now," replied the major. 

" It is clear enough now that the force we have 
been talking about so much to-night is in the 
vicinity of Somerset, and the expedition of the 
three scouts may prove to be unnecessary," sug- 
gested the commander. 

" They are five miles from Liljerty by this time." 

"But I might recall them by telegraph to Mil- 
tonville. Is it advisable to do so, major? " 

" I think not," replied the staff-officer very de- 
cidedly. " iNIajor Lyon will pick up all the in- 
formation he can when he gets near the enemy, 
and the plan had better be carried out as arranged. 
But you must send an answer to this message. 
Colonel Lyon," said the major, with a significant 
smile. 

" Will you write it, if you please, Major Born- 
wood?" asked the colonel. 



180 AT THE FRONT 

"I will; " and going to the table, he began to 
write. 

While he was thus engaged, the commander 
gave his attention to the original of the postmas- 
ter's message. He had evidently written it out 
to make sure that his sentence was correct. He 
had erased several words, and tinkered the sen- 
tence till it read : " Yankee force camped here 
this afternoon." 

" What is the other despatch ? " asked Major 
Born wood, with the paper on which he had 
written in his hand. 

" It is not a message sent here, but a copy of 
the one Camden sent to Somerset," replied the 
colonel, handing him the paper. " We have the 
sender of it under guard." 

"Where he ought to be. Fronklyn is an oper- 
ator, and a very intelligent fellow," added the 
major. " Now what do you say to this ? " And 
the staff-officer read what he had written : " Learn- 
ing your force was near, enemy marched in haste 
for Greensburg at eight." 

" That will do admirably ! " exclaimed the colo- 
nel, rubbing his hands with delight. " That is a 



USING THE TELEGRAPH AT NIGHT 181 

bit of the tactics of Morgan the raider, who used 
the telegraph for his own purposes." 

" The enemy are at least twenty-four miles from 
Liberty, and the Confederate colonel will not think 
of pursuing us with such a start against him," 
added the major. "Send the message to Fronk- 
lyn, with an order to wire it at half-past eight." 

It was nearly that time, and it was sent at once. 

" These despatches put a new phase on the busi- 
ness before us," said the colonel, rubbing his head 
to stimulate his ideas, as he looked upon the 
ground in deep thought. 

" It will put a new phase upon it for Scott. I 
have no doubt he has had a hard march, and that 
his men need rest. Your despatch will quiet him, 
and he will order his command to get all the sleep 
they can to-night." 

" So much the better, and we will endeavor to 
give them a hard day's work to-morrow," replied 
the commander. "But one thing troubles me." 

"What is that?" 

"I am afraid we are moving a little blindly. 
All the talk has been about two cavalry regi- 
ments of the enemy in this vicinity, and it looks 



182 AT THE FRONT 

as though we might be outnumbered," answered 
the colonel. " If their ranks are full, they ought 
to have at least two thousand, men." 

''•But their ranks are not full, and I happen 
to know that they have only eight companies in 
each regiment ; for General Buell is a careful 
commander, and he generally knows the force of 
the enemy, sometimes in detail, as in this in- 
stance. In my opinion, Scott has not over fifteen 
hundred men, and perhaps not over twelve hun- 
dred. His regiments do not consist of three bat- 
talions each." 

" If you are correct " — - 

'•'• I know I am correct as far as I have stated." 

" We have fourteen hundred, and cannot be 
greatly outnumbered. But, after all, it depends 
largely upon the situation in which we find them. 
If the ground favors us, as it did at Columbia, 
our force is sufiticient; for we were outnumbered 
there. But we need not wait for the despatches 
from Major Lyon, for we know the enemy are at 
Buck Creek. I have given orders for the men 
to get what sleep they can, and be ready to march 
at any hour of the niglit." 



USING THE TELEGRAPH AT NIGHT 183 

Everything had been done in the way of prep- 
aration ; and the two officers rolled themselves up 
in their blankets, and stretched themselves on the 
ground. They were soon asleep, and the guard 
was ordered to call the commander at half-past 
eleven. No more messages came from Somei*set 
or any other place. They had but three hours to 
sleep, though many of the men had gone to sleep 
as soon as they had been to supper ; for they had 
fought a hard battle the day before, and had 
marched over twenty miles since dinner. The 
officer of the day had divided the hours for re- 
pose among the guards ; but Fronklyn and his 
men at the post-office had to catch their sleep as 
they could. The lieutenant stretched himself on 
the counter, where he could hear the click of the 
instrument ; and they all slept most of the time. 

The three scouts went off at a gallop, hurrying 
their steeds all the way, so that they reached 
Miltonville at nine o'clock. Lieutenant Milton 
went to his father's house, where he was cor- 
dially welcomed by his parents, and especially by 
Grace Morgan, his Jiajicee, who was there on a visit. 

Mr. Milton was a prosperous farmer, and raised 



184 AT THE FRONT 

horses as well as hemp and tobacco, and three 
fine steeds were at once brought out for the use 
of the party. The saddles and all the other trap- 
pings were quickly changed by the riders, who 
mounted and departed as they shook hands with 
all the family; and the lieutenant did more than 
this with Grace. 

Miltonville, Harrison, and Somerset were at the 
three angles of a triangle. Milton led the way 
over the fields and through the woods ; and by 
this cross-cut he gained the six miles which re- 
duced the distance to twenty-four miles to Som- 
erset. The horses were fresh ; and they galloped 
over the fields without relaxing the speed, and 
then by a cart-path through the woods. Thej'" 
forded Fishing Creek in the woods, and came out 
on the Somerset road near the village. They 
had heard the clock strike ten just before they 
reached the road, and it was not more than a 
quarter of an hour later when they halted before 
the post-office. 

" Now, Milton, do you know anything about 
the politics of the postmaster?" asked Deck, just 
before they reached the office. 



USING THE TELEGRAPH AT NIGHT 185 

"I know all about them," replied the lieuten- 
ant. " Mr. McCurcly is a loyal citizen, and has 
two sons in the Union army." 

"Then we are all right, and we must see him 
on the instant," added Deck. 

jNIilton dismounted, handing his bridle-rein to 
Life Knox ; and in a moment more he brought 
out the postmaster. 

" Good-evening, Mr. INIcCurdy," said Milton, 
extending his hand to him. 

" Who is it ? I can't see very well in the 
night," asked the official, as he took the offered 
hand. 

"Win Milton." 

"I'm glad to see you. Win. You have shou.- 
der-straps now, and I am glad to see them too," 
replied Mr. McCurdy very cordially. "I was 
afraid it was some more of those Cornfeds over 
at the camp ; for I don't like to send treason on 
my wires." 

" That man is all right," said Deck, as Milton 
explained their mission. 

"But I thought that Union force over to Lil)- 
erty had marched for Greensburg at eight o'clock, 



186 AT THE FRONT 

as the message came to me while an adjutant was 
waiting for it." 

" That was a blind," laughed Deck. 

" I am glad to hear it ; for a Confederate army, 
under Kirby Smith, is moving up from Cumber- 
land Gap by Barboursville and London." 

" But where is this force near here of which 
you spoke, Mr. McCurdy ? " for it did not appear 
that he was a colonel, or even a major. 

" It is camped over on Buck Creek, about five 
miles from here." 

" All right ; information correct," added Deck. 

They made their arrangements to send de- 
spatches to Liberty, and then Milton led the way 
on the road to Grundy ; but before he reached 
that hamlet, he turned into the field on the left. 
They soon saw what the guide called the Buck 
Hills. They followed a stream till they were 
abreast of the hills, and about the centre of the 
length of the range of elevations. 

" We had better leave our horses here ; for there 
is a path over the hills to Buck Creek, and I have 
been over it fifty times when I was a boy," said 
Milton, as he reined in his horse. 



USING THE TELEGRAPH AT NIGHT 187 

The others followed his example, and the ani- 
mals were picketed in some trees on the bank of 
the stream. Then they ascended the hill, and 
paused on the summit, where they were concealed 
by the bushes that covered all the hills. They 
were very careful ; for the sentinels might notice 
any moving bodies in the moonlight, which for- 
tunately favored the scouts. If they had been 
at all sentimental they would have called it a 
beautiful view. The moon had risen since they 
started on the expedition, and was now well up 
in the sky, so that there was plenty of light for 
their purpose. They seated themselves on a rock, 
and proceeded to take a survey of the ground in 
front of them. Deck was even planning the 
battle which was likely to come off on the fol- 
lowing day. 

He took off his cap, and placing a small 
piece of cartridge paper, which he had evidently 
brought with him for the purpose, upon it, he 
began to make a map of the locality. First he 
rudely sketched the hills, with the brook, as 
Milton called it, which they had followed from the 
highway, on the left of the sheet. Then he added 



188 AT THE FRONT 

Buck Creek, which flowed into the Cumberland 
River. He marked the location of Grundy, 
from which a road extended to the north-east, 
through Rockcastle County. This thoroughfare 
crossed Buck Creek, and near the bridge over 
it at the present time, though it was formerly 
only a ford, a branch of the stream extended 
along the road as far as Deck could see. Between 
these two water-courses the land formed a tri- 
angle, not more than half a mile wide at its 
base, at the northern end of the range of hills. 
The enemy was encamped in about the centre 
of this triangle. 

x\ further examination of the ground before 
him enabled the major, with a single line of his 
pencil, to change a portion of the branch stream 
into a pond, perhaps an eighth of a mile in length 
and ten rods wide in the middle. The road at 
its side was through the woods at this point, and 
Deck thought it was just the place for riflemen. 
He could find nothing more to add to his map, 
and he considered the locality for an engagement. 
He would post tlie six guns of the battery on 
the hill, with a battalion of cavaliy above and 



USING THE TELEGRAPH AT NIGHT 189 

below it, and the third battalion near the apex 
of the triangle, Captain Ripley's company being 
posted in the woods on the shore of the pond. 
In fact, this disposition was qnite similar to that 
of his father in the field at Columbia. He had 
taken everything as he found it in front of Jiim, 
and had not imagined, anything that would favor 
the Union force. 

They descended the hill in silence, and hastened 
back to Somerset, where they found Mr. McCurdy 
waiting for them in the office. Deck telegraphed 
that he had found the enemy as first reported, 
and in a favorable position for an attack. It was 
only eleven o'clock ; and in half an hour came a 
reply that the force would march at twelve, and 
arrive at daylight. Milton sent the three horses 
back, and their own reached Somerset at four in 
the morning. 



190 AT THE FRONT 



CHAPTER XIV 

THE OPENING OF THE ENGAGEMENT 

At half-past eleven there was nothing more for 
the three scouts to do ; and Deck and Milton were 
gaping so that they were in peril of dislocating 
their jaws, though it never seemed to make unj 
difference to Life Knox whether he slept at all. 
While waiting for the answer from Liberty, the 
major had worked on his sketch, and had com- 
pleted it to his satisfaction. Two men and a 
boy had been found to ride the borrowed horses 
over to Miltonville, and bring back those that 
had been left there ; for Deck was not inclined 
to ride a strange horse in an engagement. 

"Now, Win, your party can get four or five 
hours' sleep, and you can have the boys' room," 
said Mr. McCurdj-. " I will call you when your 
regiment gets here ; and I am afraid you will 
have a hard day's work of it to-morrow, and 
you need all the sleep you can get." 



THE OPENING OF THE ENGAGEMENT 191 

" That idea strikes me favorably, and things 
are in good trim now," replied Deck; and in a 
few minutes all of them were asleep in the boys' 
beds. 

While they slept, the Riverlawn regiment was 
marching at good speed to Somerset. Milton 
was not with it, and they had to follow the 
roads by the way of Harrison. The wagon-train, 
attended by a sufficient force under Quarter- 
master Hickman, was permitted to fall behind ; 
for the mules are not rapid travellers at the 
best, and the colonel hurried the men to a rea- 
sonable degree. They made about eight miles 
an hour, and at four o'clock in the morning the 
head of the column halted in front of the post- 
office. While the clock on one of the churches 
was striking four, Mr. McCurdy called the 
scouts. They were on their feet in an instant, 
and their toilet did not detain them a minute. 
Deck found his father in the office, where the 
postmaster had already informed him what the 
scouts had done. The sun did not rise till half- 
past five in this latitude, so that it was still 
dark, and the office was lighted. 



192 AT THE FllONT 

" Are you ready for us, Major -Lyon ? " asked 
the colonel, as Deck came into the room. 

'' All ready, Colonel Lyon ; and I think the 
force should be moving at gnce," replied the 
major, as he went to the counter, on which a 
large kerosene lamp was burning, where he spread 
out the rude sketch of the field he had made. 

" Have you considered how the force should 
be posted, Major ? " asked the commander, as 
he looked over the drawing, with Major Born- 
wood at his side. 

" This makes it all as plain as the engineers 
could have done it," said the staff-officer, as he 
took the whole thing into his head at a glance. 

" Now, Major Lyon, how have you posted the 
force ? " asked he, after he had studied the plan 
a minute or two. 

" Perhaps it would be disrespectful to my su- 
perior to meddle with his duty," replied Deck 
with a smile. 

" But you have looked over the ground, and 
I have not," added his father. " You have some 
talent for strategy, I have been told by several 
officers." 



THE OPENING OF THE ENGAGEMENT 193 

" I have made this sketch to give you a clear 
idea of the position of the enemy, and the coun- 
try around his camp." 

" But if I ask you for your views in regard 
to the action, I am entitled to receive them," 
continued the colonel ; l)ut he was smiling -as 
though he was indulging in a pleasantly. 

" As I \^'as making this rough drawing, I 
could not help thinking how the force should 
he posted," said Major Lyon, placing the point 
of his pencil on the centre of the range of hills. 
" Of course I should place the battery here." 

" Of course," added the colonel. 

" That is a self-evident proposition," added 
Major Bornwood. " Go on, ]\Iajor." 

" I should post Captain Ripley's company in 
the woods at the east of the pond," continued 
Deck, pointing to the position with his pencil. 

" All right so far," replied the colonel. " You 
have eleven companies more ; go on. Major." 

" I should post the battalion of the senior 
major at the north end of the pond," replied 
Deck, watching the expression of his father and 
the staff-officer. 



194 AT THE FRONT 

" Go on," said Colonel Lyon. 

" I should put the battalion of the second 
major on the right, and of the junior major on 
the left, of the battery, both concealed by the 
range of hills," Deck proceeded. 

" But these positions mean nothing at all till 
we know how the action is to be fought. Major 
Lyon. You not only conceal nearly the whole 
force on the field, but you conceal your mean- 
ing. You have clearly marked out how you 
would fight the battle, but I may not ajDprove 
your plan. You must therefore indicate how 
you would conduct the affair." 

" I will do so ; and I shall not be at all sensi- 
tive if my method is condemned and rejected," 
replied Deck very good-naturedly. " My plan 
is to include a surprise. The first battalion is to 
attack the enemy when the assembly is blown. 
The attack is not to be a charge, for the bat- 
talion will advance, and fire a volley from their 
carbines into the enemy. Then it will fall back, 
retreating at a gallop. Of course they Avill be 
pursued, and wlien they come to a point be- 
tween the battery and the northern part of the 



THE OPENING OF THE ENGAGEMENT 105 

j)oiid, the artillery is to open upon them with 
canister or shell, as the colonel may determine. 
At the same time, the riflemen will open fire. 
The enemy will certainly be shaken by the rifle- 
balls and the canister; then the battery will 
cease firing, and the battalions on the right and 
left, and the one in front, will charge. That is 
as far as I have gone." 

" I have no fault to find with this plan, though 
it is nothing more than the opening of the engage- 
ment," said the colonel when the major paused. 

" That is all I intended it to be," replied Deck. 
"Nothing more can be arranged till we see the 
result of the opening. Of that, of course, I can 
say nothing." 

" So far I think the plan is excellent," said 
Major Bornwood. " It indicates neither victory 
nor defeat; and, as Major Lyon suggests, the 
colonel has to fight the battle after the prelimi- 
nary steps have been taken." 

" We have no tiine to lose in carrying out this 
plan," continued the colonel, as he moved to the 
door. " I have ordered Lieutenant INIilton to 
conduct the force to the brook before you get 



196 AT THE FRONT 

to Grundy, and halt there. Now we must hurry 
forward, and post the force." 

The horses of all the officers who had dis- 
mounted M'ere in front of the post-office, and 
Deck found Ceph there among them ; and the 
other scouts had also obtained their steeds. The 
field-officers galloped to the brook, and came to 
the head of the column. The batteiy was directed 
to follow the stream, and Deck was sent forward 
to assist in placing the guns. He and jNIajor 
Batterson rode ahead of the column in silence ; 
for all the officers had been ordered to allow no 
noise of any kind, and the road was too far from 
the enemy to permit the sound of the horses' 
feet to be heard. The battery passed over grass 
ground, though there was something like a wagon- 
track on the border of the stream. All the com- 
panies moved with the greatest caution. 

" You must haul your guns up the hill by hand, 
Major Batterson," said Deck when he reached the 
path to the summit of the elevation. 

" That can easily l)e done," replied the comman- 
der of the battery ; and he proceeded to instruct 
his lieutenants to prepare for the movement. 



THE OPENING OF THE ENGAGEMENT 197 

The two officers went to the top of the eleva- 
tion, where they could see the camp of the sleep- 
ing foe. Then the artillerist selected the positions 
for his six guns, and planted them behind the 
ridges of the hill, where they commanded the en- 
tire triangle beneath them. ]Major Lyon hurried 
back to the road, where his battalion was waiting 
for him. The colonel was so well informed in 
regard to the field from the sketch of his son, 
that he had sent Captain Ripley's company of 
riflemen to the position assigned to them, and 
ordered the second and junior majors, with their 
battalions, to their places on the right and left 
of the battery; and they all moved so that no 
sound could be heard from them in the field 
between the two streams where the army was 
encamped. Deck ordered his battalion to march 
slowly and in silence. Fortunately the road was 
nothing more than a reddish loam, Avithout a stone 
for the iron hoofs to strike upon. At the upper 
end of the pond he fell back from the road into 
the Avoods ; and no one in the enemy's lines could 
have suspected the presence of a Union force so 
near. 



198 AT THE FRONT 

It was now daylight; and the assembly was 
blown in the Confederate camp, and the soldiers 
were performing their morning duties. In a low 
tone of voice Major Lyon explained to the four 
captains of his battalion, whom he had called to- 
gether, the manner in which the engagement was 
to be opened. This portion of the regiment had 
been thoroughly drilled, and the captains had the 
men under perfect control ; and this was even 
true of Artie Lyon's company, though it was one 
which had just been mustered in. The riflemen 
had placed themselves at the trees which were to 
cover them in case of need. The battalion was 
formed in column of fours, and Deck had placed 
himself in front of it ; for he intended to lead in 
pei-son. The horses had been somewhat rested 
after their march from Liberty, and there were no 
signs of fatigue among the men. 

" Battalion, forward ! March ! Gallop! " shouted 
the major, no longer careful about his voice. 

The captains repeated the order, and Deck 
dashed at full gallop towards the point where he 
had decided to cross the stream near the foot of 
the pond. There were no laggards behind him. 



THE OPENING OF THE ENGAGEMENT 109 

and all tlie men came up in proper order. The 
stream was shallow ; but Ceph made a flying leap, 
and came down in the middle of it. He was 
closely followed by Captain Abbey, and the rest 
of the companies, though none of them imitated 
the leap of the major's horse. All the horses 
went into the stream without any difficulty, and 
scrambled out on the other side. Deck saw that 
it was roll-call in the enemy's line. He wheeled 
to the left when he had crossed the water, and the 
column followed him. Then he wheeled to the 
right when within short musket-shot of the enemy, 
and continued at his mad gallop across the tri- 
angle. 

" Battalion, halt ! " shouted the intrepid leader. 

Then he brought the companies into line, and 
the captains gave the order to fire. The troopers 
along the line discharged their volleys, and quite 
a number of the enemy were seen to fall. 

" In column of fours ! " commanded the major. 
" March ! Gallop ! " 

The leader led them back to the woods from 
which they had come at the best speed of the 
horses. The enemy seemed to be paralyzed by 



200 AT THE FRONT 

this sudden exhibition of force in front of them, 
but they had not a musket loaded to return the 
fire. The battalion had no sooner come out of the 
water, and passed to the shelter of the trees, than 
from one gun after another the battery rained 
upon the shaken Confederates six showers of can- 
ister. The enemy were certainly surprised, and 
they stared at the Buck Hills with absolute as- 
tonishment. Many of them fell from the effects 
of the canister ; but before they could come to 
their bearings, the riflemen began to put in their 
work, and the men fell in great numbers. 

Colonel hjon had placed himself on the high- 
est hill of the range, where he could see the entire 
field. There was confusion in the camp, but the 
officers soon rallied them in voices of thunder. 
The men were mounted, and ready for fight. 

They wei*e brave men, none braver ever trod 
the battlefield ; and the wonder was, not that they 
had been thrown into confusion by the sudden- 
ness of the attack and the numl^er of men in 
their ranks who had fallen, but that their officers 
had the power to rally them, and bring order 
out of the panic that had been created. Colonel 



THE OPENING OF THE ENGAGEMENT 201 

Lyon and Major Bornwood declared that the 
opening was a perfect success. But the battle 
in detail was yet to be fought. The enemy had 
by this time come to understand where at least 
some of the assailants were located. They could 
not comprehend why the force that had assailed 
them in front had so hastily retreated ; for they 
seemed to be in perfect order, and in condition 
to do some heavy fighting. Deck had planned 
the first act of the engagement, and he had no 
idea of charging into a force of at least three 
times his own number. He was prudent, what- 
ever might have been said about him. 

The enemy were ready to fight. They were 
veterans, and were used to it ; but there was no 
enemy within their reach. Their commander was 
evidently thinking of charging on the battery 
which had made such havoc in his ranks ; for 
Milton had seen him talking with another officer, 
and pointing at the summit of the liills. Then 
he had seen him indicating with his sword the 
upper end of the pond where Deck's battalion 
had crossed and disappeared. Colonel Lyon had 
seen all this with his e'lass. Then he o^ave an 



202 AT THE FRONT 

order to Major Batterson to open upon the en- 
emy with shell, and the guns were already loaded 
for this purpose. 

One shell was first thrown into the camp ; and 
it produced even more confusion than the can- 
ister, or than they had caused at Columbia. 
At the same time the riflemen did not intermit 
their fire for a moment. Officers and men were 
dropping out of their saddles, and the first detail 
of the action had become a slaughter. The colo- 
nel was sick of it; and it was a relief to him 
when he saw the two regiments of the foe formed, 
and march over the field in the direction of the 
place where the battalion of the senior major was 
posted. Doubtless the colonel in command real- 
ized that the sharpshooters were concealed in the 
woods with the force which had opened the con- 
flict. He saw the necessity of dislodging the 
enemy on that side of the field. 



SOME DETAILS OP THE BATTLE 203 



CHAPTER XV 

SOME DETAILS OF THE BATTLE 

The regiments of the enemy were formed in 
good order, and both officers and privates were 
as steady as though they had not been under a 
most destructive fire from the battery and the 
riflemen for the last twenty minutes. The nat- 
ural breastwork which sheltered the artillery, 
placed at irregular distances where the shape of 
the hills afforded covering for the guns, did not 
appear to tempt the commander to make an at- 
tack in that direction. Buck Creek on this side 
of the camp was a considerable stream, wider and 
deeper, Milton had informed his fellow-scouts, 
than at many points below the Somerset road. 

The enemy could not be aware that seven hun- 
dred men were ready to defend the ascent of the 
slope ; for the two battalions of Majors Belthorpe 
and Truman were perfectly concealed behind the 
raffffed hills. But their commander realized that 



204 AT THE FRONT 

his situauon was critical, with the six guns pour- 
ing shells, and the riflemen bullets, into his force, 
who continued to fall around him ; and it was 
absolutely necessary to do something to save his 
men, for he could not help seeing that the batr- 
tle had already gone against him. Colonel Lyon 
was equally assured that the Union force had 
won the day ; but he never " gushed," and he 
felt that there was yet a chance for the com- 
mander on the other side to redeem himself, and 
he said nothing. He was fully occupied in study- 
ing the situation every moment of the time. 

" The colonel over there is about to make a 
movement of some kind," said he while the en- 
emy was forming. " I don't believe he will ven- 
ture to attack on this side of the creek." 

" No ; he is too wise to swim the creek, and 
charge on the breastwork," replied Major Born- 
wood. "But he has come to his bearings, and 
he will certainly do something. He is a brave 
and noble fellow ; and, upon my word, I feel sorry 
for him personally. He has fallen into a death- 
trap ; but I will venture to say that he will save 
his men, or about two-thirds of them, for he is 



SOME DETAILS OF THE BATTLE 205 

full of fight, and is a man of expedients. So 
far, all the avenues have been closed against 
him." 

"He can only take what comes," added the 
colonel. 

"I wonder that he allowed himself te be 
■ caught in such a trap," suggested the major. 

"How could he have helped liimself?" asked 
the commander. 

"Very easily; it is plain enough now, as it 
evidently was not at any earlier time. He ought 
to have had scouts out on all the roads around 
here. But I have no doubt he has been doing 
a great deal of hard marching lately; his men 
needed rest, and this seemed to be a good place 
to give it to them." 

" Probably the despatch you sent last night had 
something to do with it." said the colonel. 

"No doubt of it. I warrant Scott knows very 
well what Union force there is anywhere near 
him ; and doubtless he has agents in this semi- 
Secession region, who send him all the informa- 
tion he needs." 

" Like Camden, the postmaster at Liberty." 



206 AT THE FKONT 

" Yes ; and more active ones than he is." 

" But the question just now is, not how he 
got into this scrape, but how will he get out 
of it? " continued the colonel. "What will he do 
now?" 

"It does not look practicable for him to do 
anything on this side of the field ; and the only 
thing he can do is to attack Major Lyon's battal- 
ion on the Rockcastle road." 

" That seems to be the only avenue open to 
him, or rather the only one tliat he can open. 
And he may turn the day against us yet," said 
the colonel, a shade of anxiety sweeping across 
his face. " The woods on the other side of the 
field, where the senior major's battalion is located, 
as well as the riflemen, appears to extend only 
as far as the end of the pond, and it looks like 
an open country beyond it." 

" That is the appearance, and probably there 
are farms along those bottoms where there is 
a rich soil," added the major. 

"Major Lyon must be re-enforced at once," said 
the colonel very decidedly. " We have two 
battalions here where they are not needed ; and 



SOME DETAILS OF THE BATTLE 207 

if there is to be a fight at all, it will be in the 
fields above the woods, on the farther side of that 
brook. Colonel Gordon ! " he called to the sec- 
ond in command, who sat on a rock near him. 

Although the lieutenant-colonel has been sel- 
dom mentioned, he was as active as any other 
officer in the field, both in consultation and exe- 
cution. He promptly came at the call, and 
saluted the commander. 

" Can one or both of the second and third bat- 
talions swim that creek at the foot of the hill. 
Colonel Gordon?" asked the commander. 

" I have no doubt one or both of them can 
do so, though I have not seen the creek except 
from the top of these hills," replied Colonel Gor- 
don. 

" Order Truman and Belthorpe to do so at once, 
leaving one company of Truman's command here. 
Send them across the field to re-enforce Major 
Lyon, who is likely soon to have the whole force 
of the enemy down upon liim on the other side 
of the pond ! " said Colonel Lyon in vigorous 
speech. 

" The enemy are moving ! " exclaimed Major 



208 AT THE FRONT 

Bornwood, somewhat excited by the earnestness 
of the colonel, and especially by his remark that 
the enemy might still win the day. 

Colonel Gordon hastened to execute the order. 
He detailed the ninth company, under Captain 
Baron, to remain on the hill ; and Major Belthorpe 
started on the cart-path down the hill to the creek 
on the instant. The two regiments of the enemy 
had formed, and dashed off across the triangle 
in the direction of the head of the pond. The 
land was a tobacco-field, and was dry and hard. 
Tom Belthorpe Avas rejoiced to be called into ac- 
tion, for he had been as impatient as an idle baby 
while the battery and the riflemen were sending 
the deadly bolts into the midst of the enemy. 
As soon as he obtained the order, which came to 
him while his command was at rest on the level 
ground at the side of the brook which they had 
followed in reaching the locality, though he him- 
self had been half-way up the slope of the hill, 
he dashed down the slope, formed his com- 
mand, and then led them to the path over the 
hill, Avhich was rather difficult of passage for 
horses ; but they reached the summit, and then 



SOME DETAILS OF THE BATTLE 209 

went down the rugged steep as rapidly as the 
roughness of the way would permit. Major Bel- 
thorpe was ahead of his three companies ; for 
the riflemen were in his battalion, and he looked 
out for the most favorable place to swim the 
river. There was a tolerably level space fifty feet 
wide between the hills and the creek, along which 
he rode till he came to a slope down to the water, 
just what the situation seemed to require. 

The water looked deep and dark ; but Captain 
Gadsbury, in command of his first company, was 
a veteran in the Riverlawn battalion, and had 
often swum the streams on the march, and was 
entirely reliable. He was sure to get his com- 
mand over the creek, which was here about a 
hundred feet wide ; and the next company, under 
Captain Barnes, would be likely to follow him. 
If he did not, Captain Life Knox's company came 
next, and he would drive it into the water. But 
both men and horses are imitative creatures, and 
would do whatever they had seen others do. 
All the officers were veterans who had been pro- 
moted from sergeants to lieutenants, and had 
seen a great deal of service. Tom Belthorpe 



210 AT THE FRONT 

rode his well-trained steed across the creek as 
though he had bee)i swimming Green River for 
the fun of it. 

He found a slope out of the water on the 
other side, which enabled him to come out of the 
stream without any trouble, though the creek 
had steep banks as a rule. Major Belthorpe 
halted on the bank as soon as he came out of 
the water to observe the passage of his com- 
panies. Captain Gadsbury landed his men all 
right. Captain Barnes followed him without any 
hesitation ; but the horses of the men, which 
had not been trained to this sort of duty, were 
shy. Lieutenant Decker, who had been with the 
Riverlawns since they were mustered in, made 
himself very active with the flat of his sabre at 
the buttocks of the restive animals, and drove 
them into the stream. They went over without 
any further difficulty. 

Captain Life Knox came next; and he had 
swum deep streams with his men, and their 
horses made no objection to crossing the creek. 
As soon as the three companies had landed. 
Major Belthorpe formed them, and dashed over 



SOME DETAILS OF THE BATTLE 211 

the plain at a furious gallop in the direction 
taken by the enemy. The three companies of 
Major Truman's command were new in the regi- 
ment; but the men had nearly all seen service 
in militia and Home Guards, and they passed 
over the stream without any delay. The battal- 
ion was formed in the rear of the second major's 
command, and both rushed across the field like 
meteors ; for the majors understood that Deck 
must soon be hard pressed by the enemy. They 
had not been informed in regard to the situa- 
tion by their superior officers, who were observ- 
ing the action from the hill ; but they were 
thinking men, and had looked over the field to 
some extent by climbing the hills where they 
could see for themselves. 

After " opening the battle," Deck, with the 
four companies of his battalion, had retreated to 
the road behind the pond, and formed his force 
in the road along the upper part of the pond. 
He placed himself where he could overlook the 
camp of the enemy, and the tents were still 
standing as they were when the battalion had 
fired into the cavalrymen in line for roll-call. 



212 AT THE FRONT 

While it has taken a long time to relate what 
occurred on the field, not more than half an hour 
had elapsed since the first shot was fired. 

Major Lyon saw that the enemy w^ere forming 
for a movement; but he could not know whether 
it was to be an attack on the natural breast- 
work, on his command, or a retreat from the 
field, and he watched the field with the most 
intense interest. When the column of two regi- 
ments had formed, though there appeared not 
to be more than seven hundred men in each, as 
Major Bornwood had said, they made a force of 
more than three times the number under Deck's 
command. It looked to him then that he was 
called upon to plan another engagement on his 
side of the field. It is not strange that he was 
very anxious; and it occurred to him, as it had 
to his father on the hill, that the battle might 
yet end in the defeat of the Union arms. 

If the brave and skilful colonel in command 
of the two regiments could overcome the first 
battalion, he could soon clean out the rifle- 
men, and then march hy the Somerset road to 
Grundy, follow the brook, and take the battery 



SOME DETAILS OF THE BATTLE 213 

in the rear, tliough he would have to engage the 
two battalions posted there. This was what 
Major Lyon thought might possibly occur ; and 
perhaps the same idea was in the mind of the 
gallant Confederate colonel. Just then Deck felt 
such a responsibility as had never rested upon 
him before. Such a course of manoeuvres would 
bring the first attack of the enemy upon his 
command ; and if he failed to repel it against 
three times his own force, he felt that the day 
would certainly be lost, and the new regiment 
be scattered to the four winds of heaven. 

He saw the enemy approach over the plain 
with headlong speed. He was a noble and Chris- 
tian young man ; and he looked up to Heaven, 
and put up a silent prayer for strength and 
guidance in this hour, which he felt to be the 
most important of his lifetime. Then he con- 
sidered his plan, and it was soon formed in his 
mind. He decided to meet the onslaught of 
the host, as it was comparatively, as they came 
out of the water in crossing the brook. He 
wrote a hasty note to Captain Ripley, ordering 
him to move his company up to the border of 



214 AT THE FRONT 

the poud. Then he marched his battalion down 
to the brook, and placed two companies at the 
points where he believed the force aj^proaching 
would land, and ordered the captains to charge 
upon the head of the column as it made the 
landing. 

During the passage of the enemy across the 
field the battery had been firing canister, and 
the riflemen had been pouring their deadly bul- 
lets into the column. Many of them fell, killed 
or wounded, and the column diminished in num- 
bers as it advanced. But the brave colonel of 
the force still urged his men forward, though he 
did not expose himself to the fire of the sharp- 
shooter by putting liimself at the head of the 
column. 

As the head of the line ajDproached the brook, 
the men pounded their horses with the fiat sides 
of their sabres till they drove them into the 
stream. It was about fifty feet wide at the place 
which Deck had chosen to oppose their cross- 
ing; for the water was low, and the banks were 
high at all other points near the pond. The 
riflemen had moved up to the head of the sheet 



SOME DETAILS OF THE BATTLE 215 

of water, and stationed themselves at the sides of 
the trees, which made a rest for their weapons, 
rather than to hide themselves behind them. 
They opened npon the advancing enemy with- 
out delay, and they began to drop the horsemen 
as they had done several times before whea in 
the company of the Riverlawns. 

As Captain Abbey charged upon the head of 
the column while they were still in the water. 
Major Lyon discovered the battalion of Tom 
Belthorpe flying across the plain as though the 
force had not marched half the night before. 
Then the next battalion came out of the water, 
and dashed after the first; and then Deck felt 
that the day would be saved. At the same 
time he realized that his father, and not him- 
self, was fighting the battle. The colonel had 
early divined the intention of the enemy, and 
had sent the needed re-enforcements. Pie thanked 
God that the responsibility had been taken from 
his shoulders. 

Colonel Lyon had watched the advance of the 
two battalions with the most intense interest 
and in great anxiety. He saw, with the aid 



216 AT THE FEONT 

of his field-glass, Deck on the shore, and he 
felt that the day would be saved, as Deck had 
felt almost at the same moment. He thanked 
God audibly for the change in the situation ; 
but he had hardly uttered the words before he 
fell back on the rocks with a groan. A man 
in a clump of bushes below had fired at him, 
and hit him in the side of the head. 



MAJOR BORNWOOD'S PREDICTION 217 



CHAPTER XVI 

MAJOR BORNWOOD's PREDICTION 

Major Bornwood and Colonel Gordon were 
near the commander when he fell over on the 
rocks with a groan which indicated that he was 
wounded. Both of them sprang to his assist- 
ance, and raised him from the hard bed on 
which he had dropped. Captain Baron, in com- 
mand of the company which had been left 
behind the breastwork, was near, while the can- 
noneere were serving the guns, firing canister 
into the column of the enemy when they could 
do so without peril to the battalion on the farther 
shore of the pond. 

"Where is he wounded?" asked Colonel Gor- 
don, shocked at the calamity; for neither of the 
officers had supposed the party on the hill were 
in any danger. 

"In the side of the head, above the right ear," 
replied Major Bornwood. " Captain Baron ! " he 



218 AT THE FRONT 

shouted; and this officer X)romptly responded to 
the call. " Dr. Farnwright is at the foot of the 
hill ; bring him up here as quick as possible." 

" Is it a bad wound ? " asked the second in 
command. 

"I don't know; I cannot tell," replied the 
staff-officer. " He is insensible, but that does 
not prove that it is a fatal wound. But, Col- 
onel Gordon, you are now in command of the 
Union force, and you should attend to the move- 
ments in the field." 

The colonel, as Gordon may now be called 
without any qualification, who was far from wish- 
ing to succeed to the command under such cir- 
cumstances, turned from the wounded officer, and 
continued his survey of the field. His first order 
was to silence the guns of the battery ; for Major 
Belthorpe had nearly reached the centre of the 
triangle, and the scattering missiles of the can- 
ister might strike his force. With his glass 
he watched the assault of Major Lyon's force 
on the head of the enemy's column, but he 
could not help turning often for a glance at 
his wounded superior. 



MAJOR bornwood's predictiox 219 

Dr. Farnwright very soon appeared, with a sol- 
dier bearing his case of instruments ; and Dr. 
Gwynn, his assistant, soon followed him. The 
regiment had hardly been exposed at all, and 
the surgeons had not yet been employed. The 
principal doctor hastened to the side of - the 
wounded commander, attended by his associate. 
He had been with the Riverlawns since it was 
organized as a battalion, and had always been 
very intimate with the commander. He was 
deeply interested in the case before him. 

" How did this happen, Major Bornwood ? " 
asked the surgeon. •' The breastwork has not 
been attacked." 

" The enemy left a small force in charge of 
the camp, and the men seem to be doing some 
of the fighting on their own account; for I dis- 
covered one of them in that clump of bushes 
on the other side of the creek with a rifle in 
his hands. That was where the shot came from," 
replied the major. " I think we must first move 
your patient to some safer place ; for the rest 
of the camp-guard may try to do something 
more for their cause." 



220 AT THE FRONT 

The surgeon and liis assistant conveyed the 
wounded officer to a knoll sheltered by the 
higher summits of the hills, where there was a 
patch of grass. Major Batterson brought several 
blankets he had taken from the heap of knap- 
sacks, and a bed was made for the patient. 
Dr. Farnwright, with the aid of his assistant, ex- 
amined the wound of the colonel as soon as 
he had been placed on the blankets. The other 
officers stood around the knoll, anxiously wait- 
ing the verdict of the surgeon. A profusion of 
blood was flowing from the wound, which the 
assistant wiped away, and the nature of the 
injury was disclosed. 

" Not a very bad wound," said Dr. Farnwright, 
to the great relief of the officers around him. 

"But he is still insensible," suggested the staff- 
officer. 

" Stunned by the shock ; but I cannot tell yet 
the extent of the injury. I can assure you, how- 
ever, that it is not a fatal wound, though he may 
not be fit for duty for a couple of weeks," said the 
surgeon, as he continued his examination. 

Colonel Gordon had placed himself in a secure 



MAJOR BORNWOOD'S PREDICTION 221 

position, and was observing the progress of the 
engagement at the brook on the other side of the 
field. Major Bornwood soon joined him, and 
gave him the verdict of the surgeon, which was a 
great relief to him, though it made him feel more 
intensely the weight of responsibility resting upon 
him after his superior was disabled. 

" I am glad it is no worse," replied the colonel, 
when the staff-officer had reported upon the con- 
dition of the commander. 

"The surgeon is not yet fully informed as to 
the condition of liis patient, and it may be more 
serious than he now supposes. But how goes the 
battle, Colonel ? " 

" Major Lyon is following up his, attack upon 
the head of the enemy's column, and they are 
fighting in the water," replied Colonel Gordon ; 
but the major could see that he was very uneasy 
about something. 

" The fighting is now, and is likely to be to the 
end of it, on the other side of the field ; and this 
is no place for me, though the major is doing very 
well, as he always does. He has evidently moved 
the riflemen up to the pond, and they are plainly 



222 AT THE FRONT 

doing good service ; for I see the enemy on this 
side of the stream dropping from their saddles. 
This is no place for me under present circum- 
stances, and I am going over there," said the colo- 
nel, rising from the place where he had crouched 
V behind a rock to shelter liis body from the fire of 
the camp-guard on the other side of the creek. 

"That is the proper thing for you to do. I 
think you need not be disturbed by the condition 
of Colonel Lyon," added the major. " You would 
better send half a dozen riflemen up here to dis- 
pose of the men who are trying to pick us off 
whenever they can see a head." 

" I will do so ; and as Captain Baron's company 
is not needed here, I will take him and his men 
with me," added the colonel, as he hastened from 
the place where he had observed the fighting. 
" If there is an attack on the breastwork, which I 
do not expect, I shall order Major Batterson to 
fire three of liis guns in rapid succession, and I 
will be here with a force to support the batteiy." 

"Banks," he called to Colonel Lyon's orderly, 
"get my horse ready for me at the foot of the 
hill." 



MAJOR BORN WOOD S PREDICTION 'SSd 

He paused a moment to ascertain the condition 
of the commander, but the surgeon said there was 
no change for the better or the worse. Then he 
gave his orders to the commander of the battery, 
and ran down the hill, where he mounted his 
horse, and then ordered Captain Baron to move 
his command to the pond on the other side of the 
held. The company was mounted, and ready to 
move at a moment's notice ; and the captain, with 
his command, followed him at a gallop. 

Major Lyon was following up his charge upon 
the column of the enemy, and had taken them 
into the water, where a hand-to-hand fight was in 
progress, and Captain Abbey's company was more 
than holding its own. But Deck did not expect 
this condition to last more than a few minutes ; for 
there were at least six hundred of the enemy on 
the field in the rear of the company he had en- 
gaged. He sat on his horse at the head of the 
pond, and observed the entire field. The colonel 
commanding the enemy was not far from the 
actual fighting, and he could not help seeing that 
the company engaged were making no headway. 
Captain Ripley said afterwards that he had done 



224 AT THE FEONT 

his best to bring him down ; but ]ie was different 
from all the other officers he had ever seen : he 
appeared to have a charmed life, and he wondered 
if he did not wear armor under his uniform. 

He did not long remain inactive while his 
company in the water were struggling fiercely to 
make a landing ; for a whole battalion, though 
it was small in numbers, galloped from the main 
body to a point on the brook a mile higher up. 

The banks of the stream were high, with the 
exception of the portion where Deck had crossed 
when he opened the engagement, and where the 
fighting was now going on; for here the w^ater was 
beginning to spread out in forming the pond. 
Doubtless there were places higher up where the 
stream could be more readily crossed, though it 
was evident that the horses of the Confederates 
had not been so well trained as those of the com- 
pany engaged. Major Lyon was prepared for this 
movement. The engagement had proceeded so 
far when Colonel Gordon dashed upon the ground, 
followed by Captain Baron's company. 

"Are you all right, Major Lyon?" asked the 
colonel. 



MAJOR BORNWOOD's PREDICTION 225 

"All right so far, but a prompt movement is 
necessary now, for you can see that the enemy 
are marching north to find a ford ; and I was 
about to send four companies up the Rockcastle 
road, to prevent that battalion from crossing if 
possible," replied Deck. 

" Name the companies, and I will send them," 
said Colonel Gordon in hurried speech. 

" Captain Blenk's, Richland's, Artie Lyon's, and 
Life Knox's. The first three of them are in my 
battalion; and I will go with them, if you Avill 
order Major Truman to send Captain Knox's com- 
pany." 

The junior major was at hand, and the order 
was given instantly ; and in another minute the 
seventh company was on the road, following the 
three companies of the senior major. 

" I am sorry to inform you, Major Lyon, that 
I am now in command of the Union force ; for 
Colonel hjon has unfortunately been wounded in 
the head, though Dr. Farnwright does not regard 
the injury as very severe," added Colonel Gor- 
don, as Deck was about to hurry off after his 
command. 



226 AT THE FllONT 

" My father wounded ! " exclaimed the major, 
with something like a groan. 

" I am sorry for it, Deck ; but life and death 
are the same here, and we must do our duty. 
Your father may be out in a week or two, the 
doctor thinks," replied the colonel in soothing 
tones. 

" I will try to do my dut}^ whatever comes," 
said the intrepid young major, as he started Ceph 
at a gallop, and increased his speed till he came 
up with and passed Life Knox. 

" Father has been wounded, but not badly," 
said he, without reducing the speed of his horse. 
He passed the other companies ; for Ceph was a 
blood animal, and could have earned thousands in 
the races if his owner would have permitted such 
a use to be made of him. And he had been of- 
fered a very large jirice for him ; but he was 
Deck's steed from his ponyhood, and the colonel 
would not sell him at any price. 

He soon reached the head of the column; and 
then he reined in to make a more deliberate ex- 
amination of the region, where he had not been 
before, and of the movements of the enemy. All 



MAJOR BORNWOOD's PREDICTION 227 

the horses of the battalion were Kentucky ani- 
mals, and it was plain enough that they were 
superior to those of the Confederate cavalry. 
The road was good, and the companies had made 
a very rapid march. A little later they came up 
with the right of the enemy's column oi* the 
other side of the stream; and then Deck halted 
his command, and proceeded to watch the enemy. 

The captain of the Confederate company in 
the water below appeared to have lost nearly 
half his men under the fire of the riflemen, whom 
Captain Ripley had stimulated to the highest 
state of activity. They were near enough to pick 
off their victims without endangering the Union 
men. Their captain had soon fallen, as had one 
of the lieutenants ; the other had been killed 
before on the field. It was simply slaughter; and 
the company retired from the stream, under the 
command of the first sergeant. The battle in 
this part of the field had suddenly come to an 
end. 

The remnant of the company fell back upon 
the main body; and then the invulnerable colonel 
gave a new order, for the entire force moved to 



228. AT THE FEONT 

the north. Colonel Gordon immediately sent Ma- 
jor Truman's battalion, with the riflemen, on the 
road after the other force that had gone in that 
direction ; and it was evident that the remainder 
of the engagement would be fought out farther up 
the stream. At this point Major Bornwood came 
to the place where the colonel was observing the 
field. 

"How is Colonel Lyon?" was the first ques- 
tion of Colonel Gordon. 

" He was still unconscious when I left the 
hill ; but the doctor thinks he will come out of 
it in a week or two, and he has no fears for his 
like at present," replied the staff-officer. " If I 
had been in command, I should have sent the 
battery over here." 

"I was just thinking of sending for it, and I 
will do so at once," said the colonel, as he wrote 
a note with a pencil, and sent it to Major Bat- 
terson. " The riflemen have proved to be one 
of the most effective arms to-day ; and they are 
acting now as mounted men. I see that they 
have already begun to put in more of their work 
on the road." 



MAJOR BOENWOOD's PREDICTION 229 

" What force have you sent to the north, Colo- 
nel?" asked the major. 

" The entire regiment ; and when the battery 
arrives, the whole force will be on this side of 
the field." 

" Just before I left I received a despatch from 
General Buell, ordering your command to Bark- 
ville, where I believe you have already had some 
experience," said the staff-officer, presenting the 
message to Colonel Gordon. "I think you have 
come to about the end of this affair, and you 
will be ready to march this afternoon." 

"We have not yet reached the end of this 
engagement," replied the colonel with a smile. 

" But you are very near it. I don't like to 
predict ; but I am of the opinion that the enemy 
will retreat to the north, and may not even at- 
tempt to save their camp equipage." 

"I am afraid you are rather sanguine. Ma- 
jor." 

They looked the field over for some minutes, 
and somewhat later the battery came thundering 
along the road at full gallop. 



230 AT THE FRONT 



CHAPTER XVII 

THE FINAL RETREAT OF THE ENFMY 

The horses of the battery were covered with 
lather and perspiration when the command halted 
for orders before the colonel. They had come at 
a furious gallop all the way from the hills ; and 
the distance was all of seven miles, which they 
must have accomplished in about half an hour. 
Major Batterson saw that if he was to be of any 
service at all on the other side of the triangle, 
he must move at breakneck speed, and he had 
done so. 

" Hurry to the head of the pond, then follow 
the road, and as soon as you can find a chance 
use your guns for all they are worth," said Colo- 
nel Gordon. 

The horses had hardly time to breathe before 
they were again pushed to a gallop up the road 
taken by all the rest of the force. The Confed- 
erate column was still advancing to the north; 



THE FINAL RETREAT OF THE ENEMY 231 

and the head of it appeared to have reached the 
stream, and the leading company had taken to 
the water. The colonel had followed the bat- 
tery, for there was nothing for him to do at the 
head of the pond. He soon obtained a position 
where he could overlook the scene of operation 
by riding to the top of a small hill on the right 
of the road. As the commander of the enemy 
had concluded, he believed that plenty of fords 
would be found higher up. He had passed most 
of the companies, and the summit of the hill he 
had ascended was not more than fifty rods below 
the head of the enemy's column, the leading com- 
pany of which had taken to the water, and Cap- 
tain Blenks had been sent to clinch with it in a 
moist charge. 

The riflemen, no longer seeking the cover of 
the trees, sat upon their horses, where they could 
take deliberate aim as long as the animals were 
at rest. Major Batterson had chosen his position 
well, and unlimbered his guns about half-way 
between the colonel on the hill and the com- 
panies in the brook ; though it was large enough 
to entitle it to the name of a creek, or farther 



232 ' AT THE FRONT 

north a river. The cannoneers worked in hot 
haste, and presently the column in the field was 
staggered with half a dozen shells pitched into 
their midst. The major in command of the bat- 
tery seemed to be an expert in handling his fuses ; 
for the shells exploded just over the heads of the 
cavalrymen, scattering their missiles around them 
with the most destructive venom. 

A second company had found a practicable ford 
farther up the stream ; and the horses plunged 
into the water, only to be borne down by the 
giants of Captain Life Knox's company, with the 
tall Kentuckian at the head of them, where he 
always was in a conflict. The Confederates 
turned their horses under this onslaught, and he 
pursued them. The enemy were pygmies in the 
presence of the Kentuckians, and they fled at 
the first charge on the shore. Major Lyon or- 
dered the bugler to sound the recall, which Life 
obeyed with evident reluctance. His men had 
not been in a fight that day, and had just got 
warmed up to it, he explained to Deck, when 
the bugle sounded. He insisted that he should 
have used that company up in five minutes more; 



THE FINAL RETREAT OF THE ENEMY 233 

but the major suggested that he might have had 
a whole battalion down upon him before the job 
was completed. 

The company upon which Captain Knox had 
charged in the water, perhaps moved by the e'^- 
ample of the other, soon turned, and made their 
way out of the water. They were not as am- 
phibious as the Riverhiwns. The main body of 
the enemy had been thro^vn into confusion by 
the rapid firing of the battery, and a panic had 
taken possession of them. Some of the compa- 
nies broke from the column, and galloped to the 
other side of the triangle. They were brave 
men, and could stand up firmly before a charge 
on dry land, but they had no amphibious ten- 
dencies. Major Bornwood soon joined the colo- 
nel on the hill ; for he had moved more leisurely 
from the head of the pond. 

" It looks as though your prediction had al- 
ready been accomplished," said the colonel, as 
the staff-officer reined in his horse at his side. 

" Sooner than I expected, Colonel ; you have 
had all the advantage on your side," added the 
major, as he took out his watch. " We reached 



234 AT THE FRONT 

the Buck Hill Creek at about five this morning, 
and it is now only half-past eight. You have 
made quick work of it. But the best officers 
and the best soldiers in the Confederate army 
could have done no better with all the advan- 
tage against them. In fact, it has been little 
better than a slaughter." 

" But the enemy outnumbers our force," sug- 
gested Colonel Gordon. 

" Not by more than a hundred men, or, at 
most, two hundred. In the first place, the enemy 
was surprised, and that was as good as five 
hundred men in your favor." 

" Perhaps it was," the colonel partly ac- 
quiesced. 

" Then with the artillery on the hill, and the 
riflemen in the woods, the enemy was in a ter- 
rible trap," added the major. 

" Why didn't they charge the riflemen, and 
drive them out of the woods ? " demanded Colo- 
nel Gordon, thinking what he should have done 
if he had been in command on the field. 

" Because Major Batterson's guns threw them 
into a panic when he opened upon them." 



THE FINAL IlETREAT OF THE ENEMY '285 

" I think I could have brought my men out 
of the panic if I had been in command of one of 
those companies," replied the colonel. "Then if 
he had charged into the woods, the major would 
have been compelled to cease using his guns, to 
save the riflemen from injur3%'* 

" But the brook, which is almost equal in vol- 
ume to the creek on the other side of the field, 
was in front of them," said the major. 

" The stream was of no consequence whatever ; 
and the greenest men we have in our ranks 
would have counted it nothing but a frolic to 
swim or wade across it, even at the pond. Two 
companies of our men have beaten them fight- 
ing in the water. Then if I had been in com- 
mand of that force, I would have mounted that 
hill, and charged upon the battery, even if I 
had sacrificed half my men," argued the colonel, 
somewhat excited at what he regarded as a de- 
fence of the enemy. 

" But the commander had every reason to sup- 
pose the battery was supported by infantry or 
cavalry, as it really was ; and if you had reached 
the top of the hill under volleys of grape and 



236 AT THE FEONT 

canister from the guns, you would have sacri- 
ficed half your men : and I doubt if you would 
have been justified bj- a court-martial in doing 
that," added the major with a cheerful smile, for 
the discussion was of the most friendly nature. 

" Perhaps you are right, Major Bornwood ; 
but if I could not fight the enemy, I would 
have retreated in the first of it," replied the 
colonel, starting his horse down the hill. "That 
is what the commander of the enemy is doing 
now ; and he ought to have done it sooner. I 
would have got out of the scrape as quickly as 
a rat would leap out of a trap if it found a 
hole." 

" I hope you will not have a chance to see 
what you would do in such a trap as the enemy 
is escaping from now. Do you intend to pur- 
sue ? " asked the staff-officer. 

"I think not: we have nothing further to gain 
from that force, unless it is to grind it up and 
bury it ; and I shall not do that," replied Colo- 
nel Gordon. " As Major Lyon's sketch shows 
it, the space between the two streams is a tri- 
angle, and the enemy have retreated to the Buck 



THE FINAL RETREAT OE THE ENEMY 237 

Creek side of it, and are moving north. Their 
camp near the apex of the figure is still as they 
left it." 

"Of course you can capture what is left there, 
— the tents, the ^vagon-train, and the spare 
horses," suggested Major Bornwood. 

"We have no need of ' anything there, for we 
are fully supplied with everj^thing for- a cam- 
paign ; and it would take more time and trouble 
to bring them out than they are worth." 

" Besides, the despatch I received from the 
general says, ' with all possible haste,' " added 
the staff-officer. 

" We have no further business here, and we 
may as well move at once. I will order Major 
Batterson to fire a few solid shot into the camp, 
for the stuff would be only an encumbrance to 
us. But we must give our men a few hours' 
rest before we march ; for they were on the move 
a good part of last night, and it is not prudent 
to wear them out." 

Orders were immediately given to this effect; 
and the battery was sent to the nearest point 
to the camp, where the roar of its guns was 



238 AT THE FRONT 

soon heard. A message was sent across the 
field to Lieutenant Hickman, the quartermaster, 
who was in charge of the wagon-train on the 
bank of the brook beyond the hills, to move 
down to the road. The majors gathered up 
their battalions, and marched to Grundy, where 
the train would join them. 

The cannoneers were taking it easy in their 
work of destruction ; and by the time the three 
battalions had passed it, it looked like a wreck. 
In a field at the side of the road near Grundy, 
the cooks gave the men their late breakfast, after 
the train reached the place. They had lunched 
from their haversacks early in the morning, and 
were not in a starving condition. 

"Lieutenant Hickman, where is Colonel Lyon 
now ? " asked Deck, as soon as the train arrived. 

" We pitched a tent for him, and made the 
best bed in it we could. He has come to his 
senses, and was comfortable," replied the quarter- 
master. " The doctors have contrived a litter, 
on which they propose to move him to the hotel 
in Somerset. The six riflemen sent up there to 
look out for tlie camp-guards volunteered to be 



THE FINAL RETREAT OF THE ENEMY 239 

the bearers, and they must have started by this 
time. They cleaned out every living man that 
could be seen in the camp at the side of the 
creek ; and the wounding of the colonel has been 
fully revenged upon those who did it." 

"Not revenged," protested Deck. "The man 
who fired at my father did only his duty ; and 
I am sure my father has no feeling like revenge 
in his heart, and I have not. I shall ride up to 
the hills." 

All the horses were fed as soon as they were 
cool enough, and had finished their grain as soon 
as the men had done their breakfast. Deck 
mounted Ceph, and hastened up the path on the 
shore of the brook. Before he left the halting- 
place, most of the men were asleep, spread out on 
their blankets upon the ground. The major had 
not gone half the distance to the hill path be- 
fore he met what looked like a procession, headed 
by the two surgeons. The litter followed next, 
borne b}^ four of the riflemen, the other two 
mounted, and leading the horses of the others. 
The colonel's orderly brought up the rear. The 
procession halted as Dr. Farnwright saw Deck. 



240 AT THE FRONT 

"How is my father, doctor?" asked the major, 
when he came near enough to speak to the sur- 
geon. 

" He is quite comfortable ; but I fear his in- 
jury is something more than a mere scalp wound, 
so that it will take time for it to heal, though 
I do not regard it as at all dangerous," replied 
Dr. Farnwright. 

"Can I speak to him?" 

" Certainly ; he is quite himself now. But 
the shock seems to leave him very weak." 

The bearers of the litter had placed their bur- 
den on the ground, and one of them told the 
colonel Major Lyon had come to see him. Deck 
dismounted; and Ceph looked at the wounded 
colonel as though he understood all about the 
case, and sympathized v/ith the sufferer. The 
son kneeled at the side of his father, who reached 
out his hand to him, with a faint smile playing 
on his lips. 

"How do you feel, father?" asked Deck, as 
he took the extended hand ; and he could hardly 
restrain a flood of tears that crowded up for 
an outflow. 




The Son kneeled at the Sidp: of His Path eh 

rayv 240 



THE FINAL llETKEAT OF THE ENEMY 241 

"I am comfortable, though my head gives me 
considerable pain, and I feel as weak as though 
I had been sick a week. The doctor says I 
shall do very well ; but it will take time for 
the wound to heal, for it is in a dangerous 
place. How goes the battle, Dexter?" 

"The battle is over, and the enemy are re- 
treating to the north," replied Deck. "The gen- 
eral has ordered the command to Barkville with 
all possible haste, and the men are taldng a rest 
of a few houi"s before we start." 

At this moment Colonel Gordon and the staff- 
officer rode up to the spot. They spoke to the 
doctor, who explained the condition of his pa- 
tient, and told them they must not talk to him 
about the battle or the war, for the colonel was 
excitable on these topics. They went to the 
couch, and the sufferer took the hand of each. 
He wanted to know more about the engagement. 

" Major Lyon has told you about the victory. 
Colonel, and you must not talk about it any 
more," interposed the surgeon very decidedly. 
The visitors obeyed this order, for they saw that 
the patient was getting somewhat excited. 



242 AT THE FKONT 

Dr. Fariiwi'ight gave them a liiut that they 
had better go, and they mounted their horses 
and departed. Deck remained a few minutes 
longer, but he changed the current of the pa- 
tient's thought by alhiding to the plantation at 
Riverlawn. The surgeon soon interposed again ; 
and Deck took his leave of his father, and the 
procession resumed its march. At the road two 
more of the riflemen were joined to the six, to 
relieve the bearers on the march. All of them 
had their horses, so that it was no great hard- 
ship to them. 

The troopers were still asleep ; and they were 
not disturbed till one o'clock, after four hours' 
rest. The column was formed after the best 
dinner that could be served on the march had 
been provided for the men. They were not 
greatly elated at the victory they had won; for 
there had been very little hard fighting, and 
most of the work had been done by the bat- 
tery and the riflemen. The column marched at 
two o'clock. 



GUERILLA KAID FROM OVER THE RIVER 2-43 



CHAPTER XVIII 

A GTJERILLA EALD FROM OVER THE KIVEE, 

When Colonel Morgan, the daring Confederate 
raider, made his destructive foray through Ken- 
tucky in June, 1862, he made a constant use of 
the telegraph, taking messages to Union officers 
from the wires, and sending false despatches to 
Federal commanders at the posts established for 
the protection of the State. Major Born wood had 
followed his example in suggesting to Colonel 
Lyon the same tactics at Libert}-, where Lieuten- 
ant Fronklyn had taken from the wires the mes- 
sage of the enemy's commander at Buck Creek, 
inquiring for the number of Union caA^alry en- 
camped at Liberty. The staff-officer wrote the 
answer that the force had marched for Greensburof 
at eight o'clock that evening. This reply had 
deceived the colonel in command, and he believed 
that no Union troopers were near him, and there- 
fore neglected all precautions to repel an attack. 



244 AT THE FRONT 

As Major Bornwood suggested, he should have 
had scouts on the roads at both sides of his camp. 
Doubtless there were guards in and around his 
camp, but they were too far removed from the 
approaches to the triangle to hear the careful 
movements of the Union force. The artillery had 
moved along the shore of the brook west of the 
hills, and had secured its position on the elevation 
without noise, for the guns had been moved up by 
hand-power. Major Lyon had followed the road 
to the point above the pond where he had to cross 
to open the engagement, leaving Captain Ripley's 
company in the woods on the way. Seven com- 
panies of the regiment had been posted on the flat 
by the brook, where they could hasten to the sup- 
port of the battery if it was attacked, as the colo- 
nel believed it would be. 

All these movements had been made in silence, 
before daylight, while the enemy were sleeping 
out their morning nap. The attack was therefore 
a perfect surprise. A volley from the carbines of 
Major Lyon's battalion was the first intimation the 
Confederates had of the approach of an enemy, 
who retreated as soon as they had delivered their 



GUERJLLA RAID FROM OVER THE RIVER 245 

fire. Then the six guns of the battery poured 
canister into the line of the Confederates as they 
assembled for roll-call. It was not strange, there- 
fore, that the day was really lost as soon as the 
battle opened. The enemy retreated till the dan- 
ger was past, and then took the road in -the 
direction they had chosen. They soon discovered 
that their formidable enemy had left the ground. 
A portion of the command returned to the camp, 
and gathered up the remains of their tents and 
train, and then marched to Rockcastle. Here two 
other regiments of cavalry joined them, and the 
commander of the defeated force, being the senior 
in rank of the other two, had the charge of all four 
regiments ; and later the brigade appeared at Mun- 
fordville, which was on the road General Bragg 
had selected for his marcli to Louisville. 

The Union force, now under the command of 
Colonel Gordon, marched from the vicinity of 
Grundy to Somerset, which the bearers of Colonel 
Lyon's litter had reached. The hotel-keeper, like 
the postmaster, was a Union man ; and he fur- 
nished the best accommodations in his house for 
the patient. Dr. Farnwright had gone with him, 



24G AT THE FRONT 

while his assistant had been sent to the hospital 
in the woods to look after the few men who had 
been wounded in the action. Two of the riflemen 
had been killed, and seven men of Captain Ab- 
bey's company had been wounded, two of them 
dangerously, in the fight in the brook. The worst 
cases were sent to Somerset by the assistant sur- 
geon, and the others insisted upon joining their 
companies. On the arrival of the column at the 
hotel in Somerset, the eight bearers of the litter 
were found in front of the hotel, where they had 
taken their breakfast, and now joined their com- 
pany. 

Major Lyon went in to see his father again, and 
they bade each other an affectionate adieu. Cap- 
tain Artie Lyon also visited him ; and though he 
was only an adopted son, he was as kindly re- 
ceived as Deck had been, and the parting was just 
as tender. Dr. Farnwright followed Deck out 
into the hall, and told him that he had met a skil- 
ful physician and surgeon whose acquaintance he 
had made on his former visit to the town. He 
had taken him to see the patient, and given him 
a full account of his condition. He was to leave 



GUERILLA RAID FROISI OVER THE RIVER 247 

the wounded colonel in charge of this doctor, as- 
sured that he would do all that was needed to 
effect his cure. 

Deck took his place on the flank of the regi- 
ment, and the march was resumed. It was twenty- 
five miles to Jamestown ; and they reached this 
town at sundown, and encamped in a field. The 
old Riverlawn battalion had been here before, and 
the first lieutenant of Captain Ripley's company 
had been the keeper of the county jail here, — for 
the town was the capital of Russell County, — and 
the officers were acquainted with many persons. 
At the hotel Deck had first met General Wood- 
bine, on whose staff he had served at the battle of 
Pittsburg Landing and the operations in front of 
Corinth. The field-officers camped at the hotel ; 
but they made no late houi-s of the evening, for 
they had lost more sleep than the privates. The 
entire command made a longf nigflit of it. 

Mindful of the general's order to move with 
all possible haste, the men were called at daylight, 
after from eight to ten hours' sleep, had an early 
breakfast, and the column moved for Millers- 
ville, ten miles distant, and arrived there at nine 



248 AT THE FllONT 

o'clock in the forenoon. It was not much of a 
town, little more than a post-office;- but it was 
a rich farming district, and had been a fruitful 
field for the raiders and guerillas from Tennessee. 
It was in this vicinity that Deck, as a " lieutenant 
at eighteen," had beaten and captured a gang of 
guerillas plundering the mansion of a brother of 
Colonel Halliburn, the guardian of Grace Mor- 
gan, who was engaged to Lieutenant Milton. 

The first person they met as they approached 
the hamlet was Colonel Halliburn, the captain of 
the Home Guards raised in the vicinity, of which 
Captain Ripley's company formed a part. He was 
on horseback, riding at full gallop. He had 
served with his command at Columbia with the 
Riverlawns, and taken part in the engagement 
there. 

" Good-morning, Captain Halliburn," said Colo- 
nel Gordon, using the title the colonel preferred, 
as that of his actual rank. " You seem to be in a 
hurry." 

" I am in a hurry ; for our village is threatened 
by a guerilla force of a thousand men or more, as 
rej)orted, wlio have been ravaging the country 



GUERILLA RAID FROM OVER THE RIVER 249 

around since yesterday noon. We have had no 
raids since you were here before ; but the inva- 
sion of the State by the armies of Bragg and Kirby 
Smith has brought the guerillas down upon us 
again. I'm glad you have come, in reply to my 
telegram," replied Captain Halliburn. 

" I have received no telegram from you," added 
the colonel. 

"I sent one last night by the way of Liberty, 
for I did not know where you had gone from 
there." 

"We left there night before last. We arrested 
the postmaster, who was also the telegraph ope- 
rator ; for we found that he was a Secessionist, and 
w^as playing into the hands of the enemy. We 
had to discharge him when we left the town, and 
he would not have sent your message to the in- 
jury of the guerillas, for he is a traitor. It did 
not get beyond his office." 

"Then, how do you happen to be here?" asked 
the captain. 

" We are ordered to Barkville, and we are on 
our way there." 

" That is fortunate for us, for these raiders will 



250 AT THE FRONT 

clean out the whole country around us. But 
where is Colonel Lyon? " asked the commander 
of the Home Guard, as he looked about him 
among the officers where the colonel had halted 
the regiment. 

" Unhappily the colonel was wounded at an 
engagement we had on Buck Creek yesterday, 
and we had to leave liim at Somerset." 

" I am sorry to hear such news of him ; for he 
is a brave and skilful officer, and the country 
needs such men. Is he dangerously wounded?" 

" No ; the doctors think he will recover in the 
course of two weeks. But where are the gue- 
rillas, Captain? " 

"They swam the river with their horses at 
Cuffy's Ferry, cleaned out Rock House, and plun- 
dered the farms near it yesterday afternoon, and 
went into camp at night on the creek. They 
were not five miles from here an hour ago, for I 
have scouts out watching their movements. They 
have plundered two or three farms this morning, 
carrying off all the stock and grain, and killed 
one man who would not tell the leader where his 
money was concealed." 



GUERILLA RAID FROM OVER THE RIVER 251 

" Then, I suppose they will come to this village 
by the road from the Cumberland River," added 
Colonel Gordon, who was familiar with the lo- 
cality, having fought in the battle of Mill Spring 
and in several skirmishes in the vicinity. 

" Probably most of them will come that way ; 
but some will approach over the fields, where 
they have been plundering the farms. You can 
see the houses which will doubtless be visited 
and plundered before noon to-day, if we do not 
check them. I have posted the Home Guard, all 
mounted and armed with sabres and pistols, be- 
hind that hill; for the house near it is likely to 
be the next one visited." 

But the captain's programme of the anticipated 
movements of the guerillas did not prove to be 
correct; for a scout came to the village, and re- 
ported that the gang were moving up the road. 

" How far off are they ? " asked the captain. 

" About three miles ; I ran my horse all the 
way back to give you this information," replied 
the scout, and his steed looked as though he 
told the truth in regard to his speed. 

" You have done well, Corry. I thought your 



252 AT THE FRONT 

place would be tlie f)ne tliey would ravage next ; 
and I have posted the Home Guard behind that 
hill, half a mile this side of it. We have a strong 
force here now, and we shall need you just now. 
Will you ride over to that hill, and tell Lieuten- 
ant Gamble to move his force over to the road, 
cross it, and conceal his men in the woods there? " 

"I will do so, Captain," replied Corry, as he 
hastened to the hill indicated. 

"Tell the lieutenant he will find some of his 
friends there ; for I shall post Captain Ripley's 
company there," added Colonel Gordon. 

Corry hurried away to execute his mission, and 
the commander of the force proceeded to make 
his disposition of his companies. Captain Halli- 
burn conducted him to the top of the highest hill 
in the vicinity, the summit of which commanded 
a view of the greater portion of the country be* 
tween the village and the Cumberland River. It 
was a gradual descent all the way to the great 
stream, though there were a considerable number 
of hills or elevations from fifty to a hundred feet 
high. On the right of the road by Avhich the 
regiment had approached the village the face of 



GUERILLA RAID FROM OVER THE RIVER 253 

the region was quite uneven, though the hill the 
colonel and the captain had ascended was the 
highest in sight, but not more than two hundred 
and fifty feet high. 

" This is a good location for a fight," said 
the colonel as he looked over the region 'be- 
neath him. 

" I suppose it is if you have force enough 
to make a good use of it," replied Captain Hal- 
liburn. " I have less than a hundred men in 
the Home Guard of this vicinity, made up from 
the men of this little village, and from the farms 
for ten miles and more around it; I doii't ex- 
actly desire a fight with ten times my strength." 

"I should say not!" added the colonel, with 
a smile. "That is rather too great odds, for 
you say they consist of a thousand men." 

" That is what my scouts reported to me, but 
there may not be more than half that number. 
I have not seen them, for it has taken all my 
time since yesterday noon to drum up what men 
I have to meet them. I missed Ripley and his 
men more than I can describe." 

" But we have them here now, and I have 



254 AT THE FRONT 

no doubt they will render as good service as 
they did at Columbia and Buck Creek. How 
did you discover their approach ? " 

"The man that lives in the farthest house 
you see in the southwest rode over here, and 
told me they were crossing the river. Some of 
them were in boats, leading their horses, but 
most of the men were swimming them. Bailey 
said he saw three of them carried down the 
river, and he thought they were drowned." 

" Probably his estimate of the number was ex- 
aggerated, as is very apt to be the case," said 
Colonel Gordon, as he took a block of paper from 
his pocket, and began to write. " What do you 
call that place where the two roads meet, one of 
them leading down to the river?" 

" That is called Grimsby's Corner ; and this 
village had that name till about ten years ago, 
when it received its present name, after the big- 
gest man in the place." 

" There is a hill near it : has that a name ? " 

" It is commonly called Grimsby Hill when it is 
called by any name." 

The colonel had made a sketch of the reofion 



GUERILLA RAID FROM OVER THE RIVER 255 

around him. He wrote the name of the hill 
against it, and then put a capital B in the circle 
he had made for the hill ; for he had no time to 
draw it as mountains are represented on maps. 

"Has this hill a name?" 

" Win Milton always called it Grace Hill, after 
the lady he brought over here after her guardian's 
house was sacked by guerillas, an occasion you 
must remember." 

" I remember it very well ; but Major Lyon 
was the hero of that affair." 

The colonel wrote the name of the hill, and 
against it some letters which meant " Truman's 
battalion," indicating that he was to occupy it 
on the roadside, fifty feet above it. Then he 
called three orderly sergeants he had directed to 
follow him up the hill. He then wrote three 
notes on the block, and sent them to the three 
majors. He wrote a fourth, which the captain 
delivered to Major Batterson. He remained on 
the hill. 



256 AT THP] FRONT 



CHAPTER XIX 

GRACE MORGAN AND THE GUERILLA 

CORRY the scout, who lived in the house near- 
est to the hill behind which the Home Guard 
had been posted by Captain Halliburn, had been 
sent with a message to Lieutenant Gamble to 
take the company to the woods at the side of the 
road. 

" Can I go into the house while I'm over there, 
Captain ? " asked the scout.' " My little boy is 
very sick to-day, and I -want to see how he is. 
Grace Morgan went over to help my wife take 
care of him this morning ; and I reckon she will 
want to get home before the guerillas get there, 
if they should take a notion to go to my house 
first." 

" Certainly you can go to your house," rej^lied 
the captain. "If he is very sick, you can stay 
at home, for we have plenty of men now." 

" I reckon my wife will be scared half to death, 



GRACE MORGAN AND THE GUERILLA 257 

and Grace will want to go home if there is going 
to be a row over that way," answered Corry as 
he dashed off to do his errand. 

Colonel Gordon, as he seated himself on a rock 
at the summit of the liill, recalled this conversa- 
tion. He saw the scout hastening at full galiop 
to the position of the Home Guard. The bat- 
tery was hastening to Grimsby Hill, in obedience 
to the order sent to Major Batterson ; and the 
battalions of Major Belthorpe and ]\Iajor Tru- 
man were moving to the rear of Grace Hill, as 
directed in the colonel's note to their command- 
ers. The attentive observer on the hill was sur- 
veying every portion of the country spread out 
before him. He was sorry that the trouble in 
Millersville came at just this time ; for he was 
anxious to obey the order of the general to use 
all possible haste on his march to Barkville, and 
the affair might delay him a longer time than he 
cared to spare. But he felt that it was his duty 
to rid the locality of the invading guerillas ; for 
they seemed to be almost swarming in this part 
of the State, in addition to the raiding parties 
who were picking up supplies for the Confederate 



258 AT THE FRONT 

army. Besides, the staff-officer representing the 
general was still with him, and had approved his 
decision to defend the village. 

Before Corry could reach the hill, Colonel Gor- 
don saw a woman leave the house of the scout. 
For some reason which the observer could not 
understand, she did not take the most direct way 
across the fields to the house of Captain Hal- 
liburn, but went to the south of the hill, and 
then directed her steps to the road by which the 
guerillas were said to be approaching. There 
was a cart^path across the fields, which the colo- 
nel could see with the aid of his glass ; and the 
woman was following this, which appeared to be 
used by Corry's and another house half-way from 
it to the road. After what the scout had said 
about his sick child, the observer on the hill had 
no doubt that she was Grace Morgan. Milton 
had met her at his father's house on his way 
to Somerset, and she had returned from her visit 
there. 

The artillery and the cavalry were now all in 
the positions assigned to them. Major Bornwood 
had taken a lunch from his haversack ; for he was 



GRACE MORGAN AND THE GUERILLA 259 

provided with all the accoutrements of a soldier 
in the field, and armed with a, sabre and a brace 
of revolvers, though he carried no carbine. He 
was climbing the hill to join the colonel, where 
he could see the operations in the field, or on the 
road to the river, which could not be much longer 
delayed. He reached the top of the hill; and af- 
ter the two officers had passed "the time of day," 
the colonel explained m what manner he had dis- 
posed of his force, and pointed out the locations 
of the several battalions and the Imttery, and 
stated that the enemy had been reported by a 
scout as coming up the road. 

Everything was as silent as though it had been 
midnight instead of ten o'clock in the forenoon. 
Of course the news of the arrival of the Union 
force had been circulated in the village, the most 
of which lay at the side of the road near Grimsby 
Hill, and had reached the houses for a mile or 
more around it. Care had been taken that the 
guerillas should not be apprised of the presence 
of the comparatively heavy force that were to give 
them a reception. 

" There is a woman crossing that field," said the 



260 AT THE FRONT 

staff-officer, as he discovered her moving with 
hasty steps along tlie cart-path. 

" That is Grace Morgan," replied the colonel. 

"Who is Grace Morgan?" asked the major; 
and tlie commander told him all about her, in- 
cluding her relations with the second lieutenant 
of the fourth company, and the staff- officer was 
very much interested in the story. 

At the end of the cart-path, there was an open- 
ing in the fence into the road ; and Grace was 
hurrying her steps to this point. She had just 
passed Perry's house, the nearer of the two on the 
field-road to the River Road, as it was called, 
when a mounted man was discovered, through the 
glass of the colonel, approaching the village. He 
wore no uniform, and the observer liad no doubt 
he was a scout sent forward by the maraud- 
ers to feel the way for the main body. He 
turned into the opening, and halted to make a 
survey of the situation. Unfortunately Grace 
was included in the circle of his vision, and he 
did not appear to see anything else. The abso- 
lute silence which pervaded the region assured 
him that he was safe from attack, and he could 



GRACE MORGAN AND THE GUERILLA 261 

not help seeing that Grace was a very pretty girl. 
The colonel could observe them both so far as 
their movements were concerned, but of course 
he could not comprehend what had passed or might 
pass between them. 

As soon as she saw him she understood that 
he was not one of the Home Guard, though the 
members wore no uniform. She turned, and at- 
tempted to run to Perry's house. 

The horseman put spurs to his steed, and over- 
took her in a moment, and reined in before her. 
It was not strange that she was very much 
alarmed ; and her fright seemed to paralyze her so 
that she had not the strength to escape from him. 
He dropped from his horse, and seized her by the 
arm. She screamed; but there was no one near 
enough to render any assistance, for Perry was 
in the Home Guard at the hill. The ruffian 
dragged her towards his horse ; and, still holding 
her with one hand, he leaped on the back of his 
steed. The animal was one of that sort that 
never go when they can help it, and stood per- 
fectly still. 

By tliis time the Home Guard were coming out 



262 AT THE FRONT 

from behind the hill. The men were all mounted 
on good horses, and they galloped into the field- 
road from Cony's house. Grace saw them, and 
screamed again. The ruffian saw them also, and 
doubtless feared that he should lose his prize. He 
was a strong and agile fellow ; and seizing the girl 
by the other arm, he dragged her upon his horse 
in front of him. With his right arm around her, 
he grasped his reins with the other, and spurred 
his horse forward, guiding him towards the open- 
ing to the road. 

The wood on the opposite side was already oc- 
cupied by the riflemen, nearly as far down as the 
gateway on the other side of the road. It was 
not a dense forest, and the trees were rather 
sparsely scattered through it. The land was the 
property of Captain Halliburn ; and in peaceful 
times it was a good investment, for the black- 
walnut lumber was shipped down the river. The 
trees appeared to have been thinned out when 
young, to increase their growth, so that mounted 
men could move with tolerable facility among 
them. In this wood Major Lyon's battalion had 
been stationed in the rear of the riflemen. Deck, 



GRACE MORGAN AND THE GUERILLA 263 

with Captain Artie Lyon at his side, had ridden 
down beyond the position of the riflemen, in order 
to obtain the first knowledge of the approach of 
the enemy. They were nearly opposite the gate- 
way when the rnffian, with Grace still struggling 
in his strong grasp, passed through it. Deck was 
gazing down the road, looking for the enemy, and 
Artie was the first to see the ruffian as he ap- 
proached the opening. 

"What's that?" he exclaimed. "A man car- 
rying off a woman I" 

"That's Grace Morgan!" ejaculated the major, 
as he instantly recognized the maiden ; for he had 
seen her at the house of Milton's father on the 
way to Somerset. " Send one of those riflemen 
for Lieutenant Milton!" he added, as he dashed 
out into the road ; for there was no fence to 
impede him. 

But the ruffian had passed the gateway before 
him. His steed was no match for Ceph ; and in a 
few moments Deck passed him, wheeled his horse, 
and faced him. A mile farther down the straight 
road he could see the head of the enemy's coluirm 
moving slowly towards the village. 



264 AT THE FRONT 

" Save me, JNIajor Lyon ! " cried the terrified 
maiden when she saw him. 

"Release the lady, you villain!" shouted Deck, 
as savagely as though he had been a bandit him- 
self, just as Captain Artie joined him. 

The guerilla looked at him, and made no at- 
tempt to escape, even when he saw the two offi- 
cers with drawn sabres in front of him. He was 
a bold and daring fellow, and evidently knew no 
such thing as fear. He had a musket slung over 
his shoulders ; but it was a useless weapon to him 
as long as he held his prize. On the other hand, 
Deck and Artie could do nothing without the 
danger of injuring Grace. 

" What be you gwine to do about it, Yanks ? " 
demanded the ruffian, after he had looked his 
assailants over a moment with a coolness that 
would have been admirable in a better cause. 
" This gal's my prize, and I'm gwine to kerry her 
over inter Tennessee in spite o' any young cubs 
like you uns. Do you see them men riding up 
the road yender? I b'long to that crowd, an' 
you uns better make yoursel's skeerce 'fore they 
git here." 




"What be You gwine to do aboit It?" 



J'atje 2G4 



GRACE MORGAN AND THE GUERILLA 265 

" This is an outrage, and it is a disgrace to any 
soldier to be guilty of it," replied Deck, as he saw 
the steed of Win Milton bounding like a rocket 
out of the woods. 

" I ain't no soldier ; we uns fight on our own 
hook." 

"Save me, Major!" gasped Grace, who seemed 
to think that the two officers could assist her. 

" You needn't have said you were no sol- 
dier, for that was plain enough before," added 
Deck, who wished to occupy the attention of the 
ruffian till Milton reached the road ; but there 
was no need for him to say anything more, for the 
lieutenant dashed into the road, and in a moment 
more he had reached the scene of the parley, just 
as the guerilla began to give something more of 
his argument. 

Milton evidently understood the situation at a 
glance, as he saw the two officers confronting the 
ruffian. Artie had told the rifleman who carried 
his message, that Grace Morgan had been captured 
by a man, who was carrying her off. The lieuten- 
ant was mounted for the fight ; and he did not wait 
to hear any more, but bounded away through the 



266 AT THE FRONT 

trees as fast as his spirited horse could carry him. 
Deck was unable to imagine what he could do 
when he saw him rein up his steed, and leap from 
his saddle to the ground; for he was in as much 
danger of injuring Grace as the major and the 
captain had been. He unhooked his sabre, and 
dropped it upon the ground as though he had 
no use for it. With a tremendous spring, for he 
was an athlete, he vaulted upon the hips of the 
ruffian's horse, and clutched him by the throat. 
He drew back the villain's head, and choked him 
till he could hear the loud rattle in his throat. 

The guerilla struggled with all his might to 
reach his assailant behind him, and this movement 
released Grace from his grasp. Deck dismounted, 
and rushed to her assistance, lifting her to the 
ground. The maiden was saved by this prompt 
action on the part of the lieutenant ; and when he 
saw her in the arms of the major, he pitched the 
ruffian to the ground, and drawing his revolver, 
put a bullet through his brain. 

" Are you hurt, Grace ? " asked the lieutenant 
tenderly, as he took one of her hands. 

" I feel very sore from the treatment I have re- 



GRACE MORGAK AND THE GUERILLA 267 

ceived, but I am not badly injured. I have been 
frightened almost to death," replied she in gasp- 
ing tones ; and it was evident that her nervous 
system had been terribly shaken by the rough 
usage of the ruffian. 

"But the enemy are coming," interposed Major 
Lyon, " and we must be ready for them." 

" You have leave of absence to go home with 
her, Lieutenant Milton," added Captain Artie. 

" Thank you. Captain ; I would not leave for 
anything short of this," replied Milton, as he 
picked up his sabre, hooked it in place, and then 
lifted Grace to the saddle of his horse ; and it 
was not the first time she had ridden on a man's 
saddle, as Deck knew. 

She held on at the holsters, and Milton led the 
horse. She declared that she felt much better by 
the time they reached the house of Captain Halli- 
burn ; and when she went in, she said he might 
return to his company. He sent Dr. Barlow to 
her, and then hastened down the road till he saw 
the advancing enemy, and then, like the negro, he 
" took to the woods," and soon reached Captain 
Artie's company. 



268 AT THE FEONT 

Colonel Gordon and Major Bornwood had wit- 
nessed the capture of Grace by the guerilla, and 
had observed the whole affair with their field- 
glasses. 

" Milton ought to be promoted for that ; but 
he will marry the girl, and that will make it all 
right," said the colonel. 

" I held my breath with anxiety when I saw 
the two officers in front of the scoundrel, unable 
to do anything for fear of harming the girl ; and 
when the lieutenant had the fellow by the throat, 
I knew he would not let go, and I wanted to yell 
with delight," added the staff-officer. " But the 
enemy have nearly reached the position of the 
riflemen, and there will be ' music ' very soon. 
The guerilla in command is at the head of his 
troop." 

A moment later the chief dropped from his 
saddle. 



TARDY MOVEMENTS OP THE ENEMY 269 



CHAPTER XX 

TAKDY MOVEMENTS OF THE ENEMY 

"Captain Grinders has fallen!" exclaimed 
several riders in the front rank of the gang, as 
they halted, and thus caused the stoppage of the 
whole body. 

The leader of the guerillas dropped upon the 
ground, and his horse moved on, leaving him 
there ; but Captain Grinders did not move again. 
The front rank talked the matter over among 
themselves. 

"You are captain now, Pardell," said one of 
them, as a man rode forward from the left flank 
of the column. "What are you going to do 
now? We are all sworn to obey orders, and of 
course we shall do so. I didn't believe in coming 
up to the village by the road, when the fields are 
open all the wa}- ; l)ut I didn't say anything." 

" Captain Grinders is killed, and of course the 
command falls to me," replied Pardell. "What 



270 AT THE FKONT 

am I going to do ? I am going to put this thing 
through, Squire Vintner. I don't see any Home 
Guards around here, though I heard they had 
about a hundred in the company before we left 
home. I suppose some of them are hid in this 
wood, and mean to shoot us down as we go along. 
I was not in favor of coming up by the road any 
more than you were, Squire ; but 1 obey orders, 
though I told Captain Grinders what I thought: 
and now he is the first to pay for it, for not mind- 
ing what I said." 

The riflemen evidently believed in fair play ; 
and the next one to drop was Captain Pardell, 
losing his life before he could enjoy his accidental 
promotion. The commander of the riflemen had 
fired at both the captain and his successor ; for 
the latter had come to the front, and disturbed 
his arrangement. The leaders had fallen ; but 
the four men in the front rank still kept their 
places, facing the hill where the colonel and the 
staff-officer were observing them. 

The rider on the right of the rank dropped as 
the othere had, for most of these men could 
split a bullet on a knife as far as he could see 
the blade. 



TARDY MOVEMENTS OF THE ENEMY 271 

Six men had already fallen. Another man had 
come forward to take the command, probably the 
second lieutenant ; but he prudently refrained 
from taking his place at the head of the col- 
umn. 

" All our front rank have been killed, Suin- 
mers!" exclaimed some one in the ranks. "We 
can't stand this thing ; we did not come over to 
make a graveyard, or to fill one up. Take us out 
of this road before we are all killed ! " 

"Out of the road!" shouted half a dozen 
others. 

" The Home Guard are in that wood behind 
the trees ! " shouted another. 

"March us into the woods, and we will soon 
clean them out ! " said one who was certainly 
brave in speech. "Do something, or we shall 
soon all be a collection of corpses." 

" Into the woods ! " yelled half a dozen more. 

" Into the fields ! " cried some more. 

" If you will stop your yelling, I will do some- 
thing," replied Captain Summers, as he had ap- 
parently become by the fall of his two superior 
officers. 



272 AT THE FRONT 

" Where is the commander-in-chief ? He 
ought to be here," shouted another of tlie un- 
ruly gang. 

" There goes another ! " exclaimed one in what 
was now the front rank of the company, as the 
man on the right dropped from his saddle. 

The other three could stand it no longer, and 
they wheeled their horses, ran them back to the 
gateway, and then entered the field. 

"Attention, company! " shouted Captain Sum- 
mers. " Left wheel, march ! " 

The men were ready enough to move from the 
place where so many of the company had fallen, 
and the officer countermarched them; but they 
wheeled from where they were standing into the 
column as the rear came up with them, for none 
of them wanted to go near the place where sure 
death seemed to be their fate. The captain 
marched as far as the gateway, and there he saw 
approaching him the personage who had been 
dignified as the commander-in-chief. When he 
came up to the spot where he stood, the captain 
addressed him as " Colonel Cameron." He was 
a tall and rather corpulent man, with a very 



TARDY MOVEMENTS OF THE ENEMY 273 

red face. He was riding very slowly, as though 
a gallop did not agree with his constitution. 

" What are you doing, Lieutenant Summers ? " 

" I am in command of the fii"st company, for 
Grinders and Pardell have both fallen at the head 
of the column; and all the rest of us would have 
gone down, too, if I had not led them way," re- 
plied Captain Summers ; for it was an oath-bound 
crowd, as it was afterwards learned from a pris- 
oner who was about to die, and one of the rules 
was, that when an officer fell, the one who suc- 
ceeded him should take his rank. 

" You are not obeying my order, as you are 
sworn to do. Captain Summers," stormed the 
colonel. 

" My men were deserting the ranks, as they 
had sworn not to do, and I could not help myself, 
sworn or not. If you go fifty rods farther on 
this road, Colonel Cameron, you will want your 
coffin as soon as you get there." 

" The commander of a company is not neces- 
sarily required to march at the head of his 
column," replied the colonel, somewhat subdued, 
perhaps by the mention of the coffin he might 



274 AT THE FRONT 

soon need. " I don't understand this thing. 
Where are the enemy that have done all this mis- 
chief ? " 

" They are hidden behind the trees. You know 
about the Home Guard of this vicinity; I sup- 
pose they are all in those woods. They are con- 
sidered the best riflemen in the State, and they 
bring down every man that comes in front of 
them. Captain Grinders chose to reach the vil- 
lage by the road, and the men are grumbling be- 
cause we did not come by the fields." 

" I ordered him to come by the road," said the 
colonel. " Why didn't you attack the Home 
Guard in the woods ? " 

" It is sure death to go near them," replied 
Captain Summers. 

He had hardly spoken the words before sev- 
eral of the company fell. It was evident that 
Captain Ripley had moved his command farther 
down the gentle declivity, and had not obtained 
as good a position as before, for two who had 
been hit were not killed. 

" I will attack the Home Guard in the woods, 
if you say so. Colonel," added the captain. 



TARDY MOVEMENTS OF THE ENEMY 275 

"Attack them at once, then," added the com- 
mander. " We have a force of five companies, 
witli a hundred men in each : are we to be sent 
over the river with nothing to sliow for our visit 
because there is a Home Guard, here ? Do your 
duty as you have sworn to do it! " 

"I have and will do my duty. I want only 
my own company." 

" That is all you will get, anyhow," replied 
Colonel Cameron. 

" Attention, company ! " commanded the cap- 
tain. " Forward, guide right, march ! " and it 
was evident enough to those within hearing that 
he was angry at the words of his superior, as he 
had good reason to he. 

He was prudent enough to keep on the right 
flank of his company, which he sent across the 
road, and then marched on the edge of the woods 
till he came to a fence, below which was a farm. 
Keeping on the upper side of it, he followed it 
some distance, and then wheeled to the left. 
Captain Ripley sent Lieutenant Butters with 
about half the company down the gentle declivity 
to attend to the enemy who had left the road. 



276 AT THE FPtONT 

There was a cart-patli extending tlirougli the 
woods parallel to the highway ; and Captain Sum- 
mers continued on his course by the fence till he 
came to it, and then wheeled to the left into it. 
He kept on the right of his column himself, for 
his colonel had told him that it was not necessary 
to march at the head of it. Butters had sent a 
scout down this path to ascertain the position of 
the enemy in the woods. In a few minutes he 
came back at full gallop, and informed the lieu- 
tenant that the force had taken the wagon-track 
through the woods. 

Major Lyon, whose battalion had been stationed 
in the rear of the riflemen, had followed the de- 
tachment, and learned, when the scout returned, 
that the company of Captain Summers was moving 
up the wood-road. He did not wait to witness 
the effect of the fire upon it, but hastened to his 
battalion in the rear, where he ordered the third 
and fourth companies, under Captain Richland and 
Captain Artie, to follow him as silently as possible. 
The men wondered if it was to be another Buck 
Creek action ; for they followed the lead of the 
major till they came to a brook, running south 



TARDY MOVEMENTS OF THE ENEMY 277 

into the river. Then he turned to the right, and 
kept near the brook till he came to the fence 
which bounded the farmer's land. Following it, 
he came to the wood-road where Captain Summers 
had gone. He halted the companies here, and 
they were placed as he directed. 

" That company of guerillas will come back 
here within fifteen minutes," said the major, when 
he had called the two captains to him. " The 
riflemen, or one-half of them, are posted where 
they can open upon them. Each of them is sure 
to bring down the one he fires at, and that will 
soon make a panic among them, as it did in the 
main road. They will flee in this direction, for 
they cannot go in any other. Then you must 
charge upon them, and not let them escape. If 
they attempt to cut through the woods to the 
brook we followed, you must head them off. As 
the senior officer here. Captain Richland, I leave 
it all to your good judgment and discretion." 

" I will do the best I can. Major Lyon. How 
many men will be opposed to us ? " 

"One company, about a hundred men, I sup- 
pose," replied Deck. 



278 AT THE FflONT 

" Then I will hand all there are left of them 
over to you in the course of the forenoon," re- 
plied Captain Richland, as Deck galloped off by 
the way he had come. 

He had not gone half the distance back to the 
position of the other two companies of his com- 
mand when he began to hear the crack of the 
rifles in the direction of the road. The work for 
which he had prepared had begun; and he has- 
tened back to the point from which he had come, 
from which he could better see the operations on 
the field. But except the reports of the rifles, 
there was not a sound to be heard that indicated 
a decisive engagement. Though Colonel Gordon 
had not given him the plan of the action, he 
understood very well from the disposition of the 
force what it would be. 

"Whether the enemy approached the village by 
the road or the fields, the batter)^ would open fire 
upon the column. Major Batterson had kept his 
guns on the side of the hill nearest to the road; 
but they could be moved to the summit of the 
eleA^ation, where they could be turned to any 
desired point. Deck thought six charges of can- 



TARDY MOVEMENTS OF THE ENEMY 279 

ister or six shells would create a panic in the 
four companies outside of the woods. The major 
moved about till he obtained a position where he 
could see the enemy. The guerilla battalion 
was still in the road, and did not advance at all, 
so that Captain Ripley and his men were leav- 
ing an intermission in their work, though they 
did not need or desire it. Colonel Cameron, as 
the riflemen had reported his name, could be 
seen ; and he appeared to be in consultation with 
his four captains. But the council of war seemed 
to disagree ; in fact, they appeared to be in a row. 
Of course they all knew that two officers had been 
killed by the sharpshooters ; and they still be- 
lieved them to be members of the Home Guard, 
whose reputation as dead shots, before Captain 
Ripley joined the regiment, was spread far and 
wide. 

"They are in a regular muss," said Captain 
Abbey, who was at the major's side. 

" That is what has kept them occupied so long. 
I wonder if they expect us to wait all day for 
them to settle it," added Deck facetiously. " Per- 
haps we shall have to settle it for them by an 



280 AT THE FRONT 

attack. I think I should enjoy charging into 
that column." 

"I laiow the men would enjoy it, for the 
affair moves altogether too slow for them," added 
Captain Abbey. 

" I wonder how the coloneFs patience holds 
out, for he hasn't a great stock of it in an affair 
of this kind," said Deck, as he directed his field- 
glass to the summit of Grace Hill. "He is still 
there, and it is a lazy time for him." 

"I think the enemy are ready to make a move," 
added the captain. 

Deck looked down the road, and saw that the 
troopers were pulling down a section of the fence 
below the gateway. 



THE GAPTUflE OF THE FIRST GUERILLAS 281 



CHAPTER XXI 

THE CAPTURE OF THE FIRST GUERILLAS 

Why the guerillas deemed it necessary to re- 
move a portion of tlie fence was not apparent to 
the two military observers in the woods; for they 
were formed by fours in the road, and the gate- 
way was wide enough to permit their passage 
without any difficulty. The line of the riflemen 
extended from just above the opening, and it did 
not reach down to the rig-ht of the column where 
it remained after the departure of Captain Sum- 
mers's company. 

" It seems to me they are taking a great deal of 
needless trouble, when there is an opening wide 
enough for them," said Captain Abbey. 

" I think the reason why they are doing it is 
plain enough," replied Major Lyon. . 

"I don't see it." 

" The head of the column is out of the reach 
of the bullets of the riflemen, at least for accurate 



282 AT THE FRONT 

firing ; not on account of the distance, but the 
trees obstruct their aim so far down the road," 
Deck explained. " The colonel, as they call him, 
is in a safe place just now, and the sharpshooters 
could bring them down as they turned in at the 
gateway." 

" I see now," answered the captain. " The 
commander of the battalion evidently intends to 
take proper care of himself, for he has not yet 
ventured above the opening into the fields." 

" But in his next movement he is likely to 
"jump out of the frying-pan into the fire," added 
Deck. 

Half a dozen of the guerillas had dismounted, 
and were taking down- two lengths of rail fence. 
Doubtless the colonel intended to have his com- 
mand dash at full gallop diagonally across the 
fields, and strike the village in the rear. The 
Home Guards were in the w-oods, and probably 
he believed he could easily overwhelm them if 
they would come out from cover. But a surprise 
was in store for him. Captain Ripley had kept 
the run of the movements of the enemy; and 
when the men began to remove the fence, he 



THE CAPTURE OF THE FIRST GUERILLAS 283 

comprehended the intention, and marched his 
men from the covert of the trees out into the 
road. 

He placed them at once where they could see 
the enemy ; and then, without the delay of a mo- 
ment, he raised his rifle, and fired at the officer 
who was overlooking the men at work on the 
fence. He had no shoulder-straps, or other in- 
dication of his rank, and probably he was nothing 
but a sergeant ; but whatever he was, he suddenly 
fell over backwards, badly wounded. 

By this time the shouts of an officer farther in 
the rear were heard; the whole company unslung 
their muskets, spurred their horses forward, and 
dashed into the field through the opening which 
had been made in the fence, though the work had 
not yet been completed. But not half the com- 
pany had been able to get through, for the men and 
horses had blocked the narrow opening made in 
the fence. The captain of the company was on the 
left flank, where the mounted men were between 
him and the riflemen. He hurried his command 
forward, and the lieutenant Mas leading the rest 
of the company into the field as fast as he could 



284 AT THE FRONT 

get his men through the opening. An obstinate 
post prevented the squad removing the fence, and 
the crowd pressing upon them prevented them 
from completing their work. 

The captain of tlie company was a gallant fellow, 
though he was reasonabl}^ prudent; for it was sure 
death for him to present himself at the head of 
his command. He urged his men forward till 
he could plainly see the riflemen ; and then he 
wheeled them into line, and ordered them to fire 
at will, being careful to take good aim. But 
they did not fire at will, but nearly all at the 
same time, delivering a rattling volley, which 
killed one of the sharpshooters, and wounded 
two more ; but three of the enemy had fallen 
before the fire from the road. 

Captain Ripley was an elderly man of sixty, and 
was less reckless than a younger officer might 
have been ; and he ordered his men to fall back 
into the woods w'here they had been before. He 
was in no hurry about it, for he knew that the 
guerillas would have to load their pieces before 
they could fire again. But the rest of the com- 
pany, as they came forward, delivered a scattering 



THE CAPTURE OP THE FIRST GUERILLAS 285 

fire ; but they were not riflemen, and were armed 
witli a variety of very poor weapons, and the rifle- 
men were safely moved from the road. 

Major Lyon watched these operations with great 
interest, and he would have been glad to charge 
with his two companies upon the enemy in the 
field ; but this was not allowable, for it would 
interfere with the colonel's evident plan for the 
battle. Captain Ripley resumed his practice as 
soon as his men had gained the covert of the 
trees. The guerillas were still in line, and the 
company was now filled by the return of the rest 
of the command. The chief rifleman had re- 
sumed his usual tactics, but with an improvement 
upon them ; for he had passed half of his men, or 
twenty-five in number, over to Lieutenant Blount, 
placing them below his own position, so that their 
rifles could cover the left of the enemy's line. 

So many of the men fell before the deadly rifle- 
shots that the enemy were appalled by the swift 
destruction that ,awaited them, and the left of 
the line broke. The right followed the example 
of the left, till the whole company were in full 
retreat towards the hill near Corry's house. 



286 AT THE FRONT 

Captain Halliburn, after he had seen the Home 
Guards marched into tlie woods, had ascended 
Grace Hill, to learn what the colonel thought of 
the progress of the action. The two officers there 
had observed with great interest the operations of 
Captain Ripley in the road ; but could not see in 
the woods, and knew nothing of what Captain 
Summers was doing there, though they had seen 
his company march in behind the trees at the 
fence. Captain Halliburn had just come from 
that locality. There was no work for the Home 
Guards, and Major Lyon had told him that there 
was not likely to be any ; but they soon had an 
occupation, for events had moved -with greater 
rapidity in the woods road than Deck had anti- 
cipated. 

Captain Summers, keeping on the right flank 
of his company, had marched confidently up the 
woody avenue. He had ordered his men to un- 
sling their muskets, and be in readiness to pour a 
volley into the rear of the line of riflemen ; and 
he was confident that he could drive them from 
their chosen position, where they were making ter- 
rible havoc among the guerillas in the highway. 



THE CAPTURE OF THE FIRST GUERILLAS 287 

Lieutenant Butters had formed his line in the 
woods, so that every one of his force had a tree 
for a rest and a protection from the approaching 
enemy. None of the riflemen were mounted, and 
their horses were secured some distance in the 
rear of Major Lyon's force. 

The first platoon of the rifle company, which 
was the command of Butters, soon heard the 
tramp of horses' feet in the road below them. 
Butters looked for the captain of the company 
as it approached ; but he was on the farther side 
of his troop, and he could not find him. He was 
obliged to content himself by taking the man on 
the right of the first rank. 

Even nerves of steel could not have sustained 
the near and absolute certainty of death ; but 
the right-hand man fell before they decided to 
escape their doom. The other three wheeled out 
of the rank to the right, and fled into the woods. 
The third rank then were the front of the col- 
umn. They saw the open grave before them, 
and fled after the others. In less than another 
minute the whole company were in a panic, and 
were fleeing into the shelter of the trees. 



ii»» AT THE FRONT 

Captain Summers saw his command break ; he 
drew his sabre, and threatened to cut his men 
down if they did not return to the ranks. He 
made several passes at them ; but a couple of 
them pointed their muskets at him, and assured 
him they would fire if he did not sheathe his 
sabre. 

"Cowards!" shouted he derisively. "You 
have sworn to obey your officer, but now you re- 
fuse, and run like poltroons from your duty!" 

"Cowards !" yelled one of them. "Who is the 
coward that keeps himself behind his men, while 
they are shot down in front of him? It was 
an easy thing for you. Captain Summers, to keep 
over on the right flank, where nothing could harm 
you, and then call us cowards. You are the 
coward ! If you had been near the front, where 
you belonged, you would have been a dead man 
long before this time. Give us a fair show, and 
we will stand by you as we have sworn to do." 

"We are beaten," replied the captain. "It is 
no use for us to quarrel about it. Fall back out 
of the reach of the rifle-balls, and I will lead 
you to the road again, where Colonel Cameron 



THE CAPTUllE OF THE FIRST GUERILLAS 289 

will march you into the open fields, out of the 
reach of the riflemen who are skulking behind 
the trees." 

" That looks more like the fair thing, and we 
are ready to obey orders," replied the spokesman 
of the men. " What do you say, fellows ? " 

" We are all ready to do our duty if we have 
fair play," replied another; and something like a 
faint cheer followed. 

Captain Summers was still in the wood-road, 
though out of the reach of the bullets. He 
ordered the troopers to turn square around, and 
then marched them in the direction of the fence, 
the men in the woods returning to the ranks as 
the rest moved forward. As they came to the 
end of the road, Captain Richland's company fell 
upon the head of the coluum, and Captain Artie's, 
the two platoons of which had been concealed 
among the trees on each side, charged upon the 
flanks. Both captains were at the head of their 
commands, and the onslaught was as furious as the 
Riverlawns were in the habit of delivering. Cap- 
tain Summers had placed himself at the head of 
his column. The men had unsluncf their muskets 



290 AT THE fho:nt 

in order to fire into the riflemen. Tliey had 
sabres. 

"Tlirow away your muskets !" shouted tlie cap- 
tain, wlio had drawn his sabre, and he ordered his 
men to do the same. 

They obeyed these orders as quickly as possible 
in the confusion ; but the Riverlawns, two to 
their one, had overwhelmed them at the on- 
slaught. The rest of the fight was likely to be 
a slaughter. Captain Richland had already dis- 
abled the commander, and he was trying to es- 
cape. The attack had been a perfect surprise, 
and the enemy were in a panic, and were calling 
for quarter. 

"Do you surrender?" demanded Captain Rich- 
land of the wounded captain. 

"We are beaten, and I can do nothing else," 
faintly replied the wounded commander. " I sur- 
render on condition that we be allowed to retire 
from the field with our horses and our arms." 

"No conditions!" exclaimed the captain of the 
third company. " Shall the fight continue ? " 

"No!" protested Captain Summers earnestly. 
"It would be murder. Call off your men!" 



THE CAPTURE OP THE FIRST GUERILLAS 291 

The bugler sounded the recall ; and the River- 
lawns fell back, completely surroundmg the en- 
emy. The first sergeant of the company was 
required to form the command at the end of the 
road, which was done without any grumbling on 
the part of the vanquished. With Captain Rich- 
land's company in the advance, and Captain Ar- 
tie's in the rear, the prisoners were conducted to 
the portion of the woods occupied by Major 
Lyon's battalion. Captain Halliburn and the 
Home Guard were there and the major turned 
the prisoners over to the local military. They 
were disarmed, their horses picketed, and a guard 
placed around them. 

" I think I will go up the hill and see the colo- 
nel, and I will report this affair to him," said 
Captain Halliburn, as he mounted his horse. 

" Tell him we are all right down here," said 
Deck, as he started for the highway to see what 
progress had been made by the enemy in taking 
a position in the fields. 

The affair in the woods with Captain Summers's 
command had occurred even before the squad be- 
gan to move the portion of the fence, and the pris- 



292 AT THE FllO^^T 

oners had been disarmed before it was completed. 
When Deck reached the edge of the woods, he 
found that the entire battalion were already 
through the opening, and were moving to the 
point near the hill. Then the battery opened 
upon the enemy, giving them another surprise. 



SURKENDEE, OF THE GUERILLA CHIEF 293 



CHAPTER XXII 

SURRENDER OF THE GUERILLA CHIEF 

Colonel Gordon received the report of Cap- 
tain Halliburn on Grace Hill of the event in the 
woods, which he had not been able to see from 
his elevated position. One of the five companies 
of the enemy had been bagged, and the other fonr 
were moving into the fields. 

" This affair will soon come to a head," said 
the commander, as he wrote a couple of ordere on 
his block, and sent them off by one of the ser- 
geants he had provided for tliis purpose, who 
were stationed just behind the crown of the hill, 
where they could not be seen by the enemy. 
" Join your company when you have delivered the 
order to Major Belthorpe," he added. 

The ascent of the hill Avas on its side and rear, 
and was an easy path for horses. Captain Halli- 
burn had ridden to the rear of the summit, where 
one of the sergeants had taken his horse, while he 



294 AT THE FRONT 

went forward to the spot where the colonel and 
the staff-officer were located. 

"I should say that it was approaching a com- 
pletion," replied Major Born wood, in answer to 
the remark of the commander. 

" I have sent an order to Major Belthorpe to 
move his three companies to the rear of the vil- 
lage, where he can charge upon the guerillas as 
soon as they have been well shaken up by the 
battery. Truman's four companies are ready to 
move as soon as I can see where it is best to 
send them. We have come to the crisis of the 
drama." 

"Ripley has taken his men out into the high- 
way, where he has a better chance at the enemy 
than in the woods, and he continues to drop the 
guerillas from their saddles." 

"I shall send Truman down that road, and 
Major Lyon already has his orders," added the 
colonel. 

The battery had not yet opened fire ; but the 
commander was as confident of the final result, 
and tlie manner in which it was to be accom- 
plished, as though it had already been achieved. 



SURRENDER OF THE GUERILLA CHIEF 295 

Major Batterson was allowed considerable discre- 
tion in carrying out his orders. There were sev- 
eral men who owned large and valuable farms in 
the vicinity, and they were looked upon as wealthy 
citizens. It was believed that the troublous times 
had caused them to keep considerable sums of 
money and all their valuables in their residences. 
Of course the guerillas had obtained full informa- 
tion in regard to the people of the county. 

They could hardly expect to obtain much plun- 
der in such houses as Cony's and Perry's ; but 
they intended to load their boats, some of which 
were of considerable size, with provisions. Colo- 
nel Cameron, who was a lawyer from the capital 
of a Tennessee county, and believed that he was 
fighting for the Confederate cause even more 
effectively than the regular forces, though he was 
the chief of a horde of banditti only, entered the 
fields, which were hardly divided except from 
the highway. He looked upon the riflemen as 
his especial scourge, as they had certainly proved 
to be ; and he headed his column directly for the 
hill near Corry's house. He anticipated no re- 
sistance except from the Home Guards, and be- 



296 AT THE FRONT 

lieved the sharpshooters belonged to that body, 
though their blue uniform was a puzzle to him. 
Even up to the moment when he ordered his men 
to march to the hill, he exj^ected to encounter no 
enemy besides the local force. 

His men sjDurred their horses to their best 
speed, for they were in a hurry to get out of the 
reach of the riflemen in the highway. Colonel 
Cameron was a prudent man, and he kept liimseK 
as well concealed as possible on the left flank of 
his command. He saw many of his men fall from 
their saddles before the fire of the riflemen, and 
he urged his own steed forward with both spurs. 
He rode a better horse than most of his men; 
and he soon came to the head of his column, 
which then appeared to be the safest position, 
though he had not reached the shelter of the 
hill, where he intended to halt, and take a sur- 
vey of the surroundings. 

"What is Major Batterson about?" said Colo- 
nel Gordon on the hill; for he had not indi- 
cated the precise moment when he was to fire, 
and he began to think the artillery were rather 
dilatory. 



SUKEENDEE OF THE GUERILLA CHIEF 297 

He had hardly spoken the words before the 
roar of the first gun woke the echoes in tlie hills. 

"The major is awake," replied the staff-officer, 
as the cannon seemed to shake the ground upon 
which they stood. " There's the second." 

One after another, with the briefest of intervals 
between them, the six guns of the battery fol- 
lowed each other, throwing shells into the whole 
length of the enemy's column, so spread out that 
the guerillas should receive the full benefit of 
them. The missiles were scattered among the 
men, and many saddles were emptied by the vol- 
ley. The guns were promptly reloaded with can- 
ister, and discharged into the paralyzed column 
of the enemy, producing even greater havoc than 
the shells. 

"That was admirably done!" exclaimed Major 
Bornwood; for he knew that the guerillas in- 
cluded hardly a decent man among them, though 
a few of them proved to be educated men, and 
some of them were dressed like gentlemen, 
whether they were such or not. 

"I thought the major Avas a little dilatory at 
first, but he has come to time as he always does," 



298 AT THE FRONT 

added tlie colonel. " We missed liim greatly at 
Pittsburg Landing ; for he is a very capable 
officer, and is an expert in artillery practice." 

" He has just proved that in the most satisfac- 
tory manner." 

" We are ready for the next act of the drama," 
— though he could well have called it the tra- 
gedy, — said the colonel, as he turned his atten- 
tion to the field beyond the village. 

Major Belthorpe appeared at the head of his 
battalion the moment the last gun of the battery 
had been discharged. The leader evidently saw 
at a glance the situation of the enemy; for the 
companies separated as soon as they were fairly 
on the field, that of Captain Gadsbury going 
to the left. Captain Barnes's to the centre, and 
Captain Knox's to the right for the head of the 
column. At the same moment the head of Major 
Truman's battalion appeared in the highway, and 
galloped down to the gateway, through which it 
passed, and went to the left of the guerilla col- 
umn. The riflemen could no longer act in their 
usual role ; and the men liad slung their rifles, 
returned to the wood, and mounted their horses. 



SURRENDER OF THE GUERILLA CHIEF 299 

It was now friend and foe on the field, and their 
" occupation was gone " for tlie present. 

Precisely at the moment when the other Union 
columns moved, ]\Iajor Lyon led his battalion into 
the highway, and Captain Ripley led his com- 
mand into the field, and took his place on the 
left of Belthorpe's battalion. Practically, Deck's 
command had become the reserve, though it did 
not look as though it would be called into the 
action. The force thus placed did not lose a 
moment in charging upon the guerilla column. 

The enemy were surprised, bewildered, and 
paralyzed anew by this sudden display of an over- 
whelming force whose existence in that locality 
they had not even suspected. Colonel Gordon 
on the hill looked down on the panorama before 
him with the satisfaction of an already victorious 
commander. Everything had worked precisely as 
he had arranged it, and it was now only a ques- 
tion of a few minutes before the end would 
come. The guerillas were outnumbered by more 
than two to one. Each of their companies had 
more than an equal force on both sides, and both 
charged upon them at nearly the same moment. 



300 AT THE FRONT 

Captain Life Knox had hewn his path through 
the terrified company nearest to the hill ; and as 
he always looked for the biggest game on the 
field, he discovered Colonel Cameron, and "went 
for him " with uplifted sabre, ready to cleave his 
skull in twain. He wore something like a pair of 
shoulder-straps, and Life readily recognized him 
as the commander of the l)anditti. When he was 
about to strike, the leader lowered his sword to 
his side, and raised his rein-hand in the air. 

"I surrender!" cried he with all the strength 
of his lungs, which were not at all weak, for he 
meant that his assailant should hear him. 

"What do you mean by that? " demanded Life. 
" You are the commander of this gang, I take it, 
from the badge on your shoulders. Do you mean 
that you surrender your own body only, or that 
you surrender your battalion ? " 

"The battalion," replied Colonel Cameron; and 
he seemed to be actually trembling with fear, — 
a complaint which had troubled him from the 
beginning of the action. 

Major Belthorpe was near ; and Life called him 
by name, for he thought the subject was rather 



SURRENDER OF THE GUERILLA CHIEF 301 

too big for him to handle. The major rode over 
to the spot on the left of the column where the 
leader had kept himself out of harm's way as well 
as he could. Undoubtedly he was a great bully, 
and had probably made his reputation by bluster. 

"What is the matter, Captain Knox?" he asked. 
as he approached. 

"This fellow is the colonel," replied Life irrev- 
erently. " He says he surrenders the battalion." 

Major Belthorpe sent an order for the bugler 
to blow the recall. 

"What do you mean by calling me a 'fel- 
low'?" demanded the guerilla colonel, after he 
had heard the order from the commander of the 
Union battalion. 

"Well, I don't think you are much of a fel- 
low," laughed Life. 

" I have surrendered, and no more fighting is 
to be done," answered the guerilla chief, retreat- 
ing a few paces, and apparently not disposed to 
use any more dangerous epithets, at least so far 
as the tall Kentuckian was concerned. 

The bugle sounded the recall, and was rej^eated 
by other commands ; for it could be seen that the 



302 AT THE FRONT 

fighting had ceased at the head of the column. 
Colonel Gordon, who had descended the hill, and 
was riding across the field to the head of his col- 
umn, heard the recall, and hastened to the side of 
the major. Captain Knox saw the a^Dproach of 
the commander of the force ; and as Colonel Cam- 
eron was still mounted, he kept an eye on him, 
believing he was mean-spirited enough to run 
away if he saw an opportunity. 

" See here, you fellow, what is your name ? " 
asked Life, renewing the conversation with the 
chief of the enemy. 

Cameron looked at the captain with all the 
contempt he dared to put into his expression be- 
fore he replied ; and then he spoke, swelling him- 
self up, and elevating his head. 

"I am Colonel Cameron, in command of this 
force from Tennessee, a member of the bar. I 
have surrendered, and " — 

"No, you haven't; for you have your sabre at 
your side. Here is Colonel Gordon, in command 
of the Union force. Come over here, and give up 
your sword. 

Life took the rein of the horse of the gentle- 



SCIIIIENDER OF THE GUERILLA CHIEF 303 

man from Tennessee, and led him into the pres- 
ence of the colonel. 

" Colonel Gordon, the fortune of the day com- 
pels me to surrender my sword, which is a 
hard thing for a brave man to do when the 
battle has gone against him," said Cameron, as 
he presented his sword to the Union commander, 
the handle towards the receiver. 

Colonel Gordon took the sword, and he took in 
the man at the same time. 

But the guerilla chief had something more to 
say. 



304 AT THE FRONT 



CHAPTER XXIII 

THE DISPOSAL OF THE PRISONERS 

Captain Sxhscmers's company was still in the 
woods where they had lain down their arms, and 
a message was sent to Major Lyon to have them 
marched out upon the field. 

" I neglected to ask you, Colonel Gordon, upon 
what terms I surrender ? " said Cameron ; for the 
commander did not recognize him as a colonel, 
and Captain Halliburn had told him that he had 
no commission of any kind, not even as a "par- 
tisan " ranger. 

"No terms whatever, Mr. Cameron," replied 
the commander of the Union force. 

" I address you as Colonel Gordon ; and it 
would be more polite for you to use the same 
courtesy towards me, and speak to me as Colonel 
Cameron." 

"Are you a colonel?" 

"I am." 



THE DISPOSAL OF THE PRISONERS 305 

"By what authority?" 

"By the election of the captains of my bat- 
talion." 

" Have you a commission of the so-called Con- 
federate States of America ? " asked the colonel. 

" I have not ; but I have one signed by all the 
captains of my battalion." 

" That is no commission at all ; only a certifi- 
cate of your election. You are not a colonel by 
the authority of your government; and I decline 
to recognize you as such, or to apply the title to 
you. If you were a regular Confederate com- 
mander, I should be happy to treat you with the 
utmost courtesy, and to give you such terms as 
the situation would warrant." 

"I have been told that there is no such thing 
as chivalry, delicacy, or decency in Yankee offi- 
cers, and I believe it," muttered Cameron. 

" Your opinion is a matter of entire indifference 
to me. You are the leader of a gang of guerillas, 
banditti, lawless ruffians, having no standing what- 
ever in the Confederate arm}-. You are no gen- 
tleman, as I have had occasion to say before. I 
shall Avaste no more of my time upon you. You 



306 AT THE P^IIONT 

surrendered, and, so far as I know, your command 
acquiesce in that step ; and you have saved your 
life, Mr. Cameron, and the lives of your followers. 
I shall turn you over to the Home Guard of this 
locality, and Captain Halliburn will dispose of you 
as he thinks best. I have nothing more to say." 

" But I have something more to say, and 
I am going to say it," protested the guerilla 
chief. 

"I decline to hear it," added Colonel Gordon. 

"But you shall hear me!" 

" Silence, sir ! I will hand you over to Cap- 
tain Knox, to be committed to the county jail as 
a robber and marauder!" interposed the colonel. 

This threat was enough to close, and keep 
closed, the mouth of the guerilla chief. The first 
company of the band, which had been captured 
and disarmed by Major Lyon's force, was marched 
on foot into the field, and the prisoners were 
drawn \\p in line. They were disarmed by the 
men in front of them ; and the weapons, including 
sabres, muskets, and pistols, were carted up to the 
village, and placed in a barn. The men seemed 
to be anxious to know what was to be done 



THE DISPOSAL OF THE PRISONERS 307 

with them ; and some of the troopers whom they 
asked, told them they were not good enough to 
hang, and were fit only to feed the buzzards. 
But it was not proper for them to answer in 
this manner after the surrender, and not many 
of them did so. 

While the prisoners were still in line, Colonel 
Gordon called the commander of the Home Guard 
to him ; and a consultation, which included Major 
Bornwood, followed. There had been about five 
hundred men in the guerilla force, and at least 
a hundred of them had been killed or wounded; 
but there was still a large body of them left. 

" Of course we cannot take the prisoners with 
us on the march," said Colonel Gordon. " It is 
now eleven o'clock, and as soon as the men and 
horses have had their dinners my command will 
leave. I turn all the prisoners over to you, Cap- 
tain Halliburn." 

''Good Heaven!" exclaimed this gentleman. 
" What shall I do with them ? The jail at James- 
town is not big enough to hold them, and I almost 
wish you had killed the rest of them. This is a 
question of the greatest embarrassment to me." 



308 AT THE FRONT 

"I see that it must be; but what can I do?" 
inquired the colonel. " I have to obey the orders 
of the general, who is represented in this State 
at the present time by INIajor Bornwood. Perhaps 
he can suggest something." 

"I don't know that I can," replied the staff-offi- 
cer. "If we send them to the prison-camp near 
Chicago, they are not soldiers of the Confederate 
army, and they might be an embarrassment to the 
government on that account." 

" Why so ? " inquired the colonel. 

"I don't know what view would be taken of 
the question if it came to an issue ; but we will 
suppose a case. If the United States wanted to 
exchange four hundred prisoners of war, held in 
Libby Prison or elsewhere in the South, would the 
Confederate government be willing to accept the 
four hundred men we have here for the same 
number of Union prisoners captured from the 
Federal army? I can't answer this question my- 
self, for I don't think a case like it has ever come 
up for adjudication." 

" I am sure I can't answer it," added the 
colonel. 



THE DISPOSAL OF THE PUISONEKS 309 

"It is entirely out of the reach of my logic," 
said the captain. 

" But we may get a little better undei-standing 
of it by examining the facts in the case. Who 
and what are these men who appear here as sol- 
diers, capturing property of any kind they cftn 
lay their hands upon ? I know nothing about 
them," continued the staff-officer. 

" I am certain I do not, for I came from the 
other side of the Ohio," added 'the colonel. 

" I am a Kentuckian, though I was born in 
Louisville, which is farther from here than some 
parts of Ohio," added Major Bornwood. " Cap- 
tain Halliburn lives in this village, and perhaps 
he can give us some information." 

o 

" I am nearly seventy years old, and I have 
lived here all my life. I have been engaged in 
business which required me to travel all over this 
State and Tennessee. I have raised more horses 
than any other man in Russell County, and I 
went about to sell them when I was a younger 
man. I think I know just what these men are." 

" Then, we are glad to hear from you," said the 
colonel. 



310 Al THE FRONT 

" I don't say that Tennessee is any woi-se than 
Kentucky, for I don't believe it is," the captain 
proceeded. " I have spent a great many days 
and nights about the small hotels of both States, 
and they seem to me to be very much alike. I 
think both of you know what sort of men they 
are that loiter about these public-houses, and 
especially in the bar-rooms. They drink, gamble, 
and a good many of them will steal when they 
get a chance. Some of them enlisted in the 
Confederate army, and more of them would not 
do so because they could not stand the discipline ; 
and the last class are the worst of the tribe, either 
in Tennessee or Kentucky. In my opinion, the 
members of this gang of guerillas belonged to this 
class." 

" Just such a rabble of ruffians as attempted 
to burn the mansion-house of Colonel Lyon at 
Riverlawn. They lived on whiskey, and had no 
more conscience than a millstone," added Colonel 
Gordon. " They are no help to the Confederacy ; 
for not many of them will fight its battles, and 
the more it has of them the poorer it is." 

" I think we are getting some idea of what 



THE DISPOSAL OF THE PKISONERS 311 

these men are, and my idea of them was about 
what the captain states. I don't think the Con- 
federacy will be quite willing to exchange solid 
soldiers for these fellows, though they came from 
Tennessee." 

" Soldiers would not be guilty of doing their 
kind of work," added Captain Halliburn. " What 
are they ? They came across the river to rob, 
steal, plunder. They have done a great deal of 
this kind of work. The houses of Corry and 
Perry would have been pillaged, and the bread 
taken from the mouths of their children, if Colonel 
Gordon's command had not come along by acci- 
dent; for my Home Guard would have been out- 
numbered five to one, and we could not have 
prevented the village, and the houses and barns 
around it, from being plundered. What they are 
doing is not warfare ; it is simply robbery," and 
the captain waxed very indignant as he proceeded, 
and the others sympathized with him. 

" The question is still, what shall be done with 
the four hundred prisoners ? " interposed Colonel 
Gordon, as he looked at his watch. 

" You have to march in accordance with your 



312 AT THE FP.ONT 

orders ; but these ruffians must not be left near 
this village, for I believe they would burn every 
house in and around it if you left them here," 
said the captain. " Every man would lose all the 
money he had in the world, to say nothing of all 
the provisions in his cellar and storehouse. If 
you leave them here, we shall be at the mere}'- of 
these ruffians, filled with revenge over their re- 
treat." 

" Drive them over the river ! " exclaimed jNIa- 
jor Bornwood. " I don't see that you can do 
anything else with them." 

" But they will come back again as soon as this 
force is out of sight," the captain objected. "I 
had a good force here before half of them enlisted 
in the Riverlawn regiment." 

" I think the captain is right, and it would not 
be right to leave the people here at the mercy 
of these villains. Is there a magistrate near 
here ? " said the major. 

"I am a magistrate myself," replied Captain 
Halliburn. 

" Then I advise you to issue a warrant for the 
arrest of the officers of the battalion, and commit 



THE DISPOSAL OF THK PUISONERS 313 

them to the Jamestown jail. Have you the evi- 
dence at hand ? " 

" I have ; plenty of it. I will do as you sug- 
gest; but it will never amount to anything, for 
you could not get a jury to convict them of 
robbery, even if it is clearly proved." 

" No matter for that ; we are only trying to get 
rid of them for the present. Bring out the Home 
Guard, and hand the six officers over to them for 
safe keeping. Colonel Gordon will immediately 
drive the rest of them out of the State." 

" I am all ready to do it ; for I see that the 
horses have been fed, and the men have eaten 
their dinners from their haversacks. Give the 
marauders their horses, for they need them to 
swim them over the river," added the colonel, as 
the trio moved over to the regiment. The Home 
Guard were at hand ; and the commander ordered 
Captain Knox to arrest the officers, and hand them 
over to the local force. 

" One thing more. Colonel Gordon. I suggest 
that you leave your eighth company here for the 
protection of the place, and insist that a guard 
shall be on the bank of the river night and day 



314 AT THE FRONT 

as long as there is any danger of the miscreants 
returning; and the riflemen will be as good as a 
brigade on that duty." 

"If you desire me to do so, I shall regard it 
as the Avish of the general, and shall comply at 
once," replied the commander. 

" I am on the staff of the general ; and if I 
found it necessary to exercise his authority in 
certain cases, I might do so ; but I prefer to dis- 
charge- my duties without any friction, and I have 
met with such a kind spirit in this State that I 
have not been obliged to mention my authority. 
Please to inform Captain Halliburn that Ripley's 
company will remain here for the present," added 
the major, with abundant suavity. 

The colonel gave the order at once, and Cap- 
tain Halliburn received it with the most profound 
satisfaction. 

"I thank you. Colonel Gordon, for this order." 

" Thank Major Bornwood, if anybody, for he 
advised it," replied the commander. 

Major Belthorpe gave the order to Captain Rij)- 
ley, and it was immediately proclaimed to the 
men. The village and its vicinity contained their 



THE DISPOSAL OF THE PRISONERS 315 

homes, and they were not sony for the informa- 
tion. The Home Guard had arrested the guerilla 
officers ; and Cameron swore like a pirate, and 
protested with all his might, but his custodians 
only laughed at him. 

The majors were then directed to form the pris- 
oners in their own companies, and march them 
down to the river. Captain Halliburn went with 
them, and found considerable plunder which the 
ruffians had taken from the houses they had 
sacked, the owners of which were standing 
around, observing the^ operations of the soldiers. 
The captain called three of them who had been 
robbed, and told them if they could find any 
property that belonged to them, to take posses- 
sion of it. 

The plunder was on the grass near the boats 
of the guerillas, guarded by six men with mus- 
kets in their hands. The prisoners had been 
conducted to the landing by a company of Ma- 
jor Belthorpe's battalion on each flank, and an- 
other in the rear. 

" Who are you ? " demanded the major, Avhen 
he came to the corporal in charge of the guard. 



31G AT THE rr.oNT 

" I am the corporal of the guard in charge of 
the goods here," replied the man. 

" Captain Knox, see that those men are dis- 
armed, and the owners of the property be al- 
lowed to take it away," said the major. 

The corporal objected to giving np his musket 
and sabre. Life reasoned with him ; and the re- 
sult of the argument was that he Avas pitched 
about a rod, and the weapons taken from him. 
He did not a})pear to understand that the gueril- 
las had surrendered. The owners of the goods 
carried them off ; and the men who had boats 
were driven into them, leading their horses, and 
the rest of the force were compelled to take to 
the river and swim across. The work was ac- 
complished ; and Captain Ripley's company was 
stationed on the shore, to see that the guerillas 
went over the river. The rest of the Union 
command was formed, and the march to Bark- 
ville was resumed. 



THE BOOT ON THE OTHER LEG 317 



CHAPTER XXIV 

THE BOOT ON THE OTHER LEG 

It was plain enough to the observers that the 
guerillas, driven into the river on their hoi-ses, 
were dissatisfied in the last degree with the re- 
sult of their visit across the river. Doubtless 
they had expected to return with a greater or 
less quantity of booty, which they expected to 
steal from the houses of the farmers and others 
in the vicinity. It was comparatively a rich 
neighborhood, and the houses they were to visit 
were well furnished generally ; but their proceed- 
ings had been interruj)ted by the riflemen and 
the battery guns, and they had been miserably 
defeated before they reached the richest part of 
the territory they intended to lay under contri- 
bution. 

In the few houses they had visited near the 
Cumberland River, they had gathered up consid- 
erable plunder. In the heap of goods from which 



318 AT THE FRONT 

the owners had claimed their property there were 
several clocks, the ornaments of mantel shelves, 
bundles of bedding, and such other articles as 
they could carry to the shore on their horses. 
They had several large flatboats for the convey- 
ance of their plunder across the river, though 
they had not been able to gather up the most 
valuable portion of what they expected to obtain. 

They were plainly unwilling to return to the 
other side of the river after they had seen the 
departure of the main body of the Union force, 
and a considerable number of them had turned 
their horses in the water, and struck out for the 
shore. But Captain Ripley's company had been 
stationed on the bluff just above the landing- 
place, and Colonel Gordon had ordered them to 
shoot the ruffians if they attempted to return. 
The guerillas had been deprived of their arms, 
even to the pistols which many of them carried; 
and it was madness for them to attempt to renew 
the business which had brought them over before. 

There appeared to be about twenty or twenty- 
five, led by a big fellow, who were disposed to 
contest the ground with the Home Guard, though 




He was hit in tue Head 



Page 319 



I 



THE BOOT ON THE OTHER LEG 319 

it was difficult to conjecture what they intended 
to accomplish, without a weapon of any kind 
among them. Captain Ripley was not disposed 
to believe the ruffians would be guilty of any such 
madness, and he was not inclined to shoot them 
in the water. It was a hard struggle for the 
horses, for even at the low stage of the river there 
was a considerable current; but the ridei^s spurred 
them on so that they made some progress towards 
the opposite shore. 

The captain of the riflemen was forced to the 
conclusion that the party following the stalwart 
leader meant to reach the shore, and pointing his 
rifle at him, he fired. He w^as hit in the head, 
and springing up from his saddle, he came down 
in the water. He made no effort to cling to his 
horse, and sank out of sight. His followers were 
appalled at this sharp practice ; and perhaps they 
were not aware that the rifle company had been 
left at the place for the protection of the village, 
though they wore the blue uniform of the national 
anny . 

The Home Guard, wearing no uniform, were 
near the landing-place, and doubtless the reck- 



320 AT THE FRONT 

less maraudere expected to encounter only this 
force. If they had opened their eyes, they could 
not have helped seeing the riflemen on the bluff, 
though they were partially concealed by a thicket 
of bushes. But the effect of the fatal shot was 
soon realized ; for the gang in advance soon turned 
their horses, and joined in the struggle with the 
others to reach the Tennessee shore. The animals 
were not trained swimmers, like those of the ori- 
ginal companies of the Riverlawns. Not another 
shot came from the riflemen while the ruffians 
continued their efforts to reach the other side. 
But the present defenders of the town watched 
them for a couple of hours, when the last of them 
had effected a landing in the creek from which 
they had embarked the day before ; but they 
carried no plunder of any kind to their homes, 
which Captain Halliburn thought were located 
in several counties. 

In the meantime, the Riverlawn regiment and 
the battery continued their march. Major Bom- 
wood had telegraphed to the postmaster at Bark- 
ville to ascertain if the town was in any danger of 
a raid from any quarter, and had received a reply 



THE BOOT ON THE OTHER LEG 321 

at Jamestown. The place was in no present peril, 
though a band of guerillas was said to be in the 
neighborhood of Glasgow in Barren County. The 
command of Colonel Gordon moved leisurely ; for 
the troopers had been actively employed for sev- 
eral days, and there was no need of hurrying. 

In the vicinity of what is now Bakertown, the 
officers who had been over the road before had 
observed a mansion on the hill, which they had 
learned was occupied by Mr. Bickworth, who was 
said to be a Secessionist, though he took no active 
part in any of the commotions which kept the 
State in a turmoil much of the time. He was 
past the military age, but he had refused to con- 
tribute to the purchase of an equipment of a 
Home Guard in the adjoining counties of INIetcalf 
and Cumberland. If this was an overt act against 
the Union, it was the only one that had been 
charged to him. 

He was believed to be a wealthy man ; and it 
was generally supposed that he had money con- 
cealed in his house, for he paid his bills with the 
greatest promptness. He lived " within his OAvn 
shell," and seldom mingled with liis neighbors. 



322 AT THE FRONT 

He had no family at his home ; for his wife had 
died years before, and his two sons were in busi- 
ness in China. The recent raids into the State 
had induced the people to enlist a Home Guard 
for the protection of their families and their prop- 
erty, and Mr. Bickworth had declined to give any 
money for the purchase of arms for the company. 
The Union people, not all of whom were peace- 
able and law-abiding citizens, were indignant 
against him, and called him a Secessionist, as he 
admitted himself ; but he took no part with them 
in disturbing the peace of the county or the 
State. 

The highway by which the regiment pursued 
its march passed the entrance to a private road 
leading to the gentleman's residence. There ap- 
peared to be a commotion near it; and in a field 
on one side of the road the Home Guard recently 
gathered were drilling, as the officers judged from 
what they saw, and in the private way a rather 
noisy gang seemed to be discussing some matter. 
All the way up the road to the elevation on 
which the mansion of the Secessionist was lo- 
cated, men were moving. 



THE BOOT ON THE OTHER LEG 323 

" What does all this mean, Major Bornwoocl ? " 
asked Colonel Gordon, as they approached the 
scene of the excitement. 

" I am sure I don't know ; but very likely it is 
a gathering of the people to rob and plunder some 
Union man, for such things are not wholly un- 
common in some parts of the State," replied the 
staff -officer. 

" But the man who lives in that house on the 
hill is not a Union man ; on the contrary, he is a 
Secessionist, and formerly lived in Alabama. I 
met him once during our stay in Barkville, and 
was introduced to him by one of the town council. 
He is a very gentlemanly person, and said he 
believed in the Confederacy, though he took no 
part whatever in politics. He had moved to Ken- 
tucky because the climate of Southern Alabama 
did not agree with him. The councilman who 
introduced me said he was a good man in spite of 
his disloyal opinions, always paid his bills, and 
contributed liberally to the support of the poor, 
whatever their politics, and most men respected 
him. He was not a Union man, but he was en- 
tirely inoffensive in every respect." 



32-1 AT THE FRONT 

"Then, what is the meaning of the gathering 
near his mansion ? " inqnired the major. 

"I don't know," replied the colonel, as he 
halted his command at the head of the private 
road when the head of the column came to it. 

Of course the appearance of the regiment ex- 
cited the attention of the people. The colonel 
and the major rode into the side road to ascertain 
the occasion of the gathering, and approached the 
group that Avere discussing in rather violent terms 
the question before them. 

" I believe in pulling down his house, or burn- 
ingf it over his head ! " exclaimed one of the dis- 
putants. 

"I don't believe in anything of that kind," re- 
plied another very earnestl}^ " Mr. Bickworth 
has done nothing to deserve such treatment, and 
it would be an outrage to treat him in that man- 
ner." 

" You will find yourself in a very small mi- 
nority in this crowd," continued the first speaker, 
who had evidently primed himself with more 
than one glass of whiskey. 

" What is the trouble here ? " asked Colonel 



THE BOOT ON THE OTHER LEG 325 

(iordou very quietly, as he rode as near as he 
could get to the violent man of the group. 

" Trouble enough," replied the orator of the 
occasion, as he evidently regarded himself, and he 
interlarded his speech Avith occasional oaths ; but 
he could not " hold a candle " to Cameron, though 
he was just such a person, on a minor scale. " We 
don't mean to have things go all one way about 
here. The man that lives in that house on the 
hill is a Secessionist. ^Vbout a week ago the 
disloyal ruflians of Adair County cleaned out a 
Union man over there, robbed his mansion of all 
that was worth taking away, and then burned it 
to the ground. The man that lives in that 
house," pointing to it, "■ is a disloyal man ; and 
we are going to serve him as the disloyal ruthans 
served the Union man at Breedings." 

" Then, you intend to be the loyal ruffians on 
this occasion," replied the colonel mildly. 

" We are not ruffians ; vv^e are gentlemen. Colo- 
nel," replied the orator. " I am a member of the 
bar, and those with me are reputable citizens." 

jNIajor Lyon, who was near the head of the 
column, had his curiosity somewhat excited, and 



326 AT THE FRONT 

had ridden his horse into the road to ascertain 
the nature of tlie business in progress. 

" Do I understand that you intend to rob Mr. 
Bickworth's mansion, and then burn it ? " asked 
tlie colonel. 

" That is just what we intend to do," answered 
the member of the bar. 

" Have you any suggestion to offer. Major 
Bornwood?" asked the commander of his com- 
panion. 

" None ; but I am as much opposed to outrages 
by Union men as by Secessionists," replied the 
staff-ofScer quietly. 

" Major Lyon ! " called the commander to the 
senior major. " You express my opinion pre- 
cisely, Major Bornwood." 

Deck saluted the commander, and waited for 
orders. 

" Major Lyon, you will march your first two 
companies up this road, and surround that house 
on the hill," said the colonel, loud enough for the 
orator of the group to hear him. 

Deck ordered the two companies to march up 
the hill, and placed himself at the. head of the 



THE BOOT ON THE OTHER LEG 327 

column. Apparently to the astonishment and in- 
dignation of most of the group, the two hundred 
troopers marched by them, and ascended the hill. 
There were about fifty people collected around 
the mansion, and there were as many more who 
were drilling with muskets in the field near the 
highway. . 

" Do I understand, Colonel, — the colonel of a 
Union regiment, — that you intend to interfere 
with this affair ? " demanded Squire Blunt, the 
orator of the group in the private road, whose 
indignation had been fanned to rage as he saw 
the two companies gallop up the road. 

" Most decidedly I do," replied the commander. 

" Do you claim to be a Union man ? " 

" Can you ask such a question as that of a 
soldier in the United States army ? Are you 
a Union man ? " 

" You know that I am ! " exclaimed Squire 
Blunt. "Why should I be here on this business 
if I were not ? "' 

" And you intend to prove that you are a 
Union man by joining a mob to rob and burn the 
residence of a quiet and inoffensive citizen of 



328 AT THE FRONT 

Kentucky ; to take part with Union ruffians in 
committing an outrage on a peaceable member of 
this community ! Why did you not enlist in the 
army of your country, as I did, to demonstrate 
your loyalty ? " 

" That's into him seven feet ! " cried the man 
who had argued in opposition to the proposed 
outrage. 

The colonel turned his horse, and began to 
ascend the road, with the staff-officer still at his 
side. The rest of the group, and the Home 
Guard in the field, followed them ; for it looked 
as though the time for action had come. Major 
Lyon had posted his first company on a lawn at 
the side of the mansion, and stationed the second 
company all around the buildings. He had placed 
Lieutenant Fronklyn, with half a dozen men, dis- 
mounted, with carbines in their hands, on the 
piazza, the officer being at the front door. 

" Colonel Gordon, I protest against your action 
in this matter as an outrage upon the people of 
two counties of the State," said Squire Blunt, 
as soon as the commander had examined the 
preparations for the defence of the mansion. 



THE BOOT ON THE OTHER LEG 329 

"What are you about to do here, Mr. Blunt?" 
asked the colonel. 

" We are about to sack this mansion, and burn 
it to the ground, as the disloyal ruffians did that 
of Captain Wiggin at Breedings," replied the 
orator. 

"By what authority do you propose to act in 
this manner? " demanded the commander. 

" By the authority of the loyal sentiment of 
two counties." 

" That is rather indefinite authority. You wish 
to justify the action of the Breedings mob by 
following its example. What has jNIr. Bickworth 
done to offend the loyal people of two counties ? " 

" He has refused to contribute to the equipment 
of the Home Guard for the defence of our homes 
and rights." 

" He is a citizen of the State, and he had the 
right to refuse. Did you contribute to the equip- 
ment of the State Guard at Breedings ? " 

At this monient Mr. Bickworth appeared at the 
door of his house. 



330 AT THE FEONT 



CHAPTER XXV 

THE OBNOXIOUS CITIZEN ON THE HILL 

" Did I contribute to the equipment of the 
State Guard at Breedings ? " said Squire Blunt. 
" Of course I did not ! The State Guard is a 
Secesh body, and I was not asked to do so. It 
would have been treason for me to do anything 
of the kind, and against my principles," replied 
Squire Blunt. 

" It would have been quite right for you to 
refuse if you had been asked," added the com- 
mander. "■ Very likely Mr. Bick worth regarded 
a contribution to the equipment of the loyal Home 
Guard in the same light." 

" I make a distinction between things loyal and 
disloyal." 

"So do I." 

" I judged from your action that you did not," 
replied the squire. "• You array your soldiers 
against the loyal people of this section." 



THE OBNOXIOUS CITIZEN ON THE HILL 331 

" The loyal people of this section are collected 
here for the purpose of using violence against 
a peaceable citizen of Kentucky, in violation of 
the laws of the State, and will be liable to prose- 
cution if they proceed with their work. You are 
a lawyer, Squire Blunt, and you know tliis as 
well as or better than I do." 

" I don't think they are in any danger of 
prosecution," said the member of the bar with a 
laugh. 

" In all the large cities of the North, there is 
an occasional citizen who believes the South is 
right, though I am glad to say they are very few ; 
and they are called ' Copperheads.' We have 
heard of such a thing there as that man being 
compelled to display the American flag on his 
house ; and perhaps violence would have followed 
after a refusal. But generally such citizens were 
not molested if they were peaceful, law-abiding 
citizens, and did not make any demonstration in 
favor of the South. I commend the example of 
the Northern people to you." 

" It is a different thing down here ; for we are 
right in the midst of the rebellion, and at this 



332 AT THE FEONT 

moment the armies of the Confederacy are march- 
ing into the State of Kentucky with the intention 
of subduing the peojDle, and raising the flag of 
Secession. This state of things creates a great 
deal of indignation among our citizens." 

" I sympathize with them so far, and I believe 
our armies will drive out the intruders. As a 
soldier, I shall do all I can to bring about this 
result ; and I believe it would be very much 
better for you. Squire Blunt, to shoulder your 
musket, and do the same, rather than to employ 
your time and talents in destrojnng the property 
of. a peaceful citizen like Mr. Bickworth." 

" That's the right kind of talk I "' exclaimed 
Mr. Letcher, the gentleman who had argued 
against the squire near the highway. 

" That's so ! " added several others. 

The entire collection of people had gathered 
near the colonel to hear what passed between him 
and the orator ; and Mr. Letcher asked those ^s^'ho 
were ojDposed to mob violence to step over to the 
corner of the fence at the road. About a dozen 
resj^onded to the summons ; but most of the 
crowd had come to the hill for another pur2:)0se, 



THE OBNOXIOUS CITIZEN ON THE HILL 333 

and they were not willing to step over to the 
other side of the question, though they seemed to 
be moved by the argument of the commander. 

" I see that Mr. Bickworth has come out of 
his house, and is talking on the piazza with Lieu- 
tenant Fronklyn. I am going up ta see him, and 
I should be glad, to have you go with me," said 
the commander, as he and Major Bornwood dis- 
mounted from their horses, and handed them over 
to the keeping of a couple of troopers. 

"I am the chairman of a. committee of three to 
make a final demand upon jMr. Bickworth, and I 
will meet him in your presence, Colonel," replied 
Squire Blunt ; and it was obvious that his views 
had been somewhat modified by the argument of 
the commander. 

With the committee, the orator led the way to 
the piazza, followed l)y the colonel, the major, 
and jMajor Lyon, at the request of the com- 
mander. 

The party ranged themselves around the ob- 
noxious citizen, to hear what was said on both 
sides. Mr. Bickworth appeared to be about sev- 
enty years old, was quite tall and dignified, and 



334 AT THE FRONT 

with a very mild and gentle expression of coun- 
tenance, as far removed as possible from a "fire- 
eater;" He received the party with a graceful 
bow, and waited to hear their business with him. 
It was opened by Squire Blunt. 

"As a committee of three," said he, indicating 
with a gesture his two associates, " we have called 
upon you, to make a final demand for a contri- 
bution for the equipment of the Home Guard of 
this locality." 

" What are Home Guards ? " asked the obnox- 
ious citizen very mildly and gently, and with a 
pleasant smile on his face. 

" They are military bodies raised for the de- 
fence of our people and tlieir property. You can 
see most of the company formed in line before 
your mansion ; " for the body had marched up the 
hill, and formed in front of the house. " Captain 
Greene, their commander, is one of this commit- 
tee ; " and the orator pointed him out with a 
flourish. 

" For what purpose do they visit my estate ? " 
asked Mr. Bickworth. " I am a citizen of the 
State of Kentucky, and one of ' our people,' as 



THE OBNOXIOUS CITIZEN ON THE HILL 335 

you very properly designate them. I have been 
told that all these people come to my residence 
with evil intentions ; in a word, for the purpose 
of destroying my property, of burning my man- 
sion. Am I to infer that the Home Guard came 
to defend me and my estate from violence ? " 

Squire Blunt bit his lips, and made no reply. 

" I pay my taxes regularly, and I have been 
told that I pay one of the largest amounts in this 
way in Barkville. I contribute liberally for the 
support of the poor, in addition to my taxes ; and 
I think I am right in regarding myself as one of 
' our people.' " 

" But you are a Secessionist ! " exclaimed 
Squire Blunt. 

"I have my private opinions on the politics of 
the nation ; but I have taken no active part 
against the government, neither in word nor in 
deed. But you did not answer my question, 
Squire, and I will ask Captain Greene to do so. 
Am I to infer that the Home Guard came here 
to defend me and my property from the violence 
of a mob ? " 

" No, sir ; they did not ! " exclaimed the cap- 



336 AT THE FRONT 

tain, who did not like the turn in the conversa- 
tion. 

" Precisely ; I am happy to understand the 
matter," added Mr. Bickworth. " What is the 
particular business of your committee with me, 
Squire Blunt?" 

" To make a final request of you to give a 
contribution, according to your abundant means, 
for the equipment of the Home Guards before 
you," replied the orator. 

" I have declined to do so several times before. 
I could quote several instances in which so-called 
Home Guards took part in the destruction of the 
property of citizens like myself, peaceable, but 
having private opinions like my own. The com- 
mander of the Home Guard to whose equipment 
I am invited to contribute says very decidedly 
that his force did not come here to protect me 
and my property from violence and destruction. 
Therefore, I must finally decline to contribute for 
the equipment of his force," replied Mr. Bick- 
worth mildly and with dignity. " I decline, even 
if you proceed to the outrage which brought you 
here." 



THE OBNOXIOUS CITIZEN ON THE HILL 337 

Doubtless the " obnoxious citizen " shared the 
views expressed by the historian of Kentucky in 
regard to Home Guards, while he gives some of 
these bodies ample credit for substantial service 
to the State and the nation. We quote from his 
pages to indicate that Mr. Bickworth's views were • 
not entirely his own : " The difficulty of main- 
taining the activity of the civil law in this period 
of conflict was made the greater by the action 
of the Home Guards, a force that could not be 
kept in proper control. These partisan troops 
made many raids upon persons known to be in 
sympathy with the South. The whole experience 
of the Civil War with these detached localized 
troops shows that they were an element of great 
danger to the civil government of the State." 

" That's all that need be said ! " shouted Cap- 
tain Greene, who was evidently a "fire-eater" 
on the wrong side of the question. " We are 
ready now to do the work for wliich we came up 
here." 

"What is that?" demanded Colonel Gordon 
quietly. 

" We shall sack the mansion, and then set it 



338 AT THE FRONT 

on fire. We may get enough out of it to make 
up the rebel's subscription." 

" You can proceed with your cowardly work," 
added Mr. Bickworth. 

" You will do nothing of the kind, Captain 
Greene," interposed the colonel. " Mr. Bick- 
worth, this battalion of United States cavalry 
will protect you and your property from injury. 
The civil law is in force in Kentucky, and it is 
the duty of the Federal officers to support it. 
The proposed action of this mob would be an 
outrage, and I shall stand by you." 

" I thank you, Colonel Gordon, and I am sure 
you have taken a correct view of the situation," 
added the " obnoxious citizen." 

Mr. Letcher and those in sympathy with him, 
now increased in numbers to about twenty by 
the arguments to which they had listened atten- 
tively since they moved up to the piazza, gave 
three cheers ; and doubtless they were regarded 
as traitors by a portion of the assembly. 

" Colonel Gordon, do you intend to interfere 
with the action of the citizens of this county?" 
demanded Captain Greene. 



THE OBNOXIOUS CITIZEN ON THE HILL 339 

"Most decidedly I do I" replied the commander 
with more vim than he had spoken before. " Ma- 
jor Lyon, mount your horse." 

Deck hastened to mount his steed. 

" I hope you will not act foolishly, Captain 
Greene," resumed the colonel. "■ I have two hun- 
dred cavalry on this hill, and over a thousand 
more on the highway, which shall be marched 
up here if necessary; for it makes no difference 
to me whether you are loyal ruffians or disloyal, 
I shall deal with you in the same manner. If 
you meddle with the mansion or its proprietor, 
Captain Greene, my troops shall charge upon 
you, and drive the mob from the hill. I hope 
you understand me, for I support the civil gov- 
ernment of the State of Kentucky." 

"Attention, Battalion!" shouted Major Lyon. 
"Draw, sabres !" 

The two companies were the original River- 
lawn squadron, and their sabres flew from the 
scabbards on the instant. Then Deck moved the 
company on the lawn to the front of the piazza, 
ready for action, and waited for further orders 
from the commander. 



340 AT THE FRONT 

" Squire Blunt, I should be very sorry to be 
compelled to assault my own friends, the loyal 
citizens of this vicinity ; but they are clearly in 
the wrong, and Mr. Bickworth, though his opin- 
ions on the great question before the country are 
not yours or mine, is entitled to protection, at 
least until he is guilty of some overt act, and 
I have not learned that he has done anything 
against the peace and dignity of the United 
States or the Commonwealth of Kentucky." 

" Of course Captain Greene cannot do any- 
thing against such a force as you have under 
your command ; and I must say that my views 
are somewhat modified by the discussion which 
has been held on this piazza," replied the squire. 
"I will talk wdth Greene," and he went over to 
him for this purpose. 

He talked in such a low tone that others 
could not hear what passed between them ; but 
certainly the commander of the Home Guard 
moderated his tone very much, since he was not 
a fool, and could see that he and his Guards 
would be annihilated if he attempted to oppose 
the cavalry by force; for the people of Bark- 



THE OBNOXIOUS CITIZEN ON THE HILL 341 

ville, where most of them came from, were well 
acquainted with the Riverlawns and the battery 
who had defended them from the attack of the 
enemy who came there by the Harbinger. The 
squire soon returned to the presence of Colonel 
Gordon. 

" I think we can compromise the case, Colonel. 
I will do as you say it has been done in the 
North : I will ask him to display the American 
flag on his mansion or grounds ; and there is a 
flag-pole on the lawn, on which he used to hoist 
the flag on the Fourth of July." 

"But suppose he declines to do so?" suggested 
the commander. 

"I don't think he will, for he is a very mod- 
erate Southerner, in spite of his opinions ; but if 
he refuses, we shall have to leave without set- 
tling the question," replied the orator. " The 
answer we can make to the people who have 
been waiting to see the flames rising from the 
hill is that we have been convinced by the argu- 
ments of Colonel Gordon that our work was not 
the right thing to do." 

" I am very glad if anything I have said has 



342 AT THE FRONT 

influenced yon, and especially if it saves me the 
pain of attacking our people." 

" You made a very able argument, and you 
ought to have been a member of the bar." 

" I was a lawyer when the war began," added 
the colonel, as the squire left him to speak to 
Mr. Bickworth. 

" Whether you accept or reject the compromise 
I am about to propose, Mr. Bickworth, it is evi- 
dent enough with the troops around your man- 
sion, that neither you nor your property will be 
subjected to any violence," the squire began. 

" I shall be glad to have the matter settled to 
the satisfaction of the people," replied the ob- 
noxious citizen. '^ What is the compromise?" 

" That you hoist the American flag on your 
lawn." 

"I will do that with pleasure," replied Mr. 
Bickworth. 



THE SEARCH FOE, GREEGEK LAKE 348 



CHAPTER XXVI 

THE SEARCH FOR GREEGER LAKE 

Squire Blunt made a speech to the assem- 
blage to the effect that a compromise had been 
arranged ; and he had hardly said so much before 
the Star Spangled Banner floated in the air over 
the lawn. Deck called for three cheers from the 
battalion, which were given lustily, followed by 
three more from the Home Guard and the rest of 
the gathering ; and the orator proceeded with his 
speech, though he was so thirsty for his whiskey 
that he made it very brief. Though the respected 
gentleman who resided in the mansion before 
them, he said, had some private opinions of his 
own, he was a loyal citizen to the whole country ; 
and after this demonstration, he was confident 
they would protect his person and property from 
any assailants, wherever they came from. 

" I was born and brought up under this flag, 
and I have never ceased to honor and love it," 



344 AT THE FRONT 

said the " ol)noxioiis citizen " to those around him. 
"I love my country, though I have spent a portion 
of my life in China ; and I love it all the more for 
that reason. Now, gentlemen, if you will come 
into my house, I will show you that I can drink 
to the reunion of our country under the American 
flag." 

Colonel Gordon was especially invited to go in ; 
but he pleaded that he never drank anything, 
and that he must leave with his command for 
Barkville. He was excused ; but half a dozen 
others went in, and the sufferings of the orator 
and the captain soon came to an end. They 
were treated very handsomely in both senses of 
the word, and remained some time with their 
" respected fellow-citizen," as the squire called 
him in his remarks and toasts. They were en- 
tertained in the dining-room of the host ; and 
upon their departure it required the whole width 
of the road to accommodate the captain and the 
squire on their way to Barkville. 

The regiment marched to the town, and were 
received by the town council. They encamped in 
the field they had occupied on their former visit ; 



THE SEARCH FOR GREEGER LAKE 345 

and after the long day of fighting and marching, 
both officers and men were glad to roll themselves 
up in their blankets, and spread themselves out in 
the tents. 

It was a long stay the regiment and battery 
made at Barkville. Major Bornwood received no 
letters or telegrams, as he expected, at this halt, 
which was believed by the officers to be only for 
a day or two, and that orders for the command 
would be received there. But General Buell was 
very busy in Tennessee, concealing his own move- 
ments, and seeking to ascertain those of General 
Bragg. Nashville was in possession of the Union 
army. It was believed that this would soon be 
the object of an attack on the part of the enemy. 
General Buell was farther south. Aug. 30 he 
ordered his entire army to move to Murfreesboro, 
about thirty miles southeast of the capital of Ten- 
nessee, on the Nashville and Chattanooga Rail- 
road, expecting an attack on Nashville. 

It seemed to be a game between him and Gen- 
eral Bragg to ascertain what the other intended to 
do. Whether the latter intended to capture Nash- 
ville, if he could, or invade the State of Kentucky, 



346 AT THE FRONT 

was the question. Buell was at Decherd, in 
the southern part of Tennessee, eighty-two miles 
southeast of Nashville, a long distance from the 
central part of Kentucky, ready to move against 
Bragg when he could discover his objective point. 
On one of the last days of August he ordered his 
whole army to move to Murfreesboro ; and his 
several divisions were united there on the fifth of 
September. No long halt was made there, and 
the divisions moved on to Nasliville. Still the 
question was whether Bragg would attack Nash- 
ville or by a flank movement invade Kentucky. 

The events described in this volume occurred 
towards the latter part of August, and it was 
about the twenty-fifth wlien the Riverlawn regi- 
ment arrived at Barkville. Day after day wore 
away, and no orders came for the force to move 
in any direction. The officers were treated very 
hospitably by the people of the town; but they 
soon wearied of the life of inactivity, and longed 
to be again engaged in the strife, which they con- 
fidently believed would soon overwhelm the re- 
bellious enemy, though they had to wait many 
months before this result was realized. 



THE SEARCH FOR GREEGER LAKE 347 

Deck had telegraphed to Mr. McCurdy at Som- 
erset, to ascertain the condition of his father, and 
learned that he was doing very well. The wound 
on his head was healing up satisfactorily to the 
physician. A week later came a letter written 
by Colonel Lyon himself, in which he said he had, 
been out to walk for the last three days. He had 
a good appetite, and he felt as well as ever in his 
life ; he was ready to rejoin his command, but the 
doctor would not permit liim to do so. He was 
confident that he should be able to do so. 

" Our men are getting very tired of this idle 
life," said Colonel Gordon when they had been in 
camp a week. 

They were at the post-office waiting for the 
sorting of the mail, for the staff-officer was in 
daily expectation of a letter or telegram from the 
general. It was the second of September; and 
the general had been so busy watching Bragg 
and other officers, and had been moving about 
so much, that lie had not been able to attend to 
minor affaii-s in Kentucky, though he was pre- 
pared to counteract the movements of Bragg as 
soon as they could be developed. 



348 AT THE FRONT 

"A letter for Major Bornwood," called the 
postmaster through his window. 

It was given to him, and he immediatel}^ de- 
clared that it was from the general. He tore it 
open, and read it with deep interest, and then 
passed it to the colonel. From the first lines it 
was apparent that the staff-officer had given very 
favorable reports to the writer of the newly- 
formed regiment of cavalry. Then he informed 
liim that a large body of guerillas, or partisan 
bands, which he considered the same thing, were 
ojDerating in Logan County, or on Grigger Lake, 
wherever that was. The number of the guerillas 
was reported to exceed six hundred. He in- 
structed his staff-officer to have the regiment sent 
to capture them, or drive them out of the State ; 
for such a number of ruffians would do a vast 
amount of mischief. 

" That looks like work for my command," said 
the colonel, as he handed the letter back to the 
major. 

" But where is Grigger Lake ? " inquired the 
latter. 

" I haven't the least idea ; and I did not sup- 



THE SEARCH FOR GREEGER LAKE 349 

pose there were any- lakes in the State large 
enough to be mentioned," replied the colonel. 
" But I dare say we can find some one in the 
town, perhaps in the regiment, who knows where 
it is. AVe will make a business of ascertaining 
at once." 

They began to do so ; but the postmaster and 
others in the office had never heard of it. No 
such body of water was laid down in any of 
the maps with which the officers were provided. 
Then at roll-call the next morning, all the cap- 
tains were instructed to inquire of the men if 
any one knew Avhere G rigger Lake was, and all 
the officers were required to be present. 

" Grigger Lake," repeated Captain Knox. 
" That is something like it, but that is not the 
name." 

" Greeger Lake ; that's what they call it, but 
I don't know how to speil it," interposed Lieu- 
tenant Shapley, of Life's company. "It isn't far 
from where Captain Knox and I were born and 
raised." 

" Then I think we can find it," added the 
colonel. " We may march for that lake to-day, 



350 AT THE FRONT 

for there are six hundred guerillas in that vicin- 
ity." 

The men went to their breakfast with the be- 
lief that the season of inactivity was at an end, 
and the officers sought their maps again. They 
found the stream which Life and Shapley said 
flowed from it ; but the lake was not indicated, 
and it was not in Logan County. The colonel 
gave the order for the command to march as 
soon as it was ready. Deck wrote a letter to 
his father in Somerset, and another to his mother 
at Riverlawn, informing them both that he was 
about to leave Barkville, with Captain Knox as 
a pilot. Franklin was the nearest post-office to 
the locality, though it was some distance from 
the scene of operations. 

At nine o'clock everything was in readiness to 
move, for the force was kept in condition to 
leave at short notice from the nature of the op- 
erations in which it was engaged. Nothing was 
to be left behind, for the commander did not 
expect to be ordered back to Barkville. Life 
thought that the distance was about sixty miles, 
forty of which were made the first da}'. Captain 



THE SEARCH FOR GREEGER LAKE 351 

Knox was entirely familiar with the roads, as 
were most of the members of his company. The 
command camped near a village for the night ; 
and it contained a post-ofifice, which Life and 
Shapley visited after supper in search of infor- 
mation in regard to the guerillas. Neither the 
postmaster nor any of the natives assembled there 
could give him any tidings in regard to the ma- 
rauders. They knew Mdiere Greeger Lake was, 
and assured the officers that they were on the 
right road to reach it. 

The general's letter was not to the effect that 
the partisan force was at this lake, but only in 
the same county. When the captain and lieu- 
tenant were about to leave, a travel-stained man, 
with a valise of considerable size strapped upon 
his back, entered the store in which the post-office 
was located. He was at once recognized as a 
peddler, and asked the postmaster if he could get 
some supper and a night's lodging in his house. 
He could be accommodated, and he seated him- 
self to wait for the meal. 

" Have you travelled far ? " asked Life, seating 
himself at his side. 



352 AT THE FRONT 

"I am a peddler, and I am travelling all the 
time. I have just tramped through Christian and 
Todd Counties ; and I have had a hard time of 
it, for that country is full of gorillas — that's 
what I call 'em, I believe a gorilla is a big 
monkey, nigh on to the size of a man, that bites 
and kills a fellow as you would a fly; and that's 
what them robbers do over in Todd County. 
They wanted to rob me of my pack ; but I got 
away from 'em, though one of 'em on foot chased 
me a mile." 

" Do you know where they are now ? " asked 
the captain with deep interest. 

" They were moving this way, and I reckon this 
store will be cleaned out by to-morrow or next 
day," replied the jDeddler. "They had stopped to 
plunder a house the last I saw of 'em." 

" How many guerillas are there, of them ? " 

" I don't know ; one man told there was a 
thousand of 'em, but I reckon he stretched it a 
little. I saw them on the road ahead of me, 
and I went around 'em when they halted ; I 
should say there were five hundred of them, with 
two wagons loaded with goods. 



THE SEARCH FOR GREEGER LAKE 353 

" Your supper is ready," said the postmaster, 
coming out of the rear of the building where his 
family lived. 

" I'm half starved, and I must attend to that 
call," replied the peddler, rising from his chair. 

" I am much obliged to you for what you have 
told me, and I don't reckon that gang will come 
to Palmyra," added Life. 

"You wear a blue uniform, and I reckon you're 
an officer. I hope you will ketch them gorillas," 
returned the peddler. 

" I am an officer, and we have force enough to 
grind the guerillas to powder, whether there are 
five hundred or a thousand," said Life ; and he 
and Shapley moved to the door, though others 
wished to talk with them. 

The two officers hastened back to the camp, 
and immediately sought the colonel in the head- 
quarters tent. They were admitted by the senti- 
nel, and found the commander studying a map on 
the table in the centre, with the staff-officer at 
his side. 

" I am glad you have come, Captain Knox ; I 
called my orderly to send for you, but he told 



354 AT THE FRONT 

me that you had gone to the village," said Colonel 
Gordon as they entered the tent. 

" I have been to the village with Lieutenant 
Shapley, and we have obtained plenty of infor- 
mation," answered Life. ^' Those guerillas have 
been rampaging through Christian, Todd, and 
Logan Counties, and a peddler who has just come 
through that country has seen them, and told 
me all about them ; " and the captain proceeded 
to give the colonel a full report of all the infor- 
mation he had obtained from the travelling 
hawker. 

" You were very fortunate to come across such 
a person, Captain Knox ; and I am very glad to 
know that we are on the right road to Greeger 
Lake," said the commander when the tall Ken- 
tuckian had finished his narrative. 

" I don't believe it is much of a lake ; but in 
our State, where such sheets of water are scarce, 
they call almost any puddle a lake. The traveller 
had seen the lake from the road, but did not go 
very near it ; but it is of no account. He got 
away from the guerillas near Hadens, on the 
Louisville and Memphis Railroad ; and as they 



THE SEARCH FOR GREEGER LAKE 355 

wei-e coining this way, they must be somewhere 
near the lake by this time, and it can't be more 
than fifteen miles from where we are now," re- 
plied Life. 

As he was al)out to leave the tent. Deck came 
in. He had been foraging for information among 
the fanners and others who had come to the 
vicinity of the camp from motives of curiosity ; 
but the intelligence Captain Knox had procured 
rendered his story of no especial value. He was 
ordered to have everything ready to march at 
five o'clock in the morning ; and the officers went 
to their couches on the ground, where all the 
troopers, except the guards and half a dozen 
scouts on the roads to the east and the west, had 
gone as soon as they had taken their suppers. 

At four o'clock on the morning of Sept. 3 the 
assembly sounded, and the men promptly aban- 
doned their couches, rolled up their blankets, and 
complied with all the forms required. The horses 
and mules were fed, and breakfast was served 
half an hour later. The column was formed, with 
the train in the rear, flanked by a guard, and the 
command began its march towards Price's Mill. 



356 AT THE FRONT 



CHAPTER XXVII 

THE LAKE AND THE GUERILLAS FOUND 

Both officers and privates were impatient to 
meet the enemy who had been engaged in devas- 
tating the counties along the Henderson and 
Nashville Railroad, and a speed of nearly eight 
miles an hour was kept up. Captain Knox, with 
five members of his company, had been detailed 
as scouts, and were several miles in advance of 
the main body. Major l^jon had formerly been 
Life's companion on his scouting expeditions; 
and he almost wished he was not a field-officer, 
that he might be with him on the present occasion. 
He even mentioned this feeling to the colonel 
when the scouts were detailed. 

" There is nothing to prevent you from going 
with Captain Knox if you wish to do so," replied 
the commander. 

"I always used to go with him on such expe- 
ditions, and I feel lonesome while he is away on 



THE LAKE AND THE GUKllILLAS FOUND 357 

such an errand," replied Deck. " But I suppose 
it is rather undignified for a field-officer to he on 
a scout." 

" That is just as you happen to view the mat- 
ter," said the colonel, laughing at the remark of 
the major. 

" I don't care for the dignity here on these 
barrens ; and if you don't object, I will join Life," 
added Deck. 

"I certainly don't object; on the contrary, I 
should like to have you with the captain, though 
I should not send you out as a scout." 

"All right, Colonel Gordon, then I will soon 
be up with the captain ; there is only one grade 
in rank between us," said the major, as he gave 
the signal to Ceph to go ahead. 

Life had not more than fifteen minutes the 
start of him ; and at the speed of his steed when 
he hurried him, it was not more than fifteen min- 
utes more before he overtook the scouts. Life 
halted his squad as soon as the hindmost man 
reported a horseman aj^proaching them. As he 
came a little nearer, the man reported to the cap- 
tain that it was Major Lyon. He was afraid there 



358 AT THE FRONT 

was something wrong, some hitch in the move- 
ment in which they were engaged. 

" What's the matter, Major Lyon ? Has any- 
thing broken ? " demanded Life as he surveyed 
the swift rider. 

"• Nothing is the matter, and nothing has 
broken," replied Deck, as he reined in his horse 
at the side of the chief scout. " I always used 
to go with you on any expedition of this sort, as 
you know ; and I felt lonesome on the flank of 
my battalion M'hen I thought that you were away 
on your present mission. I spoke to the colonel, 
and he did not object to my going with you ; and 
here I am." 

They started their horses again at a gallop ; for 
Life was desirous to get as far ahead of the regi- 
ment as possible, in order that he might have the 
more time to examine the country before them, 
especially that in the vicinity of the so-called 
lake. Three of the scouts were riding ahead of 
the captain, and the other two in the rear, all of 
them at a considerable distance from him. All 
the men had good horses ; those ahead had been 
directed to make their best speed, and they were 



THE LAKE AND THE GUERILLAS FOUND 359 

evidently doing so, tliough Life and Deck had no 
difficulty in keeping up with them. 

"What time is it now, Deck?" for they did 
not vex themselves with titles when they were 
together, if no others were near them. 

" Half-past six," replied the major, after con- 
sulting his watch. 

" We have been moving for an hour and ■ a 
half ; and at the rate we have come over the 
road, we ought to be near the lake," replied 
Life, as he discovered a negro on foot approach- 
ing them. The captain reined in his steed when 
he was abreast of the man. 

" Can you tell me where Greeger Lake is, 
Snowball ? " inquired Life. 

"Who tole you my name, Mars'r?" asked the 
negro, displaying all the ivory that could have 
come from the tusks of one large elephant. 

" Is your name Snowball ? " 

" No, sar ; but that's what old mars'r calls 
me." 

" Where do you live ? " 

" Wid INIars'r Price dat owns de mill now, and 
he libs near it, on de oder side ob de road," re- 



360 AT THE EF.ONT 

plied Snowball, who wanted to ask the captain 
who he was, but he did not quite dare to do so. 

" Do you know where Greeger Lake is, Snow- 
ball ? " demanded Life in more imperative tones. 

" Yes, sar ; dat's de mill-pond which got de 
name of Greeger Lake from de man clat use to 
own de mill ; but he's dead now, and he was 
drownded in de pond. He was " — 

"• No matter what he was, but tell me where 
the lake is," said Life in very decided tones. 

Before the negro could give the information, 
one of the scouts ahead rode back, and stated 
that there was a road turning off from the one 
that they had followed thus far, and he did not 
know which one to take. 

"Dat's de road to de pond," interposed Snow- 
ball. " But mars'r mustn't go ober dar." 

"Mustn't go over there! Why not?" de- 
manded the captain. 

" Mars'r Price got heaps of trubble. Dem go- 
rillas done rob his house of all his money and 
all de nice tings he hab in his parlor." 

"When did they do that?" inquired the cajj- 
tain. 



THE LAKE AND THE GUERILLAS FOUND 361 

"Arly dis mornin', fo' sunrise," answered Snow- 
ball. "Dey done took mars'r out to a tree, and 
tole him dey hang him if he don't tole whar his 
money was hid, when dey couldn't iind it. He 
done tole 'em, to sabe his life." 

" Where are those guerillas now ? " asked 
Life. 

" Dey done go ober to de oder side of de pond, 
and camp thar, and make missus cook tings for 
'em." 

" Where are you going, Snowball ? " 
" Ober to Franklin fur de Hum Guards." 
" You need not go. We have over a thousand 
soldiers on this road ; and we will see your mas- 
ter set to rights, and get his money back for 
him," added Life. 

" Bress de Lo'd ! " exclaimed Snowball, ex- 
hibiting his ivory again. 

"I want you now. How far off is the mill?" 
"Half a mile from here. Jes' ober de hill." 
The captain had ordered the scout that brought 
information about the road to bring in the other 
two men, and they had already arrived. 

" What do you think about this business. Deck ? 



362 AT THE FRONT 

What had we better do ? " asked Life, turning 
to the major. 

" Leave your men here, and let them take care 
of our horses while we walk up the hill and re- 
connoitre the location," replied Deck so promptly 
as to indicate that he had been thinking of the 
matter before. " Ask the darkey to show us a 
place where they can keep out of sight if any 
one happens this way." 

There were no woods, and but few trees along 
the road ; but Snowball pointed out an " oak 
nob," or low round-topped hill, near the highway, 
behind which the men and horses could be ef- 
fectually concealed, and Sergeant Peters was 
directed to get behind it with the horses. 

"Now lead the way to the lake. Snowball," 
said Life ; and he and Deck started for the road 
that led to it. " Don't let anybody see you or 
see us." 

"Nobody can see you till you done git to de 
top ob de hill," replied the negro ; and what he 
said was plain enough to the officers. 

Kentucky has a considerable variety of surface, 
the eastern part being hilly and even mountain- 



TllK LAKE AND THE GUERILLAS FOUND 363 

ous, though none of the elevations are more than 
three thousand feet higli. The western part of 
the State consists of the "barrens," as they are 
called ; though they are not so barren as the name 
would seem to indicate, and they are only less fer- 
tile than the hilly regions nearer to the Ohio 
River. Portions of this region are what would be 
called rolling country in some of the more north- 
ern States. There are but few elevations which 
could be classed as hills, for hardly one of them is 
fifty feet high. 

But on the barrens are a great many " oak 
knobs," which are, as said before, low, round- 
topped elevations, which take their name from the 
trees that grow on them. They are high enough 
to conceal a mounted man from observation, but 
not lofty enough to be. looked upon as hills which 
reach up to the height of two thousand feet, the 
dividing line between a hill and mountain. This 
is a distinction which was in vogue many years 
ago, and it may not be generally regarded at the 
present time. Of these knobs. Deck and Life had 
seen them farther east when on a scouting expedi- 
tion in the first service of the Riverlawn squadron. 



364 AT THE FRONT 

The two officers followed Snowball up the hill, 
which was hardly entitled to the name, for in 
walking half a mile they had hardly ascended 
one hundred feet. It was a farming country, and 
of reasonable fertility, as the strangers observed 
the still unliarvested crops of hemp and tobacco. 
Deck counted five oak knobs in the fields around 
him, the tallest of which was at the turn of the 
road to the left leading to the miller's house, and 
at the right of it they could see the water of 
Greeger Lake. 

" We must not go much farther on this road, or 
we shall show ourselves to the enemy camped on 
the other side of the lake," suggested Deck, when 
they had gone far enough to see a portion of the 
sheet of water. 

" No, sar ; dey can't see you, fur de knob be- 
fore you hide you from dem," said the negro, who 
doubtless knew the exact location of the camp. 

The officers kept on up the gentle slope for a 
few minutes longer, looking sharply on each side 
of the knoll for any appearance of the guerillas ; 
but they came to the obstruction to their vision 
without seeing them. The captain peered with 



THE LAKE AND THE GUERILLAS FOUND 365 

the utmost care along the side of the knob at the 
left, while the major did the same at the right. 

" They are eating their breakfast," said Life, as 
he discovered a squad of them close to the water, 
in which a flatboat was floating close by the 
shore. 

" What is that boat for, Snowball ? " he asked. 

" Dey make missus cook de meal fur dem, and 
Sam tote it ober to 'em in de boat," answered the 
negro. 

"Who is Sam?" 

" Anoder nigger," grinned Snowball. 

"They have evidently about finished the meal," 
said Deck. " Sam is picking up the pans and 
dishes, and putting them into the boat." 

They were lighting their pipes and cigars, and 
seemed to be inclined to stay where they were till 
they had had their smoke. Deck was Avilling; 
and he drew some paper from his pocket, placed 
his cap on the knob, and then the sheet on the 
cap. Hastily he made a sketch of the lake and 
its surroundings, including the roads, the house 
of the miller, and even the knobs. 

" All right, Deck ; that is precisely what the 



366 AT THE FRONT 

colonel will want, and it will give him the situa- 
tion better than half an hour's talk," said Life, 
when he saw what the major was doing. " But 
I must go down to the road, and send word to 
Colonel Gordon what we have discovered ; " and 
with long strides he began to descend the slope. 
When he reached the main road he found the 
column was in sight. Then he went to the knoll 
where the men and horses were concealed, and 
mounting his steed rode out into the highway, 
and without pausing an instant, galloped towards 
the approaching force. 

" Where is Major Lyon ? " demanded the com- 
mander, fearful that some calamity had overtaken 
him. 

" He is all right. We found the enemy camped 
on the side of Greeger Lake, taking their break- 
fast. The major is making a drawing of the place 
and what there is about it. We shall find him by 
the time we get to the road by which we leave 
this one," replied Life briskly ; but the column 
did not halt, and increased its speed as the cap- 
tain took his place at the head of his company. 

Deck did not take any time to polish up his 



THE LAKE AND THE GUERILLAS FOUND 367 

sketch ; but as soon as he had finished the draw- 
ing, he marked upon it the positions in which he 
thought the different portions of the command 
ought to be placed. He judged that the lake was 
a mile and a half long, and half a mile wide. It 
was not a natural body of water. The elevation 
on each side of it had probably suggested to Mr. 
Greeger, whoever he was, that a mill-pond could 
be* made between them. At what was now the 
foot of the lake, a high dam had been constructed 
of a kind of stone found near it on the creek 
which had flowed through the valley ; and the 
original owner had very successfully carried out 
his idea. After he built it, Deck learned from 
Price, he had raised the dam about ten feet, and 
it had made a sheet of water large enough to be 
dignified by the name of " lake." 

Price said the dam was now twenty feet high, 
and the mill stood by it. It had been placed so 
low that the power had never failed even in the 
dryest times. The mill was reached by a road 
passing the house of the owner ; and a bridge had 
been built over the dam, to enable the miller, who 
was also a farmer, to reach his fields on the other 



368 AT THE FllONT 

side of the lake. The road by which the two 
officers had reached the knob where their obser- 
vations had been made also extended around the 
lake, passing a high bridge over the creek. There 
was no road on the opposite side of the lake, 
where the enemy had camped ; but the slope of 
the hill was smooth, and grass grew upon it for 
several rods from the water. 

When Deck had finished the positions on his 
plan, he hastened down to the main road, but 
found that the column had moved half-way up 
the hill, to make sure that the guerillas should not 
escape. He handed his plan to the colonel, who 
examined it carefully, and then approved even 
the positions. A surprise was out of the question 
in such an open country, and the column advanced 
at full speed. 



THE ENGAGEMENT AT GREEGER LAKE 369 



CHAPTER XXVIII 

THE ENGAGEINIENT AT GREEGER LAKE 

The column completed the ascent of the grad- 
ual slope. Near the knob at the turn of the road 
to the house and the mill, the fence was torn 
away, and the battery went into the field on the 
right of the road, crossed it to another knob at 
the eastern end of the lake, where it unlimbered 
the guns, and Major Batterson placed them on 
each side of the hemispheric elevation, just as 
Deck had marked their position on the plan. 

Major Truman's battalion passed the rest of the 
column, as it had the farthest to go to its posi- 
tion, and galloped along the road that led by 
the miller's house, crossed the bridge near the 
mill, and reached its station on the other side. 
As the squadron had been reduced to three 
companies by the leaving of Captain Ripley's 
company at Millersville, and as the position was 
more isolated than any other. Captain Knox's 



370 AT THE FRONT 

company had been added to Major Truman's 
command. 

Major Belthorpe's battalion was sent by the 
road which led around the east end of the lake 
over the high bridge, to a knob just beyond the 
creek. Colonel Gordon and Major Bornwood 
stationed themselves at the knob where Deck had 
made his sketch of the lake and its surroundings. 
He had marked the stations of the various por- 
tions of the force just as SLuy military man of any 
experience at all would have placed them, and 
there was no especial skill required to do so. 
The colonel found no reason to change any of 
them, and had only filled the vacancy in Tru- 
man's battalion, and added Captain Artie's com- 
pany to ]\Iajor Belthorpe's, leaving Major Lyon's 
command with only three companies ; but as it 
was to be the reserve, it was not required to be 
as strong as the other divisions. 

The appearance of the battery at the head of 
the column had disturbed the guerillas in the 
enjoyment of their smoke, and they were mount- 
ing their horses with all possible haste. They 
formed in six companies, and looked about them 



THE ENGAGEMENT AT GREEGER LAKE 371 

with a bewildered gaze as Major Batterson un- 
limbered his guns. They were armed with mus- 
kets and sabres, and seemed to be very well 
equipped. The captain of the company on the 
left of the line wheeled and fired a volley at the 
battery ; but it was a wasted volley, for the com- 
pany was about half a mile distant from it, and 
doubtless the firearms were of the inferior quality 
the Riverlawns had found in the hands of the 
other similar forces with wliich they had con- 
tended. 

The battery was hardly in position before the 
second battalion, under Major Belthorpe, arrived 
at the knob on the left of the enemy ; and by 
this time the command of the junior major had 
crossed the bridge by the mill, and all the force 
were in their positions. Major Lyon's three com- 
panies having formed in the road between the 
battery and the knob at the junction of the roads, 
which had now become the headquarters of the 
colonel. 

" This is all very well arranged," said Colonel 
Gordon, as he glanced at his conmiand in various 
parts of the field. 



oiZ AT THE FEONT 

" Major Lyon placed the force exceedingly 
well ; and if he don't become a brigadier-general 
within another year, he will not obtain the rank 
to which his merit entitles him," replied Major 
Bornwood. 

" I am disposed to give the major all the credit 
to which he is entitled, — and he is always en- 
titled to a large share of it, — but almost any 
sergeant in this force could have done it just as 
well," added the commander. " I don't see how 
any military man could have done it in a differ- 
ent way." 

" Admirable as it is, it looks easy enough when 
it is done ; but I think it was quite possible for 
any officer to make a blunder in arranging the 
attack," said the staff-officer ; and he proceeded 
to state how the dispositions of the troops might 
have been differently made. He felt that the vic- 
tory was certain to be on the side of the loyal 
force, and he was almost sure that the enemy 
would all be captured. 

Major Batterson had been ordered to open upon 
the guerillas as soon as he had his guns in posi- 
tion, three on each side of the knob, with shells. 



THE ENGAGEMENT AT GREEGER LAKE 373 

And when all was ready for action, the conflict 
began by the whizzing of the first of these 
missiles through the air in a graceful curve, 
the fuse so well timed that it burst directly over 
the heads of the enemy, and not far above them. 
A minute later another shell followed the firsl, 
which burst nearer the ground, scattering its con- 
tents among the ruffians ; and several of them 
dropped from their saddles. 

The enemy were panic-stricken at this rude 
opening upon them, and they began to fall back 
up the slope of the hill, which seemed to them 
to be the only way open to them for retreat ; but 
they had only begun to move, when INIajor Bel- 
thorpe's battalion, the head of his column some 
distance above the knob, dashed into the tobacco- 
field, and galloped across it, till it was halted 
abreast of the middle of the lake. Starting at 
about the same moment. Major Truman dashed 
up the slope on the enemy's right, and galloped 
at a furious speed, with Captain Knox's company 
at the head of the column, till it halted at the 
head of the line of the second battalion ; but 
the left of it was still near the mill. 



374 AT THE FRONT 

The two columns were extended in a curved 
line from the knob to a point near the mill, the 
centre of it far enough back from the lake to be 
out of the reach of the shells. When the retreat- 
ing guerillas found this line of cavalry moving 
with exceeding briskness in their rear, they halted ; 
for this avenue of escape seemed to be closed to 
them, unless they fought their way through the 
column. Still the shells were pouring in on 
them at intervals of one minute, and the guerillas 
were falling from their saddles dead or badly 
wounded. But the enemy had become desperate 
by this time. Their only hope of escape from 
the death-dealing shells was by cutting their 
way through the line which had formed for the 
charge. 

Colonel Gordon and his companion at the first 
knob, as they called it to distinguish it from 
the other two included in the field of operations, 
were using their field-glasses in examining the 
enemy. They were especiall}^ looking for the of- 
ficers in command of the body, particularly for 
the commander. They readily identified the cap- 
tains, for each of them was with his conipanj' ; 



THE ENGAGEMENT AT GREEGER LAKE 375 

but SO far they had been unable to find the 
chief of the body, if there was such a personage 
among them. 

" Perhaps there is no officer corresponding to 
the commander of a battalion," suggested the 
staff-officer. 

" There must be some one in chief command, 
some Squire Cameron, unless he is sleeping oif 
the whiskey he drank before his breakfast," re- 
plied the colonel. 

In front of the miller's house his whole fam- 
ily, including several black men and women, 
were gathered to witness the conflict. Snowball 
had wandered up as far as the first knob, and 
was watching the affair with the most intense 
interest. 

" Snowball, who is that man coming this way 
from the house ? " asked Colonel Gordon, who 
had spoken to him before. 

"Dat's Mars'r Price, de miller; he lib in dat 
house yender," replied the negro. 

" Do you know of how much money the gue- 
rillas robbed him?" 

"No, Mars'r Ossifer ; he don't tole me." 



376 AT THE FRONT 

But the miller himself was coming, and he 
could answer the question. 

There was a pause in the conflict after the 
fourth gun of the battery had delivered its shell ; 
for the guerillas in their desperation had evi- 
dently decided to cut their way through the 
column in their rear, and they had approached 
so near the Union force that they were now out 
of danger from the shells. The battalions did 
not charge ; for the majors were sure that they 
would drive the enemy before them to the lake, 
and thus bring their men within the scope of 
the shells. But Major Batterson had stopped his 
firing when he saw the situation on the slope. 
The colonel wrote an order to him to cease fir- 
ing till he received further orders, though the 
Riverlawn officers did not know it; and thus the 
assault seemed to be " hung up " for the present. 

The commander also sent a mounted orderly 
to the majors on the other side of the lake, with 
the information that he had ordered the battery 
to cease firing. By this time the miller had 
reached the first knob, and the colonel desired 
to obtain some information from him. Mr. Price 



THE ENGAGEMENT AT GREEGER LAKE 377 

was a man of middle age, who talked and acted 
like a person of sound sense. 

" I am glad to see you, Mr. Price," said the 
colonel when he came within speaking distance. 

" Well, I reckon I'm glad to see you ; and I 
wish you had been here early this morning, for 
I have been robbed of all the money I had in 
the world, and these imps of Satan have loaded 
the two wagons you see on the other side of the 
pond with grain and flour from my mill. I 
reckon you are in command of the soldiers here," 
replied the miller. 

" This is Colonel Gordon, commanding the Riv- 
erlawn Cavalry and the battery attached to it," 
interposed Major Bornwood by way of introduc- 
tion. 

"• Of how much money did the guerillas rob 
you, Mr. Price?" asked the colonel. 

"As near as I can remember, I had two hun- 
dred and forty-six dollars in gold and some sil- 
ver in the pocket-book I had to give up to the 
head of the imps," answered the owner of the 
mill. 

"You had to give it up, you say?" 



378 AT THE FRONT 

" Yes, sir ; I had it hid away under the floor 
in the garret of my house yonder," he answered, 
as he pointed to his residence. " The head of 
the gang said he would hang me till I was dead 
if I did not give it up; and they took me to 
a tree on the farm, and threw a rope over one 
of the limbs. I thought I would stick it out, 
and let them hang me, for I didn't like to lose 
so much money in just that way ; but my wife 
and daughter begged so hard for me to give in, 
that I did so at last."' 

" Do you think they would have hung you ? " 
inquired the colonel. 

"I reckon they would, for I know they did 
such a thing over in Elkton. The head of the 
gang went with me to the garret of the house ; 
and I took up the board where it was hid, and 
gave him the pocket-book. He counted the 
money, and said it was all right. A man over 
in Trenton paid me two hundred dollars for flour 
a few days ago to send South, and he must have 
told this robber that he did so. I wouldn't take 
no Confederate bills for it; and he paid me in 
gold, or he wouldn't have got the flour." 




They threw a Rope over One of the Limbs 



THE ENGAGEMENT AT GREEGER LAKE 379 

"You sell flour to go South, and I conclude 
you are a Secessionist yourself," suggested the 
colonel very mildly. 

" No, Colonel Gordon, I'm not," replied Mr. 
Price. "But living where I do, it is hard to be 
a Union man. I mind my own business, keep 
my views to myself ; but I believe in the old 
Union, and if I were a young man without a 
large family to support, I would enlist in the 
Union army." 

"When my officers met Snowball in the road, 
he told them he was going over to Franklin for 
the Home Guard. Did you send him on that 
errand? " 

" I did ; and between you and me, I belong 
to that company, and had a right to call upon 
it for help. I served in the company when it 
went over to Hickory Flat to save a Union man's 
property from being burned by a mob of Seces- 
sionists." 

Major Bornwood interviewed Snowball in re- 
gard to the truth of this last statement ; and the 
negro confirmed it, and said he went with his 
master, and carried his rifle over for him. The 



380 AT THE FRONT 

colonel and the staff-officer concluded then that 
the miller had told the truth. 

" Do you know who commands this gang of 
ruffians, Mr. Price ? " asked the colonel, dropping 
the other matter. 

" I don't know him ; but I heard some of the 
other imps call him Major Gossley, as I under- 
stood the name." 

"All right, Mr. Price. Where is that tree of 
of which you spoke ? " 

"It is over by that knob, with the rope still 
hanging from the limb," replied the miller. 

" I see it. Don't remove the rope from it ; for 
we may want to use it, though I hope not. I 
think we can restore to you all the property you 
have lost, as you are a member of a Home 
Guard, and not of a State Guard." 

" I shall feel happy if I get my money back," 
added Mr. Price, who saw that the commander 
" meant business " in his own line, and he had 
become quite cheerful. 

By this time the mounted orderly had delivered 
his information to the majors on the other side 
of the lake. The effect was immediately per- 



THE ENGAGEMEJ^T AT GliEEGEE, LAKE 381 

ceived. The column had formed in double Ime, 
and suddenly " stiffened up " from the apathy of 
waiting for the movement. Suddenly it dashed 
forward upon the line of guerillas, making a tre- 
mendous charge. But the enemy consisted of 
fighting men, it was evident ; and they stood theif 
ground with decided firmness. 

Both officers at the first . mound used their 
glasses, and they saw that a furious fight had 
been inaugurated. Life's company of giant Ken- 
tuckians near the centre of the line made short 
work of the pygmy Southerners in front of them ; 
and in a few moments they had hewn their way 
entirely through the enemy's column, driving be- 
fore them all who were not killed or wounded. 
The other captains went into the fight at the 
head of their companies ; and the enemy began 
to give way, for they were outnumbered in the 
ratio of two to three, even with three companies 
of the Union force not engfaged. 

When Life made his break .into the ranks of 
the guerillas, the major suggested that one com- 
pany of the reserve be sent over to follow him 
up ; but the colonel declined to do so. Then 



382 AT THE FRONT 

both of the observers mounted their horses, and 
rode over to the second knob, where the battery 
was, passing Major Lyon's battalion on the way. 
The Union line had pressed the enemy so hard 
that it had driven the guerillas nearly to the 
border of the lake. 



THE GIBBET-TREE BY THE KNOB 383 



CHAPTER XXIX 

THE GIBBET-TREE BY THE KNOB 

As soon as Colonel Gordon reached the second 
knob he ordered Major Batterson to load his guns 
with canister; but as two of them were charged 
with shells, they were permitted to be used as 
prepared. The commander sent one of the two 
orderlies who followed him wherever he went, to 
summon Major Lyon to his presence, 

"• The next movement of the enemy is appar- 
ent," said the colonel as soon as Deck saluted 
him. " You will march your battalion to the 
south side of the lake, and post them near the 
water in front of the knob and tree there ; then 
wait for further orders." 

Deck saluted, and then hastened to his com- 
mand, ordering the captains to move their com- 
panies at a gallop to the point directed by the 
colonel. The Riverlawns on the north side of the 
lake were still pressing the enemy, now within 



384 AT THE FRONT 

ten rods of the water. On the shore of the lake 
was an officer dressed in a curious uniform, with 
gilt leaves on his shoulders ; and the commander 
concluded that this was Major Gossley, in command 
of the guerillas. He was full six feet high ; and 
if his pluck were equal to his bulk, he would not 
permit the engagement to go against him while 
it was possible to save the day. He was mounted 
on a horse much larger than most of those that 
carried his followers. 

Colonel Gordon observed him very closely. He 
was doing his best to rally the companies as they 
■yielded to the tremendous charges of the River- 
lawns ; but his efforts seemed to be practically 
useless, for the ruffians still fell back towards the 
lake, and he could not check the retreat of his 
force. This was before INIajor Lyon's command 
had been ordered to the south side of the lake. 
A few minutes later the colonel sent off the 
orderly for Deck; but before the major could 
reach the position assigned to the first battalion, 
the guerillas broke completely, and fled to the 
lake. 

Gossley evidently ordered the battalion to swim 



THE GIBBET-TREE BY THE KNOB 385 

their horses over the pond to the other side ; and 
in a very few minutes all of his companies had 
waded into the water, which was shallow near the 
shore. The Riverlawns were disposed to follow 
them, and fight it out to a finish in the lake. 
Colonel Gordon did not believe in this step ; for 
there was no necessity of making an aquatic en- 
gagement of it, when there was plenty of land 
around for the purpose. He rode to the most 
exposed place on the shore near the second knob ; 
and drawing his sabre, he waved it from left to 
right, as a signal for the line to move back. 

At the same time he sent a message to Major 
Belthorpe not to swim the lake, and to send the 
companies of Captains Gadsbury and Barnes to 
the other side, where Deck's battalion had just 
appeared. The officers with the troopers pressing 
the enemy into the lake evidently understood the 
signal of the colonel, and moved their men back 
from the water. The two companies sent for 
soon appeared, and the captains were directed to 
report to Major Lyon. 

Major Gossley, who was no major at all, took 
to the water himself, as he liad doubtless ordered 



386 AT THE FRONT 

his command to do. As soon as the horses were 
clear of the shore, and the Riverlawns had fallen 
back about ten rods from it, Colonel Gordon or- 
dered Major Batterson to open fire upon the 
enemy, using the two shells first. 

" I am going over to the south side of the pond 
now. Major," said he. " When I hoist my cap on 
the end of my sword, you will cease firing." 

The colonel had a blood liorse under him, and 
he galloped at a furious speed to the south shore. 
He had not reached the first knob when the roar 
of the cannon and the whizzing of the shell en- 
gaged his attention ; and without decreasing the 
gait of his steed, he watched the effect. Only 
three saddles were emptied, though doubtless sev- 
eral other guerillas had been wounded. The 
second shell followed with about the same effect. 
The third shot sent a charge of canister into the 
midst of the swimming body, and the result was 
more destructive. A panic had taken possession 
of the guerillas. Some of them swam their steeds 
back to the shore they had just left, and were 
made prisoners as soon as they landed. 

Major Gossley was urging forward his horse ; 



THE GIBBET-TREE BY THE KNOB 387 

and if ever a man was alarmed, he was. He was 
making signals to the troopers on the shore, and 
especially to Colonel Gordon, who had taken a 
place by the side of Major Lyon on the shore. 
He was swinging his cap in the air. 

"What does he mean by that, Deck?" asked 
the colonel. 

" I'm sure I don't know," replied the major. 

Finding that his signals were not understood, 
or were not heeded, he shouted something in a 
loud voice, which neither officers nor soldiers 
could make out. The guns continued to pour 
canister into the guerillas, who were still drop- 
ping from their saddles into the water. When 
the demoralized horde had reached the middle 
of the lake, a bright suggestion seemed to come 
into the head of the leader. He drew his sword, 
which had before been a useless weapon to him, 
and grasping it in the middle of the blade, he 
extended it with the handle towards the shore, 
and kept it moving up and down. 

"It is easy enough to understand that," said 
the colonel, as he took off his cap, drew his sabre, 
and hoisted it in the air as high as he could 



388 AT THE FRONT 

reach, making the signal in which he had in- 
structed Major Batterson. The artillery officer 
had been on the lookout for it, and had directed 
Lieutenants Walker, Castleton, and Phillips to 
do the same ; for he thought it was time to cease 
firing at the miserable villains in the water. It 
was promptly seen, and not another gun was fired. 
An orderly was sent to Major Belthorpe, and a 
second to Major Truman, with orders to move to 
tlie south side of the lake ; for the battle had been 
fought and won. 

When the firing ceased, after the surrender of 
the chief by signal, the guerillas in the water 
made better headway towards the shore. But 
some of them were wounded so badly that they 
could not manage their horses. 

The boat in which Sam had carried the break- 
fast over to the guerillas was at the shore, and 
Deck sent a couple of men in it to assist those 
who were unal)le to care for themselves. But 
little could l)e done with a single flatboat com- 
pared with the need. There was a large pile of 
lumber on the shore, with wliich the iniller in- 
tended to erect an out-building ; and Deck ordered 



THE GIBBET-TREE BY THE KNOB 389 

Captain Barnes to have a raft built by his men, 
and sent to the rescue of the others. The miller, 
with his negroes, assisted in this work. 

"Do you know what Gossley did with the 
pocket-book when j^ou gave it to him, Mv. Price ? " 
asked the colonel when he met the miller. 

"I do know, for I saw him put it into the 
pocket inside of his vest," replied Price. 

In the course of another half-hour the gueril- 
las had all landed, and were disarmed by the 
troopers as they came on the shore. Gossley, as 
soon as he made out the colonel, presented his 
sword to him. The commander took it, and in- 
timated that he had some further business with 
the chief, which must be disposed of before any- 
tliing else could be done. The guerilla chief 
asked the colonel if he had any whiskey near ; 
and the latter replied that no liquor was used 
in the command except on prescription of the 
doctor. 

" I am informed by Mr. Price that you robbed 
him of a large sum of money," continued the colo- 
nel ; " that you threatened to hang him to that 
tree if he did not give it up." 



390 ■ AT THE FRONT 

" That's my affair, and I reckon I have nothing 
to say about it," replied Gossley, as he placed 
his hand on his chest, as if to assure himself that 
the pocket-book was safe where he had placed it. 

" I shall take the liberty to make it my affair 
also," added the commander. " I will trouble 
you to return the money to Mr. Price, from whom 
you took it." 

" I will not do it ! " exclaimed Gossley, fold- 
ing his arms, and struggling to look dignified. 

"Then I shall be obliged to require one of 
Mr. Price's negroes to take from your dead 
body, at the foot of that tree yonder, the pocket- 
book in your inside vest pocket," said Colonel 
Gordon, pointing to the tree with the rope still 
dangling from one of its limbs. 

" What do you mean, sir ? " demanded Goss- 
ley, with a heavy frown on his brow, and straight- 
ening still more his tall form. 

" I think you can understand what I mean 
without any elaborate explanations," replied the 
officer. 

"I do not understand you, Colonel, for I sup- 
pose that is what you are" — 



THE GIBBET-TREE BY THE KNOB 391 

"That is what I am." 

"If you will explain what you meant by that 
remark about the negro at the foot of that tree, I 
shall be obliged to you. I am an officer like your- 
self, sir ; and I am entitled to an explanation." 

" Have you a commission from the Confede- 
rate government, or any other authority?" 

" I have no commission except that signed by 
the six captains of my companies." 

" That is no commission at all ; and I look 
upon you as simply the chief of a gang of gueril- 
las, with no authority to make war against the 
United States, and certainly not upon peaceable 
citizens like Mr. Price." 

" What makes you an officer if I am not one ? " 
demanded the chief, with an expression of coun- 
tenance implying contempt. 

" The commission of the best government that 
God ever permitted to exist, — the United States 
of America," returned the colonel with sufficient 
energy to emphasize his reply. 

" God will not permit it to exist much longer, 
for it is already split in twain," sneered the gue- 
rilla chief. 



392 AT THE FRONT 

"With a million men in the field, and more 
millions behind them, the rebellion will be crushed 
in due time. But you have not even the author- 
ity of your unrecognized government. I will 
not debate this matter with such a person as you 
are," said Colonel Gordon, who veiled his con- 
tempt for the man beneath a dignified coun- 
tenance. 

" Then, will you tell me what you meant by 
the remark I asked you to explain ? " demanded 
the freebooter chief. 

" I will if your understanding is not equal 
to the interpretation of it," answered the loyal 
officer; and all the majors and some of the cap- 
tains listened to him with intense satisfaction. 
"After you had searched and plundered the 
house of Mr. Price, and you could not find the 
money you had been informed was paid to him, 
you brought him to that tree, and put the rope 
that still hangs there about his neck. You threat- 
ened to hang him if he did not give up the two 
hundred and forty-six dollars he happened to have 
at the time, and which he had concealed in the 
garret of his house," continued the colonel, re- 



THE GIBBET-TREE BY THE KNOB 393 

hearsing the events of the morning as the miller 
had related them to him. " Have I stated the 
case correctly ? " 

"I suppose you have," replied Gossley dog- 
gedly. 

"Very well; and as you decline to return the 
money to its legal owner, I propose to serve you 
in the same manner, and not to waste any more 
time about it." 

"Do the Yankee officers hang their prisonei's? " 
asked the guerilla chief, with an expression on 
his ruddy face that he had put a " clincher " to 
the colonel. 

" Not when they are soldiers ; but when they 
are freebooters, highwaymen, acting without even 
the authority of the so-called Confederate govern- 
ment, they may do so as a measure of just retalia- 
tion, as in the present instance." 

" I hung no man," said Gossley, as doggedly as 
before. 

" But you had the rope around the neck of 
your intended victim, and would have done so, as 
the highwayman takes the pui-se of the peaceful 
traveller at the point of the revolver. But I will 



394 AT THE FRONT 

talk no more about it. Captain Knox," said the 
colonel, as he saw Life near him with his mouth 
half open listening to the conversation. 

Life stepped briskly forward, and saluted the 
colonel, realizing that he was to take part in an 
act of retributive justice. 

" Captain Knox, take this man over to that tree 
by the knob, and put the rope dangling from it 
around his neck. At the order from me, your 
men will walk away with the other end of the 
rope, and swing him up," said Colonel Gordon 
very deliberately. The commander ordered the 
first four of his company to assist their captain. 
" Mr. Gossley, if you have any prayers to say, I 
will wait five minutes for you to complete your 
devotions. That is a favor you did not extend 
to Mr. Price." 

"No, he did not," added the miller. 

" Are you in earnest. Colonel Gordon ? " de- 
manded the chief. 

" I am in earnest ; and as sure as there is a 
good and just God in heaven, I will have jon 
hanged on that tree till you are dead, if you do 
not return to Mr. Price the pocket-book you stole 



THE GIBBET-TREE BY THE KNOB. 395 

from him; and it must be done before the rope 
is put around your neck, for then it will be too 
late," exclaimed the commander. 

" The money is mine now ; I will not give it 
up," said the guerilla. 

" Take him away. Captain Knox," added the' 
commander. 

Gossley held back as though he intended to 
resist ; and Life seized him by the collar of his 
coat, one of his men taking him on the other side. 
They dragged him to the tree, the miller follow- 
ing them, calling Snowball to go with him. The 
victim was actually trembling with terror in spite 
of the bold face he had put upon the situation. 
Before they reached the tree Gossley said some- 
thing to the man on his right, and then drew the 
pocket-book from the inside pocket. The tall 
Kentuckian halted. 



896 AT THE FKONT 



CHAPTER XXX 

DISCIPLINING THE GUERILLA CHIEF 

The man on tlie right of the prisoner had 
loosened his hokl so that Gossley coukl take the 
pocket-book from the inside pocket of his vest. 
The moment Life saw it, he released his hold 
upon the intended victim, whose nerves were 
not strong enough to enable him to bear the strain 
upon them. The colonel had assured him that 
it would be too late after the rope had been put 
around his neck, and he had taken time by the 
forelock before he reached the tree. Possibly at 
his last refusal to give up the mone}^ he had some 
hope that his gang would come to his assistance; 
but there were half a dozen companies of Union 
cavalry between them and the gibbet, and his 
men were prudent enough not to interfere with 
the proceedings. 

Gossley tendered the pocket-book to Captain 
Knox, who declined to take it, very much to the 



DISCIPLINING THE GUERILLA CHIEF 397 

astonishment of Gossley, who was still shaking 
with terror. 

" Do you mean to hang me, though I have 
offered to give up the pocket-hook with the money 
in it?" demanded the prisoner. 

" It was the colonel's order tliat you return the' 
money to Mr. Price," replied Life. "My busi- 
ness was only to hang you, and I have nothing to 
do with the pocket-book. If you are ready to 
give it back to him, we will return to Colonel 
Gordon, and let him see you do it." 

"I am ready to give it up, but you need not 
mortify me any more," pleaded the victim, who 
had some pride left in him. 

Life made no reply except by a chuckle at the 
idea of mortifying such " carrion," as he had 
called him more than once in his conversation 
with Lieutenant Shapley ; and he grasped his man 
by the collar again, his assistant following his 
example. They led him back to the position of 
the colonel, who had observed the proceedings 
with intense interest, for he would have rejoiced 
to escape what he regarded as his solemn duty. 

" What now, Captain Knox ? " asked Colonel 



398 AT THE FEONT 

Gordon, as the prisoner was halted in front of 
him. 

" He offered the pocket-book to me ; but I 
would not take it, for you ordered that he should 
return it to Mr. Price," replied the Kentuckian. 

" Mr. Gossley, Mr. Price is still here. If you 
wish to return the money you stole from him, now 
is your time," said the commander. " Otherwise 
the hanging will proceed as ordered before." 

" That captain might as well have taken it 
when I offered it to him," answered the intended 
victim. 

"I always obey orders," added Life. 

The guerilla walked over to the spot where the 
miller was standing, and doggedly tendered the 
pocket-book to him ; and he was glad enough 
to see it again. His neck bore the marks of the 
rope that had been put around it, and he had 
lived longer that day than in any former year. 
He took his treasure, and then walked up to the 
colonel with it in his hand. 

" Open it, Mr. Price, and count your money ; if 
any of it is missing, the rope may still be wanted." 

The miller seated himself on a log, and pro- 



DISCIPLINING THE GUERILLA CHIEF 399 

ceeded to count the gold and the other money. 
He was quite interested in the operation, for he 
was afraid the rohber had appropriated some por- 
tion of it. He went over it twice, and then 
reported that one half-eagle was gone ; but the 
silver and the bills were all right. 

" Am I to be hung for five dollare ? " demanded 
Gossley, filled with indignation ; and he began to 
feel about in the pocket where the proceeds of the 
robbery had been placed. 

" I hope not," replied the commander ; and he 
was sincere in what he said. 

At that moment Gossley took from the pocket 
the missing coin, and handed it to the miller. 

" I did not mean to keep that piece ! " pro- 
tested the guerilla, evidently believing it was not 
too late to hang him. " The piece must have 
dropped out of the pocket-book." 

" I don't believe you did intend to keep it, Mr. 
Gossley, for your present conduct proves that you 
did not," added Colonel Gordon, as he asked the 
miller to show him the receptacle for his gold. 

The commander looked at it, and found that 
the pocket where the gold was had an opening of 



400 AT THE FRONT 

half its width at one end; and he told the miller 
it was not a suitable place to keep his money, 
except the bills ; a shot-bag was much better. 

" Are .you satisfied now, Mr. Price ? " he asked. 

" Of course I am ; for I expected I should 
never see my money again," replied the miller. 
" I have lost enough without having my money, 
all I had in the world, stolen from me." 

"What else have you lost, Mr. Price?" 

" The villains took a clock that cost me thirty 
dollars, and two revolvers from my chamber," 
answered the miller. 

" Where are the clock and the revolvers, Mr. 
Gossley ? " demanded the colonel imperatively. 

" I reckon the clock is in oue of the wagons on 
the other side of the pond, and I don't know 
where the revolvei'S are. I suppose they will 
make another hanging case," replied the guerilla 
chief, frowning and looking ugly. " I haven't 
got them ; but I suppose some of my men took 
them, and they did not bring them to me." 

" I shall not hang you on account of the weap- 
ons ; but they must be given up. What else 
have you lost, Mr. Price ? " 



DISCIPLINING THE GUERILLA CHIEF 401 

" I don't know ; but the women-folks can tell 
you." 

"Send for them." 

The wife and daughter of the miller, with sev- 
eral smaller children, were gathered near the knob, 
watching the proceedings, and Snowball was sent 
for them. They mentioned several articles that 
had been taken from the house, and a memoran- 
dum was made of them. A squad from one of 
the companies was sent over for the two wagons, 
which had stood all the forenoon with the mules 
harnessed to them. The guerillas were formed 
in line, dismounted, and then a searching-party 
was sent along the lines, who required every man 
to show what he had in his pockets. Revolvers 
were found on two of the guerillas, who in- 
sisted that they had brought them from Tennes- 
see, from whence they came. 

The weapons stolen from the house belonged to 
Mr. Price, who was sent for to examine them. 
One of them, he claimed, belonged to him ; and he 
mentioned a file mark upon them before he saw 
them. Lieutenant Fronklyn, who was in charge 
of the searching-party, declared that one of them 



402 AT THE FRONT 

belonged to the miller, and the other did not. 
No one could say that the search had not been 
fairly conducted. On a member of another com- 
pany a revolver was discovered upon which the 
same marks were found, and it was returned to 
the owner. Other membere of the several com- 
panies had most of the articles mentioned by 
the wife and daughter of the miller and noted 
in the schedule, and they were taken from the 
plunderers. In fact, nearly everything in the list 
was reclaimed, to the great delight of the family. 

The examination of the contents of the wagons 
was the next thing in order; and the clock was 
found, carefully packed in the straw at the bot- 
tom of the vehicle. The grain and flour which 
had been stolen from the mill were unloaded, and 
several other articles belonging to the family 
were discovered when they were removed. Mrs. 
Price declared that they had recovered everything 
of any consequence that had been taken from the 
house, and the miller had obtained all the grain 
and flour he had lost. 

The guerillas had been required to take all 
their wounded to a hospital which had been estab- 



DISCIPLINING THE GUERILLA CHIEF 403 

lished near the knoll on the other side of the lake. 
There was a surgeon belonging to the lawless 
gang ; and with the assistance of Dr. Farnwright, 
the sufferers had been cared for. There were 
many dead ruffians collected near the dam at the 
lower end of the lake, and the prisoners wei'e 
compelled to bury them in a spot indicated by the 
miller. 

Long as it has taken to narrate the incidents of 
the forenoon, it was not much after noon when 
the work seemed to be completed. The wagon- 
train of the loyal force had been halted in the 
road leading from the highway. The haversacks 
of the Riverlawns were well filled with provis- 
ions; but Mr. Price, who had butchered an ox 
the day before, insisted upon cooking a meal for 
the men who had rendered such valuable service 
to him, and his wife and daughter had been at 
work upon it since eleven o'clock. The officers 
were invited to the house, and served with an 
abundance of beefsteaks, rye and wheat biscuits, 
and other solid food. As fast as the women 
could prepare it, the same food was sent out to 
the men ; and they all fared substantially, though 



404 AT THE FRONT 

not elegantly, that day, after the active employ- 
ment and the march of the morning. 

" Where shall my men get their dinner, Colonel 
Gordon ? " asked Gossley, after he had seen the 
loyal troops so well fed. 

" I don't know ; I am not the caterer of your 
gang," replied the commander. 

" Won't you order Price to get a dinner such as 
your men have had, for my soldiers?" he asked. 

"No, sir; I will not!" answered Colonel Gor- 
don very decidedly. " Your men are not soldiers, 
they are nothing but brigands ; and I will do noth- 
ing to assist in feeding them, for I have been in- 
formed that there is plenty of pork, bacon, and 
corn-bread in your wagons." 

" But that is rather hard fare for my men after 
seeing yours fed with beefsteaks, potatoes, and 
biscuits." 

" Good enough for banditti," answered the 
colonel. 

"This is not generous. Colonel." 

" Perhaps not ; but I mean to l)e just before I 
am generous. A word more, and perhaps about 
the last I shall have to say to you. You will feed 



DISCIPLINING THE GUERILLA CHIEF 405 

your men, if yon intend to do so, at once ; and at 
three o'clock they will march for Franklin, with 
my force in their rear. If they do not behave 
themselves properly, and keep in the direct road, 
I will open upon them with the guns of my bat- 
tery," said Colonel Gordon in the emphatic speetfh 
he used when the occasion required. 

"You drive us before you to Franklin, then?" 
asked the chief. 

" I certainly shall not leave you here where you 
can undo all that I have done to-day, and rob Mr. 
Price of his money, his grain, and his flour, as 
you did early this morning,'" replied the com- 
mander. " I was sent here by the general of the 
Department to dispose of six hundred guerillas ; 
and I think I have done my work well so far, and 
I don't intend to leave it half done." 

" I see that you have no more consideration for 
my men than you would have for the same num- 
ber of mules." 

" Mules are respectable animals compared with 
the banditti you have brought over here to kill and 
plunder tlie people of this section of the country. 
The consideration you and your gang need is the 



406 AT THE FRONT 

gallows, or long terms of imprisonment ; and if 
the civil government were in working order in 
this part of Kentucky, I should hand you over, 
especially the officers, to the consideration of the 
sheriff and jurors. But enough has been said; 
you have nothing to expect or hope for from me. 
If your men are not fed and ready to march at 
three o'clock, they will move on empty stomachs." 

" What is to be done with us when we get to 
Franklin?" asked Gossley. 

"I don't know, and I have nothing more to 
say," replied the colonel, as he stretched himself 
on the grass by the knob, to rest himself after the 
fatigue of the day. The quartermaster of the 
gang distributed bacon and corn-bread to the com- 
panies, and they dined upon their own fare. The 
loj^al cavalrymen had fed their horses and mules, 
and they were ready to move before the time 
named by the commander. The ruffians did not 
take much interest in their dinner, and some 
of them were seen to throw their rations into 
the lake. At a quarter before three the bugles 
sounded, and the companies of prisoners, for 
such they really were, were required to form 



DISCIPLINING THE GUERILLA CHIEF 407 

in column of fours ; but they were in a re- 
bellious state of mind, and Captain Knox was 
sent to regulate them. Many of them were 
brought to their senses by blows with the flat of 
the sabre, and they were finally in condition to 
march. But it was decided finally, after they had 
behaved themselves badly at the camp, to send 
Major Belthorpe's battalion on ahead of them to 
keep them in order. 

" What can I do with them finally. Major 
Bornwood?" asked the colonel. 

" They are an elephant on your hands," replied 
the staff-officer. "You have disarmed them, so 
that they can't do any more mischief. Didn't I 
hear that there was a Home Guard in Franklin, 
or in that vicinity ? " 

" There is such a body here, for Price told me 
that he was a member of it," returned the colonel. 

"Then I advise you to do as you did in Mil- 
lersville, — turn them over to this body." 

" I will do so if they will take them ; but this 
town is only a few miles distant from Greeger 
Lake, and the ruffians would return and do their 
work there over again. I advised Price not to 



408 AT THE FRONT 

have any money in his house ; and I believe there 
is a bank in Franklin. However, we have done 
all we could for him, and we cannot remain here 
to protect him. We will see what we can do 
with the ruffians when we reach our present des- 
tination." 

The prisoners made no little trouble on the 
march, a whole company bolting into the field, at- 
tempting to escape. But Captain Abbey's com- 
mand was sent after them, and fired into them 
with their carbines. Then they were surrounded 
and driven back. In a couple of hours the force 
reached Franklin ; and Major Bornwood hastened 
to the post-office, where he obtained several letters 
for himself and others. 



MAJOR LYON'S march INTO TENNESSEE 409 



CHAPTER XXXI 

MAJOR LYON's SIARCH INTO TENNESSEE 

Major Lyon received three letters, the most 
important of which was from his father, who de- 
clared that he had entirely recovered from his 
wound, and his doctor considered him in fit condi- 
tion to return to duty. He intended to start the 
following morning for Franklin, in company with 
Banks, his orderly, who had been left at Somer- 
set to assist in taking care of him. Deck reported 
this news to Captain Artie, who happened to 
be near him; and they rejoiced together that 
their father was restored to liis usual excellent 
health. 

Another letter was from his sister Hope, now 
fifteen years old. She told him all about every- 
thing at Riverlawn, and all were well. He passed 
this one to his brotlier, and turned to the third. 
As soon as he recognized the handwriting, he put 
it in his pocket; it was from Kate Belthorpe, and 



410 AT THE FRONT 

he preferred to read it in the quiet of his tent. 
It was not very often that he received a letter 
from her, and those he did get were simply 
friendly epistles ; for Deck was a bashful young 
man, and he would not have dared to write what 
is called a love-letter, though he did a great deal 
of pleasant thinking over his relations with the 
young lady whom he had rescued from the clutch 
of a ruffian during the exciting scenes which pre- 
ceded the mustering-in of the two original com- 
panies of the Riverlawn Cavalry. 

The guerilla band, hardly numbering five hun- 
dred men since the affair at Greeger Lake, had 
been camped in a field just outside the town, with 
one company from each battalion acting as a guard 
over them. It was still the third day of Septem- 
ber when the force arrived in Franklin, and it had 
not yet been decided what should be done with 
them. They were a crowd of reckless ruffians, 
such as the Riverlawns had encountered before, 
the meanest of the " white trash " that could be 
collected in a Southern State ; and it was not 
prudent to turn them loose upon the country. 
They were ready to plunder any plantation that 



MAJOR LYON'S march INTO TENNESSEE 411 

would afford them a harvest, without regard to 
the politics of the owner, 

Mr. Price was fearful that they would be set 
free, and make another visit to the lake. He rode 
over to Franldin late in the day to satisfy himself, 
and had deposited his money in the safe of the 
bank. Colonel Gordon could not say what he 
should be obliged to do with the ruffians ; but he 
would not release them unless he was obliged to 
do so in case he was attacked by a force of the 
enemy. He had allowed them to retain their 
two wagons, with the mules, after they had been 
lightened by the discharge of all the plundered 
property they contained. All their provisions of 
bacon and bread, and the few tents they had, were 
not disturbed. 

When the tents for the force had been pitched 
on the field. Major Bornwood retired to the mar- 
quee occupied by the colonel and himself, and pro- 
ceeded to read the voluminous despatches sent to 
him by order of the general. But they contained 
no order relating to the Riverlawns, except that 
they were to remain at Franklin till their des- 
tination should be given. When he had disposed 



412 AT THE FRONT 

of them, Colonel Gordon, who had issued his or- 
ders for the niglit, joined him in the tent, expect- 
ing to be informed to what locality the regiment 
was to be sent ; but the staff-officer had no orders 
for him except to remain where he was. 

" No orders ! " exclaimed the colonel, when the 
major had stated the fact. " I supposed we should 
be needed at some threatened point." 

"I had supposed so myself," replied Major. 
Bornwood. " But the general is in rather a har- 
assing position. He is at Nashville, watching and 
collecting information in regard to the movements 
of General Bragg. The enemy's objective point 
now is to get possession of the Ohio River, where 
they can menace Cincinnati, and capture Louis- 
ville. Kirby Smith's army is moving in that 
direction. The general is in doubt whether Bragg 
intends to capture Nashville, or move across the 
State and take Louisville. All we can do is to 
wait for further developments." 

" How long are we to remain here, Major ? " 
asked the colonel. 

" Of course I don't know any better than you 
do. The railroad and the telegraph are open to 



MAJOR LYON's MAUCH INTO TENNESSEE 413 

Nashville, which is only about fifty miles from 
Franklin ; and we may get an order at any hour of 
day or night to march." 

" I don't seek to know what does not concern 
me, but I don't care to feed five hundred ruffian 
prisoners for a week or more," answered Colonel 
Gordon. "Their rations, poor as they are, will 
last them only a day or two longer, their quarter- 
master informed me this afternoon. If they were 
prisoners from the Confederate army I should not 
object." 

" I see ; and they are an elephant on your 
hands," added the major, musing. 

" I have ordered Hickman, the quartermaster 
of our force, to purchase additional rations for our 
own force ; and they are not readily to be obtained 
in this vicinity." 

" You must get rid of them, for they are a nui- 
sance to you," added the major. 

" That is so ; but how am I to get rid of 
them?" demanded the commander. 

" Major Lyon informs me that he has a letter 
from his father, saying that he has fully recovered 
from his wound, and will rejoin the regiment in 



414 AT THE FRONT 

two or three days. As the mails are rather slo^y, 
he may be expected at any time. I don't care to 
saddle this encumbrance of half a thousand pris- 
oners upon him when he arrives." 

" We are not ten miles from the Tennessee line ; 
and I suggest that you send them into their own 
State, under escort of Major Lyon's battalion." 

"As we are likely to remain here some days, 
that is an excellent idea ; and I shall adopt it at 
once, for I am anxious to get rid of the nui- 
sance, and I will start them off to-morrow morn- 
ing," said the colonel, rubbing his hands to express 
his satisfaction with the remedy. " Sentinel, send 
for Major Lyon." 

Deck soon made his appearance, and found the 
two officers in the tent studying the map on the 
table. He was informed of the mission that had 
been arranged for him, to which he did not object, 
as he never did to any order. 

" But I am not clear that it is advisable to send 
the ruffians over the line at its nearest point, for 
the first town or village in Tennessee to which 
they would come to would be Fountain Head, 
which is not more than twelve or fifteen miles 



MAJOr. LYON'S march into TENNESSEE 415 

from Franklin ; and they could easily return, as 
they have their horses. Besides, the vanguard of 
Bragg's army may be coming this way about this 
time. I think it would be more prudent to send 
the villains to some point farther off, though it 
will make a longer march for Major Lyon." 

" Never mind the length of the march," inter- 
posed Deck. 

" Then, send him to Scottville, about twenty- 
five miles from here, and then turn to the south- 
east on the road to Lafayette, near which the 
major can turn them adrift, and let them shift 
for themselves," continued Major Born wood, still 
studying the map. " The main thing is to get the 
rascals as far off as possible, and make sure that 
they don't return." 

Deck had studied his map of tliis vicinity very 
carefully when the force halted at Palmyra the 
night before, and he knew the roads very well on 
both sides of the line. The duty would require 
a forty-mile march for his command ; but he re- 
garded this as of no account when he realized 
the importance of getting rid of the guerillas. 

" I beg your pardon, Major Bornwood, but you 



416 AT THE FRONT 

suggested that Bragg's army might be coming 
this way on his route to the north," interposed 
Deck. " He has not announced by what roads 
he will march, and isn't it possible that he may 
come by the way of Lafayette and Scottville ? " 

" Of course we don't know which way he will 
come, or even if he doesn't choose to enter Ken- 
tucky by Cumberland Gap. If you find him in 
front of you, Major, all you have to do is to give 
the vagabonds the slip, and put some miles be- 
tween you and the enemy. Of course the cavalry 
will be in the advance." 

"But you will not engage them. Major Lyon," 
said Colonel Gordon very decidedly. 

"Certainly not, as I am so ordered," replied 
Deck, though he was very sorry to receive the 
command. "I have only one thing to request 
Colonel. I am liable, though not likely, to meet 
a force of the enemy; I shall ask that Captain 
Knox's company be added to my battalion." 

" The request is granted," replied the com- 
mander, with a smile ; for he knew how much the 
tall Kentuckian was attached to the young officer, 
and he thought it would be safer to have an ade- 



MAJOR LYON'S march INTO TENNESSEE 417 

quate force, for the ruffians, though unarmed, 
outnumbered his battahon. 

The sentinels at the prison camp were in- 
structed to allow no person to communicate with 
the guerillas during the night ; and Major Truman, 
who was in charge of the camp, was directed to 
see that this order was strictly enforced. The ruf- 
fians were not to be informed what was to be done 
with them in the morning. But Deck made all his 
preparations for the march. The men were to take 
two days' rations with them, with not even a shel- 
ter tent; for it was early in September, and the 
climate was very pleasant. The guerillas were 
mustered in the morning by the battalion in 
charge of them, after they and their horses had 
had their breakfast. They had the provender 
for their animals in the two wagons with their 
rations. 

The five companies in charge of them were 
placed in their front and rear, and ISIajor Lyon 
gave the order to march. At two o'clock the col- 
umn reached Scottville, after dinner on the road. 
They made no halt at this place, but took the 
road to the south without answering the ques- 



418 AT THE rEo:NT 

tions of the inhabitants. The prisoners asked 
their custodians what was to be done with them 
whenever they had the opportunity ; but they were 
not answered, for Deck had ordered his command 
to have no communication with tliem. 

At five o'clock in tlie afternoon they had made 
about twelve miles from Scottville, and came to 
the point where the road crossed Long Creek by a 
bridge. Major Lyon decided to camp on the bank 
of the stream. There was a piece of woods some 
distance from the camp, and he ordered that the 
horses of the prisoners should be picketed there. 
A guard of two companies surrounded the ma- 
rauders, for Deck determined that he would not 
lose any of them after he had come so far. He 
was mindful of his orders to place them where 
they could not easily get back to the rich country 
they had pillaged before. The ruffians had blan- 
kets ; and, as soon as they had eaten their supper, 
they rolled themselves up, stretched out on the 
grass, and went to sleep. The darkness settled 
down upon the camp of the prisoners and of the 
command. But Deck did not lie down or go to 
sleep. 



MAJOR LYON's march INTO TENNESSEE 419 

About ten o'clock, when the guerillas were 
sleepmg as soundly as though they were in their 
last slumber, Deck walked on the bank of the 
creek to the limit of the camp of his force ; and 
there he found Life Knox with about twenty of 
his men, all mounted. It was evident enough 
that something was on foot, but only Deck and 
Life could have told what it was. 

" I did not have a good chance to explain what 
is needed to be done," said the commander of the 
force in a low tone to Captain Knox. 

" I reckon I know from what you said to me 
just what is to be done," replied the captain. " I 
have enough of my best men to do it, and do it 
well. They shall all be turned loose in ten min- 
utes." 

" But that is not the most important part of the 
duty," added Deck. 

" I know it is not ; but my men shall drive 
them as far as the nature of the country will 
allow. I will make it live miles sure, and ten if 
can. 

" All right, Life ; you understand the matter 
perfectly." 



420 AT THE FRONT 

" I do ; and I reckon none of those horses will 
ever drink any more Avater out of Greeger Lake," 
replied the captain, as he left Deck and followed 
the stream to the place where his men were 
stationed. 

He went at a gallop, and did not halt, but con- 
tinued to run his horse along the stream, followed 
by all his men. Deck watched them for a few 
minutes till the darkness concealed them, and 
then he walked back to the camp of his battalion. 
The sentinels were wide awake, and nothing had 
been heard from the other camp. Everything 
seemed to be in good order and condition ; and he 
rolled himself up in his blanket, stretched himself 
on the softest place he could find, and was soon 
asleep. There was no event to disturb him or his 
men, or even the prisoners, during the night. 

At daylight the assembly sounded, and the 
command were soon on their feet. Deck had sent 
four scouts on the road toward Lafayette to give 
early notice if they discovered the approach of the 
head of the Confederate army of Bragg, or any 
other force ; but the enemy did not appear. The 
major had suggested that the Southern army 



MAJOR LYON's MAKCH INTO TENNESSEE 421 

might take the road by which he had come, at 
k^ast as far as Scottville, while Major Bornwood 
seemed to think it would approach its northern 
destination by Gallatin and Franklin. It after- 
wards proved that Bragg did take the road by 
which Deck's command had come from Scottville, 
having crossed the Cumberland River at Car- 
thage ; but it was a week later than the major's 
march. 

The men took their breakfast at an early hour 
from their haversacks, while the prisoners suited 
themselves in regard to the meal; but an order 
Avas sent to them to be ready to march by seven 
o'clock. The Riverlawn regiment was in column 
at that hour, and most of the men believed they 
were to march farther into the enemy's country. 
Major Lyon sat on his steed in the road; and 
great was the astonishment of the privates when 
Captain Abbey's company turned to the right in- 
stead of the left, for the former led back to Scott- 
ville, from which they had come the day before. 

" Battalion, gallop ! " shouted Deck as soon as 
all the companies were in the road ; and the com- 
mand soon disappeared at a bend of the highway. 



422 AT THE FRONT 



CHAPTER XXXII 

DECK RESORTS TO A "YANKEE TRICK " 

When the battalion had gone a couple of miles 
the speed was reduced; and Major Lyon placed 
himself at the side of Captain Knox, whom he 
had not seen since he met him the evening before 
on the bank of the stream, when it was evident 
that the big Kentuckian had a mission before him. 
The nature of the duty had not been stated in the 
camp. Twenty men had left the camp while most 
of the cavalrymen were asleep in their blankets ; 
and as long as those awake were called, they did 
not trouble themselves about the matter. 

"■ I haven't had any chance to report to you. 
Major Lyon," said Life, as soon as his superior 
officer was within speaking distance of him. " I 
had to keep so quiet that I could not talk to you 
without some one hearing me." 

" It was all right, Life. I knew that you had 
done your work properly, as you always do ; and I 



DECK RESORTS TO A "YANKEE TRICK " 423 

did not care for any report from you/' replied 
Deck in his familiar manner with the captain, for 
they were fast friends. 

The major had been on secret service with him, 
and was indebted to him for the fidelity with 
which he had served him, as well individually as 
in the line of his duty. On the other hand, Life 
had joined the company as a private, and had 
soon proved that he was a very valuable man ; he 
believed that he owed all his promotions to his 
present rank, which he had never expected to 
reach, to the influence of the major, though it 
was really his own merit that had procured his 
advancement. Then, when they had not been 
actively employed, Deck had taken a great deal of 
pains to improve his mind, recall his early studies, 
and especially to improve the quality of his lan- 
guage. 

"Did you have any trouble with the horses 
last night. Life?" asked Deck. 

" Not a great deal ; my men were at home in 
handling horses. We turned them all loose from 
the picket-line, fixing their halters on their necks, 
and carried off the rope to which they had been 



424 AT THE FRONT 

tied, and left no sign that horses had ever been 
tied there, except the marks of their feet in the 
soil ; but their tracks could have been followed 
for ten miles farther. Then we swam them over 
a creek of which the one we camped on is a 
branch." 

" Then, you left them ten miles from the 



camp 



" That is what we did, for you said take them 
ten miles if we could." 

" Then, they must be up in Monroe County in 
Kentucky. Well, they are far enougli off to pre- 
vent the ruffians from finding them again very 
soon," added Deck as he rode forward to the head 
of the column. 

The Tennessee raiders had been not a little as- 
tonished that morning that they were not routed 
out as usual, and still more so when they saw the 
major's battalion march out of the camp into the 
road without receiving any orders. They saw 
their custodians take the road to Scottville instead 
of that to the south. Gossley, when he discovered 
that his gang were no longer surrounded with 
guards, walked out into the highway, and ob- 



DECK RESORTS TO A " YANKEE TRICK *' 425 

served the departing Riverlawns. He did not 
understand it, and presently some of the officers 
and privates joined him. 

" What do you make of this, ColUer ? " he 
asked of a captain. 

" That's not a hard question," replied Collier, 
laughing. 

"Answer it, then." 

"I reckon the Yanks ain't going any farther 
with us," said the captain, who seemed to be 
greatly pleased that they had got rid of them. 

" I reckon that's so," added the chief ; and he 
also laughed, for they had not enjoyed the sever- 
ity of the discipline to which they had been sub-- 
jected. " We can have it all our own way now, 
and if we don't fool the Yanks it won't be my 
fault," changing his smiles into a malignant 
fro^vn. 

"What are you going to do about it. Major? " 
inquired Captain Collier. 

" I reckon we'll finish the work we began," 
answered Gossley, scowling all the time. " It 
made me mad to have to give up near two hun- 
dred and fifty dollars, and all the rest of the 



426 AT THE FRONT 

things we had put in our pockets or loaded on 
the wagons ; and I'm going back to do it over 
again. Let's have breakfast, and then we'll take 
a short cut I know over to Fountain Head. 
From there we'll cross the line just south of 
Greeger Lake, and be there by to-morrow morn- 
ing. That's the plan now; and it is not more 
than forty miles to the place where Price will 
hand over his money again, or hang to that tree. 
We mean business now." 

Breakfast, such as it was, came in due time ; 
and then the men were sent over to the woods to 
bring up the horses. Captain Collier went with 
them. They did not find their horses where they 
had been compelled to picket them. They could 
not even find the rope to which they had been 
tied. The tracks of the horses were there, and 
that was all. They followed the hoof-prints of 
the animals for about five miles ; but they were 
tired, and could not go any farther. The captain 
sent a man back to report to the chief that the 
horses had disappeared, and they had followed 
their tracks for five miles ; and they were going 
farther after resting the men. 



DECK "RESORTS TO A " YANKEE TRICK " 427 

They did go five miles farther, and there the 
marks were not to be seen. This was the point 
where Life had driven them across a wide and 
deep creek. The animals were not to be seen 
on the other side ; and doubtless they had contin- 
ued their march farther into the country, in 
search of greener pastures. Collier swore as the 
only vent he had for his wrath and indignation. 
The creek was broad and deep, and they could 
not swim over it. They were compelled to aban- 
don the search. They were again tired enough 
to need "a rest, and they had ten miles to walk 
before they could reach the camp. They arrived 
in the middle of the afternoon, where the chief 
was doing a large amount of swearing on his 
own account. The captain reported to him. 

" It was a Yankee trick ! " exclaimed Gossley, 
with a superabundance of expletives, which did 
not seem to make him feel any better, for they 
never have that effect. " They drove the horses 
off, so that we should not get them again ! " 
. " That was the game, and I reckon we are 
dished," added the captain. 

" I should like to hang that young cub of a 



428 AT THE FRONT 

major, and about twenty more of them, just to 
give them an idea of Tennessee justice." 

" I don't reckon we can catch them again, 
and I don't beheve you'll hang any of them," 
added Collier. " The question now is not hang- 
ing, but what are we going to do ? " 

"Huff it home," suggested a private who was 
standing near them. 

They talked about it for an hour ; but the 
more the}- talked the more they found they 
could do nothing to repeat the raid, as the chief 
had proposed ; without their horses they were 
helpless. They argued for various plans, swore, 
cursed their luck, and came to blows in some 
instances. Finally they separated when they 
found they could not agree, and went off in 
groups by themselves. They came from a dozen 
different localities, and all they could do was to 
start for their homes, some by the road ; but 
about half of them followed the creek down the 
stream, hoping that they should recover their 
horses, and thus save a walk of thirty to sixty 
miles. It is . not known whether any of them 
found their steeds or not. The last scene was 



DECK RESORTS TO A " YANKEE TRICK " 429 

when the chief discovered that he had been 
robbed of all his money, -which he carried in 
a belt around his body. The gang had taken 
a great deal of grain, pork, hams, and bacon in 
their raid ; and Gossley had sold them to go 
south. He kept the money, and it was to be 
divided when they reached their headquarters. 
It was doubtless stolen while he slept by some 
of his own men. 

The Riverlawn battalion continued their march, 
and arrived at Scottville in the forenoon. Here 
Deck was informed that a company of Union 
soldiers had camped there over night, and had 
marched towards Franklin early in the morning. 
The major wondered what force this could be, 
and he asked some questions about the company. 
Then he learned that the company were uni- 
formed like his own men, and that with them 
was an officer of over forty years of age, who 
wore the shoulder-straps of a colonel. The men 
in the force were armed with rifles and sabres. 

"That must be Captain Ripley's company," 
said Deck to Captain Knox. " The field-officer 
must be my father." 



430 , AT THE FRONT 

" How could the riflemen get away from Mil- 
lersville so soon?" asked Life. 

"I don't know anything about it, of course; 
but we will move on, and as we are marching 
light, we can overtake the company in a couple 
of hours," replied the major, as he gave the or- 
der to move on. 

The horses were in good condition ; and Deck 
hurried the march, so that the battalion came up 
with the company when they had halted for the 
noonday meal. The men were sent into a field, 
where they gave the horses their grain from a 
bag each one carried behind his saddle. Deck 
gave Ceph to his orderly, and hastened to find 
his father. The colonel was taking his lunch 
with Captain Ripley, and he grasped his hand 
with a considerable gush of emotion for him. 

" Why, Dexter, how came you here ? " asked 
his father, still holding the hand of his son ; and 
it was evident enough to all that he was rejoiced 
to see him. 

" I will tell you all about it in a few minutes," 
replied the major. " I want to know about your 
health fii'st." 



DECK RESORTS TO A "YANKEE TRICK " 431 

" I am about as well as ever, I think, though 
not quite as strong. My wound in the head is 
fully healed, though the spot is a little tender." 

" I am very glad to learn that you are in such 
good condition; and I judge that we shall remain 
some days longer at Franklin, so that you will 
have a chance to build yourself up a little more. 
This march must have been rather hard for you." 

" No ; we have not hurried ; I have an excel- 
lent appetite, and I can stand nearly as much as I 
ever could," replied the colonel. " I see that 
you have a whole battalion mth you." 

" Five companies, sir, for Captain Knox's com- 
mand was added to my battalion. We had a 
fight at Greeger Lake, though we had it all our 
own way, and took about five hundred guerillas 
prisoners. Colonel Gordon wanted to get rid of 
them before they ate up all our rations, and I 
was sent to set them down in Tennessee, which I 
did about five miles from La Fayette ; and now 
I am marching back to Franklin," replied Deck. 

All the commissioned officers in the battalion 
came over to congratulate the colonel upon his 
recovery and return to his command, though 



432 AT THE FRONT 

Lieutenant^Colonel Gordon was quite as popular 
.as the colonel. When they had all gone but 
Life, Deck gave a full account of the fight and 
other events at the lake. 

" I reckon Major Lyon played off a Yankee 
trick upon the guerillas last night at the camp," 
said Captain Knox, with a Kentucky smile which 
was a full-fledged laugh. 

"How was that, Dexter?" asked the colonel. 

" Colonel Gordon, when he and Major Born- 
wood decided to get rid of the prisoners, whose 
horses were not taken from them, for they had to 
go a long distance to reach their homes, was very 
much afraid they would return and continue their 
raid, especially visiting Greeger Lake again, to rob 
the miller there of his money, as they had done 
before. I was ordered to march them about 
twenty miles over the line into Tennessee, and 
leave them there. But as they had their horses, 
they could return and do all Colonel Gordon 
feared they would do. I hit upon a plan to 
checkmate them, and sent Captain Knox to carry 
it out. He can tell you better than I can how 
he managed it." 



DECK RESORTS TO A "YANKEE TRICK " 433 

Life told the story at some length. 

" I reckon they are lookmg for their animals 
just now," he concluded. 

The march was resumed, and the force reached 
the camp of the regiment before sunset. The 
men cheered lustily when they saw Colonel Lyon, 
and he was gladly welcomed and congratulated 
on his recovery by all the officers. Colonel Gor- 
don, who had gone to Riverlawn as a lieutenant 
to muster in the new companies, and had been in 
the command ever since, was especially glad to 
see- his old commander, and none gave him a 
heartier greeting. If he liked the command, he 
was happy to surrender it to one whom he re- 
spected so highly. 

Major Bornwood had been" ordered by tele- 
graph to join his general at Gallatin, and he 
had left the day before. The rest of the after- 
noon and evening was spent in recounting to 
the colonel the incidents of the march of the 
regiment from Somerset, including the affair at 
Millersville, of which he had heard before, as also 
that at the lake. Colonel Gordon had expected 
an order to move the regiment to some point 



434 AT THE FRONT 

where it could be actively employed. But no 
order came during the next two days. 

On the 7th of September, a message came by 
wire from the general himself, ordering Colonel 
Lj'on to move his command to Nashville by the 
way of Springfield, and report to General Thomas, 
in command there. 

" Why by Springfield ? " asked the colonel, 
who was consulting the map with Colonel Gordon. 

" I cannot tell ; but I can guess that the roads 
leading more directly to Nashville are, or soon 
will be, occupied by troops moving north," re- 
plied the lieutenant-colonel. 

They did not know it then, but that day 
General Buell moved six of his divisions across 
the Cumberland River. He had discovered by 
this time that Bragg, whom he had been watch- 
ing for some time, had crossed the river at Car- 
thage, and was moving rapidly for Louisville. 
He had left General Breckinridge with a heavy 
force of artillery, cavalry, and infantry to invest 
Nashville, which was probably the reason for 
sending the Riverlawns there. 



BEFORE THE BATTLE OF STONE RIVER 435 



CHAPTER XXXIII 

BEFORE THE BATTLE OF STONE RIVER ' 

The return of Captain Ripley's company re- 
stored the Riverlawn regiment to its full strength 
of twelve companies; and its experience at Co- 
lumbia, Buck Creek, and Millersville had prac- 
tically made the officers and men veterans. 
Captain Halliburn had been able to procure a 
couple of brass cannon which had been used in 
a neighboring county for saluting purposes, with 
the ammunition for putting them to a more de- 
structive use, and had planted them in a breast- 
work commanding the river, though they could be 
drawn up the slope and placed on Grimsby Hill, 
where Major Batterson's battery had done such 
efficient service. With the assistance of these 
guns the captain of the Home Guards believed 
he could protect the village from guerilla raids. 

Colonel Lyon gave ordei"s to prepare his com- 
mand to march at once for Nashville : and two 



436 AT THE FflONT 

clays later the regiment and battery arrived at 
their destination, and reported to General Thomas. 
For the next two months the force was employed 
in various duties, in repelling the attacks of the 
enemy, and in several expeditions to the sur- 
rounding country. Colonel Lyon, wdth the bat- 
tery and a portion of the regiment, had been over 
the ground before ; and his careful study of his 
maps had made him familiar with the geography 
of the region, and he rendered valuable service 
in defeating the plans of the Confederates. 

The force did some heavy fighting, and lost a 
considerable number of its officers and men ; and 
Captains Artie Lyon and Richland were severely 
wounded, the former being in the hospital for a 
month. But space does not permit the giving 
of the details of these actions and expeditions. 
It was on the day of the departure of the regi- 
ment for Nashville that General Buell moved his 
six divisions across the Cumberland; and then be- 
gan a race between him and Bragg to Louisville. 
A few days later the general, fearing for the 
safety of Nashville, sent General Mitchell's divis- 
ion back to that city ; but the order was sub- 



BEFORE THE BATTLE OF STONE RIVER 437 

sequently countermanded, for Buell found that 
Bragg had torn up the track on the Louisville 
and Nashville Railroad from Franklin to Bowl- 
ing Green, and that the head of Bragg \s army, 
a brigade of cavalry, was near Munfordville, on 
the north side of Green River. The situation 
was such that he not only countermanded his 
order for Mitchell to return to Nashville, but 
ordered Thomas, with his own and Paine's divis- 
ions, to proceed to Bowling Green on the 15th ; 
but if necessary to insure the safety of Nashville, 
to leave the latter. This order was promptly 
obeyed ; and Thomas joined Buell at Prewitt's 
Knob, on the branch road to Glasgow, near its 
junction with the railroad to Louisville. 

Munfordville had been re-enforced and forti- 
fied by the Union force, and under Colonel 
Dunham several assaults of the enemy were re- 
pulsed ; but on the ITth Colonel Wilder, who 
succeeded Colonel Dunham in the command, 
finding the place surrounded by an overwhelming 
force, surrendered to the enemy. At Prewitt's 
Knob, when Thomas joined Buell, Bragg was 
confronting the Union forces, and seemed dis- 



438 AT THE FRONT 

posed to fight. There was some skirmishing, l)iit 
possibly the arrival of Thomas prevented the 
enemy from engaging Buell's arm}'. While the 
latter were preparing for a battle, it was discov- 
ered that Bragg was retreating, moving to the 
eastward of the railroad to Louisville. The west- 
ern part of Kentucky Avas thus left open to the 
army of Buell ; and he marched rapidly for Louis- 
ville, which the last of his force reached on the 
29th of September. Bragg proceeded to Bards- 
town, about forty miles south of Louisville. 

General- Buell found at Louisville the remnant 
of General Nelson's division, which had been 
thoroughly defeated in the three days' battles 
near Richmond, and a large number of new troops 
which had been hurried to the defence of the city. 
He reorganized these recruits, putting the new 
men in the ranks with his veterans, and then 
marched to Bardstown. At this point General 
Buell was relieved, and General Thomas was 
assigned to the command of the Army of the 
Ohio ; but at the request of the latter the change 
was not made, and Thomas became the second 
in command. 



BEFORE THE BATTLE OF STONE RIVER 439 

The two armies confronted each other, and, 
after various movements, came together at Chap- 
lin Hills, near Perryville, and the battle called 
by both names followed, with very great loss on 
both sides. The result was the retreat of the 
Confederates ; and in the language of Pollard 
in " The Lost Cause," " To evacuate Kentucky 
had become an imperative necessity. This re- 
treat of Bragg was certainly a sore disappoint- 
ment to the hopes which his first movements in 
Kentucky had occasioned and his sensational de- 
spatches had unduly excited." 

The battle had been fought, the enemy had 
left the State, and the campaign was transferred 
to the South. General Buell was concentrating 
his army at Glasgow and Bowling Green, when 
the mandate came from Washington relieving 
him from the command of the Army of the Ohio, 
and giving General Rosecrans the command of 
the Armj^ of the Cumberland, as it was soon very 
generally called. The Riverlawn regiment was 
kept busy in the vicinity of Nashville until the 
last of December. They were employed in raids 
and counter raids. It liad fought with Forrest. 



440 AT THE FRONT 

With General Negley's force, they assisted in 
driving the noted raider seven miles from Nash- 
ville, but failed in an attempt to cut him off. 

Murfreesboro, in the vicinity of which was 
fought the battle of Stone River, though it is also 
called after the name of the town, is on the Nash- 
ville and Chattanooga Railroad, thirty miles south- 
east of the capital of Tennessee. General Bragg 
was with his army at this place in the last days 
of December; and General Rosecrans decided to 
attack him there, possibly fearing that he would 
venture a movement against Nashville. The new 
commander of the Arm}- of the Cumberland di- 
vided his forces into three bodies, of which Gen- 
eral Thomas was assigned to the command of 
the centre, with five divisions ; General McCook 
to the right wing, and General Crittenden to the 
left. The Riverlawn regiment was placed in 
the cavalry of the centre. On the evening of the 
25th of December, General Rosecrans issued his 
orders for his army to move for Murfreesboro 
the next morning. 

General Thomas was to march by the Franklin 
turnpike, and then cross the country to Nolens- 



BEFORE THE BATTLE OF STONE RIVER 441 

ville, between the two railroads leading to the 
south. The right and left wings moved in other 
directions, but the plan was too complicated to 
be repeated. In moving across the country from 
Lavergne, a cavalry force was discovered ahead 
of the command, consisting of two divisions and a 
brigade ; and the Riverlawns, without the battery, 
were sent to clear the road. It appeared to be a 
regiment. Colonel Lyon gave the order for his 
command to proceed at full gallop. The senior 
major was in the advance with his battalion, and 
he was sent forward to engage the enemy. It was 
a rough region ; and the rain was pouring in tor- 
rents, which obstructed the vision of the officers. 
The command had started in the morning- in a 
dense fog, and the rain had not yet beaten it down. 

As Deck turned his steed in the road, in a 
small piece of woods, he could no longer see the 
foe, which had been some distance from him. 

"What has become of them. Captain Abbey?" 
he asked, somewhat bewildered by the sudden 
disappearance of the force he was pursuing. 

"There is some trick about it, I should say," 
replied the captain. 



442 AT THE FRONT 

" What trick can they play upon us here ? " 
inquired the major, reining in liis horse. 

" The colonel of that regiment did not tell me, 
and I don't know!" rej)lied the officer. 

But Major I^yon thought he had obtained an 
idea. About a quarter of a mile ahead of him 
was a knob, as they call it in that section as well 
as in Kentucky, which apj^eared to be a pile of 
rocks of all shapes, as well as the major could 
make it out in the fog and rain. A portion of it 
had been removed to permit the passage of the 
road, or perhajjs to obtain the stone for culverts 
or other purposes. Deck was satisfied that the 
regiment, battalion, or whatever it was, had gone 
behind this knob, which was large enough to be 
called a hill, with the intention of falling upon 
the regiment as it came along the road. The 
force could not have passed out of sight in the 
road, for it extended far enough in view not to 
admit of its disappearance by a hurried move- 
ment. 

" The enemy are behind that hill, and will fall 
upon you as you reach the farther side of it. Cap- 
tain Abbey," said the major, as he discovered the 



BEFORE THE BATTLE OF STONE RIVER 443 

colonel hastening forward; and he explained the 
situation to him. " If you will order Major 
Belthorpe to take to the field, and attack the 
enemy in the rear, I will engage the portion near 
the road." 

Deck was somewhat given to strategy, and his 
father had confidence in him ; and as he saw 
that the plan was fitted to the occasion, he im- 
mediately ordered the second battalion to move 
as Deck had suggested. 

" Move with all the speed you can make, 
Tom," said Deck to the second major as he 
came up. 

" It is a rough piece of country, but I will 
do the best I can," replied Major Belthorpe, as 
he led his command into the field, which had 
no fence to obstruct him. 

Deck ran his horse to the head of the column, 
and gave the order to walk, in order to give 
the second battalion time to reach the rear of 
the hill. When he came to the side of the ele- 
vation, he was satisfied that jNIajor Belthorpe had 
nearly reached his destination, and a minute or 
two later he heard the clash of sabres in that 



444 AT THE FRONT 

direction. It was evident enough to Deck tlien 
that tlie trick Captain Abbey suggested had de- 
veloped itself, and that the commander of the 
Confederate force had posted a portion of his 
regiment behind the hill which A^'as to take the 
Union column in the flank or rear; in other 
words, he had "stolen Deck's thunder." 

The moment the major heard the clash of 
arms, he ordered the n\en to move at a gallop ; 
and they soon came to the other side of the 
knob. As anticipated, about five companies ap- 
peared to be the force of the portion ranged in 
the order of battle at the side of the road where 
they could not be seen till they had the regi- 
ment in blue in front of them. Deck led the 
first company till it was abreast of the eneni} 's 
line, and then gave the order to charge, keeping 
on the flank and rear of his line. It was a fu- 
rious attack, such as the original companies of 
the Riverlawns had been trained to make, and 
the others had learned from them. 

Deck urged his men on, though they hardly 
needed any stimulus of this kind ; and the con- 
duct of the companies fully met his approval. 



BEFORE THE BATTLE OF STONE RIVER 445 

The officer in command of the enemy remained 
behind his men, where he ought to be, and Major 
Lyon did the same ; but if the former had shown 
himself in the conflict, he'woukl certainly have 
been in front of him. 

Colonel Lyon did not remain far in the rear; 
for as soon as the fight was fairly under way, 
he sent two companies from the third battalion 
to the rear, with Colonel Gordon, and two more, 
under jNIajor Truman, to the front of it. The 
latter, seeing the way open for him, led his two 
companies to the rear of the enemy at the road. 
The effect of this re-enforcement was soon appar- 
ent; for the enemy at the road, charged upon in 
both front and rear, very soon began to give way, 
and, in spite of the efforts of their officers, fled 
from the field, hurrying towards a wood or grove, 
half a mile from the scene of the engagement. 

Behind the knob the result was not very differ- 
ent. The re-enforcement that went in that di- 
rection consisted of the companies of Captain 
Ripley and that of Lrfe Knox. The former had 
no especial gifts in a charge with the sabre, but 
they were terrible as sharpshooters. They were 



446 AT THE FRONT 

sent into the woods which surrounded the knob; 
and as soon as they were in position, the enemy be- 
gan to drop from their saddles without being able 
to tell what had caused their sudden downfall. 

Life Knox's company, as soon as they had 
been trained to their office, were even more ter- 
rible than the riflemen. More than half of the 
members were giants in stature, and the dimin- 
utive cavalrymen of the enemy were no match 
at all for them. Observing the conduct of the 
force by tlie road, they followed their example, 
and fled for the woods. The result was deci- 
sive ; and the regiment of the enemy was entirely 
vanquished, and nothing more was seen of it till 
the division reacbed Nolens ville. 

As the force of General Thomas approached 
the knob, Major Belthorpe joined the first battal- 
ion, and marched out upon the road, the two 
companies from the rear soon joining them. The 
commander, who had ridden forward with his staff 
to ascertain the cause of the blocking of the road, 
came into the presence of the regiment, the sol- 
diers of which regarded him as a sort of demigod, 
and cheered him as soon as he appeared. 



BEFORE THE BATTLE OF STONE EIVER 447 

" What's the trouble here, Colonel Lyon ? " 
asked the general, as he came up with the cav- 
alry. 

"Nothing especial, General. A regiment of 
Confederate cavalry were on this road for the 
evident purpose of delaying the passage of your 
division ; but INIajor Lyon fathomed their pur- 
pose and their plan, and we have utterly routed 
them." 

" Who is Major Lyon, Colonel ? " inquired the 
commander of the division. 

"He is my son. General." 

" Ah, yes ; I remember. He came to my head- 
quarters at Somerset, and distinguished himself 
in several affairs on the Cumberland River. He 
is a young man with genius." 

" He is a major now, the senior major of the 
Riverlawn regiment ; and I beg you will not give 
him any further promotion at present, for I assure 
you he desires no advancement," said the colonel. 

" He deserves it, at any rate," added the gen- 
eral, as he followed the regiment, in column by 
this time. 



448 AT THE FRONT 



CHAPTER XXXIV 

THE OPENING OF THE GREAT BATTLE 

General Davis had the advance of the right 
wing, and he went by a crossroad over to Nolens- 
ville. As a cavalry escort he had an Illinois 
company, in command of Captain Sheerer, who 
unearthed the enemy's pickets in the rough and 
broken country through which he passed on his 
way; and the fact indicated that General Bragg 
may not have expected an advance on the part 
of the Army of the Cumberland, though he had 
been careful to obtain immediate information of 
any movement on the part of the Union force on 
his front. 

The resistance to General Davis's command on 
the crossroad was not heavy, though the march 
was difficult over the poor road and in the pour- 
ing rain ; but on his approach to Nolensville he 
found it necessary to dislodge the forces of the 
enemy there, for the Confederate cavalry was 



THE OPENING OP THE GREAT BATTLE 449 

formed for an assault, and. a battery was brought 
to bear upon him. Davis formed his division for 
the engagement to dislodge the enemy. The 
march of the centre had been arranged so that 
General Thomas could support either wing if 
pressed too hard for its strength on one side or 
the other. 

The Riverlawn Cavalry, with its battery, which 
it was still allowed to retain, though it might 
be sent to any part of the field where it was 
needed, was regarded as a very effective body; 
and as it had generally been at Corinth, Pitts- 
burg Landing, and other fields, was sent out 
ahead of Thomas's wing to feel the way. It 
had eiTectually disposed of the Confederate regi- 
ment of cavalry which impeded the march on the 
crossroad ; though as jMajor Lyon's advanced to 
the town, he caught a glimpse of it through a 
gap near the road, hurrying in the same general 
direction as the command to which he belonged. 

The roar of artillery was heard in the direction 
of the town ; for a battery had opened upon Gen- 
eral Davis's division, though it was soon silenced 
by Pinney's guns. 



450 AT THE FRONT 

The general in the advance of the right wing, 
as soon as he had cleared the way for his marcli, 
learned that he would meet with a heavier oppo- 
sition at Knob's Gap, an opening in a range of 
rocky liills on the Nolensville and Triune turn- 
pike, extending about ten miles in a southeasterly 
direction, or towards the locality of the battle of 
Stone River. General Thomas heard the guns at 
Nolensville. Colonel Lyon was already following 
the sound,' and the general hurried Negley's divis- 
ion forward to the support of Davis. The range 
of rocky hills at Knob's Gap was exceedingly 
favorable for defence ; and artillery was placed 
there among the steeps, which opened upon Davis 
at long range as soon as the head of his column 
appeared. 

The Riverlawn Cavalry came up at this point, 
and the colonel looked the ground over thoroughly. 
He saw what looked like a practicable passage 
to the rear of the hills ; and he ordered Major 
Lyon, with the first battalion, to take this open- 
ing. He was directed to get on the flank or rear 
of the enemy; and the seventh company, the rifle- 
men, was sent with him, to be placed where they 



THE OPENING OF THE GREAT BATTLE 451 

could operate in their line upon the artillerymen 
on the hill. By this time the batteries on both 
sides were actively employed ; but Deck's com- 
mand was protected by a spur from the main 
range, and he soon found an eligible locality for 
the sharpshooters. They picketed their horses at 
the foot of the slope, and then ascended on foot. 
Post's brigade charged upon the batteries on the 
left just as the riflemen began to drop the can- 
noneers at their pieces. Captain Ripley was confi- 
dent that his command had killed or disabled over 
fifty men ; and he might have done all this with 
a single round of his rifles, even if one-half of 
his men had missed their aim, which they were 
very unlikely to do, for he had over a hundred 
privates in his companj^ 

Deck moved on with the first battalion as soon 
as he had placed the riflemen. Both wood and 
stone had evidently been taken from these hills, 
for the major soon found a rude road which had 
been traversed by wagons. He followed it with 
all the speed the roughness of the locality would 
permit. The batteries must have moved their 
guns up to their present positions by this road. 



452 AT THE FRONT 

He soon came to one of them hurriedly firing their 
pieces at the force in the road. But Post's bri- 
gade had already routed the other batteries nearer 
the road ; and the gunners were fleeing to the rear, 
doubtless with the intention of making their escape 
by the road down the hill from the bayonets of 
the Union assailants. 

Major Lyon charged upon the battery near him 
as the broken companies approached ; and it was 
dorre by the old companies of the Riverlawn squad- 
ron so fiercely that he almost instantly drove the 
men from their guns. The escaping force from 
the front deflected to the right, doubtless greatly 
surprised to find a Union force in the rear. But 
Deck had silenced the battery near him ; and he 
ordered his men to fall back in the road, with 
the intention of blocking it against the fugitives. 
Then he opened fire upon them with the carbines, 
and the revolvers Avhen near enough for the use 
of the latter. 

The battalion had moved back but a short dis- 
tance before they came upon the rest of the regi- 
ment ; and Deck saw his father just as he came 
to an open space at the side of the road. Taking 



THK OPENING OF THE GREAT BATTLE 453 

advantage of this favorable position, Colonel Lyon 
had sent Major Belthorpe's battalion to the verge 
of the opening, which was a perpendicular mass 
of rocks, and blocked the way of the retreating 
companies. He charged upon the two companies 
when they drew their sabres and showed fight. It 
was an impetuous onslaught of a superior number, 
and the enemy gave way before them. Deck saw 
the movement ordered by the colonel, and closed 
his four companies around the fugitives, and they 
were entrapped. They surrendered when they 
could do nothing more, for they were confronted 
by overwhelming numbers. 

" The guns are silent in the front of the hills 
and on the right of the road, and I think the 
business of the day is finished," said Colonel 
Lyon when he met his son in the wagon-road. 

"And I think we had better get out of this 
place as soon as possible," replied the major. 
" General Davis will suppose we have been an- 
nihilated if we do not." 

" But what are we to do with a hundred and 
fifty prisoners, more or less," suggested the colo- 
nel. 



454 AT THE FRONT 

" March them down with us, for we don't care 
to fight tliem again in this campaign," replied 
Deck. 

The colonel gave the order to the two majors 
to have them formed in companies ; and they were 
placed between the two battalions, and marched 
down to the road. Major Belthorpe picked up 
his seventh company on the way. But the pris- 
oners were on foot, and the march could not be 
hurried beyond a double-quick. The distance was 
not great; and when they were seen with their 
captives in the column. Post's brigade, which had 
just descended from the heights, honored them 
with a cheer, to which the officers replied by 
saluting. 

A small number of prisoners had been taken, 
and were in camp with a guard in the town ; 
and tJie two companies captured by the River- 
lawns were sent to join them, for it was easier 
to keep them in camp than it would be to fight 
them again. The troops bivouacked in the avail- 
able fields, the Riverlawns among them. They 
were tired enough to sleep, and they did not 
spend much time in talking over the events of 



THE OPENING OF THE GREAT BATTLE 455 

the day after their horses had been fed and they 
had eaten their own suppers. But Deck could 
not help asking his father what they were to do 
the next day. 

"I don't know any better than you do, Dex- 
ter," replied the colonel. " We form a sort of 
extra reserve force, and we shall not know what 
we are to do till we are ordered to do it. That 
is what General Thomas told me, adding that 
the command had excellent Kentuckj- horses, and 
always moved with great celerity; and as the 
battery could keep up with the riders, he had 
prevented it from being detached from the regi- 
ment, though it was a little irregular for a cav- 
alry regiment to have such an appendage. But 
he added that Major Batterson's must be sent 
where it was most needed." 

" I suppose you understand, father, that we are 
on the eve of a great battle," added Deck. 

" I suppose we are ; though I am not sure that 
General Bragg, whose army is in and around 
Murfreesboro, expected a great battle in this lo- 
cality; for I learned yesterday that he had sent 
General Morgan into Kentucky to break up the 



456 AT THE FRONT 

communications of General Rosecrans, and Gen- 
eral Wheeler into West Tennessee. Both of 
these generals were in command mainly of cav- 
alry, forming much the larger portion of Bragg's 
force of tliis arm. Probably General Rosecrans, 
aware of this fact, chose the present time for an 
advance." 

" I was talking with the captain of one of the 
batteries we captured this afternoon, and he was 
rather more communicative than he ought to have 
been," continued Deck, who did not often have 
an opjDortunity to talk with his father. 

" What did he tell you ? " asked the colonel 
with interest. 

" Probably nothing the generals don't all know; 
but the first thing he said was that Rosecrans's 
army was about to get the biggest licking the 
Yankees ever received, and that he should not 
be a prisoner for many days, for the ground would 
all be wanted for the Yankees captured in the 
great battle. I replied that it was more likely 
to be needed for the accommodation of Confeder- 
ate prisoners." 

"That was nothing but blackguarding on the 



THE OPENING OF THE GREAT BATTLE 457 

part of both of you ; and I advise you not to in- 
dulge in much of that sort of thing," replied the 
colonel with a smile. " Did that captain tell you 
anything that is worth knowing ? " 

" He told me some things that I did not know, 
which doubtless the generals do know." 

" What, for example ? " 

" That Bragg's army is in order of battle on 
the west of Murfreesboro, with Stone River in its 
rear, and field-works in front of them as far as 
a creek near the Franklin road. I have studied 
my map enough to understand sometliing about 
it ; for we have been in the town, and I have 
walked about to some extent in the vicinity." 

" I don't think your information is of any great 
value, my son ; and that captain will not be shot 
for giving you what knowledge you obtained 
from him. But it is time for us to get our sleep. 
Dexter ; for we don't know what will happen to- 
morrow, though I shall pray that it may not be 
a calamity to the national army." 

"I shall do the same, father." 

On the morning of Dec. 27 the weather was 
anything but propitious for the advance of the 



458 AT THE FRONT 

army. A dense fog prevailed, so that it was 
difficult for an officer to see any considerable 
distance in front of him. The right wing under 
General McCook was to come upon the ground 
by Nolensville and Triune, the latter a post vil- 
lage within a dozen miles of Murfreesboro ; and 
the fog had prevented him from reaching this 
place as early as was expected. A forward move- 
ment was attempted in the morning. General 
Johnson led the attack near the Franklin road, 
where General Hardee's corps had been in line 
of battle all night and all the morning. General 
McCook did not deem it wise or prudent to force 
an engagement on unknown ground, and in a fog 
so dense that it was almost impossible to dis- 
tinguish friend from foe. Artillery practice was 
kept up along the line all the forenoon, as well 
as lively skirmishing. 

Early in the afternoon the fog lifted ; and 
Johnson, supported by General Phil Sheridan, 
again advanced. Hardee had burned the bridge 
over Wilson's Creek; and, having placed a battery 
and a platoon of cavalry to defend the crossing, 
he moved back his main force. The line of 



THE OPENING OF THE GREAT BATTLE 459 

Union skirmishers attacked his rear-guard, which 
fled after a very feeble resistance. After this 
opening of the great battle, which lasted four 
days, Johnson, with the other divisions in his 
rear, moved a mile to the south, and there biv- 
ouacked for the night. 

All had not gone as desired, for the delay of 
McCook in the early morning had prevented Crit- 
tenden, in command of the left wing, from ad- 
vancing as early as arranged ; but at a late hour 
in the forenoon he had moved three of his divis- 
ions, though no decided direct advantage was 
gained. But operations in this portion of the 
field extended as far to the north as Lavergne, 
ten miles distant. The enemy was driven from 
this village and the neighboring hills, and in 
retreating to the south set fire to the bridge over 
Stewart's Creek ; but it was saved by a Kentucky 
regiment of infantry. There were other opera- 
tions in this vicinity, and those engaged in them 
passed the night at Stewartsboro. 

General Thomas moved several of his divisions 
during the day ; though the rain of the day before 
had left the roads in such a bad condition that 



460 AT THE FRONT 

the marching was slow and difficult, and on the 
crossroads it was exceedingly laborious and wear- 
ing to the soldiers. 

The 28th of December was Sunday ; and though 
armies do not delay in honor or reverence of the 
day, no general advance was made. But a recon- 
noissance was made by one of the brigades of the 
right wing to ascertain the direction of General 
Hardee's corps on its retreat; and it was ascer- 
tained that he had retired to Murfreesboro. 

On the 29th General Stanley moved in advance 
of the right wing. The Anderson cavalry from 
Pennsylvania pushed the enemy six miles, char- 
ging warmly all the way, though it was so un- 
fortunate as to fall upon an ambuscade of two 
regiments of the enemy's infantry, with consider- 
able loss in killed and wounded. 

The Riverlawn regiment was ordered to Wil- 
kinson's crossroad, with a portion of the enemy's 
cavalry near them ; and this proximity resulted 
in a fight, in which the Kentuckians held their 
own as usual, without much loss. 



WAIIM PRAISE Foil THE RIFLEMEN 461 



CHAPTER XXXV 

WARM PRAISE FOR THE RIFLEMEIsr 

Althottgh General Bragg had sent away the 
greater part of his cavalry, a considerable portion 
of it remained, posted on the left of the line be- 
yond the field-works ; and what was left of Wheel- 
er's command was behind Breckinridge's works on 
the extreme right, and on the east side of Stone 
River. On the 29th of December the divisions 
of Johnson and Sheridan were at Wilkinson's 
crossroads, and near this point the enemy's 
cavalry appeared in strong force. The River- 
lawns had been sent to this position, in company 
with an Ohio regiment of cavalry whose com- 
mander was ranked by Colonel Lyon. The colo- 
nels conferred together when the Confederate force 
appeared in the distance ; bnt when they discov- 
ered the position of Johnson's division, they 
halted, and took a survey of the ground. 

" That force is not likely to come much farther 



462 AT THE FRONT 

in this direction, Colonel Lyon," said the com- 
mander of the Ohio regiment. "It is for you to 
say what we shall do." 

" Colonel Milliken, you will go forward on this 
road, and I will take to the fields," replied Colonel 
Lyon. " There is a small piece of woods ; and I 
will get behind it, and strike them on the flank 
or rear, while you push the enemy in front. I 
Avill send my seventh company with you ; for they 
are riflemen, and can do a great deal of execution 
as sharpshooters." 

" I see that the brigade of cavalry, or whatever 
it is, has resumed the march in this direction," 
remarked Colonel Milliken. 

"So I perceive," replied the commander of the 
Riverlawns. " I was afraid that the force, when 
they saw the divisions near the cross-roads, would 
strike across the fields to the ford over Overall 
Creek, near the church, rather than come any 
nearer to them. If they have noticed us at all, 
they do not seem to bestow much attention upon 
our regiments. We must convince them of their 
mistake." 

The riflemen were called out from the column. 



WARM PilAISE FOR THE RIFLEMEN 463 

and transferred for the time to Colonel Milliken's 
command, with an explanation to Captain Ripley. 
They were jDlaced at the head of the Ohio colnmn ; 
and it moved off at a smart gallop, after they 
had started at a trot, as usual in cavalry tactics. 
Colonel Lyon led his command into the field on 
the right of the road, and went at a furious gallop 
for the grove to which he had alluded, not more 
than an eighth of a mile from the road. He 
proceeded to the farther side of it, and there 
halted. 

In the meantime. Colonel Milliken hastened 
forward in the road ; but before he came up with 
the enemy, he sent Captain Ripley's company 
into the field on his left, directing its commander 
to take such position as he considered most de- 
sirable, and open upon the troopers at once. The 
riflemen were provided with good horses ; and 
when the heads of the two columns clashed to- 
gether, he was in position to put in his deadly 
work. The sharpshooters could not dismount; 
but they had become so accustomed to firing 
from their saddles, that their bullets were hardly 
less effectual than when they had a rest at the 



464 AT THE FRONT 

side of a tree. They galloped a short distance 
beyond the head of the enemy's column, where 
the mutual charge had already entangled both 
bodies. Ripley had sent his men ahead of him, 
so that he remained at the left of his command, 
with a sharp eye fixed on the officers of the Con- 
federate regiments. He was looking for a mark 
that was worthy of his remarkable skill with his 
rifle ; and presently he found it near the head 
of the column. Raising it, and with hardly an 
instant's hesitation, he fired ; and the commander 
of the force dropped from his saddle, and was 
carried out of the road by his men. 

Lieutenant Butters, who was accounted the 
second-best rifle-shot in Russell and Pulaski 
Counties, was equally diligent in seeking the 
officers of the leading regiment, and one of them 
fell every time he discharged his weapon. The 
riflemen had been ordered to keep five feet 
apart, and take the leading men of the enemy 
in front of them; but the enemy were not long 
in discovering the cause of the great mortality 
among their officers, and the captain of one of 
the companies, who still remained in his saddle, 



WARM PRAISE FOR THE RIFLEMEN 465 

for lie was beyond the line of the riflemen, 
wheeled his command out of the road, and led 
the way in an attack upon the sharpshooters, 
probably considering it an easy matter to drive 
them from the ground. 

Most of the fences, where there were any, 
had been thrown down by the movements of the 
army, and there was an opening near this captain ; 
but he did not live to reach it. His first lieuten- 
ant dashed into his place, rallied the men, the 
riflemen slowly retreating before them, but wheel- 
ing about and firing all the time as they did so. 
The captain's successor almost instantly followed 
him to the ground. Lieutenant Blount, next in 
rank to Butters — for the men of the company, 
who elected their own officers, or at least recom- 
mended them for commissions, hardly knew any 
other skill except that in the use of the rifle, — • 
was in charge in this portion of the line. Captain 
Ripley's command had been stretched out till it 
covered two companies of the enemy, and very 
soon not an officer was left in them. 

The second of the enemy's regiments was 
thrown into the field where the riflemen were, 



466 AT THE FRONT 

and were advancing at a rapid gallop to fall 
upon the flank of their assailants. Captain Rip- 
ley moved his company farther hack ; hut the 
officers of the second regiment hegan to drop 
from their saddles, and many of their men also, 
as they hurried to the head of the column. 
The fall of so many of its men in the second 
regiment was too much for their nerves in the 
their officers. 

Another regiment had moved forward in the 
field on the left of the enemy's column, and 
charged upon the leading companies of Colonel 
Milliken's command, who fought with desperate 
bravery; hut the regiment from the field on their 
right, still falling before the riflemen, crowded 
through the broken fence, and carried a panic 
into the main column. The enemy had evi- 
dently had enough of the sharpshooters, both 
the first and the second regiment, and in a mass 
they bolted into the field. A captain from 
farther in the rear took the command of the 
force at this time, and by vigorous action re- 
formed the column, the head of which had suf- 
fered a severe loss. The command by this 



WARM PRAISE FOR THE RIFLEMEN 467 

retreat had moved out of the range of the 
riflemen. 

The Confederate force was already badly 
beaten in spite of its superior numbers, but 
Colonel Milliken pursued. The enemy appeared 
to have better horses than any force which the 
Riverlawns had encountered, and they were 
pounded with the flat of the sabres to their ut- 
most speed. At any rate, the force gained con- 
siderably on its pursuers. 

Captain Ripley's command had lost its occu- 
pation in the field on the Union left ; and he 
saw the panic, as well as the pursuit of Colonel 
Milliken. Though he was the oldest man in 
the regiment, he was one of the most active 
mentally, as he was physically ; and he counter- 
marched his command till the head of it was 
where the rear of the enemy's column had been. 
Then he crossed the road, and was somewhat 
ahead of the right of the Ohio regiment. He led 
the way himself. The horses, raised mostly by 
the men themselves, were of the best breeds, and 
some of them had taken part in the races of the 
State. He reached the woods almost as soon as 



468 AT THE FRONT 

the head of the enemy's column ; and, placing 
his men, the deadly aim of the riflemen began to 
make havoc in the Confederate ranks. 

While the sharpshooters were thus engaged, 
Major Lyon's battalion dashed out from beyond 
the woods, and struck in a furious charge against 
the head of the column. The lieutenant-colonel 
and the major had already fallen ; and as soon 
as Captain Ripley got his eye upon him, the 
captain who had become the acting colonel fell 
back on the haunches of his steed, and was 
borne by the animal out of the reach of danger, 
if he was not already dead. Major Batterson's 
battery had been sent on other duty for that 
day, or perhaps the engagement would have been 
finished by this time. 

Major Belthorpe's battalion broke out of the 
woods, or more properly grove of large walnuts, 
coming from its centre, and charged into the 
middle of the enemy's force. Major Truman 
appeared from the end of the grove nearest to 
the road, and galloped his men to the left of 
the Confederate column. The three battalions 
had movecl at very nearly the same moment. 



WARM PRAISE FOR THE RIFLEMEN 469 

By this time the enemy was well-nigh wearied 
out, perhaps as much by the dismay the rifle- 
men had created as by the fatigue of the action 
in the road, and were not in condition to meet 
the reckless charge of the Riverlawns. Captain 
Ripley's command had again lost their occupa- 
tion ; for the men could not fire without endan- 
gering the Union force, as the battalions spread 
out along the entire line. Another captain had 
taken the vacant place of the colonel ; but he 
appeared to be powerless to rally his force for 
a desperate sally against their assailants, and led 
them with all speed towards Overall Creek. 

At the same time it was seen that Johnson's 
division was moving down the road to the same 
point. Apparently the enemy on the other side 
of the stream had discovered that the brigade of 
cavalry was hard pressed ; for Colonel Lyon with 
his field-glass discovered three batteries moving 
out from the Confederate works, and hastening 
to the ford. He immediately ordered a halt ; for 
he believed that a farther advance would involve 
the loss of many of his men, without any advan- 
tage to compensate for it. 



470 AT THE FRONT 

" You think we have gone far enough, Colo- 
nel Lyon, do you ? " asked Colonel Milliken, rid- 
ing up to him. 

"I think we have gone as far as our duty 
warrants us in going; for I have seen with my 
glass no less than three batteries approaching 
the ford, and of course they will open on us as 
soon as they can do so without peril to their 
own people," replied the commander of the River- 
lawns. 

" Perhaps we have punished that brigade enough 
for one day ; for I believe your riflemen have 
killed off all the officers of two of their regi- 
ments," added the Ohio colonel. 

" Not all of them," said Colonel Lyon, with a 
smile of incredulity. 

" Of course I do not mean every one of them, 
but a great many. I was absolutely amazed when 
I saw Captain Ripley stretch out his men, and 
then bring down the commander of the force with 
his own rifle." 

" He does that every time." 

" His company is a very important element in 
your strength, Colonel." 



WAEM PRAISE FOR THE RIFLEMEN 471 

" It is, when he can get his men into a favor- 
able position," replied Colonel Lyon. 

" They all appear to be absolutely sure with 
their rifles to bring down the enemy. I should 
like to have such a company in my regiment ; 
for I really believe that Ripley's men did more 
to win the day for us than my whole regiment. 
His men made terrible havoc with the enemy's 
officers ; for with them it is not merely the loss of 
a man, but the loss of the controlling force of 
the regiment. But where did you pick up so 
many riflemen so sure every time with their 
weapons ? " 

" Not sure every time, but generally ; though I 
believe the three commissioned offlcers of the 
command rarely fail to hit the mark, perhaps 
because they never fire unless they are sure of 
their aim. My son, who is the senior major 
of my regiment, had about half a company of 
these same men, including the present officers, 
and did very valuable service with them at Mill 
Spring a year ago. I found them in that vicinity, 
and most of them belong in Pulaski, Ivussell, and 
Adair Counties. They have all been hunters at 



472 . AT THE FRONT 

home, and taken part in all the rifle-shoots in 
that part of Kentucky. But they did not enlist 
at that time, though I had it in mind to get up 
a company of mounted riflemen." 

" Are you a Kentuckian, Colonel Lyon ? " asked 
the other. 

" I am not. I was born and brought up in the 
State of New Hampshire, and went to Kentucky 
just before the war broke out ; for my brother 
left his plantation, from which my command gets 
its name, to me by his will." 

" It is about time for us to return to our 
camps." 

The two commands separated, and marched to 
headquarters ; and Colonel Lyon reported to Gen- 
eral Thomas what had been done on the Wilkin- 
son road. He was sent immediately to re-enforce 
Colonel Starkweather, who was guarding a bridge 
on the Jefferson turnpike. When he arrived at 
his destination he found the guard assailed by a 
cavalry force. As the position was favorable, the 
colonel, after he had reported to the colonel in 
command, and with his permission, sent the rifle-, 
men to the bank of the stream : and when the 



WARM PRAISE FOR THE RIFLEMEN 473 

Confederate force charged, its officers began to 
drop from their saddles. Deck's battalion charged 
with its usual fury upon the enemy, and the ma- 
jor was once tempted to take part with Ceph in 
riding down the commander of the assailants ; but 
he had been entreated by his father and Colonel 
Gordon not to perform that feat again, and he 
resisted the temptation; but he kept his men 
busy till the enemy was repulsed, largely by the 
force of Colonel Starkweather. Again the colonel 
reported to the general, and then went into camp. 



474 AT THE FRONT 



CHAPTER XXXVI 

THE RESULT OF THE GREAT BATTLE 

General Bragg believed that his army was 
outnumbered by that of General Rosecrans, and 
therefore he awaited an attack. But an offensive 
movement was not made on the 30 th, as the 
enemy expected, and they were greatly disap- 
pointed. In the evening the Confederate com- 
mander-in-chief determined to make the initiatory 
movement himself, and he arranged his divisions 
for a great battle on the following day. He had 
an immense advantage over his opponent in the 
possession of the roads diverging from Murfrees- 
boro, and in the thorough knowledge of himself 
and his subordinate commanders of the country 
where he was operating. 

On the morning of the last day of the year 
1862 both commanders were prepared for battle, 
and it proved to be the eventful day of the 
four days' conflict. The Confederate generals re- 



THE RESULT OF THE GREAT BATTLE 475 

alized that they had reached the hinge of events ; 
and they were inspired to do all that Southern 
hravery, dash, and skill could accomplish. The 
Union army at the point of attack was not in 
condition for the movement that was made upon 
them. The commander of the division was not 
on the line, or near enough to control the force ; 
and the general of brigade intrusted with the 
defence of the flank was- absent. The line of 
battle had been thinly spread out to secure space 
for a battery. 

The sun rose in that latitude at twenty min- 
utes past seven ; and before that time General 
Hardee, with nearly one-half of the Confederate 
infantry on the field, made a long detour, and 
struck the right of the Union army. It was a 
tremendous onslaught, as though the enemy had 
become desperate in their determination to de- 
cide the battle in their favor. In the unprepared 
condition of the right wing the Confederates had 
it very nearly all their own way. General 
Bragg claimed that this portion of General Rose- 
crans's army was surprised, and doubtless the at- 
tack from the quarter from which it came was 



476 AT THE FRONT 

unexpected ; but all the usual provisions against 
surprise had been provided for, and there was 
a skirmish-line in front. The right of the na- 
tional line as it was then had been overwhelmed. 

The movements of both armies were too com- 
plicated to be followed in their many variations, 
and at ten o'clock in the forenoon the result 
looked doubtful. An attempt was made by 
Bragg to transfer the right of his line to the 
left, which was evidence that McCook and 
Thomas were holding their own on the right 
of the Union line. The latter repulsed and 
drove back Hardee's force, and successfully es- 
tablished a new line, thus greatly changing the 
condition of affairs on the right. But the battle 
continued in all its complications on the first 
day of the new year with varying success and 
defeat. 

On the 2d of January it looked as though 
Bragg would resume the offensive on his right. 
Crittenden's line had been extended across the 
river, and the Confederate general believed that 
Polk's divisions would be attacked if the force 
of Crittenden opposite Breckinridge on the other 



THE RESULT OF THE GREAT BATTLE 477 

side of the river was not driven from its posi- 
tion. The latter made an onslaught on the bri- 
gades in front of him as fierce and persistent as 
the contingency of the occasion demanded of 
him. This was on the east side of Stone River ; 
and Crittenden perceived that his left on the 
other side of the stream was under heavy pres- 
sure, the attack being made in support of the 
movement of Breckinridge. General Beatty was 
hard pushed, with two other brigades ; their lines 
were broken, and the enemy pursued them towards 
the river. In this emergency Crittenden called 
upon his chief of artillery to mass all the guns 
he could gather to relieve Beatty. Battery after 
battery was placed, till fifty-eight guns were 
ready to open upon the enemy. The brigade of 
Price and the Ninth Kentucky Regiment, under 
Colonel Grider, were dislodged, and retreated to 
the river, losing heavily at every step they 
moved during the pursuit of the enemy. At 
this perilous situation of the left of the Union 
army, the concentrated batteries opened fire from 
the elevations on the other side of the river, 
producing a tremendous effect upon the enemy ; 



478 AT THE FRONT 

for Breckmriclge recoiled, and fell back, suffer- 
ing very severe loss. 

At this critical time for the foe, Colonel Miller, 
commanding the Third Brigade of Negley's divis- 
ion, with a portion of Stanley's cavalry, charged 
across Stone River, less than a tenth of a mile wide, 
upon the partially demoralized enemy. A num- 
ber of guns and the colors of the Confederates 
were captured. General Jeff C. Davis, command- 
ing the first division of the right wing, sent a 
re-enforcement of a brigade over the river, and 
then followed himself with two more. Being 
the superior in rank on the ground, he assumed 
command. He threw out a skirmish-line, and 
soon encountered the foe, somewhat restored 
after the panic ; and a brisk engagement fol- 
lowed, which was the last of any consequence. 

Colonel Miller s movement was an exceedingly 
important one ; for it defeated Bragg's attempt 
to get possession of the elevated ground on the 
west side of the river, and had a great influence 
on the final result of the four daj's' battle. It 
was a hazardous venture ; and he was ordered 
by a general officer, though not his immediate 



THE RESULT OF THE GREAT BATTLE 479 

commander, to refrain from making his charge 
over the stream; but he disregarded the com- 
mand, dashed over, and threw his force furiously 
on the enemy. Breckinridge, after his first suc- 
cess, lost the heights he had held in the beginning ; 
and his reckless attempts to recover what he had 
lost cost him in casualties two thousand men. 

General Bragg had lost the last important en- 
gagement of the long battle. The third day of 
January brought weather which was not favorable 
for military operations, and he made no offensive 
movement. General Thomas, re-enforced by the 
arrival of Spear's brigade, drove the enemy away 
from his front, opening his line in the centre. 

That night Bragg retreated ; and he explained 
that " common prudence and the safety of my 
army, upon which the safety of our cause de- 
pended, left no doubt in my mind as to the 
necessity of my withdrawal from so unequal a 
contest." He alludes to his knowledge that 
Rosecrans had received re-enforcements as also a 
reason for his retirement. With the exception 
of the arrival of the single brigade of Spear, 
there were no additions to the Union army. 



480 AT THE FRONT 

But Bragg retreated from the ground he had 
held behind his field-works for four days, leav- 
ing the army of Rosecrans in possession of the 
battlefield. Nevertheless, Stone River can hardly 
be regarded as a decisive victory. 

Both of the commanders-in-chief believed that 
they fought superior numbers ; Rosecrans think- 
ing that the Confederate force consisted of over 
60,000, and Bragg that the Union army amounted 
to 70,000. The loss of the former was 11,577, 
and of the latter about 10,000. 

The Riverlawn regiment was actively employed 
during this last day of the battle, though not 
with the regular force of the centre. The cavalry 
of the enemy passed entirely around the army of 
General Rosecrans, endeavoring to capture the 
wagon-trains, and were often engaged with the 
same arm of the Union army. Colonel Lyon 
had a very smart engagement with a superior 
force near the Lavergne road. He had been di- 
rected to look out for the safety of the trains. 
He had crossed Stone River at a ford north of 
the left wing of the army, and reached the Leb- 
anon turnpike. Moving along this thoroughfare, 



THE RESULT OF THE GREAT BATTLE 481 

Major Lyon had discovered a cavalry force mov- 
ing south on the Lavergne road, several miles 
distant, towards a group of wagons with their 
mules, on the shore of a creek, and near a piece 
of woods, many of which were on the battle- 
ground, and in all the vicinity for miles from it. 

Deck stood up on the saddle of his steed, and 
used his glass till he obtained some knowledge 
of the situation in the distance. The enemy were 
moving at a lively trot, and were still some dis- 
tance from the wagons ; but he had no doubt 
the train was their objective point. He reported 
what he had seen to the colonel, who asked him 
several questions, in order to assure himself that 
his son's statement was correct. But Deck satis- 
fied him; and, wheeling his command to the left, 
the regiment crossed the fields, and came .out at 
the woods, where the riflemen had orders to post 
themselves in the most eligible place for their work. 

Deck was sent with his battalion through the 
woods, and came out just as the enemy appeared 
in the road abreast of the train. The second and 
third battalions were concealed by the trees from 
the view of the foe, and the Confederate com- 



482 AT THE FRONT 

mander doubtless regarded the evident purpose 
of the battalion to charge his regiment as a reck- 
less piece of bravado. He had formed his line ; 
and he did not wait to receive a charge, but 
dashed into the field, intent upon overwhelming' 
and capturing the presumptuous battalion. But 
they had hardly passed through the broken-down 
fence, before the leader of the command dropped 
from his saddle, no doubt a victim of Captain 
Ripley's unerring aim. A second officer imme- 
diately followed the first to the ground. 

Major Lyon ordered his companies to fall back. 
He had baited his hook with his comparatively 
small force, and drawn a whole regiment into 
the field, while there apjjeared to be another 
remaining in the road, perhaps as a reserve, 
though probably the commander did not think 
of such a thing, as he expected to wipe out the 
battalion in front of him at a single blow. Deck 
retired his force a few rods in order to give the 
riflemen an opportunity to do their deadly work. 
The cracking of the rifles was almost continuous, 
and the men in the ranks tumbled to the ground 
in rapid succession. Deck fell back a few rods 



THE RESULT OF THE GREAT BATTLE 483 

more, to permit a farther advance of the enemy's 
line. The riflemen scattered more than at first, 
when the hurry did not permit them to take the 
best positions. 

The enemy hastened forward, as Deck desired 
they should, and the riflemen moved to better 
places. But the fall of so many of his men 
appalled the new commander ; though he kept in 
the rear of his men, as his superior had not, 
paying the penalty of his rashness before he had 
time to order a charge. In a few minutes not 
less than fifty men had fallen, and the major in 
command, as he appeared to be, evidently began 
to take a new view of the situation; for he could 
not help seeing the necessity of escaping from 
the destructive fire from the woods, and he or- 
dered a retrograde movement. 

Major Lyon had expected this, and the trumpet 
sounded a blast which was a signal for Captain 
Ripley's company to cease firing. For a consid- 
erable distance there was a selvage of woods 
alongside the road, behind which the train had 
taken shelter, where they could not so easily be 
observed. Deck sent a message to the captain 



484 AT THE FRONT 

of the rifle force, suggesting that he should post 
his men among the trees there. Then Deck 
ordered his four companies to charge upon the 
enemy ; and at this movement Colonel Lyon 
sent Major Truman's battalion between the enemy 
in the field and the road, while Major Belthorpe's 
command Avent to the support of Deck. It was 
a furious charge, and the right of the enemy's 
line began to give way before an attack in their 
front and rear. 

The force in the road, which had waited there 
for the destruction of Deck's battalion, awoke 
from its lethargy at the sudden appearance of 
such an increased force, and began to move into 
the field. The leading officer seemed to be the 
colonel commanding, as Ripley described him ; 
and he did not learn wisdom from the fate of so 
many of the other regiment. He yelled, and he 
swore, and was certainly very mad at the check 
the Riverlawns had given him, and he dashed for- 
ward in a charge upon Truman's battalion ;. but 
he had not passed the broken fence before he slid 
from his saddle to the ground. The sharp- 
shooters did not intermit their fire ; and as this 



THE EESULT OF THE GREAT BATTLE 485 

regiment had advanced some distance beyond the 
second, it had to countermarch to reach the 
broken fence, and the riflemen dropped its officers 
and men as they moved forward. 

The two battalions engaged fought with des- 
perate fury, as they always did on such an oc- 
casion. Ripley's company soon dropped many in 
the ranks of the regiment ; and when they saw 
what an immense loss they were suffering, they 
broke, and fled to the fields on the other side 
of the road in spite of the efforts of the officers 
who were left to rally them. Between the upper 
and the nether millstone the regiment in the 
field were practically ground to powder. Colonel 
Lyon sent an order to Major Truman to fall 
back into the open field, as much to open a way 
for the riflemen to do more effective work on 
the force in front of Deck, as to enable the regi- 
ment in the field to escape, as the men were cer- 
tainly inclined to do. As soon as the men began 
to feel the effect of the rifle balls, they became 
completely demoralized, and fled across the road 
to join those who had fled before. 

The victory was complete ; the train was saved, 



486 AT THE FKONT 

and the enemy showed no disposition to renew 
the engagement. But the result was not so over- 
whelming as might have appeared at first glance. 
The Confederates were in two regiments, but both 
were small in numbers ; and the disparity in force 
between the two commands could not have ex- 
ceeded two hundred, and perhaps not so many as 
that. But the two regiments would have done 
better if they had been consolidated into one 
under an able colonel, as the Riverlawns were. 
The Union force remained at the place till 
nearly night to secure the train from any moles- 
tation. The enemy had retreated ; and in the 
darkness the command of Colonel Lyon returned 
to their camp, where officers and men listened 
with intense interest to the accounts of the great 
battery duel which had been fought a short time 
before. The next morning they learned with sur- 
prise that the Confederate army had retreated in 
the night. On the fourth day of the month, the 
Union army employed all the time in burying the 
dead, and on the following day took possession of 
Murfreesboro. It has not been attempted in this 
volume to give a full history of the movements of 



THE RESULT OF THE GREAT BATTLE 487 

the army.; and the attention of the reader has 
been mainly confmed to the operations of the 
Riverlawn regiment since it was reorganized, and 
especially of Deck Lyon, who, unconsciously to 
the writer, became the hero of the volume, as- he 
was of its predecessors. 

The army remained for the next six months in 
the vicinity of Murfreesboro ; and Deck's bat- 
talion, either by itself or with the rest of the 
regiment, were engaged in various operations and 
expeditions, and in spite of the military quiet 
which prevailed in this portion of the South, the 
hero had some very exciting experiences. When 
later in the year the movement of the army to 
the South began which ended in the battles of 
Chickamauga, Lookout Mountain, Chattanooga, 
and "Marching through Georgia," the Riverlawns 
were not kept in the shade, but took an active 
part in the events which enabled the lo^'al people 
in all parts of the country to realize again the 
blessings of An Undiyhded Union. 



OLIVER OPTICS BOOKS 



AU-Over-the- World Library. By Oliver Optic. First Series. 
Illustrated. Price per volume, $1.25. 

1. A Missing Million; or, The Adventures of Louis Belgrade. 
3. A Millionaire at Sixteen; ok, The Cruise of the "Guardian 
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4. Strange Siglits Abroad; or, Adventures in European Waters- 
No author has come before the public during the present generation who 

has achieved a larger and more deserving popularity among young people than 
" Oliver Optic." His stories have been very numerous, but they have been 
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general title, it is the author's intention to conduct the readers 01 this enter- 
taining series " around the world." As a means to this end, the hero of the 
story purchases a steamer which he names the " Guardian Mother," and 
with a number of guests she proceeds on her voyage. — Christian Work, N. V. 

All-Over-the-World Library. By Oliver Optic. Second 
Series. Illustrated. Price per volume, $1.25. 

1. American Boys Afloat; or, Cruising in the Orient. 
3. Tlie IToung JVavigators ; or, The Foreign Cruise of the 
" Maud." 

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The interest in these stories is continuous, and there is a great variety of 
exciting incident woven into the solid information which the book imparts so 
generously and without the slig^htest suspicion of dryness. Manly boys 
will welcome this volume as cordially as they did its predecessors. — Boston 
Gazette, 

AU-Over-the- World Library, By Oliver Optic. Third Se- 
ries. Illustrated. Price per volume, $1.25. 

1. Across India ; or. Live Boys in the Far East. 

3. Half Round the AVorld ; or, Among the Uncivilized. 

3. Four Young Explorers; ok, Sight-Seeing in the Tropics. 

4. Pacific Shores ; or. Adventures in Eastern Seas. 

Amid such new and varied surroundings it would be surprising indeed if the 
author, with his faculty of making even the commonplace attractive, did not 
tell an intensely interesting story of adventure, as well as give much informa- 
tion in regard to the distant countries throug>h which our friends pass, and 
the strange peoples with whom they are brought in contact. This book, and 
indeed the whole series, is admirably adapted to reading aloud in the family 
circle, each volume containing matter which will interest all the members of 
the family. — Boston Budget. 

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OLIVER OPTIC'S BOOKS 



The Blue and the Gray — Afloat. By Oliver Optic Six 

volumes. Illustrated. Beautiful binding in blue and gray, 
with emblematic dies. Cloth. Any volume sold separately. 
Price per volume, $1.50. 

1. Taken by the Enemy. 4. Stand by the Union. 

2. "Within the Enemy's Lines. 5. Fig-hting for the Right. 

3. On the Blockade. 6. A Victorious Union. 

The Blue and the Gray — on Land. 

1. Brother against Brother. :t. A Liieuteuaut at Eighteen. 

2. In the Saddle. 4. On the Staff. 

5. At the Front. 

( Volume Six in preparation.") 

"There never has been a more interesting writer in the field of juvenile 
literature than Mr. W. T. Adam^;, who, under his well-known pseudonym, is 
known and admired by every boy and girl in the country, and by thousands 
who have .long since passed the boundaries of youth, yet who remember with 
pleasure the genial, interesting pen that did so much to interest, instruct, and 
entertain their younger years. 'The Blue and the Gray' is a title that is suf- 
ficiently indicative of the nature and spirit of the latest series, while the name 
of Oliver Optic is sufficient warrant of the absorbing style of narrative. This 
series is as bright and entertaining as any work that Mr. Adams has yet put 
forth, and will be as eagerly perused as any that has borne his name. It would 
not be fair to the prospective reader to deprive him of the zest which comes 
from the unexpected by entering into a sj'nopsis of the story. A word, how- 
ever, should be said in regard to the beauty and appropriateness of the binding, 
which makes it a most attractive volume." — Boston Budget. 

Woodville Stories. By Oliver Optic. Six volumes. Illus- 
trated. Any volume sold separately. Price per volume, $1.25. 
1. Rich and Humble; ok. The Mission of Bertha Grant. 
8. In School and Out; o:t. The CoNctUEST of Richard Grant. 

3. Watch and Wait; or. The Young Fugitives. 

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5. Hope and Have; or, Fanny Grant among the Indians 

6. Haste and Waste; or, The Young Pilot of Lake Champlain. 
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really refreshing, even to us. There is much in them which is calculater*. 13 
inspire a generous, healthy ambition, and to make distasteful all reading tend- 
ing to stimulate base desires." — Fitchburg Reveille. 

The Starry Flag" Series. By Oliver Optic. In six volumes. 

Illustrated. Any volume sold separately. Price per volume, 

$1.25. 
1. The Starry Flag; or, The Young Fisherman of Cape Ann. 
8. Breaking Away; or. The Fortunes of a Student. 

3. Seek and Find; or. The Adventures of a Smart Boy. 

4. Freaks of Fortune; or. Half round the World. 
6. Make or "Break; or, The Rich Man's Daughter. 

6. Down the River; or, Buck Bradford and the Tyrants, 
"Mr. Adams, the celebrated and popularwriter, familiarly know^n as OLiVETt 
Optic, seems to have inexhaustible funds for weaving together the virtuf-; of 
life; and, notwithstanding he has written scores of books, the same fresnness 
and novelty run through them all. Some people think the sensational element 
predominates. Perhaps it does. But a book for young people needs this, and 
so long as good sentiments are inculcated such books ought to be read." 

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